New aerotropolis emerging in central China

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  4 Chinese workers killed in explosion in Ecuador: embassy

By Liang Junqian

Four Chinese workers were killed by an explosion at the construction site of the Sopladora hydroelectric station in Ecuador, the Chinese embassy has confirmed on Wednesday of April 2.

The blast broke out on Tuesday evening at about 20:00 local time near Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city, and the four workers were working in a vertical shaft when the explosion occurred. After over five hours of rescue, the remains of the four workers had been found.

There were no other casualties in the accident. The Sopladora hydropower station, one of the most important hydroelectric projects in Ecuador, is built by Gezhouba Group, a Chinese construction and engineering company based in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China.

The company is undertaking another two water conservancy projects in Ecuador. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. The Chinese embassy has offered help to appropriately handle the aftermath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Huawei to run ICT forum in Zimbabwe

By Wang Yue

China’s telecommunications firm Huawei will host a public information and communications technology (ICT) forum in Harare in collaboration with the government on Thursday of April 3.

Participants will be drawn from all ministries and state owned enterprises. In an interview on Wednesday, ICT ministry principal director Cosmas Chigwamba said Huawei experts will share their experience from all over the world with a particular focus on Sub- Saharan Africa.

He said the objective is to spread the knowledge and skills in the information sector for promoting sustainable socio-economic development for successful transformation in Zimbabwe.

Huawei, a major telecom services supplier in Africa, has undertaken projects in a number of Africa, including E-education in South Africa, E-healthcare in Angola, E-governance in Kenya, Madagascar and South Africa, as well as E-public security in Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China Daily European Weekly wins int’l media award

By Zhang Jianhua

China Daily European Weekly won the International Newspaper of the Year award at this year’s Newspaper Awards in London on Tuesday night of April 2, the first time that a Chinese media organization has won the award.

Known as the “‘Oscars’ of the media industry”, the 2014 Newspaper Awards recognize the best in print and digital news media production and innovation.

The judges gave China Daily European Weekly the award for its “superb design, attractive layout and exceptional print,” adding that the newspaper’s engaging content mix combined with superb layouts made it a stand-out title.

Five other publications were nominated in this category, including Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Abendzeitung and Britain’s Telegraph Weekly.

The winners of the 2014 Newspaper Awards were announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday night.

In other categories, The Daily Telegraph was named National Newspaper of the Year, the Irish News was named Newspaper of the Year and the Financial Times Web App won in the category of Newspaper App of the Year.

“The 2014 panel of judges really had their work cut out this year. Not only were they presented with around 1,000 newspapers, both print and digital, the quality of entry was tremendous,” said Gary Cullum, director of the Newspaper Awards.

“The shortlist once again provides a showcase for all that is excellent in the newspaper industry both from this country and around the world,” he added.

China Daily, China’s leading English-language newspaper, launched its European Weekly in December 2010.

China Daily European Weekly is available in nearly 30 countries in Europe and has become the continent’s most widely-read Chinese paper in English.

 

 

 

 

 

>>  CCTV cameras to be installed at polling booths in Indian-controlled Kashmir

By Peerzada Arshad Hamid

The authorities will install more than 300 CCTV cameras at the rigging sensitive polling booths to ensure free and fair polling during India’s forthcoming general elections in Indian-controlled Kashmir, local media reported on Wednesday of April 2.

The chief election officer of Indian-controlled Kashmir has issued an advertisement asking the companies to submit their tenders for the installation of CCTV cameras during elections, said Kashmir News Service (KNS).

The move was taken after some opposition parties including main opposition People’s Democratic Party wrote to the Election Commission, raising apprehensions of possible interference by the state machinery during polls.

“The parties had urged the commission to ensure that polling booths be kept under surveillance so that rigging could be avoided, ” the KNS report said.

Polling for the 16th Indian general elections would be held in five staggered phases in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Officials said 9,633 polling stations would be set up across Indian-controlled Kashmir for people to cast their vote. These booths would be set up at 7,346 locations and of them 4,059 have been declared as critical.

Around 7 million voters including 3.2 million women are expected to cast vote.

The Congress party is seeking to regain power under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the fourth generation scion of India’s powerful Nehru-Gandhi clan. He would be facing Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for Bhartiya Janta Party (Indian People’s Party).

