China issues guideline to prevent unjust, safeguard judicial independence

 

 

 

>>  Chinese official meets UN General Assembly president-elect

By Zhang Yi   

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (right) meets with

John William Ashe, president-elect of the 68th session

of the United Nations General Assembly, in Beijing

on August 13, 2013.   Photo by Ding Lin 

 

State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Tuesday of August 13 met with John William Ashe, president-elect of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly and ambassador to the UN for Antigua and Barbuda.

Yang said the UN needs to boost coordination among its member countries and promote international cooperation in order to address global challenges.

He said China supports UN’s efforts to safeguard international justice and will maintain membership unity, as well as listen to more voices from developing countries.

“China will give full support to the UN and UN General Assembly president and hopes to maintain close communication and cooperation with the UN,” Yang added.

Ashe said he will prioritize development and try his best to maintain unity among member countries.

 

 

 

>>  Mainland, Taiwan sign cooperation deals at forum

By Liu Lu, Zhang Chengzhi and Shen Yang 

A total of 75 cooperation deals were signed, with an investment of 3.94 billion U.S. dollars, by people from the mainland and Taiwan at a cross-Strait forum on trade and culture on Tuesday of August 13.

“Strengthening economic cooperation is in line with the common interests of compatriots from both sides,” said Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China and director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, in the city of Ganzhou in east China’s Jiangxi Province.

Zhang said 19 trade and economic agreements have been reached between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait since 2008, and they have largely boosted across-strait relations.

“The fact is that signing agreements is an effective way to eliminate institutional obstacles which hinder the development of trade cooperation, and more economic collaboration is expected,” he added.

Wu Poh-Hsiung, honorary chairman of Taiwan’s Kuomintang Party, also expressed his joy over the cooperation between the two sides.

Lu Xinshe, governor of Jiangxi, said the province will provide more support to Taiwanese enterprises to invest in the province in order to beef up cooperation in trade, culture, education and tourism.

At the forum, experts also exchanged ideas on the development of the Hakka languages and culture, as Taiwan and Ganzhou are both home to Hakka people, a sub-group of the Han Chinese ethnicity.

More than 1,000 entrepreneurs and experts across the Strait attended the forum.

 

 

 

>>  Mainland official stresses cross-strait media cooperation

By Yang Hui and Zhao Bo

 

Chen Deming (right), president of the mainland-based

Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS),

meets with Lin Join-sane, chairman of the Taiwan-based

Straits Exchange Foundation, who led  a media delegation

in Beijing on August 13, 2013.   Photo by Chen Yehua 

 

A senior mainland official on Tuesday of August 13 called for enhanced cross-strait media cooperation in order to boost cross-strait relations.

Chen Deming, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), made the call while meeting with a Taiwanese media delegation led by Lin Join-sane, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

Chen applauded the efforts that cross-strait media have made in promoting mutual communication, as well as the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

The cross-strait service trade agreement, which was signed by the two sides at the ninth round of cross-strait talks held in June this year, is a mutually beneficial agreement and will integrate Taiwan’s service industry into mainland’s broader market, Chen said.

According to the agreement, the Chinese mainland will open 80 service-based sectors to Taiwan, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors to the mainland.

The delegation is on a six-day visit to Beijing and Liaoning Province.

ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan, respectively, to handle cross-strait affairs.

 

 

 

>>  China hopes to cut bureaucracy by punishing corrupt officials

By Zhong Qun, Wang Wen, Cheng Qun and Wang Junwei 

Although the government has made commitments to eliminate bureaucracy by punishing corrupt officials, further efforts are still needed, experts said.

On Tuesday of August 13, a government official in south China was sacked from his post for using public funds to pay for luxurious banquets, according to local discipline inspection authorities.

Tang Tiansheng, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Committee of Longsheng County in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was found entertaining guests at a local hotel using public money in late July.

The event was first exposed on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, by a reporter who said that Tang and 35 others were feasting at an expensive hotel.

Tang was quoted as saying that he was not scared of being exposed.

The local discipline inspection commission (DIC) stripped Tang of his post after an investigation revealed that the banquet cost 3,626 yuan (about 600 U.S. dollars).

Others involved in the scandal, including the county mayor, have been warned and ordered to pay for the expenses they incurred, according to the DIC.

Official statistics show that 2,290 officials have been punished since the central government issued an eight-point code of conduct last year to reduce bureaucracy and boost ties with the public.

The code maintains that officials should remain thrifty, adding that luxurious receptions are forbidden.

Huang Qi, a business manager at a high-end restaurant in Guangxi, said his restaurant has lost many clients since the government enhanced its efforts to fight corruption.

