China releases design specifications for high-speed railway

 

 

 

 

>>  China sends first infantry battalion for UN peacekeeping

By Li Huizi

China’s first infantry battalion to South Sudan is set for departure, marking the country’s first infantry to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

A rally was held on Monday of December 22 in the city of Laiyang in east China’s Shandong Province. The dispatch was approved by the Central Military Commission and its chairman Xi Jinping.

Previous Chinese peacekeepers were mainly engineering, transportation, medical service and security guard corps.

The 700-strong infantry battalion included 121 officers and 579 soldiers. Forty-three members have participated in peacekeeping missions before. An infantry squad composed of 13 female soldiers will participate in a peacekeeping mission for the first time.

The first batch of 180 will fly to South Sudan next January, with the rest travelling via air and sea next March.

Commander Wang Zhen said the battalion will be equipped with drones, armored infantry carriers, antitank missiles, mortars, light self-defense weapons, bulletproof uniforms and helmets, among other weapons “completely for self-defense purpose.”

As the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has deployed more than 27,000 military personnel around the globe as of September 2014, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

A total of 2,027 Chinese peacekeepers are currently posted in conflict zones.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Chinese FM discusses ties with U.S. counterpart

By Wang Haiqing

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry late on Sunday of December 21 on issues including China-U.S. relations.

The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama last month has achieved significant and fruitful results, providing fresh impetus to the construction of new type of major-country relationship between the two countries, Wang said.

He expressed the hope that the two sides could earnestly implement the consensus reached between the Chinese and U.S. presidents, strengthening exchanges, coordination and cooperation, and respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to achieve greater development in bilateral ties.

The Chinese minister also reaffirmed China’s stance on the Taiwan issue.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China against all forms of cyber attacks, cyberterrorism: FM

By Wang Haiqing

China is against all forms of cyber attacks and cyberterrorism, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his U.S. counterpart John Kerry during a phone conversation late on Sunday of December 21.

Wang made the remarks after Kerry briefed him on his views on the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

China is opposed to any country or any individual to launch cyber attacks via facilities in another country on a third country, he said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Spokeswoman: China opposes cyber attack targeted at third nation

By Liu Dongkai

China is opposed to countries or individuals that launch cyber attacks on a third country from foreign soil, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday of December 22.

Hua told a regular press briefing that China opposes all forms of cyber attack and terrorist activities.

She made the remarks in response to the alleged hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

Hua said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had made China’s stance on this issue clear during talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry via telephone on Sunday.

Hua said China is prepared to be involved in constructive cooperation with the international community to safeguard peace and security in cyber space on the basis of mutual respect and trust.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claimed Friday that what it called “enough information” had been found to conclude that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was “responsible” for the attack.

The DPRK on Saturday rejected the U.S. accusations and proposed a joint investigation with the United States.

 

 

 

CANBERRA 

>>  Australian minister calls high-level dialogue with China success

By Xu Haijing

Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has called the recent Australia-China High- Level Dialogue (HLD) a truly worthwhile event, a ministerial press release said on Monday of December 22.

Robb said the HLD demonstrated a commitment on both sides to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The HLD is a new mechanism for engaging with China that resulted from an agreement by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during Abbott’s April visit to China.

Robb, who travelled to Beijing earlier this month for the inaugural event, said the HLD involved close to 40 high-level delegates from both countries, and covered political and strategic matters, economic policies, international and regional engagement, and social and cultural developments.

“The Dialogue took place during a high water mark for Australia-China relations, following the successful visit to Australia by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the (substantial) conclusion of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) negotiations,”Robb said.

The minister said Australia was represented by a high-calibre group including leaders from business, academia, media, sport and science, and was led by former Treasurer Peter Costello, who co- chaired the meeting with China’s former foreign minister Li Zhaoxing. “Looking forward I envision the High-Level Dialogue will be an important platform to facilitate a frank exchange of views on a range of relevant issues,” he said.

Robb said the successful conclusion of ChAFTA negotiations was at the forefront of discussions.

“ChAFTA is a transformative agreement which will create opportunities for businesses on both sides, and it is a most appropriate time to be discussing the future potential of our relationship through forums like the HLD,” Robb said.

He said both countries have undertaken to conduct respective legal reviews of the concluded ChAFTA text, and prepare Chinese and English language versions for signature in 2015.

