China’s deep-sea sub Jiaolong dives in Indian Ocean

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS

>>  China opposes putting DPRK situation on Security Council agenda

By Pei Lei

China opposes putting the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by the Security Council on its provisional agenda citing human rights reasons, a Chinese envoy said on Monday of December 22.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at a Security Council meeting on the DPRK situation.

“The UN Charter stipulates explicitly that the primary responsibility of the Security Council is to maintain international peace and security,” he said.

“Various UN organs have their respective functions and the division of labor. The Security Council is not the right place to get involved in human rights issues,” Liu said, stressing that the human rights issues should not be politicized.

Currently, the envoy said, the international peace and security are faced with numerous daunting challenges. “The Security Council should strictly abide by its responsibilities and concentrate on addressing issues which really concern international peace and security,” he noted.

Warning that the situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive, Liu said that, “Upholding the goal of denuclearization of the Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, and insisting on dialogue and consultations as a way to solve issues, these are in the common interests of all parties concerned and should be the direction towards which all parties work together.”

He pointed out that the Security Council should work more to facilitate dialogue and ease tensions, and refrain from doing anything that might cause the escalation of tension.

“The Council’s involvement in the DPRK human rights issues will go against the above goals and can only bring harm instead of benefits,” Liu said.

“China is a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “We will never allow any turbulence or war taking place on the Peninsula.”

The ambassador added that China will continue to work for the realization of a denuclearized peninsula, maintain its peace and stability, and address issues through dialogue and consultations.

“China hopes that the relevant parties will make concerted effort to take practical actions to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks with a view to jointly maintaining the overall situation of peace and stability of the Peninsula,” he said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China on track to meet human rights plan goals

By Guo Likun, Tian ying and Luo Yufan

China has been working effectively toward goals set by the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015), with most quantitative targets at least half fulfilled in the past two years, a senior official said on Tuesday of December 23.

“China has made considerable progress in human rights protection,” said Cai Mingzhao, director of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) at an interim review meeting on the action plan.

Last year, disposable income of urban residents grew 7 percent while per capita net income of rural residents rose 9.3 percent, and the poor rural population fell by 16.5 million compared to 2012, according to Cai.

In 2013, the ratio of elected deputies to represented population in the National People’s Congress, the national legislature, was the same for rural and urban areas for the first time ever.

Grass-roots self-governance improved, as over 98 percent of village level party committees are now directly elected, Cai said, citing another example of greater democratic rights.

Meanwhile, the interests and rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and disabled have been better protected, and international exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights have also progressed.

For instance, Cai said, 280,000 poverty-stricken households with disabled members had seen their homes installed with facilities for their convenience, and more than 15 million physically impaired had received rehabilitation therapy.

Also, the central government channelled 46.4 billion yuan (7.58 billion U.S. dollars) to ethnic minority regions in 2013, an increase of 10.5 percent year on year.

Nevertheless, Cai warned, a sober mind was still needed when implementing the action plan.

China is still a developing country, both socially and economically, and it has considerable development gaps among regions and across urban and rural areas, therefore, unbalanced and unsustainable development patterns still exist, which hamper efforts to advance human rights, Cai said.

In addition, as China’s reform efforts sail into an unchartered territory, emergencies that threaten public health or security will occur, and social problems that endanger public interests still exist, Cai said, adding that there were still huge challenges ahead to achieve all the targets within the timetable.

The Chinese government publicized the National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015) in June 2012, promising to address challenges and work for the happiness and dignity of every citizen.

The plan is China’s second national plan for human rights protection and serves as a policy document for advancing human rights.

All targets and tasks set by the previous action plan, which covered the 2009-2010 period, were fulfilled as scheduled.

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS 

>>  Chinese paintings exhibit at UN HQ calls for peace, harmony

By Shi Xiaomeng

“It is good that this is the first time you can see Chinese paintings on the wall inside the UN headquarters. So it is a welcoming sign,” said a guest at the inauguration ceremony of the “China Lounge” here on Monday of December 23.

J. Tuyet Nguyen told Xinhua about his appreciation toward Chinese art at the “China Lounge,” the east foyer of the General Assembly Building of the UN of which the renovation work was funded by the Chinese government.

Two paintings created by Chinese painter Wang Linxu, entitled “Interactive World” and “Home of Us All” are hanging on the walls of the lounge as its interior decoration, showing respectively the image of bamboo and fusion of colors in a detached manner.

“The monumental installation on the west wall is entitled ‘The Interactive World,’ which should remind the member states and all those who enter the United Nations, to seek harmony and promote cooperation in this modern world,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message to the ceremony.

“The painting on the east wall, entitled ‘Home of Us All,’ reminds each of us to work for a more sustainable future for our one and only planet,” he said.

On the scene, people walked around and talked to each other, just under the two large paintings. Among them is Torres-Torija Fernando, one of the UN staff, who said the paintings are “very nice,” “very modern” and with “universal values.”

The Chinese government, in its effort to combine the charm and richness of Chinese culture with international aesthetics and the values of the United Nations, invited the painter who possesses innovated techniques on oriental and western painting to articulate messages from China to the viewers, said Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN, when he addressed the ceremony.

Speaking of the messages delivered by the paintings, Kairat K. Abdrakhmanov, Kazakh permanent representative to the UN, said “this is exactly what we need at this very moment of global development when the international community is facing many challenges, and that is the very moment to learn from the Chinese civilization the deepest roots of harmony and peace.”

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Chinese premier, German chancellor hold phone talks on ties

By Sun Ruijun

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday of December 23 held a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on bilateral relations.

After exchanging New Year’s greetings with Merkel, Li said China-Germany relations have developed well and the two countries will launch a China-Germany Year of Innovative Cooperation in 2015.

The two sides are also expected to hold a number of important events next year, including a high-level fiscal and financial dialogue and a dialogue on diplomatic and security strategies, he said.

He expressed the hope that China and Germany will take those events as an opportunity to push for new development in bilateral ties.

On the CeBIT 2015 to be held in the German city of Hanover, Li said China, attaching importance to the international IT expo, will actively participate in and lend support to Germany for hosting the annual event.

The Chinese premier also said German leaders are welcome to visit China next year.

On the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in the Serbian capital of Belgrade last week, he said China-CEE cooperation is an indivisible component for relations between his country and the EU and has benefited the two peoples.

Related cooperation will be conducted in accordance with the EU criteria and within the framework of the bloc’s laws and regulations, which is conducive to EU member nations’ balanced development and Europe’s integration process, he said.

Li noted that China attaches great importance to the development of its relations with the EU.

“China and the EU will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to holding the 17th leaders’ meeting of China and the EU with its new leadership, and hopes Germany will play a more active role in advancing the in-depth development of China-EU relations,” he added.

Merkel thanked China for its support to CeBIT, saying Germany is willing to maintain close high-level exchanges with China.

She said she is expecting another visit to China next year to boost cooperation between the two countries.

Germany attaches importance to the mode of cooperation between China and CEE nations, which is in line with EU rules and in the interest of the bloc, she said.

Germany is willing to play an active role in pushing forward EU-China relations, Merkel said.

 

 

 

NEW YORK/BELGRADE 

>>  Overseas experts commend Chinese premier’s Eurasian tour

By Zhu Junqing

Domestic and overseas scholars, experts and foreign media, have spoken highly of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s three-nation tour in Asia and Europe last week, lauding China’s economic and diplomatic initiatives for win-win cooperation.

China has proposed “a number of ideas and initiatives to create win-win outcomes in Asia and the world,” Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, a New York-based international consulting firm, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“China has engaged in a very thoughtful approach to economic diplomacy in 2014,” said Hormats, who served as U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment from 2009 to 2013.

“There are several areas that suggest a more active Chinese role in the region: the New Silk Road initiative, the Infrastructure Bank (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) and the BRICS Bank,” he said.

Chinese investments can contribute to better connections between countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Sasa Djogovic, researcher of the Serbian Institute for Market Research (IZIT), told Xinhua in an interview on Dec. 15.

Djogovic said cooperation between China and Serbia is developing in a good direction, especially when it comes to investments in Serbia’s transport and energy infrastructure.

Chinese investments can not only contribute to the interconnection between CEE countries, but also help increase the competitiveness of the individual economies, he said.

Furthermore, the projects and investments will create opportunities for new investments in the future and make Serbia more attractive to the EU, he said.

Meanwhile, he also suggested expanding these investments from the fields of infrastructure and energy to the real sector.

Serbian public broadcaster RTS focused its report on Li’s announcement to establish a 3-billion-U.S.-dollar fund for investment projects, besides the 10 billion dollars that have already been offered, saying China has money to invest and it wants to see that countries offer good projects.

Prime Ministers of Romania, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina have also voiced their admiration for China through the RTS, all underlining the importance of Chinese future investments in infrastructure and projects that will better connect the region.

B92, another Serbian national TV broadcaster, lauded the high-speed railway from Budapest to Belgrade that might extend further south to Macedonia and Greece, saying that could give an impulse to the economic growth of the region.

Serbia’s national news agency Tanjug reported on its website that the China-CEE summit marked the beginning of a new phase of relations between China and CEE countries.

High-speed trains in Thailand will help bolster logistics in the region, thus drawing more investment in the countries and forming bigger markets, said Song Qingrun, a research fellow with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

“For instance, the network could woo more investors to the less-developed areas in Thailand, while Thai farm produce will be effectively transported to other countries in the GMS (the Greater Mekong Subregion),” Song said.

Li paid official visits to Kazakhstan, Serbia and Thailand on Dec.14-20 and attended a series of international meetings. He proposed several cooperation initiatives in trade, investment, infrastructure and other fields.

 

 

 

TBILISI 

>>  Georgian FM, Chinese envoy discuss Silk Road Economic Belt initiative

By Yi Gaochao

Chinese Ambassador to Georgia Yue Bin and Tamar Beruchashvili, newly appointed Georgian Foreign Minister, held talks here on Tuesday of December 23 on the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative.

The belt initiative was brought forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Kazakhstan last September,to revive the ancient Silk Road from China via Central Asia and Russia to Europe

During the meeting, Yue expressed China’s readiness to join hands with Georgians in materializing the initiative.

It was the first meeting between the Chinese ambassador and the new Georgian foreign minister, who took office last month after her predecessor resigned.

 

 

 

KABUL

>>  China to continue supporting Afghanistan: ambassador

By Haleem

Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Deng Xijun said on Tuesday of December 23 China would continue to support the post- war country in every field.

“We sincerely expect to join hand with Afghanistan to continuously promote tangible cooperation in every field with a view of consistently deepening the bilateral ties and striving to blaze a trial for a better future of the two countries together,” the ambassador said in his remarks after the inauguration of two newly constructed China-aided buildings — the Chinese Language Department and the Guest House in Kabul University.

In the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Kabul University dean Habibullah Habib and acting Minister for Higher Education Mohammad Usman Babury, among others, the ambassador said the China- aided teaching building of the Chinese Language Department is to serve as the compound of the Confucius Institute where students can learn about China and its culture while the Guest House will help provide international professors and teachers with better working and living conditions.

“The two buildings are not only a symbol of the continuous support of the Chinese government to the post-war reconstruction of Afghanistan, especially in the field of education, but also a manifestation of the long-lasting friendship of the two peoples of China and Afghanistan,” the ambassador said.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China, Nepal strengthen financial cooperation

By Cheng Jing and Liu Zheng

The central banks of China and Nepal have signed a supplementary agreement to expand the use of local currencies, according to a statement on the website of the People’s Bank of China(PBOC) on Tuesday of December 23.

According to the deal, the two countries’ currencies can be used for settlement in both cross-border trade and ordinary trade activities.

The deal, signed during a meeting between PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan and his visiting counterpart Yuba Raj Khatiwada, will further facilitate bilateral trade and investment, the statement said.

The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism cooperation.

 

 

 

PHNOM PENH

>>  Cambodia, China ink deal to set up agricultural promotion center

Cambodia and China on Tuesday signed an agreement to establish a Cambodia-China Agricultural Promotion Centre, aiming at helping Cambodia develop agriculture sustainably.

The deal was inked between Ty Sokhun, Cambodian agriculture secretary of state, and Wenwen Luo, chairwoman of Guangxi Forword Agricultural Technology International Cooperation, under the presence of Song Xiaoguo, commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy to Cambodia.

The Guangxi Forword Agricultural Technology International Cooperation is the implementer of the center project.

Sokhun said the center will provide not only agricultural theories, but also practical techniques to Cambodian experts and farmers.

“It will help develop the agriculture sustainably,” he said, adding, “Moreover, it will promote Cambodian agricultural produce to international markets, particularly Chinese ones.”

Sokhun extended his sincere thanks to the government and people of China for constantly supporting Cambodia for socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

Agriculture is one of the four sectors supporting the Cambodian economy.

Song Xiaoguo said the center will contribute to developing Cambodian agriculture through increasing planting techniques for experts and farmers and promoting Cambodian products broadly to Chinese markets.

Wenwen Luo said, “It is expected that more than 20,000 Cambodian experts and farmers will be trained.”

 

 

 

ROME 

>>  China’s Belt and Road Initiatives to be growth driver for Europe: Italian experts

By Marzia De Giuli

Italian experts say China’s initiatives of building a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an extraordinary driver of development for China and Europe.

“The project is very ambitious and definitely destined to succeed,” Cristiana Barbatelli, founder and CEO of Pas Advisors, an international consultancy company based in Shanghai, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Firstly the project, she explained, will serve as a driver of China’s development especially in those areas which have not fully benefited from the country’s fast economic growth, such as Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

“In the new geographic map, Xinjiang will become a key player for China’s exchanges with Europe,” she said.

Secondly, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will open new train and ship routes for increasing flows of goods, information, tourists, students, businesses, technologies and scientific knowledge between China and many other countries, Barbatelli added.

In particular, the Belt and Road Initiatives’ impact on European countries will be “extraordinary,” she said, especially considered the current times of economic difficulties.

“Some 30 years ago, it took an incredibly long time to travel from Europe to China. And at present, you still need to fly across different non-connected nations and barriers to have relations with China. Just think that in a few years you will take only seven days to reach China by train and you can understand the importance of this project,” Barbatelli pointed out.

“This means that a container full of steel from Germany, for example, or of machinery from Italy could travel by train from one side to the other side of the planet some 10 times faster than now,” Barbatelli noted.

In fact, the two initiatives will “change the perspective of the world,” she said.

In particular, Barbatelli noted, for the Italian industrial system, whose strength lies in rapid transport systems, robotic automation and shipbuilding, the two initiatives will offer great business opportunities.

Paolo Borzatta, director and senior partner of the European House-Ambrosetti think tank, told Xinhua “We have estimated that the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will create investments worth several trillion U.S. dollars in the involved 21 countries over the next 10 years.”

Earlier this month, the think tank co-hosted the Qianhai Conference 2014 in the newly established district of Shenzhen city, in southern China. The conference, a round table discussion among peers from the Asian and European public and private financial world, especially focused on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road as a driver of common growth.

The Belt and Road Initiatives, Borzatta said echoing Barbatelli’s words, highlight China’s “strategic vision” and are of enormous importance for China, the other countries involved in the project and also the rest of the world.

Both initiatives recall a positive historical memory of economic and cultural integration among nations, the ancient Silk Road connecting the West and the East, Borzatta said.

But in his view, China needs to “massively invest in communication” in order to make the project known to the majority of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, which would enormously benefits in terms of growth and jobs from the initiatives, but might be not fully aware of their size.

“Media reports are not effective enough to describe the huge numbers and figures supporting both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” Borzatta stressed.

He called for more communication action from Chinese authorities on European business groups to raise awareness and “avoid that Europe misses this fundamental road for development.”

 

 

 

REYKJAVIK 

>>  Iceland expects to attract more Chinese tourists

By Huang Xiaonan

Iceland saw more than 23,000 Chinese visitors in the first 11 months of this year, increasing by 49 percent compared with the same period last year.

Pleased to see the increasing number of Chinese visitors, Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson expressed his warm welcome, saying “we are extremely pleased to see the growth in tourism and particularly in this large number of Chinese tourists which we welcome very much.”

In an interview with Xinhua, the prime minister said, “The reason we are so pleased to see Chinese in particular visiting Iceland is that we would like to encourage as much cooperation with China as possible.”

“China is in many ways the country of the future. A growing country in many ways,” he said. “It has shown interest in Iceland and we certainly are interested in China. Anything that increases the cooperation between these countries is good in our opinion.”

Meanwhile, expressing her highly welcome to the increase in tourists from China, Iceland’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir told Xinhua that Chinese tourists are valuable to Iceland and she would like very much to see an increase of Chinese tourists even furthermore.

“We have made preparations to increase our marketing efforts in various cities in China in order to facilitate more tourists coming from China,” she said.

Referring to Iceland’s efforts in improving infrastructure to cope with an increase in numbers of tourists from China, she said, “we are preparing for that. We are targeting and seeing what efforts we need to do here privately with different companies, with the hotels, with the tour operators, and hopefully we will be even more prepared to welcome Chinese tourists than ever before.”

In order to have Chinese tourists well informed about services in Iceland, Icelandic Times magazine has newly launched its Chinese version.

Icelandic Times project manager Edda Snorradottir told Xinhua that the growing number of Chinese travellers coming to Iceland calls for Icelanders to better adapt their service offerings so Icelanders can greet their guests the best way they can.

Icelandic Times has designated its Chinese version to provide the information which they expect helpful to make the stay of Chinese guests as the best as possible, Edda said.

“We have also published our magazine online for those who are thinking about coming to Iceland, maybe planning their vacation or are simply curious about the country,” she said.

 

 

 

OSAKA

>>  China Cup Chinese speech contest held in western Japan

By Yan Lei

The eighth annual China Cup Chinese speech contest for overseas Chinese children and youngsters in Japan was held in Kobe, western Japan on Tuesday of December 23, with 44 Japanese Chinese students taking part.

The contestants gave speeches in Mandarin on bridge, a theme set beforehand. Most of them were born and grew up in Japan and some of them started to learn Chinese only a couple of years ago. Yet they speak Chinese fluently and told the audience about their understandings of bridge.

“Bridge signifies communication between people. I hope I can build a bridge of friendship between the Japanese and Chinese people in the future, and promote relationship between the two countries.” said Li, a contestant aged ten from Kobe.

“Language is a bridge. My mother came from China and I was born in Japan. I can speak both Chinese and Japanese, and I would like to tell my Japanese friends about Chinese culture and Chinese friends about Japan, and help them to know each other better,” said another contestant Hirano.

“The contest aims to provide a platform for young Chinese in Japan to exhibit their Chinese-speaking skills and encourage them to learn the Chinese language better, in the hope that they could become envoys of friendship between the two countries in the future.” said Hu Shiyun, one of the organizers of the contest and head of Overseas Chinese Association in Western Japan.

China Cup Chinese speech contest for overseas Chinese children and youngsters in Japan has been held annually since 2007, and are cosponsored by Chinese Educators’ Association in Western Japan and Kansai Chinese Teachers’ Association.

 

 

 

LUANDA

>>  Angolan police free 18 Chinese expatriates

By Wang Bingfei

Angolan police on Tuesday of December 23 released 18 of the 31 Chinese expatriates who remained under detention after the December 19 police action under intervention of the Chinese Embassy to Luanda, consular officer with the embassy Zhao Haihan told Xinhua.

Tasked by the Chinese embassy, Zhao visited the detention center of the Angolan immigration service, helped the Chinese citizens to present proper documents and urged Angolan officials at the center to provide proper humanitarian treatments to the remaining 13 Chinese citizens after 18 of the Chinese were released after submitting proper passports and visa documents.

Angola police rounded up some 1,000 foreigners in the capital city of Luanda on December 19, including citizens from Portugal, DR Congo, Vietnam and over 300 Chinese expatriates, to clamp down upon illegal entry, stay and work in the African country.

The Chinese embassy to Luanda made solemn representations to the Angolan foreign ministry of interior and Luanda police headquarters over the police action to detain Chinese expatriates without proper identification.

Most the Chinese were released after presenting proper travel or residential documents under the intervention of the Chinese embassy.

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 December 19 police action 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.

 

 

 

ABOARD XIANGYANGHONG 

>>  China’s deep-sea sub Jiaolong dives in Indian Ocean

By Zhang Xudong

China’s deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong carried out its first dive in hydrothermal area in the southwest Indian Ocean on Tuesday of December 23.

The submersible commenced its dive at 7:30 a.m. local time (0330 GMT) and will return to the Xiangyanghong 09 oceanographic vessel at around 5:30 p.m. (1330 GMT).

The crew included Fu Wentao, one of the divers of Jiaolong; Ye Cong, chief designer of Jiaolong and an employee of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp; and Tao Chunhui, researcher with the Second Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration.

Being the first task of Jiaolong’s Indian Ocean mission, the main purpose of the dive is to test whether all parts of the submersible work well after a four-month-maintenance, Fu said, adding that the depth of the dive is around 2,700 meters to 3,000 meters.

“If the submersible is all fine and there is extra time left, we will carry out some scientific investigations,” he said.

“Our scientists want to get some samples of rocks, biology and sulfide in the submarine hydrothermal area,” Tao said, adding: “If we are lucky enough to find an active hydrothermal vent, we will try to get a sample of the hydrothermal fluid and test its temperature.”

Jiaolong will dive 20 times to research polymetallic sulfides, biological diversity, hydrothermal microbes and genetic resources in the southwest Indian Ocean in a four-month mission, according to Yu Hongjun, chief commander of the mission.

Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached its deepest depth of 7,062 meters in the Pacific’s Mariana Trench in June 2012 and started its five-year trial period in 2013.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Retired state leader publishes book on reform efforts in NE China

By Wang Xiaopeng

Former senior Chinese politician Li Changchun has published a book documenting the reform and opening up efforts in Liaoning Province from December 12, 1982 to July 1990, when he served in the province.

Li is a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Li’s book is available starting on Tuesday of December 23, according to a joint statement from the People’s Publishing House and the Liaoning People’s Publishing House, which published the book.

The book, which includes articles, letters, and photos, is important for the nation’s drive to deepen reform and realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, according to the statement.

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU 

>>  Former vice mayor of Shenzhen sentenced to 10 years in jail

By Bai Xu and Zan Yijia

A former vice mayor of south China’s business hub Shenzhen, Liang Daoxing, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for corruption, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

The sentence was passed on Nov. 19 by the Intermediate People’s Court of Zhaoqing city, but the announcement was stalled until Liang decided if he would choose to appeal. He did not appeal.

Liang, who was vice mayor of Shenzhen City from 2002 to early 2009, was found guilty of accepting bribes of 1.95 million yuan (318,000 U.S. dollars), 1.78 million HK dollars (about 230,000 U.S. dollars) and 5,000 U.S. dollars, in return for “benefits” for others.

In addition to his prison term, Liang’s personal wealth of 1 million yuan was confiscated and he was ordered to return all ill-gotten gains to the state, according to the Supreme People’s Court website.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Former executive of top aluminum producer under judicial probe

By Zuo Yuanfeng

Sun Zhaoxue, former general manager of China’s top aluminum producer, is being investigated for allegedly accepting bribes, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP).

Sun, also former member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) committee of the state-owned enterprise Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco), has been placed under “coercive measures,” the SPP said in a Tuesday statement.

According to China’s criminal procedure law, coercive measures include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced earlier Tuesday that Sun had been expelled from the CPC and public office following its own investigation.

The CCDI investigation found that Sun took advantage of his post to seek profits for others, asked for and accepted “a huge amount in bribes,” and committed adultery.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Four Chinese officials investigated for graft

By Liu Tong and Chen Fei

Four Chinese local officials have been placed under “coercive measures” or indicted by prosecutors for bribery, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) on Tuesday of December 23.

Lian Ziheng, former secretary general of the standing committee of Henan Provincial People’s Congress, is being investigated for accepting bribes.

Xu Shuangyong, former party chief of State-owned Xining Qinghai-Tibet Railway Co. Ltd. and Meng Gang, former police commissioner of Xinxiang city in Henan Province, are also being investigated on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Local prosecutors in Hubei Province have indicted Wang Shiyi, former party chief of Xinzhou district of Wuhan city, for abuse of power and accepting bribes.