“I am now finding a way out by catering to midrange and low-end consumers, which means our dishes must be priced quite low,” Huang said.

Zhang Hui, a professor with Guangxi’s regional Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place to tackle corruption.

“The severe punishment of corrupt officials shows the government’s determination to cut bureaucracy, but further efforts are needed,” he said.

While emphasizing the necessity of strict self-discipline on the part of government officials, Zhang said a responsibility system should be set up to deter officials from engaging in improper behavior, adding that those who violate related regulations should take responsibility for their actions.

“Only in this way can the Chinese people truly realize their dreams and lead a contented life,” he said.  

 

 

 

>>  China to crack down on extravagant official celebrations

By Li Zhihui and Zhang Yunlong 

Authorities will make more efforts to halt extravagance in official banquets and punish those who organize such events, according to an official notice issued on Tuesday of August 13.

Official events must be frugal and event organizers must refrain from luxury, according to a notice jointly issued by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture, the National Audit Office and the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

No government funds should be used to hold commercial celebrations or pay for expensive entertainers, according to the notice.

Overly festive celebrations have damaged the image of the CPC and the government, as well as triggered public complaints, according to the notice.

The notice said local authorities must place importance on eliminating extravagance in accordance with rules introduced by the CPC since last year for the purpose of eliminating bureaucracy and extravagance.

“Down-to-earth efforts should be made to regulate official celebrations and achieve results in reversing the trend of pursuing luxury,” it said.

Local CPC and government authorities should take the lead in discouraging expensive celebrations and cultural performances.

Authorities may not hold joint cultural celebrations or performances with enterprises or use their administrative power to force lower-level public institutions, enterprises or individuals to cover related expenditures, the notice said.

The notice called for enhanced media scrutiny over official celebrations, calling for more efforts to uncover improper practices related to such events.

The notice urged strengthened supervision and inspection of official celebrations, as well as greater budget control and strict auditing.

“Celebrations shall not be used as a chance to distribute gifts or high-value items,” the notice said, warning against the practice of utilizing such events to obtain benefits for organizations or individuals.

Those who organize expensive or wasteful celebratory events will be severely punished, the notice said.  

 

 

 

>>  China issues guideline to prevent unjust

By Ren Ke and Guo Likun

Authorities have issued China’s first guideline for preventing incorrect judgments following multiple court scandals.

Issued by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on its website, the guideline reiterates several legal principles, including those preventing punishment for people whose guilt can not be absolutely established and those stipulating that judges, procurators and police officers will bear a “life-long responsibility” for their roles in wrongful judgments.

Chen Weidong, a professor at the Law School of Renmin University, said recent scandals have brought unprecedented challenges to the court system.

“Compared with correcting miscarriages of justice, it’s more pressing and important to work out preventive measures,” Chen said.

The guideline stresses that for cases in which there is not enough evidence to prove a suspect’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court should reserve punishment and pronounce defendants not guilty rather than issue judgments based on insufficient evidence.

“The provision did not come easily. It is the result of decades of experience and lessons in judicial practice,” Chen said.

The guideline also reiterates articles in the Criminal Procedural Law, which was amended last year, stating that interrogations should be conducted in interrogation rooms in detention houses, with audio or video recordings to be created during the entire interrogation procedure.

When investigative organs transfer a case through the chain of command, all evidence should be transferred, regardless of whether it proves a suspect’s guilt or not, the guideline says.

It also urges judicial organs to define standards for unjust and wrongful judgments and establish a mechanism that can allow authorities to pursue those who are genuinely guilty in such cases.

The guideline came in response to increased public calls for judicial fairness after the emergence of several wrongful judgments.

Zhang Hui and his uncle Zhang Gaoping, both residents of east China’s Zhejiang Province, were sentenced to death and life in prison, respectively, by the Hangzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court on April 21, 2004 for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.

Their sentences were later commuted to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for Zhang Hui and a 15-year prison term for Zhang Gaoping during a second trial conducted by the Higher People’s Court of Zhejiang on October 19, 2004.

The Higher People’s Court acquitted the two of rape on March 26 this year after a retrial found insufficient evidence to support their convictions.

“Regardless of whether they are in service, retired or having already left the police force, those whose actions resulted in unfair or wrongful judgments must be held accountable,” said Liu Liwei, head of the Zhejiang Provincial Public Security Department.

Asking judges, procurators and police officers to bear “life-long responsibility” for their roles in wrongful judgments will make them more meticulous when seeking proof, Chen said.

Zhao Bingzhi, a legal expert at Beijing Normal University, said the guideline is the first of its kind.

“The guideline is of strong pertinence, as it summarizes problems found during the correction of wrongful judgments in recent years,” Zhao said.

