Cold air to keep smog at bay for 10 days

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 19:32

Weather experts have forecast mostly blue skies in northern and central China over the next 10 days, as cold air continues to bring strong winds.

The China Meteorological Administration said seven streams of cold air hit the country last month, the most recorded in any November since 1961.

"Two cold air processes will affect central and eastern parts between Wednesday and Dec 15," Liao Jun, deputy director of emergency response, disaster mitigation and public services for the CMA, said on Tuesday.

He said this should mean northern China, as well as the more central area around the Yellow and Huaihe rivers, will stay free from smog.

According to the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center, the capital enjoyed "excellent" or "good" air on 75 percent of the days in November, compared with 45 percent last year.

China moves to secure natural gas supply amid rising winter demand

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 19:32

BEIJING - China's top economic planner has coordinated major natural gas suppliers to secure supply and stabilize prices to cope with rising demand in northern China.

Companies should keep natural gas prices basically stable and ensure adequate supplies, Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily quoted a notice from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The move followed a surge in natural gas demand in northern China as millions of households shift from burning coal to using gas for heating in winter to help combat air pollution.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) consumption has witnessed sharp growth this year with consumption reaching 167.6 billion cubic meters during the January-September period, up 16.6 percent year on year. Full-year growth in 2016 was 7 percent, NDRC data showed.

Consumption is expected to reach 230 billion cubic meters this year with 20 billion cubic meters coming from the coal-to-gas transition, said Xu Bo, senior analyst with China National Petroleum Corporation's (CNPC) Economics and Technology Research Institute.

The growing appetite for gas has pushed domestic LNG prices to a record high of 9,000 yuan (1,361 US dollars) a tonne on Dec 1 in some regions, according to an industry report.

To secure gas supply, China's state-owned oil firms, including CNPC and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), are maximizing production at domestic gas fields and the NDRC has urged companies to be self-disciplined in pricing.

The ultimate solution lies in encouraging competitiveness of companies and improving infrastructure construction, said Jing Chunmei, a researcher with China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

"More social capital should be encouraged in the creation or expansion of infrastructure like pipelines, ports with suitable terminals, storage facilities and transportation networks to lower costs and form a market-based pricing mechanism," said Jing.

Shanghai eateries closed over shoddy breakfast food

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 19:28

A Shanghai watchdog has found 10 restaurants selling substandard youtiao, fried dough sticks usually eaten for breakfast, according to

Officials from the Shanghai Consumer Council raided 29 popular eateries and reported those using too much oil or fat or the amount of certain indicators exceeding the national standards to the city's Food and Drug Administration.

Five were closed by the FDA for not having a business license, while another five were ordered to come up to code.

One of store in Pudong New District was selling products containing nearly 10 times the allowed level of aluminum residue, which is 100 milligrams per kilogram.

Nine restaurants, including two branches of Xinya Dabao, were blacklisted for not changing the cooking oil regularly.

Tests also showed youtiao from a KFC outlet in Yangpu district contained the highest levels of saturated fatty acid — the excessive intake of which can lead to cardiovascular disease and obesity.

The average amount of saturated fatty acid contained in samples taken from the 29 restaurants was 3.5 grams, but the KFC product contained 6.8 grams.

In addition to KFC and Xinya Dabao, branches of McDonald's, Yonghe King and Taoyuan Village were also inspected.

Xi asks China, Canada to work for substantial ties

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 19:20

BEIJING - President Xi Jinping said Tuesday China and Canada should explore new ideas and take active measures to achieve more substantial progress in bilateral ties.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is paying an official visit to China from Dec 3 to Dec 7.

Govt halt watering of winter roads after Xi'an pileup

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 18:00

Authorities in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, have pledged to stop sprinkler trucks spraying water in freezing weather after an icy road was blamed for a 38-vehicle pileup over the weekend.

Two people were injured in the traffic smash, which happened on Saturday on a highway in the city's Lianhu district, China News Service reported on Tuesday.

Traffic police said the pileup was caused by ice that had formed after a spraying that morning — when the temperature was -1 C.

Local regulations say water spraying should be halted when the mercury dips below 3 C.

On Tuesday, the Lianhu district government posted on Sina Weibo to say its leaders had held a meeting on how to improve its work in watering public areas.

It said the urban management department will be urged to strictly follow the rules in winter and act quickly to prevent icy roads.

Zheng Yumeng contributed to this story.

Family guidebooks to support heart attack paitents

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:37

A charity program distributed 100,000 heart attack family first aid guidebooks to support 10,000 heart disease patients in Beijing on Sunday.