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Kenya’s Yego targets success in Tokyo, Shanghai as he launches season

By Chen Yingying

Kenya’s Africa Javelin champion Julius Yego will open his season campaign with a throw at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, the Japanese leg of IAAF World Challenge in Tokyo on May 5.

Yego, who has defied the odds to excel in a discipline not associated with Kenyans, will be keen to hit two birds with one stone.

After the Tokyo meet, Yego will move to neighboring China for the Shanghai Diamond League meeting, the second leg in the 14-tier series on May 18.

“The last two seasons have been very good for me in terms of development. I have been able to improve my personal best and did well in a couple of meetings across the globe.

“But that is not the ultimate goal. In sport, medals count much in regards to ascertaining one’s success and what I have are not that many,” Yego told Xinhua on Wednesday in Nairobi.

Yego, who was fourth at the World Championships in Moscow last year with a personal best of 85.40 meters, is keen to wrap up his season with a successful show at the Glasgow, Scotland Commonwealth Games, which runs from July 23 to August 3.

There is also the small matter of defending his continental crown at the Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Morocco in July, a mission that will see him earn direct ticket to compete in the IAAF Continental Cup in the same city a week later.

“The Africa competition is important to me. It will serve as a qualifier for the IAAF Continental Cup. But I am doing the best to get myself in shape and fight for the medals.

“I have been working hard to improve my throw and after the last three years, I feel the focus will drift from that to the medals,” he said.

Yego attributes his rise to his discipline and help he received from Finland coach Petteri Piironen.

Yego made his impact first at the London in 2012, where he made history as the first Kenyan thrower to reach an Olympic final (he was 12th) when he threw 78 meters.

A year later in Moscow, the powerfully built 24-year-old shattered his Kenyan record by more than three meters in the final with a mighty fifth-round effort of 85.40m.

The throw propelled him into the bronze medal position before Russia’s Dmitri Tarabin, heartbreakingly, relegated him to fourth after a final-round throw of 86.23m. It was, however, still a ground breaking Javelin competition for Kenya.

Years down the line, and the priorities have shifted. Yego will no longer be the novice he has been portrayed to be.

Though he still lacks a coach, he has found solace in YouTube, where he spends hours everyday downloading and reviewing videos of past javelin legends to try and learn their tricks.

“I still watch the YouTube. It has helped me improve and will always go back there. I have many problems here in Kenya, one being that I have no competition and equipment.

“But that will not blur my vision and dream to win medals at the global arena in 2014. I start in Japan and move to Shanghai and both events will help put a bearing on the direction my career will take,” said Yego.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China vows efforts on building China-CELAC forum

By Hou Lijun

China on Wednesday vowed joint efforts with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC) to establish a China-CELAC ministerial-level forum.

Speaking ahead of the China visit this week of a leading group of the CELAC, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that the forum will be the core of the cooperation mechanism being worked on by China and CELAC.

The CELAC “Quartet” will make an official visit to China on Thursday and Friday. The Quartet comprises the current rotating chair of the CELAC, its previous rotating chair and its next rotating chair — Costa Rica, Cuba and Ecuador, respectively — as well as representatives from the Caribbean Community.

The visitors will include Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno, and Ecuadorian Deputy Foreign Minister Leonardo Arizaga, according to Hong.

During the visit, Chinese leaders will meet with the delegation and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with them.

“China attaches great importance to developing ties with the CELAC,” Hong said, applauding the development of relations between the two sides.

The two sides have established a regular dialogue mechanism between foreign ministers and agreed to jointly push forward the establishment of a comprehensive cooperation mechanism centered on the China-CELAC forum, according to the spokesman.

China will work with the CELAC to actively build the forum and make it a platform for promoting their comprehensive cooperative partnership, which features equality, mutual benefit and common development, so as to better safeguard their common interests and promote world and regional peace, stability and development, he said.

The delegation is invited by Wang Yi, and will be led by Enrique Castillo.

The CELAC, established in December 2011 in Caracas, Venezuela, comprises 33 countries of the western hemisphere with the exception of the United States and Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Five crew members of Taiwanese fishing vessel rescued in N. Philippines

By Alcober

Five crew members of a Taiwanese fishing vessel were rescued off Itbayat Island in northern Philippines on Tuesday of April 2, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Wednesday.

PCG said in a statement that the fishing vessel FV Jui Fa Tsai carrying two from China’s Taiwan and three from Indonesia ran aground at 16 nautical miles northeast off Itbayan Island in Batanes Province at 6:50 a.m., Tuesday.

