China revises measures on int’l receipts, payments declaration

 

 

 

 

>>  Xi sends congratulatory message to China-U.S. people-to-people

exchange consultation

By Qi Wei

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday of November 21 sent a congratulatory message to the fourth annual China-U.S. Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) held in Washington.

Referring to China-U.S. relationship as one of the most important bilateral relations in the world, Xi said that to forge a new type of major country relationship featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation entails active support and broad participation from both peoples.

People-to-people exchanges have played a positive role for years in promoting the development of the China-U.S. relations and have become an important pillar in boosting bilateral ties, he said.

The Chinese president voiced hope that the CPE mechanism will help expand exchange areas and advance cooperation so as to make new contributions to the new type of relations between the two major countries.

In his congratulatory note to the annual consultation, U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed China’s peaceful rise.

China’s success is in the U.S. interests and a peaceful, prosperous and stable China is beneficial to both itself and the rest of the world, Obama said.

The CPE mechanism strengthens the bond that links the two peoples and offers key methods for conducting new-type cooperation and settling important issues, he said.

The consultation was co-chaired by visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese coast guard patrols Diaoyu Islands

By Yang Hui and Luo Sha

Four China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels patrolled territorial waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands on Friday of November 22, according to the State Oceanic Administration.

The administration identified the four vessels as CCG 2151, 2101, 2113 and 2146.

 

 

 

>>  Unwavering China-Japan economic relations hardly do without political trust

By Zhu Chao

A Japanese business delegation wrapped up a visit to Beijing on Thursday of November 21 after meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and other senior officials.

It is the biggest group of Japan’s business community to visit China since bilateral ties between the two Asian neighbors soured last September due to a heightened territorial dispute.

Despite a joint call for even closer economic relations, the visit failed to bring about any surprise in breaking the political stalemate, the Japanese media said.

As the second and third largest economies in the world, China and Japan are in need of each other in terms of trade and economic cooperation. However, the momentum has been undermined by the continuity of political uncertainty.

According to the Japan External Trade Organization, Japan’s total trade with China dropped 10.8 percent to 147.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2013, down for the first time in four years, while investment to China tumbled 31 percent.

The Japanese economy has been recovering this year on the back of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s massive monetary and fiscal expansionary policies, or the so-called “Abenomics”, of which depreciating yen and boosting Japan’s exports is considered as a pillar.

Being one of the most important markets for Japan and the one with the hugest potential, China means a lot for the success of Abenomics.

However, it is difficult to maintain a smooth development of economic cooperation with the two governments still at squabbles. Without stable political relations, confidence of the business community on both sides would undoubtedly be dented.

The phrase “warm economic ties, cold political relations” has been used since the 1990s to describe China-Japan relations. The recent disputes, however, have renewed concerns that economic ties are no longer “warm” amid “cold political relations.”

If the Japanese leaders continue to deny the existing dispute over the Diaoyu Islands and visit the war-linked Yusukuni Shrine, they are creating diplomatic and political headwinds that are certainly detrimental to the China-Japan economic ties.

Such political uncertainty, which Japan is fully responsible, has already aroused concerns among both Japanese and Chinese businessmen.

A worsening outlook for economic cooperation is in neither side ‘s interests. To prevent that happening, it is time for Japan to make sincere efforts to rebuild trust and restore political ties with China.  

 

 

 

South Korea, China conclude 8th round of FTA talks

By Peng Qian

South Korea and China on Friday of November 21 concluded the eighth round of talks for a bilateral free trade deal after the two sides discussed further about the level of liberalization for goods, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

“In the latest round of negotiations, the two sides began discussions for a rough draft of the trade agreement and on the level of liberalization for products, based on the agreed modality, ” Yonhap news agency quoted the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy as saying.

The five-day talks, or the first for the second-stage negotiations, were held at the Songdo international business district in South Korea’s western port city of Incheon.

According to a press release from the ministry, South Korea and China also held separate working group talks focusing on the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT) , intellectual property rights, service and investment and other issues relevant to liberalization under the proposed trade deal.

The exchange of the two sides’ initial offers on the level of liberalization this time marked a “good start,” said a ministry official.

The two neighbors completed the first-stage negotiations in early September with a total of seven rounds of talks, agreeing on the modality, or basic guidelines for the Sino-Korea FTA.

In the previous round of talks, Seoul and Beijing tentatively agreed to abolish tariffs on 90 percent of all products in terms of the number of items, and 85 percent of imports in terms of their monetary value.

The ministry said the next round of negotiations will be held in China, but the exact date has not be set yet.

China is South Korea’s No. 1 trading partner, with Seoul’s exports to Beijing accounting for a quarter of the total in 2012. Since the two neighbors established diplomatic ties in 1992, their annual trade has grown almost 50 times and reached 256 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.  

 

 

 

>>  China calls for greater tourism cooperation with Russia 

By Liu Hongxia and Lu Jinbo

China will continue to expand tourism cooperation with Russia and will make more efforts to promote less developed Chinese cities with huge tourist resources among Russian travelers, said chairman of China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Shao Qiwei on Friday of November 22.