Although the guideline is intended to reaffirm previously created provisions, some of its wording is completely new, according to the professor.

The guideline criticizes the blind pursuit of “quotas” as part of judicial practices, adding that a scientific performance appraisal system must be established.

“China’s unreasonable appraisal mechanism for handling criminal cases is a major cause of unjust and wrongful judgments,” Zhao said.

“The guideline may serve as an effective preventive measure if it is carried out properly,” Zhao added.

 

 

 

>>  New guideline can safeguard judicial independence

By Tian Ye 

China’s first guideline to prevent unjust or wrongful judgments will better safeguard judicial independence, build credibility for the judicial system and help to improve public trust.

The guideline, issued by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Tuesday, said law enforcement personnel will have to bear life-long responsibility for their roles in wrongful judgments.

To prevent the extortion of confessions via torture, the guideline reiterates the Criminal Procedural Law, saying all interrogations should be conducted in detention houses and recorded using audio or video equipment.

The guideline will safeguard the independence of the judicial system by minimizing human interference in decision-making for law-enforcement personnel, who sometimes have to compromise the law when facing pressure from their superiors.

The guideline also advocates the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” as well as calls for changes to the current judicial appraisal system, which evaluates the performance of law enforcement personnel based on the number of criminal cases that have been solved and the number of suspects who have been detained or prosecuted.

This system has acted as a strong incentive for law enforcement authorities to use improper means to inflate their arrest and conviction numbers, according to Zhao Bingzhi, dean of the College for Criminal Law Science at Beijing Normal University.

Experts believe the guideline is a response to public calls for greater judicial fairness following the emergence of several wrongful judgments.

In one case, two men in east China’s Zhejiang Province were acquitted of rape in March after a retrial found insufficient evidence to support their previous convictions.

Zhang Hui and his uncle Zhang Gaoping were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and 15 years in prison, respectively, for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.

The introduction of the guideline is a testament to authorities’ willingness to address public concerns and uphold justice. However, the guideline must be properly implemented in order to reduce wrongful judgments and boost public trust in the judicial system.  

 

 

 

>>  Internet company closed for creating fake news websites

By Yang Hui

An Internet marketing company has been shut down for illegally disseminating news information by masquerading as an official news source, according to the State Information Office.

Golden Mango, a company based in the city of Shenzhen in south China’s Guangdong Province, registered multiple websites in the name of engaging in marketing and business promotions.

An investigation found that the company forged websites to make them appear to be representative of mainstream news sources for the purpose of fooling the public, according to the office.

Commercial portals such as Sina.com and Sohu.com were also spoofed by the company.

“The fake websites have disturbed online news communication order, discredited mainstream media and infringed on people’s legal rights,” according to the office.

Units and individuals are encouraged to report such scams to local public security departments, it added. 

 

 

 

>>  Greater responsibility necessary for greater freedom online

By Zhang Chunxiao and Ren Ke

Though many Chinese enjoy the convenience brought by the Internet, it is critical that they bear in mind social responsibility and basic moral principles to stop the Internet from becoming a virtual realm of abusive language and rumors.

At a meeting on Saturday, Chinese Internet celebrities were urged by a senior official from the State Internet Information Office to set better examples of appropriate Internet behavior and play a more constructive role in promoting virtuous and moral activity online.

The government expects these celebrities to uphold law and order, set an example of protecting the legal rights of citizens, and denounce any activities that harm the reputation and interests of others.

The Internet has become a major platform for people to obtain all kinds of information and socialize with others. However, recurrent online rumors, cyber-manhunts and bullying are increasingly compromising the credibility of online information and netizens’ privacy.

It is not as if some occult hand is going to reach down to curb rumors and harassment online. Every Internet user needs to exercise good judgement and have a clearer sense of social responsibility.

On the Internet, the more responsibilities users assume, the greater freedom they will enjoy.

Cyber safety and productivity is also part of the agenda for the three-day China Internet Conference 2013, which kicked off on Tuesday.

Well-known Internet entrepreneurs, government officials and experts from related fields have gathered at the conference to explore ways of enhancing the cyber environment and providing a better online experience for the country’s 591 million Internet users.

Net users vary in personality, but they need to find common ground for regulating their words and actions to prevent the Internet from decaying into a virtual realm of rumors, slander and contention.

These bottom lines should include self-discipline, rationality, morality and respect for others.

“Only by securing the bottom lines can freedom of speech be truly honored, and rational and peaceful public discussion ensured,” said an editorial carried Tuesday by the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Like all Internet users, Internet celebrities should take these bottom lines seriously, because the large number of followers they have on social networks has enabled them to exert notable influence on public opinion.

On Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, China’s two leading social networks, the current number of accounts followed by at least 1 million people has reached 3,300, and there are about 200 accounts with at least 10 million followers.

The people behind these popular, wide-reaching accounts have a responsibility to deliver more positive messages to netizens and help restore the Internet’s credibility and integrity.  

 

 

 

>>  8,700 detained for online crime

By Yang Hui, Zou Wei and Liu Yizhan 

Police have busted more than 210 gangs and detained 8,700 people after they were found to have been involved in online crime, according to a statement released on Thuesday of August 13 from the Ministry of Public Security.

More than 4,100 Internet-related fraud cases have been solved and 150million yuan (24.50 million U.S. dollars) in economic losses has been recovered since the ministry launched a campaign to clean up the Internet in June, according to the statement.

From July 25 to 27, police from 13 provincial- and municipal-level regions broke up 42 gangs and arrested 140 people who are allegedly involved in online video fraud in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the ministry.

The suspects allegedly stole contact information used to log into QQ, a popular instant messaging program, and record fake video chats that they used to defraud their victims’ relatives and friends, according to the statement.

Several vehicles, computers and mobile phones used to commit the crimes were seized by police, according to the ministry.

 

 

 

>>  China pledges more efforts to protect personal information

By Yang Hui and Zouwei

Public security authorities on Tuesday of August 13 said fingerprint registrations for people who change their ID cards or plan to get new ones should be expedited in order to prevent counterfeiting and protect personal information.

Recent media reports have stated that many people are involved in the trafficking of lost or stolen ID cards on the Internet, according to an official from the Ministry of Public Security.

“Those who illegally use others’ ID cards will be subject to legal punishment,” the official said, adding that the ministry will step up efforts to crack down on such activities.

More than 1.2 billion Chinese have received new ID cards since a new version of the cards was introduced in 2004.

The first version of the national ID card, which was launched in 1985, has been prohibited from use starting Jan. 1, 2013.

In order to protect people’s personal information, those who have applied for or exchanged their ID cards were asked to have their fingerprints recorded starting earlier this year.

As many as 16,000 police stations have started recording prints, the ministry said, adding that fingerprint recording is expected to be implemented nationwide by the end of the year.

The ministry said it is also considering creating a system for reporting lost ID cards in order to encourage people to report lost cards in a timely fashion.

According to a statement released Sunday by the ministry, police have broken up 468 gangs and arrested 1,213 people for allegedly personal information trafficking online.  

 

 

 

>>  Online pyramid scheme busted in E China

By Wang Wen and Zhu Yi 

Police in Shanghai Municipality said on Tuesday of August 12 that they have arrested more than 20 people who allegedly engaged in a large-scale online pyramid scheme.

Police said the ring recruited more than 6,900 members from 28 provincial regions, including Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangsu.

Earlier this year, local police discovered a company that was involved in illegal fundraising, asking members to pay 3,800 to 15,000 yuan (620 to 2,450 U.S. dollars) for cosmetics or health care products purchased through an e-commerce website, promising them money if they convinced others to join the scheme.

More than 100 million yuan was involved in the case. Most of the money was transferred to personal accounts belonging to a person surnamed Liu, who is also allegedly in charge of the company.

Pyramid selling has been banned in China since 1998 but has remained rife in many regions. In recent years, the fraud has evolved from sales of fake products to more sophisticated fundraising schemes.

 

 

 

>>  Transnational drug gang cracked in south China

By Zhang Yi and Wang Qiufeng

A transnational drug gang was cracked in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Tuesday of August 13, local police said.

About 60 policemen arrested 10 members of the ring in the cities of Chongzuo, Liuzhou and Nanning. Two of the suspects are foreigners.

Officers also seized 3.7 kilograms of heroin and three cars.

The gang was targetted by the Ministry of Public Security.

A local police chief said the law enforcement authorities had been working on the case for more than half a year.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese man detained for fabricating online rumor

By Zhang Yi, Pan Dexin and Hu Xing

A man has been detained in southwest China’s Guizhou Province for starting a rumor about a prison break that went viral online, local police said on Tuesday of August 13.

The man surnamed Zhang will be held in police custody for three days.

On Saturday, Zhang alleged on Tencent Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service, that six inmates escaped from a prison in less than one month. He also claimed that they killed 78 women and raped 16 others in the city of Guiyang, Guizhou’s capital.

Police in Guiyang said they did not receive any reports related to these claims.

Police went to the city of Zunyi, where Zhang lives, and arrested him.

Zhang has confessed to fabricating the information.

 

 

 

>>  Driver arrested over deadly road accident

By Zhang Xingjun and Li Baojie 

A truck driver who fled the scene of a road accident that left 11 dead and 12 injured in central China’s Henan Province has been arrested, local police said.