According to China’s criminal procedure law, coercive measures include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

 

 

 

TIANJIN, China 

>>  Former China keeper detained for using drugs

By Li Zehgn

China’s former national soccer team goalkeeper Liu Yunfei has been detained for drug use in Tianjin, the city’s police department announced here on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old goalie was caught taking methamphetamine late on Dec. 18. It was the third time that Liu was taken away by police for using drugs.

Liu had earned 27 international caps for China from 2002 to 2005, helping the team to reach the 2004 Asian Cup final which they lost 1-3 to Japan.

His career ended in 2007 at the age of 27 because of drug problems.

 

 

 

XINING 

>>  Former Party chief of Qinghai-Tibet railway company under investigation

By Pang Shuwei and Bai Xu

Former Party chief of the Qinghai-Tibet railway company, Xu Shuangyong, has been put under investigation for alleged corruption, local authorities said on Tuesday of December 23.

The Henan provincial people’s procuratorate confirmed that it had opened an investigation into allegations that Xu had accepted bribes.

Construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, which stretches for 1,956 kilometers, has attracted worldwide attention, as it introduced railway transportation into Tibet for the first time in history.

More than 73 million people have travelled on this, the world’s highest plateau railway since it opened in July 2006.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Former executive of top aluminum producer expelled from CPC

By Wang Xiaopeng

Sun Zhaoxue, former general manager of Chinalco, China’s top aluminum producer, 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 Tuesday. Sun is also former member of the CPC committee of of the state-owned enterprise Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco).

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

Sun seriously violated CPC discipline and is suspected of breaking the law, the statement said.

His case has been handed over to prosecutors, the statement said.

Sun has been under CCDI investigation since September for “suspected serious legal and disciplinary violations.”

Sun once served as general manager of the China National Gold Group Corp, the country’s biggest gold producer, before taking the post at Chinalco.

 

 

 

WUHAN

>>  China city to hire bus passengers in fight against terrorism

By Yao Yuan, Feng Guodong and Li Jinfeng

The central Chinese city of Wuhan will recruit 1,000 bus commuters to support its counter-terrorism drive, according to local police.

Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province, will ask public-spirited citizens who are regular bus commuters to report suspicious behavior to help ensure safety on the city’s buses, said an official with the Wuhan public security bureau.

Each citizen involved in the scheme will be paid 50 yuan (8 U.S. dollars) a month in return for their efforts, the official said.

Police say they want to mobilize ordinary citizens in the fight against terrorism. The city also plans to install automatic warning devices on its more than 7,000 buses and surveillance cameras at 4,400 bus stops.

China has seen a spate of bus arson attacks in recent years. In July, a man in south China’s Guangzhou Province set a bus alight after loosing money gambling, killing two and injuring 32. The same month, 32 people were injured in an arson attack on a bus in Hangzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang Province.

In June last year, a bus in the eastern city of Xiamen burst into flames, leaving 47 people dead and 34 others injured. Police later said suspect Chen Shuizong, who also died in the fire, had purposely started the fire with gasoline.

 

 

 

HEFEI 

>>  42 penalized over E China deadly coal mine blast

By Han Xiaojing and Jiang Gang

A total of 42 people have been penalized over a fatal coal mine blast that claimed 27 lives in Huainan City in east China’s Anhui Province on August 19, the Anhui Coal Mine Safety Supervision Bureau has announced.

An explosion that ripped through the Dongfang Mine shaft on Aug. 19 killed 27 workers and injured one, causing direct economic losses of over 45 million yuan.

Among the 42 people who have been penalized, 21 have been transferred to judicial organs for their alleged crimes, 20 received punishments for violating Party and administrative discipline, and another one received administrative punishment, according to the bureau’s announcement issued on Monday evening.

An investigation showed that the mine was operating illegally at the time of the incident. Although the mine was officially licensed, the city government had issued production suspension orders for all coal mines beginning on June 30 as part of a flood prevention effort.

The Dongfang mine’s license has been suspended and illegal income has been confiscated, the bureau said.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China issues 190,000 penalties for environmental violators

By Cheng Zhuo

China’s environmental authorities have handed out penalties to roughly 190,000 enterprises for violating environmental protection rules over the past two years.

Authorities have investigated 103,707 cases and punished offenders involved, according to a document issued at a seminar on environmental inspection held by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Tuesday of December 23.

In the first three quarters this year, environmental agencies across the board transferred 1,232 cases involving suspected crimes regarding environmental pollution to police, the document said.

In 2013, the number was only 706, outnumbering the total transferred cases in the previous decade, according to the document.

Zhai Qing, vice minister of environmental protection, urged better law enforcement as well as strict punishment for violations and more transparency.

Also on Tuesday, the ministry publicly named and shamed two enterprises in central China’s Hunan province for illegally polluting with gas emissions.

The two factories have been ordered to suspend operation and their power supply has been cut off.

They also ordered punishment for people of these enterprises responsible for the violation, as well as for some local environmental officials.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Chinese shares plunge in thin trading

By Jiang Xufeng

Chinese shares tumbled on Tuesday in thin trade, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunging 3.03 percent to fall below the 3,100-point psychological threshold.

The index closed at 3,032.61 points on Tuesday of December 23 after gaining 0.61 percent on the previous day’s trading, as some investors cashed in their profits after weeks of rallies. The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 10,570.79 points, down 0.36 percent.

Total turnover of the two bourses shrank sharply to 638.81 billion yuan (104.38 billion U.S. dollars) from 932.27 billion yuan on the previous trading day, as some investors chose to sit out and wait.

Banks and steelmakers led the losses, with the Bank of China falling 4.37 percent to end the day at 3.72 yuan apiece and Maanshan Iron & Steel Co., falling 8.82 percent to 3.93 yuan.

Insurance and brokerage firms bucked the trend and prevented the benchmark index from more losses. China Life gained 5.01 percent to 26.84 yuan a share, and Huatai Securities rose 3.66 percent to 23.22 yuan.

China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country’s top stock market regulator, announced it was investigating market-rigging involving shares of 18 listed companies last Friday.

Some of the small-cap companies under investigation on Tuesday continued to fall by the daily limit of 10 percent, with Shanxi Baiyuan Trousers Chain Management plummeting 10 percent to end the day at 36.27 yuan per share.

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU 

>>  Arson kills family of three in south China

By Li Laifang and Fu Qing

A policeman took the lives of himself and his family in south China’s Guangdong Province by setting fire to his house and himself early on Monday of December 22, police said on Tuesday.

Three people, a 48-year-old policeman surnamed Chen, his wife and daughter in Leizhou City were killed, said the Public Security Bureau of Zhanjiang City.

An investigation confirmed the fire was an arson and self-immolation case, said the bureau in a statement. It said Chen had an introverted character.

Police are still investigating the case.

 

 

 

CHONGQING

>>  14 arrested for drug dealing in SW China

By Han Xiaojing and Wang Xiaolei

A drug ring of 14 has been busted, police in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality announced on Tuesday of December 23.

Police arrested the 14 members on Monday and confiscated about 20 kilograms of drugs, 1.92 million yuan (308,364 U.S. dollars) and three vehicles, local police said.

The drug ring was noticed by police during a national anti-drug campaign that launched in September.

Police said that drug ring had been purchasing drugs from the southwestern province of Yunnan and distributing them in several districts in Chongqing.

The case is still under further investigation.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Chinese gov’t allocates funding for disaster-hit residents

By Wang Xiaopeng, Huang Xiaoxi and Feng Guo

The ministries of finance and civil affairs on Tuesday of December 23 jointly announced they had assigned 7.1 billion yuan (1.14 billion U.S. dollars) to help residents that had suffered as a result of natural disasters.

The money will be allocated in two stages, with 5.68 billion yuan distributed before the upcoming Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 19, and the remainder around the time of the national holiday, according to the Civil Affairs Ministry.

Vice Civil Affairs Minister Jiang Li underscored that it was the responsibility of the relevant local governments to ensure residents — displaced or effected by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, drought and landslides — received the financial assistance in a timely manner as winter was coming.

Natural disasters in the last month alone, which included two major earthquakes measuring magnitude 5, had effected more than 210,000 residents of 39 county-level regions and displaced thousands.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

China builds first high-speed railway through karst region

 

 

 

 

LUANDA 

>>  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.

 

 

 

TAIPEI 

>>  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.

 

 

 

DUBAI

>>  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.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  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.

 

 

 

GUIYANG

>>  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.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  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.

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  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.

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  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.

 

 

 

XI’AN 

>>  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.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  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.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  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.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  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.

 

 

 

 

Chinese government net assets at 55.3 trl yuan: research

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese Ebola experts leave for Sierra Leone

By Liu Lu

The second group of Chinese medical experts left for Sierra Leone early on Saturday of December 20 to assist in the prevention and control of the Ebola virus, said a statement released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 14 expert members of the team will offer training to 4,000 personnel in Sierra Leone.

The team’s experience and specialisms cover infectious disease prevention and control; epidemiology; health education; lab experiment; clinical medicine; and infection control. All have undergone strict training.

In addition, materials weighing 2.4 tonne were also taken to Sierra Leone, including training books and videos; personal protection equipment; temperature-testing equipment; disinfection apparatus; anti-malaria drugs; and logistics.

The first group of 12 Ebola experts set out for Sierra leone on Nov. 9, they have since trained 2,000 personnel on Ebola control and prevention, and their work has been acknowledged by the local and international community.

The deadly virus has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in west Africa since earlier this year, according to the World Health Organization.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China eases market access for foreign banks

By Zhu Shaobin and Li Yanxia

The Chinese cabinet announced new rules on Saturday that will ease market access for foreign banks in a move to further open up the domestic banking sector.

The State Council published the amended rules on Saturday of December 20, which will no longer require a specific amount of operating funds to be transferred from the parent foreign bank to its newly-established Chinese branch.

Previously, a foreign bank would have to unconditionally allocate at least 100 million yuan (around 16.4 million U.S. dollars) or the same value in other freely-convertible currencies.

The requirement has had a restrictive impact on capital replenishing at foreign banks’ China branches. Meanwhile, direct capital injection from parent companies to their branches would also be treated as foreign direct investment, which often involved a complicated approval process from multiple government agencies.

The new rules will also scrap the previous requirement that foreign banks or Sino-foreign joint venture banks should first establish a China representative office before they could set up branches.

Meanwhile, the new rules have relaxed requirements on foreign banks’ application to carry out Renminbi business. Foreign banks will be able to apply for such business if they have operated in China for at least a year, down from the previous requirement of three years. The banks applying for such business will also face no profitability requirement, a change from profit making for two successive years in the past.

Under the new rules, if a foreign bank has one branch already carrying out RMB business, its other branches will no longer face restrictions in launching the same business.

The new rules will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

 

 

 

WUHAN

>>  China’s Dalian Wanda eyes competition with Disneyland

By Shi Hao, Jiang Guocheng and Han Miao

Chinese real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin said on Saturday of December 20 that his Dalian Wanda Group will compete with Disneyland and probably open theme parks in the United States in the future.

Wang, founder and president of the group, one of China’s top property developers, revealed his ambition at the opening ceremony of a movie park in Wuhan City, capital of Hubei Province in central China.

Although real estate contributed the bulk of Wanda’s revenue, Wang told Xinhua that the group is seeking more growth engines as rapid expansion in China’s property sector is coming to an end.

Wang said Wanda will unveil a transformation plan in January and turn to businesses in culture, tourism, finance and e-commerce for further growth.

In a move toward the transformation, Wanda launched the “cultural tourism city” program to construct building complexes for tourism, entertainment, shopping, dining and other purposes in a number of Chinese cities.

“Our cultural tourism cities will try to rival Disneyland parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai in terms of visitors and revenue. If we do well, Wanda will probably build theme parks in the U.S.,” said Wang.

Wanda is confident in promoting Chinese culture to the world, according to the 60-year-old businessman.

The group is actively exploring overseas markets with investment in the U.S., Australia, Britain and Spain.

Wanda aims to raise its business revenue to 600 billion yuan (97 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020, with 30 percent hopefully coming from overseas businesses.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese Premier returns to Beijing from overseas visits, meetings

By Xiong Zhengyan

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang returned to Beijing on Saturday night of December 20 after his visits to three Asian and European countries and attendance at a series of international meetings.

Li paid an official visit to Kazakhstan. During his stay there, Li held the second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government with Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov and attended the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Kazakhstan.

Li paid an official visit to Serbia, where he attended the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European countries.

He also traveled to Thailand to attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China starts construction on new high-speed railway

By Zhu Shaobin and Fan Xi

The China Railway Corporation announced on Saturday of December 20 that construction on a new high-speed line has commenced in east China’s Jiangxi Province.

The new passenger line, which will stretch for 419 kilometers and run through more than 10 cities and counties, will link provincial capital Nanchang with Ganzhou city in the province, the company said.

Upon completion, the line will also connect to a number of other high-speed railway lines that crisscross the province including the Nanchang-Jiujiang High-speed Railway and the national high-speed railway arteries including the Beijing-Kowloon and Shanghai-Kunming routes.

The new railway will increase passenger transportation capacity in the eastern provinces of Jiangxi and Fujian, and between China’s eastern regions with the central and western regions, the company said.

However, it did not reveal the project’s completion date or planned costs.

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  China Mobile eyes 250 mln 4G customers next year

By Zhu Shaobin, Gao Kang and Ye Qian

China Mobile, China’s largest telecommunication service provider, has forecast that it will have 250 million 4G customers in 2015.

The company has experienced robust 4G business growth in 2014 and had more 50 million 4G users as of the end of October, China Mobile chief executive officer Li Yue said Friday of December 19.

China’s 4G is powered by the homegrown technology, Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE), one of the two major international standards in the mobile telecom industry, the other being Frequency Division Duplex (FDD-LTE).

“The TD-LTE sector is maturing, and increasingly accepted by more telecom companies. Given this, we aim to increase our 4G users to 250 million in 2015 by increasing the number of our 4G base stations to 1 million to enhance coverage,” Li said during a global cooperation partners conference held by the company in Guangzhou.

China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua said 2014 was the start of the 4G era for the company.

He said the company had 700,000 4G base stations currently under construction and that they would be complete by the end of 2014. He also forecast the company would have almost 80 million 4G customers by year end.

The company has 42 TD-LTE commercial networks worldwide, allowing users to access 4G services in 26 countries and regions, Xi said.

 

 

 

YINCHUAN

>>  China-Arab research institute launched in Muslim region

By Cao Kai and Ai Fumei

A China-Arab research institute was established on Friday of December 19 in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, where many of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority live.

The institute, based at Ningxia University, is expected to be a top think tank for China-Arab strategic cooperation, communication and training, said Qi Yue, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC)Ningxia University committee.

The Ningxia regional government and Ningxia University will jointly assign the institute 15 million yuan (2.45 million U.S. dollars) every year.

Li Shaoxian, vice president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, will head the institute.

About one third of Ningxia’s 6.5 million population are Muslims. The region expects to use its religious links to the countries involved in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, which was proposed by President Xi Jinping last September, to revive trade and relations with countries along the route that spans Central Asia, Russia and Europe.

 

 

 

YINCHUAN

>>  China’s Muslim region to subsidize senior religious personnel

By Cao Kai and Zhang Liang

Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, where many of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority live, will start to give monthly living allowances to senior religious personnel from January next year, local authorities said on Saturday of December 20.

They include registered imams in mosques, abbots in Buddhist and Taoist temples and bishops in Christian and Catholic churches, according to the regional ethnic affairs commission.

They will get 400 yuan (65 U.S. dollars) every month. Those who assume leading posts in county, municipal, regional and national religious groups can have an extra 100, 200, 300 and 400 yuan respectively.

The commission did not say why it introduced the trial policy, which will run for one year.

Those who break the law or carry out illegal religious activities will loose the allowance, according to the commission.

About one third of Ningxia’s 6.5 million population are Muslims. There are more than 3,700 mosques in the region.

The number of churches and temples in the region is not clear.

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  Xinjiang denies rumor of new terrorist attack

By Cao Kai and Ma Kai

The regional government of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday of December 20 denied hearsay of a terrorist attack in Shache County in Kashgar Prefecture.

Rumors have been circulating on WeChat, a popular mobile social network application, over the past few days, according to the regional government’s publicity department.

Xinjiang remains stable and the police are tracing the source of the story, it said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to boost civil aviation in Xinjiang

By Shi Hao and Qian Chunxian

China vowed on Saturday of December 20 to make more efforts to support the development of civil aviation in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in a guideline that it will improve aviation infrastructures in Xinjiang by supporting expansion of established airports and construction of new ones.

The CAAC will speed up preliminary study of a new airport in Urumqi, capital of the region. It also backed the city to apply for 72-hour visa-free entry for international transit passengers.

In addition, the administration encouraged airlines to operate more routes connecting Xinjiang cities with China’s eastern areas as well as foreign countries.

Xinjiang currently has 16 civil airports, with 46 domestic and foreign airlines operating 184 routes. It has the most airports and longest airways among China’s provincial-level regions.

From January to November, Xinjiang saw 238,000 civil flights and throughput of over 20 million passengers and 163,000 tonnes of cargo and mail, up 20.5 percent, 9.8 percent and 8.8 percent year on year, respectively.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to set up over 30 minority languages courses

By Liu Lu

China plans to set up courses on more than 30 minority languages by 2020, a move to cover all the languages spoken in the countries which have established diplomatic relations with China, a language expert said on Saturday of December 20.

Principal of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, Peng Long, said that China had established diplomatic relations with nearly 200 countries, and the country now provides 64 foreign language study programs at a symposium on the strategic development of non-common languages.

The newly-developed courses will include the languages spoken in Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as Byelorussian, Peng added.

The symposium was attended by university professors and officials from the Education Ministry.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese government net assets at 55.3 trl yuan: research

By Zhu Shaobin and Liu Zheng

The total net assets of the Chinese government, including government executive departments, legislative departments and justice departments was 55.3 trillion yuan (around 9 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2013, according to research published on Saturday of December 20.

In a broad measurement that also included government-backed public institutions and associations, the government’s net assets stood at 92.3 trillion yuan in 2013, according to the finance research institute under the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

The total net assets of China’s public departments, including the government’s net assets as well as government-controlled companies, stood at 106.9 trillion yuan.

The government’s net assets in the narrow sense of measurement accounted for 26 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.

“Given China’s relatively huge foreign exchange reserves, the Chinese government has a good foundation for economic control,” the finance research institute said.

It added that the government’s net assets were substantial and also demonstrated structural stability and fitness.

Chinese authorities are pushing for a unified economic accounting regime and compilation of national and local balance sheets, which would draw a clear picture of the country’s liabilities and assets, and provide a tool for risk prevention.

However, the process has met stumbling blocks in terms of the classification of departments and liabilities definition. This recent research will facilitate the process.

Launched in September 2013, the research program is scheduled to be complete by 2018.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Nearly 1.1 bln Chinese suffering from smoking

By Li Zhihui

Nearly 1.1 billion Chinese people are either smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke, an official said Saturday.

About 356 million people above the age of 15 are smokers, while another 738 are passively smoking, said Jiang Yuan, director of Tobacco Control Office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smoking-caused cancers and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases have imposed economic burden of more than 223.7 billion yuan (35.9 billion U.S. dollars) for people at or above the age of 35, she said.

“China has to adopt comprehensive, long-term and effective tobacco-control measures,” she said.

China is mulling a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products, according to a draft regulation published on the legislative affairs office of the State Council website in November.

The draft bans smoking in all kinds of indoor public places and outdoor space in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women and children’s hospitals as well as in fitness venues.

Also in November, the legislature of Beijing Municipality adopted an anti-smoking legislation to ban smoking in all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport vehicles. It is scheduled to become effective on June 1 next year.

 

 

 

 

Xi’s speeches on reform published in foreign languages

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China continues Diaoyu Islands patrol

By Liu Tong

Vessels of the China Coast Guard (CCG) conducted a patrol mission in China’s territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands on Friday f December 19, according to a statement by State Oceanic Administration.

The vessels are CCG 2401 and 2166. China has been conducting the patrols on a regular basis.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China opposes U.S. arms sale to Taiwan

By Bai Jie

China on Friday of December 19 expressed resolute opposition after U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law legislation authorizing the sale of four Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taiwan.

“This seriously violates the three China-U.S. joint communiques, particularly the U.S. commitments specified in the August 17 Communique,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a daily press briefing.

“It brutally interferes with China’s internal affairs, sabotages China’s sovereignty and security interests, and runs counter to the trend of peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait,” Qin said.

Qin said the Taiwan issue concerns China’s core interests and has always been the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations.

China’s firm opposition to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan is resolute, clear and consistent, he said.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this and has lodged solemn representations with the United States both in Beijing and Washington. We reserve the right to take further action,” he said.

The United States agreed to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan under the August 17 Communique signed in 1982.

Qin urged the U.S. government to abide by the one-China policy and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, stop official and military exchanges with Taiwan, stop arms sales to Taiwan and do more to contribute to China-U.S. relations and the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.

Also on Friday, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng issued a statement, expressing strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the arms sale.

“China firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan,” said Geng, adding China resolutely safeguards its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,”

He said the state-to-state and military-to-military relations between China and the United States are facing important opportunities.

The United States should work together with China to advance healthy and steady development of bilateral ties, Geng said.

“China strongly urges the United States to respect China’s core interests and major concerns, abide by its promises to China on the Taiwan issue, stop arms sales to Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan military ties, stop destroying the overall situation of China-U.S. ties,” he said.

China will closely follow the situation and may further respond to this depending on developments of the situation, Geng added.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China opposes politicizing human rights issues

By Wang Huihui

China has underscored its disapproval of using human rights issues to pressure other countries, following a UN General Assembly resolution proposing that the human rights issue of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

China has always advocated the resolution of differences in the field of human rights through dialogue and cooperation and opposed the politicizing of human rights issues, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Friday of December 19.

The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted in favor of referring the DPRK to the ICC in a resolution initiated by the European Union and Japan.

China was among the countries that voted against the resolution.

“The UN Security Council is not the right place to discuss human rights issues, and the referral of human rights issues to the ICC is not conducive to their resolution,” Qin said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s top political advisor urges Japan to pursue positive policy towards China

By Tan Jingjing

China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng on Friday of December 19 urged the Japanese government to make more effort in the mending of bilateral ties.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks while meeting with Yohei Kono, former Speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives and president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade.

Recently relations between China and Japan have experienced developments after a two-year stalemate, Yu said.

The two sides should seriously maintain and implement their newly reached four-point agreement, and properly handle major sensitive issues including those regarding history and the Diaoyu Islands, and gradually promote bilateral cooperation in various areas, he said.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent remarks on the ceremony for China’s first National Memorial Day to recognize Nanjing Massacre victims, was a brilliant exposition of how we should draw lessons from history and face up to the future under the new circumstances,” he said.

Yu called on Japan to have a comprehensive and correct understanding of Xi’s remarks.

Yohei Kono, for his part, said the two countries should cherish the current sound momentum and promote the continued improvement of ties on the basis of acknowledging history.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Senior PLA officer mourns victims of Pakistan school attack

By Bai Jie

Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, on Friday of December 19 went to the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing to mourn the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack on an army-run public school in Pakistan.

Wang strongly condemned the attack against students and teachers, extending deep condolences to the victims and sympathy to the families of victims.

He said China and Pakistan are good brothers, and the Chinese armed forces will always stand by the Pakistani people and military, and would like more anti-terrorism cooperation with the Pakistani armed forces.

Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khalid appreciated Wang’s act on behalf of Chinese military as well as the condolences and support by Chinese leaders, government, military and people.

Condemning the terrorists, he said the attack united the Pakistani government and people, making their will to fight terrorist ever more resolute.

Pakistan will work closely with China to combat terrorist, separatism and extremism, he said.

An army-run public school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar was attacked by militants on Tuesday, and a total of 141 people, including 132 students, were killed and 133 injured.