While addressing the First China-Russia Culture and Tourism Forum held here, Shao said both countries have a long history and rich culture, which contributes to the sustainable development of tourism industries in the two nations.

“As for promoting tourism, an important carrier of culture, we plan to refocus from such developed cities as Beijing and Shanghai to those less developed ones,” Shao told Xinhua.

The Forum came as the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia concluded Friday in the famed Mariinsky Theatre, where a spectacular closing ceremony, a two-hour concert of Chinese traditional music, was staged.

The Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia was part of the “China- Russia Tourism Year” program which began last year with the Year of Russia Tourism in China, aiming to foster tourism ties and humanistic exchanges between the two neighboring nations.

In a letter of congratulations to the closing ceremony of the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia held in St. Petersburg Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hailed the “China-Russia Tourism Year” program a success and called it a feat in advancing bilateral ties.

The Chinese premier said he hoped the two neighbors would continue to expand tourism cooperation and help improve the well- being of the two peoples.

“We keenly invite more Russian friends to visit China and believe more Chinese nationals will travel to Russia,” Premier Li wrote in his letter.

China has 4,295 cultural relics enjoying state protection and 3, 866 museums distributed across the country, said Shao, who said the government is set to develop tourism not only to boost the economy, but to revive and retain the vitality of some endangered relics.

 

 

 

>>  Sharp to supply IGZO panels to China

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp Corporation plans to sell this winter its indium-gallium- zinc oxide (IGZO) liquid crystal display panels to China, local media reported on Friday of November 22.

The IGZO panels to supply for a Chinese maker will be made at Sharp’s Kameyama No. 2 plant located in Mie Prefecture, and the company will start production by the end of this month, said reports of the daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

By far, there has been no official announcement from Sharp. However, a spokesperson for the Japanese company told Xinhua that the reports are based on the Chinese maker’s report, adding that Osaka-based Sharp would strengthen its ties with smartphone makers in China to enhance its production capacity at the factory with its energy-efficient panel technology.

 

 

>>  Chinese, French officials to hold economic talks

By Liao Lei

Senior Chinese and French officials will hold the first high-level economic, fiscal and finance dialogue next week in Beijing.

The talks will be co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday of November 22.

Other senior officials from both countries’ economic, fiscal and finance sectors will also attend the dialogue.

The two sides will discuss the macro economy and policy, global governance, fiscal and financial cooperation, as well as bilateral trade and investment, Hong said.  

 

 

 

>>  China, ASEAN see more exchanges in sports for all

By Guan Hao

The 2013 China-ASEAN Sports for All Development Forum opened Wednesday in Nanning, capital city of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The three-day forum will focus on traditional sports, according to the organizers.

“Sports for all has become a more important role in exchanges between China and ASEAN countries,” said Rong Xiaoning, head of Guangxi Sports Bureau.

During the forum, Guangxi will host TAFISA (The Association for International Sports for All) Certified Leadership Courses in Sport for All, which aims to train and qualify national Sport for All leaders around the globe.

The Asia-Pacific Sports for All Association has also established a leadership training base in Nanning.

China and ASEAN have seen more exchanges and cooperation on sports in recent years, with the launch of a sports industry development forum, a martial arts summit, an ASEAN auto rally, a Tai Chi event, and exchange centers of sports information and human resources.

The forum was first held in 2011 and has since enhanced sports for all exchanges and cooperation between China and countries of ASEAN and the Asia Pacific region.  

 

 

 

>>  Shares of China’s 500.com, Sungy Mobile roar at IPO trading on U.S. market

By Jiang Hanlu and Yang Qi

A pair of Chinese firms, 500.com Limited and Sungy Mobile Limited, saw their stocks roar on Friday of November 22 when they made debut on the U.S. stock markets.

After its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, stocks of China’s leading online sports lottery service provider 500.com Limited closed at 20.01 dollars per share, up almost 54 percent from the price of its initial public offering (IPO).

The company said it priced its IPO of 5,786,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at 13.00 U.S. dollars each with a total offering size of 75.2 million dollars. One ADS represents 10 Class A ordinary shares of the company.

“Without any doubt, to choose the United States and trade our stocks on the New York Stock Exchange will improve our brand rapidly and increase our competitiveness against them (other online lottery companies),” Man San Law, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of 500.com told Xinhua.

Competition comes from portals like Taobao and Tencent, which have their own brands, lottery channels and large amount of website traffic, he said, adding 500.com will try to enhance its specialty and services to sharpen its competitive edge.

On the same day, stocks of Sungy Mobile, a leading global provider of mobile internet products and services, rallied nearly 19 percent to close at 13.35 dollars a share.

It set its IPO on the floor of NASDAQ Global Market under ticker symbol GOMO.

Sungy Mobile said in a statement released Friday that it priced 7,000,000 ADSs at 11.22 dollars each with a total offering size of 78.54 million dollars. One ADS represents six Class A ordinary shares.

Sungy Mobile mainly provides applications and mobile platform development. Its platform product GO Launcher EX manages apps, widgets and functions on Android smartphones and serves as users’ first entry point to their phones.  

