MoU on Belt and Road
March 23， Rome， Italy： Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hold talks on elevating China-Italy relations in the new era and witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding （MoU） to advance the construction of the Belt and Road. China and Italy marked the two endpoints of the ancient Silk Road， so they have every reason to carry out cooperation on the Belt and Road， Xi said.
After Italy， the Chinese president also paid state visits to Monaco and France. Xis three-nation Europe tour is both his first overseas trip in 2019 and his second trip to Europe in about four months， which demonstrates the importance China has attached to its relations with European countries.
2，000 ChinaEurope Freight Trains
March 15， Urumqi， Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region： The 2，000th China-Europe freight train heading to Krasnodar， Russia leaves the freight logistics center. Since it began operation in 2016， trains departing the freight logistics center in the regional capital have reached 2，000， along 21 lines serving 26 cities and regions in 19 countries of Central Asia and Europe. The center has become an important logistics hub along the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Landmark Debut in New York
March 15， New York， United States： People enjoy the view aboard the interactive “Vessel.” Comprised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs including almost 2，500 individual steps and 80 landings， the honeycomb-shaped landmark on Hudson Yards became a tourist attraction as soon as it opened. Visitors can enjoy new perspectives of the city from different heights， angles and vantage points.
Mars Simulation Base
March 1， Mangai， Qinghai Province： China opens its first Mars simulation base to the public， with an aim to encourage young people to get involved in space exploration. The red rock area in the Qaidam Basin in western Qinghai has been called the most “Martian” place on Earth thanks to its natural features， landscape and climate all like the red planet. Participants can immerse themselves in the environment and try to solve problems they might face on Mars. China is expected to launch its first Mars probe in 2020， which will orbit， land on and put a rover on the red planet.
Splashdown in Victoria Harbor
March 22， Hong Kong： The giant inflatable sculpture “Companion，” brainchild of American artist and designer Brian Donnelly， also known as KAWS， is exhibited in Victoria Harbor.
Following residencies in Seoul and Taipei， the traveling KAWS： HOLIDAY float began sailing along the waters of Victoria Harbor that day and remained open to the public until March 31.
Honoring Crash Victims
March 14， Addis Ababa， Ethiopia： Candle flames burn during a commemoration ceremony for victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash near the town of Bishoftu.
All 149 passengers and eight crew members aboard ET 302 bound for Nairobi， Kenya， were confirmed killed. Eight Chinese nationals including one from Hong Kong were confirmed aboard， according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
The crash was the second such accident in about five months involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 model. In October last year， a Lion Air flight of the same model crashed in Indonesia， killing all 189 people on board.