Read China | January 1-31, 2015
China sets up first high security bio lab
China completed its first high level biosafety laboratory on Jan. 31 after more than a decade of construction. Its completion was hailed by the country’s top science think tank as crucial in the fight against epidemics such as Ebola. The lab is important for China’s public health defense system.
China’s first all-Tibetan language film released
China’s first film with dialogue purely in Tibetan opened in cinemas across Tibet on Jan. 31. The two-hour “Tibet Sky” was filmed on the Tibetan plateau with an all-Tibetan cast. It narrates the life of Tenzin, child of a serf-owner, and Phurbu, serf of Tenzin, from the liberation of Tibet in the 1950s until the 1980s.
China e-commerce targeting rural, foreign markets
As the world’s biggest e-commerce market, China has attracted global attention for an online shopping spree that has revolutionized the nation’s shopping habits. Hoping to tap the new territory, China’s e-commerce giants have stepped up expansion of online retail business in rural areas and abroad.
Malaysian gov’t declares MH370 accident, all those aboard presumed dead
Director General of Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said on Jan. 29 that the Malaysian government officially declared MH370 an accident, and all 239 people on board the plane were presumed dead. Chinese premier calls on Malaysia to continue to exert all efforts to find MH370.
Tmall stores protest against regulator’s quality report
Three vendors on Alibaba’s Tmall.com platform voiced strong protest against an official quality inspection report on January 29 after a dispute between the e-commerce website and the regulator. “This was like giving us the death penalty without undergoing any trials,” read an joint letter posted on their Sina Weibo accounts.
Market reforms reshape China’s economic landscape
China’s market-oriented reforms have reshaped the economic landscape, allowing private companies to compete with state-owned enterprises. The latest release by WPP and Millward Brown offers a glimpse of the shift, showing the rise of “market-driven” brands and a slowdown among state-owned enterprises.
Poetic dreams of a disabled peasant woman
Living with cerebral palsy, Yu Xiuhua, 39, may struggle to walk, but in the world she creates through her poetry she could “Cross half of China to accost you”. This line, taken from the a piece with the same name, is one of the most acclaimed poems by the peasant woman from central China’s Hubei Province.
Book gives China’s rural photographers their due
Without Wang Yong’s efforts, these photographers in rural central China may fade away quietly. Over the last half century, rural photographers have been taking pictures of peasants and people in rural Chinese towns and villages. In 2014, Wang brings them out in his new published book “Photographer Coming to Village”.
Digital Images on Sutra Paper
Jin Ping, a photographer living in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has developed a distinctive representation method, a hybrid process using modern inkjet technology and 1,300-year-old Tibetan paper, thus making the image appear a music-like charm, mix of originality and modernity.
Over 53,000 officials investigated in first 11 months of 2014
China’s prosecuting authorities probed 53,043 officials for suspected corruption in the first 11 months of 2014, with 24 at or above ministerial levels, including Zhou Yongkang. They arrested or persuaded 664 duty-crime suspects that fled the country to return, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
“Silver bullet” in absence, “China prescription” to global challenges under limelight in Davos
Davos used to be a destination attracting lung disease patients for its pleasant microclimate. But it gradually lost charm after the invention of penicillin. Now, a new “penicillin” is needed to address such global challenges as laggard economic recovery, regional conflicts and terrorism, Chinese Premier said.
Xi stresses grassroots consolidation in building stronger army
President Xi Jinping stressed strengthening grassroots units to build a stronger army, while he was addressing troops based in Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Xi visited the 14th army group, and commended its achievements in recent years, adding that soldiers should fear neither hardship nor death.
Video: 3D printer used to create 6-story home in east China
A 3D printer that was used to print 10 houses in a single day last year has been used to print a massive six-story villa. Shanghai-based private company Winsun New Materials used its patented 3D printer to print a six-story building in the city of Suzhou in east China’s Jiangsu Province.
China to instill national characteristics in think tanks
A new type of think tanks with Chinese characteristics would support development and strengthen soft power, according to a guideline issued on Jan. 20. The guideline said that by 2020, think tanks must clearly define their positions and specialties, with the aim of several think tanks wielding major global influence.
Premier Li arrives in Switzerland for Davos forum, working visit
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Zurich on Jan. 20 to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos and pay a working visit to Switzerland. Li is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the WEF annual meeting and hold talks with Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman.
