Expanded property tax trials predicted




>>  China-Myanmar gas pipeline in full operation

By Zhu Shaobin and An Bei

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said on Sunday of October 20 that the China-Myanmar gas pipeline has gone into full operation after the completion of its end section connecting the cities of Lufeng and Guigang in southwest China.

Some 793 km of the 2,520-km trunk line are in Myanmar, while the rest is in China. It is expected to send 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to Myanmar and southwest China, which will reduce coal consumption by 30.72 million tonnes per year, according to the CNPC.

Wu Hong, general manager of the CNPC’s pipeline construction department, said the China-Myanmar gas pipeline will linked with the pipeline that sends gas from China’s remote northwest to the east coast, hence greatly increase the reliability of supply to customers, particularly in case of emergency.

Construction of the gas pipeline began in 2010. It is part of a so-called Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipeline project, which also includes building a crude oil pipeline. The Myanmar section of the gas pipeline started to deliver gas to China in late July.

The CNPC is the parent company of China’s top oil and gas producer — PetroChina.




>>  China, Bangladesh to progress BCIM Economic Corridor

By Cui Wenyi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni here on Sunday of October 20 to push forward the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor.

Wang said China cherishes the traditional friendship with Bangladesh and attaches importance to China-Bangladesh ties. China regards Bangladesh as a natural partner and important for China’s opening up westward.

He said China is willing to maintain high-level visits, deepen pragmatic cooperation and push forward the construction of the BCIM Economic Corridor with Bangladesh.

China hopes the two countries can promote people-to-people exchanges, and cooperate and coordinate in both international and regional issues. China is committed to promoting China-Bangladesh partnership to a new level, according to Wang

Moni said Bangladesh attaches great importance to the bilateral relationship and thanks China for its valuable support and assistance to socioeconomic development in Bangladesh.

She said Bangladesh will actively support and participate in the construction of BCIM Economic Corridor and make joint efforts with China to comprehensively enhance bilateral relations.

Moni is paying an official visit to China from Oct. 19 to 22 at Wang’s invitation.




>>  Senior Chinese political advisor held talks with Namibia’s guest

By Cui Wenyi

Senior Chinese political advisor Ma Biao held talks with Magreth Mensah-Williams, vice chairwoman of Namibia’s national council here on Sunday of October 20.

The two sides exchanged views on tourism, meat trade and food production.

Ma is vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) , the country’s top political advisory body.




>>  China, UNESCO to strengthen cooperation

By Cui Wenyi

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong on Sunday of October 20 called on China and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to strengthen cooperation in more fields.

Liu made the remarks while meeting with Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

Liu said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the cooperation with UNESCO, and China is willing to work with UNESCO to broaden cooperation areas and deepen cooperation content through various means.

China is willing to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges with other countries and make contribution to the sustainable development of human beings, Liu said.

Bokova spoke highly of the relation between China and UNESCO, and she calls for more cooperation in education, science and culture.

Liu and Bokova also attended the opening ceremony of UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit.




>>  HK chief meets Australian minister for foreign affairs

By Zhang Yashi and Li Zhihui

Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung met the visiting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Julie Bishop here on Saturday of October 19 to exchange views on the latest developments in Hong Kong and Australia, according to local government website.

Leung said that the two sides enjoy close economic and social ties, and he hoped that the economic and trade exchange and cooperation between the two places can be further enhanced.

The city’s chief also encouraged Australian enterprises to develop business in Hong Kong and use Hong Kong as a gateway to explore the Chinese mainland market.




>>  Senior CPC official urges enhanced Marxist study

By Ren Ke

A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Sunday of October 20 called for enhanced study of Marxism to provide theoretical support for a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a symposium on the study and development of Marxism..

The research and development of Marxism must focus on the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which is the pivot of the whole work of the Party and the government, said Liu, who is also secretary of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee.

“We need to have Chinese scholars to interpret the miracle of China using theories of Chinese origin,” said Liu at the symposium.

He also stressed that it is crucial to apply the results of Marxism study to the reality, and that only through sinicization can Marxism be understood by the Chinese people.




>> China urges implementation of reform, restructuring measures

By Zhan Yan

The Chinese government has vowed to further promote reforms and restructuring, while urging the implementation of such measures issued by the State Council in recent months.

The moves are expected to lay a solid foundation for the economy to stabilize and grow, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

Facing complicated economic situations, the State Council has introduced various measures, such as to streamline administration and delegate powers to lower levels, to facilitate trade and investment and to free interest rates, while not expanding deficits, not loosening or tightening money supply, said the statement.

The meeting studied problems in the implementation of the policies, saying that the foundation for economic rebound is not stable yet, deep conflicts are still outstanding and more risks and challenges will exist in future development.

More work should be done to promote reforms and restructuring, and the measures that have been mapped out should be carried out fully, so as to constantly release reform dividends and lay a solid foundation for the economy to stabilize and grow, the statement said.

The statement asked local governments and various departments to map out accessory measures directed against vulnerable links in carrying out the policies.

To deepen reforms, governmental functions should be transformed, while industrial upgrading should be boosted through growing new competitive strengths, it said.

