China expects to launch cargo ship into space around 2016





>>  China urges political solution to Ukraine situation

By Liu Hua

A Chinese spokesman on Sunday of March 2 urged all sides involved in the Ukraine situation to comply with international law and seek a political solution to their disputes through dialogue and negotiations.

“China is deeply concerned with the current Ukraine situation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said when responding to a question on China’s stance after Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military forces to protect Russian citizens and soldiers in Ukrainian territory.

Condemning violences over the past days in Ukraine, Qin said China has been urging all parties in Ukraine to address their domestic disputes peacefully in accordance with the country’s law, safeguard the legitimate rights of the Ukrainian people of all ethnics, and restore social order as soon as possible.

Qin said China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“There have been reasons for today’s situation in Ukraine,” said the spokesman, without detailing the reasons.

China will closely watch the development of the situation in Ukraine and calls on all sides concerned to respect international law and pursue a political solution to their disputes through dialogue and negotiations to safeguard peace and stability in the region, Qin said.





>>  Abe loses credibility with Chinese gov’t, people: spokesman

By Wang Cong

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lost credibility with the Chinese government and the Chinese people as well, a spokesman of the Chinese political advisory body said on Sunday of March 2.

Calling Abe a “regional troublemaker … playing a double game,” Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told a press conference that Abe’s visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine has seriously undermined the political foundation for Sino-Japanese relations.

The Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 convicted Class-A war criminals and other war-dead during the World War II.

Lyu said the Japanese leader on one hand talked about having a face-to-face dialogue with Chinese leaders. “On the other hand, in total disregard of China-Japan relationship and regional stability, he has compromised the interest of Japan’s neighbors, and hurt the feelings of the people of Asian countries victimized in the WWII,” he said.

Abe has also repeatedly created military tensions by expanding advanced weaponry and equipment, Lyu said.

“He has lost his credibility with the Chinese government and the Chinese people,” he said.

Lyu said dialogues with China will only be possible after Abe corrects his mistake with credible actions, and puts an immediate end to all words and deeds that might jeopardize China-Japan relations and create regional tensions.

Noting an ongoing movement toward the Right in Japan’s politics, he said future developments in Japan are a cause for concern.

“The Japanese people don’t want to see Japan repeat its past mistakes and the international community will not allow Japan to turn back the wheels of history,” Lyu said.





>>  China urges greater wildlife protection efforts

By Zhu Shaobin, Lin Hui and Liu Yangyang

Greater efforts from the government and public are needed to protect China’s wildlife, a promotional campaign urged on Sunday of March 2.

The launch of the campaign in Beijing by the State Forestry Administration was attended by foreign embassies’ representatives as well as officials from the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A campaign press release said environmental pollution, logging and illegal trading remained a threat to wildlife and their habitats. The government and public need to take more measures to improve protection.

Under joint efforts by the government and the public, the situation of more than 70 extremely endangered species, such as wild pandas and crested ibis, is improving. Habitats are also improving, according to the press release.

The campaign came ahead of World Wildlife Day on Monday. The United Nations General Assembly decided March 3 as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.

China introduced special protection for endangered species, such as pandas, golden monkeys and white-flag dolphins, in the late 1980s, and strictly banned poaching and trading.

The country also led an operation code-named Cobra II against international wildlife crimes between Dec. 30, 2013 and Jan. 26, 2014. The operation cracked over 350 cases involving the capture of more than three tonnes of ivory and ivory products, over 1,000 hides and a number of other wildlife products.

The Chinese government also destroyed 6.1 tonnes of confiscated ivory it had seized over the years in January in south China’s Guangdong Province.





>>  Chinese visitors flock to UK

By Zhu Shaobin and Qian Chunxian

The number of visas issued to Chinese nationals by the UK hit a record high of 291,919 last year, up 39 percent year on year, data showed.

The growth rate was the largest than anywhere else in the world, according to a report on the UK government’s China website. The UK has made it easier for Chinese people to obtain visas, the report said.

It took the UK on average 7.2 days to process a visa. Of all visa applications, 96 percent were successful, the report said.

The numbers also showed that the UK is continuing to attract top students from China, with a 9-percent rise in student visas granted, and a 14-percent increase in student visitor visas, the report said.

