>> Most Chinese expatriates detained by Angolan police released
By Wang Bingfei
Most of the Chinese expatriates in Angola who were detained in Luanda on Friday by Angolan police without identification have been released, Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Luanda Li Chong told Xinhua on Sunday of December 21.
Angola police rounded up some 1,000 foreigners in the capital city of Luanda on Friday, including citizens from Portugal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and over 300 Chinese expatriates, to clamp down upon illegal work and stay in the African country.
Li made solemn representations to the Angolan foreign ministry, ministry of interior and Luanda police headquarters over the police action to detain Chinese expatriates without proper identification.
Zhao Haihan, a consular officer with the Chinese Embassy, went to the Mengtada police headquarters, where the foreigners were detained, to secure the release of Chinese citizens who can provide proper travel or residential documents.
Most the Chinese were released but over 30 Chinese were still under detention for the lack of proper documents, and the Chinese embassy urged Angolan authorities to provide proper treatments for the Chinese under detention.
The Chinese chamber of commerce also lodged a protest to the Angolan ministry of interior and Luanda police headquarters for detaining Chinese citizens without identification and alleged police brutalities during the action.
The vast majority of Chinese citizens and companies were legal in Angola and made significant contribution to the post-war reconstruction process of the African country, said Zhao Hongbing, secretary general of the Chinese chamber of commerce, in an interview with Xinhua.
Francisco Ribas, Deputy commander of Luanda police, stressed in an interview with Xinhua that the police action on Friday was by no means targeting Chinese but all foreigners in the capital to streamline the labor markets and to clamp down upon illegal immigration and work in Angola.
>> Kenyan runners crowned at Taipei Marathon
By Wang Di
Kenyan athletes on Sunday of December 21 claimed both men’s and women’s titles at the 2014 Fubon Taipei Marathon, the island’s biggest running event of the year.
Julius Chepkwony Rotich won the men’s race in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds, and Alice Jemeli Timbilil topped the women’s division with a time of 2 hours, 34 minutes and 55 seconds.
They can each earn a reward worth 1.2 million New Taiwan dollars (about 38,077 U.S. dollars).
The Taipei Marathon, now in its 11th year, attracted about 42,000 runners to take part in this year’s competitive full marathon, half marathon, 9-kilometer races for policemen and firefighters, and a 2 km race for children.
The course for the 42.195-kilometer full marathon which started at 7 a.m. at the plaza in front of Taipei’s city government, passes by many of Taipei’s best known landmarks.
The marathon was organized by the municipal government of Taipei and the Taiwan-based Road Running Association and was sponsored by Fubon Financial.
>> Chinese badminton players win two gold medals at BWF Dubai Superseries Finals
By Liu Yuqian
Badminton players from China won the gold medal in men’s singles and the mixed doubles on Sunday of December 21, at the Badminton World Federation World Superseries Finals in Dubai, United Arab of Emirates.
The tournament which distributed a total of one million u.s. dollars prize money saw Chen Long of china winning the men’s singles champion against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus from Denmark with a clear score of 21-16, 21-10 after 47 minutes.
Chinese mixed doubles pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei beat their compatriots Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin 21-15, 21-12 in Dubai’s Olympic-sized Hamdan Sports Complex.
In the men’s doubles China’s Chai Biao and Hong Wei lost against Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong from South Korea in tough fight in three long sets, scoring 21-19, 19-21 and 16-21. The match lasted one hour and 24 minutes.
Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi from Japan in women’ s doubles beating world champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei in a surprisingly one-sided victory, 21-17, 21-14.
Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei was victorious against Sung Ji Hyun form South-Korea in women’s single, scoring in two sets 21-17, 21-12.
The World Superseries Finals are to be staged in Dubai each December until 2017 as part of a four-year partnership, facilitated by Falcon and Associates, with the BWF.
>> New record set for China’s train ticket sales
By Liu Xinyong, Qi Zhongxi, Xiong Lin and Liu Jingyang
China sold more than 9.56 million train tickets on Friday of December 19, a new high for daily sales, as people rushed to book tickets home before the Spring Festival.