 

 

 

>>  Canada to export more agri-foods to China

By Huang Xiaonan

As China became one of the fastest-growing markets for Canadian agri-foods, Ottawa plans to increase such exports to the Asian country.

Under a new program unveiled on Friday of November 22, the Canadian government will invest up to 4.3 million Canadian dollars (4.08 million U.S. dollars) annually over the next five years to fund increasing agri-food exports to China and other Asian markets.

China, a “critical market” for Canada, saw its agri-food imports from the western Canadian province of British Columbia grow at 20 percent annually, said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Canada’s minister of national revenue.

She said with a latest trial agreement between the two nations, fresh cherries from British Columbia have obtained new market access to China.

Canada also hopes to secure an agreement with China on similar market access for fresh blueberries exports next year, Findlay said.

It is vital to open up new markets such as China, said Debbie Etsell, executive director of the British Columbia Blueberry Council.

“We know the demand’s there,” Etsell told Xinhua.

British Columbia produces the most blueberries in the world with nearly 55 million kg picked in 2012. It exports fresh blueberries to China’s Hong Kong and frozen berries to China’s mainland.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese law change dents visitor numbers in New Zealand

By John Macdonald

The number of Chinese visitors to New Zealand fell by 12 percent year on year in October, following the introduction of a new law in China to protect tourists from unscrupulous tour operators, the New Zealand government statistics agency announced on Friday of November 22.

Chinese arrivals last month numbered 13,568, down from 15,344 in October last year — the first such decrease since April 2010 apart from Chinese New Year fluctuations, according to Statistics New Zealand.

“Although there was an overall drop in the number of Chinese visitors from the same month of the previous year, there were more Chinese travellers staying longer, more under 35 years of age, and more visiting friends and relatives in New Zealand,” population statistics project manager Joel Watkins said in a statement.

Total visitors to New Zealand numbered 195,000 in October, up 6 percent year on year.

In the year ending October, visitor arrivals rose 5 percent from the previous year to reach 2.681 million, with more coming from Australia (up 48,000 to 1.2 million), China (up 43,100 to 234, 560) and the United States (up 13,100 to 192,160).

Tourism New Zealand general manager corporate affairs Chris Roberts said the dramatic change in Chinese numbers was expected after a new law came into effect on Oct. 1, requiring travel sellers in China to offer better quality, and therefore more expensive, group tour package.

“A big drop in short stay group visa applications, down 45 percent for the month of October, and a 43 percent increase in longer stay and individual visitor visa approvals, indicates a shift to a better quality visitor and visitor experience — supporting our strategy to increase the value of the Chinese market to New Zealand,” Roberts said in a statement.

 

 

 

>>  Local officials from China, LatAm to meet in Costa Rica

By Zhou Jianxin

A meeting of local officials from China and Latin America will be held here on Nov. 26-27, Costa Rica’s Ministry of External Trade announced on Friday of November 22.

At the event, part of the 7th China-Latin America and the Caribbean Business Summit, municipal and provincial officials from both sides would discuss the impact of climate change, sustainable development, public-private cooperation to promote competitiveness of their cities.

Around 850 representatives from Latin America and another 260 from China will participate in the summit, which is co-sponsored by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Inter-American Development Bank.

 

 

 

>>  China’s Foshan, Nepal-China chamber agree to facilitate trade

By Ayush Khadka

The Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Foshan Committee (CCPIT Foshan) signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) here on Friday of November 22 agreeing to facilitate trade and business in the two places.

President of CCPIT Foshan, Xie Weixiong, and NCCCI Chairman Rajesh Kaji Shrestha signed the understanding on behalf of their parties, amid high hopes of better bilateral relationship.

According to the understanding, both the parties will do their best to promote, strengthen and expand trade, economic, technological cooperation and other business activities. They will also exchange information on commerce, industry and economy.

The two parties will assist their members in establishing and strengthening business contacts by organizing events such as conferences, seminars, study tours, exchange of trade groups and participation trade fairs.

Following the signing ceremony, Shrestha said that understanding between the two parties will play a great role in increasing business activities between Foshan and Kathmandu. He requested the delegation to promote Nepali handicrafts, Nepal’s chief export to China, as much as possible in Foshan. Similarly, Xie said that his team comprised of business people working in various sectors and they would do their best in their respective fields to flourish trade activities between the two places.

Established in 1999, the NCCCI has its branches in 12 places around the country. In the last 14 years, NCCCI has signed MoU with 18 trade councils of China.

 

 

 

>>  South African trainees welcome Chinese study programs

By Guo Xinghua

Some South African trainees who attended a China-sponsored training program have called it as an inspiring and fruitful experience.

The Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa on Thursday of November 21 held a reception in Pretoria for local participants in China’s 2013 Training Program.

Robin Toli, Chief Director of National Treasury, recalled in his speech that he went to China in 2011 to study in a training course. He learned in the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and major banks in China, which not only broadened his vision and insight, but also provided him a lot of specific operational skills.

He said that Agriculture Centre is one of the many academic research facilitates in South Africa built with the assistance of the Chinese government, and he took this moment to thank the Chinese people for their selfless help to the rainbow nation.

