China’s Forbidden City to control visitor numbers

 

 

 

 

 

>>  WTO establishes panel to probe U.S. anti-dumping

measures as requested by China

By Liu Meichen

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday decided to form a panel of trade experts, as requested by China, to probe into United States’ certain methodologies and their application to anti-dumping proceedings involving Chinese products.

The DSB made the decision at its regular meeting held here on Wednesday, and the panel investigation of compliance will take 90 days.

China requested consultations in December 2013 with the United States regarding the use of certain methodologies in anti-dumping investigations involving Chinese products, alleging that the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) used certain anti-dumping methodologies that were inconsistent with the U.S. obligations under the Anti-dumping Agreement.

In February, China requested the establishment of a panel.

The anti-dumping measures launched by the United States, totaling 13 and covering products such as oil well pipelines, involved a total export value of 8.4 billion U.S. dollars, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

It was the eighth case filed by China against U.S. trade remedy measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  WTO rules China’s export measures on rare earth inconsistent with rules

By Liu Meichen

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled on Wednesday of March 26 that China had acted inconsistently with WTO rules with regard to the export measures imposed on the rare earth materials.

In regard of the dispute case which was brought against China by the European Union (EU), Japan and the United States in 2012 to WTO, the panel report, circulated Wednesday afternoon, said that China’s export duty, export quota, and export quota administration and allocation measures imposed on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum products were inconsistent with the WTO rules and China’s Accession Protocol.

Meanwhile, the panel recognized China’s comprehensive resource and environment conservation measures taken for the products at issue, and rejected EU’s claim that the “export performance” requirement imposed by Chinese government on enterprises applying for molybdenum export quotas discriminated foreign enterprises.

The head of the Department of Treaty and Law in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement that China welcomed the panel’s ruling in regard of the “export performance” and regretted on its ruling over the measures taken by China over the exportation of rare earth materials.

The head pointed out that facing increasing resource and environment pressure, Chinese government has been reinforcing and improving its comprehensive regulation on high-polluting, high-energy-consuming and resource-consuming products in recent years, in an effort to respond to the needs to conserve exhaustible natural resources and protect environment.

It manifested China’s endeavor to maintain global sustainable development, and China believed that these regulatory measures were perfectly consistent with the objective of sustainable development promoted by the WTO and contributed to the coordinated development of resources, environment and human beings, as highlighted by the head.

The head further stated that China would continue to strengthen its regulation on resource products in a WTO-consistent manner and maintain fair competition, and noted that China was currently assessing the panel report and would follow the WTO dispute settlement procedures to settle this dispute.

The EU, Japan and the U.S. teamed up to bring a joint case in March 2012 to the WTO over China’s measures related to the exportation of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum, having claimed that the restriction has limited other countries’ access to those minerals and gave China a competitive advantage while hurting producers and consumers in other parts of the world.

The three trading powers required to establish a panel to probe into this dispute in June 2012, which was established a month later by WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).

Rare earths, a class of 17 mineral elements, are one of the most sought-after metals for their vital roles in green technologies like wind turbines and electric car batteries, and of particular concern, in military sectors.

Statistics showed that China, with its reserve accounting for some 23 percent of the global total, supplies over 90 percent of the world’s market demand. Enditem

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China regrets WTO rare earth exports ruling

By Lei Min and Zhang Xu

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) reacted with regret to a report released on Wednesday of March 26 by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that judged some Chinese raw materials exports haven’t followed rules on export tariffs and quotas.

The WTO report was a response to accusations made in March of 2012 by the United States, European Union and Japan that China had broken rules by limiting exports of materials including rare earth, tungsten and molybdenum.

The WTO formed a dispute settlement panel in July of 2012.

The MOC’s legal department replied on Wednesday that the ministry is evaluating the report and adopting measures in accordance with WTO dispute settlement protocols.

Facing severe resource and environment pressure, the Chinese government has enhanced management of resource products which are high-polluting and high-energy consuming. “This meets the requirement of protecting such resources that can be exhausted and environment in China, and also contributes to the global sustainable development,” said an unidentified official with the ministry.

The Chinese side considers these measures tally with goals of sustainable development advocated by the WTO and are conducive to the coordinated development of resources, environment and human beings, said the official.

The Chinese side will keep enhancing its management of resource products under the WTO rules to preserve fair competition, the official added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Former forced laborers sue Japanese gov’t, companies

By Lü Qiuping, Ren Liying and Zhu Feng

Nine people who were forced to work in Japan during World War II on Wednesday of March 26 filed a lawsuit in north China’s Hebei Province, demanding an apology as well as compensation from two companies and the Japanese government.

Yan Zizhen, 88, and his eight fellow complainants, brought their complaint to the Tangshan City Intermediate People’s Court., requesting Coke Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan (formerly Mitsui Mining Co., Ltd.), Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (formerly Mitsubishi Mining Co., Ltd.) and the Japanese government pay 1.8 million yuan (290,000 U.S. dollars) as compensation for forced labor.

They also asked the defendants to apologize to them and other victims through newspapers and on television.

Yan said he has 17 scars left from when he was forced to work in Japan from 1943 to 1945.

More than 4,000 workers like him were caught in Tangshan and brought to Japan to work. Only 1,700 survived and returned home.

“What my father wants more than compensation is an apology. Meanwhile, the lawsuit will be instructive for our next generation,” said Yan Min, the son of Yan Zizhen.

The court has not accepted the case.

Pan Guoping, the group’s lawyer, said that since 1995 there have been 14 lawuits filed in Japan by Chinese forced laborers, but all lost. Therefore, they started to seek justice at home.

On March 18, the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court accepted a lawsuit against the two Japanese companies over the matter, in the first such case in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said following the case that Japan should seriously address issues of forced labor, take a responsible attitude and seriously treat and properly handle the issues left over from history.