Zhang Nanxiang was arrested in the city of Zhoukou early on Tuesday morning of August 13, less than a day after a heavy-duty truck he was driving was involved in a head-on collision with a mini-bus in Guangshan County, Xinyang City, the county public security bureau said in a statement.

The collision occurred at 3:59 p.m. Monday, killing five people on the spot. Another four died on the way to the hospital, and two others with severe injuries died later in the hospital.

The bodies of nine victims have been identified, according to the statement.

All of the casualties occurred on the 23-seat mini-bus, which had 23 people on board.

The bus owned by the No. 3 Branch of the Xinyang Transport Co. was severely burned in a fire after the collision.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way.

 

 

 

>>  Yingli and DEK to build solar power research center

By Zhang Yi and Wang Kun

Chinese solar energy giant Yingli and British company DEK Solar are set to jointly build a research center in Baoding City, Hebei Province, Yingli announced on Tuesday of August 13.

DEK Solar will provide its most advanced research apparatus to a Yingli lab, and the two companies will work on technologies essential to the solar energy industry, according to the agreement.

Yingli board chairman Miao Liansheng said his company is pushing the industry out of current adversity through technological innovation.

“The solar energy industry is about to recover,” Miao said. “Cooperation on innovation will accelerate the industry’s rejuvenation.”

Chinese solar panel makers suffered great losses due to overcapacity, and a recent trade dispute with the European Union worsened prospects for the profitability of the industry.  

 

 

 

>>  China’s fiscal revenue rises moderately in July

By Zuo Wei, Gao Li and Han Jie

China’s central government fiscal revenue grew 8.8 percent in July, consolidating the trend of moderate increase after a slump in the first quarter, according to latest official data.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Tuesday of August 13 that central government fiscal revenue increased year on year to 604.9 billion yuan (98 billion U.S. dollars) in July, slightly lower than the 9.9 percent growth in June but higher than January-May.

The MOF said the central government witnessed a rebound in fiscal revenue growth in the previous two months, but the year-on-year growth in the first seven months stood at 2.6 percent, still 4.4 percentage points below the full-year growth target.

Previous data showed that China’s central government fiscal revenue fell 0.2 percent year on year in the first quarter and grew only 3.1 percent in April-June.

The ministry attributed previous weak growth to slower expansion of revenues from import taxes, domestic value-added tax (VAT) and consumption tax, all major components of central government fiscal revenue.

Chinese local governments saw their fiscal revenue expand 13.5 percent year on year to 580 billion yuan in July, driven up by rising income from housing transactions.

Total fiscal revenue in July stood at 1.18 trillion yuan, up 11 percent compared with the same period last year.

In terms of expenditure, the ministry said government spending for July rose 8.9 percent to 6.91 trillion yuan, with central government spending increasing 4.4 percent and local government spending rising 9.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the ministry said the growth rate of combined fiscal revenue is expected to rise steadily in the following months as China’s economic growth stabilizes.

However, it remains an arduous task ahead to achieve the full-year target of 7 percent, due to slowing industrial expansion, falling producer prices and tax-cutting policies, according to the ministry.

Fiscal revenue in China includes taxes, administrative fees and other government income, including fines and earnings from state-owned assets. In 2012, China’s fiscal revenue saw an increase of 12.8 percent.

Since the beginning of 2012, China has adopted a raft of tax-cutting measures, including a pilot program to replace business tax with VAT, to help alleviate burdens for businesses and individuals.

On Tuesday, the country’s top economic planner also announced that China will lower administrative fees charged by 14 government departments, effective from October 1 this year.

 

 

 

>>  Industrial Bank H1 profit up 26.52 pct

By Cao Kai and Kang Miao

Industrial Bank, one of China’s second-tier shareholding commercial banks, reaped 21.64 billion yuan (3.5 billion U.S. dollars) in net profits in the first half of 2013, up 26.52 percent year on year, according to its semi-annual report released on Tuesday of August 13.

The bank posted 53.46 billion yuan in revenues from the start of January to the end of June, up 29.7 percent year on year, according to the report.

Mounting service charges and commissions contributed to the rising revenues, it said.

The bank’s daily outstanding deposits on average in the first half year stood at 1.965 trillion yuan, up 32.65 percent than the beginning of 2013, it said.

The balance of its non-performing loans stood at 7.625 billion yuan by the end of June, accounting for 0.57 percent of the total, according to the report.

Industrial Bank, headquartered in Fuzhou City of east China’s Fujian Province, was established in 1988 and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2007.

Hang Seng Bank Limited and Tetrad Ventures Ptd Ltd were among its top 10 shareholders by March 2012, according to the bank’s official website.