 

 

 

BISSAU 

>>  Guinea Bissau hails China for leading anti-Ebola war

By Sikula

Guinea Bissau’s Health Minister Valentina Mendes on Thursday of December 18 said China was at the forefront of supporting the country’s efforts against the Ebola virus.

The minister was speaking in Bissau during the signing of an agreement with the Chinese ambassador to the country Wang Hua, for a visit by a Chinese medical mission to sensitize the public on the Ebola virus.

The Chinese diplomat reiterated his country’s commitment to help Guinea Bissau in the fight against Ebola, especially through awareness campaigns.

“The fight against Ebola virus is not yet over. You need to train and prepare health professionals to respond to any eventual outbreak,” he said.

The health minister recalled that in April this year, China was the first country to send to Guinea Bissau health materials worth 200,000 U.S. dollars for prevention against Ebola.

Still in October, she added, the Chinese government sent to Bissau other medical materials and equipments worth a million dollars for prevention against Ebola virus.

A Chinese mission comprised of three experts is expected to arrive this Friday in Guinea Bissau where there’s another Chinese medical mission.

Mendes said the team will train local experts on treatment of endemic diseases in the country such as diarrhoea and cholera.

The Chinese experts are expected to stay in the country for a period of one month, but their stay could be extended to three months if the situation demands.

According to the terms of the agreement, the Chinese government will pay for all the expenses of the experts.

 

 

 

BELGRADE

>>  Interview: Serbia benefits from China-CEE meeting: professor

By Namanja Cabric, Hou Lijun, Gui Tao and Wang Hui

A Serbian professor said on Friday of December 18 the outcome of the recently finished meeting between leaders of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries exceeded expectations.

Ljubodrag Savic, professor at the Faculty of Economy in Belgrade University told Xinhua in an interview that he sees three important results for Serbia at the meeting.

Serbia gets a chance to become a center of transport between the regional countries and China, to build its first energy facility in 25 years as well as to complete infrastructure projects that it did not manage to complete in the past several decades, said the professor.

“I have to say that the outcome of the summit exceeded my expectations,” Savic told Xinhua, explaining that Serbia and its citizens can be fully satisfied with agreements, memoranda and protocols that were signed.

“The construction of the high speed railway (between Belgrade and Budapest, Hungary) has been precisely agreed, as well as the deadline for construction works, and there is a general agreement that the railway will be extended further south towards Macedonia and Greece. This would really put Serbia in the spotlight. This is important for the arrival of Chinese goods, but also for export Serbian products,” he explained.

Savic estimated that Serbia also made a favorable deal for the second phase of the construction of the thermo power plant in the town of Kostolac.

Savic said it is important for Serbia that protocols and other documents that were signed concerning the highway E-763 in Serbia, as this will remove a great obstacle to the development of Serbia’s capital city, as well as the whole country.

Asked if the infrastructure deals agreed during the China-CEE leaders’ meeting can be stopped by the European Union similarly to the Russian South Stream project, Savic said in his opinion that is not possible because China is a desirable partner to all countries of the world.

“We should not expect any kind of pressures similar to those that surrounded the South Stream project. I think that the agreed projects will be realized,” Savic concluded.

The third meeting of the leaders of China and CEE countries took place in Belgrade from Dec. 16 to 17 with the presence of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

 

 

 

SKOPJE

>>  News Analysis: Announced investments from China spark hope in Macedonia

By Biljana Arsovska and Wang Siwei

The Chinese initiatives for increased infrastructure investment in the Balkans, announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the meeting between China and Central and Eastern European countries in Belgrade this week, will have huge influence on the development of the whole region, estimate analysts here on Friday of December 19.

“It is a sign that China is taking steps to diversify its foreign policy and it should be viewed with outmost respect, especially from the 16 European countries involved in this process. The announced projects have great infrastructural importance and will include the region in the 21st century. They will help the economic growth of the region that is going through some serious challenges in the last years,” former diplomat Risto Nikovski told Xinhua in Skopje.

China, Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia on Wednesday agreed to build a land-sea express passage linking a Greek port and the landlocked Hungary, stringing the Macedonian capital of Skopje and Serbian Belgrade. The Chinese Premier with his European counterparts also discussed projects in the fields of energy, tourism and industrial development.

Nikovski believes that this initiative is a sign of a permanent Chinese policy that will only spread and increase in funds in the years to come. He points out several main areas where Macedonia specifically can benefit with the support of China.

“It is extremely important that China enters our railway in any way possible and to help with its needed modernization. This fully corresponds with the Chinese ambitions, because they have already bought the ports in Greece, so having a fast railway connection through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia will open a fastest road for them towards whole Europe. Also, it will have a historic importance if we could interest China in energy projects in areas like “Vardar Valley,” which are multidimensional and can bring great benefits for our country,” Nikovski adds.

Macedonian authorities are satisfied with the results achieved at the Belgrade meeting that offered prospects of an increased economic cooperation between Macedonia and China as well. Two Chinese companies have expressed their interests at the meeting to invest in Macedonia, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced.

They have showed interest to open a major meat packing plant and a cement factory, but also have discussed the possibility to be included in energy projects, such as the construction of the primary gas network through Macedonia. The names of the companies are yet not disclosed.

“A major Chinese company already made three visits to Macedonia to examine possibilities for opening a large meat packaging plant. They are working on their due diligence, and there is a positive impression, but the final decision remains to be seen. And, both last year, and particularly at this year’s meeting, a Chinese company expressed interest in opening a cement factory,” Gruevski said.

China is already present with its investment in infrastructure in Macedonia. Two of the main new highways in the country are being built with a loan from China worth nearly 580 million euros (713 million U.S. dollars). The highways financed through the Chinese Exim Bank are built by the Sinohydro Corporation from China in cooperation with the major Macedonian construction companies.

Macedonian businessmen are especially interested in the signed agreement for cooperation and liberalization of customs procedures with Beijing. The document is expected to boost the regional and the international trade.

“China is an extremely important market for us. I think that every businessman’s dream now is to enter Chinese market because of its great potential and size. Sadly, because of the high costs, not many of the Macedonian entrepreneurs can allow themselves to export as far as China. Still, products such as wine, marble, meat, show that they have potential for success on the Chinese market,” Vlado Markovski, businessman from Skopje told Xinhua on Friday.

 

 

 

VANCOUVER 

>>  Interview: China looks to Canadian province in fight against HIV/AIDS

By Evan Duggan and Jiang Yaping

China is looking to Canada’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia (B.C.) for cooperation in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as the latter has become successful and experienced in dealing with spread of the deadly virus and disease.

When Chinese authorities said they were looking for new strategies and new ideas around the world to curb the spread of HIV infections and to improve treatment for those who have the illness, St. Paul’s Hospital — a leading research and treatment center in Vancouver in British Colombia — is where they came, according to Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the British Colombia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

St. Paul’s Hospital has taken major strides in defeating HIV/AIDS, and has emerged as a model for success and a partner for China and many other nations in stemming the spread of the virus, Montaner said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday of December 18.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang vowed last month to do more to prevent and treat HIV in China, and said he was willing to cooperate with experts in other countries to do that. He said efforts should be made in China to improve HIV screening, focus on high-risk groups, and seek breakthroughs in the development of new drugs to treat the virus.

Vancouver in the late 1980s and 90s had become ground zero for the virus in Canada, said Montaner.

He said it made sense that the center would become the world’s leader in the battle against the virus.

In the lengthy interview taken in St. Paul’s hospital, Montaner said that Vancouver was facing a rising tide of HIV infections — especially among the city’s large gay community, and intravenous drug users. Poverty and mental illness in the city’s Downtown Eastside were also helping the virus to spread. Montaner said the center emerged as a matter of survival.

“St. Paul’s was inundated by HIV. We were very few people dealing with it. We needed to put our resources all together and we needed to get organized because we were overwhelmed,” he said.

They soon started treating the rising number of HIV-positive patients with a variety of new drugs. In 1996, they implemented the use of Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, or HAART, which quickly set the global standard for HIV treatment.

He said the epidemic was out of control in the 1980s and 90s. And research that they were involved with, for the first time in 1995, showed that when they combined three anti-retroviral therapy drugs, they give them together to someone who has not been previously treated, they were able to suppress the replication of the virus so that the amount of virus circulating in the blood became undetectable. When that happens the immunity comes back and therefore HIV/AIDS does not progress.

The treatment started to drive down new HIV cases despite a steady rise in the syphilis rate — showing that infections were decreasing even though people were still taking part in risky behavior. HAART rapidly makes HIV undetectable in blood and sexual fluids in most patients, while it also prevents AIDS-related diseases and death.

But having the proper treatments was only half the battle. Within a few years, the center transitioned into what Montaner calls Treatment as Prevention – a systematic campaign to increase diagnoses and treatment throughout the population by making free and rapid HIV tests more accessible.

Elements of the program soon caught the attention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control, which sent representatives to the center at St. Paul’s hospital.

“China was very intrigued early on by the work that we were doing. They approached it in a very skeptical kind of way. They basically met with us a number of times. They asked all the difficult and appropriate questions and it wasn’t until they were really convinced that we had a real program and a real opportunity here that they decided to move forward and embrace our treatment operation strategy,” he recalled.

He stressed that partnership is now benefiting both British Colombia and China.

“They were the first country that embraced the treatment as prevention strategy in the world, and they since then, have been producing a lot of new information that has helped us to understand how to guide the work that others are doing in this sense,” he added.

The results of Montaner’s Treatment as Prevention program in Vancouver and B.C. have been dramatic. According to Montaner, number of AIDS cases in British Columbia have decreased by more than 90 percent overall. Death from HIV/AIDS has decreased by more than 95 percent, all thanks to the cocktail – the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy.

Also, new infections have decreased by greater than 66 percent. Among injection drug users, new infections have decreased by greater than 95 percent, and particularly the transmission from mother to child, what we call vertical transmission, has been virtually eliminated.

Montaner said the center has been so effective that they virtually closed their HIV/AIDS ward this year and repurposed it support people who are living with HIV. Nowadays, they rarely discover new cases of AIDS.

The doctor says the United Nations has also called on them to develop a blueprint that can be applied to healthcare systems around the world, and has set a so-called 90-90-90 goal to boost detection, treatment and survival.

“If we meet the 90-90-90 by 2020, or by 2030, the burden of the disease globally will have decreased by 90 percent. Ninety percent less morbidity, 90 percent less mortality and 90 percent less transmission, transforming what used to be a raging pandemic into a sporadic disease that would really have relatively modest impact in the world as we know it,” he said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s high-speed rail traffic to grow within 20 years: World Bank

By Jiang Xufeng and Han Jie

By focusing on passenger needs, and efficient operations, China’s high-speed rail (HSR) traffic is expected to continue rapid growth over the coming two decades, said a World Bank paper.

China has the world’s largest HSR network, but passenger numbers have been the subject of debate.

A World Bank paper released Friday finds initial traffic volumes are promising, with traffic growing from 128 million trips in 2008 to 672 million trips in 2013. In 2013, China’s high-speed rail lines carried more passenger-kilometers (214 billion) than the rest of the world combined, about 2.5 times the volume in Japan and four times the volume in France.

China is a very large country with a high population density, widely spaced large cities, and economic rebalancing strategies go for the long-term success of HSR.

A survey by the World Bank, China Railway Corporation and the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute indicates that a large proportion of high-speed train passengers are between the ages of 25 and 55, with many using the HSR for business travel.

The survey shows the average income of high-speed train passengers was 35 to 50 percent higher than that of conventional train passengers.

“Understanding and addressing passenger needs are critical to achieving the full impact of the HSR network. While initial results are encouraging, HSR remains a major investment that requires high traffic density to be justified economically and financially,” said Gerald Ollivier, a World Bank senior transport specialist and co-author of the paper.

“This can be achieved by working closely with cities to develop areas around stations in a way that leverages the gain in accessibility that HSR provides,” Ollivier said.

It is important to optimize train frequencies and city pairing, introduce flexible ticket prices reflecting peak and off-peak periods, and introduce convenient e-ticketing services. “By focusing on these aspects, and on the efficient and effective operation of the network, HSR in China can continue to experience substantial growth for many years to come,” he added.

The World Bank has provided loans to support six railway projects in China.

 

 

 

DUSHANBE

>>  Tajik, Chinese bank officials discuss loan agreement

By Wang Feng

Deputy Chairman Sirojiddin Ikromov of Amonatbonk — Tajikistan’s savings bank — and a delegation from China Development Bank (CDB) met here on Thursday to discuss a 10 million U.S. dollar loan agreement, the Amonatbonk press service said on Friday of December 19.

According to the five-year loan agreement, the CDB will provide financial support for the Central Asian country’s agriculture as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.

The agreement will be signed by Amonatbonk Chairman Jamshed Nurmahmadzoda.

Amonatbonk has worked closely with a number of international institutions and foreign banks, aiming to alleviate poverty and boost economic development in Tajikistan.

Amonatbonk and the CDB have been in cooperation since 2008.

Established in 1925, Amonatbonk is the only state-owned bank and one of the oldest bank in Tajikistan.

 

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO

>>  Brazil striker Tardelli on Chinese radar

Brazil international striker Diego Tardelli has received a lucrative offer to join a leading Chinese Super League club, according to local media reports on Friday of December 19.

The unnamed club is said to have offered Atletico Mineiro six million euros for the 29-year-old and a monthly salary of 400,000 US dollars.

Tardelli’s chances of leaving Atletico have been heightened by the Brazilian outfit’s mounting debt concerns, according to local news portal Lancenet.

“Atletico rejected the first offer from the Chinese club but have not ruled out a sale if the price is right,” the news portal said.

Tardelli scored 10 goals from 23 Brazilian Serie A matches in 2014 and was recalled to Brazil’s squad by national coach Dunga in September.

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS 

>>  Chinese envoy calls for unified standards for counter-terrorism

By Shi Xiaomeng

The international community should adhere to unified standards in order to effectively deter terrorism, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said on Friday of December 19.

“Double standards and selectivity should not be used in fighting terrorism, let alone linking terrorism with a specific ethnic group or religion,” said Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Counter-terrorism activities should abide by the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, Liu said at a Security Council meeting on terrorism and cross-border crimes.

“All countries should, in accordance with global counter-terrorism strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions, adopt effective measures to cut terrorist organizations’ access to people, funds, and equipment as well as their incitement and propaganda channels while adopting integrated measures to eradicate their breeding ground for terrorism,” he added.

Noting that in some regions, especially in Africa, terrorism and cross-border crime organizations are closely linked, Liu said the counter-terrorism work should be well targeted.

“The international community should assist relevant countries and African countries in particular to strengthen their capacity-building in border control, customs and counter-narcotics,” he added.

In addition, he said the international community should pay attention to cross-border crimes of terrorism organizations by using information and communication technology, such as the Internet.

As a victim of terrorism, China supports African countries in independently choosing their own way of development, and will continue to conduct bilateral and multilateral exchanges and cooperation on counter-terrorism and cross-border crimes with the international community, especially African countries, he said.

“China will do what it can to provide assistance in material and capacity-building to relevant countries, with a view to advancing our effort in fighting international terrorism and maintaining regional and world peace and stability,” he added.

 

 

 

CASABLANCA

>>  Morocco’s largest private bank starts trading in Chinese yuan

By Cai Shihao

One of Morocco’s biggest lenders Attijariwafa Bank announced on Friday it has begun trading in the Chinese yuan to help local and African businesses in their growing commercial partnership with China.

The bank launched the trading in yuan, also known as renminbi, for the Moroccan societies to develop its business with China as well as with African societies, Mohamed Kettani, president of the bank, said in a press conference in Morocco’s economic hub Casablanca.

Attijariwafa Bank is the largest private bank in Morocco and has subsidiaries in many African, European and Middle East countries catering mainly for Moroccans living there.

It has the largest branch network in Morocco and Africa with 3,265 branches, up from 3,197 in 2013.

“China is a large economic power and its commerce with Morocco and Africa is developing very fast, so our bank decided to introduce the yuan facility aiming in the near future that all transactions with China will be solely with yuan,” Kettani said.

China is Morocco’s third largest trading partner.

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS 

>>  Chinese calligraphy exhibition opens at UN headquarters

By Shi Xiaomeng

A Chinese calligraphy exhibition themed “Dream of Harmony” opened at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday of December 18, attracting crowds of people to the scene.

The exhibition presents dozens of calligraphy pieces which write popular traditional Chinese concepts such as “Kindheartedness,” “Tai Chi,” “Man is an integral part of nature,” delivering the message of harmony and peace advocated by Confucianism.

The presented calligraphy works are “a perfect combination of artistic charm and philosophical messages,” which help to spread the spirit of traditional Chinese wisdom, said Wen Xuejun, president of Chinese Book Club of United Nations Staff Recreation Council, one of the sponsors of the event.

People also lined up to get copies of “Confucius Philosophy,” a book introducing China’s original culture, provided by the organizer.

The exhibition will last five days to December 22.

 

 

 

BRASILIA

>>  Brazil beat China to book showdown with US

By Michael Place

Brazil advanced to the final of the international women’s soccer tournament of Brasilia with a 4-1 victory over China here on Thursday of December 18.

The competition hosts will play for the title on Sunday against the United States, who earlier routed Argentina 7-0.

Brazil rested their five-time world player of the year Marta, but it seemed to make little difference as they took control early at the Mane Garrincha stadium.

Beatriz capitalized on a Chinese defensive error to score the opener after 14 minutes and Andressinha doubled the lead from a set piece shortly after.

Debinha’s angled effort early in the second half made it 3-0 before Andressa Alves converted from the penalty spot.

Ren Guixin gave some respectability to the scoreline for the Asian outfit with an injury-time header.

China, who needed only a draw to progress to the final, will play off for third place against Argentina before Sunday’s title decider.

The tournament is considered a warmup event for the World Cup in Canada next June and July.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Guangzhou Evergrande ranked 4th in Asia

By Fu Min and Kang Miao

Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande was ranked 4th among Asian clubs, according to the Asian Football Confederation rankings released on Thursday of December 18.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal topped the rankings, followed by FC Seoul of South Korea and Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad.

According to AFC, the rankings were based on the performances of clubs in 4 years between 2011 and 2014.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Xi’s speeches on reform published in foreign languages

By Cheng Zhuo

The book on selected remarks by President Xi Jinping on deepening Chinese reforms has been published in six foreign languages.

The book is now available in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Arabic languages, according to an announcement by publisher Foreign Languages Press on Thursday of December 18.

The book, divided into 12 sections, collects Xi’s comments from more than 70 speeches, written instructions and comments between Nov. 15, 2012 and April 1, 2014.

The Chinese version was published in May.

Another book gathering Xi’s important remarks organized by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has sold more than 15 million copies to date.

The publishers announced total sales have reached 15.11 million, including 95,000 copies in ethnic minority languages.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China offers interpretation on its “key words”

By Hu  Longjiang

China on Friday of December 19 launched an online column to elaborate some key political and cultural phrases such as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” and “comprehensively deepening reform.”

The website China.org.cn has published official interpretations of such phrases in six foreign languages — English, French, Russian, Arabic,Spanish and Japanese, as well as in Chinese.

The interpretations are made by combining China’s actual situation, historical and political backgrounds.

For example: core socialist values. It was proposed at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 2012 and, composed of 12 key words and phrases including “prosperity,” “democracy,” “freedom,” “patriotism” and “rule of law,” according to the interpretation.

According to the website, these phrases contain China’s core ideas, and the interpretations will help foreigners understand these words and China’s development concept and road, and domestic and foreign policies.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Senior CPC leader urges to build Party with strict rules

By Liu Lu

A senior leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Friday of December 19 called for firm Party rule, in order to deepen reform and promote the rule of law.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made his remarks at a meeting attended by officials from CPC organization departments nationwide.

“Strict selection of CPC cadres is key to running the Party,” said Liu.

Supervision over Party officials should be strengthened and punishment should be imposed on those who engage in illegal or immoral behavior, he went on.

Liu said the CPC should always root out undesirable work practices, remain down to earth, adhere to its regulations, and reflect on the corruption cases of some of its former leading officials, such as Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai and Xu Caihou.

Liu reiterated that the assessment and accountability system should be improved to expose violations.

At the meeting, Zhao Leji, head of the CPC Central Committee Organization Department, urged the attendees to carry forward the Party spirit and continue to improve their professional skills.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China investigates executive of Nissan joint venture

By Liu Tong

China’s corruption watchdog on Friday of December 19 opened an investigation into an executive of state-owned Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DMC).

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China said in a statement that Ren Yong, assistant general manager of Dongfeng, is suspected of “serious law and discipline violations.”

Ren is also vice president of Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Dongfeng and Japanese carmaker Nissan. Nissan formed a new joint venture with Dongfeng in September to produce Infiniti cars in China.

Ren is among the first heads to roll since the CCDI launched a third round of inspections into state-owned enterprises in November. Other targets include China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), China Southern Airlines and China Unicom.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Top judge urges better handling of administrative abuse cases

By Liu Tong and Luo Sha

China’s top judge Zhou Qiang on Friday of December 19 told courts to deal with administrative abuse cases better in line with a November amendment to the Administrative Procedure Law.

Courts at all levels should devise measures to guarantee smooth implementation of the amended Administrative Procedure Law, said Zhou, but should first try to defuse administrative disputes.

Courts should protect the people’s legal rights and interests while enforcing their supervision on government agencies, he said.

Courts should also streamline filing procedures and uphold judicial justice, said Zhou.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China forces 63,000 officials to quit company directorships

By Liu Tong and Hua Chunyu

China has forced some 63,000 government officials, including 229 at provincial and ministerial-level, to quit company directorships they hold, according to figures released on Friday of December 19.

The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said in a statement that 226 of the ministerial-level officials have completed their resignations procedures and the remaining three are expected to quit by next February.

The statement said follow-up work, including rigid supervision and regular inspection will be carried out to prevent a resurgence of government officials doing parttime jobs at companies.

The department set a ban on incumbent officials’ employment in private companies in Oct., 2013 to reduce the chances for corruption.

The ban reportedly brought about a mass exodus of independent directors from listed Chinese companies.

 

 

 

HANGZHOU 

>>  China’s e-commerce contributes to strike against counterfeits

By Fang Ning and Wei Donghua

Taobao.com, China’s largest business-to-consumer platform backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba worked with police to bust more than 200 counterfeit manufacturers this year.

Police traced clues reported by taobao.com to find the manufacturing sites of counterfeits sold by online shops, leading to several production chains being dismantled and more than 400 suspects arrested.

The counterfeits include sports wears, suitcases, textiles, cosmetics and drug.

Taobao’s data suggested that most of the counterfeits were produced in southeast China regions, where the sales of knock-offs in physical stores and marketplaces are also rampant.

Jack Ma, the founder and board chairman of Alibaba, said in November at the First Internet Conference in east China’s rivertown of Wuzhen that e-commerce keeps records of every transaction. Compared to off-line transactions, e-commerce is more helpful in the fight against counterfeits.

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  Foreign firms dominate China’s robotics market

By Cheng Lu and Lü Qingfu

Foreign robotics firms dominate China’s domestic market, according to the International Robotics and Intelligent Equipment Industry Alliance.

China’s domestic manufacturers account for less than 20 percent of the market share, Luo Jun, executive chairman of the alliance, said on Friday of December 19 at a press conference related to the upcoming robotics conference, which will be held in Sichuan Province.

Luo said as one of the top robotics markets in the world, China would witness positive market growth in next three decades.

But he admitted that the costs associated with the industry was a stumbling block for homegrown talent. An industrial robot can complete the work of 3.6 people, but it costs five to ten times more.

The government aims to introduce more robotic-friendly policies next year that will encourage investment and develop the robotics and intelligent equipment industry, he added.

The 2014 World Robotics and Intelligent Equipment Industry Conference & Exhibition is slated for December in Chengdu City.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China to keep property market “stable and healthy”: official

By Shi Hao and Du Yu

Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) vowed on Friday of December 19 to keep the country’s real estate market “stable and healthy” in 2015.