Crashed AirAsia flight climbs too fast before disappearing from radar: Indonesia
Indonesia said on Jan. 20 that the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 climbed at an abnormally high rate and plunged suddenly before disappearing from radar. Addressing the Parliament, Indonesian transport minister said that it is not normal to climb like that, adding that it can only be done by a fighter jet.
Mainland investment in Taiwan drops slightly in 2014
A total of 136 investment projects from mainland businesses were given the green light in Taiwan in 2014, a decrease of 1.45 pct year on year, the island’s authority said on Jan.20. Statistics show that investment in Taiwan from the mainland reached 334.63 million U.S. dollars last year, down 4.25 pct. from 2013.
HK people fear to live less comfortable in retirement
Nearly a quarter of people expect their standard of living after retirement will be lower than the standard they have now, with working age people feeling particularly gloomy in the developed economies of France (54 percent), the UK (40 percent) and Hong Kong (40 percent), a global study has found.
Chinese soccer club faces sudden death after promotion to Super League
Chinese soccer club Chongqing Lifan faces possible dismissal after its successful promotion to the Chinese Super League. Chongqing Lifan has been earlier this month sold to a new buyer, the Huaxia Guorui Soccer Club Corp. Ltd., but the takeover was not recognized by the Chinese Football Association.
Tibet’s mineral water to be new regional growth pillar
Tibet Autonomous Region has identified its fresh water resources as a new sustainable economic growth pillar. Leading bottled water producers, including Nongfu Spring and Bright Food Group, have signed 16 cooperative agreements with the regional government on mineral water development.
South China’s Guangdong curbs surrogacy
Authorities in south China’s Guangdong Province announced a crackdown on surrogacy on Jan. 19. Any instance of surrogacy would be severely punished with medical professionals involved in illegal surrogacy suspended from practice or struck off. Websites of surrogacy and egg trading would be closed.
New IPO system aims to create healthy capital market
China’s top securities regulator has reiterated its determination to further reshape the capital market in 2015, highlighting adjustments to stock issuance procedures to better supervise the sector. The new system will allow the market to play a deciding role and establish a boundary for regulatory power.
Stocks plunge most in six years on margin trading crackdown
Chinese shares dived on Monday of Jan. 19, with the key Shanghai index taking its biggest tumble in more than six years, as investors reacted to measures announced to clean up margin trading businesses. More than 1,900 stocks on the two bourses fell, with over 160 slumping by the daily limit of 10 percent.
Chinese tennis queen Li Na expecting a baby
Retired Chinese tennis queen Li Na will soon play a new role in her life. The two-time Grand Slam winner announced on Jan.19 that she is expecting her first child. The announcement was met with thunderous cheers and applause from spectators in Rod Laver Arena where Li lifted the Australian Open title in 2014.
Eric Chu takes office as KMT chairman
Taiwan’s New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu took office as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) on Jan. 19, underscoring cross-Strait peace in his inaugural speech. Former mayors Hau Lung-bin and Huang Min-hui were named KMT’s vice chairpersons. Lee Shih-chuan will become the party’s secretary-general.
China rejects cyber-espionage allegations
China on Jan. 19 described allegations that its spies stole key information on the F-35 Lightening II fighter jet as “groundless and unproven.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks in response to a report in German magazine Der Spiegel, which cited documents disclosed by Edward Snowden.
China to balance growth and structural reforms: Premier
Premier Li Keqiang said on Jan. 19 that China would balance efforts to stabilize economic growth and boost structural reforms in 2015, as downward pressure on growth still remains. The premier stressed the Q1 performance is crucial to the whole year’s results, and the government shall work on making a good start.
China home prices fall as trends diverge among cities
China’s real estate market has extended its slump with new home prices in December registering month-on-month declines in a majority of surveyed cities. Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed, 66 saw new home prices drop in December from the previous month, according to NBS data released on Jan.18.
China down DPR Korea 2-1 to cruise to last eight with 9 points
Midfielder Sun Ke scored twice to help China beat DPR Korea 2-1 and advance to the knockout stage with a best-ever three stragight wins as Group B leaders at the AFC Asian Cup before tens of thousands of Chinese fans in Canberra on Jan. 18. Chinese coach Perrin brought on his major lineup for the game.