China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, valued at 160 billion AU dollars (130 billion U.S. dollars), the country’s largest goods export destination with 95 billion dollars (77.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013, and its largest source of goods imports with 47 billion dollars (38 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013. China is also Australia’s largest services export market with 7 billion dollars (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013.

 

 

 

SINGAPORE

>>  China Everbright Water debuts on SGX following reverse takeover

By Chen Jipeng

China Everbright Water Ltd, formerly known as Hankore Environment Tech Group, was welcomed to the mainboard of Singapore Exchange on Monday of December 22 following a reverse takeover.

In the reverse takeover, China Everbright Water International transferred its water treatment assets to Hankore, which was listed on the Singapore bourse, in return for shares in the enlarged entity.

It saw Hankore acquiring the entire issued and paid-up share capital of China Everbright Water Investments Limited for 1.2 billion Singapore dollars in the form of the issue and allotment of 1.9 billion new ordinary shares by HanKore.

China Everbright Water Investments Limited is wholly owned by China Everbright International, which is in turn a subsidiary of China Everbright Group.

The enlarged entity will have an estimated market capitalization of about 2.4 billion Singapore dollars (1.83 billion U.S. dollars).

Shares of the company debuted with an opening prices of 0.955 Singapore dollar per share and closed at 1.005 Singapore dollars on Monday.

China Everbright Water is involved in the environmental water business, including wastewater treatment, reusable water projects and wastewater heat pump projects in China.

SGX said the listing of China Everbright Water brings the total number of companies in the environment sector listed on Singapore Exchange to 15 with a market capitalization of more than 8.4 billion Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar = 1.31 Singapore dollars)

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR 

>>  Joint table top exercise between armies of China, Malaysia kicks off in Malaysia

By Zhao Bochao

The opening of the joint table top exercise (TTX), named “Peace and Friendship 2014”, between the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was held here on Monday of December 22 at the Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Warfare Center.

This is the first time for the two sides to host the joint TTX.

During the exercise, the two sides will focus on subjects such as combined joint escort, combined joint search and rescue, combined joint rescue of hijacked vessel and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), etc.

The two sides will also communicate on the mechanisms and experiences on the involvement of military in the actions of HADR.

The exercise is expected to come to an end on Dec. 26.

During the opening, the two sides agreed that this joint TTX is an important move to materialize the consensus reached by the high- ranks of the two armies and celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

It is also an important milestone for the friendly communication and pragmatic cooperation between the two sides, which is attached great importance by the high-ranks of the two armies.

The joint TTX is believed to further promote the understanding and mutual trust between the two sides, enrich the China-Malaysia all-round strategic partnership, improve the capacity of the two sides in jointly handling challenges and enhance the regional security and stability.

Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin attended the opening and met with the participants from the two sides in the joint TTX, which involves 22 personnel from MAF and 21 from PLA.

 

 

 

HELSINKI

>>  Chinese demand offsets decline in sales to Russia in Helsinki Fur Auction

By Juhani Niinisto

The decline in purchases by Russians at the Saga Furs auction in Helsinki over the weekend was somewhat offset by the increased demand from Chinese buyers.

Pertti Fallenius, CEO of Saga Furs, told local media on Monday of December 22 that the sales amounted to 49 million euros (59.89 million U.S. dollars), while last year at this time the number was 34 million.

The price level was lower than last year in December, but the higher volume increased the total sales.

“The recent cold weather in China has enhanced the retail sale of furs in China, and that reflects now also here in Helsinki,” Fallenius said.

Last winter in the northern hemisphere was mild and thus impacted the sales of furs, but this year the season has started with cold temperatures, especially in China, reports said.

Some of the brands particularly favored by the Russian consumers remained unsold.

In all, an amount of 230,000 Saga fox furs and 794,000 Saga mink furs was offered. Of Saga mink, over 60 percent were sold and of Saga fox over 80 percent.

The Saga brand covers western European furs.

In the auction, some 200,000 Eastern European mink furs were also offered, but only a small part of the offer was sold.

Saga Furs noted that lack of orders from the Russian market was reflected in smaller selling percentages in male mink, while the demand from Hong Kong SAR and Chinese mainland contributed to strong competition for good quality females.

As the Fur Center in Vantaa, northeast of Helsinki, is being renovated, the auction took place in Helsinki.

Auctions in Finland have been arranged since 1950.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China’s top political advisor to visit Vietnam

By Liu Hua

China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng will visit Vietnam later this month, a spokesman of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said on Friday of December 19.