MOHURD minister Chen Zhenggao said at a national conference on housing and urban-rural development that the ministry will actively deal with new situations and problems in the property market since the sector still plays a significant role in China’s economy.

“On one hand, macroeconomic performance influences the property market. On the other hand, changes in the market, to some extent, affect the Chinese economy,” said Chen.

He said the market potential is great as many new city dwellers do not own homes and many urbanites long for better housing.

The minister announced at the meeting that China will begin construction of seven million apartments under the affordable housing program in 2015.

Chen said the country will also push forward its shanty town renovation program as “it will not only improve people’s livelihood, but also spur economic growth.”

China’s property market cooled down in 2014 partly due to tight government control. But authorities loosened their grip to avoid a sharp slowdown in the sector by cutting restrictions on home purchases, easing mortgage rules and lowering benchmark interest rates.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China to construct 7 mln affordable homes in 2015

By Shi Hao and Du Yu

China will begin construction of seven million apartments under the affordable housing program in 2015, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) announced on Friday of December 19.

MOHURD minister Chen Zhenggao revealed the target at a national conference on housing and urban-rural development. He said 4.8 million such homes should be completed next year.

The affordable housing program is aimed at providing cheap homes for eligible low-income earners. China began the construction of over seven million homes and completed 4.8 million in 2014.

Chen said China will also continue to push forward the shanty town renovation program extensively as “it can not only improve people’s livelihood but also spur economic growth”.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China revises size of 2013 GDP up by 3.4 pct

By Wang Yaguang, Wang Xi and He Zongyu

China revised its 2013 economic data, adding 3.4 percent for a final total of 58.8019 trillion yuan (about 9.61 trillion U.S. dollars).

The upward revision, based on more comprehensive data on the manufacturing and service sectors following China’s twice-a-decade economic census, will not affect economic growth this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on its website.

This marks an increase of 1.92 trillion yuan from the previous count.

“The revision of 2013 GDP will affect the size of 2014 GDP, but basically will not affect GDP growth for 2014,” NBS said, adding that it was still revising GDP figures for previous years but the work had not been completed.

Despite impressive growth over the past few decades, China’s economy was still 56.5 percent the size of the United States after the revision, based on average exchange rates in 2013, according to the NBS.

Its per-capita GDP in 2013 was raised to 6,995 U.S. dollars from 6,767 dollars, but this was only about two thirds of the world’s average level, the bureau said.

The tertiary industry, or the service sector, accounted for 46.9 percent of China’s 2013 GDP, up from an initial estimate of 46.1 percent, while the secondary industry, which included industrial and construction sectors, took up 43.7 percent, down from previous count of 43.9 percent. The proportion of primary industry in the GDP was also revised down to 9.4 percent from 10 percent.

A cooling manufacturing sector and property downturn dragged China’s economic growth to 7.3 percent in the third quarter this year, down from 7.5 percent in the second quarter and the government has unveiled a slew of measures to boost growth.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China revises down Q3 capital account deficits

By Fang Dong and Li Yanxia

China’s capital- and financial-account deficits narrowed to 55.6 billion yuan (9.08 billion U.S. dollars), in the third quarter of the year, down from 99.8 billion yuan seen in the April-June period, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on Friday of December 19.

The figure was revised substantially from the preliminary sum of 502 billion yuan released by SAFE in October.

However, China continued to see current account surplus in the July-September period, although edging down slightly to 444.4 billion yuan.

A senior SAFE official said China wanted to achieve a state whereby it recorded a current account surplus and capital account deficit.

China’s international reserves fell 400 million yuan in the third quarter, with its foreign exchange (forex) reserve down by 2.6 billion yuan.

As of the first nine months, there was capital and financial surplus of 419.5 billion yuan, current account surplus of 939.7 billion yuan and healthy forex reserves, which were up by 907.3 billion yuan.

 

 

 

YICHUN, Heilongjiang 

>>  China jet captain jailed 3 yrs for crash killing 44

By Liang Shubin and Li Baojie

The captain of a passenger plane which crashed in northeast China four years ago was sentenced to three years in prison for misoperation.

The flight VD8387, which flied from Harbin to Yichun in Heilongjiang Province, crashed while attempting to land at the airport in Yichun on August 24, 2010. The disaster killed 44 people, including the co-pilot, and injured 52 others.

Captain Qi Quanjun, on his maiden flight to Yichun, violated operational rules by attempting to land the plane when visibility at the airport was below safety standards, causing the deadly disaster, said the Yichun district people’s court in the city of Yichun.

Qi also failed to properly evacuate the passengers and rescue the injured after the accident, as he left the plane without authorization, it added.

Qi has yet to decide whether he will appeal against the verdict.

 

 

 

CHANGSHA 

>>  China sentences 3 to death for drug dealing

By Han Xiaojing and Chen Wenguang

A court in central China’s Hunan Province has sentenced three people to death and two others to death with a reprieve on charges of drug trafficking, the court announced on Friday of December 19.

Another nine suspects received sentences ranging from four years in prison to life imprisonment, the Higher People’s Court of Hunan Province said.

The Changsha Intermediate People’s Court on Thursday convicted 14 members of the gang on charges related to drug trafficking cases involving almost 300,000 “magu” pills, a stimulant containing methamphetamine and caffeine, according to the court’s announcement.

The gang bought 180,000 magu pills in Xishuangbanna Prefecture in southwest Yunnan Province and transported the drugs to Hunan’s Changsha City to sell between July 2012 and March 2013.

In May 2013, gang members bought another batch of magu and were busted on their way back to Hunan Province, with about 114,000 magu pills seized at the scene, according to the court.

The three gang leaders were sentenced to death for organizing the drug gang, dealing drugs and allocating illicit drug money.

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  Eight car crashes in SW China kills at least 4

By Sun Xiaozheng, Huang Yi and Yu Li

At least four people were killed in eight separate road accidents on Friday morning of December 19 on a highway in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, local authorities said.

At around 9 a.m., a five-car pile-up resulted in a fire on the Cangshan section of the highway that links Chengdu and Nanchong. At least one person was killed in the accident.

Seven crashes followed the first incident, killing at least three people, the provincial work safety bureau said.

 

 

 

 

ZHENGZHOU 

>>  Two killed in construction site collapse

By Sun Xiaozheng and Li Junde

Two people were killed when a building under construction collapsed on Friday of December 19 in central China’s Henan Province, local authorities said.

The collapse happened at around 5 p.m. in Guangshan County. Eight people were rescued from the rubble, two of whom died later in hospital, according to the county government.

Further rescue work is underway.

 

 

 

JINAN 

>>  3 dead, 14 missing as boat capsizes off east China coast

By Teng Junwei and Li Baojie

Three people were killed and 14 remained missing after a sampan boat capsized off the coast of east China’s Shandong Province in a suspected human smuggling case on Thursday night, local police said on Friday of December 19.

The boat sank at about 20:30 on Thursday in the sea near a port in the city of Rongcheng and all 22 people on board fell into the water, the county public security bureau said in a statement.

Five were saved and three have been confirmed dead. The rest 14 missing are yet to be located.

An initial investigation alleged that the boat was being used for human smuggling.

 

 

 

 

Xi expresses condolences to victims of Pakistan’s terror attack

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Xi expresses condolences to victims of Pakistan’s terror attack

By Xiong Ping

Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday sent a message to Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain, expressing condolences to the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack in Pakistan.

Xi said in the message that he was shocked after learning of the grave terror attack in Peshawar, Pakistan.

In his own name and on behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi expressed deep condolences to the victims as well as sympathy and solicitude to those injured and family members of victims.

He stressed that China opposes any form of terrorism and strongly condemns this inhuman terror attack, noting China firmly supports the Pakistani government’s efforts to fight terrorism.

The Pakistani army said late on Tuesday of December 16 that an army-run public school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar was attacked by militants on Tuesday, and a total of 141 people, including 132 students, were killed and 133 others injured so far.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese premier offers condolences over Pakistan school attack

By Sun Ding

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday of December 17 extended condolences over a terrorist attack on a school in Pakistan that killed at least 141 people.

In a message to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Li said he was shocked by the news of the attack and the fact that many of the killed were children.

“I extend my condolences to you and the Pakistani government, and through you, to the Pakistani people,” said Li. He also mourned the dead.

Noting that both China and Pakistan are victims of terrorism, Li said China will continue to support the Pakistani government and people in their efforts to fight terrorism and safeguard security and stability.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese leader remembers Kim Jong Il

By Liu Dongkai

Senior Chinese leader Liu Yunshan attended a ceremony on the third anniversary of the demise of Kim Jong Il, former supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Beijing on Wednesday of December 17.

Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), presented a flower basket at the ceremony, in the name of the CPC Central Committee.

Liu, also a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, told DPRK ambassador Ji Jae Ryong that comrade Kim Jong Il had made significant contributions to inheriting and developing the traditional China-DPRK friendship.

He said the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary places great importance on the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK and is ready to work with the DPRK to maintain, consolidate and develop the traditional friendship.

Ji thanked Liu for attending the ceremony, which was held in the DPRK embassy, and expressed readiness to work with Chinese comrades to advance friendly relations between DPRK and China.

Wang Jiarui, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, and other senior Chinese officials attended the ceremony.

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS

>>  China calls for strengthened UN-AU cooperation

China’s top envoy to the United Nations on Tuesday of December 16 called on the world organization to engage in comprehensive cooperation with the African Union (AU) to better address threats to peace and security in Africa.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting that strengthened cooperation with the AU is needed for the promotion of multilateralism and for the development of an international collective security mechanism.

The envoy noted that nearly 70 percent of the UN Security Council agenda is related to Africa, and two-thirds of the UN peacekeeping operations are deployed in Africa.

“As the largest and most representative regional organization of Africa, the African Union plays an increasingly important role in regional peace and security affairs,” he said.

On peacekeeping, Liu said the United Nations should respect the will of Africa and actively support the AU’s peacekeeping efforts.

The United Nations should engage in comprehensive cooperation with the AU in security and development, and in different stages of confidence-building, conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and sustainable development, said Liu.

He asked the United Nations to help the AU build its peacekeeping capacity.

The United Nations should mobilize more resources to support Africa with early warning systems, peacekeeping deployment, good offices, mediation and effectively enhance AU’s peacekeeping capacity through personnel training, logistical support, information sharing and exchange of experience.

China has been a constructive participant in peace and security affairs of Africa, having deployed a cumulative of near 2,000 peacekeepers in seven peacekeeping operations in Africa.

China would like to increase the number of peacekeepers in the UN mission in South Sudan and has provided the AU mission in Somalia with many batches of assistance, said Liu.

China will continue to work with other countries to carry forward peacekeeping cooperation between the United Nations and the AU, Liu said.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON

>>  U.S. sets final dumping margins on China’s photovoltaic products

By Gao Pan

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday of December 16 set final dumping margins on imported photovoltaic products from China, paving the way for the U.S. government to impose punitive duties on the products in the months ahead.

The department made its affirmative final determination that crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from Chinese mainland and Taiwan had been sold in the United States at dumping margins ranging from 26.71 percent to 165.04 percent, and 11.45 percent to 27.55 percent, respectively.

The department also determined that producers and exporters of photovoltaic products from Chinese mainland received countervailable subsidies ranging from 27.64 percent to 49.79 percent.

Punitive duties would be imposed after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made an affirmative final rule, which is scheduled on Jan. 29, 2015. If the ITC makes a negative determination, the investigations will be terminated.

The investigations are in response to a petition filed by SolarWorld Industries America Inc. based in Oregon, which alleged that crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China were sold below the fair value of the products in the U.S. market, while Chinese producers and exporters also received improper government subsidies.

It was the second U.S. investigation against Chinese photovoltaic products after a similar one in 2011, which seriously affected the Chinese photovoltaic industry and hindered the development of U.S. photovoltaic application market.

China’s Ministry of Commerce has reiterated its calls for the United States to objectively and fairly handle ongoing solar trade disputes, honor its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s solar sector opposes U.S. anti-dumping ruling

By Zhan Yan

China’s solar sector on Wednesday of December 17 protested against an anti-dumping ruling set by the United States.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday set final dumping margins on imported photovoltaic products from China, paving the way for the U.S. government to impose punitive duties on the products.

It was the latest U.S. action against Chinese solar products after a similar one in 2011. It is an obvious abuse of trade remedy measures and a trade protectionism in disguise, said a statement issued by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.

Trade protectionism can hurt both countries’ solar industries and Chinese enterprises will take further measures to defend their rights within the legal framework, it said.

The Ministry of Commerce has reiterated its calls for the United States to objectively and fairly handle ongoing solar trade disputes, honor its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.

The U.S. Commerce Department made its affirmative final determination that crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan had been sold in the United States at dumping margins ranging from 26.71 percent to 165.04 percent, and 11.45 percent to 27.55 percent, respectively.

The department determined that producers and exporters of photovoltaic products from Chinese mainland received countervailable subsidies ranging from 27.64 percent to 49.79 percent.

Punitive duties would be imposed after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made an affirmative final rule, which is scheduled on Jan. 29, 2015. If the ITC makes a negative determination, the investigations will be terminated.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China voices “grave concerns” about U.S. anti-dumping judgement

By Zhang Xu and Wang Youling

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) expressed “grave concerns” about an affirmative judgement by the United States Department of Commerce Wednesday in its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into Chinese photovoltaic (PV) products.

The MOC said the judgement will intensify disputes in the PV trade and impair bilateral industrial cooperation.

The United States has previously imposed similar measures on Chinese PV products regardless of the facts and application of the law, and the verdict this time again abused the trade remedy measures, violating its obligation to follow the rules set by the World Trade Organization, the MOC said.

The PV industry plays a key role in the world’s sustainable development, making a proper solution in trade frictions necessary.

The ministry urged the United States to deliberate the serious consequences and handle trade frictions responsibly. China is considering safeguarding its own rights under the WTO framework and the U.S. judicial system.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China, ROK pledge closer legislative ties

By Xiong Zhengyan

Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang held talks with Chung Ui-hwa, speaker of the National Assembly for the Republic of Korea(ROK), on Wednesday of December 17 to promote bilateral relations, particularly legislative ties.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, said China-ROK relations show a strong momentum of development, thanks to the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping and ROK President Park Geun-hye.

The two presidents’ announcement of the conclusion of substantive negotiations on a China-ROK free trade agreement (FTA) last month will be an important milestone for bilateral trade, their economies and overall relations, Zhang said. It will exert crucial influence on the two countries and the region

On legislative ties, Zhang reviewed the frequent exchanges between the NPC and the ROK National Assembly, saying the exchanges are in tune with the overall trend of bilateral ties and the public opinions and will play a positive role in boosting bilateral relations.

He called on the NPC and the ROK National Assembly to implement the consensus of the two presidents, expand practical cooperation and bring bilateral strategic partnership to a new high.

He proposed the two legislative bodies increase experience sharing on state governance, rule of law, economic development and improvement of livelihood.

He called on the two legislative bodies to support the early signing of the FTA, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the investors and students who study in each other’s schools and offer a good legal environment for cooperation in all fields.

Zhang also called for the increasing role of legislative bodies as a platform to support regional and people-to-people exchanges and lay a solid social and public foundation for bilateral cooperation.

Chung Ui-hwa, who is on his first visit to China as the ROK’s speaker, said growing ROK-China ties have benefited both countries and worked for regional stability and development.

The ROK National Assembly would like to increase all-level exchanges with the NPC and make bilateral cooperation more productive, Chung said.

Chung will conclude his five-day China tour on Sunday.

 

 

 

NAY PYI TAW

>>  Chinese vice president holds talks with Myanmar counterpart in Nay Pyi Taw

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, who is here to attend the closing ceremony of the China- ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year, held talks with his Myanmar counterpart U Nyan Tun in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday, documents acquired here on Wednesday of December 17 showed.

As the practices of the past 64 years since China and Myanmar established diplomatic relations have shown, firmly sticking to the general direction of China-Myanmar Friendship, observing the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and developing long- lasting, healthy, stable bilateral ties are in the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, the vice president said.

Noting that China-Myanmar relations have made significant progress in the past year, Li said China would like to make joint efforts with Myanmar to strictly implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and relevant outcome documents.

He stressed both sides need to maintain high-level exchanges, enhance strategic communications and learn from each other’s governing experience.

China hopes to advance relevant projects in a coordinated and all-round way and enhance infrastructure connectivity under the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, he said.

China would also closely coordinate with Myanmar to strengthen cooperation in the power and agricultural sectors, and enhance exchanges in the fields of culture, youth affairs and media information, he added.

As the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Myanmar has played an important role in promoting China-ASEAN relations, the Chinese vice president said.

In 2014, China and the 10-member group initiated negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and held rich and colorful China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year activities.

China hopes to maintain close communication with ASEAN countries and push forward cooperative initiatives to benefit peoples of the two sides, Li said.

For his part, U Nyan Tun said Myanmar and China have developed close ties under the guidance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, bringing well-being to peoples of the two countries.

Noting that China has become Myanmar’s top investor and largest trade partner, he said Myanmar is looking forward to closer cooperation with China in various fields including economy, trade and investment, infrastructure, special economic zones construction as well as culture and education, to realize mutual development.

 

 

 

NAY PYI TAW

>>  China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year- 2014 closes in Nay Pyi Taw

The China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 ceremonially closed in Myanmar’s capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday night of December 16, demonstrating to the world that China and ASEAN have made rich achievements in cultural exchange and cooperation.

The China-ASEAN cultural exchange year was the first of its kind organized by China and the regional organization.

Starting April this year, under the theme of “Our Culture, Our Future,” China and countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperated to hold a variety of over 100 activities.

They included China-ASEAN cultural forum, film week, painting show, Nanyang cultural festival, China-ASEAN international car rally, covering performance, exhibition, personnel training and exchange, news, TV and video, publication, sports, tourist, religion and youth exchange.

Artists said the cultural exchange year has enhanced the spiritual link between peoples of China and ASEAN, and increased their mutual understanding and friendship.

 

 

 

PHNOM PENH 

>>  Int’l conference on Cambodia-China ties held in Cambodia

The 4th International Conference on the Cambodia-China diplomatic relations during the lifetime of late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk was held here on Wednesday of December 17, aiming to remember the achievements he had made in building Cambodia-China ties, officials said.

The two-day forum, organized by the Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, was attended by some 120 people, who are researchers, historians, professors and students, said Khlot Thyda, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

Ten speakers, including 3 Cambodian experts, 5 former Chinese ambassadors to Cambodia, and 2 Chinese academics, would share their knowledge about the establishment and development of the Cambodia-China diplomatic relations during the forum, she said.

“The conference is aimed to further deepen friendly relations between the two countries and to promote the excellent ties among younger generations,” she said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An said the Sino- Cambodian diplomatic ties were established on July 19, 1958 between then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk and former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and President Mao Zedong.

“The forum will provide opportunities to researchers, professors, and students to share views and experience, and to explore deeper understanding about the establishment, evolution, and importance of the Cambodia-China diplomatic ties,” he said.

He said that following the guidance of Norodom Sihanouk, the current Cambodian government, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, has continued to strengthen and expand diplomatic relations and cooperation between Cambodia and China, and the ties reached the level of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in 2010.

“Cambodia is China’s good brother, neighbor, friend and partner, ” Sok An said. “The Cambodian government continues to provide staunch support for the one-China policy.”

Meanwhile, he encouraged researchers to study, compile, and promote the histories, cultures, languages and diplomatic relations of the two countries among the peoples from all walks of life.

King Norodom Sihanouk died of illness at the age of 90 in Beijing on Oct. 15, 2012.

Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo said the conference was essential to promote the history of Sino-Cambodian relations among the younger generations.

“Norodom Sihanouk was a revered king for the Cambodian people as well as the Chinese people,” she said. “He had laid the foundation for Cambodia and China to build and expand friendly relations and cooperation in all fields, especially in politics, economics, and culture.”

The ambassador said the ties and cooperation between China and Cambodia have become stronger and stronger after having gone through numerous vicissitudes in modern times.

 

 

 

LJUBLJANA

>>  Slovenia approves financial incentive for Chinese-owned bus maker

By Zhao Yi

The Slovenian government approved on Wednesday of December 17 a 2-million-euro (2.48 million U.S. dollars) financial incentive for the Chinese-owned bus manufacturer TAM Durabus.

The Government Communication Office said in an official statement the approval of the incentive had been delayed several months due to a change in government.

The Maribor-based TAM Durabus, which relaunched bus production in the spring of 2013 after years of suspension due to financial problems, will use the government money to start the electric bus project which is estimated to cost 8 million euros.

The financial incentive, which is due to be paid out in 2015, will be paid off multiple times as the company is expected to contribute 5.2 million euros in corporate income tax in the next four years, said the Government Communication Office.

Currently, TAM Durabus, a solely Chinese-owned manufacturing company in Slovenia, has some 200 workers. It plans to create an additional 100 jobs in the next three years.

The bus maker produced 80 airport buses in 2014, and the production of 120 of the airport buses plus 40 coaches are planned the next year, according to a source from the company.

 

 

 

ANKARA

>>  1 Chinese tourist killed, 4 injured in hot air balloon accident in Turkey

By Zou Le

A Chinese tourist was killed and many others were injured when a hot air balloon hard landed in central Turkey on Wednesday of December 17, according to the Chinese embassy in Turkey.

The Chinese embassy in the capital Ankara has confirmed that the dead Chinese tourist is Tang Yi, a Chinese oversea students studying in UK.

Also in the accident, four other Chinese tourists were injured, and two of them, a female and a male, are with serious injuries. They are now under hospital treatment.

Two Chinese diplomats have rushed to the scene, while local investigation is underway, according to the chinese Embassy.

 

 

 

LOME

>>  Chinese bank to lend West African Development Bank 125 mln USD

By Sikula

The West African Development Bank (BOAD) is set to receive a loan of 100 million euros (about 125 million U.S. dollars) from the China Development Bank, a source from the regional bank’s headquarters in Lome said on Tuesday of December 16.

BOAD is a financial institution for the eight West African nations that make up the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

The credit line was approved by BOAD administrators during the bank’s administration council’s 95th ordinary session held on Monday.

In 2011, the same Chinese bank gave BOAD a credit line of 60 million euros to fund private sector activities in the UEMOA member states.

During Monday’s meeting, the regional bank approved loans totalling to 84 million dollars to fund projects in Mali, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin.

UEMOA member states include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

 

 

 

NAIROBI

>>  Chinese firm boosts rescue at Nairobi’s collapsed building

By Deng Yaomin

China’s supplier of construction machinery, XCMG, on Wednesday of December 17 joined rescue operations at a collapsed building in a residential suburb of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Executives said the company provided a truck crane and manpower to help clear debris at the site of the collapsed five-storey apartment.

“We have a duty to help people in need and answered a distress call when the building collapsed. This tragedy affects Kenyans,” XCMG Kenya Managing Director, Zhang Yuanxiang, told Xinhua at the scene.

The truck crane donated by XCMG can lift solid material weighing up to 50 tonnes and helped clear heavy concrete slabs that littered the low-income residential premises in downtown Nairobi.

During an interview with Xinhua, Zhang said his company has developed a corporate social responsibility for Kenyan communities.

“Besides assisting people caught in tragedies, we have been providing technical skills to Kenyan youth. Kenya and China are sincere friends in all aspects,” Zhang said.

He revealed that Kenyan officials requested XCMG to provide equipment to boost rescue efforts at the site of collapsed building.

One person was killed while 10 others were injured when the building collapsed in the wee hours of Wednesday. State agencies in charge of disaster operations mobilized personnel to rescue survivors and offer them treatment.

Equipment sourced from China had a strong footprint during the day-long rescue mission at the site of the collapsed building.

Zhang said staff members at XCMG had volunteered to assist local communities clear the debris and deposit it safely.

“My colleagues have provided their technical skills to strengthen rescue efforts and save lives. They will not rest until the last concrete slab is cleared from this place,” Zhang said.

