ROME — China and Italy signed here Saturday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly advance the con
struction of the Belt and Road during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the country.
The two sides welcome the signing of the intergovernmental MoU on jointly advancin
g the Belt and Road construction, said a joint communique issued by the two countries.
The two sides realize the huge potential of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in promoting con
nectivity, and stand ready to strengthen the alignment of the BRI and Trans-European Transport Networks and
deepen the cooperation in ports, logistics, marine transportation and other areas, the communique said.
The two sides expressed willingness to join efforts under the Asian Infrastru
cture Investment Bank (AIIB) to advance connectivity in line with the AIIB’s mission and functions.
Still, presidential vetoes occur more often than you might think. Every president since Garfield has vetoed at least
one bill. The younger Bush was the first president since John Quincy Adams to go a full four years without a veto, acco
rding to the Congressional Research Service. The House, which was Republican-led for Bush’s entire first term,
was protecting him from bills he opposed. Barack Obama, similarly, had help on Capitol Hill for most of his pr
esidency, just as Trump has. But Obama did veto two bills even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.
The President with the most vetoes was Democrat Roosevelt, wi
th 635, although he also served the longest in the White House (12 years). All those vetoes cam
e even though Roosevelt enjoyed Democratic majorities for his entire time in the White House.
If you plot vetoes alongside how closely aligned Congress is
to the president, it used to be quite common for a president to veto bills from a House and Senate ali
gned with him. This data comes from The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment has drawn up an action plan to impro
ve the water quality of the Yangtze River over the next two years, it announced on Feb 28.
The ministry aims to finish the overhaul of sewage outlets and eliminate nearly all water below Gra
de V — the lowest quality grade in China’s five-tier system — near the river by 2020 under the action plan, whi
ch was released by the ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission on Feb 25.
Other goals include guaranteeing at least 1,000 metric tons of drinking water a day in the Yangtz
e River Economic Zones and suspending all large-scale construction activities that affect the river.
“It is hard to overhaul sewage outlets. Most of the time, we can’t tell
who is discharging or where the discharge takes place, because many enterprises are now shar
ing a single exit,” said Zhang Bo, director of the ministry’s department of water ecology and environment.
“To distinguish who is generating the pollution, we need to trace sour
ces, measure pollutants and renovate the outlets one by one. It’s a big job.”
In a bid to improve the nation’s business environment, the China National Intellectual Property Administration will roll