Thabani Mdhluli, a bio-diversity student in those programs, said that the training program is very critical, because the experience affected how he would treat his job. He learned how to protect the endangered animals, such as panda and tiger.

Archibold Ramolobeng, an agricultural advisor of Limpopo Agriculture Department, told Xinhua that he studied facility- agriculture in China, which is exactly what South Africa needs.

In Limpopo where water is very precious, water saving technology in facility-agriculture is being applied in his practice, Ramolobeng said.

April Yazini, a student in the special economic zone course, told Xinhua that she learned what strategic thinking in government policy could do to the economy.

Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy Rong Yansong said that China has played an active role in promoting South Africa’s human resource abilities and economic advancement for years, and he hoped the trainees who studied in China could use their new skills to improve their own lives and their nation’s development.

By November 2013, China has helped train 102 South African technicians and officials in numerous areas under government programs. Besides, 59 students studied in textile or special economic zone training courses designed for South Africa upon request.

 

 

 

>>  Economies on Silk Road promise big opportunities: expert

By Chen Ming

The economies along the Silk Road will play a more determined role in the global production in the near future, said Ibrahim Turhan, Chairman and CEO of Borsa Istanbul, on Friday of November 22.

Turhan made the statement at the Atlantic Council of Energy and Economic Summit’s panel on New Silk Road, Transit, Trade and Economic Development, in Istanbul.

Experts agreed that for a significant growth of the region, effective functioning of the capital market and private investment should be considered as vital.

“In order to increase the capacity of the region, startups and innovative projects must be given a crucial role,” Turhan said.

Policies should focus on how to make the field more stable and fissionable, out of which wealth could be distributed to the people.

Patricia Flor, special representative for Central Asia of the European Union, echoed: “The region especially Afghanistan needs a huge investment, while sometimes the state investment falls short to satisfy the demand.”

“We need private investment within the rule of law. The region needs a huge transformation. Infrastructure is very insufficient. There are still borders, which are difficult to cross or sometimes closed,” she spoke of the shortcomings of the region.

To encourage more countries in the region to joint to World Trade Organization has been considered as another alternative approach to advance the region.

Experts also described the region’s cooperation with China as crucial for its transformation.

Turhan told Xinhua that without the participation of China in the process, New Silk Road would be incomplete. “We will be very happy with any partnership initiated by China.”

The Silk Road is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were instrumental to cultural interaction between the West and the East. It linked traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time.

Extending 6,437 km, the Silk Road got its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade which dates back to the Han Dynasty ( 206 BC – 220 AD).

 

 

 

>>  Chinese tourist missing, feared dead after falling into sea in Phuket

By Li Li

Rescuers in Thailand’s Phuket island found a body off the southern coast on Friday of November 22, feared to be a Chinese student who has been missing since falling into the sea two days ago.

The body has been transferred to the Vachira Phuket Hospital for identification. Parents of the 20-year-old student, surnamed Gao, are on their way flying to Phuket.

Four men and two women, all exchange students from China studying in Singapore, climbed up the Promthep Cape, the southernmost point of Phuket Wednesday evening, according to local media reports. Two men slipped and fell into the sea. One of them was rescued from the water. He sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The other went missing amid strong tides.

Local authorities dispatched four rubber boats and Navy divers to search around the edge of the famous viewpoint, where hundreds of people flock to catch the sunset every day.

Local media said the incident might be caused by the rain which made the trail down to the end of the cape more slippery than usual.

 

 

 

>>  Li’s visit to boost China-Romania cooperation: senior officials

By Bai Jie

China will enhance economic cooperation with Romania during Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to the east European country, senior officials said on Friday of November 22.

The visit, from next Monday to Wednesday, will be Li’s first to central and eastern Europe since taking office in March, and also the first visit to Romania by a Chinese premier in 19 years, said Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao at a news briefing.

China and Romania are traditional friends, said Song, adding that it is the common aspiration of both nations and peoples and in line with their interests to boost substantial cooperation.

Stressing that China and Romania are highly complementary in their economies, Song said the two nations could fully exert their advantages to deepen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, energy and agriculture.

Romania is an important trade partner to China among central and eastern European countries, though the current bilateral trading volume is not very high, said Zhang Xiangchen, assistant minister of commerce, at the news briefing.

According to statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the trade volume between China and Romania in the first ten months of this year reached 3.27 billion U.S. dollars, up from last year.

China’s current total investment in Romania exceeds 160 million U.S. dollars, while Romania’s investment in China stands at 280 million U.S. dollars, said Zhang.

He also mentioned that Romania’s exports to China stood at 360 million U.S. dollars in 2008, while in 2012, the number surged to nearly 1 billion.

Both countries are willing to expand the scale of trade and deal with the trade imbalance, Zhang said, adding that China has taken measures to boost trade.

For example, the Chinese government has encouraged enterprises to import Romanian products and attend trade fairs in Romania, he said.

The two countries are in the process of negotiating the quarantine of animal products such as pork, said Zhang. “If agreements are reached, they will create conditions for the export of these products to China.”