 

 

 

ACCRA

>>  China’s Huawei gives face-lift to Ghana’s foremost library

By Alex Osei-Boateng and Lin Xiaowei

China’s Huawei Technologies handed over refurbished works of parts of the Accra Central library to the Ghana Library Authority at a short ceremony on Wednesday of December 17.

The Chinese company renovated the reference and lending room and gave the ICT room a total face-lift, all at a total cost of 129,000 U.S. dollars, to enable it to render optimal services to its patrons.

The rehabilitation work also covered painting, replacement of furniture, re-tiling and ceiling, laying of cables and the installation of networking equipment and air conditioners.

The ICT center which hitherto had only one computer was also equipped and can now boast of 30 new desktop computers and accessories.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Sun Baohong, said Huawei is one of the many Chinese companies that have made remarkable contributions to Ghana’s economic development, social progress and the improvement of people’s livelihood.

She said Chinese enterprises carry out extensive mutual beneficial cooperation with Ghana, employing a great number of local people, embark on technology transfer and human resources development and feedback the society in an earnest way.

“I wish Huawei a brilliant future. I wish the people of Ghana and the people of China continue to enjoy political stability and economic prosperity,” said Sun.

The Managing Director of Huawei Ghana, Russel Xu, promised that his outfit would continue the long-term collaboration with the Ghana Library Authority to promote the development of the library for the general public.

“In 2015, we will renovate other sectors including the children’ s reading room and bring more books, especially about China and ICT,” he said.

Edward Omane Boamah, Ghana’s Minister of Communications Edward Omane Boamah, commended Huawei for the gesture and asked other corporate bodies to emulate the Huawei example.

“There is a lot that government is doing. Government is investing in ICT and telecommunications, Huawei is benefiting from the government of Ghana. So I think it is good Huawei is reciprocating by providing this excellent facility.”

“Let me say that there are so many companies that are benefiting from the contracts that government of Ghana awards. The question is how many of them do we experience coming to challenged institutions like the Ghana library authority to assist them in terms of providing such services,” questioned Boamah.

The Executive Director of the Ghana Library Authority Kwaku Tenkorang Ofosu thanked Huawei Technologies for coming to the aid of the Central library and assured the company that they would take good care of the facilities.

The Chinese ambassador also donated books to the Ghana library authority.

Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, has provided ICT Solutions for the government of Ghana, including an Integrated National Security Communication System Project and a Comprehensive e-government Platform Project since its inception in 2005.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese vice premier meets former U.S. secretary of state

By Yang Yijun

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Wednesday of December 17 met with visiting former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

Hailing stable China-U.S. relations, close mutual contacts and new progress on bilateral cooperation, Liu called for the two sides to further pragmatic cooperation, deepen people-to-people exchanges and enhance mutual strategic trust so as to build a new type of major-country relationship.

Albright said she is willing to play an active role in promoting U.S.-China relations and cooperation in various fields.

Albright served as U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Senior CPC leader urges enhanced Asian media exchanges

By Tan Jingjing

A senior leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Wednesday of December 17 called for Asian media to enhance personnel and information exchanges to promote common prosperity and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks while meeting with delegates from ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea, who were in China to attend the 7th 10+3 media seminar.

“10+3” refers to the 10 member states of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The media forum, launched in 2007, has been serving as a platform to promote media exchange and cooperation among the 13 countries.

Liu said the 7th seminar, with the theme of jointly building the Maritime Silk Road and connecting Asia, helps to implement the “one belt, one road” plan proposed by China to create a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Calling the “one belt, one road” plan constructive, open and pragmatic, he said it offers opportunities for common development of the Asia-Pacific region and countries around the world.

Liu called on media from countries along the Maritime Silk Road to increase exchanges in personnel and news products and enhance mutual understanding and trust among people.

The media delegates praised the “one belt, one road” plan, vowing to enrich media cooperation among 10+3 countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the “one belt, one road” plan during two separate visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013, in a bid to revive the historic trade routes by boosting cooperation between China and other Asian nations.

Xi announced last month that China will contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to set up a Silk Road Fund on strengthening connectivity and improving cooperation in the country’s neighborhood, as he met with leaders of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tajikistan in Beijing.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Military newspaper vows no sanctuary for corruption

By Cheng Zhuo

The PLA Daily, flagship newspaper of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), vowed there will be no privilege or sanctuary of impunity for anyone in the country’s battle against corruption.

A commentary in the Wednesday edition of the newspaper under the byline of Wu Zhenghua rejected myths regarding the country’s anti-corruption drive, such as concerns that continuing the campaign may destabilize people’s morale and public trust, as well as doubts about whether the campaign will continue.

“The battle against corruption has entered a crucial tug-of-war stage,” the article said, adding that the anti-graft campaign is in line with the people’s expectations and that, as the campaign deepens, the Communist Party of China (CPC) and political environment in China will become even healthier.

“Thorough anti-corruption efforts will only boost the morale among the Party, the military and the public, not undermine it,” it said.

The article also noted that the situation facing the anti-decadence movement is still grave and complicated and will inevitably meet some kind of resistance.

“However, there will be no special area or sanctuary in the battle.”

“The anti-corruption campaign has already touched senior ‘tigers’ like Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou, and who will be left untouchable?” it said.

Moreover, it stressed that combatting corruption in the military is meant not only to punish a handful of corrupt officials but to ensure the fighting capacity and uncorroded nature of the country’s army.

It also blamed corruption as a hindrance holding back the country’s national defense and military reforms.

“As the army holds the country’s military power, and as it is a cornerstone of the Party’s rule, there must be no shelter for any corruption in it,” the article read.

“Flinching or failure will never be an option in the anti-corruption battle,” the article stated.

 

 

 

LANZHOU

>>  Four fugitives apprehended in NW China

By Sun Xiaozheng, Jiang Weichao and Cheng Nan

Police in northwest China’s Gansu Province have seized four suspects in an international manhunt since July, a senior police officer said on Wednesday of December 17.

“Gansu has targeted 17 fugitive suspects in eight countries including the United States, South Africa and Singapore,” said Xue Yutang with the provincial public security bureau, who is in charge of investigating business-related crimes.

Another 13 suspects are still at large, Xue added.

China launched the Fox Hunt 2014 operation in July to “block the last route of retreat” for corrupt officials at a time when China’s major crackdown on graft has already narrowed the space for abuse of power.

As of Dec. 4, a total of 428 fugitive suspects from more than 60 countries and regions have been captured. The campaign will last until the end of this year.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China improves maritime observation

By Liu Tong and Yang Weihan

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Wednesday of December 17 decided that current maritime observation capabilities are inadequate in an expanding marine economy facing rights challenges.

The SOA plans a comprehensive maritime observation network by 2020, covering coastal waters, the high seas and polar sea areas to cope with marine disasters and rights protection.

“There is still a wide gap between China and some developed countries in terms of maritime observation methods, infrastructure and technical support,” read a statement from the SOA.

The program also laid out major pre-2020 tasks, such as construction of radar stations, a Tsunami warning observatory, undersea observation and satellite operations.

Aside from an expanding marine economy, China has faced with more maritime challenges in recent years, including the search for flight MH370, which disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China farm produce prices up slightly

By Rong Jiaojiao and Liu Yangyang

China’s farm produce prices in 36 large and medium-sized cities edged up slightly in the week ending Dec.14 compared with the previous week, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday of December 17.

The average price of 18 vegetables went up 2.5 percent in the time period. The prices of radish and eggplant rose 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

Last week, the prices of pork and beef declined 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, and mutton rose 0.5 percent. The average price of aquatic products increased 0.5 percent, and the egg price dropped 0.1 percent.

The rice price stayed flat and flour price rose 0.3 percent, according to the ministry.

Food accounts for about one third of China’s consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation.

China’s CPI grew by its slowest pace in five years in November, rising by 1.4 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

This is the third month in a row that China has seen its CPI rise within 2 percent. For the first 11 months, inflation grew 2 percent, well below the 3.5 percent full year target set by the government.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s bond market grows rapidly in first 11 months

By Zhang Zhengfu and Liu Zheng

China’s bond market grew 20.5 percent in the first 11 months of the year, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said in a report on Wednesday of December 17.

A total of 10.2 trillion yuan (about 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars) worth of bonds were floated from January to November, said the PBOC.

In November, 821 billion yuan of new bonds were issued, up by 33.5 percent over the same period last year but dropping 11.1 percent from October.

By the end of November, commercial banks are the top holders of the bonds, with 44.3 percent of those issued during the first 11 months.

Governments and companies can issue both treasury and corporate bonds for financing. Buying bonds is relatively safe tool for investors to manage their money.

 

 

 

NINGBO

>>  East China city opens new port area

By Sun Xiaozheng, Zheng Li and Huang Ruipeng

The Meishan port area of east China’s Ningbo Port opened on Wednesday of December 17, with the capacity of handling the world’s largest container ships.

The new port area in east China’s Zhejiang Province has plans to build 15 berths for container ships from 70,000 to 100,000 tonnes and 16 berths for container ships from 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes.

So far, five of the larger berths are complete, and estimated annual throughput is three million standard containers. Throughput this year is expected to reach 1.4 million standard containers

The Meishan port area now boasts 30 shipping routes.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  BMW to recall 846 cars in China

By Zhang Zhengfu and Xu Bo

BMW China and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. will recall 846 cars in China due to manufacturing defects, according to China’s top quality authorities on Wednesday of December 17.

The cars to be recalled include 436 BMW 320i, 328i, 428i and M3, which were made between September 2014 to October 2014 and imported to China by BMW China, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

The recall will also involve 410 automobiles of BMW 316i, 316Li, 320i, 320Li, 328i, 328Li, and 328Li xDrive made by BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., a joint venture between BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., from November 2014 to December 2014, said the AQSIQ.

Some of the cars have defects in the safety belts of the front right seats. When the temperature is below zero degree Celsius, it tends to be very difficult or impossible to pull the belts out, said the AQSIQ.

The two companies will check the recalled cars and change defective safety belts for free, it added.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Severe overloading behind fatal China school van crash

By Zuo Yuanfeng

Both vehicles involved in a tragedy that killed 11 kindergarten children last month were overloaded to almost twice their capacity, an official investigation has declared.

At around 8 a.m. on November 11 on a section of road still under construction in east China’s Shandong Province, a truck collided with a minibus carrying 14 children. The minibus’s driver and 11 children were killed.

The truck in question was laden with over 24 tonnes of grit, despite its design capacity being under 13 tonnes. Fifteen were aboard a school minibus only supposed to carry eight. The minibus in question had neither a school bus license nor road transportation license. It was hired by an “oral contract” between the driver and the head of the kindergarten.

“The kindergarten enrolled nearly a hundred children despite poor basic safety conditions and no regular school buses. It illegally hired an unlicensed driver to pick up children in a vehicle that did not meet safety standards. The minibus carried too many children and was on an unfinished road,” said an Education Ministry statement.

The ministry investigation found five other kindergartens in the same city, Penglai, also using unlicensed school buses.

The ministry instructed local authorities to check all student buses on a school by school basis and keep records for each vehicle, but only roadside checks can eradicate the use of unqualified vehicles as substitutes.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Public Security began a nationwide road safety campaign to reduce such accidents, many of which involve children in poor quality buses.

Three children died in a deja vu collision on Dec. 2, also in Shandong and also involving a truck.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Karaoke fire sparks increased inspections

By Cheng Lu, Lu Guoqiang, Wang Fei and Yu Li

Tough fire prevention inspections are going on in China’s entertainment venues after a fatal fire in Henan Province killed 11 people.

Beijing fire department Wednesday ordered a thorough inspection of all entertainment venues. Those failing to reach safety standards must suspend operations.

Inspectors will check fire prevention facilities, interior decoration materials, exit signs and emergency lighting, and ensure the emergency exits are not blocked.

Similar inspections are underway in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

All entertainment venues in Xinjiang were asked to close and may only reopen after inspection. Fire-control training and education will also be enhanced in the region.

The inspections come after eleven people were killed and 24 injured in a Karaoke fire in Henan on Monday.

 

 

 

CHANGSHA

>>  China court official kills two in car crash

By Sun Xiaozheng and Chen Wenguang

A court official in central China’s Hunan Province hit and killed two people with the car he was driving on Wednesday morning of December 17, local authorities said.

The accident took place at 8:20 a.m. at an intersection in Chenzhou City, when Li Zhihui, vice president of Suxian district court, was on way to office driving an official car.

An initial investigation showed that Li jumped a yellow light and hit a motorcycle carrying two people. One died at the scene and the other died later in hospital.

Further investigation is underway.

 

 

 

CHANGSHA

>>  Pedestrian overpass in central China collapses

By Sun Xiaozheng and tan Chang

A pedestrian overpass in downtown Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, collapsed on Wednesday night of December 17, local police said.

The bridge destroyed two cars, and at least one person was killed, according to witnesses.

The overpass is on Wanjiali Road. Traffic is disrupted.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s food poisoning deaths drop in third quarter

By Fu Shuangqi

A total of 42 people died of food poisoning in China in the third quarter, a year-on-year reduction of 8.7 percent, said the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday of December 17.

The number of people who suffered food poisoning increased by 26.1 percent to 2,482, said a statement from the commission.

The number of cases increased by 11.5 percent to 68.

About 52.1 percent were caused by bacteria, and most cases occurred at home, according to the statement.

The commission will carry out more campaigns to help the public develop healthy eating habits.

It also urged schools, catering services and restaurants to raise hygiene standards.

 

 

 

 

China strongly condemns terrorist attack on Pakistan school

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China strongly condemns terrorist attack on Pakistan school

By Xiong Zhengyan

China on Tuesday of December 16 strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a school in Pakistan.

“We are deeply shocked and grieved by the attack and condemn in the strongest terms the terrorists,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement issued on Tuesday night of December 16.

Qin’s comments came hours after Taliban militants attacked an army-run public school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar on Tuesday afternoon.

Local media in Pakistan quoted hospital sources and unidentified security sources as saying that 137 people were killed and 245 others injured.

China extends heartfelt condolences to the victims and expresses deep sympathy to the wounded and the families of the victims, Qin said.

Stressing China opposes terrorism in any form, Qin said China will continue to firmly support the unremitting Pakistani efforts to fight terrorism, safeguard national stability and save people’s lives.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China expresses mourning for the dead in Sydney cafe siege

By Bai Jie

A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday of December 16 expressed mourning for the innocent victims in the Sydney cafe siege.

“China opposes any violence against innocent civilians,” spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily press briefing.

“We express sincere condolences and deep sympathy to the Australian Government and people and families of the dead and the injured,” said Qin.

Sydney’s cafe siege ended in tragedy early Tuesday morning with three dead — including the lone gunman — as police stormed the cafe.

Police confirmed that two of the hostages — of the 20 that had been held since 9:45 a.m. on Monday — were killed and at least four others were injured, one of them a police officer.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China expects progress from fresh round Iran nuke talks

By Tan Jingjing

China on Tuesday of December 16 expressed optimism for the latest Iran nuclear talks which begin in Geneva on Wednesday, vowing to play a constructive role in promoting a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Wang Qun, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry department of arms control, will head the Chinese delegation to the talks, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press briefing.

Iran and the world powers have agreed to extend the talks until June 30, 2015, giving more time and room for maneuver, Qin said.

He urged parties concerned preserve the momentum of negotiations, find a consensus in a step-by-step and reciprocal way, striving for a mutual-beneficial comprehensive nuclear deal as soon as possible.

After the deal between Iran and the P5+1 group on Nov. 24, 2013, several rounds of talks have failed to work out a comprehensive agreement. Under the interim deal, Iran will suspend some sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief of sanctions.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China not manipulating yuan: MOC

By Zhan Yan

China is not manipulating the yuan for exports, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang on Tuesday of December 16.

Exchange rates are not a major factor affecting or determining trade imbalances between China and the United States, he said.

China has been reforming its exchange rate system and expanded the floating rang in March, bringing more fluctuation, Shen said, adding that many factors have contributed to the results, for example, the limits set by the Unites States on its exports to China.

The ratio of U.S. high-tech exports to China against China’s total imports of similar products dropped to 8.6 percent in 2013 from 18.3 percent in 2001, Shen said.

The yuan has appreciated 10.1 percent this year against the euro, 10.8 percent against the yen and 4.2 percent against the pound sterling. The yuan’s real effective exchange rate rose 2.37 percent in the first ten months.

Shen made the remarks at a monthly press conference, in response to a statement by William Reinsch, vice chairman of the United States-China economic and security review commission, that China had lowered its yuan exchange rate to boost exports.

The congressional commission was set up in October 2000 to monitor and investigate national security and trade issues between the United States and China.

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  SW China sends Ebola team to Guinea-Bissau

By Sun Xiaozheng and Dong Xiaohong

A team of public health experts from southwest China’s Sichuan Province will go to Guinea-Bissau to train health workers in Ebola prevention, the provincial health commission said on Tuesday of December 16.

The team of three will set out on Thursday to conduct 32 days of training session in Guinea-Bissau for about 500 local health staff.

As of October, China had sent 450 public health experts and medical workers to west Africa, building laboratories and treatment centers.

 

 

 

TIRANA

>>  Albania PM hails “new epoch of cooperation” with China

By Benet Koleka, Ymerali and Liu Lihang

Albania has signed a memorandum with China to build the road of the Arber (old name of Albanians) on Monday’s night, ushering in a new epoch of cooperation between the two countries that are re-connecting their old ties.

The construction of the road of the Arber, signed between Albania’s Finance and Transport Ministers and China’s Exim Bank, would become “the first project that will open the curtain on a new epoch of cooperation between Albania and China,” Albanian prime minister Edi Rama wrote on Facebook on Tuesday of December 16.

The projects to be financed by Chinese Exim Bank are the first over more than three decades and signal both China’s involvement in its former friend and Albania’s need for foreign financing while its debt-ridden economy struggles to grow.

Speaking from Belgrade where he is attending the third meeting of leaders of China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), Rama posted pictures of his ministers after signing memorandum of understanding “to open a site of projects in Albania with Chinese financing”.

The deals with China received a thumbs-up in the Albanian press, with commentator Arben Rrozhani calling China “The Lion Albania needs”.

He regretted that Albanian governments, focused on joining the European Union, had neglected without an “historical and economic logic the invaluable help the country would have received along these two decades from the unstoppable Chinese investments.”

“Albania shut the door to the investment powerhouse as tens of other countries opened theirs to the third biggest investor in the world. Now our neighbours are rushing to draw Chinese investments,” added Rrozhani, the editor of the Shekulli daily, owned by a lawmaker of Rama’s Socialists.

Valbona Zeneli, an Albanian scholar at the George C. Marshall European Centre of Security Studies, said China was building assets and buying far-sighted shares in a region strongly connected to Western Europe.

Alqi Kociko, an Albanian journalist who has visited China, said it was time Albania considered the Chinese chances of investments seriously, to make sure it did not lose it like aid from Western Germany in the late 1980s.

Rama, the prime minister, received overwhelming approval in his Facebook page from commentators. “Well done, China is very powerful,” commentator Ana Maria wrote on his page.

 

 

 

 

COLOMBO

>>  Maldives to officially join China’s maritime silk route policy

By Uditha

The Maldives will officially join China’s Maritime Silk Road Project on Tuesday of December 16 during the first ever China-Maldives joint commission on economy and trade, local media reported.

A high level delegation of cabinet ministers will participate in the discussions with the Chinese government. The Maldives will also officially join the trade route during the meeting.

“With projects such as oil exploration and bridge construction in the agenda for discussion, the meeting will benefit economies of both countries. This is a great achievement to us as well,” Minister of Economic Development Mohamed Saeed told local media outlet Haveeru.

An MoU establishing a Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation was one of a raft of agreements signed during the historic visit of President Xi Jinping to Maldives in September.

The Maldivian delegation sent to Beijing also includes Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Mohamed Shainee, and Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussein Shareef.

Shainee told media that discussions would be held with two Chinese companies regarding the search for oil, adding that the opportunity for neighboring countries to join the search would be available.

China has already agreed to construct a bridge connecting the airport island with capital Male and upgrade the international airport.

After a team of Chinese surveyors carried out a feasibility study into the bridge project last month, ministers told reporters that they would seek to expedite the project while in Beijing.

China also accounts for one third of all tourists visiting the Maldives.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen last week laid the foundations for 704 housing units in the island of Hulhumale, part of an arrangement for 1,500 to be built by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation another of the government’s mega-projects.

 

 

 

 

UNITED NATIONS

>>  Photo exhibition on Maritime Silk Road opens at UN headquarters

By Shi Xiaomeng

A photo exhibition on Maritime Silk Road opened at UN headquarters on Monday of December 15, showing trade and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world over 2,000 years ago.

The exhibition selected photos of around 200 artifacts, including porcelain, silk, pottery, ancient coins to present a prosperous picture of trade along the Maritime Silk Road, which wound its way from East Asia to East Africa and to Europe via the Red Sea.

“Today’s exhibition brings back those old memories — camel bells braving the deserts; vessels lining up the ports; envoys exchanging pleasantry; and foreign merchants rubbing shoulders on the streets,” said Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN when addressing the opening ceremony.

Liu also mentioned China’s two initiatives to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and to develop a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, saying that they represent China’s firm commitment to the rejuvenation of Asia and to harmony and development in the world.

“The Belt and the Road are getting off the ground, with the inception of a Silk Road Fund recently announced by the Chinese government and the signing of an MOU on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank by over 20 countries in Asia,” he added.

“The photo exhibition today will showcase how the Chinese nation interacted peacefully with other nations in the past, and how the philosophy of peace and common prosperity has underpinned and will continue to guide China’s present-day diplomacy,” he said.

The exhibition will last five days till Dec. 20.

 

 

 

 

NAY PYI TAW

>>  Myanmar president meets Chinese Vice President in Nay Pyi Taw

Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao here on Tuesday of December 16.

With deepened “Pauk-phaw” friendship between the peoples of China and Myanmar, the bilateral ties have achieved important progress this year, with leaders of the two countries having reached consensus on deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation, and announced a number of new cooperation proposals and measures, Li said.

China is ready to join hands with Myanmar in strengthening strategic communication and implementing signed cooperation agreements, bringing into full play the bilateral cooperation mechanism, especially the newly established ones, deepening cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, power, agriculture, finance, technology, law and security, education and culture, and boosting bilateral cooperation on major projects to serve the improvement of livelihood of the two peoples, Li said.

Congratulating Myanmar on its assumption of the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Li said that China always places priority to ASEAN in its neighborhood diplomacy, and is dedicated to forging a closer China- ASEAN community with a common destiny and building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

China is looking forward to implementing the “2+7 Cooperation Framework” proposal, further upgrading the China-ASEAN strategic partnership along with the ASEAN countries for the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the region, Li said.

For his part, Myanmar President U Thein Sein said that Myanmar values the traditional friendship with China.

He expressed gratitude to the China’s support for Myanmar and other ASEAN countries in their connectivity construction.

Myanmar highly values China’s participation in the construction of its special economic zones, and is ready to push for prompt progress of bilateral cooperation projects.

On the same day, Li also held talks with his Myanmar counterpart U Nyan Tunand and attended together with him the closing ceremony of the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year 2014.

 

 

 

 

NAY PYI TAW

>>  Cultural exchange year to push China-ASEAN relations to higher stage: Chinese vice president

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao said on Tuesday of December 16 that the holding of China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 was to enhance the spiritual link between peoples in the region, increase traditional friendship and push China-ASEAN relations to a higher stage.

Li made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the China-ASEAN Cultural Exchange Year-2014 in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday night.

He recalled that during this year, China and ASEAN countries jointly organized a variety of over 100 activities including cultural show, film week, car rally which were welcomed by peoples of respective countries.

China was able to made positive progress in jointly building cultural centers with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, he said.

He voiced support for ASEAN’s Community Building, expressing China’s wishes to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, deepen the implementation of “2+7 Cooperation Framework” and create a closer China-ASEAN common destiny.

China is the first dialogue partner to have established strategic partnership with ASEAN and also ASEAN’s top trading partner as well.

China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) also represents the biggest FTA among developing countries, he noted.