Hong said recruiting labor by force was a severe crime committed by the Japanese military during World War II and deeply undermined Chinese victims’ dignity and legitimate rights.

However, as there are no regulations on war indemnity in Chinese law yet, the lawsuits may have no legal basis for a just ruling, according to Lei Shiyin, a national political advisor.

To address the problem, nearly 20 political advisors jointly submitted a proposal during the annual session of the national political advisory body earlier this month, advising lawmakers to legitimize civilians’ lawsuits over Japan’s actions during World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China slams Philippines’ South China Sea court application

By Yang Yijun

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Wednesday of March 26 urged the Philippines to stop wrongdoing on the South China Sea dispute.

According to media reports, the Philippines will formally submit the dispute to the international court of justice in the coming days.

Hong told a routine press briefing that China will neither accept the unilateral action of the Philippines nor be present in the international arbitration.

China’s stance is in line with the international law, he said.

Hong urged the Philippines to be fully aware of the complexity and sensitivity of the South China Sea dispute and come back to the right track of negotiations and consultations as soon as possible so as to avoid further harming bilateral relations.

China’s determination to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity is unswerving, the spokesman added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China urges int’l assistance in addressing

root problems in post-conflict countries

By Wang Lei

A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called on the international community to help post- conflict countries address root causes of clashes, particularly economic and social underdevelopment.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).

“To speed up economic recovery and development is the basis for peacebuilding,” Liu told the UNGA. “Economic and social underdevelopment is the root cause of conflict.”

He noted that many post-conflict countries and regions face multiple challenges in economic and infrastructure reconstruction, poverty elimination, employment and social security.

“The international community should therefore focus on mobilizing resources and honor its commitment of assistance in a timely fashion, so as to help those countries achieve speedy economic recovery and reconstruction,” Liu said.

Only when people can enjoy the “peace dividend” will there be a solid basis for the peace process as well as for the post-conflict peacebuilding, Liu reckoned.

He also underlined that post-conflict countries bear the primary responsibility for their own peacebuilding.

“All our histories are different; all our specific circumstances are different,” Liu said. “Therefore, the international community should respect the ownership and the will of the countries concerned, and help them draw up their integrated peacebuilding strategy based on their own conditions.”

The Chinese diplomat also stressed the importance of strengthening coordination and cooperation in post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, adding that the United Nations and the PBC should continue to play a coordinative role in such efforts.

“The United Nations should seek to establish a stable relationship, or coordination, with other international partners. At the same time, it is important to bring into play the unique advantages of regional organizations, including the African Union, and subregional organizations in that respect,” Liu said. ” Together with the international community, China is willing to continue playing a positive role in helping post-conflict countries in achieving durable peace and sustainable development.”

Established by the UN Security Council and the General Assembly in 2005, the PBC is an inter-government advisory body, tasked with recommending strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery efforts throughout the world.

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Afghanistan to further cement ties with China: Afghan president

By Zhao Yishen

Afghanistan will continue to enhance ties with China, the out-going Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said on Wednesday.

“Under the next government of Afghanistan, the next president of Afghanistan will surely be equally or even more keen in pursuit of stronger ties with China,” Karzai told Xinhua during an interview in the country’s Presidential Palace.

“My message to the people of China is a message of tremendous goodwill from the Afghan people, gratitude from the Afghan people. The Chinese have been good to us, (China) a good neighbor to us,” the Afghan leader said.

Further elaborating on the relations between the two countries, Karzai said, “Between China and Afghanistan, we have some areas of interest, matter of significance to both countries.”

These include the war against terrorism, stability in the region, economic cooperation, as well as other areas of cooperation that the two countries have bilaterally and regionally, according to the president.

Karzai spoke highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal of Silk Road economic belt, saying it is “excellent” for the region, especially for Afghanistan and China.

Xi Jinping proposed to build a Silk Road economic belt when he was on a visit to Kazakhstan last year, with focus on economic cooperation, people-to-people cultural exchanges, and connectivity, trade and investment facilitation.

“The idea by President Xi of the Silk Road (economic belt) is important historically and relevant to the current environment, to the current economic needs of the region..we want to be directly connected to China,” he said.

“I am very happy to say that, indeed, in the past 12 years, the relations between China and Afghanistan have developed massively into a strategic partnership,” the president said, adding cooperation between the two sides has been deepened both in regional issues and international issues.

Afghanistan is set to hold presidential election on April 5. According to the country’s law, Karzai is not allowed to run for the post after having served two consecutive five-year terms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Policy innovation to drive China’s opening up westward

By Cao Bin and Li Xiaoling

New innovative policies in Xinjiang’s two economic development zones will further strengthen the region’s “bridgehead” position for China’s opening up to Eurasian countries.

The development and reform commission of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Tuesday introduced new policies to help with the development of special economic zones in Kashgar and Horgos, two border cities along China’s northwestern frontier.

The policies cover areas of administration, finance, tax, land use, industry and attracting talented professionals.

Financing difficulties in infrastructure construction and a lack of investment have troubled Kashgar and Horgos since economic zones were set up in the areas in 2010. Newly approved measures will hopefully offer solutions to breaking the shackles of the system.

The document clarifies that the two management committees of the zones are allowed to exercise administrative powers and coordinate and guide departments in the economic zones.

Preferential financial and taxation policies are also being put forward by both regional and local governments. A subsidy of 50 million yuan (about 8 million U.S. dollars) will be allocated to the two zones separately each year for infrastructure construction.

In addition, funds will be set up to support industry, motivate talents, finance scientific research and encourage entrepreneurship. The introduction of equity incentives will look to attract scientists and management professionals.

Total local incomes during the ten years starting from 2012 to 2021 will be for the two management committees to use to support construction of the economic zones and industry development.

Also, a flexible commercial land leasing policy that reduces the cost of land for industrial use will be tested.