Romania was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1949, immediately after the founding of the PRC.

During his stay in Romania, Li will also attend a China-Central and Eastern Europe leaders’ meeting.

 

 

 

>>  Top HKSAR Basic Law Committee official: chief executive must love country, HK

By Gao Lu

 The chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to be elected by universal suffrage in 2017 must love the country and Hong Kong, the visiting Chairman of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee Li Fei said in Hong Kong on Friday of November 22.

Addressing at a luncheon hosted by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Carrie Lam, Li said the central government is determined about the universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election, adding that the universal suffrage must be in line with the HKSAR Basic Law as well as the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC).

Li said according to the HKSAR Basic Law, the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage should be nominated by a broadly representative nominating committee. Based on the decision of the Standing Committee of NPC in December 2007, the nominating committee can be organized referring to the current election committee.

He explained that the special method is to ensure balanced involvement, enabling difference social classes and circles to have the floor in nominating the candidates for chief executive.

Li noted that anyone who meets the requirement of Article 44 of the HKSAR Basic Law can be nominated. There are no unreasonable limitations on the right to be nominated and to elect.

Article 44 specifies that the chief executive shall be a Chinese citizen of not less than 40 years of age who is a permanent resident of the Region with no right of abode in any foreign country and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years.

According to Li, the task of the nominating committee is to nominate a number of chief executive candidates in accordance with democratic procedures for the public to vote. With popularity and equality, any eligible voter can cast their vote.

Li emphasized that as a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong is directly under the central government. When elected, the chief executive shall be appointed by the central government and is responsible to the central government and the HKSAR government. That is why the chief executive must love the country and Hong Kong. In another term, people who opposes to the central government can not be the chief executive.

Li Fei, chairman of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee under the Standing Committee of NPC, together with another senior official Zhang Rongshun, arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday. They had met Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen and other officials of the Department of Justice.

Li and Zhang will also meet with the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong during their visit.  

 

 

 

>>  China’s cabinet announces appointments

By Wang Di

The State Council, China’s cabinet, on Friday of November 22 announced a number of government appointments.

Mao Weiming was appointed vice minister of Industry and Information Technology.

Chen Zongrong was appointed vice director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs.

Wu Wenxue was appointed vice director of the China National Tourism Administration, replacing Zhu Shanzhong.

Ren Xianliang was appointed vice director of the State Internet Information Office.

Li Yafei and Gong Qinggai were appointed vice directors of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, replacing Zheng Lizhong and Sun Yafu.

Huang Hong was appointed vice chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) while Li Kemu was removed from the post. Liang Tao was appointed CIRC assistant chairman.

Wang Zhiyong was appointed vice director of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, replacing Li Daning.

Lu Yong was appointed director of the sixth executive council of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF). Sun Xiande, Cheng Kai, Jia Yong and Wang Meimei were appointed vice directors of the sixth executive council of the CDPF.

Zhang Rong was appointed president of Shandong University, replacing Xu Xianming. Dong Xiaojun replaced Zheng Qingdian to be representative of the People’s Republic of China to the International Seabed Authority.

Yu Jianhua was removed from the post of vice representative of international trade negotiation for the Ministry of Commerce. Zhou Wenzhang was dismissed from the post of vice president of the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Li Heping was removed from her post of vice director of the State Archives Administration. Wang Jiliang was removed from vice political commissar of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

 

 

 

>>  Chinese scientists capture first image of hydrogen bonds

By Ren Ke and Luo Sha

Chinese scientists have visualized hydrogen bonds through modified non-contact atomic force microscopy (AFM) for the first time in history, the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) said on Friday of November 22.

Hydrogen bonds are fundamental to the most important molecules in nature. They are responsible for holding the two strands of DNA’s double helix together and many enzymes use them to catalyze reactions.

Although study of hydrogen bonds began in the 1850′s, scientists had not been able to visualize them until now.

A group of scientists with the NCNST has modified equipment for five years to create the top non-contact AFM in the field, which has allowed scientists to accurately analyze the structure of hydrogen bonds and directly measure the bond angle and length.

“As an analogy, we have seen people on the ground standing in line from space before, but now we see them hand in hand for the first time,” said Qiu Xiaohui, one of the group’s scientists, adding that the discovery has broad application prospects in the study of intermolecular interactions.

Qiu said accurate measurement of hydrogen bonds not only helps in understanding the bonds’ interactions, but also has great significance in materials science and pharmaceutical development.

The prestigious U.S.-based Science magazine published the research results in essay form on November 1.

 

 

 

>>  First private financing regulations in China passed

By Wang Wen and Yue Deliang

East China’s Zhejiang Province approved regulations on private financing for Wenzhou City on Friday of November 22, according to local authorities.

The regulations, approved at the 6th session of the 12th Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Congress, are the first of their kind in China.

According to the regulations, private loans involving more than three million yuan (about half a million U.S. dollars) or more than 30 lenders should be recorded by local financial management authorities or private lending registration service centers.

