Chinese FM calls for joint efforts on Diaoyu Islands

 

 

  

 

 

>>  Chinese FM calls for joint efforts on Diaoyu Islands

 

Joint efforts by the mainland and Taiwan should be made to safeguard overall national interests, such as the Diaoyu Islands, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday of June 7.

His comments came after Taiwan’s leader Ma Ying-jeou proposed trilateral dialogue on the islands.

“Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets are an integral part of Chinese territory and have been since ancient times,” Hong Lei told a daily media briefing.

Hong made the comments after media reports said Ma proposed that Taiwan, Japan and the Chinese mainland shelve their sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and engage in a three-way dialogue on resource development near the islands.

China will resolutely safeguard sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and its legitimate rights in the East China Sea, said the spokesman.”It is the common responsibility for the countrymen on both sides of the [Taiwan] strait to safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation,” he added. 

 

 

>>  Fines for unmarried mothers draw criticism

By Liao Jun, Xiong Jinchao, Li Jinfeng and Xia Xiao

Authorities in the city of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province have received multiple complaints regarding a recently revealed family planning draft ordinance.

The draft ordinance, which was posted online on May 31, promulgates a set of measures that include subsidies for families who have lost their only child and punishment for those who violate the one-child policy.

However, one of the draft’s articles calls for imposing a “social compensation fee” on women who have children out of wedlock and cannot provide proof of their partner.

The article has triggered a great deal of controversy, as many believe it unfairly targets vulnerable women and children. Others believe the article is targeting women who have affairs with married men.

Provincial population and family planning regulations already call for those who knowingly have a child with people who are already married to pay the social compensation fee.

“There are pros and cons. The ‘pro’ side believes the article can protect legal marriage, while the other side believes the article may have an adverse impact on vulnerable people,” said an official from the Legislative Affairs Office of the Wuhan Municipal Government who requested anonymity.

Local health and family planning departments usually levy social compensation fees on those who violate the one-child policy, using the money to pay for environmental protection efforts and to compensate for public government investment. The fee is at least three times the amount of one’s average annual disposable income.

Statistics indicate that the annual disposable income for Wuhan residents was 27,000 yuan (4,400 U.S. dollars) in 2012, meaning the social compensation fee should be at least 81,000 yuan.

The article has raised concerns that abortion, abandonment and even baby selling will occur more frequently due to the heavy fines and social attitudes concerning unmarried women who have children.

“What if a woman becomes pregnant because of sexual assault, does she still need to pay the fee? And how can a woman precisely determine whether a man has a spouse or not?” said local resident Zhang Hai.

Shang Chongsheng, an associate professor at the School of Political Science and Public Administration under the Wuhan University, said that the draft ordinance is intended to preserve family planning policies.

However, if the controversial article is implemented, abortions and abandonment may occur at a greater rate, Shang said.

“Lawmakers need to fully consider the legal interests of all parties and specify the details of the ordinance so that social stability can be ensured,” Shang said.

“China’s family planning policy is facing new challenges, as different levels of society have different views on the policy and people have changed their attitudes towards marriage and child-bearing,” said Shi Renbing, director of the Population and Policy Institute at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Shi said proper marital and reproductive attitudes should be taught to adolescents, adding that adults who violate the one-child policy should be punished more severely.

The draft won’t take effect until it is approved by the Wuhan Municipal People’s Congress, the local legislative body.

“Before it is carried out, relevant departments will consider the public’s opinions,” the anonymous official with the Legislative Affairs Office said.

 

 

>>  Air China to resume Okinawa flights

 By Qian Chunxian and Rong Jiaojiao

Air China will resume its flights from Beijing to Okinawa from July 3, the company announced on Saturday of June 8.

Air China started flying to Okinawa in January 2012, but suspended the service because of lack of passengers.

The airline will offer two flights each week with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Flight CA831 will leave Beijing at 1:20 p.m. and return flight CA832 will take off at 6:30 p.m. (both local time).

The service will bring the number of Japanese cities served by Air China up to 10 and the number of round-trip direct flights between the two countries to over 260 every week, according to the airline.

Known as Eastern Hawaii, Okinawa is one of the world’s most visited destinations and boasts beautiful scenery, a mild climate and rich cultural heritage. 

 

 

>> Airbus to deliver over 100  passenger planes to China in 2013

By Rong Jiaojiao and Qian Chunxian

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus will deliver over 100 passenger planes to China this year, with its four-year deliveries to China totalling over 400, the company announced on Saturday of June 8.

The market share of Airbus in China’s wide-bodied aircraft market has reached more than 60 percent, with over 110 Airbus A330 wide-bodied aircraft in operation, according to Airbus.

Fabrice Bregier, president and CEO of Airbus, attributed the company’s achievements in China to a strategy of carrying out extensive and in-depth cooperation with China’s aviation industry.

Air China, the country’s leading carrier, and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines signed deals at the end of May to buy a total of 100 Airbus 320-series planes for 8.85 billion U.S. dollars.

The A320′s high reliability and low operational cost have appealed to Chinese airlines, while the A330 offers a solution for airport congestion in large Chinese cities, as larger planes can carry more passengers with fewer flights, according to Airbus.

Airbus delivered its first aircraft to China in 1985. The number of Airbus aircraft in operation in China by the end of April stood at 914, the company said. 

 

 

>>  10,000 evacuated in continuing E. China downpour

By Fang Ning, Guo Qiang and Guo Yuanming

Downpours since Thursday of June 6 have caused flooding threats in rivers and lakes in east China’s Jiangxi Province, forcing an evacuation of some 10,000 people by Saturday.