Yu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will make the official visit at the invitation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and the Fatherland Front of Vietnam, according to Spokesman Zhou Yuyun.

 

 

 

PHNOM PENH

>>  Senior CPC official meets Cambodian PM, party officials to further enhance ties

A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is visiting Cambodia to further promote ties and cooperation between the ruling parties of the two countries.

Speaking during a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday of December 22 at the Peace Palace in capital Phnom Penh, Chen Fengxiang, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, said the CPC attached great importance to its traditional and friendly relations with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).

He said his visit was part of the visit exchange program between senior officials of the two parties to further boost ties and cooperation and the visit was also to contribute to strengthening excellent relations and closer cooperation between the two countries.

For his part, Hun Sen highly valued Chen’s visit to Cambodia, saying that the trip was very important to further heighten ties and cooperation between the two parties.

Earlier in the day, Chen held a talk with CPP’s Secretary General Say Chhum and is scheduled to meet with President of the royalist Funcinpec Party Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey on Tuesday.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Shanxi senior legislator expelled from CPC

By Guo Likun

A legislator in north China’s Shanxi Province has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office following a graft investigation, a party discipline inspection agency said on Monday of December 22.

Jin Daoming was vice chairman of the Shanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee.

The investigation found that Jin took advantage of his post to seek profits for others, asked for and accepted “a huge amount in bribes”. He received presents and cash and committed adultery, said a statement from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Jin seriously violated CPC discipline and is suspected of breaking the law, the statement said, adding his proceeds from breaking the party discipline will be confiscated.

His case has been handed over to prosecutors.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  CMC urges strengthened inspection after one-year tour

By Wang Xiaopeng

China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) urged reinforced inspection efforts following its one-year anti-graft campaign across the seven military area commands of the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA).

A CMC statement said the inspection tour, which was launched in December last year, played an important role in improving the work style of the PLA and the war against corruption.

According to the statement, the CMC had conducted follow-up visits to the Beijing Military Area Command and Jinan Military Area Command, which were the first group to be examined by the inspection tour.

The CMC campaign was part of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) extensive campaign to root out extravagance and corruption, with several top-level generals already under investigation for legal and disciplinary violations.

Former vice chairman of the CMC, Xu Caihou, has confessed to accepting bribes, said military prosecutors in October.

According to prosecutors, Xu was found to have taken advantage of his position to assist the promotion of others, accepting huge bribes personally and through his family, and to have sought profits for others in exchange for bribes.

In March, former deputy head of the PLA general logistics department, Gu Junshan, was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Party chief of China’s national science association expelled from CPC

By Guo Likun

Shen Weichen, former Party secretary and executive vice president of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office following a graft investigation.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) made the announcement on Monday of December 22.

The investigation found that Shen took advantage of his post to seek profits for others and accepted “a huge amount in bribes”. He received gifts and cash and committed adultery, said a statement from the CCDI.

Shen seriously violated CPC discipline and is suspected of breaking the law, the statement said. His proceeds from breaking party discipline will be confiscated.

Also on Monday, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) announced it has decided to investigate Shen for suspected bribe-taking.

The investigation is under way, according to an SPP statement.

The top procuratorate has placed him under “compulsory measures,” which, according to China’s Criminal Procedure Law, include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest. The SPP did not specify the measures it had taken.

The CCDI announced the investigation into Shen in April.

As China’s largest national organization of scientific and technological workers, CAST maintains close ties with millions of Chinese scientists, engineers and other people working in the fields of science and technology, according to its website.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Party chief of China’s national science association expelled from CPC

By Guo Likun

Shen Weichen, former Party secretary and executive vice president of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office following a graft investigation.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) made the announcement on Monday of December 22.

The investigation found that Shen took advantage of his post to seek profits for others and accepted “a huge amount in bribes”. He received gifts and cash and committed adultery, said a statement from the CCDI.

Shen seriously violated CPC discipline and is suspected of breaking the law, the statement said. His proceeds from breaking party discipline will be confiscated.

His case has been handed over to prosecutors.

As China’s largest national organization of scientific and technological workers, CAST maintains close ties with millions of Chinese scientists, engineers and other people working in the fields of science and technology, according to its website.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China state assets watchdog pledges self reform, innovation

By Hua Yedi and Cheng Jing

Supervision of China’s state-owned enterprises (SOES) will undergo reform next year, according to a pledge by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) made on Monday of December 22.