The full context of the regulations has not yet been published.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, approved the establishment of a pilot financial reform zone in Wenzhou in March last year to regulate private finance after a crisis in the city in 2011.

In Wenzhou, a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) used to resort to underground financing as state-owned banks failed to meet their needs.

However, with the monthly interest rates as high as five percent, some companies were unable to return the loans and went bankrupt. Other companies were affected as many of them were loan guarantors for each other.

 

 

 

>>  New reform to sustain 8-pct growth for China: economist

By Liu Xin Yong and Lü Mengqi

The reform package sanctioned recently by the Communist Party of China (CPC) will stimulate the economy and help the country sustain annual growth of around 8 percent, a well-known Chinese economist said in Beijing on Friday of November 22.

Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said reforms released after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee will bring vitality to the economy and help realize continuous and relatively fast growth till 2020, or even 2030.

“It is possible that China will sustain annual growth rate of around 8 percent till 2020,” said Zheng, formerly deputy director of the CPC policy research office, the party’s top think tank.

His estimate is more upbeat than other forecasts, which have suggested the annual growth rate may slow down to between 7 and 7.5 percent over the next decade from a near 10-percent expansion rate seen in the past three decades.

A policy document on deepening China’s reforms was released a week ago, after the plenary session which ended on Nov. 12.

The highlight of the 60-point reform plan is allowing the market to play a bigger role in resources distribution and restricting government’s interference in the economy.

In the first three quarters, the country’s gross domestic product grew by 7.7 percent, above the government’s full-year target of 7.5 percent.  

 

 

 

>>  China revises measures on int’l receipts, payments declaration

By Zhu Shaobin

China has revised its regulation governing the declaration of international receipts and payments in order to bring the data in line with global standards, a government document said on Friday of November 22.

The new regulation, endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang, will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

Under the new regulation, statistics collection and declaration will cover all economic transactions between Chinese and non-Chinese citizens, as well as Chinese citizens’ outbound financial assets and liabilities. The existing measures, which were promulgated in 1995 by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, do not cover the latter.

Non-Chinese who make economic transactions in Chinese territory will also be required under the new rule to declare their international receipts and payments data, according to the document.

The revision comes as transaction values of international receipts and payments have increased and transactions have diversified in recent years.

It was made in accordance with the International Monetary Fund’s sixth edition of its Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, released in 2008, which raised the requirements regarding data collection.

Experts believe the new measures will improve China’s statistics system for international balance of payments while acting as a persuasive force for authorities to beef up monitoring and analysis of cross-border capital flows.

“Uncertain factors in China’s international receipts and payments are increasing and irregular cross-border capital flows have become more frequent, so it is necessary to improve the declaration mechanism so authorities can enhance monitoring as well as warning capabilities,” said Ding Zhijie, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

Zhang Bin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, added that the revision also puts higher requirements on authorities to hone their approach to collecting statistics.

 

 

 

 

>>  Guangdong to apply for FTZ following Shanghai

By Lü Qiuping and Wu Weihong

South China’s Guangdong province has accelerated preparations for its own free trade zone (FTZ) and will apply for approval by the central government as soon as possible, governor Zhu Xiaodan said in Guangzhou on Friday of November 22.

Speaking ahead of an international conference on Guangdong’s economic development, Zhu said field surveys and feasibility studies for the proposed Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao FTZ have been going on for more than half a year.

While consulting central authorities, Guangdong has also exchanged opinions with the governments of Hong Kong and Macao, Zhu said.

Shanghai opened China’s first FTZ in late September. Many Chinese provinces now want their own FTZs.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao FTZ will help Guangdong remold the functions of its government and build a business environment that is based on the rule of law and confirms to international practices, Zhu said.

The proposed FTZ will also help expand cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and further open up the Guangdong economy, he said.

The governor said Guangdong has a very high expectation of the FTZ as FTZ is a national strategy approved by the just-ended Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The CPC meeting approved a roadmap for a comprehensive reform, and it particularly mentioned that cooperation with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan must be further enhanced, Zhu noted.

 

 

 

>>  China fines marine polluters

By Li Huizi

Chinese marine authorities have already fined polluters more than 25 million yuan (4.07 million U.S. dollars) for damaging the marine environment in 2013.

Various levels of marine surveillance agencies had dealt with 440 environmental cases by the end of October and settled 385 of them, according to the State Oceanic Administration on Friday of November 22.

The administration started campaigns such as “Green Sea” in 2009 to target threats to marine nature reserves, special protection areas and monitored regions, and “Sea Shield” in 2003 to deal with major discharge outlets and illegal land reclamation.

Marine surveillance agencies deal directly with officials or company bosses in cases of illegal harm to the marine environment.  

 

 

 

>>  China to launch new vehicle towards freeing interest rates

By Zhan Yan

China will soon introduce negotiable certificates of deposits (NCDs) on the interbank market, announced Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of China’s central bank, on Friday of November 22.

The issuance of interbank NCDs, an investment vehicle, is considered a stepping stone for market-oriented reforms of deposit interest rates.

Interest rate reforms have entered a crucial stage and the central bank has mapped out an overall program for this, said Pan.