A search and rescue team was immediately dispatched to the area to assist the distressed crew members.

Taiwan coast guard authority coordinated with the PCG and the Department of Foreign Affairs before dispatching its own vessel to assist in the rescue operation.

Coast Guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said the Philippine government has no information concerning the activity of the fishing vessel.

“The local government has no report of what were they were doing there. They may have passed only and ran aground because they are not familiar with the area,” said Balilo.

At 3:39 p.m. Tuesday, the five crew members were successfully rescued and the fishing vessel was extracted from where it ran aground.

The rescued crew members, who were unhurt, were brought back to China’s Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  “Experience China” – Myanmar tour activity series kick off in Myanmar

A series of “Experience China”- Myanmar tour activities kicked off in Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday night of April 2, attracting some 400 Chinese and Myanmar people to enjoy performances which were telecast alive.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director Cui Yuying of the Information Office of China’s State Council said China has been focusing on its development and will strive to enable the development to benefit its neighbors.

The Chinese people are willing to work with the Myanmar people to forge a better future for the two countries, she said.

Describing culture as a belt to enhance mutual understanding and friendship of all countries, she said the “Experience China” activities, part of China’s effort to promote Chinese culture, would enrich cultural exchange between China and Myanmar.

She hoped the activities would enhance the paukphaw (fraternal) friendship between the two countries so that the two peoples would work closely to keep the China-Myanmar friendship from generation to generation.

Myanmar’s Information Minister U Aung Kyi and Cultural Minister U Aye Myint Kyu stressed in their speeches that further promotion of exchange and cooperation in media and cultural sectors would help deepen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

On Wednesday, Cui also had talks with the two Myanmar ministers on separate occasions.

The “Experience China” – Myanmar tour activities began on March 26 in the country and will run through April 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Octogenarian Bangladeshi still wants to visit China even for last time

By Naim-Ul-Karim

An octogenarian Bangladeshi, who can’ t even walk without the aid of a walking stick, is still looking forward to another visit to China perhaps for the last time.

Md Bashirullah has visited China 74 times since 1966 to help build bridges of friendship and business ties between China and Bangladesh.

He was one of the pioneers who had contributed immensely in development of Bangladesh’s relationship with China.

“It’s a matter of pride for me to have the opportunity to contribute to some extent to the development of Bangladesh-China relationship after Bangladesh became an independent country,” Md Bashirullah, managing partner of the Overseas Trading Corporation and executive chairman of Synergy Logistics Ltd, told Xinhua recently.

He was also one of those instrumental in the establishment of the Bangladesh-China People’s Friendship Association (BCPFA) in which he is still a senior vice president.

“My physical condition is not permitting me right now otherwise I would have loved to visit China again,” said Bashirullah whose last visit to China was in 2008.

Bashirullah said he is aware of the vast changes in China since his first visit to the country in 1966. “I’ve visited China 74 times in different capacities and every time I went there I have always found profound changes that impressed me,” he said.

During his previous visits, both as a businessman and as a delegate of the BCPFA, he witnessed the tremendous development in China over the last 40 years.

Bashirullah started doing business with Chinese state-owned corporations, such as the China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (Shanghai branch), China National Textile Import & Export Corporation(Shanghai branch) and China National Chemical Import & Export Corporation (Tianjin branch).

Since l964, the main areas of business in his dealings with China were in textile and jute machinery and spares, knitting machinery, needles, cotton and silk yarn, textile dyes and chemicals.

Bashirullah recalled that in the 1960′s, China was still a less developed country with few hotels for foreigners and few taxis on the streets. In Beijing, he said he knew of only four hotels, including Beijing Hotel, Friendship Hotel at that time.

He said that when he visited China in l977 as a member of the trade delegation sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh, he concentrated in Chinese products because at that time, Chinese-made products were not only cheaper but also suitable for Bangladesh.

“The reform and opening-up policy has a great impact on my business. In fact, I greatly benefited from it because more Chinese state-owned corporations granted licenses for foreign export. So, I got more options for business partnership,” Bassilurah said.

Bassilurah said that despite stiff competition from Indian, Japanese and European machineries, he preferred Chinese textile and jute machineries. “And I was very successful,” he added.

