An aerial view of the Qingbaijiang Railway Port where freight trains travel between China and Europe on the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative in Chengdu city, southwest China's Sichuan province. Photo: AFP

China’s State Council Information Office on Sunday issued a white paper, titled “China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era,” aiming to strengthen its ties with countries along the Belt and Road.

Consisting of eight chapters, a preface and a conclusion, the white paper stated China’s views on international development cooperation in the new era, as well as its past efforts and future plans.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, China has carried out development cooperation and contributed to policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity based on the needs of individual countries, creating space and opportunities to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, the white paper noted.

China has been enhancing policy coordination, strengthening infrastructure connectivity, promoting unimpeded trade, deepening financial integration and fostering closer people-to-people ties with the participating countries, it said.

China will continue to contribute to the world’s development and proactively cooperate with other countries. It said it is an important task to implement the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations for 2030, given that the Covid- 19 pandemic has created a huge challenge to the world’s public health and safety. 

Tax and fee cuts

China’s tax and fee cuts exceeded 2.5 trillion yuan (US$386.35 billion) in 2020 amid the country’s efforts to support the real economy, data from the State Taxation Administration showed.

A total of 29.2 billion yuan of tax payments was extended in the past year, benefiting 3.99 million taxpayers, according to a national tax work conference held in Beijing on the weekend.

Last year, the administration released a list for online payment covering nearly 200 tax and fee items shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak in a bid to facilitate contactless services.

At present, about 90% of tax payment services and 99% of tax filing services are accessible online, said Wang Jun, head of the administration.

Wang also said the authority will make more efforts to facilitate tax and fee payments, continue to upgrade smart services and introduce measures for tailored services to better invigorate market entities.

Inflation rate

China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 0.2% year-on-year in December, compared with a 0.5% decrease in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.

Food prices increased 1.2% year-on-year last month, reversing a 2% decline in November and contributing about 0.26 percentage points to the CPI increase, said Dong Lijuan, a senior statistician with the NBS.

Growing consumer demand, rising costs and special weather conditions were the main factors that pushed the CPI back into positive territory, Dong said.

In breakdown, prices of both vegetables and fruit climbed 6.5% year-on-year in December, while those of beef and mutton gained 4.6% from a year earlier.

In 2020, China’s CPI rose 2.5% year on year, staying within the government’s annual target of about 3.5%.

Company news

Chinese internet platform and AI company Baidu announced on Monday it would establish a company that produces intelligent electric vehicles (EV), teaming up with auto manufacturer Geely.

For the new company, Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles, while Geely will contribute its expertise in automobile design and manufacturing, Baidu said in a statement.

Chinese mainland gadget maker Honor will unveil its first smartphone on January 18 after leaving Huawei Technologies, with the new model likely to be powered by chipsets from MediaTek.

The move comes at a time when Honor is striving to rebuild its supply chains after gaining full independence from Huawei.

Honor said its online and offline retailing platforms will start taking pre-orders for the V40 smartphone series from Friday. The new phones, scheduled to be unveiled on January 18, are expected to be powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000+ chips.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and KoKo and first published at ATimesCN.com.