Han Linzhi, a research fellow at the Institute of Economic Research under the region’s development and reform commission, said the idea of currency swap put forward by Tuesday’s document would help to reduce funding costs, fix exchange rates and therefore increase the opportunities of trade and investment settled in yuan between China and neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, new policies related to attracting talents are a major part of the document. High-end apartments, financial incentives and more favorable policies will be implemented to help key institutions and companies attract talented and skilled personnel.

New regulations on entry and exit procedures will be streamlined, according to the document.

Bordering on five Central Asian countries including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and India, Kashgar boasts five national ports that allow both Chinese and foreign personnel, commodity and vehicles to leave and enter China.

As China’s westernmost end of the Euro-Asia continental bridge, Horgos with its open port that features integrated transportation of railway and highway faces densely populated areas and market centers in Central Asia.

“The regional government has set the goal to turn Xinjiang into an important platform for the allocation of resources and a regional capital market center in Central Asia, which means a lot to the development of the Silk Road economic belt,” Han said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Conference urges people-to-people exchange

to strengthen Pakistan-China friendship

By Wang Yu

A conference on “Pakistan-China friendship: Taking it to new heights” late on Wednesday of March 26 called for a solid framework of cooperation and people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the relations.

The conference was organized by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and attended by IPRI chairman Ambassador Sohail Amin, Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq, former Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Director of Strategic Studies Institute Fazal ur Rehman, representatives of different think tanks and university students.

Yao Wen, charge d’affaires of Chinese embassy in Islamabad, said Pakistan and China have decided to forge the community of shared destiny and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor serves as the most important platform for achieving the objective.

“The construction of the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will promote the flow of resources and raise the level of economic cooperation between the two countries and bring more benefits to the people as well,” Yao said in his keynote speech.

Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq said Pakistan and China have always enjoyed close friendly ties and now their unique friendship has entered into a deep mutual trust and confidence that cannot be found in any other part of the world.

“It’s satisfactory that there has been a growing realization on both sides about the bilateral economic and commercial cooperation and people-to-people interactions which will strengthen the bilateral relations,” said Haq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Cambodian PM hails fast development of 120 MW dam

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday of march 26 praised China Datang Corporation for its early completion of the construction of 120-megawatt Atai hydroelectric dam.

“The investment of China Datang Corporation in the Atai hydropower dam has contributed to developing local economy and reducing poverty,” Hun Sen said during a meeting with Wang Yeping, vice chairman of China Datang Corporation, in the Cambodian capital.

Atai hydropower plant is located in a remote and jungle area in Pursat province, some 340 km west of Phnom Penh.

The premier asked the firm to consider investing in infrastructure development.

For his part, Wang said the construction of Atai dam has been completed six months ahead of schedule and he would inaugurate the dam Thursday.

He said China Datang Corporation is a solely state-owned enterprise, which is one of the world’s 500 biggest companies.

Ith Praing, secretary of state of Ministry of Mines and Energy, said Monday that the China Datang Corporation had invested 255 million U.S. dollars in the development of Atai dam under a concessional contract of 34-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) with the Cambodian government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China hopes for Australia FTA progress

By Wang Huihui

China hopes to make progress on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia at an early date, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday, ahead of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to China in April.

“China welcomes Abbott to visit China. We hope the trip will promote political mutual trust, economic and cultural cooperation, as well as coordination on international and regional affairs,” Hong said.

Talks between Australia and China on the FTA have been under way for almost nine years. If a deal is signed, it would lead to the first FTA that China has with a major developed economy and give Australian agricultural products easier access to the lucrative Chinese market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese carmakers accelerate into Brazilian market

By Fang Dong and Bi Yuming

Chinese carmakers have started to steer more business toward the Brazilian market due to growing appetite for cars in Brazil and booming vehicle production in China.

Central China-based Jianghuai Auto Co. (JAC) announced on Wednesday that it expects its factory in Brazil to begin operating in the next year with annual capacity at 100,000 units and total investment reaching 600 million U.S. dollars.

It is typical of the efforts major auto firms in China are putting into tapping the world’s fourth-largest auto market, which has been dubbed a bridgehead for Chinese companies to start their global journey.

What intrigues Chinese investors most is the brightening market outlook, as consumer spending is forecast to surge around the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

“A great opportunity” is how JAC vice president She Cairong describes developments in Brazil.

The rapidly advancing Chinese economy has enabled the country’s car producers to extend their global reach with abundant capital and mature technology, said Hayle Gadelha, head of the Trade and Investment Promotion Office under the Embassy of Brazil in Beijing.

It was only in 2012 that Brazil dampened the prospects of Chinese cars in the country by fine-tuning its tariff policy, making it more favorable to local producers but harsher on auto imports. The move prompted Chinese carmakers, many of which were already eyeing Brazil, to instead quicken their localizing pace.

A lot can happen in the space of two years, however. JAC is not the only China brand to make a big move into Brazil.

BYD, leading China’s new energy sedans, is also planning a 100-million-U.S.-dollar plant in Sao Paulo.

Beijing’s BAIC Motor is mulling investing in an SUV plant, Gadelha disclosed to Xinhua, noting that the plan received a warm welcome from quite a few localities in Brazil.

However, even if factories are built and assembly lines start to roll, the road ahead for Chinese firms is not without bumps.

JAC’s She thinks Chinese models will be heavily scrutinized in Brazil in terms of design, manufacturing, sales and service, as Brazilian drivers have become accustomed to high-end U.S. and European brands.

The company made over 200 adjustments to one of its popular models before taking it to the other side of the Pacific, to adapt to Brazilian tastes, She said.

Lu Shanming, a senior manager from BYD, said “barriers are everywhere” for Chinese producers, citing heavy taxation, strict regulation and high operating costs, especially given the turbulence of Brazilian tax policies concerning industrial products.