He recalled that before the opening-up of China, it was difficult for common Chinese people to buy even a bicycle but after the economic reforms that China adopted in the early l980s, the Chinese people have become richer and richer. “It’s not a difficult thing for an average income family to afford a car now,” he said. “I was greatly impressed by the changes in China after 1978, most especially after 1990′s. And after 1995, every time I visited China, I found a lot of changes. It’s incredible and mind boggling,” he added.

Besides his business dealings, Bashirullah was also one of the pioneers in building socio-cultural relationship between the two countries through his involvement in the BCPFA.

Bashirullah was elected as senior vice president of BCPFA in 1987 and he is holding that position up to the present. “My dream is to visit China again even for the last time, God willing, because it is a country that I have come to love as my own,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China’s top grain trader to buy Noble Group’s agricultural unit

By Chen Jipeng

China’s largest grain trader COFCO Corporation will pay 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to acquire a 51-percent stake in the agricultural unit of Singapore-listed supply chain manager Noble Group, Noble said on Wednesday of April 2.

The deal will lead to a joint venture that will link COFCO’s grain processing and distribution business with the agricultural unit of Noble Group.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, China, Noble Group is one of the world’s largest traders in agricultural, minerals and energy products. In 2013, it was ranked the 76th among the Forbes 500 companies.

Noble said that the deal will significantly improve its credit profile and that it is also consistent with its “asset-light strategy to partner with industry-leading players in each of its platforms to build world-class businesses and leverage the use of its capital base.”

COFCO is expected to benefit from the supply chain capabilities of Noble Group in agricultural product markets.

The deal came after another major deal by COFCO to buy a 51- percent stake in Netherlands-based Nidera, a leading trader of grains and soybeans among other agricultural commodities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China eyes closer Asian cooperation at BFA

By Hao Yalin

China will expound its policies on pushing ahead with Asian economic integration and regional cooperation and implementing cooperation initiatives at the upcoming Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2014.

China will also introduce the overall thinking and key measures to develop its economy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday of April 2.

Founded in 2001, the BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization committed to regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.

“We hope the participants will discuss and reach consensus on how to maintain economic stability and growth momentum in Asia and emerging economies, and work together for a better future of Asia,” he said.

Hong told a regular press briefing that the conference with the theme of “Asia’s New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers” will be held in south China’s Hainan Province from April 8 to 11. Reform, innovation and sustainable development will be its principle lines.

Participants will discuss topics including the current global financial situation, Asian financial cooperation, infrastructure connectivity, regional free trade and multilateral trade systems, he added.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the opening ceremony of the conference on April 10 and make a keynote speech, according to the ministry’s daily press briefing on Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Jung Hong-won, Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob, Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam will also attend the forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China delivers communications satellite project to Bolivia

By Zhu Shaobin and Wang Min

The Great Wall Industry Corporation of China (GWIC) said late on Tuesday of April 2 that it has delivered the communications satellite project to Bolivia.

A delivery ceremony was held on Tuesday in La Paz, the Bolivian capital, where the Chinese company also delivered the ground application system to the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE).

Chinese ambassador to Bolivia Li Dong said that the satellite project was an exemplary model for bilateral cooperation. “We hope that China and Bolivia will cooperate in more fields,” Li said.

The satellite, with a designed life of 15 years, was produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the parent company of GWIC. It is Bolivia’s first communications satellite.

The satellite, launched late last year, is named Tupac Katari in honor of an 18th century indigenous hero who fought Bolivia’s Spanish colonizers.

ABE chief Ivan Zambrana said earlier that the successful launch of the satellite will bring Bolivia into an age of digital economy and make its people more connected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  HK-mainland trade slumps

By Wang Di

The Chinese mainland’s trade with Hong Kong totaled 46.92 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months of the year, slumping 21.4 percent year on year, the Ministry of Commerce revealed on Wednesday of April 2.

The mainland’s exports to Hong Kong dropped 20.9 percent year on year to 45.27 billion U.S. dollars during the Jan-Feb period. Hong Kong’s exports to the mainland totaled 1.65 billion U.S. dollars, down 33.2 percent year on year, according to figures released by the ministry.

Mainland authorities approved 1,393 Hong Kong-invested projects during the period, a year-on-year decrease of 3.5 percent, the ministry said.

Hong Kong’s investment in the mainland increased 22.4 percent year on year to 12.7 billion U.S. dollars during the period, it said.

In February, the mainland’s trade with Hong Kong decreased by 27.9 percent from the previous month to 19.66 billion U.S. dollars.