China is home to 290 million cardiovascular disease patients and the group is at top risk of death compared with other disease sufferers. according to a report on cardiovascular disease in China issued in 2016, the growth of hospitalization cost of Chinese cardiovascular patients has far surpassed the that of GDP since 2004.

Professor Hong Zhaoguang from Beijing Anzhen Hospital said 80% of the heart halt cases happened at patients' home and most patients would miss the first four-six golden period of first aid due to lack of the knowledge.

Geng Dezhang, former minister of health said the program is part of the national campaign of health China and aims to promote scientific and practical solutions to well-beings of Chinese people.

The program is sponsored by Jiankang Shibao and supported by the first aid association of Hunan province.


Hong Kong launches first self-service library station

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:27

HONG KONG -- The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced Tuesday to launch the city's first self-service library station, offering users round-the-clock public library services with enhanced convenience and accessibility.

The library station, located at a public sitting-out area on the Hong Kong Island, allows registered users of the Hong Kong Public Libraries to borrow and return library materials using their library card or Hong Kong identity card, the HKSAR government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said.

About 300 Chinese and English books are available for lending, and stock will be replenished every day.

Users can also pick up reserved library materials and pay library fees and charges with Octopus, a stored-value smart card for making electronic payments, at the library station on their own by following simple on-screen instructions.

The library station, with its architectural design concept originated from bamboo writing slips of ancient China, "aims to promote reading in the community," an LCSD spokesperson said, adding that the department plans to launch two more such facilities in other districts of Hong Kong.

China's compulsory education not to be extended to 12 years: authority

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:26

BEIJING -- China's nine years of compulsory education will not be extended to 12 years, the Department of Basic Education of China's Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement Tuesday.

The statement was released after recent rumors went viral online, indicating the extension of compulsory education as well as the cancellation of the country's high school entrance exam.

"We are yet to have the conditions to include senior high school in compulsory education," the department said, adding that the main task in terms of senior high school education is for it to meet the needs of more junior high school graduates.

According to the statement, despite the goal for senior high school education to be implemented nationwide by 2020, which was included in a plan issued earlier this year, it does not mean senior high school education will be compulsory and free.

"Promoting high school education is more about making sure students can attend senior high schools," the statement read.

"Our compulsory education is still imbalanced and insufficient," the statement continued, suggesting that there are many important tasks to undertake to improve compulsory education in years to come.

The department also dismissed rumors that the senior high school entrance exam would be canceled.

"We want to cut the number of exams to reduce the pressure on our students," the statement said.

Ministry denies high school to be made compulsory

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:00

China has no plans to extend compulsory education to include high school, the Ministry of Education said on Tuesday in response to online rumors about a change in policy.

Compulsory education lasts nine to 12 years, from primary school through middle school. Yet netizens recently began to discuss the possibility that the high school entrance exam could be canceled.

“Early this year, the Education Ministry, together with three other departments, released a plan to popularize high school nationwide from 2017 to 2020. But that doesn’t mean high school will be compulsory or free,” the ministry said in a notice online.

“We will continue to focus on making sure young people nationwide can receive high-quality primary and middle school education,” it added.

China's Long March rockets complete 60 commercial launches

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:56

China's Long March rockets have completed 60 commercial launches for both domestic and overseas clients, according to the ongoing 5th China Space Forum in Beijing.

Yu Qi, an official with the China National Space Administration, said that China has formed an integrated solution for launching services, in-orbit delivery, construction of satellite ground stations, satellite applications, project financing, insurance, training, and technology transfers.

The products and services of the country enjoy a high reputation on the global aerospace market, Yu noted.

China's commercial aerospace market is expected to reach 800 billion ($121 billion) by 2020, according to Hu Zhongmin, head of the international division under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, China's aerospace industry will embrace more in-depth international cooperation and establish a corridor of space information.

China has already expanded its satellite communication services to 30 countries and regions, basically covering all of the regions along the Maritime Silk Road. In addition, the country is continuously improving the ability of its Beidou Navigation Satellite System, with a plan to cover all Belt and Road countries in 2018.

World Internet Conference concludes in East China

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:34

BEIJING -- The fourth World Internet Conference concluded Tuesday in the East China town of Wuzhen after three days of discussions and exhibitions of cutting-edge internet products.

During the conference, government representatives, heads of international organizations, experts, scholars, and entrepreneurs attended 20 forums, displaying their achievements in innovation and discussing means of cooperation.

At a forum on the internet and finance, Liu Zhengrong, vice president of Xinhua News Agency, said regulating the release of financial information on the internet is indispensable to ensuring financial security.

"The internet does not change the rules of financial regulation, just attaches to it new connotations and requirements," Liu said.