Of the 51 auto brands in Brazil, 12 are from China, an industrial survey showed recently. However, Chinese vehicles took a market share of less than 1 percent, indicating the difficulty in breaking into the market.

Chinese players would inevitably be confronted with pressures in Brazil, warned She.

To try to ride out the bumps, Chinese firms are figuring out a strategy of cooperating with experienced local companies. JAC has allied with the country’s largest auto seller, SHC, which could help “open the market with rapid growth and deal with all kinds of challenges,” according to She.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  RMB enjoys record-high activity on global markets in February

By Peter Barker

February saw the Renminbi(RMB), or China’s yuan, enjoy a record-high activity share on the global foreign exchange markets with 1.42 percent of business, data revealed on Wednesday of March 26 by SWIFT RMB tracker revealed.

RMB’s 1.42 percent share was up from 1.39 percent in the same month a year earlier.

However, in the global rankings of currency RMB fell back behind the Swiss Franc by 0.03 percentage points to become the eighth most-used global currency.

London retained its position as the number 1 global location for offshore dealing in RMB, excluding Hong Kong, according to the tracker figures.

Asian RMB hubs had improved their position in the global rankings, particularly Taiwan and Singapore,

Astrid Thorsen, markets manager with Business Intelligence Services, told Xinhua Wednesday afternoon, “The exchange value in February is a slight decline on January, but that is down to Chinese New Year, and that is always an influence on RMB.”

At global level, RMB payments decreased in value by 8.5 percent February compared to January, set against a background of all currencies decreased by 10.7 percent during that same period.

The overall negative trend may be due to February being a shorter month.

Thorsen put the current level of activity in RMB on the foreign exchanges into an historical perspective, “When we started tracking RMB around two years ago, the CNY activity share was at 0.25 percent and the rank of the currency was in the top 20.”

“But in the past four months it has moved into the top 10; it is a major progression, overtaking many currencies,” Thorsen added.

The RMB had overtaken the Swiss Franc in the SWIFT RMB tracker in January, but had in turn been overtaken by it for February.

Thorsen commented, “There is always going to be some volatility when the nations’ share of the market is so close.”

“This is not really a reversal, because the activity share of the RMB is good,” Thorsen added.

Michael Moon, Director, Payments Markets, Asia Pacific, at SWIFT, told Xinhua that this kind of volatility in global national rankings for currencies was typical and could last several months.

Moon said, “I remember when the RMB overtook the Thai Baht, it slipped below the Thai Baht the following month, but in terms of market share it is now well ahead and has confirmed its market trend, despite a little bit of volatility.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Internationalization of RMB could transform

global capital markets: RBA Deputy Governor

By Pei Fang

The internationalization of China’ s currency, the renminbi (RMB), and the changes that accompany it, could eventually transform global capital markets, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Philip Lowe said on Wednesday of March 26.

Speaking at the Centre for International Finance and Regulation (CIFR) conference on the internationalization of the RMB in Sydney on Wednesday, Lowe said China’s transition to a more flexible exchange rate will be gradual but it also has the “potential to create a seismic shift in the international monetary and financial landscape”.

Lowe said China clearly had an interest in getting the process right, while the rest of the world, including Australia, had a strong interest in the outcome.

“Over the past few years, the share of China’s international trade that is denominated in RMB has risen significantly and this trend is expected to continue,” he said.

He said the Chinese authorities had signaled their intention to further liberalize the capital account and move to a more flexible exchange rate.

“We saw the latest step in this transition just last week when the daily trading range for the RMB against the U.S. dollar was widened from 1 percent to 2 percent,” Lowe said.

“While the journey is clearly a gradual one, I suspect that over the years ahead, the further liberalization of the Chinese capital account could turn out to be one of the really significant events in global capital markets.”

Lowe said it was important that China liberalizes trade in the RMB despite the difficulties.

“History teaches us that financial deregulation is an inherently risky process, but that there are substantial payoffs if it is done well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China food safety scholarships announced in New Zealand

By Liu Jieqiu

New Zealand Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye on Wednesday announced 900,000 NZ dollars (769, 500 U.S. dollars) has been allocated towards a new food safety scholarship program with China.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key confirmed the program during his recent visit to China.

The program is developed in partnership between New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). It is the first initiative of the Food Safety Cooperation Agreement signed last November.

The program, to be delivered through Massey University, will give Chinese Food and Drug Administration officials a detailed insight into New Zealand’s food safety risk management systems.

“This is an important part of the deepening cooperation in food safety between New Zealand and China,” Kaye said in a statement.

“By having official exchanges and scholarships, we also increase the understanding of our respective food safety systems. I anticipate at least 10 people from China will participate in the program over three years. This program is directed at China to New Zealand exchanges but in the future, it is likely we will also look at New Zealand to China exchanges.”

The scholarship will cover best practice regulation, risk management, food process and design, and the development and implementation of food standards.

Part of the scholarship will also likely include an internship for Chinese officials to get first-hand experience of New Zealand’ s food safety with MPI or nominated food safety providers.

The scholarship will be formally launched in the second half of this year and will run for three years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China’s competitiveness in Asia slightly up: report

By Liu Xinyong and iu Yangyang

China’s overall competitiveness in Asia moved up to ninth place last year from 10th in 2012, a new report showed on Wednesday of March 26.

The improvement was partly attributed to rising innovation capabilities and progress in social causes, according to the Asia Competitiveness Report released by secretariat of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

The Chinese government took measures to promote disease control, combat environmental pollution, improve housing and medical environments and intensify anti-corruption efforts, the report said.

The BFA secretariat tracked 37 economies in Asia.

Singapore continued to top the list for 2013, followed by the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong.

As a non-governmental and non-profit international organization founded in 2001, the BFA is dedicated to promote regional economic integration and bring Asian countries closer to their development goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China to host 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship

By Wei Mengjia and Wang Yong

The 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship will kick off in Beijing on Saturday of March 29, which has attracted 12 top men’s curling teams in the world, according to World Curling Federation (WCF).