 

 

 

China’s non-resident yuan deposits top 1 trln yuan

By Xu Feng 

China’s non-resident yuan deposits had reached 1.07 trillion yuan (173 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of the second quarter, according to data released on Tuesday of August 13 by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

Of the deposits, 497.1 billion yuan came from individuals, according to the SAFE.

This is the second time that the SAFE has published non-resident deposit figures, a move motivated by efforts to make foreign exchange statistics more transparent. The first was the release of the year’s first-quarter figures on June 26.

In a separate statement, the SAFE said net inflows of overseas investment to China’s financial institutions reached 442 million U.S dollars in the second quarter while net outflows of the country’s financial institutions stood at 135 million U.S dollars.

 

 

 

>>  China nods Baxter’s $4 bln bid for Gambro

By Zhang Zhongkai

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has authorized Baxter International Inc’s 4-billion-U.S. dollar bid for Sweden’s Gambro AB, provided that Baxter divests its global continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).

The conditional approval, which is subject to corporate monitoring, also requires the U.S. dialysis equipment manufacturer to end an outsourcing production deal in China with Japan’s Nipro Corporation by March 31, 2016, the ministry said.

The deal would make Baxter the world’s second-largest dialysis equipment maker and may exclude and stifle other competitors on the CRRT and dialysis equipment markets, according to the ministry’s review of the bid’s impact on related global and Chinese markets.

Baxter and Gambro together amount for 64 percent of the global CRRT monitor market and 84 percent of China’s CRRT hemofiltration product market, which reach monopoly standards and may curb competition on the global and Chinese markets, according to MOC’s review.

Overseas monopolistic conduct that excludes or stifles competition on the Chinese market is subject to China’s anti-trust law. The MOC has received 754 related filings so far this year, of which 690 filings have been registered and 643 have been concluded, with most approved unconditionally.

 

 

 

>>  China’s e-commerce surges in H1

By Liu Jie

China’s e-commerce sector raked in 4.98 trillion yuan (807 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in the first half of this year, up 45.3 percent year on year, official data showed on Tuesday of August 13.

Rapid Internet development boosted e-commerce and information consumption in China, home to the world’s largest number of Internet users. Shang Bing, vice minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said information consumption has become a new engine driving economic invigoration and boosting domestic demand.

In the first six months, consumption of information products and services jumped 20.7 percent year on year to 2.07 trillion yuan. The output of smartphones surged 120 percent to 214 million units.

At the opening ceremony of the China 2013 Internet Conference, Shang said the country still needs to improve its broadband facilities and services and step up Internet innovation.

With Internet-related crimes becoming more frequent, it is imperative that the entire industry take a stand against cyber attacks, information theft, online rumors and other illegal activities.

The MIIT will continue to improve information infrastructure and enhance legal and administrative efforts to safeguard online security, he noted.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese shares close higher Tuesday

By Zuo Wei

Chinese shares closed higher on Tuesday of August 13, buoyed by strong performances from the cement and information technology sectors.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.23 percent, or 4.87 points, to end at 2,106.16. The Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.07 percent, or 5.92 points, to finish at 8,362.65.

Combined turnover on the two bourses shrank to 203.2 billion yuan (32.9 billion U.S. dollars) from 243.11 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Tuesday’s gains were mainly led by the cement sector, whose sub-index jumped 2.63 percent on the back of market sentiment that local infrastructure construction will speed up amid upbeat macro-economic data.

Xinjiang Qingsong Building Materials and Chemicals (Group) Co., Ltd., a company based in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, surged by the daily 10-percent limit to 4.06 yuan per share.

Companies related to information technology were also lifted as the 2013 China Internet Conference convened in Beijing. Counters of electronic devices and electronic information edged up 1.43 percent and 1.40 percent, respectively, while the media and entertainment sector added 1.38 percent.

Bucking the trend, the coal industry, which skyrocketed 8.1 percent on Monday, adjusted itself by falling back 0.62 percent at Tuesday’s closing.

 

 

 

Chinese companies expect detailed green measures

By Zhang Xu 

 Chinese green companies have welcomed new measures on environmental protection and energy saving, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday of August 13.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, announced measures on Aug. 11 to boost green industries, as it looks to increase domestic demand and update the country’s economic structure

In last year’s industrial development plan, China vowed to raise the total output of environmental protection industries to 4.5 trillion yuan (730 billion U.S. dollars) by 2015, an average annual increase of 15 percent.

The latest State Council document reiterates that goal, promising to spur technological innovation, expand demand for green and energy saving products, and boost the service industry related to the field.

In terms of specific policy measures, more budget will be assigned to fund environmental protection industries and eligible companies will be encouraged to issue bonds.