In a meeting attended by the leaders of centrally administered SOEs and local regulators, the SASAC said its work in 2015 will center on quality and efficient growth to actively adapt to the country’s economic “new normal”.

Although China’s SOEs are deemed as the backbone of the economy, the public has long complained about SOE monopolies in several sectors, low efficiency and corruption.

SASAC head Zhang Yi said one of the major tasks next year is to deal with inefficient and financially distressed companies, to either close them or force them into acquisitions and mergers.

Meanwhile, the SASAC will push ahead with reforms such as developing mixed ownership and continue the fight on corruption.

On Monday, Zhang disclosed that the combined profits of the SOEs under the SASAC supervision totalled 1.95 trillion yuan (318.6 billion U.S. dollars), up 5.2 percent year on year.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Escaped city Party chief gives himself up to authority

By Ren Ke and Hua Chunyu

Wang Guoqiang, former Party chief of Fengcheng City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, on Monday of December 22 returned to China from the United States and gave himself up to the discipline authority.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China releases design specifications for high-speed railway

By Shi Hao, Fan Xi and Tu Guoxi

The National Railway Administration (NRA) on Monday of December 22 officially unveiled the country’s first design specification standards for high-speed rail links.

“These specifications are fundamental and important technical requirements,” said the NRA in a statement.

The administration laid down standards for nearly 20 fields involved in the design and construction of lines for bullet trains running at a speed of 250-350 kilometers per hour.

Safety is among the top priorities. Railway construction firms were also asked to reduce pollution and to work in a more “greener” way.

The NRA’s specifications come from domestic experience as well as advice from foreign experts.

China has seen rapid development in the construction of high-speed railways and it is now eyeing selling equipment and technology it has developed to foreign markets.

Last week, China and Thailand inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU)on railway cooperation, agreeing to jointly build Thailand’s first standard-gauge railway line, which will stretch for over 800 kilometers.

Driven by its “go abroad” ambitions, Chinese railway enterprises are reportedly seeking more opportunities abroad.

Taking effect on Feb. 1, 2015, the specifications will lay a solid foundation for railway enterprises to explore the overseas market, according to the NRA statement.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Some Chinese bankers expect policy loosening: PBOC survey

By Fang Dong

Nearly 25 percent of bankers surveyed by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, said they anticipated loosening monetary policies in the first quarter of 2015, new survey showed on Monday of December 22.

Given the economic slowdown, 24.7 percent of Chinese bankers believed the country would issue loosening monetary policy measures and 66.8 percent expected “moderate” policies, according to results of the quarterly questionnaire.

Altogether 91.5 percent chose “loosening” or “moderate”, 4.9 percentage points more than in the previous quarter.

The survey marked increasing expectation of easing measures from the central government to weather economic hardships.

The PBOC announced an interest rate cut on Nov. 21, which was widely interpreted as a prelude to further policy easing. Research centers, including Morgan Stanley, forecast more measures in the next year.

A report from China International Capital Corporation (CICC) forecast two rate cuts and four instances of lowering the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) in 2015.

The authorities have yet to show any signs of policy fine-tuning against the backdrop of market appeal. Policy makers reiterated coherence to “prudent monetary policy” during a top-level economic policy meeting held at the beginning of December.

The survey also showed entrepreneurs had lost confidence in their current business prospects as the Entrepreneur Confidence Index decreased to 61 percent, down from the last quarter and the same period last year.

 

 

 

XI’AN 

>>  Three died, 11 injured in northwest China crash

By Du Honggang and Bai Xu

Three people were killed and 11 others injured when a bus crashed with a truck in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province on Monday afternoon of December 22, confirmed local sources.

The accident happened at about 2 p.m., when a bus collided with a truck loaded with sand at a crossing in the Lintong district of Xi’an, Shaanxi’s capital. The two vehicles had a total of 14 persons on board, three of whom died.

The remaining 11 people have been taken to local hospitals, one of whom is believed to be in serious condition.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

 

 

 

XI’AN 

>>  Two killed after airplane crashes in northwest China

By Chen Chen and Bai Xu

Two people were killed when an aircraft crashed in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, local authorities confirmed on Monday of December 22.

The training plane with the Air Force had two on board when it crashed at 3:44 p.m. on the outskirts of the Weinan city, according to rescuers. One of the pilots were pronounced dead on the spot, while the other died in hospital.

Cause of the accident is being investigated.

 

 

 

 

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