This is the first WCF World Championship event to be staged in China and only the third time that any WCF World Championship has been hosted in the Pacific-Asia region. Previously, World Women’s Curling Championships were held in Japan in 2007 and in South Korea in 2009.

The nine-day championship will feature 12 teams representing the hosts China, the Czech Republic, USA, Japan, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Scotland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Five of them, namely China, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Russia took part in the recent Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

“The award of the 2014 World Men’s Championship to Beijing is a major landmark in the development of curling,” said WCF President Kate Caithness following a signing ceremony at the WCF secretariat in Perth, Scotland this January.

“In the last decade we have witnessed a surge in growth of curling in the world, especially in Asian region,” she noted in a congratulatory letter to the organizing committee recently, “We look forward to working with China to stage a first class show for the world to enjoy.”

Lan Li, deputy director of the Chinese Winter Sports Federation of the State Sport General Administration, told the press on Tuesday that the Chinese men’s curling team has achieved the best result of the history in the last Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

“The Chinese team has been prepared for this championship from early March and will first battle the strong Germany on Saturday. Presently, all our players are in good condition and stepping up training in Beijing,” he said.

Located in the Haidian district of the city, the Beijing Capital Gymnasium was recently renovated after hosting the volleyball events during the 2008 Olympic Games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Hungary to fund compilation of bilingual Hungarian-Chinese dictionaries

By Yang Yongqian

The Hungarian government has decided to fund the compilation of Hungarian-Chinese and Chinese-Hungarian dictionaries to facilitate Chinese language learning, said the Confucius Institute at Hungary’s Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences (ELTE) on Tuesday of March 25.

The dictionaries will be compiled by ELTE Confucius Institute and ELTE Department of Chinese language, and the project will start in April, Imre Hamar, chief of ELTE Confucius Institute, told a press conference here.

“We have to finish the entire work in three years, and I think this is a very meaningful task,” he said.

Imre said that he and another sinologist Huba Bartos will serve as editors-in-chief of the medium-sized dictionaries with some 50,000 entries.

Currently, “The Hungarian-Chinese Dictionary” and “The Chinese-Hungarian dictionary”, both of which have no more than 12,000 entries, are on sale at bookstores in Hungary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese mother, baby found dead in northern Greece city: police sources

A 22-year-old Chinese national and her four-month old baby boy were found dead at the northern Greece city of Serres (about 570 km north east of Athens) early on Wednesday morning of March 26, according to a local police announcement.

The bodies of the victims were discovered by a neighbor at the yard of the block of flats she had been living for the past four years with her husband and their two children; the baby and their three year old daughter.

The circumstances of the tragedy have not been clarified yet, but it seems that the mother and child fell from the building’s terrace, police sources told Xinhua.

According to investigators, the mother was suffering from postnatal depression and most likely committed suicide.

The victim’s husband, a 22-year old Chinese national, who was asleep at the time of the incident, as he told the police, is currently giving testimony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Hong Kong delegation to attend International Summit on teaching profession

By Wang Xin

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education Eddie Ng on Wednesday led a delegation to attend the International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand.

According to the city government, the two-day event, on March 28 and 29, will bring together education ministers and teaching profession members from top-performing countries and regions in the Program for International Student Assessment 2012 to discuss building and supporting teaching excellence.

Hong Kong students performed in the top three in the world for reading, mathematical and scientific literacy in the program.

The summit will consider the best practices worldwide for strengthening the teaching profession and raising student achievement. Education ministers from Singapore, Finland, Britain, the United States and Canada will also participate.

Ng will meet and exchange views with New Zealand key education officials, including the minister for tertiary education, skills and employment, the minister for education, and the secretary for education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Cross-Strait service pact “mutually beneficial”

By Fu Shuangqi

Cross-Strait economic cooperation should not to be disturbed by disputes about a service trade pact, which the mainland considers “mutually beneficial.”

“From the mainland’s perspective, the cross-Strait service trade pact is well drafted and mutually beneficial. We did what we should do (in the negotiation of the pact),” said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at a press conference while commenting on protests against the pact in Taiwan.

Hundreds of college students have occupied the island’s legislative chamber in Taipei since Tuesday last week to protest against ratification of the pact.

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait signed the pact as a result of economic liberation and globalization, Ma said, adding that neither Taiwan nor the mainland can avoid the process of economic integration.

Ma reminded the people of Taiwan of the positive effects of cross-Strait economic cooperation to economic growth and people’s livelihoods on both sides over the past two decades.

“We do not want the economic cooperation to be affected,” he said.

The mainland and Taiwan should not dismiss the progress made in cross-Strait relations since 2008, he said.

“No one would like to see cross-Strait relations return to the tension and confrontation before 2008,” he said. “For the sake of people on both sides, no one wants to see peaceful development disturbed.”

He urged the people of Taiwan to look carefully at the pact and to clarify their misunderstandings.

A follow-up agreement to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, the service trade pact was signed in June 2013 and promises to open up 80 of the mainland’s service sectors to Taiwan and 64 of Taiwan’s sectors to the mainland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Mainland tells DPP to drop hostility

By Guo Likun

A Chinese mainland official on Wednesday of March 26 criticized Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s insistence on hostile attitude to everything involving the mainland.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said this attitude is like “a toxin” for the DPP.

“Only by eliminating this toxin will the DPP find a way out for future development,” he warned at a regular press conference.

Ma made the remarks when asked to comment on an opinion poll showing about 40 percent of the island’s respondents dissatisfied with the DPP’s indiscriminate hostility against the mainland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Taiwan’s Siew to attend Boao Forum

By Li Zhihui

Taiwan politician Vincent Siew, honorary chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, will attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2014, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference.