Efforts will also be made to establish pricing schemes for renewable energy and to push forward with tiered prices for household water and gas consumption.

Domestic Chinese companies with suitable capacity will be encouraged to target overseas projects in environmental protection, and eligible foreign-funded firms will enjoy the same preferential treatment as their Chinese counterparts, the State Council added.

The measures specifically entail faster upgrades of energy saving technology and equipment, in particular high-efficiency boilers.

An insider from Hangzhou Boiler Group Co. Ltd.,which controls half of the Chinese market for exhaust-heat boilers, believes the measures will not greatly influence business in short term, but will push local authorities to map out detailed policies for change.

In terms of another hot issue, air pollution, the document highlights pilot programs for carbon and emission trading.

Xiong Suqin, board secretary of Yonker Environmental Protection Co., Ltd., agreed that the beneficial effects of the policy may take some time to become obvious, while government at all levels responds with support schemes in tax, procurement and subsidies.

The provincial government has asked green companies to detail the support they need, Xiong added.

Companies involved in green building and sea water desalination have also called for further support for the two sectors.

 

 

 

>>  KFC China sales slump amid bird flu scare

By Yue Ruifang and Xia Xiao 

The recent bird flu scare dragged KFC’s sales in China in July down by 13 percent from the beginning of the year, according to statistics released on Tuesday of August 13 by Yum! Brands Inc., KFC’s parent company.

Data show that KFC’s same-store sales in the Chinese market declined 16 percent last month, but the company said it expects to see same-store sales rebound later in 2013 and even increase by the fourth quarter.

The company attributed the slump to the adverse impact of several food chain scandals last year and the bird flu outbreak earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut, another popular chain owned by Yum! Brands, reported a 3-percent increase in sales in July, but it has not released more specific figures.

China is one of the most important markets around the world for the company based in Louisville, Kentucky, which has over 3,800 KFC restaurants on the Chinese mainland.

The company opened its first KFC restaurant in 1987 in downtown Beijing, the starting point for its rapid expansion in China. The number of KFC franchise restaurants in Beijing exploded from 100 in 2003 to 200 and 300 in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese cities getting smarter

By Zhang Yunlong and Wu Jingjing 

More Chinese cities have completed work on digital systems and are set for an upgrade toward becoming “smart cities,” according to the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

Smart cities use the Internet and cloud computing technologies to make infrastructure and services — which include city administration, education, health care, public safety, transportation and utilities — more intelligent and efficient.

In 2006, China launched a national initiative to build citywide digital systems and as of June this year nearly 320 prefecture-level and 150 county-level cities had been involved in the digitalization process, the administration said Tuesday in a statement.

Among them, more than 170 prefecture-level and 40 county-level cities have completed digital geo-systems and put them into operation, according to the statement.

Earlier this year, China officially started a pilot program to build data cloud platform in the cities of Taiyuan, Guangzhou, Xuzhou, Linyi, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Wuhan, Wuxi and Zibo. The platform is intended to aid in the exploration of “smart city” construction and related services.

Li Weisen, deputy head of the administration, said “smart city” technology will be used to tackle traffic jams, health care resource shortages, the uneven distribution of education resources and pollution.

The administration said China’s city digitalization and smart city construction efforts over last several years have generated more than 30 billion yuan (4.86 billion U.S. dollars) in terms of output value for the geoinformation service industry.

 

 

 

>>  China mulls solemnization at marriage registries

By Cheng Zhuo and Cui Jing

Chinese authorities are considering providing solemnization services at marriage registration offices, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs has revealed.

Instead of a brief process of form filling, approval and certificate issuance that typically can be finished within a minute, the ministry is mulling whether to provide a certificate-presenting ceremony at more registration offices in China, Xu Liyang said on Monday of August 12.

With the couple’s consent, a registrar and presenter will act as a marriage witness and lead the new bride and groom to utter their wedding vows in a special ritual hall, and the couple will be informed of their rights and obligations as a wife or husband.

It is hoped that through such solemnization procedures, the newlyweds will get an understanding of their responsibilities and commitments in marriage, Xu said.

A free ceremony for marriage registration is now available in registries in Shanghai, Shandong, Hubei and Beijing, and the ministry is considering expanding the program to more places in China, Xu added.  

 

 

 

>>  China has 300,000 social workers: blue book

By Zhou Fang

The number of specialized social workers in China has reached 300,000, including over 80,000 who qualified after passing the government exam, according to a blue book published here on Tuesday of August 13.

“A Report on the Development of Social Work in China (2011-2012)” was published by the Social Work Research Center, under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, in collaboration with the Social Sciences Academic Press, under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

It is the second of its kind to be published in the country. The first covered 2009-2010.