Pension reform paves way for social equality
China’s plan to unify its two-tiered pension system is expected to improve social equality by eliminating a major disparity between public and private employee benefits. A “career bonus scheme” will be established for staff as a supplementary measure to ensure their pension benefits not to be severely downgraded.
HK chief executive urges realistic talks on constitutional development
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged the public to be realistic when it comes to discussing constitutional development during a radio program on Jan.18. Leung said the government is open to different views. He noted that any reform proposals had to be approved by the central government.
Human tests start on collagen complex to repair spinal cord injury
Chinese scientists and doctors began a landmark clinical trial in which they use a collagen complex and stem cells to repair damaged human spinal cord. Six patients have signed up for the trial and the first surgery was completed on Jan. 16, said a statement from the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Jan. 17.
Chinese army to look into corruption in staff housing projects
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will start a two-year operation against malpractice and corruption in staff housing projects. Several high-profile officers in PLA logistics departments, which take charge of housing projects, have been sacked in the country’s fierce anti-corruption operation.
Eric Chu elected KMT chairman
Taiwan’s New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu was elected chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) in an uncontested election on January 17. About 56 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast their ballots and Chu won 196,065 valid votes, or 99.61 percent of the votes, according to the KMT Central Committee.
KMT starts party chief election
Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) started electing a new chairperson on Saturday morning of January 17. A total of 485 polling-booths are set up across the island. The former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou will vote in Taipei City while the chairmanship candidate Eric Chu casting his vote in New Taipei City.
Chinese pop singer Yao Beina loses battle with cancer
Chinese pop singer Yao Beina, known for singing the theme tune of TV drama “The Legend of Zhen Huan”, died from breast cancer on Jan. 16 at the age of 33. Celebrities, netizens and fans expressed their condolences online. The webpage of search engine Baidu turns black and white if Yao’s name is searched.
Avian flu H5N3 strain confirmed in Taiwan
A strain of bird flu identified as H5N3 was detected at two goose farms in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung and Kaohsiung counties. Official statistics show that 39 of the farms had the H5N2 virus, while 23 were hit by the H5N8 virus, with the remaining 39 affected by the H5 strain of the bird flu virus.
China to streamline administration of scientific programs
New reforms on managing China’s science and technology programs have been outlined by the central government. The outline involves reform in more than 90 science and technology plans and programs covering funds of 80-to-90 billion yuan, with 47 programs listed as the first group to be streamlined.
Over 800,000 One-way Permit holders come to HK since 1997
Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam said on Jan. 15 that more than 800,000 One- way Permit (OWP) holders have come from the mainland to Hong Kong since 1997. It is said that 98 percent of the OWP holders are coming to join their parents, or they are actually the spouse of Hong Kong residents.
Apple gears up for bumper China harvest
Apple Inc. is greatly speeding up market expansion in China by opening five new stores in roughly five weeks before the Chinese New Year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities. The new stores will bring the number in China to 20, a great leap since its first store opened in Beijing on July 19, 2008.
China unveils unified pension system
Measures on old-age insurance for workers in government agencies and public institutions were unveiled on Jan. 14. Insurance will now be paid by both workers and organizations. Workers will pay 8 percent of their monthly salary into the scheme, while the organization will pay 20 percent of the salary.
Mainland hopes smooth cross-Strait ties after electing new KMT chairman
The mainland hopes peaceful cross-Strait ties continue after the island’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Party elects a new chairman, a spokesman said on January 14. KMT will elect a new chairperson on January 17, following the party’s defeat in the island’s biggest-ever local elections last November.
Mexico reopens bidding for high-speed train project
Mexico relaunched bidding for its first high-speed railway project on January 14, setting fresh preliminary terms after the Latin American country abruptly annulled a win by a Chinese-led consortium two months ago. New bidding for the high-speed rail project will be opening for 180 days.
President Xi: China understands value of 2022 Winter Olympics
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Sheik Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, president of the ANOC and chief of the Olympic Council of Asia, in Beijing, on January 14. Xi told Sheik Ahmad that the Chinese government attached “great importance” to Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s joint bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
China to push for “comprehensive” real identities on the Internet
Chinese people’s activities online will be subject to reinforced scrutiny as authorities expand the real-name registration system across more social networks and websites. Real names will only be seen by backend administrators and users may still choose a screen name.