The mainland’s exports to Hong Kong in February dropped 27.8 percent from the previous month to 18.98 billion U.S. dollars. Hong Kong’s exports to the mainland totaled 670 million U.S. dollars, a decrease of 31.6 percent month on month, according to the ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  HK finance official to visit Shanghai

By Zhang Yashi

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury K C Chan will lead a delegation to Shanghai on April 3 to attend the fourth Working Meeting of Hong Kong-Shanghai Financial Co-operation, the local government said on Wednesday of April 2.

During his visit, the delegation will exchange views with representatives of the relevant government departments, regulatory bodies and exchanges in Shanghai on ways to deepen financial co- operation between the Hong Kong and Shanghai in areas including cross-border Renminbi business, banking, securities and insurance.

The delegation will also call on vice-Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government Tu Guangshao, and visit the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The delegation comprises the Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Financial Services) Au King-chi and representatives of Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Securities and Futures Commission, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited.

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong and the Shanghai Municipal Government Financial Services Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Advancing Hong Kong- Shanghai Financial Co-operation in 2010.

Under one of the co-operation directives of the MOU, financial representatives of the two places hold bilateral meetings regularly with a view to improving mutual dialogues and exchanges. The first three working meetings were held in July 2010, January 2012 and March 2013.

Chan will return to Hong Kong on Friday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Cross-strait trade down 8.3 percent

By Wang Di

Trade between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan hit 26.71 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months of the year, down 8.3 percent from the same period in 2013, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday of April 2.

The mainland’s exports to Taiwan climbed 5.2 percent year on year to 5.61 billion U.S. dollars during the Jan-Feb period. Imports from Taiwan totaled 21.1 billion U.S. dollars, down 11.3 percent year on year, according to figures released by the ministry.

In the first two months, the mainland approved 234 Taiwanese investment projects. Investment totaled 460 million U.S. dollars, according to the ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China inspects implementation of Patent Law

By Hu Longjiang

China’s top legislature has started a round of inspections on the implementation of its Patent Law.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) has organized five groups of inspectors to check in the provinces of Liaoning, Anhui, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shaanxi, the NPC revealed on Wednesday of April 2.

It has also entrusted local legislatures in eight provincial regions, including Tianjin, Shanghai and Sichuan, to conduct the inspections in these places.

They are aimed at improving authorities’ work in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and encouraging innovation as well as raising awareness of IPR protection among the public.

Inspectors will investigate how local authorities have worked to help create a sound environment for supporting patents and protecting inventors’ rights, according to the NPC.

They will also review the work of companies, colleges and scientific institutions to improve their applications for patents and the utilization and protection of their patents.

The Patent Law, which was enacted in 1984, has had three major revisions in the past 30 years.

The NPC Standing Committee last inspected the law’s implementation in 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Illegal GM food raises concerns

By Li Baojie

Hainan Province’s delayed announcement of discovery of illegal planting of genetically modified corn and cotton has triggered public concerns about how information relating to GM food is disclosed, the China Daily reported on Wednesday of April 2.

Nine corn and cotton samples out of 107 specimens were identified as genetically engineered and that they were destroyed immediately in late December, the newspaper cited a statement from the Hainan provincial agriculture department as saying. Another six suspected samples were being examined.

The department said the samples came from illegal trial farms. It stressed that any trials on GM crops that have not secured government permission are banned, and those who conduct such trials will be punished in accordance with the law.

Many critics have asked what took the Hainan agency so long to publicize its detection of the illegal GM plants.

“It is not about a single case but the transparency of GM food,” said Shi Baozhong, a lawyer from Anhui Province.

Shi issued an open letter in September to the China Food and Drug Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture asking them to publicize information on GM food in China.

He said the local agricultural bureau should have released its statement on the destruction of the GM crop samples in December.

“If it is released timely, the public won’t have so many doubts and concerns,” Shi said.

During the annual legislative session in Beijing in March, Cui Yongyuan, a former TV talk-show host, said GM corn and rice are being grown illegally on a large scale in grain-producing provinces such as Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Jilin.

Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said on March 6 that the ministry will not tolerate any illegal plantings of GM crops.

Bio-safety certificates have been issued in China for some GM strains of cotton, rice, corn and papaya, he said, and only cotton and papaya can be planted for commercial purposes.