In China, “Social Work” refers to such sectors as social welfare, social assistance, poverty elimination, marriage and family affairs, mental health, disabled persons’ rehabilitation, employment assistance, and prevention of crimes.

By 2015 and 2020, the number of Chinese social specialists is projected to top 500,000 and 1.45 million, respectively, according to a government plan which calls for greater efforts to train more social-work specialists.

The country has had five national tests on the qualification of social workers so far.  

 

 

 

>>  China launches top publication awards

By Li Huizi 

China launched its annual top publication awards on Tuesday of August 13, which will include new media such as Internet publications.

The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said in a statement that awards will go to 240 Chinese publications and individuals, including books, magazines, audio and video products, and electronic and Internet-based publications.

Applicants will be judged by a panel of experts, and the appraised publications and publishers must be sanctioned by the government, the statement said.

The administration will announce the results in November.  

 

 

 

>>  Quake relief supplies sent to Tibet

By Wen Tao, Xu Wanhu, Huang Xing,

Li Zhihui and wang Wen 

Quake relief supplies were sent on Tuesday of August 13 to southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, which was jolted by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake on Monday of August 12.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs sent a shipment of supplies, including 3,000 tents, 20,000 cotton sheets, 20,000 cotton-padded coats, 3,000 folding beds and 3,000 sleeping bags, to the quake-stricken area.

In addition, the regional and prefectural governments have sent 1,200 tents, 20 tonnes of food, 20,000 cotton quilts, water, milk and feed grain to people in the quake zone, said Yang Guoyi, deputy director of the regional civil affairs department.

An initial investigation showed that 570,000 residents in 11 counties were affected by the quake, which hit the border of Zogang and Markam counties in Qamdo Prefecture at 5:23 a.m. Monday.

The earthquake damaged 45,000 houses, as well as multiple highways, bridges and some water conservancy facilities. No deaths have been reported, although 87 people have been injured.

Subsidies have been offered to quake victims who had to be relocated in the wake of the disaster. Each resident will receive a daily subsidy of 10 yuan (about 1.6 U.S. dollars) for the next year.

Some 17,000 yuan has been offered to each household whose home was destroyed or severely damaged in the quake. Families whose homes were not as badly damaged may receive 3,000 yuan, according to the regional civil affairs department.  

 

 

 

>>  Droughts linger in E China

By Wang Wen and Wang Junlu 

A month-long heat wave is continuing to affect east China’s Zhejiang Province, leaving 617,000 people short of drinking water, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Seventy-nine of the province’s counties have been affected, as well as5.83 million mu (388,667 hectares) of farmland and 114,000 head of livestock, according to the headquarters.

The provincial government is working to provide water for 14.08 million mu of croplands, 585,000 people and 174,000 head of livestock.

A total of 385 million yuan (62.9 million U.S. dollars) has been spent on drought relief work, the headquarters said.

 

 

 

>>  Foot-and-mouth disease confirmed in Tibet

By Yu Wenjing and Rong Jiaojiao

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been confirmed in cattle in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Tuesday of August 13.

On Aug. 5, one village in Qamdo Prefecture reported that 14 head of cattle showed symptoms of the disease. The national laboratory test results released on Tuesday confirmed that the cattle were infected with type-O foot-and-mouth disease, the ministry said.

Local authorities have sealed off and sterilized the infected area, where 57 head of cattle have been culled and safely disposed of, according to the ministry.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a contagious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild species within the family Bovidae.

  

 

 

>>  Tunnel collapse kills 4 at E China hydropower station

By Zhang Yi and Guo Yuanming 

Four workers were killed when a tunnel that was under construction collapsed on Tuesday at a hydropower station in east China’s Jiangxi Province, local publicity authorities said. [ The accident occurred around 2:00 a.m. in Suichuan County. Three people died at the scene, while one another died at a hospital.

Safety inspectors are looking into cause of the collapse.

The hydropower station is being built by Jiangxi Water and Hydropower Construction.  

 

 

 

>>  Death toll from China road accident rises to 11

By Fang Ning and Zhang Xingjun 

The death toll from a truck-mini bus collision on an expressway in central China’s Henan Province has risen to 11, after two severely injured people died in hospital, local authorities said on Tuesday of August 13.

Authorities in Guangshan County confirmed that five people were killed on the spot at 3:59 p.m. Monday, when the two vehicles collided head-on. Four others died on the way to hospital.

All of the casualties occurred on the mini-bus which had 23 people on board.

The bus owned by the No. 3 Branch of the Xinyang Transport Co. was severely burnt in a fire after the collision.

Police are hunting the truck driver who fled the scene after the accident.  

 

 

 

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