Well-known tech companies from around the world, including Apple, Alibaba, and Huawei, released their latest products at the conference.

Two reports were also issued at the conference on Monday, covering the development of the internet around the world and in China respectively.

According to the reports, China's digital economy reached 22.58 trillion yuan (about $3.4 trillion) in 2016, ranking second globally and accounting for 30.3 percent of the national GDP.

As of June 2017, there were 3.89 billion internet users around the world, of which 751 million were in China, the most of any country worldwide, said the reports.

Man sentenced to one year in prison for grabbing bus steering wheel

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:32

CHONGQING -- A man was sentenced to one year in prison for grabbing a bus steering wheel, which caused the bus to almost fall off a cliff, according to a court in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality on Tuesday.

The passenger, surnamed Feng, was charged with "endangering public security by employing dangerous means."

The Shapingba District People's Court in Chongqing heard that in the incident which occurred in March this year, Feng grabbed the steering wheel and the bus driver's arm in a burst of anger after the driver declined his request to pull over.

The driver lost control of the bus. Luckily the bus drove into the guard rail and stopped, saving the more than 20 people on board from falling down an over 10-meter-high cliff.

Feng was shown leniency as he turned himself to the police and voluntarily offered compensation for the damage to the bus, the court said.

Chinese president receives credentials of 11 ambassadors

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:28

BEIJING -- President Xi Jinping received the credentials presented by 11 new ambassadors to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday.

The ambassadors are Geir Otto Pedersen from Norway, Noh Young Min from the Republic of Korea, Ali Al Dhaheri from the United Arab Emirates, Constantinescu Vasilica from Romania, Fye K. Ceesay from Gambia, Berhane Gebre-Christos from Ethiopia, Alberto Carnero from Spain, Milia Jabbour from Lebanon, Gautam H. Bambawale from India, Abdulkadir Emin Onen from Turkey, and Jose Augusto Duarte from Portugal.

Xi welcomed the ambassadors to China and asked them to convey his sincere greetings and good wishes to the leaders and people of their countries.

The Chinese government will provide convenience and support for the work of the ambassadors, Xi said, adding that he hopes they will actively contribute to bilateral relations between China and their countries.

Xi said China will enhance mutual political trust, promote practical cooperation, deepen cooperation in international affairs, achieve common development with the countries and contribute to world peace, stability, and prosperity.

The ambassadors offered congratulations on the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and spoke highly of the significance of the congress to the world.

They also conveyed greetings from their state leaders to Xi and congratulations on Xi's re-election as the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

They said they feel greatly honored to serve as ambassadors to China in the new era, and will devote their active efforts to deepening mutual understanding and friendship with China, as well as promote practical cooperation to a new high.

Polar icebreaker <EM>Snow Dragon</EM> arrives in Antarctic

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:25
Penguins come into sight as the Snow Dragon, China's polar icebreaker, arrives in the Antarctic, Dec 5, 2017. The icebreaking vessel is on its 34th scientific expedition to the Antarctic. [Photo/Xinhua]A helicopter takes off from the deck of the Snow Dragon for inspection of the floating sea ice, Dec 4, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

TheSnow Dragon sails across floating sea ice in the Antarctic, Dec 4, 2017. The icebreaking vessel will engage in preparatory work for building China's fifth station in the Antarctic. [Photo/Xinhua]

An iceberg is seen in front of the Snow Dragon, Dec 3, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]Expedition team members drop a buoy into the sea when the ship crosses the westerlies, Nov 30, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]Members of the expedition team put a sampling instrument for microplastics into the sea, Nov 19, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]An expedition team member shows the sample of microplastics collected from the sea, Nov 19, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Henan to reward Good Samaritans

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:21

Henan government passed a regulation focused on rewarding Good Samaritans on Friday in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Central China's Henan province, showing the details while encouraging people to voluntarily offer assistance to those in need of emergency help.

The government will offer a reward of more than 50,000 yuan ($7,562) to residents who make an outstanding contribution to help others, with a special bonus of up to 1 million yuan to those who lose their lives or the ability to work due to their sacrifice.

The regulation aims to create a better social atmosphere for helping others after China's Good Samaritan law went into effect on Oct 1.

Under the legislation, people who voluntarily offer emergency assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in danger, or otherwise incapacitated, will not have civil liability in the event of harm to the victims.

In addition, the reward policy in Henan would be used for all Good Samaritans in Henan, as well as those who work or study in other provinces but have a Henan hukou, or household registration, the regulation said.

It also emphasized people should provide assistance promptly when seeing a Good Samaritan acting in a courageous manner, such as helping him or her to send for help from a nearby hospital or contact local police.