Xi calls for more anti-corruption efforts despite achievements
Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 13 warned the war on corruption was far from over, despite the country’s many achievements. Xi evaluated the countercorruption drive in 2014 as “effective”, saying the work was as a matter of life-or-death for the Party and the nation.
China not sheepish about reforms in the Year of the Sheep
Pain was part of 2014 for the Chinese economy, with growth likely to post at the lowest rate in over a decade. But this will not force China to backtrack on its reform promises, as pain paves the way for future gains. Although a rapid recovery is unlikely, 2015 will not be another year of pain for the Chinese economy.
Mobile Internet shakes up taxi industry and more
Taxi-hailing apps such as Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache, rolled out by Alibaba and Tencent respectively, are gaining popularity among users. By connecting passengers with drivers, the two firms account for almost 99 percent of the market with 154 million registered users in more than 300 Chinese cities.
Cancellation not ultimate answer for safety in large gatherings
As China recovers from the shadow of Shanghai’s deadly New Year Eve stampede, a series of large-scale events have been canceled recently. Although avoidance may help prevent such incidents from happening in the short run, it by no means is the ultimate cure for a safety crisis.
Famous wholesale market relocates to “slim” Beijing
Tianhaocheng Market in downtown Beijing has closed and is expected to relocate to neighboring Hebei Province in a move to reduce traffic congestion and population density in the capital. The market became the first of the 12 markets in the famous clothing wholesale zone near Beijing Zoo to shut its doors.
Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language
Mastery of the Tibetan language will become a requirement for non-native cadres in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. All seven prefecture-level cities in Tibet started organizing Tibetan language training for non-native cadres,with a total of 40,000 books on basic Tibetan language for daily conversation handed out.
Xi stresses role of county Party chiefs
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan. 12 lauded the role of county level governments, however, he underscored the integral role officials played in ensuring efficiency. A total of 200 county-level Party chiefs were present at the three hour long seminar and some representatives delivered speeches.
Beijing pilots street lamp chargers for electric cars
Beijing has launched a pilot project to transform street lamps to serve as charging poles for electric cars. Eighty-eight high-pressure sodium lamps on a road in Beijing’s Changping District have been converted into energy-saving LED lamps. Eight charging poles have been installed and put into trial operation.
Beijing stresses water conservation
Amid the pressures of sustained drought and climbing water prices, the mindset of think before people flush is sweeping across Beijing. Eight months after a major price hike in May, household water consumption has declined by 0.17 cubic meters daily, an average drop of 2 liters per person.
Businessman returns to China to seek raspberry fortune
After years in Canada, nobody expected businessman Huang Yuanchao to return to Tianmen City in central China’s Hubei Province to start a raspberry empire. He grew raspberry plants for fun in their house’s backyard in Canada, but never imagined he would become a raspberry farm owner in China.
Chinese military offers aids to Malaysia
Two IL-76 air transport aircraft loaded with relief goods set out for Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning of Jan.12. The People’s Liberation Army immediately prepared relief goods including tents, generators, sewage pumps and water purifying equipment after the Malaysian defense ministry sent its request.
Service module of China’s lunar orbiter enters moon’s orbit
The service module of China’s unmanned test lunar orbiter on January 11 successfully decelerated, allowing it to enter an 8-hour orbit with a perilune of about 200 km and an apolune of about 5,300 km. The spacecraft has sustained balanced energy and is in a sound condition.
Girl infected with HIV from heart operation: official
It has been confirmed that a five-year-old girl contracted HIV due to a blood transfusion during an operation four years ago, said the health authority in Fujian Province, southeast China. The girl underwent heart surgery for congenital heart disease in May 2010 and was tested positive for the virus in Sept.2014.
Chinese research vessel on new “seamount” expedition
China’s most sophisticated research vessel — named Kexue, or Science — left from the eastern city of Xiamen on January 10 on a new expedition to a west Pacific seamount. The second expedition to the Yap Seamount sea area will focus on deep-sea environment and ecology.
China’s first female pilot trainee of manned sub dives with Jiaolong
China’s first female pilot trainee dived on Jan. 10 as copilot with deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong in the southwest Indian Ocean. Zhang Yi, 27, was in charge of communicating with the sub’s support ship, operating the camera and observing obstacles through the left window during the dive.
