While China is already the world’s biggest gas importer, with

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While China is already the world’s biggest gas importer, with

billion cu m of gas shipment last year, a

year-on-year increase of 31.7 percent, it has only 26 gas stora

ge sites with just 8 billion cu m in storage as of 2018, contributing 3 percent of the country’s total gas consumption.

Analysts believe insufficient infrastructure, including underground gas storage an

d natural gas pipelines, is standing in the way of a more open and liberalized domestic gas sector in the country.

Li Li, research director at energy consulting company ICIS China, also suggested that the government should encourage the construction of gas storage ta

nks to prevent future gas shortages during cold snaps, considering the country’s high dependence on oil and gas imports.

To ensure sufficient gas supply, the country’s national oil majors are also ramping up loc

al oil and gas output, adding thousands of wells at oil basins, shale rocks and deepwater fields nationwide.

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For India’s 84 million first-time voters, election finally gives the

  In less than a month, the world’s biggest democratic exercise begins in India. And out of a total of 900 million eligible v

oters, a staggering 84.3 million — including 15 million aged 18 or 19 — will be casting ballots for the first time.

  So what do they want from their politicians?

  Tolerance, according to Shreeparna Chatterjee, a 22-year-old arts student in New Delhi going to the polls for the first time.

  Voting will be held in seven phases across the vast country, from 11 April to 19 May, with the res

ult announced on May 23. The Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which stormed to power at the last gen

eral election in 2014, is battling a challenge led by the secular opposition Congress party

  Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed a record-breaking 282 seats in the national parli

ament five years ago. Critics accuse his party of fostering religious polarization to woo support from the country’s Hindu majority.

  ”With this government, I feel it’s been very heated religion-based and caste-based politics,” Chatterjee told CNN.

  She has not yet decided who to support but does want to see a change in an increasingly toxic political climate.

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Utsav Vasudeva, a 22-year-old law student in the souther

  city of Bengaluru, says the BJP “has done a lot of good work” but he is uneasy about its religious underpinnings.

  ”Any time that (situation) happens it is chaotic for the system, and I feel one thing Congress stands for is secularism, which the BJP does not,” he said.

  Modi’s rise has left many Indian liberals worried about an increase in religious intolerance at the expense of Muslim

s and other minorities. In contrast to the Congress Party’s secular stance, the BJP is strongly aligned with conse

rvative Hindu nationalists — the more extreme of whom want India governed in accordance with strict Hindu beliefs.

  Eshna Kutty, 22, was born in the southern city of Chennai, grew up in New Delhi and

now studies dance therapy in Mumbai. She is concerned about the next leader’s approach to governing a diverse country.

  ”In a country that has different religions and cultures, Modi as a leader, his party bein

g in power, means that a huge population is ignored and sidelined,” Kutty told CNN.

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His full political arsenal was on display in a Trumpian mas

  sterclass of a photo-op in the Oval Office Thursday with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

  A historian 100 years hence could pull the tape of the 16-minute tour

de force and learn everything they needed to know about the Trump presidency.

  Trump’s behavior on Thursday offered pointers to how he will attempt to ride out political crosswinds using the uniq

ue political tools that made his late-in-life transition from business to Washington so successful.

  Thursday’s rebuke from Congress came amid a spell that wo

uld have been disastrous for any conventional politician, as legal and congressional probe

s suggest tough challenges ahead as special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report looms. Unusually, it also included a sla

p from some Republicans who have been loath to challenge their leader in the first two years of his presidency.

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Top political advisory body concludes annual sessio

  Xi Jinping (C, front), Li Keqiang (3rd R, front), Li Zhanshu (3rd L, front), Wang Huning (2nd R, front), Zhao Leji (2nd L, front), Ha

n Zheng (1st R, front) and Wang Qishan (1st L, front) attend the closing meeting of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chi

nese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 13, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

  BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) — China’s top political advisory body concluded

its annual session Wednesday, building a broad consensus and unity for national development.

  Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders including Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Huning, Zha

o Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan attended the closing meeting of the second session of the 13th National Com

mittee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.

  Addressing the closing meeting, Wang Yang, chairman of the C

PPCC National Committee, called for further improvement of the CPPCC system to tra

nslate the Party’s propositions into consensus and action of people from various sectors.

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The aim of such supervision is to adopt a people-orie

ented approach and work hard to let the public feel fairness and justice in every case,” Procurator-General Zhang Jun said during his report.

In the past year, the top court has also attached more importance to protecting the rights of entrepreneurs and private enterprises.

Zhang Wenzhong, former chairman of Wumei Holdings Group, p

arent of major retail chain Wumart Stores, was cleared of bribery and fraud in May.

Jiang Bixin, vice-president of the top court, said the retrial of Zhang’s case could be c

onsidered a landmark, adding that judges nationwide will continue making such corrections.

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Austria, Poland and Italy are the latest to ground 737 MAX 8s

  Austria, Poland and Italy have all suspended the use of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

  Austria announced the suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft over the apparent “massive pr

oblems” with the fleet, a statement from Austria’s Transport Minister Norbert Hofer said on Tuesday. Hofer added that “safety is a top

priority” and the decision to ground the aircrafts was made “on the basis of the facts currently available.”

  Italy said it was grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as of 9 p.

m. Tuesday (4 p.m. ET) over the “continuing lack of definite information” since the fatal Eth

iopian Airlines crash on Sunday, according to a statement from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) on Tuesday.

  The Polish national carrier LOT also said on Twitter: “In connection with the decision of subse

quent #LOT aircraft agencies, LOT flights with the Boeing # 737MAX8 are suspended until further not

ce.” “Connections as far as the fleet is concerned will be carried out using other types of aircraft,” LOT spokesperson Adrian Kubicki tweeted.

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Planes grounded after Ethiopian Airlines crashe doomed Et

The pilots of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight told air traffic control they were having “

flight control problems” before the crash, airline CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told CNN’s Richard Quest Tuesday.

That suggests the plane was not responding to pilots’ inputs and they were losing control of the aircraft, Quest explains.

GebreMariam said the flight data recorders “will be sent overseas,” rather than being r

ead in Ethiopia, which does not have the technical capability to do it. He did not say where, specifically, they would be read.

Pilots were aware of airworthiness directive issued after the Lion Air crash in October and had had additional training, he said.

Pilots of Ethiopian Airlines told air traffic control they were having “flight control problems,” reports

“This will be extremely worrying because that is exactly what was happening with Lion Air.

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We don’t know why regulators are taking different approaches

  The MAX 8 was unveiled to great fanfare little over two years ago, but passengers ar

ound the world are now asking if the planes are safe after they were involved in two tragedies in less than six months.

  On Monday, Boeing said it has no “basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

  But several countries have taken the decision out of their hands, grounding the 737 MAX 8 or th

e whole MAX range to carry out additional safety checks and await developments in the investigation.

  On the other hand, most airlines in the US have said they are still confident in the model,

and the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet taken action. Several American airlines have the plane in th

eir fleet, including Southwest, which has more MAX 8s than any carrier other in the world.

  ”We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft,” Southwest said in a statement sent to CNN on Monday.

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Still no talks over trade dispute between China, US: MOC

BEIJING – There have not been any bilateral talks over trade frictions betwe

en China and the United States, China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

The United States submitted a file to the World Trade Organizat

ion on April 17 claiming that they are willing to negotiate over the trade dispute with China.

The US move follows WTO procedures, which order members to respond to a reques

t for settlement from another member within ten days, said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng.

Gao reiterated that US Section 232 and Section 301 measures to slap tariffs on Chinese products seriously violate WTO rules.

Gao said the two sides have not yet held any bilateral tal

ks over the US Section 301 investigation and the proposed US tariff list on Chinese goods.

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