The regulation takes effect on Jan 1.

CPC congratulates Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League on 70th anniversary

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:18

BEIJING -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has sent a congratulatory message to the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League on its 70th anniversary.

Han Zheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, read the message on behalf of the CPC Central Committee at the league's tenth national congress, which opened Tuesday.

The event also celebrated the 70th anniversary of founding of the league, one of the eight non-Communist political parties on the Chinese mainland.

The letter expressed appreciation of the league's work over the past five years in providing important references to the CPC Central Committee's decision-making with its surveys, studies and suggestions.

It also acknowledged the league's contribution in bridging exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait and in promoting cross-Strait communication and affinity.

Noting that resolving the Taiwan issue to achieve reunification is the shared aspiration of all Chinese, the message hailed the unique advantage of the league, as a political party consisting of Taiwanese living in the mainland, in maintaining broad connections with Taiwanese compatriots both domestic and overseas.

The cause of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and striving for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era requires the solidarity and joint efforts by Chinese people from all ethnic groups, the message said.

It said the CPC will, adhering to the spirit of its 19th national congress, uphold and improve the system of CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation.

The CPC will also unswervingly implement the principles of long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, sincerity, and sharing the rough times and the smooth in handling its relationships with other Chinese political parties, and the CPC will support these parties in performing their duties in accordance with the requirements of the Chinese socialist system for their participation in governance, it said.

The letter further called on the league to play its role in expanding economic and cultural exchanges with Taiwan, improving the welfare for people on both sides of the Strait and consolidating the foundation of public opinion for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

Lin Wenyi, chairperson of the league's central committee, delivered a work report, calling on league members to make greater contributions in the consultation and deliberation process, enhance exchanges among the public, and implement the people-centered philosophy of development.

The congress is scheduled to elect the league's new central committee.

China-made amphibious aircraft passes assessment for maiden flight

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:14

ZHUHAI -- The AG600, a large amphibious aircraft developed by China, has passed the official technical quality assessment for its maiden flight, according to the developer.

Designed to be the world's largest amphibious aircraft, the 37-meter-long AG600 has a wingspan of 38.8 meters and a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tonnes.

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said the technical evaluation was held in Zhuhai city in South China's Guangdong province.

The amphibious aircraft can be used for maritime rescue, fighting forest fires, marine environment monitoring and protection. It can collect 12 tonnes of water in 20 seconds and transport up to 370 tonnes of water on a single tank of fuel.

Experts agreed that the plane is ready for flight.

The aircraft developer said earlier this year that it has received orders for 17 AG600s.

High-speed trains to reduce travel time between west China cities

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:48

CHONGQING - High-speed trains linking northwest China's Xi'an and southwest China's Chongqing, will begin operation on Wednesday, slashing the travel time between the two cities from 9.5 hours to just 5.5.

The new route includes a new section of the high-speed rail line linking Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province with Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, which is also set to start operation on Wednesday.

The 643-km Xi'an-Chengdu line is China's first rail route to run through the Qinling Mountains, which are the natural boundary between north and south China.

With a designed speed of 250 kph, it will slash the travel time between Xi'an and Chengdu from about 7 hours to about 4.

Global manhunt sees China catch its 50th fugitive

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:00

One of China's most-wanted fugitives has returned to face fraud charges after nine years on the run in Hong Kong, the top anti-corruption watchdog said on Tuesday.

Zhou Jiyang, 47, is accused of committing contract fraud while working in the Party history research department of the Zhejiang provincial committee of the Communist Party of China.

He fled overseas after being put under investigation in 2008, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Zhou is the 50th corruption suspect that has returned to the Chinese mainland since Interpol issued red notices — international arrest warrants — for the 100 most-wanted fugitives in April 2015.

The CCDI said the milestone fully reflects the nation's attitude and firm determination to seek out fugitives.

"No matter where they escape to, we will try our best to bring them to justice," the watchdog said in a statement.

50 of China's 100 most wanted fugitives captured

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 14:18

BEIJING -- China's top anti-corruption authority on Tuesday announced the capture of a "red notice" fugitive suspected of business fraud who had fled China since 2008.

Zhou Jiyang, a former Party official in east China's Zhejiang Province, was the 50th returned fugitive from China's 100 most wanted list, according to the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

In April 2015, Interpol's National Central Bureau of China released a list of 100 fugitives suspected of involvement in corruption, all of whom are on Interpol's red notice for international arrest.

Many of the fugitives were former government staff or employees of state-owned enterprises.

The progress in the manhunt has demonstrated China's determination and confidence in fighting corruption, said the CCDI, adding the remaining fugitives will be returned to China and brought to justice.