According to Li, trade between China and ASEAN amounted to 346. 5 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters of 2014, up 7.5 percent correspondingly.

In face of international financial crisis, major natural disaster and communicable disease outbreak, China and ASEAN have mutually helped each other and overcome many difficulties, Li said, concluding that China-ASEAN cooperation has become an example for regional cooperation.

He believed that the China-ASEAN cultural exchange year would contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

 

 

 

 

DUBAI

>>  China poised to be largest export market for GCC countries by 2020

By Liu Yuqian

Asian countries, China and India in particular, are poised to become the biggest trading partners of the six Arab oil states of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries, said a report released on Tuesday of December 16 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Dubai-based Falcon and Associates.

According to the study entitled “GCC Trade and Investment Flows,” China will be the largest export market for the GCC countries by 2020. The six GCC countries are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

“Between 2010 and 2013, GCC-China trade grew faster than with any other significant trade partners,” said the report.

Chinese investment is also rising in construction and wholesale trade and retail, with over 3,000 Chinese companies registered in Dubai (up from only 18 in 2005).

Cong Hongbin, managing director of Invest Dubai, Falcon and Associates, called the trend “a new era” of Asian growth as countries revisit and reinvest in the New Silk Road.

“Dubai is at the very centre of this. In 2013, China was Dubai’s second largest trading partner, and was on course to overtake India after 21.9 bn dollars of trade was recorded in the first six months of this year,” he said.

There are 270,000 Chinese nationals living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), most of them in the emirate of Dubai.

In anticipation of the expanding East-East ties, the four major Chinese banks ICBC, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China, have been setting up branches in Dubai since 2008.

On the other hand, the two biggest UAE lenders, Emirates NBD from Dubai and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, expanded their offices to mainland China.

Last week, the UAE’s third lender by market value, First Gulf Bank, said it was considering expanding to mainland China. The major UAE lenders have established Renminbi banking services in recent years in order to serve the growing Sino-Arab trade ties.

 

 

 

HOHHOT

>>  Mongolia’s Hormokhan wins China-Mongolia teenager five-a-side soccer tournament

By Yu Jia

Mongolia’s Hormokhan team won the China-Mongolia teenager five-a-side football tournament on Tuesday of December 16 in Erenhot, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

There were three Chinese teams and two from Mongolia attending the tournament.

In the final, Hormokhan beat China’s Baotou Jianjiang Club 6-3.

Erenhot, bordering Mongolia, has been a bridgehead for China’s economic, trade and cultural ties with its neighbor.

In July, China’s education ministry laid out plans to establish football tournaments in primary, junior and high schools as well as colleges.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China expects progress from fresh round Iran nuke talks

By Tan Jingjing

China on Tuesday of December 16 expressed optimism for the latest Iran nuclear talks which begin in Geneva on Wednesday, vowing to play a constructive role in promoting a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Wang Qun, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry department of arms control, will head the Chinese delegation to the talks, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a regular press briefing.

Iran and the world powers have agreed to extend the talks until June 30, 2015, giving more time and room for maneuver, Qin said.

He urged parties concerned preserve the momentum of negotiations, find a consensus in a step-by-step and reciprocal way, striving for a mutual-beneficial comprehensive nuclear deal as soon as possible.

After the deal between Iran and the P5+1 group on Nov. 24, 2013, several rounds of talks have failed to work out a comprehensive agreement. Under the interim deal, Iran will suspend some sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief of sanctions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to lower tariffs on some imports

By Shi Hao, Han Jie and Gao Li

The Finance Ministry announced on Tuesday of December 16 that it would lower import tariffs on some goods from Jan. 1 to support industrial development and to refine the trade mix.

Without elaborating on its time frame or the reduction details, the ministry said that the provisional tariff levy would see rebates lower than even those reserved for countries under the Most Favored Nation category.

Applicable imports include advanced manufacturing machinery and components, environmental protection equipment, resources, drugs and some consumer goods.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to revise 2013 GDP by about 3 pct

By Liu Xinyong and Wang Xi

China’s statistics authority will revise its gross domestic product (GDP) figure for 2013 by about 3 percent after a latest national economic census.

Ma Jiantang, chief of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), told a press conference on Tuesday of December 16 that the revision is made as more detailed data became available after the third economic census conducted this year.

The adjustment will be around 3 percent, lower than that for the previous two censuses, Ma said, adding that the revised figures will be released on Friday.

After the second census in 2009, the NBS revised up the 2008 GDP figure by 4.5 percent. Preliminary data showed that China’s GDP stood at 56.88 trillion yuan (9.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2013, up 7.7 percent year on year.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s manufacturing activity at 7-month low: HSBC

By Liu Xinyong and Wei Biao

China’s manufacturing activity dropped to a seven-month low, according to the HSBC’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released on Tuesday of December 16.

The HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for December dropped to 49.5 from November’s final reading of 50, HSBC said in the report.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that represents contraction.

“The manufacturing slowdown continues in December and points to a weak ending for 2014. The rising deflationary pressures, which fundamentally reflect weak demand, warrant further monetary easing in the coming months,” said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 1.4 percent in November, the slowest pace in five years, indicating weak aggregate demands.

The country’s gross domestic output (GDP) expanded by 7.3 percent year on year in the third quarter of this year, the slowest quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2009.

Its GDP growth for 2014 may stand at 7.4 percent, in line with the government’s annual target of around 7.5 percent, according to a research group led by Ma Jun, chief economist of the central bank’s research bureau.

 

 

 

 

WUHAN

>>  Third south China economic zone boss investigated

By Sun Xiaozheng, Li Pengxiang and Tan Yuanbin

Xiong Changfen, deputy director of a provincial level economic development zone in south China’s Hubei Province has been placed under investigation, the provincial disciplinary watchdog said on Tuesday of December 16.

Xiong is the third official from Xianning economic development zone to be investigated this year, following Yang Qi, director of the construction management bureau, in May and Cheng Chuanli, another deputy director in November.

 

 

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  Guangzhou opens emergency shelters for the homeless

By Sun Xiaozheng, Wu Tao, Wang Houqi and Lai Yuchen

Guangzhou has opened emergency shelters to protect the homeless during the current cold snap, local authorities said on Tuesday of December 16.

Low temperatures and strong winds have affected south China’s Guangdong Province since Monday, bringing temperatures in central and northern parts of the province down below 5 degrees Celsius, according to the provincial meteorological station. Some regions may experience temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius from Wednesday.

The Conghua District of Guangzhou City issued an orange alert for low temperatures at 9 p.m. Tuesday, meaning all cold shelters should be available.

“The shelter in Yuexiu District has received 21 vagrants since Dec. 5, however, homeless people in the region far exceed that number,” said Hu Zhanquan, from the civil affairs bureau of Yuexiu District.

Guangzhou is home to multiple rescue stations, which offer free hot water and food to vagrants.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese shares close higher Tuesday

By Jiang Xufeng

Chinese shares extended rallies on Tuesday of December 16, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index (SCI) rising for the third straight trading day, ending up 2.31 percent at 3,021.52 points.

Rallies over the past three trading days saw the index move beyond the psychological threshold of 3,000 points, with brokerage firms, coal stocks and insurance stocks leading Tuesday’s gains.

The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 10,668.62 points, up 1.56 percent.

The combined turnover on the two bourses expanded to 792.88 billion yuan (129.59 billion U.S. dollars) from 711.8 billion yuan the previous trading day.

During Tuesday’s trading, brokerage firms rose across the board with more than a dozen stocks rising by the daily limit of 10 percent on profit prospect of securities traders in the future.

Coal shares also rose on expectations of a halt in price cuts, as seasonal factors may drive up coal demand. Guizhou Panjiang Refined Coal Co. Ltd. rose 9.96 percent to 11.37 yuan per share.

The insurance sector also led gains, with China Life, the nation’s largest life insurer, surging 7.5 percent to 25.09 yuan per share. Ping An Insurance Company of China, Ltd. rose 8.81 percent to 63.1 yuan apiece.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission announced on Monday a venture capital fund scheme that will facilitate insurance capital investment for small companies and start-ups. Up to 200 billion yuan of insurance capital is predicted to be unleashed through the initiative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

China strongly opposes discriminatory U.S. House bill

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China strongly opposes discriminatory U.S. House bill

By Zhang Zhengfu

China expressed dissatisfaction and strong opposition on Sunday to a bill passed by the United States legislature which includes clauses biased against Chinese firms.

The discriminatory clauses concerning China, which are included in the fiscal year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 11 (local time), “violate the rule of fair trade and send wrong signals,” said Sun Jiwen, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.

“China expresses dissatisfaction and strong opposition to this,” he added.

According to the bill, the appropriations are banned from being used to import China-made processed poultry products for Chinese meal programs in U.S. schools.

The appropriations are also banned from being used by some U.S. government departments to purchase information technology systems made by Chinese companies, and banned from being used for issuing commercial satellite licenses to China.

“These clauses would not only affect normal business cooperation between companies of the two countries, but also damage the U.S. own interests,” Sun said.

“China urges the U.S. to take substantial measures and correct its wrong practices, thus creating a good environment for the healthy development of China-U.S. economic and trade relations,” he added.

 

 

 

DOCUX 

>>  News Analysis: Upcoming China-CEEC summit to inject fresh idea into China-EU ties

By Sun Yi

As the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) is to kick off on Tuesday of December 16 in Serbia, European scholars viewed it will bring new opportunities to deepen not only China-CEEC ties but also China-EU relationship.

Leaders from CEEC as well as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the meeting. The 16+1 meeting mechanism was launched in 2012 as a platform for China-CEEC cooperation, and 11 out of the 16 countries have joined the European Union (EU) and the other five have also set a target for the membership in the bloc.

TIES BECOME MORE INTENSIVE

Nirj Deva, Chairman of the EU China Friendship Group within the European Parliament, said relations between China and the CEEC have garnered increasing attention over the past year.

The two-way trade volume hit 50 billion U.S. dollars from January to October of this year, seeing a 10.1 percent year-on-year growth.

He said moreover, the 2008 economic crisis highlighted the potential dangers of CEEC’s reliance on the economic ties with western Europe as western Europe demand fell.

“In such a light, the CEEC likely view every investor as a blessing, diversifying their collective economies and potentially mitigating further shocks to global trade,” said Deva.

Justyna Szczudlik-Tatar, a China analyst with the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), said in recent 2-3 years, China-CEEC relations are definitely more intensive than previous, with many summits, meetings, dialogues which are taking place under the 16+1 format or bilateral relations.

“In that sense China and CEEC are re-discovering with each other,” she said.

She noted that it is very important as for more than two decades, the relations with China were not very intensive as CEEC were focused on “turning back to Europe” approach, such as membership in NATO, and did not have enough capabilities and financial resources to closely cooperate with distant partners such as China.

“Now we are catching up and China’s interest in CEEC puts us on the agenda,” she said.

NOT DETRIMENTAL TO OVERALL EU-CHINA TIES

Shada Islam, policy director of think-tank Friends of Europe, said initially many in the EU institutions were wary of the 16+1 dialogue, seeing it as detrimental to overall EU-China relations. But she thought those fears have now eased.

“EU member states — small and big — should seek stronger bilateral ties with Beijing. And China is clearly interested in doing the same with EU member states,” she said, adding that in fact, this relationship could act as a catalyst to inject fresh thinking and ideas into the wider EU-China conversation.

Szczudlik-Tatar said to some extent 16+1 format is a stimulus for EU-China relations, noting the format upgrades CEEC position in the EU.

What is more, future results of 16+1 cooperation such as Chinese investments in CEEC, rise of trade relations and improvement of connectivity under the Silk Road concept all will be beneficial for the EU and EU-China relations as these projects and activities may narrow the development gap between Western and Eastern part of Europe and improve connectivity with China, she said.

“Additionally, interests of China and Europe are convergent: China wants to export to Europe, but we do not want to limit Chinese import which is necessary for us. China wants to import goods such as food, while we have high-quality, rather cheap, safe and tasty food. China wants to locate investments, we are interested in attracting them from China,” she said.

ESSENTIAL LINK IN NEW SILK ROAD

Given its geographical location, CEEC are going to be an essential link in China’s Silk Road initiative and in fact these countries believe that such connectivity is very important for their future economic growth and welfare, including the creation of jobs, said Islam.

China and Europe already have direct cargo connections. Szczudlik-Tatar said from Polish perspective, best examples are Chongqing-Xinjiang-Duisburg train, which travels across Poland, and two direct connections of Chengdu-Lodz and Suzhou-Warsaw lines between China and Poland, which were opened last year.

Szczudlik-Tatar said at the Belgrade summit that China, Hungary and Serbia are expected to finalize a contract for building Hungary-Serbia high speed railway and construction will start in 2015.

“New transport connections may facilitate connections inside Europe as well,” she said.

Deva said the current connectivity between CEEC and China appears to be one of mutual benefit. Whilst CEEC’s individual economies will likely flourish from a fresh injection of investment, and CEEC offer China potential for fresh export markets and entry points into the wider European internal market.

“Such a mutual gain will in all probability bind the two sides together,” he said.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Commentary: Economic integration a key part of SCO

By Wu Xia

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is generally viewed as a security bloc, but the changing circumstances in the region has made economic cooperation an equally important strategic goal.

The upcoming prime ministers’ meeting of the SCO, which consists of China, Russia and four Central Asian countries, is likely to unveil new measures to boost economic integration among member states.

In fact, the six-member organization has been expanding fast into economy and trade, although security issues remain at the top of the SCO agenda.

The bloc has created mechanisms such as the SCO Business Council and SCO Interbank Consortium. Trade volume between China and other member states jumped from 12.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2001 to 130 billion dollars in 2013. Their economic output totaled 14.9 percent of the world economy, compared with just 4.8 percent in 2001.

The scale and level of multilateral economic cooperation among member states, however, remain underdeveloped compared with their tightening security relations. Covering about three-fifths of the Eurasia landmass and a quarter of the world’s population, the bloc could unleash great potential in trade and investment to benefit the lives of billions of people.

As is the case with many multilateral mechanisms, a strong economy serves as a sound basis for broad-based cooperation. Joint initiatives in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and finance would not only keep up the momentum of the regional bloc, but also help build consensus among member states.

Given multiple risks and uncertainties in the world economy, such as looming deflation, tumbling energy prices, and thorny geo-political issues, SCO members should join hands to prop up growth.

A good opportunity is China’s proposal of building a Silk Road Economic Belt. The idea was first brought up by President Xi Jinping during a visit to Central Asia last year, and has since witnessed China’s tangible commitments, including the 40-billion-dollar New Silk Road Fund set up in November to directly support the initiative.

Boosting connectivity along the ancient Silk Road will bring strategic benefits to countries in the SCO. The establishment of a Eurasian transport corridor in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road will spur trade and investment between Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

This year’s prime ministers’ meeting is expected to implement the consensus reached by presidents of the member states in September, and make specific arrangement on security and economic cooperation.

Security and economic cooperation, the two “wheels” of the regional bloc, will reinforce each other in the pursuit of long-term peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

More than a decade after its inception, the SCO has become a key part in the security system of the Eurasia continent. There is much to expect from its economic action.

 

 

 

COLOMBO

>>  Sri Lanka reiterates good ties with China, India

By Easwaran Rutnam

Sri Lanka said on Sunday of December 14 that it has good ties with both China and India as both countries have played a key role in the economic development of the island nation.

“We have a foreign policy which is not based on exclusivity. We do not make choices between countries,” Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris told The Sunday Leader newspaper. “Both countries have helped us. They have invested and participated in the development of infrastructure.”

“We have excellent relations with both countries,” he said.

Sri Lanka has seen a boost in its ties with China and India in recent years, particularly as some western countries, led by the United States, look to hold the government responsible for human rights abuses during the final stages of a 30-year civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

He blamed some western diplomats in Sri Lanka for “crossing the line,” saying it was wrong for foreign missions to associate with elements involved in criminal activity against the interests of Sri Lanka.

 

 

 

BANGKOK

>>  Bus accident injures 11 Chinese in Thailand

By Zhang Chunxiao and Chang Tiantong

A total of 11 Chinese tourists were injured after a tour bus overturned in south Thailand’s Phang Nga province on Sunday of December 14, China’s consular office in Phuket said.

While heading from Phuket province to Phang Nga, the bus rolled over on the road slippery with rain, injuring 11 Chinese tourists and two Thai guides, the office quoted local police as saying.

Five of the injured Chinese are being treated, mostly for bone fractures, in two Phuket hospitals, it said.

The other six suffered from slight injuries, and are currently helping with the police investigation, the office added.

 

 

 

QUITO 

>>  Collapse kills 13, injures 12 in Chinese hydroelectric plant in Ecuador

By Kong Xiaohan

A tunnel collapse in a Chinese hydroelectric plant in Ecuador’s Amazonian region Saturday night killed 13 workers, including three Chinese and 10 Ecuadorians, and injured another 12.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa confirmed the death of the 13 workers in a “serious” accident in Sucumbios state, where the plant is located.

Correa wrote in Twitter: “13 confirmed dead: 10 Ecuadorians and three Chinese. A supportive hug to their families and co-workers.”

The injured people have been taken to hospitals in Lago Agrio and Lumbaqui, according to Andes, Ecuador’s official news agency.

Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant, located in Sucumbios province (northeast), 150 km east of the capital Quito, is currently under construction.

According to the National Risk Management Ministry, the accident was caused by a “collapse in a tunnel” that affected the high-pressure pipes inside the engine room.

Coca Codo Sinclair, the largest hydroelectric plant project in Ecuador, is constructed by Chinese company Sinohydro starting from 2010. It is expected that the plant will begin operation in 2016.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China sweeps four titles at the 9th FINA Synchronized Swimming World Trophy

By Su Bin and Zhou Xin

With thematic duet and free combination victories, hosts China claimed all four gold medals at the 9th FINA Synchronized Swimming World Trophy here on Sunday of December 14.

The two-day tournament featured four competition events: synchro highlight routine, thematic duet, free team routine and free combination, attracting synchronized swimmers from Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Ukraine. Solo is shown as the exhibition.

China clinched two titles in synchro highlight routine and free team routine on Saturday.

In Yingdong Swimming Gymnasium, the hosts’ duet Li Ang and Ma Shuang performed Beautiful Girls who are keen on singing, collecting a top-ranked 95.3330 points.

The Russian duet, Anastasia Bayandina and Daria Bayandina, finished second, 3.4995 points behind Li and Ma. The Mexican duet Delgado Blanca and Diosdado Nuria finished in the third place with 89.8335 points.

Under the theme Heroines, the Chinese team finished top in free combination with a total of 96.3335 points. The Russian and Spanish team was placed second and third with 95.1665 and 92.8335 points, respectively.

“It shows persistence and softness of women in a modern society. It’s what we did to claim the title in National Games last year, and we put something new into it,” said Yu Lele, Chinese synchronized swimmer.

After all four events were concluded, China ranked first with a total of 382.6665 points. Russia finished second with 370.8335. The third place went to Canada, who got 362.8335.

“We performed very well today with the materials. I like World Trophy better than other events because it is more creative and impressive,” said Silvia Hernandez Mendizabal, coach of Spain.

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  Kim wins Hyundai China Ladies Open again

By Li Kun

China has proven twice as nice for South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo this year.

Six months after winning the Kumho Tire Ladies Open in Shandong during the summer, the world No. 9 captured her second Hyundai China Ladies title on Sunday with a dominant seven-under 65 performance for a two-stroke victory in Guangdong province.

The 19-year-old Kim, who won China’s national championship in 2012 two months after she turned pro, finished the tournament on 14-under 202 over the Mission Hills World Cup Course. She earned 110,000 US dollars for the victory in the 550,000 US dollars tournament, a co-sponsored event between the China LPGA Tour and the Ladies PGA Tour of Korea.

“The win is great. It’s a great start to a new season. I think Korean fans won’t forget me, even if I went to the US to play,” said Kim who posted her seventh victory worldwide in 2014. It was also the ninth consecutive year that a South Korean had won the tournament.

The Wonju native, winner of the 2014 KLPGA Order of Merit on the strength of five domestic victories, got off to a strong start in the opening event of the South Korean tour’s 2015 season when she reeled off five consecutive birdies starting at the second hole. She would post three more birdies with her only dropped shot of the round coming at the par-three 13th hole.

“My iron play was fantastic on the front nine, I left many birdie chances within 10 feet and I converted some,” she said.

“But I saw the leaderboard entering the back nine and I saw that (Chun) In-gee made a great run and was very close to me, which made me more focused on my game.”

Compatriot Chun finished runner-up after closing with a 66 to sit at 12-under 204. China’s Lin Xiyu secured the China LPGA Tour Order of Merit title when the 18-year-old closed with a 68 to finish the championship at nine-under 207, tied for equal third with South Korean Jang Ha-na (67) at five shots back.

Chun, the glamor girl of the KLPGA Tour, briefly caught Kim at the 14th hole when she registered the eighth birdie of her round to get to 13-under. It was as close as she would get, however, as she could only play par golf back to the clubhouse before a bogey five at the last.

“I’m not disappointed with my result, but a little bit disappointed with the last hole. I tried to have a bogey-free round, but the last hole I made a mistake and three-putted from the back edge of the green,” said Chun.

“I’m satisfied with this round. I didn’t know Kim’s score so I didn’t think about the win. I just played my game. I like China. I like the Chinese fans and I would come back next year.”

US LPGA Tour regular Lin put up a valiant fight to become the first Chinese to win the national championship when she carded five birdies through her first 13 holes. A double-bogey six at the 14th proved her undoing as she fell out of contention. A late birdie three at the 17th hole gave her a share of third place.

“I’m happy with this finish. I saw the leaderboard at the turn and I knew a win was far away from me. But this is my best finish in this event,” said the Guangzhou native who won back-to-back tournaments in Hainan Island last month.

“For the past month I played great, now I have won the money title. That’s great. That’s awesome.”

With the Order of Merit crown, Lin, Pan Yanhong (75) and one other will receive entry into the field for next year’s US Women’ s Open for being the top-three players in the money race.

Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-chi (68) was the tournament’s top amateur after finishing at four-under 212. The 19-year-old announced earlier that she will turn pro for the 2015 season. Wang Ziyi was the best of the Chinese amateurs as the 16-year-old carded her third consecutive round of 72 to finish the tournament at even-par 216.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese vice premier meets U.S. think tank members

By Liu Dongkai

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang met here Sunday with a group of top U.S. think tank members.

The two sides exchanged views on China-U.S. economic links and other issues of common interests.

The American guests include Brent Scowcroft and Joseph Nye, the co-chairmen of the Aspen Institute of the United States. They are in Beijing to attend the second China-U.S. Policy Dialogue, which is held in the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China(CPC) from Saturday through Monday.

The China-U.S. Policy Dialogue is a non-official, non-profitable and open forum for Chinese and U.S. think tanks and experts to exchange views on China-U.S. relations and other issues of global significance. The forum is co-sponsored by the Party School of the CPC Central Committee and the Aspen Strategy Group.

The first policy dialogue was held in Washington in June, 2013.

The current dialogue is aimed to provide policy consultation for both countries’ decision makers on building a new type of major power relationship between China and the United States.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Lock-up shares worth 78.9 bln yuan eligible for trade

By Zhan Yan

Lock-up shares worth 78.9 billion yuan (12.93 billion U.S. dollars) will become eligible for trade on China’s stock markets during the next week.

The volume soared sharply from 28 billion yuan in the previous week.

A total of 4.61 billion shares of 24 companies will be tradable on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

New China Life Insurance Co., Ltd. will see non-tradable shares worth 37.48 billion yuan become tradable on Tuesday, the highest amount from any one company to hit the stock market next week.

Under China’s market rules, major shareholders of non-tradable stocks are subject to one or two years of lock-up before they are permitted to trade the shares.

 

 

 

HARBIN

>>  Gas explosion at NE China coal mine kills 10

By Li Jianping and Cheng Yunjie

All ten people trapped underground after a gas explosion at a coal mine in Jixi City in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province have died, said the local safety watchdog.