British Ambassador to China Sebastian Wood described the statistics as both striking and encouraging. He said the visa system is supporting the bilateral economic, educational and tourism relationship.





>>  China’s aircraft carrier leaves for tests, training

By Wang Di

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, on Sunday of March 2 left its homeport of Qingdao in east China’s Shandong Province on tests and training missions.

The journey is the first of its kind for Liaoning in 2014 and is part of its yearly tests and training schedule, according to sources with he People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The aircraft carrier and its crew have conducted a series of tests and trainings, including landing and takeoff by various aircraft on its deck.

The Liaoning is China’s only aircraft carrier in operation. It was refitted based on an unfinished carrier of the former Soviet Union. The refitted carrier was delivered to the navy on September 25, 2012.





>>  China rolls out efforts to help ethnic youths land jobs

By Zuo Wei

State-level efforts have been rolled out to improve employment conditions of the young people in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, a Chinese official said on Sunday of March 2.

Lü Xinhua, spokesman for the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the committee has made suggestions to increase financial and policy support in this field based on investigation.

“When we say we pay great attention to the employment of the young people of ethnic minorities, we mean it,” the spokesman told a press conference.

Lü cited an example of investigation teams sent by the CPPCC National Committee from April to June 2013 to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Shanghai, on a mission to address how to improve vocational education in ethnic minority regions.

Lü also introduced a program that enrolls middle school students from four ethnic-minority-inhabited prefectures in southern Xinjiang to receive three-year vocational education in nine provinces and municipalities across the country.

Each student is provided by the Ministry of Finance with financial aid of 5,000 yuan (about 817 U.S. dollars) every year to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Some 3,000 students, who were first enrolled in the program in 2011, will graduate this year, Lü said.

“We hope they can land the jobs they want. And the government also has the responsibility to help them get jobs,” the spokesman said.





>>  China means it in fighting corruption: CPPCC spokesman

By Fu Shuangqi and Meng Na

China means it in severely punishing corrupt officials, no matter who he is and what position he holds, said a spokesman in Beijing on Sunday of March 2.

Lyu Xinhua, spokesman with the session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remark in response to a question from the South China Morning Post.

China has investigated corruption cases involving CPC officials including high-ranking ones, he said.

“We are doing this to demonstrate to the whole party and whole society that, when we say that anyone who violates laws and Party disciplines will be investigated and dealt with severely no matter who he is and what position he holds, we mean it,” he said.





>>  Two legislators sacked in N. China province

By Sun Liangquan and Lü Dong

Two officials in north China’s Shanxi Province have been removed from their legislative posts in the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), local authorities said on Sunday of March 2.

Jin Daoming, also vice chairman of the Shanxi Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee, was dismissed from office at a local people’s congress meeting on Sunday following an investigation on him for suspected “serious violation of discipline”.

Ding Xuefeng, also mayor of Lyuliang City, was removed from office at the meeting for alleged disciplinary violations.





>>  China punishes 829 judges, court staff for corruption in 2013

By Wang Di

China investigated and punished 829 judges and other court staff for corruption in 2013, up 42.3 percent year on year, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) said on Sunday of March 2.

Among the 829 court officials, 157 were transferred to judicial organs for prosecution, 294 punished for violation of Party disciplines, and 531 punished for breaching government disciplines, the SPC said in a statement.

The SPC said 683 judges and court staff turned over illegal gains including cash, securities and payment documents, to the value of 3.32 million yuan (540,000 U.S. dollars), in 2013.

The authority will continue the “high-handed posture” in the fight against judicial corruption, said the statement.





>>  China expects to launch cargo ship into space around 2016

By Cao Kai, Ren Qinqin and Wang Min

China is expected to launch a cargo ship into space around 2016 to serve the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, a leading space scientist said on Sunday of March 2.

The cargo ship, named “Tianzhou” or “Heavenly Vessel” in Chinese, will be delivered by the newly-developed Long March-7 carrier rocket and dock with Tiangong-2 automatically, said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s manned space program, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Cargo transportation system that supplies goods and propellants is a key technology China must master to build its own space station, said Zhou, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body.

Tiangong-1, China’s first space lab and target orbiter, was sent to orbit on September 29, 2011. China is expected to launch the Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015.

