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Before it, the biggest solid-fuel civilian rocket in China

was the Long March 11, with a length of 20.8 m, a diameter of 2 m and a liftoff weight of 58 tons.

Information previously published by CASIC said the rocket that will fly first is to carry six satellites.

While preparation for the Kuaizhou 11 mission is underway, designers at the Wuhan academy have begun to develop two n

ew solid-propellant rockets of bigger size and carrying capacity-Kuaizhou 16 and 21-said Hu, the rocket designer.

The Kuaizhou 16 will have a diameter of 3.5 meters and be able to place a 4-ton payload in low-Ear

th orbit. The Kuaizhou 21 will be bigger-with a diameter of 4.5 meters-and will also be mightier, able to se

nd a 20-ton spacecraft to low-Earth orbit, power similar to the United States’ Falcon 9 Full Thrust, Hu said.

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In a 1966 memo, as Britain prepared to hand the Chago

  Islands to the US, British civil servant Paul Gore-Booth wrote that the aim of the exercise was “to get some rocks which will remain ours.”

  To which British diplomat Dennis Greenhill replied, in a cable brut

ally maligning the population of the Chagos Islands: “Unfortunately, along with birds go som

e few Tarzans … whose origins are obscure and who are hopefully being wished on to Mauritius.”

  Had Greenhill illuminated himself he would have learned that the first inhabitants of th

e Chagos Islands were slaves shipped from Madagascar and Mozambique to work on coconut planta

tions by the French in the 18th century. After the Napoleonic wars, France ceded

the Chagos Islands to Britain.Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos archipelago and site of a majo

r United States military base, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, was leased from Britain in 1966.

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Thailand and Japan are the most popular destinations o

  the Chinese mainland for Chinese travelers, with 30 percent of the total visiting one

of the two destinations during this Spring Festival holiday, online travel agency Ctrip said.

  Tourists from Beijing spent the most during outbound travel, ne

arly 9,000 yuan ($1,344.59) per trip, followed by Shanghai at around 8,500 yuan.

  Here are the 10 destinations attracting the most tourists from the Chinese mainland.

  Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and

big data, an old couple in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, is enjoying better life.

  Engineers from Aliyun, the cloud computing subsidiary of e-com

merce giant Alibaba Group, introduced a set of customized remote nursing program for th

e old couple to provide them 24-hour remote care. The 81-year-old husband suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

  year-old woman wears a smartwatch for 24-hour remote care, which can mon

itor his health condition, as well as real-time position and one-button calling functions.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly rejected exte

  Article 50 — the legal process under which an EU member state can leave — and refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

  The UK Parliament is due to debate the divorce again on Wednesday when May is expected to update lawmakers on any pr

ogress made in talks with European counterparts on the divisive issue of the Northern Irish backstop.

  This weekend she will meet European Council President Donald Tusk on the margins of

the EU-League of Arab States Summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

  Three Conservative MPs have quit Theresa May’s party over Brexit

  By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

  Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT) February 20, 2019

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah W

ollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  Ex-Conservative MPs Heidi Allen, second left, Anna Soubry, center, and Sarah

Wollaston, right, arrive for a press conference in Westminster in London on Wednesday.

  (CNN)Three lawmakers walked out of UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party on Wednesday, joini

ng a new group in Parliament that has blown up the British political landscape in less than three days.

  The trio’s dramatic decision to join a group of eight independent MPs, who split fro

m the opposition Labour Party earlier this week, caused consternation at Westminster. They

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Japan aims to expand political clout by creating global military

In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a m

ilitary logistics pact, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will tr

y to get it approved by the National Diet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplies between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and Fren

ch and Canadian armies. Japan has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the world stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Aus

tralia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Ja

pan amended the two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

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Xi called China-US ties one of the world’s most importa

nt bilateral relationships, and the two countries have wide common interests and shoulder im

portant responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and promoting global prosperity.

Maintaining the healthy and stable development of the China-US relationship is in line with the fundamen

tal interests of the people of both countries, and it is also the common wish of the international community, Xi said.

Xi mentioned his latest meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Lead

ers Summit in Argentina in December, saying that the two leaders reached important consensuses.

The two countries should promote building stable, cooperative and coordinative China-US relations, Xi said. The two sides s

hould enhance communication, focus on cooperation and handle disputes to promote economic and trade cooperation, Xi added.

The US team expressed the willingness to make joint efforts with the Chinese team to strive for the conclusion of a deal that meets the interests of both sides.

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Forward-looking measures have already been taken

 by the Chinese monetary authority, earlier than other major central banks, based on the evaluation on macroeconomic conditions and the exter

nal environment. Policy fine-tuning will send positive signals to the market and support financial resilience, Zhang said.

This year, the remarkable change in tone from the world’s major central banks is shifting into a monet

ary easing cycle, and policies from the Chinese central bank are headed in the same direction, Zhang added.

A recent research note from Goldman Sachs forecast China’s credit growth to rise in January as commercial banks may be “si

gnificantly more aggressive than before” with encouragement from the easing policy. With the PBOC scheduled to

release more data this week, the trend may be reflected in faster growth of new yuan loans and the broad money supply.

Amid a good fall of snow, which Chinese traditionally believe promises a year of harvest and

prosperity, Chinese and United States top officials started two days of talks in Beijing on Thursday.

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