The Boao conference is expected to be held in south China’s Hainan Province between April 8 and 11.

Siew attended the forum’s annual conference and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  CPPCC to monitor implementation of key proposals

By Zuo Yuanfeng

A total of 49 proposals made by Chinese political advisors during the annual “two sessions” have been initially selected for a process whereby implementation will be monitored by top officials.

These proposals cover areas including Internet finance, education in regions inhabited by ethnic minorities, and doctor-patient conflicts, said a statement released after a meeting held on Wednesday by the proposal committee under the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the political advisory body.

The 49 proposals were picked out of more than 5,000 that covered various fields from the economy and politics to culture and the environment.

According to Sun Gan, director of the proposal committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, the 49 were selected in line with the country and the CPPCC’s work agenda.

The selection is pending final approval. Once confirmed, the proposal committee will keep track of departments’ progress in addressing the key proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>   CPC demands officials hear public views

By Cheng Zhuo

A Communist Party of China (CPC) department has required CPC members and officials to listen to the public in a direct face-to-face manner.

Hearing of public opinions should be combined with study and education as well as solving practical problems in carrying out the second phase of China’s “mass line” campaign, said a circular issued by the leading group of the campaign and published on Wednesday of March 26.

CPC officials should communicate with members of the public in good faith and with sincerity and encourage them to express their real feelings and thoughts, the circular said.

Party leaders and members at city and county-level CPC and government agencies should reach local communities and villages and conduct long-term investigations, random visits and individual talks with members of the public in order to hear their opinions, it said.

The document demanded no delay in addressing problems spotted in the campaign, such as leading officials’ pursuit of “vanity” projects and snobbish attitudes, the Party and government agencies’ idle and irresponsible work style, as well as power abuse and unfair enforcement practices by officials with law enforcement and public service organs.

CPC committees and organizations at all levels should take political responsibility to ensure the campaign is carried out in a proper manner and leading officials should invest enough time and energy to advance the campaign, the circular said.

It also called on CPC members and officials to study President Xi Jinping’s recent remarks on the mass-line campaign and learn from the late model official Jiao Yulu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese official urges modern vocational education

By Hu Longjiang and Wu Jing

The building of a modern vocational education system to ensure talent supply must be accelerated, China’s deputy education minister Lu Xin urged on Wednesday of March 26.

A modern system will nurture hundreds of millions of engineers, high-level technical staff and high-quality laborers for China, which will help boost competitiveness for the “Made in China” brand, Lu said at a meeting.

China plans to offer “world-class” modern vocational education nationwide by 2020 to upgrade economic structure as well as improve the quality of the country’s labor force and increase employment.

Measures to strengthen vocational education include giving vocational schools more independence and cultivate talent whereby schools and enterprises can jointly recruit and teach students.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, also encouraged mixed ownership of schools, according to Lu.

She also called for strengthened international cooperation. “We will promote exchange between Chinese vocational schools and community colleges in the United States, and conduct cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations.”

China will also continue to carry out cooperation programs with Germany, Britain and Holland, and advance communication and cooperation with Australia, Africa and South America, according to Lu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China under pressure to contain offshore pollution: report

By Wang Cong and Luo Sha

China remains under pressure to contain pollution in its offshore areas, although water quality of 95 percent of the country’s territorial waters met standards in 2013, a report said on Wednesday.

According to the report issued by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the quality of 44,000 square kilometers of sea waters was rated below Level IV — the lowest level — in China’s offshore areas.

Inorganic nitrogen, active phosphate and fossil oil were the main pollutants, it said.

The report said that the quality of 88 percent of waters surrounding China’s 431 near-shore pollutant discharge outlets failed to meet standards.

In addition, the report said 16.72 million tonnes of pollutants in the sea were from 72 rivers monitored by the SOA, a slight decrease from last year.

Around 77 percent of maritime eco-systems at estuaries and bays monitored by the administration were rated as “sub-healthy and unhealthy”, it said.

The report said an oil spill last year after a pipeline blast in Qingdao City of east China’s Shandong Province posed considerable threat to the maritime environment in neighboring areas.

Radioactive materials discharged into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima power plant in Japan also affected the water environment and sea life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Cross-Strait palace museums to jointly mark anniversary

By Guo Likun

The palace museums on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are planning to jointly mark the 90th anniversary of the Beijing-based museum next year, said a mainland spokesman on Wednesday of Marh 26.

The Beijing Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, plans to hold seminars and exhibitions along with Taipei’s Palace Museum, said Ma Xiaoguang of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office at a press conference.

They may also carry out joint research on bronzeware and jointly hold an exhibition of paintings of Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione, who spent more than 50 years in China in the 18th century, according to Ma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China’s Forbidden City to control visitor numbers

By Tian Ye

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, on Wednesday of March 26 unveiled plans to control the number of visitors for protection purposes.

The plans, including not allowing annual ticket holders to visit during peak seasons, a seven-day promotion of ticket sales for afternoon visits from July to August, and online pre-sale of tickets during festivals and holidays, were released during a public hearing.

The museum will also set two days for free visits during off seasons, when fewer than 80,000 visitors are allowed to obtain tickets via online channels.

Shan Jixiang, the museum curator, said management had been looking to find ways to control the number of visitors while at the same time better protect the cultural relic and serve the public.

A comprehensive plan to better preserve the Palace Museum approved by the State Council, China’s cabinet, states that it will be built into a first-class museum by 2020, when the former imperial palace will celebrate its 600th anniversary.

Major projects under the plan include remolding underground storehouses, restoring cultural relics and rebuilding infrastructure.

In an effort to renovate the Imperial Garden, which is located near the northern gate of the Forbidden City, museum authorities have banned the sale of snacks, removed some of the railings and opened two tourist centers, Shan said.

The museum had been closed on Monday afternoons since January 2013. The closure was extended to cover the whole of Monday for renovation and maintenance from Jan. 6 this year.

