Xi's One Road Economic Pledge, Loan Sharks: Eye on Chinese Media

President Xi Jinping pledged Wednesday to "advance opening up and development" under the BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE during an inspection tour at one of China’s southernmost ports, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. On a rainy day, Xinhua said, he asked local authorities about future construction, told officials to develop the maritime economy, and talked with workers at Tieshan Port in Beihai, a Guangxi province city near the Vietnamese border. THE CONTEXT: Xi first proposed the initiative in 2013 as a trade and infrastructure network to better link China with the rest of the world and will host 28 foreign leaders at a May 14-15 summit in Beijing dedicated to the plan.

In Other Reports:

  • LOAN SHARKS: Violent debt collection by unlicensed lending institutions is becoming a serious problem, according to an opinion piece in the Economic Information Daily. The government may review policies in other countries, such as capping the interest to the amount principle, as they look for ways to address the problem. The issue has resurfaced after another newspaper chronicled the case of a debt-related death.
  • INNOVATION: The People’s Daily lauded innovations by domestic companies, including China’s first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, a supercomputer and tech companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. The nation has been striving to shed its reputation for copying foreign technologies and lacking the capability for innovation.
  • FAST-DELIVERY: Delivery business revenue rose four times faster than economic growth, the People’s Daily reported. Package deliveries in the first quarter soared 31.5 percent from a year earlier. The logistics industry, a rapidly expanding part of the services sector, is the pillar of the nation’s e-commerce boom.

— With assistance by Xiaoqing Pi

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