Rescuers have retrieved their bodies from the Xingyun Colliery in Jidong County, according to a statement from the provincial production safety supervision and administration bureau.

The explosion occurred at 10:10 a.m. on Sunday of December 14. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Cold front to hit China

By Zhan Yan

A cold front will bring dropping temperatures to much of China in the next three days, the national observatory forecast on Sunday of December 14.

Snow will hit Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Guizhou and the western parts of northeast China on Sunday, the National Meteorological Center said.

Blizzards hit parts of Tibet on Saturday and will continue on Sunday.

Temperatures will drop up to 10 degrees Celsius in parts of northwest China, Inner Mongolia, northeast China and regions along the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.

Temperatures in these regions will be up to 3 degrees Celsius lower than the average for the same period in previous years.

 

 

 

 

Carbon trade in Beijing tops 100 million yuan

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON

>>  China, OAS ink two cooperation agreements

By Zhou Erjie

China and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed two cooperation agreements on Friday of December 12.

The agreements on a China-OAS cooperation fund and on a human development and scholarship program were signed by Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, and OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza.

The signing of the agreements is a milestone in the China-OAS relationship and a new starting point for the two sides to deepen cooperation, Cui told the signing ceremony.

The year 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of China’s permanent observer status in the OAS.

Over the past decade, China has promoted high-level exchanges between the two sides and actively taken part in OAS activities, Cui said.

“Looking back to the past 10 years, we are very pleased and proud that China has become one of the most active observers of the OAS,” the Chinese ambassador added.

Hailing China’s active role in the OAS in the past decade, Insulza said China has made important contributions to the bloc in such areas as regional integration, sustainable development and environmental protection.

Established in 1948, the Washington-based OAS now has 35 member states across the Americas and has granted permanent observer status to 69 states and the European Union.

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Airbus Chinese venture delivers A350 XWB rudders

By Qian Chunxian and Jiang Xufeng

Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC), a joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners, began delivering locally manufactured rudders for the wide-body Airbus A350 XWB this week.

The rudders manufactured at HMC will be delivered to an Airbus site in Germany, where they will be fixed to the A350 XWB vertical stabilizer, and then delivered to the A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in France, said the company.

Rudders are one of the major components that HMC manufactures for the Airbus A350 XWB program. Airbus and Chinese authorities signed an agreement in 2007 for five percent of the A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China.

“This is an important milestone for the manufacturing center and for our long-term partnership with the Chinese aviation industry as well. Airbus is delivering the first A350 XWB this year on track. HMC will play an important role in contributing to the ramp-up and the success of the program,” said Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, Airbus China chief operating officer.

HMC was put into production in 2009. It mainly produces components for Airbus A320 series and A350 XWB.

 

 

 

MADRID 

>>  Chinese pair take bronze in ISU Grand Prix Final

By Fu Min

Chinese pair Sui Wenjing and Han Cong leapfrogged compatriots Peng Cheng and Zhang Hao to bag a bronze medal in the ISU Grand Prix Final in Barcelona on Saturday of December 13.

Sui and Han finished fifth on 127.65 points in Saturday’s free skate after a slightly flawed routine to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini.

Still the pair managed to find a spot on the podium thanks to their third finish in the short program.

Peng and Zhang wound up the fourth and another Chinese duo Yu Xiaoyu/Jin Yang ranked fifth.

Canadian pair Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford won the pairs title and Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov of Russia took silver.

The men’s competition saw Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu defend his ISU Grand Prix Final title despite a fall in the free skate in the elite six-skater event.

The 20-year-old Olympic and world champion led all the way to win with an overall total of 288.16 — almost 35 points ahead of his Spanish training partner Javier Fernandez who took silver with 253.90.

Russia’s Sergei Voronov took bronze with 244.53.

Teenager Elizaveta Tuktamysheva led a Russian one-two in the women’s competition as the 17-year-old posted 203.58 to put Russia back on top of the women’s podium for the first time in 10 years.

She took the gold ahead of 15-year-old Elena Radionova, with American Ashley Wagner, 23, moved up from last to third.

 

 

 

SHENZHEN 

>>  Kims in control at Hyundai China Ladies Open

By Cao Jianjie

South Korean players dominated the leaderboard at the Hyundai China Ladies Open on Saturday of December 13 in Guangdong as former champion Kim Hyo-joo (67) and Kim Ji-hyun (68) shared the second-round lead at seven-under 137 at the national championship.

Overnight leader Kim Char-young (72) and Chun In-gee (69) were one shot back at the 550,000 US dollars tournament at Mission Hills, while Lin Xiyu was the top Chinese player as the US LPGA Tour regular shot 71 to sit equal fifth, two shots off the pace with South Koreans Jang Su-yeon (70) and Yeom Hye-in (70).

In a co-sponsored event that marks the final tournament of the China LPGA Tour season and the opening event of the 2015 LPGA Tour of Korea season, world No. 9 Kim Hyo-joo served strong notice that she intended to repeat as the KLPGA Order of Merit champion.

After taking the title with five wins in the 2014 season, Kim Hyo-joo carded a round of six birdies and a lone birdie over the World Cup Course to put herself in contention for her second Hyundai China Ladies Open crown after capturing the 2012 title.

“Today I made less mistakes than yesterday, therefore my score is better. After four weeks of rest I felt a little bit rust, and even today didn’t find my touch. I can’t say I have confidence in my game, but tomorrow, I believe, that if I have my normal game I can win this,” said the 19-year-old, who earlier this year won the Evian Championship in France.

“I can’t say now how I will handle myself tommorrow, and if I could be aggressive or conservative, because the weather could be very different. Any good plan could be wasted,” she said. “I don’t think I could be a threat to others. I am youngest among leaders. They are experienced professional players who wouldn’ t worry about me.”

Kim Ji-hyun, a two-time winner on the KLPGA Tour, said she improved today because the weather and the course conditions were a lot better than in the first round. Her round included five birdies and one bogey.

“I had few mistakes so I had a better round. When you are making birdies you usually hit good irons and putt well. I did that today,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s hard to win because of the intense competition, but if you keep the ball in play and have great approach shots you have a chance.”

Despite playing in the warmer afternoon conditions, China No. 2 Lin Xiyu could not make a move up the leaderboard. After starting the day two shots off the lead, the Guangzhou native got to six-under after birdies on her opening two holes. She then had consecutive bogeys at the fourth and fifth holes and made the turn at even-par 36. On the back nine, she carded eight straight pars before finishing with a birdie three to stay in contention.

“I’m satisfied with my score, especially with a birdie at the last hole. My goal is under par each round,” said the 18-year-old. “Yesterday I overachieved, today I made it. I like my position. If my putter works (in the final round) I have a chance. I’m chasing the leaders and I have no pressure.”

China’s Wang Ziyi (72) and Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-chia (70) were the top amateurs as the teenagers were at even-par 144 through 36 holes, seven shots behind the leaders.

 

 

 

SHENZHEN 

>>  Leading scores at Hyundai China Ladies Open second round

By Wang Haoming

Following are the leading second round scores of the Hyundai China Ladies Open on Saturday of Decembr 13 (China unless stated):

* denotes amateur

137 – Kim Ji-hyun (South Korea) 69-68, Kim Hyo-joo (South Korea) 70-67

138 – Kim Char-young (South Korea) 66-72, Chun In-gee (South Korea) 69-69

139 – Jang Su-yeon (South Korea) 69-70, Yeom Hye-in (South Korea) 69-70, Lin Xiyu 68-71

140 – Lee Min-young (South Korea) 72-68, Jang Ha-na (South Korea) 69-71, Kim Hae-rym (South Korea) 74-66

141 – Kim Ji-hyun (South Korea) 70-71, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro (Thailand) 75-66, Seo Yeun-jung (South Korea)

142 – Ko Jin-young (South Korea) 73-69

143 – Chien Pei-yun (Chinese Taipei) 67-76, Ha Min-song (South Korea) 73-70, Jang Ji-hae (South Korea) 73-70

144 – Lee Jeong-eun (South Korea) 72-72, Wang Ziyi* 72-72, Ahn Shin-ea (South Korea) 72-72, Kim Hae-youn (South Korea) 74-70, Kim Bo-kyung (South Korea) 69-75, Choi Yoo-lim (South Korea) 75-69, Cheng Ssu-chia* (Chinese Taipei) 74-70, Choi Hye-jung (South Korea) 72-72, Byun Hyun-min (South Korea) 73-71, Bae Seon-woo (South Korea) 74-70

 

 

 

BERLIN

>>  Wolfsburg to sign Beijing Guoan’s Zhang Xizhe

By Felipe Smith

Wolfsburg is just ahead of the signing of Beijing Guoan’s youngster Zhang Xizhe, the “Wolves” confirmed in a statement on their official homepage on Saturday of December 13.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder is expected to land in Wolfsburg on Saturday evening to smooth all things for the signing.

“We have to sort out the last details. We are confident that we can agree on a transfer and to introduce him officially as our new player next week. He is a young player with potential for development. We trust in him although the step from the Chinese Super League into the Bundesliga is a big one. We will of course give him the time he needs,” Wolfsburg manager Klaus Allofs said.

Zhang Xizhe played since 2009 for Beijing Guoan to score 24 goals in 121 appearances. He will be the first Chinese player who plays the Lower Saxony side.

As part of the transfer and the increasing cooperation with China, Wolfsburg announced that they will provide their homepage in Chinese starting from Monday.

The “Wolves” sit on the second place of the Bundesliga table, ten points adrift of front-runners Bayern Munich. Dieter Hecking’ s men will have the chance to restore the seven-point gap as they encounter newly promoted Paderborn on Sunday.

 

 

 

HOHHOT 

>>  China sweeps monthly wrestling event

By Yu Jia

China’s wrestler Altansuh won the title in a monthly wrestling league competition attending by 16 wrestlers from China and Mongolia on Saturday of December 13 in Hohhot, capital of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

There are nearly 130 wrestlers from China, Mongolia, Russia, the United States, South Africa and other countries or regions competing in the eight monthly competitions and one final contest, in which the winner will bag one million yuan (about 161,726 U.S. dollars) bonus.

After four rounds in this month’s competition, China’s Altansuh won the champion and China’s Sengarbu finished second and they both made it to the finals.

Wrestling is one of the Mongolian traditional sports. Before the start of a contest, traditional hymn would be sung to encourage wrestlers and heighten the atmosphere.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Carbon trade in Beijing tops 100 million yuan

By Han Xiaojing and Wei Mengjia

Carbon trade volume in Beijing has reached 105 million yuan (17 million U.S. dollars) since a carbon emissions trading scheme was launched in the city a year ago, the Beijing Environment Exchange announced.

According to Wang Yang, head of the exchange’s carbon trade center, a total of 719 deals worth 2.1 million tonnes in carbon quotas had been traded as of Friday.

Beijing, home to one of seven pilot carbon emissions trading schemes, started carbon trading on November 28, 2013.

More than 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide had been traded across the country as of early December, with a trade volume of more than 500 million yuan (80.8 million U.S. dollars).

The country has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40 to 45 percent per unit of GDP by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

 

 

 

JINAN

>>  Drug gang busted in China

By Han Xiaojing and Wu Shuguang

Chinese police have busted a drug gang operating in several provinces, the police department of the eastern province of Shandong said on Saturday of December 13.

Police arrested 25 suspects in their campaign against the gang. Three methamphetamine labs have been busted, with 14 tonnes of drug production materials and drug-making equipment seized.

Police in Shandong working with help from police in Hebei and Henan provinces discovered that a suspect surnamed Zhang and another two drug gang members were transporting a large amount of drug production materials to a meth lab in Jiaxiang County, Hebei Province. Another two meth labs were found about the same time.

The 25 drug gang members were arrested while working in the meth labs on Nov. 22.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China Construction Bank to issue preference shares

By Jiang Xufeng

China Construction Bank (CCB), one of four major banks in China, on Saturday announced it plans to sell no more than 600 million preference shares to raise up to 60 billion yuan (9.8 billion U.S. dollars) in a private placement.

The issuance is targeted at qualified domestic investors, and the plan will be subject to approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), according to the bank’s filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The plan aims to boost the bank’s tier-one capital, improve its capital quality, and sustain healthy business development, said the CCB.

To help banks meet new global capital rules known as Basel III, the CSRC announced new rules in March of this year for a pilot program allowing eligible companies to issue preference shares.

Preference shares, along with common shares, are two primary types of stocks that companies offer to investors. Preference shareholders have priority rights over ordinary shareholders in distribution of profits and residual assets.

Unlike common shares, preference shares function more like a bond. They are rated by major credit-rating companies and their prices are affected by changes in interest rates.

 

 

 

SHIJIAZHUANG

>>  Three kids killed in north China kindergarten collapse

By Zhong Qun and Qi Leijie

A house in a north China kindergarten collapsed on Saturday afternoon of December 13, killing three kids and injuring three others, local authorities said.

The collapse occurred in Chunlei Kindergarten in Yongqing County, Hebei Province at around 4:15 p.m., according to the county government.

The injured have been rushed to a local hospital for treatment, and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

 

 

 

 

GUIYANG 

>>  Fire engulfs ethnic village in SW China

By Zhong Qun and Li Jianyu

A fire engulfed an ethnic village in southwest China’s Guizhou Province Friday afternoon, with more than 60 houses destroyed, local authorities said on Saturday of December 13.

The fire broke out at around 3:40 p.m. in Jiuji Village, Jianhe County, affecting 619 residents, according to the county government. It was extinguished at 6 p.m., with no casualties reported.

Jiuji is one of the biggest and best preserved villages of the Miao ethnic minority. It was selected by China as a UNESCO World Heritage site nominee in 2006.

An investigation is under way.

 

 

 

XI’AN

>>  Four trapped in NW China coal mine fire

By Han Xiaojing, Li Shufeng, Zhang Chenjun and Xu Rui

Rescue work has been suspended due to toxic gas in a coal mine where four workers are trapped underground in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, local authorities said on Saturday of December 13.

All rescuers had been evacuated from the coal mine as of 1:30 p.m., and the situation of the four trapped workers is still unclear, according to authorities.

A fire happened at about 11:30 a.m. Friday in the shaft of a colliery run by Xinhe Coal Mining Company in Chengcheng County, when 10 workers were doing some repair work underground, the county government’s information office said in a statement. Six workers escaped, leaving four trapped in the mine.

Experts are currently working to create a new rescue plan.

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  Expressway pileup kills 12 in south China

By Han Xiaojing and Zheng Tianhong

Twelve people were killed and another three were slightly injured in an expressway pileup early on Saturday morning of December 13 in south China’s Guangdong Province, local authorities said.

The accident happened around 2 a.m. on the Yuegan Expressway, which links Guangdong’s Heyuan City and Jiangxi’s Ganzhou City, when a truck loaded with wood rolled over due to faulty brakes, causing a collision with the following three trucks, a mini bus and a car. The following five vehicles caught on fire after the collision.

The injured people have been hospitalized, and traffic will be resumed soon, authorities said.

 

 

 

 

 

China concerned about U.S. Senate torture report

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China concerned about U.S. Senate torture report

By Wu Chen

Chinese media coverage of a much-anticipated report released by the United States Senate, on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) torture of terrorists suspects after the September 11 attacks, gripped the nation on Wednesday of December 10.

Ironically, the report, which included a list of the ten major interrogation techniques used by the CIA, was released on the eve of Dec. 10, Human Rights Day — the day the world honors the United Nations’ (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

State television China Central Television (CCTV) covered the story during its early morning program, with its Washington D.C. correspondent, Wang Guan, focusing on the brutality and questionable effect of the brutal interrogation techniques the CIA used on detainees, who it held without trial on the basis that they were suspected members of al-Qaeda.

“[The questioning under torture] didn’t result in Osama bin Laden being found, according to the report,” said Wang Guan, adding that the CIA had also lied about the number of detainees it had tortured.

It was also revealed that the interrogators would not face criminal charges despite the fact that their behavior violated U.S. laws and the Geneva Convention.

CCTV’s 15-minute coverage also exposed that before its release the long-delayed report had undergone editing due to political pressure.

The anchorman called the report “a heavy slap in the face of the American government”, which has long portrayed itself to be a defender of human rights.

Although most of Wednesday’s morning newspapers missed releasing of the report due to publishing deadlines, the Beijing News, which has a daily circulation of more than 500,000, still managed to dedicate a whole page to the story with a map detailing where and how torture had occurred.

The paper also quoted former U.S. president George W. Bush, who, during an interview with CNN, said that the CIA were “patriots”.

The Communist Party of China-run Global Times ran a front-page story on the report on Tuesday, based on foreign media coverage, analyzing the content and possible impact the report would have.

In addition, the Internet has been abuzz with the news, with users of Chinese social media passionately debating the report’s content.

Observers attributed the Chinese public’s interest in the report to the blatant contradictions between what the U.S. said it did and the actually reality.

Netizens criticized the interrogation techniques used by the CIA, which not only violated the International Human Rights Law but also ran contrary to the values the U.S. claims to uphold.

However, opinion was divided, with some saying that although the way in which the U.S. treated these suspects was wrong, counter-terrorism efforts should continue.

The 6,000-page report, released by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal CIA documents.

It said that the CIA repeatedly misled the public, Congress and the White House about its aggressive questioning and torture of detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; downplayed the brutality of the interrogation methods; and exaggerated how much the information it gathered had informed their investigation.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON

>>  U.S. sets final dumping, subsidy rates on China’s calcium hypochlorite

By Zheng Qihang

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday of December 9 set final dumping and subsidy rates on imported calcium hypochlorite from China, signaling that it may impose punitive duties on the products.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is scheduled to make its final determination around Jan. 22, 2015.

If the ITC reaches an affirmative final determination that these products materially injure or threaten material injury to the U.S. industry, the Commerce Department would issue anti-dumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders. Otherwise, the investigations will be terminated.

The Commerce Department launched the anti-dumping and countervailing duties probes over Chinese calcium hypochlorite products in January requested by Arch Chemicals based in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Calcium hypochlorite is often used in the chlorination of water in residential and commercial swimming pools. Imports of these products from China were estimated at 8.1 million U.S. dollars last year, according to U.S. official data.

Beijing has repeatedly urged Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s human rights status improved: spokesman

By Wang Huihui

China’s human rights status has continuously improved, a spokesman said on Human Rights Day on Wednesday of December 10.

China attaches great importance to promoting and protecting human rights and has given priority to the 1.3 billion Chinese people’s rights to existence and development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

China has made great efforts to achieve economic and social development,resulting in the improvement of people’s living standards. China has steadily advanced democracy and the rule of law and earnestly implemented the Constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights, Hong said at a regular news briefing.

The third plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee last year and the fourth plenary session this October outlined China’s comprehensive reform and advancing of the rule of law, again demonstrating China’s confidence and will to promote and protect human rights, Hong said.

He reiterated that China supports constructive dialogue and cooperation based on an equal footing and mutual respect and has held exchanges with many countries to increase understanding and narrow differences.

China has actively participated in the human rights agenda under the UN framework and opposes politicizing human rights issues or having double standards, he said.

China has worked with other countries to deal with human rights issues in a fair, objective and non-selective manner and contributed to the development of international human rights, he added.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Spokesman: China to continue aid to Maldives

By Liu Dongkai

China will continue to provide aid to the Maldives, which is struggling with a severe shortage of water, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday of December 10.

“We will keep close contact with the Maldives side and [review] subsequent aid measures based on the [situation in] the Maldives,” Hong said at a regular press briefing.

A fire at the Maldives Water and Sewage Company Thursday damaged some of the company’s equipment and forced suspension of water supplies to about 150,000 residents of Male, capital of the Maldives.

China has already sent hundreds of tonnes of fresh water via air and sea to the archipelagic state, with a navy rescue ship harbored at Male to treat seawater to ensure sufficient drinking water.

The Chinese government has also donated 500,000 U.S. dollars to the Maldives government to speed up repairs at a desalination plant.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, who cut short an overseas trip and returned home Saturday night, expressed gratitude to China for its prompt assistance, especially lauding the speed at which China sent water to the Maldives and its offer of emergency financial assistance.

Hong said this move reflects that China regards its neighbors as a common community with a shared destiny.

 

 

 

SINGAPORE

>>  Partners launch media fund in Singapore targeting Chinese market

By Chen Jipeng

Three partners from China and Singapore launched a 100 million U.S. dollars private equity fund in Singapore on Wednesday of December 10 targeted at China’s growing media and entertainment industry.

It was believed to be the first non-Renminbi denominated fund dedicated to investments in China’s media entertainment industry, the partners said.

The fund, which is to be based in Singapore, was jointly launched by Yu Dong, founder and chairman of NASDAQ-listed Bona Film Group Limited, Singapore private equity fund Tembusu Partners and media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng.

Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and the Second Minister for Communications and Information Lawrence Wong witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the three parties.

The partners said that the fund will leverage on Singapore’s legal framework and status as a financial hub to attract investors from and outside the region.

“China’s media and entertainment industry is forecast to overtake Japan’s by 2018, and become the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States,” Yu said.

China’s film market is now the second largest in the world, and its TV industry is set to surpass that of Britain and Germany by 2016.

 

 

 

 

MILAN

>>  China gains importance in global alcoholic beverages market: Dagong Europe

By Marzia de Giuli

China is gaining in importance in the international spirit, beer and wine market, Dagong Europe, the Milan-based European branch of Chinese rating agency Dagong Global, said in a new report published on Wednesday of December 10.

According to the report, Europe is challenged by subdued macroeconomic environment and declining alcohol consumption, with its leadership as the world’s largest alcoholic beverages market being chased by Asia.

The value of today’s global alcoholic beverage industry, estimated at around 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars, is generated 36 percent by Europe, 28 percent by Asia and 36 percent by North America.

In the past decade, however, while the European market has been declining by an average of 0.9 percent year on year, the Asian alcoholic beverage market has grown by 3.9 percent year on year, Dagong Europe noted.

In particular, China was gaining in importance in the global alcoholic beverages market, Richard Miratsky, sector head of the Corporates Analytical Team at Dagong Europe, commented.

“Despite a drop in premium and super-premium spirits caused by the recent anti-extravaganza campaign, large international manufacturers were continuing to enter strategic alliances with Chinese manufacturers,” he elaborated.

China’s wine segment in particular was expected by Dagong Europe to offer high growth potential, with opportunities for European winemakers supported by high demand, favorable import duty regulation and increasing free-trade agreements.

The report said China today consumes 0.38 liters of wine per person per year, which is very low compared to 42 liters in Portugal and 38 liters in France. However, its 38 million wine consumers make China the fifth largest wine market globally, after the United States, Italy, France and Germany.

China leads red wine consumption, with 1.86 billion bottles sold in 2013, up 136 percent versus the previous year, according to the report. In the 2007-2013 period, the red wine market grew by 175.4 percent in China, while it declined by 5.8 percent in Italy and 18 percent in France.

Since China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, custom duties on wine imports have significantly dropped, and several commercial agreements have been signed between China and wine manufacturing countries.

China has become the target of premium Italian and French wine manufacturers, who have been strongly investing in promotion. At present, 80 percent of the wine consumed in China is produced by local manufacturers and only 20 percent is imported, but the import rate was growing and Dagong Europe expected the trend to continue.

 

 

 

PRETORIA

>>  Forum on China-Africa cooperation fruitful

By Guo Xinghua

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said that the 10th Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which was held in South Africa’s Pretoria delivered fruitful results across the African continent.

Zhang said that FOCAC had traversed an extraordinary path since its inception in 2000, and with the expansion of the FOCAC family and improvement of its mechanisms, the forum has guided and driven the fast development of China-Africa relations across the continent.

When talking about the achievements of China-Africa cooperation, Zhang said that the trade volume between China and Africa has grown rapidly, reaching 210 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, 21 times than that of 2000.

For every 100 dollars worth of goods exported by Africa in 2013, nearly 20 dollars of them were bought by China, in comparison with the mere 3 dollars in 2000.

Investment and financing cooperation between China and Africa has moved forward fast. China’s total direct investment in Africa is nearly 30 billion dollars and Chinese commercial loans to Africa have exceeded 50 billion dollars, with cooperation projects all over the African continent.