In the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City was home to China’s emperors and was the highest center of power for about 500 years. It attracts more than 14 million visitors annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Dramatic cuts threaten China’s theater companies

By Li Laifang and Zhao Mengzhuo

Theater companies in China are in difficulties as the nationwide frugality campaign starts to bite.

“We used to have around 40 shows a year, but last year the number reduced to about 10 and our revenue plummeted,” said Zhang Hao, head of the Jilin Symphony Orchestra Troupe in northeast China.

Fewer performances in governments and state-owned enterprises, who were major clients of arts troupes before, have cut revenue dramatically.

The Communist Party of China has strengthened campaigns to reduce waste and promote frugality since late 2012, and in August last year, the axe fell on galas. There were to be fewer of them with a lot less frills.

Arts troupes used to rely heavily on the government which accounted for about 70 percent to 80 percent of their total income, said Li Zhuang, head of the Jilin Opera Troupe, which has a staff of 48.

About half their revenue usually came during the Spring Festival, the busiest season, as many institutions used to organize celebratory events, but this year, the anti-extravagance drive put paid to all that.

Companies must now shift their focus to ordinary citizens to get box office, said Li. “There will be a painful period, but in the long run it will be good for the troupes.”

In the past decade, cultural reforms have forced arts enterprises to get by on their own. The Jilin Song and Dance Troupe, founded in 1954, turned itself into a limited company in 2010.

Since December 2012, the company has been holding regular shows in Changbai Mountain Theater in the province’s popular tourist area. These shows guarantee the income for more than 100 performers and the troupe could make 10 million yuan a year, said Liu Chunmei, chair of the troupe.

The way forward is better shows and finding other channels of income like dance schools and dress rental, she said.

Performance revenue declined everywhere last year, including Beijing. The total revenue and audience of Beijing’s 123 performance venues fell by 5 percent and 7.8 percent respectively in 2013, according to the Beijing Trade Association for Performances. The frugality campaign was one of the main factors in the decline.

With shrinking cultural consumption by the government, companies must rely on the public, said Liu.

“We must change our thinking, search for new markets and attract citizens with quality work,” said Li.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China tightens road safety checks

By Wang Di

The Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday promised increased checks on traffic safety across the country following a string of road accidents in March.

The national inspection will be targeted at driver violations including running red lights, drunk driving and speeding, the ministry said in a statement.

Police will tighten checks on accident-prone vehicles such as coaches, school buses and vehicles loaded with dangerous chemicals, and crack down on refitted vehicles.

On March 1, two tankers loaded with methanol, a poisonous and flammable liquid often used as a fuel, crashed into each other in a highway tunnel in north China’s Shanxi Province, with the collision and resulting explosion killing 31 people, and leaving nine others missing.

Early on Tuesday, 15 people died and 56 others were injured in a pileup on an expressway in Chongqing Municipality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chongqing relaxes one-child policy

By Cheng Lu and Zhu Wei

Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on Wednesday relaxed the city’s birth control policy by allowing couples to have a second baby if either parent is an only child, the local legislature said at a press conference.

An amendment to the city’s Municipal Population and Family Planing Regulations was approved at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress, according to Lan Yunhua, head of the Committee of Education, Science, Culture and Health under the Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.

Lan said couples wishing to have a second baby should meet certain conditions. For example, the time interval between the birth of the first child and the second should be three years if the wife is under 28 years old.

It is estimated that about 45,000 newborns are added to Chongqing’s population annually. And the proportion of teenagers in the total population is likely to be increased by 1.5 percentage points by 2030, said Wang Wei, deputy director of the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.

“But this does not mean we are giving up on the birth control policy. We are just adopting a different approach, since China’s large population still pose pressures on economic and social progress, resources and environments,” Wang said.

China’s family planning policy, put in place in the late 1970s, is designed to curb population growth. It has been widely credited with contributing to the country’s rising prosperity.

Besides Chongqing, the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai as well as the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui and Sichuan have also already changed their policies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Smog affects flights, highways in China

By Li Laifang, Shen Chong, Xu Feng and Wei Shengyao

Smog continued on Wednesday in many parts of China, delaying flights and closing highways.

More than 3,000 passengers were stranded early Wednesday at Tianhe Airport in Wuhan, capital of the central Hubei province due to heavy fog.Visibility was less than 150 meters at the airport and 30 flights were delayed, said Tianhe Airport sources. The airport resumed normal operations shortly after 10 a.m. as the fog began to disperse.

In the eastern province of Shandong, more than 120 expressway toll stations were temporarily shut down on Wednesday and ten flights at the airports in Qingdao and Jinan were delayed. The provincial meteorological station issued a yellow alert for the smog, which is forecast to continue until Thursday night.

Smog set in on Monday and persists in north and central China, including Beijing. The National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a yellow alert on Wednesday morning.

Beijing and Tianjin, as well as parts of Hebei and Shandong provinces expect “moderate” air pollution from Wednesday to Thursday morning, heavy in some places, according to the NMC forecast.

China’s meteorological alerts are categorized as blue, yellow, orange and red as the severity ascends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Beijing air quality won’t improve until weekend: official

By Ren Ke

An official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Wednesday that the smog shrouding Beijing and surrounding areas will be dispersed by cool air blowing in after Friday.

Air quality in Beijing has dropped sharply since Sunday. On Monday, the air quality index in the capital hit 271, reaching the band classified as heavy pollution along with other four cities in neighboring Hebei Province.

By 7 p.m. on Wednesday, the density readings of PM2.5 — airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter — surpassed 300 in urban districts, according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center.

The official with the ministry said the weather on Thursday will not help diffuse pollutants and that part of the area surrounding Beijing will continue to suffer severe smog.