Import certificates for GM crops in China have been granted for soybeans, corn, rapeseed, cotton and beets, allowing them to be imported as raw materials for domestic processing, the ministry said.

Domestic debate over the safety of GM food has grown since the ministry issued bio-safety certificates to two strains of pest-resistant GM rice and corn in 2009.

The strains approved in 2009 still require production trials, which will take three to five years, before commercial planting can begin, according to the ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Writers call for influential Chinese children’s books

By Xu Xueyi, Huang Pengfei, Meng Hanqi and Qiang Lijing

Chinese children’s authors have been urged to produce more outstanding work and boost their presence in the global market, as International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) comes.

ICBD, marked on April 2, the birthday of prominent Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, is a yearly event featuring writing competitions, book fairs, awards and talks. Founded in 1967, the day is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People, an international non-profit organization.

Li Hongsheng, a writer with the China Society for the Study of Children’s Literature, said Chinese children’s literature has developed its own characteristics in recent years.

Children’s authors stick to the values of truth, goodness and beauty while conceiving stories for children so as to help them establish valid philosophies and life values, Li added.

Gao Hongbo, vice-chairman of the Chinese Writers Association, said compared with other genres, children’s books are in great demand domestically.

Gao, also a children’s author, took a popular Chinese magazine for kids as an example, citing an increase in the circulation of “Children’s Pictorial” from 130,000 in 2000 to over 2 million at present.

Children’s books have become increasingly popular since the Chinese government has encouraged people to read, pointed out Chen Xiaodong, general manager of Fujian Provincial Children’s Press.

Premier Li Keqiang vowed that “we will encourage the people to read” when delivering the government work report last month during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. It was the first time that “reading” had been mentioned in a government work report.

However, Gao pointed out that the quality of children’s books varies greatly.

Though some established children’s authors keep writing, such as Zheng Yuanjie, known as China’s “King of Children’s Tales,” the number of new authors and outstanding children’s books in China is still limited, Chen said, adding that the country needs excellent kids’ books with international influence.

Liu Jia, a mother of a four-year-old boy in Beijing, said she would prefer her son to read the Harry Potter series rather than domestic titles when he is old enough.

Gao said China has highlighted children’s reading during the past decade while authors and organizations have been endeavoring to improve the quality of Chinese books for youngsters.

Hao Xiaotian, a writer with the China Society for the Study of Children’s Literature, suggested writers integrate traditional Chinese characteristics into their books to attract foreign readers, spread Chinese culture and gain more popularity globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China launches website for organ donation

By Liu Lu and Hu Hao

China on Wednesday of April 2 officially launched a website that provides information on organ donation and allows people to register as donors.

The website, operated by the China Organ Donation Administrative Center, will be linked to local administrative offices and Red Cross societies.

In order to cope with organ shortages, the State Council issued a regulation on organ transplantation in 2007 and a pilot program was set up in 2010. A total of 1,611 people have successfully donated their organs for treatment of 4,382 patients since then.

“Although China has made progress in recent years, the country still faces a critical shortage of organs,” said Zhao Baige, executive vice president of the Red Cross Society of China.

According to Zhao, China has 300,000 patients in need of organ transplantation each year while only about 10,000 people can receive such operations. However, the supply and demand ratio is one to three in developed countries such as the United States.

Zhao said that China is making efforts to improve policies and increase financial support in order to legalize and standardize organ donation.

The public can visit www.china-organdonation.org.cn for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  New air route links Tibet and Qinghai

By Zhong Qun, Li Hualing and Zhang  Jingpin

Tibet Airlines has launched regular flights between Tibet and Qinghai Province in the northwest.

The new route, which links the regional capital Lhasa and Qinghai’s Gelmud City, went into service on Monday of March 31, according to Lin Mingjing, deputy manager of the marketing department with Tibet Airlines.

Using Airbus A319, there will be three round trips each week, with each single trip lasting one hour and 20 minutes.

“I believe that the new route will give a big boost to regional tourism,” Lin said.

Tibet opened 13 new air routes in 2013, bringing the total number in the region to 48 and the number of cities linked with Tibet to 29.

The region received a record 2.76 million air passengers in 2013, up 24.4 percent from the previous year, according to the regional civil aviation authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China launches carbon trading in Hubei

By Li Jianping, Xu Haibo and Li Baojie

Central China’s Hubei Province on Wednesday of April 2 launched a carbon trading scheme, the country’s sixth.