Personnel exchanges between the two sides have become increasingly close. In 2013, 1.895 million visits were made by Chinese with Africa as their first stop and 553,000 visits were made by African people to China.

Zhang told Xinhua that it is under the guidance of FOCAC that China-Africa solidarity and cooperation, which started in the 1950s, have gained greater relevance and strength in the new century.

“China and Africa have gained tremendous benefits from their cooperation, and more importantly, built a strong bond of brotherhood,” Zhang added.

FOCAC will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, and China is ready to work with the African side to ensure the success of the sixth FOCAC Ministerial Meeting and elevate the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a higher level, the vice minister said.

 

 

 

NAIROBI

>>  Chinese firm launches mega housing project in Kenya’s coast

By Deng Yaomin

Chinese real estate developer, Sultan Palace Development Limited, will invest in a mega housing project in the Kenyan coast where the demand for holiday homes is on the rise.

Speaking during the project’s launch on Tuesday night of December 9, executives said the eco-friendly apartment blocks will occupy a 43 acres beachfront in Kikambala, Kilifi County.

“We are developing modern and environmentally friendly housing units for the Kenyan middle classes. Our choice for the north coast was informed by huge appetite for holiday homes,” said the company’s general manager Liu Tiancai.

The implementation of phase one of the mega housing project, called Sultan Palace Beach Retreat, will be completed in 2016.

Liu told reporters that his company will spend 53 million U.S. dollars to develop the holiday homes along 700 meters of a white sandy beach in the north coast.

“Our aim is to develop family oriented homes in a serene environment. The homes will be compatible to local cultures and are pocket friendly,” Liu said.

The Chinese firm has also engaged Kenyan architectural firms to implement the mega housing project. Liu said his company will source construction materials and labor from Kenya.

The property market in the Kenyan coast has remained resilient despite jitters associated with insecurity. Liu noted that local middle classes and foreigners have invested in holiday homes along the expansive coastline.

“The Kenyan Coast is a world class tourism destination and visitors are looking for exclusive family oriented homes. We ventured in this location where the real estate sector has potential,” Liu said.

The Sultan Palace Beach Retreat will comprise homes, a gourmet restaurant, beach bar and a luxury health club. Liu also added that five-star hotels will be developed during the second phase.

 

 

 

YAOUNDE

>>  China’s Huawei opens flagship shop in Cameroon’s capital

By Huang Yanan

Huawei Technologies Company, Cameroon Limited opened a flagship mobile phone shop in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Wednesday of December 10 to promote mobile phone sales in the central African country.

The shop is the second in Cameroon after one shop opened in Duala, the economic center of Cameroon.

Huawei told media the goals of the flagship shop are to make more Cameroonians know and buy Huawei mobile phones, and also to provide satisfactory after sale service to the customers.

The opening ceremony attracted many people from all walks of life. Huawei hoped the opening of the shop will further promote the company in Cameroon and help it take more share in the mobile phone market.

Huawei set up in Cameroon in 2005, besides expanding its business in the country, it also actively performs Corporate Social Responsibity, like building a primary school in west of Cameroon and donating table tennis equipment to Cameroon Table Tenis Federation.

 

 

 

WELLINGTON

>>  Chinese woman “bereft” over deadly New Zealand holiday road crash

By John Macdonald

A young Chinese woman who killed one of her friends and seriously injured two others when she crashed their rental car during a New Zealand holiday was banned from driving for two years.

Nana Zheng, 24, was described as “bereft” over the accident in the South Island’s West Coast region, but could not remember it when she appeared in Greymouth District Court, the Greymouth Star newspaper reported on Wednesday of December 10.

Zheng pleaded guilty to one charge of careless driving causing death, and two charges of careless driving causing injury on December 3.

The four friends had been driving around the South Island to celebrate completing their masters degree in finance in Australia, the report said.

Zheng allowed the car to drift across the center line onto the wrong side of the road and, after swerving right to avoid an oncoming concrete tanker truck, the car careered off the road, through the bush and crashed into a culvert.

Lawyer Richard Bodle said Zheng was “completely bereft” and was hoping to leave New Zealand as soon as possible to travel back to China.

“It was a tragic accident. I can see by your demeanor that you are bereft, and this is a tragedy that you will have to live with for the rest of your life,” Judge Noel Walsh reportedly told Zheng.

The four women had been living in Australia for several years, and their families were currently making arrangements to travel to New Zealand, said the report.

 

 

 

LUANDA

>>  3 Chinese killed in burglary in Angola’s capital

By Wang Bingfei

Three Chinese merchants were killed and another seriously injured in a burglary on Monday night in Angola’s capital Luanda amid apparent rising crimes before the Christmas season, an eye-witness said on Wednesday of December 10.

Huang Zongwei, critically injured in the robbery, said the suspect was a local driver his company hired about two months ago, adding that the suspect broke into the house with a gun, shot dead the boss and two other Chinese at the residence of the company and robbed about 4 million Kwanzas (40,000 U.S. dollars) before fleeing from the site.

Zhao Haihan, an official with the consular section of the Chinese Embassy to Luanda, denounced the incident and urged Angolan police to clear up the case and bring the suspect to justice as soon as possible.

The official urged Chinese companies operating in Angola to guard against criminal activities during the upcoming Christmas and New Year season, a period which normally sees rising crimes in Luanda and other provinces.

 

 

 

SOFIA

>>  Chinese company CBMI wins Building of Year 2014 contest in Bulgaria

By Marian Draganov

A project performed by Chinese CBMI Construction Company Ltd. here on Wednesday evening of December 10 won Bulgaria’s “Building of the Year 2014” contest in the “Industrial buildings — technological renovation and expansion” category.

The 30-month project, titled “Reconstruction and modernization of the installation for production of clinker and cement at Devnya Cement’s plant,” involved an investment of some 206 million U.S. dollars, and nine countries including China, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Hungary, Romania and Switzerland.

The investor, “Devnya Cement” JSC, is part of Italcementi Group, which is the fifth largest cement producer in the world, operating in 22 countries and regions.

Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional Development, who handed the prize to Wang Bin, General Manager of the Bulgarian branch of CBMI Construction, said the contest was an extremely spectacular, significant event.

She said she visited the newly built installation two months ago, and it is an impressive facility, an investment that is worth.

Wang told Xinhua he had to thank the 121 Bulgarian companies and 4,000 Bulgarian people who participated in the project.

“The second, I also have to thank Bulgaria’s Devnya Cement plant for giving us the opportunity to build the 128-meter-high steel structural tower, which is the highest building in Bulgaria,” he said.

“And not least, we are waiting to develop a longer cooperation in the Bulgarian market, and make a step further in EU market,” he said.

A total of 79 buildings participated this year in the contest, launched in 2002.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  CNOOC signs contracts with Kuwaiti company on oil exploration

By Han Qiao and An Bei

China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) Limited said its parent company CNOOC signed production sharing contracts with Kuwaiti company KUFPEC for three blocks in the South China Sea on Wednesday of December 10.

CNOOC will act as the operator of the three blocks. Expenditures during the exploration period will be borne by CNOOC and KUFPEC in a proportion of 20 percent to 80 percent, according to the company statement.

Both companies will conduct 3D seismic data surveys and drill exploration wells.

The three blocks are all located in the Yinggehai Basin of the South China Sea.

 

 

 

DUSHANBE

>>  Document on linking China’s railway to Iran signed in Dushanbe

By Wang Feng

The document on a regional railway designed to link China with Iran via Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, was signed, Tajikistan’s Ministry of Transport said on Wednesday of December 10.

The railways connection project, agreed upon by representatives of transport ministries and railway departments from the five countries, is expected to start from China’s Kashgar to Afghanistan’s Herat, then go through Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and finally be connected with the Iranian railway.

During the meeting, the participants discussed technical issues related to the project and agreed to hold further meetings on the project.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese premier to start three-nation visit

By Hou Lijun

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay a visit to Kazakhstan, Serbia and Thailand from Dec. 14 to 20, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced on Wednesday of December 10.

Li will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan, and hold the second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov. He will also attend the 13th prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

During his stay in Serbia, Li will attend the third leaders’ meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and pay an official visit to the country.

During his stay in Thailand, Li will attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation.

Li is paying the visit at the invitation of Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China, U.S. to hold annual trade talks next week

By Yang Yijun

China and the United States will hold their annual talks on commerce and trade ties in Chicago next week, a Foreign Ministry Spokesperson announced on Wednesday of December 10.

The 25th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) was slated for Dec. 16 to 18, spokesman Hong Lei told a routine press briefing.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman will co-chair the talks, said Hong.

Launched in 1983, the JCCT plays an important role in promoting China-U.S. economic cooperation and addressing trade issues.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese vice president meets Tonga crown prince

By Wang Huihui

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao met with Tonga’s Crown Prince Tupouto’a’Ulukalala in Beijing on Wednesday of December 10.

Li said China-Tonga relations have maintained sound momentum since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1998. He said China values the friendship with the Pacific island country and attaches importance to bilateral ties.

Li called on both countries to implement the consensus reached between the state leaders and expand cooperation in trade, civil aviation, health, education, tourism, fishery and infrastructure.

Ulukalala said Tonga is willing to boost practical win-win cooperation with China to achieve mutual development.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Top Chinese legislator meets Irish president

By Xiong Zhengyan

Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang met with the visiting Irish President Michael D. Higgins in Beijing on Wednesday of December 10.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), reviewed the steady growth of bilateral cooperation in all sectors since the two countries forged a mutually-beneficial strategic partnership in 2012.

Zhang called on the legislative bodies of the two countries to implement the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Higgins.

Xi and Higgins have agreed on building a closer China-Ireland mutually-beneficial strategic partnership and witnessed the signing of cooperative deals covering science, technology, culture and education.

Zhang proposed the legislative bodies of the two countries increase exchanges, enhance understanding, expand consensus, share experience on legislation and state governance so as to offer a legal guarantee for practical cooperation in all sectors and lay a solid foundation for people-to-people exchanges.

Higgins said Ireland expects to work more closely with China in all sectors and deepen bilateral friendship.

Higgins will also visit Shanghai and Zhangjiang Province in eastern China.

 

 

 

NANJING

>>  China holds international military skills competition

By Liu Tong, Li Yun and Ma Shengwei

A two-day military skills competition kicked off in China’s Nanjing on Wednesday of December 10.

The competition was approved by the Headquarters of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and is organized by PLA University of Science and Technology (UST).

Teams consisting of 10 cadets each will pit against each other in areas such as navigation, field camping, night search, military tactics and shooting.

The participating teams are from 12 international military academies in five countries: China, Pakistan, Germany, Japan and Brazil.

Zhang Yafei, headmaster of UST, said military skills competitions are a common practice for world military powers to train cadets.

It is the first time for China to hold a competition with international military academies. UST in 2013 held China’s first military skills competition among domestic military academies.

 

 

 

JIUQUAN

>>  China launches another remote sensing satellite

By Hu Longjiang, Yan Yan and Li Qinghua

China sent the Yaogan-25 remote sensing satellite into a scheduled orbit at 3:33 a.m. on Thursday of December 11 from the Jiuquan satellite launch center.

The Yaogan-25 was carried by a Long March-4C rocket. It was the 201st mission for the Long March rocket technology.

Yaogan satellites are mainly used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.

China launched the first satellite in the “Yaogan” series, Yaogan-1, in 2006.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China establishes industry fund to tackle poverty

By Zhang Xu and Han Jie

China’s first industry fund in poverty-stricken areas was jointly founded by the Ministry of Finance, China National Tobacco Corporation and State Development and Investment Corporation on Wednesday of December 10.

This is the first such fund with government background and independent operation, an important move to innovate poverty relief and fiscal investment, the founders said in a joint statement.

The initial registered capital of the fund hits 2.8 billion yuan (457.55 million U.S. dollars), all contributed by the founders, and aims to attract more social funding into featured and potential industries in poverty-stricken areas.

According to a cooperation memorandum, the fund will target farming, breeding, product processing, tourism, forestry, clean energy, logistics, high technology, culture, medical care and natural resources.

“Public finance shall improve the livelihood of people suffering poverty, and the fund has made an innovative step in the country’s poverty relief work,” said Hu Jinglin, the vice minister of finance.

The 2014 central governmental budget arranged 46.3 billion yuan for poverty relief, in order to tackle the weakness in fostering local industries and development ability, such as low rate of return and shortage of long-term investment.

 

 

 

KUNMING

>>  China’s Yunnan expels drug addicts from Party

By Bai Jingli and Zhang Yi

China’s Yunnan Province has dismissed 41 members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for drug abuse, local authorities said on Wednesday of December 10.

Nine were government officials in Dehong Prefecture in the southwest border province, all nine were also removed from their positions.

Two retired officials were also among those expelled, both will have their compensation slashed, the Dehong Party discipline watchdog said.

The remaining people were farmers.

All 41 people have been ordered to attend drug rehabilitation treatment.

Leaders of the departments and villages where the drug addicts worked or lived also received strong words of advice from their superiors or discipline inspectors.

In May, Dehong Prefecture issued an order to remove drug addict members from the Party.

 

 

 

TAIYUAN

>>  North China official removed from Party posts

By Zhong Qun and Yan Guozheng

An official in the capital city of north China’s Shanxi Province has been removed from his posts in the Communist Party of China (CPC), local authorities said on Wednesday of December 10.

In the latest case amid a sweeping anti-corruption campaign in the country, Li Zhijiang, former member of the Standing Committee of Taiyuan’s CPC city Committee and former head of the Organization Department of Taiyuan’s CPC Committee, was dismissed from his posts for dereliction of duty and violation of the government’s eight-point code aimed at cutting bureaucracy, according to the city’s discipline inspection commission.

Li is the latest snared in a string of investigations into Shanxi’s high-ranking officials. Last week, Wang Shuxin, the former executive vice mayor of Jincheng city in Shanxi, was arrested by the provincial procuratorate on graft charges.

Shanxi is one of the major coal producers in China and contributes greatly to the country’s energy supply.

 

 

 

LANGFANG

>>  Former senior economic planning official sentenced to life in prison

By Fu Shuangqi

A Chinese court sentenced former senior economic planning official Liu Tienan to life imprisonment on Wednesday of December 10.

The former deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission and former head of the National Energy Administration, was convicted of bribery by the Langfang Intermediate People’s Court in north China’s Hebei Province.

Liu has been stripped of his political rights for life and all personal property and wealth will be confiscated.

The court ruled that Liu had accepted bribes of 35.58 million yuan (5.8 million U.S. dollars) from 2002 to 2012, personally or through his son Liu Decheng.

He was found guilty of abuse of power by securing profits for four companies — including Nanshan Group, a chemical firm based in east China’s Shandong Province, Zhongjin Petrochemical Co. Ltd. based in east China’s Zhejiang Province, GAC Group in south China’s Guangdong Province and Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co. Ltd. — as well as several individuals.

The court confirmed that all the dirty money amassed by Liu had been returned to the state.

Liu’s trial closed in September but it took until Wednesday for the court to deliver its verdict.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Three local officials arrested over allegations of graft

By Li Zhihui

Three local officials have been detained for the alleged acceptance of bribes, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The officials have been identified as Zhao Shan, former deputy head of the People’s Congress Standing Committee of Tangshan City in north China’s Hebei Province; Zhang Hong, former deputy mayor of Qinzhou City in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; and Tang Zhiming, former head of the civil air defense office of southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality.

Further investigation into the allegations continues.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese police target train ticket scalping ahead of festival

By Wang Xiaopeng

Chinese rail police have launched a campaign targeting train ticket scalping ahead of the upcoming Spring Festival travel rush.

The campaign kicked off on December 7 when China Railway Corporation (CRC), operator of China’s rail network, began to sell train tickets for the travel period known as “Chunyun,” according to a statement by railway police on Wednesday of December 10.

They pledge to crack down on online scalping by setting up a special squad of investigators as more and more travelers choose to buy their tickets via the Internet, the statement said.

Police have increased patrols around railway stations. Meanwhile, they also encourage the public to report scalpers to them, the statement said.

The campaign is scheduled to conclude on March 16, 2015, the last day of the 40-day Chunyun.

Ticket scalping is a major problem around big holidays like the National Day holiday in October and Spring Festival.

“Chunyun,” sometimes called the world’s largest human migration, is the hectic travel period surrounding traditional Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, known as the Spring Festival.

The festival is China’s most important holiday of reunion, with hundreds of millions of people traveling to their hometowns to spend time with relatives, putting huge stress on the transportation system.

During Chunyun 2014, about 266 million trips were made on railways, up 12 percent from the previous year.

The upcoming Spring Festival falls on February 19.

 

 

 

FUZHOU

>>  Chinese police bust dozens in drug-trafficking raid

By Zhong Qun and Zheng Liang

Chinese police have busted a sizeable drug-trafficking network in multiple raids across several provinces, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Wednesday of December 10.

Police authorities from Fujian, Sichuan and Hubei nabbed a total of 71 suspects during a cross-province raid last week, with 2.1 kg ketamine as well as some pistols, long knives and daggers confiscated, the ministry said.

Police also detained 210 drug addicts in the clamp-down, according to the ministry.

Further investigation is under way.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China November auto sales up 2.3 pct

By Cheng Jing

China’s auto sales continued to slow in November as both passenger and commercial car sales remained subdued.

Approximately 2.09 million cars were sold in China last month, a year-on-year rise of 2.3 percent, slowing from the 2.8-percent gain seen a month earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a report published on Wednesday of December 10.

Vehicle output stood at 2.16 million units in the month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In the first 11 months, auto sales totalled 21.1 million units, up 6.1 percent from the same period last year. But the growth marked a sharp slowdown from the rate seen a year earlier.

“The downward trend in auto sales is likely to last in the short term,” said CAAM deputy head Dong Yang.

Breaking the numbers down, China sold 1.78 million passenger cars in November, up 4.66 percent year on year, while sales of commercial cars came in at 315,600, down 9.24 percent from the same period last year.

Notably, the share of domestic brands slightly improved, accounting for 40.9 percent of the November sales. German and Japanese cars continued to lead the market, with 304,700 and 288,600 units sold during the month.

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to promote development of interbank forex market

By Rong Jiaojiao and Liu Zheng

China’s foreign exchange regulator announced on Wednesday of December 10 that it will facilitate financial institutions to enter the interbank foreign exchange market.

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said the regulation would promote a market-oriented and more transparent interbank foreign exchange market.

The advance-access permission for financial institutions to enter the interbank forex market will be scrapped, further allowing the market to play a key role.

SAFE said that it would strengthen supervision over interbank forex and clarify the trading rules.

The regulation will take effect on January 1, 2015.

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  China Ladies Open to determine money order champion

By Bai Lin

As the ninth edition of the Hyundai China Ladies Open gets ready to tee off on Friday of December 12 at the Mission Hills World Cup Course, China’s top women golfers will be aiming to win the national championship in a tournament that will decide this year’s Order of Merit winner.

US LPGA Tour regular Lin Xiyu roared to the top of the China LPGA Tour Order late in the season during an outstanding November campaign when she posted back-to-back wins in Hainan as well as an equal fifth at the Xiamen Open International two weeks ago.

The 18-year-old currently leads the China LPGA Tour Order of Merit with RMB551,414, just ahead of veteran Pan Yanhong (RMB517,687) and the Guangdong teenager is aiming to finish the season with a win. In addition, the top-three players on the Order this year will receive an exemption into next year’s US Women’s Open.

“Definitely I will try to finish as high as possible. One of my targets is the money title this week. It’s a great honor. It means you are the best player on the Tour. I am happy with this position,” said Lin who finished 81st in her rookie campaign on the US LPGA Tour with 127,391 US dollars to successfully retain her playing card for next year.

With a top field of players from the LPGA Tour of Korea playing this week in the joint-sanctioned event, Lin admitted she will have to play her best game if she is going to lift the trophy in the 550,000 US dollars tournament.

“I felt that I have made progress from the fact that I played against the best players on the US LPGA Tour this year. The Sanya wins shows that. Over the years, I didn’t have the results I desired at our national championship, but this week I will try to test my game against these KLPGA top players,” she said.

“My original plan was to play in Dubai this week but I won the Sanya Ladies Open, which enables me to have two years’ exemption. I changed my mind and decided to support the China LPGA Tour. Over the years the China LPGA Tour has helped me a lot, now it’s my turn to give back.”

After strong early start to the season in which she won twice, in addition to two runner-up finishes, Pan, a former power-lifter, said it was important for her to finish the season on a strong note at the national championship, a tournament dominated by South Koreans over the years.

“Entering this week I had two goals deep in my mind. One is the money title, and another is the US Women’s Open [exemption]. Lin Xiyu is a great player and has had a good run now. Therefore I have to give everything I have to beat her,” said the 31-year-old.

“If I am not able to win the money title, the US Women’s Open spot is a comforting prize for me. It’s my season-long dream. I would be happy when I left with it. I know that I am No. 2, but I don’t want to think about numbers and odds. I want to keep it simple. I will just try to play well this week and finish on a high note. The Hyundai China Ladies Open is a major to me.”

Other top home-grown players at the championship this week include 19-year-old Feng Simin, who is coming to China fresh off of earning her US LPGA Tour card at last week’s Qualifying School, and Yan Jin who earned conditional playing status stateside for next year.

Cheng Ssu-chia, the outstanding Chinese Taipei player who won last month’s Xiamen Open International, is confirmed for the field in what is expected to be her last tournament as an amateur. Also playing is Wang Ziyi, the 16-year-old amateur who won the Xiamen Challenge in August and is being tipped as China’s next breakout golf star.

China LPGA Tour Order of Merit going into the Hyundai China Ladies Open:

1 Lin Xiyu, China, RMB551,414

2 Pan Yanhong, China, RMB517,687

3 Babe Liu, Chinee Taipei, RMB402,659

4 Pavarisa Yoktuan, Thailand, RMB288,609

5 Li Jiayun, China, RMB253,860

6 Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro, Thailand, RMB253,541

7 Chien Pei-Yun, Chinese Taipei, RMB225,562

8 Yan Panpan, China, RMB220,288

9 Chung Ye-na, Chinese Taipei, RMB215,180

 

 

 

HANGZHOU

>>  Chinese man gets 8 months in jail for killing 9 birds

By Wang Jian and Wang Junlu

A man in east China’s Zhejiang Province was sentenced to eight months in jail on Wednesday of December 10 for killing nine birds, including a nationally protected species.

According to the court of Tiantai County, the suspect, Xu Da, shot nine birds to death with an air gun in the county on February 24 on his way to a wedding feast.

The birds Xu killed included an endangered barred owlet that is under national-level protection, four spotted doves, three moor-hens and one green-winged teal.

According to the court, Xu has violated China’s wildlife protection law by killing the rare bird. Apart from the barred owlet, the other birds are all of high economic and research value.

 

 

 

CHANGCHUN

>>  NE China man sentenced to death for knife attack

By Wang Jian, Zhou Liquan and Wu Hao

A man found guilty of killing four people in a stabbing spree was sentenced to death on Wednesday of December 10 by a local court in northeast China’s Jilin Province.

Cui Zhenyu, 25, was found guilty in a knife attack at the Jinhuacheng shopping mall in Yanji, capital city of the Korean Autonomous Prefecture of Yanbian, on August 17, according to the intermediate people’s court of Yanbian.

The incident left four people dead and 11 others injured, the court said.

Cui had been suffering from depression before the crime, according to his family members.

 

 

 

SHENYANG

>>  Heavy snow closes highways, airport in NE China

By Cao Kai and Xu Yang

Heavy snow shut down six highways and an airport on Wednesday morning of December 10 in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

Taoxian International Airport in the provincial capital of Shenyang closed at 11:20 a.m. It is expected to reopen at 2 p.m.. More than 20 flights were delayed and hundreds of passengers were left stranded.

Another four highways in the province were also partially closed due to accessibility issues.

The northern port city of Tianjin also saw its first snow storm of the winter. Six highways in the city were closed on Wednesday morning.