Chinese bid farewell to late IOC member He Zhenliang
Chinese athletes, sports officials as well as ordinary people gathered on Jan. 10 to bid farewell to He Zhenliang, a former IOC member and vice president who was instrumental in Beijing winning the 2008 Summer Olympics. The memorial meeting was held at the Babaoshan funeral service center in west Beijing.
Policy design to propel China’s SOE reforms
The restructuring of China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will proceed rapidly in 2015 as the government is set to unveil 10 policies for SOE reform, which include a guideline for reform, a general plan for state asset management, plans for mixed ownership and improvements to the evaluation system.
Strikes and apps bring congestion on taxi market
A strike by cab drivers in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing stretched into a second day on January 9, bringing the taxi management system into the spotlight again. Five days before, a cab strike in the northeastern city of Shenyang brought services to a standstill in many areas.
Jackie Chan’s son stands trial for drug charge
Jaycee Chan, son of Chinese Kungfu star Jackie Chan, was sentenced to six months in prison on Jan.9 for drug offenses in Beijing. “I broke the law. I deserve to be punished,” said Jaycee at court. He said he would not become a recidivist after release, and appealed to the public to forgive him.
Li Ka-shing’s two major companies announce restructure plan
Hong Kong’s leading multinational corporations Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa on January 9 announced a merge and reorganization plan to restructure their operations into two new companies respectively specializing in real estate business and all other non-real estate businesses.
First China-CELAC Forum ministerial meeting concludes in Beijing
The first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) concluded in Beijing on January 9 with the announcement that the forum’s next meeting will be held in Chile in 2018. The two-day meeting passed three major documents.
Premier Li calls for upgraded China-Latin American cooperation
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on January 9 called for upgraded cooperation between China and Latin American countries, and a fair competition environment for Chinese goods entering local markets, during his meeting with delegates to the first ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC forum.
China recognizes prominent scientists
Chinese nuclear physicist Yu Min who was behind the country’s first successful hydrogen bomb test won China’s top science and technology accolade on Jan.9. President Xi presented the award to Yu at an annual ceremony held to honor the most distinguished scientists and research achievements.
China escalates war on “foxes”
While swatting “flies” and caging “tigers” at home, China has also gone all out to hunt the “foxes.” Operation “Fox Hunt 2014” resulted in the trapping of 680 foxes — corruptive officials and economic crime suspects who have fled the country. Over 70 police teams had been sent overseas on the hunt.
Travelling hopefully, with a dog, a wheelchair and a lot of love
It is easy to draw a heart in the sand and say “I love you”, but few have the heart of Ding Yizhou, 28, who is drawing a heart across China with the tracks of his girlfriend’s wheelchair. Their journey started from Liuzhou City in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Saturday of January 3.
Chinese premier meets Bahamas counterpart
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with his Bahamian counterpart Perry Christie in Beijing on Thursday of January 28. Li called on the two countries to strengthen cooperation in such areas as ocean, fisheries and tourism, and take infrastructure construction as a cooperation priority.
China, CELAC to map out five-year cooperation plan, define key areas
China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will put into writing a five-year cooperation plan. The plan, together with the Beijing Declaration, and the Regulations on China-CELAC forum, will be the major outcome of the first China-CELAC forum ministerial meeting.
Former residences of sixth Dalai Lama discovered in Tibet
Two former residences of the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso have been discovered in Tibet. The buildings are in Shannan Prefecture which borders India and Bhutan. The legendary monk Tsangyang Gyatso, born in 1683, lived in the city of Tsona Dzong before moving to the Potala Palace in 1697.
China to publish encyclopedic dictionary of Tibetan language
China plans to publish its first encyclopedic dictionary of the Tibetan language beginning in late 2015.The dictionary includes 13 volumes, covering technology, medicine, phonology, Buddhism, Nyaya philosophy, rhetoric, phraseology, prosody, drama, astrology, Tibetan literature, Bon belief and Tibetan culture.
RMB unlikely to depreciate drastically in 2015
Expectation of a lukewarm domestic economy and a continuously rising U.S. dollar so far this year have created concern that the renminbi (RMB/yuan) is set to depreciate sharply this year since the central parity rate of the renminbi has been declining for four days in a row since the new year’s trading started.