The official ticket-selling website, 12306.cn, saw a record high of 29.7 billion page views on Friday, the Institute of Computing Technology under the China Academy of Railway Sciences said Sunday.
A total of 5.64 million tickets, or 59 percent of the total, were sold online on the same day, also hitting a historic high.
At present, train tickets are available on the website 60 days ahead of the actual traveling date. On Friday, people can get tickets for Feb. 16, 2015, three days ahead of the Spring Festival.
Spring Festival, or China’s lunar new year, is the most important traditional festival for family reunions. A week-long holiday will start on Feb. 18.
The institute, which is responsible for the daily operations and monitoring of 12306.cn, said online sales dropped to 4.58 million on Saturday and might further fall to around 4 million on Sunday of December 21.
>> China builds first high-speed railway through karst region
By Fang Ning and Qi Jian
Construction of China’s first high-speed railway running through the country’s southwest karst regions was completed on Sunday of December 21.
The 857-km railway linking Guiyang, capital of landlocked mountainous province of Guizhou, with south China’s economic powerhouse Guangzhou, is expected to become operational on Friday of December 19.
Guizhou has the world’s most typical karst plateau landscape, which was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone.
Stretching through the complicated karst clusters, the railway had half of its length run through 238 tunnels, two of which are more than 14 km long, said Zhang Jianbo, general manager of the Guiyang-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway Co.
It took builders four years to drill through the two longest tunnels. Construction was often disrupted by breaking rocks, rupture of strata and water infiltration, Zhang said.
The construction company applied for six national patents covering their shockproof technology which was adopted to reduce the vibration that occurs when a train travelling at 250 km/hour runs through mountain tunnels.
Wang Mengshu, a tunnel expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the technology and machinery engineering developed for building the Guiyang-Guangzhou high-speed railway represents the country’s new-generation innovation in tunnel engineering.
>> China likely to lower oil prices
By Fang Dong
China is likely to slash gasoline and diesel prices in the coming week due to sluggish domestic demands and a continuing crude price slump in the global market.
Ma Yan, analyst with crude research website Chem365.net, predicted the authorities will cut guide prices for oil products, the last price lowering in the year after the retail prices have fell by 10 consecutive weeks in a row.
The prices will decline by around 440 yuan (71 U.S. dollars) per tonne, Ma said.
A research note at commodity e-commerce platform 365.com made similar predictions, estimating the price drop will be around 470 to 490 yuan per tonne for both gasoline and diesel.
Oil price changes are usually announced by the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic regulator, and the expected drop may be unveiled on Dec. 27 according to China’s oil pricing mechanism.
Analysts attributed the probable price adjustment to shrinking domestic demands in winter and a weak global market.
The research note showed the demands were dampened in China as the number of construction projects decreased, chilled by severe cold in the country’s northern areas, and shrinking needs from individual consumers.
International crude prices maintained a losing streak due to lingering market concern over oversupply and disappointing manufacturing data from the European Union and China the previous month.
Brent crude slipped to less than 60 U.S. dollars for the first time in five and a half years in last week, while light, sweet crude stayed around 56 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Sang Xiao, another Chem365.net analyst, said the global market will start to fluctuate given such a low price level.
The research note of 365.com predicted the crude price decline will narrow in the week but the downward pressure will remain.
>> Rumor-mongers of Xinjiang terrorist attack netted
By Fang Ning and Ma Kai
Police in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region apprehended two suspects for spreading rumors of a terrorist attack in Shache County in Kashgar Prefecture on Sunday of December 21.
The rumors have been circulating on messaging application WeChat and other Internet forums over the past few days, according to the regional government’s publicity department.
Police have traced the source of the rumors to a suspect surnamed Sun in Kashgar and another surnamed Jiao in Hami region.
The two have confessed the charges.
Shache has been hard hit by two terrorist attacks this year.
A gang of terrorists with knives and axes killed 37 civilians in an attack on July 28. A local court sentenced 12 of the terrorists to death and 15 others to death with a two-year reprieve in October.
Another attack on Nov. 29 saw 15 people, including 11 mobsters, killed and another 14 people were injured.
Police said rumors on a new attack violate the regulation on public security administrative punishments, and the suspects should be held responsible.