The scheme covers 138 companies in 12 high pollution industries, including power generation and steel, which have been given a combined carbon emission quota of 324 million tonnes this year, the Hubei carbon trade exchange said in a statement.

Under the trading program, those which emit below their quotas can sell their excess to other enterprises or even to investors for profits. Hebei is the first place where the government has sold reserve quotas. About 2 million tonnes of carbon have been sold at a price of 20 yuan (3.20 U.S. dollars) per tonne.

The exchange also signed carbon trading agreements with other provinces including Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guangdong.

The scheme is a big step for China in building a nationwide carbon trading market, with an expectation of 40 to 45 percent reductions of 2005′s emissions slated for 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  NW China food poisoning affects 62

By Zhong Qun and Jiang Chenrong

Suspected food poisoning in a local hotel in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province made 62 people ill on Wednesday of April 2, local authorities said.

Scores of people from the Jincha Village suffered from vomiting, diarrhea and fever on Tuesday night after a Sunday lunch banquet in the Jinlong Hotel in Mizhi County , according to the county health bureau.

Sufferers have sought treatment at two hospitals. As of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 34 were still under treatment, according to the bureau.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Two more human H7N9 cases in China

By Xiao Sisi and Cheng Lu

Two more people were confirmed infected with H7N9 bird flu in two Chinese provinces, health authorities said on Wednesday of April 2.

A 68-year-old man from Guangzhou in south China’s Guangdong Province was confirmed with the bird flu and is in critical condition, according to the provincial health department.

Infection of another man, 28, from Suzhou City in east China’s Jiangsu Province was confirmed on Wednesday by the provincial health department.

The man raises chickens and pigeons at home and is in critical condition.

China has reported more than 120 human H7N9 cases this year, leading to at least 38 deaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Toddler burns down daddy’s S China factory

By Fu Qing and Cheng Lu

The cause of a clothing workshop fire that killed 12 people in south China’s Guangdong Province has been identified, authorities said on Wednesday of April 2.

The three-year-old daughter of the workshop owner was playing with a lighter and ignited sponges stacked on the first floor, according to the Administration of Work Safety of Guangdong Province.

Twelve people suffocated and many others were injured in the fire on March 26 in Junbu Township, Puning City.

Wu Ximing, deputy head of the township, and two others were being investigated for suspected abuse of power.

Officials said the factory owner had been illegally using a residential building as a workshop, and violated fire laws, such as insufficient exits, shortage of fire-distinguishing equipment and failure to conduct safety training for employees.

Zheng Xiaosheng, the workshop owner, fled after the fire but has now turned himself in.

All but one of the injured have now been discharged from hospital. Families members of the 12 dead have signed compensation agreements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Court upholds patient’s death sentence for killing doctor

By Chen Wenguang and Cheng Lu

A court has upheld the death sentence of a man who stabbed his doctor to death at a hospital in central China’s Hunan Province, the local court said on Wednesday of April 2.

Hunan’s provincial Higher People’s Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal of Wang Yunsheng, who stabbed a doctor to death in April 2012 at the inpatient department of the No. 3 People’s Hospital in Hengyang City.

Wang was sentenced to death and deprived of political rights for life in the first instance trial by the Intermediate People’s Court in Hengyang City in December 2012.

Wang was diagnosed with tuberculosis at the hospital in May 2011. Dissatisfied with the treatment effect, he had wrangled with his doctor many times before the tragedy happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China to standardize dogs

By Mao Weihao and Cheng Lu

A committee to standardize the raising of companion animals has proposed pet dog standards.

Dogs would be categorized as working, sporting, herding, toy, etc. by a series of tests to determine whether they are suitable as pets.

China does not have any unified national standards on family dogs. People usually choose a pet by its size.

“New standards are more scientific and meet actual demands of family dog owners,” said Wei Haitao, secretary general of the committee.

Other proposals include signs in public areas to ease tensions between pet owners and others.

The proposals will be submitted to the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China this year for review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shanghai escalator accident due to broken chain: official

By Cheng Lu and Zhou Rui

The broken drive chain in a Shanghai subway escalator caused the sudden reversal that injured 12 people on Wednesday morning of April 2, according to local authorities.

The Otis escalator passed an annual inspection in July 2013, and the next check should have been in August this year, said Shanghai municipal quality inspection department. Specific causes will be identified after technical appraisal and investigation.