Chinese Academy of Sciences excludes officials as academician candidates
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has excluded officials as candidates from the latest round of academician elections in a bid to reduce interference. The CAS has made it clear that civil servants and Party officials are disqualified as candidates.
China pushes for SIM card registration in crime crackdown
China will intensify efforts to crackdown on crimes committed with unregistered SIM cards.There are more than 130 million “black cards” in circulation at present, which refer to unregistered phone cards which are used in cell phones or provide wireless Internet services.
China’s own Steve Jobs set to lead voice technology sector
When he enrolled at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 1990, Liu Qingfeng’s only expectation was to learn how to repair TVs. He certainly did not expect to become a billionaire executive of a listed company: China’s very own Steve Jobs.
Tears as Shanghai laments stampede victims
The city of Shanghai was steeped in sorrow on Tuesday of January 6 as citizens and victims’ families visited the site of the New Year’s Eve stampede to mark the seventh-day commemoration of the tragedy. Many held portraits showing the young faces of the deceased.
Premier’s southern trip to push China’s reform drive
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China should count on reform, opening up and structural adjustment to improve economy during a three-day tour of south China’s Guangdong Province. The Premier kicked off his tour on Jan. 4, the first working day of 2015, visiting Shenzhen and provincial capital Guangzhou.
China, Costa Rica announce strategic partnership
Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Costa Rica counterpart Luis Guillermo Solis in Beijing on January 6 on a strategic partnership. Xi said that China stands ready to boost tourism cooperation with Costa Rica, calling on the Costa Rica side to facilitate entry procedures for Chinese travellers.
Beijing submits 2022 Winter Olympic bidding report
Beijing on January 6 submitted its 2022 Winter Olympic Games official bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Beijing’s submission came one day earlier before the deadline for candidate cities to present their candidature files to the IOC.
Chinese specialists to help search black box of AirAsia jet arrive in Indonesia
Three experts from Civil Aviation Administration of China arrived in Jakarta early on Tuesday morning of January 6 to join the search operation for the black box of the AirAsia QZ8501 flight, after the ill-fated plane crashed en route from Indonesia’s Surabaya to Singapore late last December.
China gives redundant officials the boot
More than 15,800 civil servants were transferred, given early retirement or were simply fired from overstaffed departments in 2014. Besides, about 40,000 officials at or above deputy county head level were deemed surplus to requirements in 2014 and the remaining 25,000 are still waiting to be “handled”.
More effort needed as China’s government vehicle use reform goes deeper
China’s government vehicle-use reform will now shift to the local government level. Reform at the central government level was successful in 2014. The budget for the purchase and maintenance of government vehicles in 2014 was 4.127 billion yuan, 126 million yuan less than in 2013.
Another panda dies from virus in NW China
Another giant panda died after contracting a measle-like virus, bringing the panda death toll to two in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Another two pandas are ill, with one in critical condition. Four other pandas showed fever symptoms. More than 30 experts from across China are caring for the pandas.
Former Taiwan leader released on medical parole
Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian was released from Taichung Prison on one-month medical furlough after serving more than six years in jail for corruption. Chen was pushed out of prison in a wheelchair by his son around 3:30 p.m. and headed home to the southern city of Kaohsiung.
College uses Shanghai stampede to justify its policies
A college in northwest China has been lambasted for issuing a controversial statement about the fatal New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai, which left 36 people dead. The Modern College of Northwest University in Xi’an said on its website that the tragedy proved that its holiday policies were “utterly correct”.
China stocks surge on New Year’s 1st trading day
Chinese shares closed at the highest level in five and a half years on Monday, the first trading day of 2015. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,350,52 points, up 3.58 percent. The Shenzhen Component Index also marched to a 40-month high by closing at 11,520.59 points, up 4.59 percent.
China wages “people’s war” on terrorism
While China saw several successes in 2014, from the progress in the anti-corruption drive to the successful hosting of APEC, the year was also marred by deadly terrorist attacks which claimed the lives of scores and outraged the country. China has waged a “people’s war” on terrorism.
China lifts price controls on 24 commodities, service
China will lift controls on prices of 24 commodities and services, said the National Development and Reform Commission on Jan. 4. Market will decide the price of tobacco leaves, the last agricultural product to be freed from government price control. The NDRC will keep a close eye on market order after controls are lifted.
