ation and safety officials Daniel Elwell, Robert

US senators sharply questioned regulatory officials on Wedne

sday about the Federal Aviation Administration’s reliance on Boeing Co’s engineers to cert

ify the safety of the company’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal crashes in the past five months.

A self-certification procedure called Organization Designation Authorization came under scr

utiny at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee in Washington. Testifying wer

e Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator; Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Saf

ety Board; and Calvin Scovel III, Transportation Department inspector general.

For decades, the FAA has delegated some authority for certifying new aircraft to the manufacturers, reducing government costs.

After the crashes of Lion Air in Indonesia in October and Ethiop

ian Airlines this month, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members, critics have ci

ted the self-certification process as evidence of an overly cozy relationship between the FAA and the industry.

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He said the European equivalent of the US agency deleg

gates more authority to a manufacturer’s employees when certifying the safety of Airbus.

Elwell said the FAA conducts strict oversight of all manufacturers.

Senator Ed Markey demanded a “yes” or “no” answer from Elwell on whether two safety options that airlines could decline to bu

y should have been mandatory on the Max aircraft. Elwell declined to answer with a single word.

Some airlines chose to purchase the “angle of attack” system display for readi

ngs of two sensors and a “disagree light” to be activated if the sensors produce conflictin

g readings while others did not. Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air reportedly declined to buy the two add-on safety devices.

Scovel, inspector general of the Transportation Departme

nt, said his office plans to revise its oversight of aircraft development by July.

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Information contained on flight recorders for the Indones

sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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Event planned to fete PLA Navy’s 70th anniversary

More than 60 countries will send naval delegations to participate in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peo

ple’s Liberation Army Navy in late April, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

The celebration will showcase the progress of the PLA Navy and its growing capabili

ty in safeguarding China’s overseas interests as well as regional and world peace, an expert said.

The multinational naval event will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province, in late Ap

ril, said ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian. April 23 is the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy’s founding.

The naval event will include high-level dialogues, an international fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports e

xchanges as well as other activities, Wu said. Some nations will send military ships to participate in the fleet

review, though details are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, he added.

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isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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Finance Minister Liu Kun said at a forum on Sunday tha

t the government plans to accelerate local government bond issuance this year. “We are tryi

ng to complete the issuance of the new bond quota of 3.08 trillion yuan by the end of September.”

“We will urge local governments to inject funds into projects quickl

y in order to stabilize investment and expand domestic demand,” said Liu.

In the first two months, issued local government bonds totaled at 782.1 billion yuan. Among this, 326.1 bil

lion yuan was raised through special purpose bonds, a type just like United States municipal bonds, the ministry said.

hina will further facilitate foreign enterprises’ venture ca

pital investments in Chinese companies, said Premier Li Keqiang at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will also improve the regulations on foreign investors’ strategic invest

ment in mainland-listed companies as well as on their mergers and acquisitions with domestic enterprises.

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In a spectacular display of indecision, the House of Comm

ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.

Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia

ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.

Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c

onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader

would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).

“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead

ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov

ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.

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The government gave itself the option of bringing May’s dea

back to parliament on Friday, although speaker John Bercow repeated his warning that he

would not allow a third vote unless the motion had changed substantially since its last defeat.

May, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, had already promised to step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Her deal, defeated in parliament by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on Jan 15, mea

ns Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union as well as EU political bodies.

But it requires some EU rules to apply unless ways can be found in the future to ensure no bor

der posts need to be rebuilt between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Many Conservative rebels and the DUP object to this “Irish backstop”, saying it risks binding Britain to the EU for years.

To succeed, May needs at least 75 lawmakers to come over to her side.

After the ERG met, a spokesman said: “There is no way enough votes are

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit in 2019

  levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh

ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

  When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b

y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol

ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.

  In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a

nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.

  FRIENDSHIP & MUTUAL BENEFIT

  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic

partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.

  At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i

ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.

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Wang hailed Italian government’s forethought and pragmatis

gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed

that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.

Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre

ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.

France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa

rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem

onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.

At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron

said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align

its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.

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