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chinadaily.com.cn 2021-05-21 16:07

President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin witness via video link the groundbreaking ceremonies for bilateral nuclear energy cooperation projects on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

>Xi, Putin witness launch of joint nuclear energy project

President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony of a bilateral nuclear energy cooperation project, Tianwan nuclear power plant and Xudapu nuclear power plant, via video link.

Speaking at the ceremony, Xi extended congratulations on the launch of the China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project and paid respects to the builders from the two countries. Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, Xi said that he and President Putin have agreed to advance the development of bilateral relations to a higher level and expand the ties to broader fields.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic unseen in a century, China and Russia have firmly supported each other and cooperated closely and effectively, which is a vivid demonstration of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, he said.

Xi stressed that energy cooperation has always been the most important area of practical cooperation, generating the most achievements and covering the widest scope between the two countries. Noting that nuclear energy is a strategic priority for bilateral cooperation with major projects completed and put into operation, Xi said the four nuclear power units that kicked off construction on Wednesday mark another major landmark in China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation.

A direct China-Europe freight-train route is launched linking the city of Liuzhou in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the Russian capital Moscow, on May 18, 2021. [Photo/IC]

>China-Europe freight train trips surge

The number of China-Europe freight trains hit 1,218 in April, up 24% year on year, data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed on Tuesday. The freight trains carried approximately 117,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers of goods last month, surging 33% from a year earlier.

In the past five years, the train services have become increasingly well-known around the globe as they have facilitated infrastructure connectivity and deepened trade cooperation for countries along the rail route, said Jin Xiandong, a spokesperson for NDRC.

To date, the total number of China-Europe freight trains has reached 38,000, and they have transported 3.4 million twenty-foot equivalent unit containers. The goods transported by the train services reach 151 cities in 22 European countries, with a logistics network covering the entire region, Jin added.

Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in a counting machine at a bank in Beijing. [Photo/Agencies]

>Urban employees see increased pay

The average salary of China's urban employees saw growth in 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, official data showed on Wednesday. In non-private sectors, the real growth of the average salary for urban employees, adjusted for inflation, rose by 5.2% to 97,379 yuan, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

In private sectors, the annual average salary stood at 57,727 yuan, up 5.3% year-on-year after deducting price factors. The growth rate of the average salary for urban employees in non-private sectors is at its lowest point since 1984, while that of workers in private sectors dropped to its second-lowest point since 2009, according to the bureau.

Newlyweds take a picture with their marriage certificates that they just received in front of the civil affairs bureau in Chaoyang district in Beijing on Feb 14, 2020. [Photo/For China Daily]

>Cross-regional marriage registration

China will pilot an inter-provincial marriage registration policy to save its growing migrant population from having to return to their hometowns to register their marriage.

The pilot program will be first introduced in Liaoning, Shandong, Guangdong, Chongqing and Sichuan, among other provincial-level regions, running from June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2023, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Wednesday.

Under China's current regulations, marriages must be registered at the registry located in the place of household registration of the bride or groom. The new policy will enable people living outside their place of household registration to register their marriage in the pilot areas where they have resided for a continuous period of at least half a year, the ministry said.

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