China’s multi-billion-dollar “haitao” splurge
China’s total online shopping sales hit 691.41 billion yuan in the third quarter of 2014, according to Internet industry consultancy iResearch. China’s Ministry of Commerce forecasts cross-border trade by e-commerce companies in China will be worth 6.5 trillion yuan in 2016.
China braces for slower but better growth in 2015
As banks and economic think tanks anticipate the publishing of China’s full-year 2014 economic data in late January, many are predicting slow but higher quality growth for China in 2015. A more moderate growth rate with stable growth engines is being hailed as the “new normal” for China’s economy.
Chinese passenger’s first aid to Thai steward wins int’l applause
While scandals involving Chinese air travelers have recently tarnished the country’s airline etiquette reputation, a Chinese passenger won praise after coming to the aid of a sick Thai air steward suffering from severe pains caused by kidney stones on Flight OX619 from Nanning to Bangkok on Christmas Day.
China’s former IOC member He Zhenliang dies
He Zhenliang, a former IOC member and vice president from China, died in Beijing on January 4 at the age of 85. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has asked for the Olympic flag to be flown half-mast for three days in tribute to He.
Mobile app of China’s anti-graft watchdog welcomed by public
The mobile application of China’s disciplinary watchdog, which publishes the latest news on the country’s anti-corruption campaign and details how the CCDI handles reports and publishes pictures of letters submitted from across the country, has been well received by the public after its launch on Jan.1.
China’s manned sub Jiaolong takes hydrothermal fluid in Indian Ocean
China’s deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong took 300 milliliters of hydrothermal fluid in two active hydrothermal vents at the seabed of southwestern Indian Ocean on Jan.2. Jiaolong also gathered 1.8 kg of sulfide, 2.3 kg of basalt, 15 spiral shells, one stalked barnacle and 8 liters of deep-sea water in this dive.
5 firefighters killed in NE China warehouse blaze
The death toll of a fire in northeast China has climbed to five as the bodies of two missing firefighters were found, local authorities said on January 3. In total, five firefighters were killed and another 14 injured in a warehouse blaze in Harbin city, Heilongjiang Province. The age of the deceased ranged between 18 and 22.
China closer to dream of rejuvenation
As the new year begins, Chinese people are more confident of realizing the “Chinese dream” than any other time. Since the transition of the Chinese leadership in late 2012, Xi made more than 20 domestic inspection tours covering more than 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.
China’s deep-sea sub explores Indian Ocean seabed
China’s deep sea manned submersible Jiaolong on Jan. 2 carried out the first dive on a mission to study active hydrothermal vent in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Jiaolong also took pilot trainees in the diving, which was intended to enable the trainees to learn some skills of submersible operation.
China sees 32 panda cubs survive in 2014
China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) announced on January 2 that 32 of its 36 newborn cubs survived in 2014. This brings the total number of captive pandas in China to 394. Among the three pandas previously released into the wild, only one died due to fighting with other males.
Anti-smoking legislation bears fruit, faces challenges
China’s anti-smoking campaign saw significant progress in 2014, thanks to the issuing of legislation at both the national and local levels. Obstacles still block the implementation of the laws and regulations. In January, a circular issued by authorities required officials to take the lead by not smoking in public.
Nobel laureate Mo Yan to write anti-graft novel
Chinese Nobel laureate Mo Yan said on Jan. 1 that he is preparing to write a novel about the ills of corruption. The novel is about people, he said, as “power, money and other temptations are tests to everyone” and “touchstones of every soul.” Mo made the remarks in an interview for the CCDI website of the CPC.
Shanghai New Year stampede causes heavy casualties
At least 36 people died in a fatal stampede during New Year celebrations late on Wednesday of December 31 in Shanghai, according to local authorities as of Thursday night. Seven of the injured have checked out of the hospital. Among the 40 remaining in treatment, 13 are seriously injured.
China strikes chord on instrument production stage
Examining at most entry-level music instruments being used by the western world’s future popstars, one might have good chance to find labels of Made in China.The export value in 2014 for Chinese musical instrument enterprises is expected to reach 10.7 billion yuan based on their sales value of over 30 billion yuan.
Law revision on captured animals
A revised Chinese law on wildlife protection is expected to regulate the domestication of animals, as some practices have been criticized for being abusive. The draft law revision includes a new guideline, which is expected to be reviewed by the NPC Standing Committee before the end of 2015.