Besides introducing NCDs, the central bank will further expand the floating range of deposit interest rates and ultimately lift controls on deposit rates, he added.

NCDs are issued by banks and can not be cashed in before maturity.

They were first introduced in China by the Bank of Communications in 1986, but the gate was closed after 1997 due to fraud and forgery.

The People’s Bank of China, or the central bank, announced on July 19 that it would scrap the floor limit for banks’ lending interest rates. Financial institutions can decide their own rates following commercial principles.

But a ceiling limit on deposit rates remained unchanged. The cap is 110 percent of benchmark deposit rates and the benchmark rate for one-year fixed deposits is now 3 percent.

 

 

 

>>  China gives 16.03 bln yuan to preschools

By Zhan Yan

The Ministry of Finance on Friday of November 22 said the central government has allocated 16.03 billion yuan (2.61 billion U.S. dollars) to boost preschool education.

The fund will be mainly used to support kindergartens to give disadvantaged families easier access to preschool education, especially those of migrant workers or with financial difficulties, or orphans and disabled children.

The central government has spent 42.24 billion yuan on preschooling since 2011 when it started to build more kindergartens and train more teachers, according to the ministry website. The ministry subsidizes school operations to make them more accessible.

About 65,000 kindergartens have since been built and 139,000 children subsidized.

About 64.5 percent of the children of appropriate age were enrolled in kindergartens at the end of 2012, said the statement.

 

 

 

>>  China punishes more securities market violations

By Zuo Wei

China’s securities regulator said on Friday of November 22 that it exposed more stock and futures market violations in the first ten months of 2013 and imposed a total of 148.76 million yuan (24.24 million U.S. dollars) in fines.

From January to October, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) handled 486 reports on violations of the China’s securities and futures markets, up 44 percent from one year earlier, according to a CSRC online statement.

During the same period, the commission launched 286 investigations, up 25 percent year on year. It also assisted in 74 new investigations concerning foreign interests, up 35 percent from a year ago.

It collected fines and confiscated illegal gains that totaled 148.76 million yuan, nearly three times that of the same period last year.

As many as 54 percent of the violation cases, including insider trading, information disclosure violations and market manipulation, were reported by the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, and another 25 percent came from public tip-offs.

China has strengthened securities supervision and cracked down harder on stock market violations this year.

In August, the CSRC decided to impose record penalties totaling 523 million yuan on Everbright Securities, as the company’s abnormal trading on Aug. 16 caused temporary spikes in the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index and resulted in huge losses for those who followed to buy in.

 

 

 

>>  China to reinforce crackdown on pyramid schemes

By Tao Yiping and Tian Ye

China will reinforce its crackdown on pyramid selling, according to a government guideline released on Friday of November 22.

The guideline, jointly released by the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), said chief leaders of pyramid selling groups will be prosecuted if the number of people involved in their pyramid schemes exceeds 30.

Repeat offenders of the ban on pyramid schemes will be subject to criminal prosecution if their group members surpass 15.

In China, those involved in pyramid selling rings could face fines and up to five years in prison, and prison terms could be extended to more than five years in serious cases.

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

In August, the MPS announced that Chinese police had seized 560 people involved in pyramid schemes during a special crackdown since the beginning of June.

 

 

 

>>  Int’l energy exchange unveiled in Shanghai

By Chen Yunfu, Yao Yujie and Cao Bing

The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) on Friday of November 22 unveiled the Shanghai International Energy Exchange in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), a key step towards crude oil futures listing in China.

The global trading platform for energy derivatives was funded by the SHFE with a registered capital of 5 billion yuan (815 million U.S. dollars), so far the largest in the FTZ.

The exchange will be able to operate regulated derivative marketplaces for crude oil, natural gas and other petrochemicals and provide clearing, delivery, information distribution and technology services, said Yang Maijun, head of the SHFE.

The SHFE will push ahead with various preparatory work for the listing of crude oil futures in a bid to roll them out as early as possible, Yang said.

 

 

 

>>  China approves trade of lumber futures

By Zhan Yan

China Securities Regulatory Commission on Friday of November 22 approved trade of fiberwood and plywood futures contracts at the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE).

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of the two wood products. They are crucial to forestry, as well as furniture, decoration and packaging sectors.

China has sped up development of commodity futures markets to offer companies more tools to hedge risks while trying to have a bigger say in the pricing of major commodities in the global market.

With these two new futures approved, China is expected to have ten new futures in market this year, including iron ore futures which started trading on Oct. 18 at the DCE.

 

 

>>  China’s grain output likely to rise again

By Wang Yaguang

China is likely to see another bumper year of grain production, making 2013 the 10th year in a row of increased output, the Ministry of Agriculture predicted on Friday of November 22.

It will be the first time the country has achieved 10 consecutive years of rising grain harvests since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the government agency said in a statement.

The ministry said this year’s harvest, despite various challenges, including weather and pest disasters, was achieved with the help of supportive government policies, technology and disaster control efforts.

The country’s grain output this summer, mostly wheat, hit a record high of 132 million tonnes, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In 2012, its grain output climbed 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 589.57 million tonnes.