“A manned spaceship has limited transportation capacity and costs highly,” said Zhou ahead of the annual session of the advisory body, which is scheduled to open on Monday.

“But a cargo ship will not return to the Earth and does not need to carry people in its launching and docking processes, which makes its transportation of goods more economical and efficient,” he said.

The Tianzhou cargo ship can send supplies to the space station, including propellants, living necessities for astronauts and equipment for scientific research. It can destroy various wasted materials, he said.

It can also send large-sized facilities and equipment for the construction of the space station, he added.

Three cabin structures are being designed for the Tianzhou cargo ship, a fully-enclosed one, a semi-open one and a wholly-open one, he said.

The loading capacity of the cargo ship will reach the world-class level and will be even better than some developed countries, he said.

Researchers are busy developing the Long March-7 carrier rocket, which has a new-generation engine and uses harmless propellants. It has a carrying capacity of more than 13 tonnes, he said.





>>  China considers building smog research facility

By Tian Ye

China is considering to build two outdoor facilities to help research smog, the Beijing News reported on Sunday of March 2.

The plan to build atmospheric simulation chambers has been submitted to the economic planning body for approval, the newspaper quoted He Hong, a researcher in charge of the project’s preparatory work, as saying.

The chambers, each with a volume of about 300 cubic meters, are part of a broader environment project to be built in Beijing’s outer Huairou District, according to He, a researcher from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The academy submitted project plans to the National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning body, as early as 2010, but no approval was granted.

The whole project, which is estimated to cost 500 million yuan (81.4 million U.S. dollars), will be devoted to the research on the formation of smog and its control, according to He.

The project will be open to scientists worldwide for research purposes if approved, according to the newspaper.

Smog has been a major concern for the Chinese public since early 2013. Frequent bouts of smog have led to a reduction of industrial activities, raised pollution alerts and forced authorities to impose bans on vehicle use.





>>  China closes 5,000 illegal clinics

By Cheng Zuo

China has closed 5,088 illegal clinics in three months amid a crackdown on illicit medical practices, the country’s health authority has announced.

A year-long campaign began in October targeting unlicensed clinics and unqualified doctors, according to a National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) statement.

In the first three months, the authorities received 7,316 reports and complaints from the public, out of which 6,538 have been settled.

Health authorities at all levels investigated 30,462 cases of illegal practices and revoked licenses of 121 medical and family planning clinics for violations, the statement said.

A total of 964 cases have been transferred to the police for further investigation.

The police have investigated 767 cases and busted 22 groups.

Military departments have closed 46 unauthorized medical websites and investigated 13 people who posed as military doctors, according to the statement.

The campaign was launched by six Chinese authorities, including the NHFPC, the Ministry of Public Security and the health department with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Logistics Department.

The statement said the six authorities recently issued a circular, urging better efforts to crack down on unqualified medical cosmetic services, including those carried out by unlicensed foreign doctors, as well as illegal fetal sex diagnosis and sex-selective abortions and the unlawful transfer of medical licenses.





>>  China Eastern Airlines orders 70 Airbus planes

By Zhu Shaobin

China Eastern Airlines, a major Chinese airliner, has signed an agreement with global aircraft maker Airbus for the purchase of 70 Airbus A320NEO planes for 6.37 billion U.S. dollars.

The planes will be delivered starting from 2018 till 2020. The airliner will pay in installments, according to a company statement released Saturday by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The company said that it will finance the deal through income from business operations, bank loans, and other financing tools. It said the purchase will not have a major impact on liquidity and its business operations.

It said that the new planes aim to cater to the rising demand for medium and short-distance trips.





>>  China reports one more H7N9 death

By Bao Xiaojing and Li Baojie

One more person in China has died from the deadly strain of H7N9 bird flu, health authorities said on Sunday of March 2.

A 60-year-old man in Jingxian county in the eastern province of Anhui died from the deadly virus on Friday, the Anhui provincial health department announced on Sunday.

The man, surnamed Liu, was confirmed as a H7N9 infection on Feb. 19 and had been under treatment at a hospital in the city of Wuhu.

Anhui has reported five H7N9 infections so far this year. Of the rest four, one has died, another has been cured and the remaining two are still under treatment.

Across the country, the H7N9 strain of bird flu has infected more than 120 people and killed 32 of them so far this year.







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