Violators of the regulation can be penalized from receiving police warnings, fines to a 15-day detention.
>> Natural gas benefits southern Xinjiang region
By Fang Ning and Fu Xiaobo
Natural gas has replaced charcoal for baking naan, a staple in the Uygur diet, in sparsely populated southern Xinjiang, as local residents bid farewell to bio-fuel burning.
Arskar Tursun, manager of a Naan Restaurant in Kuqa County in Aksu City, said local people stubbornly believed that naan could only be baked by charcoal for its special flavor. There was a local joke saying that natural gas can be used for everything except for making naan and nailing horseshoes.
The largest naan restaurant in the region has invited hundreds of locals this year to taste free sampling of naan cooked in its kitchen range fueled by natural gas to convince customers that the flavor of the pancake can be preserved by using the clean fuel for baking.
Tursun said 90 percent of eaters acknowledged the taste of gas-cooked naan is on par with those made traditionally.
Chef Arken said natural gas fuel is handy and produces much less poisonous discharge such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide found in coal.
Southern Xinjiang is home to China’s largest natural gas producer, the Tarim Oilfield, which has sent more than 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas to east China in the past decade, benefiting 400 million people in more than 80 cities and 3,000 enterprises.
However, only in recent years, local communities in Xinjiang have got access of the gas produced by the oilfield, after 93 government-sponsored gas stations built to pipe gas to households in 40 counties benefitting 2 million residents.
From cooking, heating to vehicle fueling, the regenerated energy has greatly modernized people’s lives in the less developed region, largely populated by ethnic Uygur.
>> China develops motion-sensing virtual reality glasses
By Fang Ning and Du Honggang
China has developed new motion-sensing virtual reality glasses that gives game players immersive 3D experiences.
The glasses were developed by the optical research institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
A chip installed in the glasses headset helps sense the motions of a wearer, allowing for interaction between the body and a digital situation.
The product will be listed on the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, kickstarter.com, for crowd funding at the beginning of 2015.
>> China’s software, IT sector growth slows
By Liu Xinyong and Zhao Qian
Both revenue and profit of China’s software and information technology sector slowed in the first 11 months of this year, new data showed on Sunday of December 21.
The sector generated around 3.3 trillion yuan (539 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in the first 11 months of, up 20.1 percent from a year earlier and surpassing the total revenue for the full year of 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement.
Combined profits of the sector jumped 23.7 percent to 384.1 billion U.S. dollars during the same period, down by 1.9 percentage points from the same period of last year.
Employees in the sector rose 9.7 percent to more than 4.8 million people, 3.9 percentage points slower than the increase for the same period of last year, the MIIT said.
Software export rose by 14.3 percent year on year to 43.8 billion U.S. dollars, down from 15 percent reported in the January-October period.
>> Chinese SOEs see slower profit growth
By Liu Xinyong and Wei Biao
Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) saw their profits grow at a slower pace in the first 11 months of 2014, latest data showed.
Combined profits of SOEs rose 4.5 percent year on year to 2.24 trillion yuan (about 366 billion U.S. dollars) in the first 11 months, the Ministry of Finance said Sunday in a statement.
The pace was lower than 8.2 percent reported in the same period of last year and 6.1 percent for the first 10 months of this year.
The slowdown in profit growth came amid signs of a slowing Chinese economy.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector slipped to an eight-month low of 50.3 in November.
From January to November, total revenues rose 3.9 percent year on year to 43.41 trillion yuan and total costs increased 4.3 percent to 41.99 trillion yuan.
>> China expects fine weather as cold front leaves
By Fang Dong
Most part of China will see clear skies with less precipitation and slight temperature drops in the next three days as a cold front that swept China weakens.
The National Meteorological Center forecasts there will be almost no precipitation in the country starting Sunday, except light snowfall in some areas of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Shandong provinces, and sprinkles in a few places of south China areas.
Temperature drops will also narrow with two to four degrees Celsius down in most regions. The only exception is northeastern areas which will be chilled by falling temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius.
Light to medium smog will start to shroud north China and the Yellow River and Huaihe river plains as cold wind retreated.
The center predicted another wave of cold air will start to affect China on Tuesday.