The Jiangxi provincial headquarters of flood control and drought relief said on Saturday that the downpour has caused flooding disasters in 122 townships in 13 counties and cities, affecting the lives of 229,000 residents.

Six cities in Jiangxi received precipitation of over 200 mm in 24 hours before 7 p.m. on Friday.

The province’s major Wan’an and Junmin reservoirs have seen the water level brimming over danger marks. Poyang County, which is seated by Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, on Saturday announced a start to its emergency response system to prevent the lake from flooding as the downpour continues.

The provincial authorities have urged local authorities to reinforce patrolling along the levees and river embankments in flood prevention. 

 

 

>>  China sees rising perils of bad loans: central bank

By Liu Jie and Qin Huajiang

China’s central bank said on Friday of June 7 that bad loan balance had posted the first increase in eight years, warning rising financial risks in a range of sectors.

The bad loan balance stood at 1.07 trillion yuan (173.7 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of 2012, an increase of 23.4 billion yuan from the year beginning, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in its 2013 financial stability report.

The non-performing loans ration was 1.56 percent, down 0.22 percentage points from the year beginning.

The balance of defaulted loans of commercial banks was 528.1 billion yuan, surging 46 percent from the year beginning, indicating possibilities of more bad loans in the future.

Defaulting risks are mainly found in the Yangtze River Delta where market economy and small enterprises proper. Overbloated industries, including solar panel manufacturing, iron and steel making and cement, are hit by the perils.

The report also singled out the potential dangers of the wealth management products of which part of the money were put to industries that restricted to bank lending. 

 

 

>>  Sakyamuni tooth-relic stupa replicas donated to Myanmar

By Wu Dan and Shi Shouhe

Three Sakyamuni tooth-relic stupa replicas were handed over to Myanmar on Friday morning of  June 7 in the border city of Ruili in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The replicas were driven to Myanmar through the port of Jiegao, where a ceremony was held and attended by Buddhist monks and religious officials from both countries.

Stupas are used to house holy Buddhist relics.

The Buddhist Association of China (BAC) donated the stupa replicas in a bid to promote friendly exchanges between the two countries, said Dao Shuren, BAC deputy director.

The stupa replicas were given to a delegation of monks and religious officials from Myanmar, and will be displayed in the cities of Rangoon, Naypyitaw and Mandalay.

Currently housed in a golden pagoda in Lingguang Temple in Beijing, the Sakyamuni tooth sarira was taken to Myanmar for display and worship in 1955, 1994, 1996 and 2011.

Sarira are remains from the cremation of a Buddha or the body of a saintly monk. Often shaped like beads, they are regarded as the most treasured Buddhist relics.

After Sakyamuni (565-486 BC), the founder of Buddhism, was cremated some 2,500 years ago, a few pieces of his sarira relics were brought to China by monks who were preaching Buddhism. 

 

 

>>  U.S. teacher in Shanghai accused of molestation

By Zhu Yi and Xia Xiao

Six students of a French school in Shanghai have filed molestation accusations against a U.S. teacher, Shanghai police confirmed on Friday of June 7.

On May 12, a female French student at the Lycee Francais de Shanghai lodged a complaint to local police that she had been molested several times by a U.S. teacher surnamed McMahon since September, 2012.

The student said several other students had also been molested by McMahon, Shanghai police said.

The police has set up a special team to investigate the case and detained the 32-year-old teacher on suspicion of sexual assault on May 13.

Investigation showed that six students (four females and two males), aged between six and 10, have made complaints against the U.S. teacher, who allegedly took each of his victims to the school library and other places in the name of checking their homework, before forcing them to take off their clothes and molesting them.

Five of the involved students are French, and another is Italian.

Shanghai police said that a six-year-old U.S. student of the school has stated that he saw the teacher molesting a student at one point.

The suspect is still detained by local police, and the case is under further investigation.   

 

 

>>  Cross-border RMB settlement surges in Yunnan

By Zhang Xu, Pu Chao and Huang Xin

Southwest China’s Yunnan Province saw the cross-border RMB settlement hit 46.1 billion yuan (7.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, a local official said on Friday of June 7 at the ongoing China-South Asia Expo.

Six commercial banks in Yunnan have signed settlement agreements with their counterparts in nine countries including Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore, said Liu Guangxi, director of the provincial financial office.

Data from the office showed that the province’s cross-border RMB settlement has totaled 77 billion yuan since a pilot program was launched in August 2010.

Yum Sui Sang, president of Cambodian Union Commercial Bank, said the RMB settlement is an inevitable trend for mutual benefits in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

The GMS is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River. It covers 2.6 million square km and is home to around 326 million people.  

 

>> Cancer biggest killer in Taiwan: authorities

By Wen Chihua, Pei Chuang, Li Hanfang and Hu Longjiang

Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Taiwan for 31 consecutive years, local authorities said on Thursday of June 6.

Cancer is followed by cardiac and cerebrovascular disease in terms of mortality, according to statistics released by the island’s health authorities on Thursday.

Nearly 70 percent of last year’s 153,823 Taiwanese deaths were related to nine major diseases, including malignancy, cardiac disease, cerebrovascular disease and diabetes, the statistics showed.

Accidents contributed to only 4.5 percent of the deaths, it said.

Compared with 2011, the mortality rates for high blood pressure disease and chronic lower respiratory disease increased 2.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, in 2012.

Death rates for other diseases, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in particular, have declined due to prevention and treatment efforts.

The average lifespan for Taiwanese people was 79.5 years in 2012, 0.3 years longer than that of 2011, according to the statistics. 

 

 

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