As the world’s most populous nation and the largest grain consumer, China has stepped up efforts to ensure its food security, including boosting agricultural technology to increase land yield and guaranteeing the area of arable land.

 

 

 

>>  Guangzhou int’l car show kicks off

By Lü Qiuping and Chen Ji

More than 60 new models of cars are being showcased at the 11th Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, which opened on Friday of November 22 in the south China city of Guangzhou.

As one of the country’s three major car shows, the exhibition covers 200,000 square meters with more than 900 vehicles on display, according to the organizers.

Foreign high-end brands, such as Lotus from Britain, Koenigsegg from Sweden and Bugatti from France, are exhibiting for the first time.

The event will last nine days.

In addition to the show, a dealer service exhibition has been organized, which focuses on post-sales, such as finance, insurance, maintenance and sales.  

 

 

 

>>  China’s first heavy-load expressway in service

By Deng Hua, Li Yunping and Liang Saiyu

China’s first heavy-haul expressway has opened to traffic in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, improving the transportation capacity for the resource-abundant region.

The 265 km expressway linking the coal-rich Jungar Banner with Xinghe County was completed and opened to traffic on Thursday of November 21. It can be used by trucks with a load of 100 tonnes.

With an investment of 15 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S.dollars), the expressway is expected to carry 150 million tonnes of traffic annually.

Its opening will help Inner Mongolia, one of the nation’s biggest coal production bases, with an output of 1 billion tonnes in 2012, to improve coal transportation capacity.

 

 

 

>>  China Mobile’s former VP gets life sentence

Zhou Liquang and Qiang Lijing

 The former vice president of China Mobile, the country’s largest telecom operator, has received life imprisonment for taking bribes, a court in northeast China’s Jilin Province confirmed on Friday of November 22.

Lu Xiangdong, 53, stood trial and received the sentence at the Intermediate People’s Court of Jilin City on Friday of November 15.

Lu was found guilty of taking bribes totaling more than 25 million yuan (4.1 U.S. dollars) from 2003 to 2011 when he used his position to seek profits for others and accepted large amounts of bribes.

He is deprived of his political rights for life and all of his property has been confiscated, according to the court ruling.

Lu was investigated in early 2012, when he was in charge of the firm’s marketing operations, digital business and managed the mobile company’s cooperation business.

 

 

 

>>  Fresh smog shrouds east, north China

By Lü Qiuping, Shang Yiying and Zhu Qing

Municipalities and provinces of east and north China started seeing a new round of smog on Friday of November 22 after days with no wind.

The National Meteorological Center issued a yellow warning on haze at 2 p.m. on Friday, forecasting medium or serious haze in Beijing, Tianjin, and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

In east China’s Zhejiang Province, smog lingering from late Thursday left the air quality in the cities of Hangzhou, Huzhou, Jiaxing and Shaoxing at seriously polluted levels, according to the website of provincial environment protection department.

“The sun is right out there, but the sky is grey. My newly washed car has turned dusty,” said Lu Jing, a resident in Hangzhou, the provincial capital, wearing a mask on street.

According to the provincial weather station, the smog will not disperse until late Saturday, when a cold front with rain is expected to hit the province.

The polluted air also caused traffic accidents.

In Zhejiang’s neighboring Anhui Province, a pile-up involving at least 20 vehicles triggered a fire, which engulfed six of the vehicles at around 8 a.m. on Friday along the expressway between Shanghai and Shaanxi Province. At least four people were killed in the incident, according to local firefighters.

 

 

 

>>  5.3-magnitude quake hits China’s Jilin

By Wang Wen, He Yue and Wang Meng

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake jolted the city of Songyuan in northeast China’s Jilin Province at 4:18 p.m on Friday of November 22. Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter was officially determined to be at 44.7 degrees north latitude and 124.1 degrees east longitude, with a depth of eight kilometers, the center said.

The epicenter was located at the juncture of Qian Gorlos Mongol Autonomous County and Qian’an county, where two quakes of similar magnitude occurred on Oct. 31 and left 12 people injured.

“The earthquake lasted for about 3 seconds. I felt it was more severe than the last time, and my house was partly damaged,” Li Wei, a resident in Yingtu Village of Qian Gorlos Mongol Autonomous County, told Xinhua over the phone.

Li said his fellow villagers ran out of their homes for fear that their houses would collapse.

Residents in Changchun, the provincial capital, reported feeling the quake.

“I was at work and felt my desk shaking,” said a resident surnamed Fan.

 

 

 

>>  Suspected killer of family of seven arrested

By Guo Jiuhui and Liang Saiyu

A suspect in the killing of a family of seven was arrested on Friday of November 22 in central China’s Henan Province, according local police.

Police in Huaiyang County were informed of a killing spree in Shuangzhong village, Wangjia Township at around 2:21 a.m., according to their statement.

The man, Guo, is suspected of strangling his wife, 34, in a family dispute, then killing their son, aged 10, daughter, 4, as well as his wife’s parents, sister and her son.

Guo was arrested and candidly confessed his crime.

An investigation is underway.

 

 

 

 

 

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