Before the drug was available on the Chinese mai

nland, there was little effective therapy for the disease, and patients depended mainly on treat

ment such as respiratory and nutrition supports, said Xiong Hui, Beijing Medical Association rare disease c

ommittee member and Peking University First Hospital deputy director of pediatrics.

Spinraza debuted on the Chinese mainland having been fast-tracked through the marke

t approval process for rare disease drugs, which, available overseas since July, are urgently needed in China.

The drug began the approval process in September and was issued a license in February.

Premier Li Keqiang said in February that the government will step up efforts to gua

rantee more than 20 million rare disease patients have access to required medication.

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Medical experts said bills for patients requiring 29

of the 55 rare disease medicines available on the Chinese mainland

have been partly or fully covered by the country’s medical insurance system.

The average medical bill for rare disease patients is 200,000 yuan ($

29,700) a year and more than 40 percent of patients have received no medical tre

atment due to the high prices, according to Li Linkang, China Alliance of Rate Diseases executive director.

Biogen, the United Sates-based pharmaceutical compa

ny that developed the drug, said that it is talking to the C

hinese government, the medical and patient communities, and charitable orga

nizations in a bid to establish a co-payment system to make the drug available to more patients.

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Noting that China has the world’s biggest middle-incom

income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.

China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more com

petitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.

China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturin

g and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and buil

d some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.

China will speed up making relevant rules and regulat

ions and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the cou

ntry will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.

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China welcomes financial institutions around the worl

 to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.

Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road

countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.

Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectio

nism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.

According to Xi, more than 150 countries and internat

ional organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and

built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.

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One dead, three injured in California synagogue shooting

One person died and three were injured at a synagogue shooting in San

Diego, California, on Saturday, San Diego County authorities confirmed.

A man has been detained for questioning in connection with the shootin

g at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, said San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies from the Poway station were called to Chabad Way, where the synagogue is located, just before 11:30 am.

Multiple law enforcement sources told local media that four people were shot.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus told media that the facility was targeted because it was a place for the Jewish community to gather.

“I understand that this was someone with hate in their heart, hate for the Jewish community,” he said of the shooter.

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Those wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Cent

 in Escondido. Their conditions have not been disclosed so far.

A spokesperson for Palomar Medical Center confirmed they received four patients, declining to give any more details.

The synagogue was hosting a Passover holiday celebratio

n at 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to a post on its Facebook page.

A large group of congregants had gathered behind the temple following the shooting, said Sgt. Aaron Meleen of the San D

iego County Sheriff’s Department. It was unclear so far how many people were attending services.

Some children were initially reported missing, he said, but they have been found.

“As you can imagine, it was an extremely chaotic scene with people running everywhere when we got here,” he told reporters.

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China to support 5,000 people for BRI innovation excha

China will support 5,000 people from innovation sector in Belt and Road countries i

n conducting exchanges, training programs and joint researches in the next five years.

Sustainable development under BRI stressed

China will work with other parties to promote a coalition of sustainab

le cities and an international coalition for green development under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China to invite 10,000 representatives of political parties, think tanks, NGOs from B&R countries

A total of 10,000 representatives of political parties, think ta

nks and non-governmental organizations from count

ries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative will be invited to China for exchanges in the next five years.

China to allow foreign businesses in more sectors with controlling or full stake

China will allow foreign investors to operate businesses in more sec

tors with controlling or full stake. China will roll out a new batch of pilot free trade zones.

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Last year, we issued an announcement offering op

portunities for all UN member states to propose experiments they want to conduct using China’s space station,” said Simone

tta Di Pippo, director of the UNOOSA. “We have received more than 40 proposals before the deadline for sub

mission. We will announce the winners probably by the end of June after evaluation.” Di Pippo said these on the sideli

nes of the fourth China Space Day on April 24 to mark the anniversary of the country’s first satellite launch in 1970.

Moreover, Pakistan intends to send one of their astronauts to China’s space station by 2022, A

mer Nadeem, chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in Pakistan, said after

the opening ceremony of China Space Day in Changsha, Hunan province, on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, the agreement on the matter will be signed very soon. We will select the candidates based on the agreement. Also, they

will come to China for some parts of the training,” Nadeem said. He added that Pakistan and China will furth

er enhance cooperation on several space projects focusing on satellite networks in future.

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Also, the UNOOSA just signed a framework agreeme

 with China, allowing UN member states to participate in its scientific missions for the exploration of the solar system. It will bri

ng scientists from all over the world to work together, which will bring a lot of innovation,” she added.

The meteorological satellite jointly designed and constructed by

Chinese and French scientists has already started to send back data on the wind and ocean wave

s after it was sent to orbit by a Chinese rocket in October. The data can help scientists learn more about climate chan

ge, said Lionel Suchet, chief operating officer of the National Centre for Space Studies of France.

“In 2021, France and China plan to jointly launch an astronomical satellite to help the world deepen

its understanding on the gravitational wave,” Suchet said. “Space is our future, we need to step into it together.”

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China looks to strike a balance between meeting finan

ancing needs, sustainable development and debt sustainability, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

“We will build a high-standard and high-quality financing system to s

upport long-term and sustainable BRI investment while preventing debt risks,” Liu said.

He suggested promoting financing cooperation for projects in

third-party countries, equity investment and attracting more private funding.

Enhancing debt and risk management is a key consideration for deepening BRI financi

ng cooperation, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

“The debt issue in developing countries should be treated objective

ly. If debt growth is accompanied by infrastructure improvement, enhancement of people’s liveliho

ods and productivity and poverty reduction, it will be beneficial for the sustainability of long-term debt,” Yi said.

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