However, as cold air arrives on weekend, most of Beijing and the neighboring area will have favorable weather to diffuse air pollutants, the official said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Tibet begins construction of expo park

By Li Laifang, Li Hualing and Huang Xing

The construction of an arts and cultural expo park to promote Tibetan culture began in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region on Wednesday of March 26.

The park in Dagze County, some 20 km from the regional capital Lhasa, will cover an area of 133 hectares and will be completed in three phases.

The first phase consists of construction of a museum and trade and research centers for tangka, a style of Tibetan art that involves painting on embroidery. Also, a structure for traditional Tibetan cultural shows will be built, said Dorji Tonzhub, chairman of Tibet Gangdi Cultural Industry Group, a private corporation in charge of building the project.

With investment of 1.18 billion yuan (192 million U.S. dollars), the first phase will be completed in three years and provide more than 1,000 jobs, said Dorji Tonzhub.

It is estimated the park will attract two million tourists a year.

He did not provide details on the second and third phases.

“The expo park will be the biggest platform to display distinctive Tibetan culture for tourists and boost development of the cultural industry,” said Dorji Tonzhub.

Tibet aims the added value of the region’s cultural industry to account for more than 3 percent of its gross domestic product in 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Jiangsu Province’s rural banks not at risk 

By Han Qiao

Rural commercial banks in east China’s Jiangsu Province are in good condition and not at risk of bankruptcy, the China Banking Association said on Wednesday.

The association pointed out Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank, which had suffered from solvency rumors, was in good condition and would not go out of business.

Hundreds of customers on Monday withdrew money from a branch of the bank following rumors that it had run out of cash.

The association said in a statement that rural commercial banks nationwide were in stable condition. Their key risk control indicators such as capital adequacy ratio, provisioning coverage ratio and liquidity level were better than the industry average.

The association said the branch was located near some guarantee companies and that private fund-raising was common in the area. There have been cases of some local guarantee company owners running away after they were unable to meet payments.

Customers are worried about banking risks and related rumors.

“It is the primary function of financial institutions to protect the interests of all depositors,” said the association. It urged rural commercial banks to increase cash reserves and prolong business hours to meet all withdraw requests in full amount and in time.

The association also asked depositors not to spread rumors. “Fabricating or spreading such rumors will disturb China’s financial market, jeopardize the country’s financial security and social stability,” said the association.

The association said those fabricating or spreading rumors would be held legally accountable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Bank of China 2013 profit up 12.36 pct

By Zhan Yan

Bank of China said on Wednesday that its net profits rose 12.36 percent in 2013 from a year earlier.

The profits stood at 156.91 billion yuan (25.64 billion U.S. dollars), the lender said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Its year-on-year growth rate in net profit in 2013 was 0.96 percentage point higher than that in 2012.

Bank of China attributed the profit increase to rising incomes, less expense on risks and improving input-output efficiency.

Its total asset value hit 13.87 trillion yuan at the end of 2013, up 9.41 percent from a year earlier.

The bank’s non-performing loans ratio stood at 0.96 percent at the end of 2013, up 0.01 percentage points from a year earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  South China nuclear plant starts commercial operation

By Wang Pan and Wang Jian

The first generating unit of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in south China’s Guangdong Province has begun commercial operation, authorities announced on Wednesday of March 26.

The No. 1 unit finished 168 hours of trial operation on Tuesday, according to the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. under China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).

Construction started in mid-December 2008, and has cost some 73.2 billion yuan (11.8 billion U. S. dollars). The unit began trial operation on Dec. 31 last year.

CGN spokesman Hu Guangyao said the No. 2 unit of Yangjiang nuclear power plant is being tested, the No. 3 unit is having equipment installed and tested, and the No. 4, 5, 6 units are still being constructed.

The six units will generate 48 billion kwh of electricity a year after going into commercial operations around January 2019, according to Yangjiang nuclear power company.

So far, China has six operating nuclear power plants. Eighteen generating units have began commercial operations with a total installed capacity of 15.86 million kw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China cuts retail oil prices

By Liu Xinyong, Gao Jing and Jiang Guocheng

China’s top economic planner announced on Wednesday that it will lower the retail price of gasoline by 135 yuan (22 U.S. dollars) per tonne and diesel by 130 yuan as of Thursday.

The cut, the third of this year, means that benchmark retail prices of gasoline will drop by 0.1 yuan per liter and those for diesel by 0.11 yuan, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

Under the current mechanism that became effective in March 2013, prices of oil products will be adjusted when international crude oil prices can translate into a change of more than 50 yuan for each tonne of gasoline and diesel prices over 10 working days.

Since mid-March, international oil prices have fallen partly due to warmer weather that reduced oil demands, the NDRC said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Man executed for fatal knife attack

By Shang Kunlun and Wang Jian

A man in central China’s Henan Province was executed on Wednesday for a knife attack that killed three, including a 10-month-old girl, on a bus last year, according to Henan High People’s Court.

Zhou Jiangbo, 24, from Neihuang County in Anyang City, also injured 16 other people during the attack.

On Aug. 18, Zhou attacked three neighbors with a shovel following a dispute and then fled. The next day, wrongly believing two of his seriously injured neighbors had died, Zhou bought two knives and planned a killing spree.

Zhou boarded a public bus and tried to take control of the steering wheel from the driver, causing the vehicle to collide with a truck.

He then stabbed the bus driver, ticket seller and passengers, leaving three dead and four seriously injured. Twelve others sustained lesser injuries. A 10-month-old girl and two boys aged 10 and 18 died.

Zhou was caught by police on Aug. 20.

Anyang Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Zhou to death on December 10. The sentence was later reviewed by Henan High People’s Court and approved by the Supreme People’s Court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  11 killed in clothing workshop fire

By Cao Kai and Lu Yijia

Eleven people had been killed after a fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon of March 26 at a clothing workshop in south China’s Guangdong Province, local authorities said. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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