More work should be done to secure and improve people’s livelihood, the statement said.

The meeting asked local governments and various departments to check their implementation of the reform and restructuring policies, while the State Council will organize inspections.

China’s overall economy is running well, but the foundation is instable, especially its endogenous economic growth capacity is weak, said Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

The economic rebound in the third quarter is closely related with a series of policies introduced by the government this year, including stabilizing growth, restructuring and promoting reforms, said Wang Jinbin, a professor of economics at Renmin University.

But investment, not consumption, still served as the top drive for economic growth, and thus tasks will be daunting for future restructuring and reforms, said Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications.

China’s gross domestic product rose 7.8 percent in the third quarter compared with one year earlier, accelerating from the second quarter’s 7.5-percent increase and a rise of 7.7 percent in the first quarter.




>>  Expanded property tax trials predicted

By Zhu Shaobin

China is likely to expand its property tax trials amid recent hikes in home prices in many cities, the Beijing-based Securities Daily reported on Sunday of October 20.

“The expectations for upgrading the real estate market control are increasing and a long-term mechanism will be gradually rolled out,” said the report, which pointed to the expansion of property tax trials as one of the most likely approaches for the government to adopt.

Government documents concerning reform have repeatedly touched upon the subject, further evidence that this approach is locked in, said Jia Kang, head of the fiscal science research institute under the Ministry of Finance.

“The expansion of property tax trials is an inexorable trend. It will not only be extended to more cities, it will also be different from the current trials in Shanghai and Chongqing,” said Hu Jinghui, vice president of bacic5i5j.com, a leading real estate intermediary service company in China.

Hu predicted expansion of the trials will also include existing homes, saying, “The levying of property tax on owners of multiple existing homes is very likely.”

He said that the property tax trials implemented in Shanghai and Chongqing currently only target new homes based on per capita living space. Only the excessive living space of an apartment is subject to a property tax of 0.6 percent, which Hu said was a low tax level that failed to deter speculation.

According to experts, no actual progress has been made since the trials started in the two cities in 2011. Jia said that some property developers and government officials who own multiple homes might be the hurdle to the tax’s expansion.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is scheduled to release home price data for September on Oct. 22. NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said on Friday that the nation’s property market has grown more complicated as major cities are seeing their housing prices soar again.




>>  Foreign visitors to China down 5 pct January-September

By Zhu Shaobin

Foreign visitor arrivals in the Chinese mainland totalled 19.36 million in the first nine months of 2013, down five percent year on year, according to new data from the National Tourism Administration.

Foreign visitor arrivals from Asian nations totalled 11.8 million during the period and declined the most on a year-on-year basis, down 5.92 percent, with arrivals from Japan down 23.84 percent.

Arrivals from North and South America totalled 2.32 million, down 2.55 percent. Arrivals from the United States and Canada totalled 1.55 million and 502,300, down 2.53 percent and 4 percent, respectively, the data showed.

Arrivals from Europe and Oceania also dropped 4.45 percent and 5.23 percent, respectively. However, foreign tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom and France rose 2.7 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively.

In contrast with other continents, Africa’s outbound tourist arrivals in China rose 3.77 percent and amounted to 400,700 during the same period, the data showed.




>>  No casualties in Hunan ancient building fire

By Lü Qiuping and Ming Xing

The fire in an ancient building complex was put out late on Sunday of October 20 in Hongjiang City of central China’s Hunan Province, and no casualties were reported.

Fire broke out around 5:20 p.m. at a traditional residential house at the Hongjiang Ancient Town, a major tourist attraction and a national cultural heritage site. The fire was not put out until 7:30 p.m., said an official in charge of the town.

The narrow lanes in the town had hampered firefighting efforts, he said.

Economic loss of the fire is being calculated and the cause is being investigated.

The building complex under state protection includes more than 300 well-preserved structures built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, with a total land area of 200,000 square meters.




>>  7 confirmed dead in China’s flooded colliery

By Lü Qiuping and Huang Yong

Seven miners who had been trapped in a flooded coal mine were confirmed to be dead in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, authorities said on Sunday of October 20.

Rescue work completed on Sunday evening, ten days after the accident happened at the Dachong Coal Mine in Changtian Township, Huishui County, said a spokesman with the Huishui County Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Relevant responsible officials, including head and CPC secretary of the township and chief of the county’s work safety supervision bureau, were sacked or suspended from duty for investigation.

The flooding occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 when 33 miners were working underground. Twenty-six managed to escape, and seven others were submerged by water.

The licensed mine has an annual production capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

Further investigation is underway.




>>  New cold front to hit N China on Monday

By Zhu Shaobin

China’s top meteorological authority said on Sunday of October 20 that a new cold front will sweep China’s northern regions on Monday, bringing high winds and temperature drops.

Most parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and areas in the northeast of the country will see temperature decline by as much as 10 degrees Celsius, according to the forecast by the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

The cold front is also expected to bring small to medium snow to Inner Mongolia starting on Tuesday.

Cold fronts and high winds in recent periods have lessened smoggy air conditions in the north of the country. The weekends at the Chinese capital Beijing are clear due to influence of such windy weather.





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