According to the official Weibo account of the Shanghai municipal government, an escalator travelling upwards suddenly ran in reverse and 12 people were slightly injured in the Jing’ansi subway station at around 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday.

Injured passengers were taken to hospital and the operator suspended use of escalators in the station.

Escalator accidents have happened in China before. One boy died and 30 others were injured when an escalator collapsed at a Beijing subway station in July 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  New aerotropolis emerging in central China

By Han Xiaojing and Liu Jinhui

The ongoing International Trade Fair in Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province has attracted businessmen from all over the world, seeking business opportunities in China’s new aerotropolis.

Zhengzhou airport economic zone, China’s first experimental zone for an airport-based economy, is transforming the city into a new, cosmopolitan one.

Fourteen foreign companies, including aviation logistics and medicines signed contracts with the zone with a total investment of 6.25 billion U.S. dollars on Tuesday of April 1, the first day of a three-day trade fair.

“With the support of the Chinese government and its own advantages, Zhengzhou is developing into an aviation-oriented metropolis like Memphis in America, ,” said Vlad Lipschutz, United States consul general in Wuhan city in central China’s Hubei Province, who brought 10 American businessmen to the trade fair.

“Many Fortune 500 companies have invested in Henan Province, and United Parcel Service (UPS) have regular services from the zone. I believe the pilot zone has great potential,” Lipschutz said.

Grogory Gilligan, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China said the large population and potential market in Henan are also the advantages of the economic zone.

So far, Zhengzhou airport has opened 144 domestic and international airlines, including 20 cargo airlines. By 2030, the airport is expected to have five runways, and be able to accommodate 70 million passengers and handle 5 million tons of goods annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Morgan Stanley maintains 2014 China GDP forecast

By Fang Dong

Morgan Stanley has maintained its forecast on China’s economic growth this year at 7.2 percent as a slowdown in the first quarter seems likely.

Helen Qiao, Morgan Stanley’s chief greater China economist, is cautious on the economic outlook due to uncertainties in the global recovery.

Morgan Stanley estimated the increase of China’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2014 at 7.1 percent last September, and raised it to 7.2 percent two months later.

The projection was mainly based on weak demand. “External demand recovery will not be significant,” Qiao said, “and financial tightening in the last quarter of 2013 will likely weigh on domestic demand growth.”

The economy has shown signs of shrinkage in growth since the beginning of the year. The HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a key measure of factory activity, registered an eight-month low in March, while the official PMI reading saw feeble growth.

Research institutions started to lower their estimates for the Jan.-March period last month. Economists from both China International Capital Corporation and the Bank of Communications gave an estimate of 7.3 percent.

Despite grim market sentiment and increasing downward pressure, Qiao sees no need to read too much into poor economic indicators, or be over pessimistic about prospects for the full year.

Things may look up after March, she said.

Qiao expects the global economy to continue its slow recovery this year, while developed nations will overtake emerging markets as major contributors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Non-performing loans worry China’s banking sector

By Shi Hao, Jiang Xufeng, Yao Yujie, Lü Dong, Su Xueyan and Zhang Wenjing

Financial results of China’s major banks released over the past few days have laid bare a worrying rise in non-performing loans (NPLs).

China’s five largest banks — the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the Bank of China (BOC), the Bank of Communications, the China Construction Bank (CCB) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — had a total of 374 billion yuan (60 billion U.S. dollars) in outstanding NPLs at the end of 2013, nearly 47 billion yuan more than at the end of 2012; an average NPL ratio of 1.03 percent.

Smaller banks — China CITIC Bank and China Everbright Bank, for example — are in an even worse fix. Their outstanding NPLs shot up 63 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Commercial banks’ outstanding NPLs stood at over 590 billion yuan by the end of last year, a 99 billion yuan increase.

 

THE HEADWINDS

“Economic slowdown, overcapacity, weak foreign demand and the after-effects of previous stimulus measures have contributed to the rise in NPLs,” HSBC’s chief China economist Qu Hongbin told Xinhua.

Moderated GDP expansion and economic restructuring have led to a panoply of ho-hum economic data. Major indicators — industrial value added, fixed-asset investment, retail sales — have all slowed in the first two months. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rebounded slightly in March after three consecutive declines, but the HSBC/Markit PMI dipped to an eight-month low.

“The discrepancy between HSBC’s and official PMI could be attributed to HSBC PMI sampling mainly small enterprises which suffered more in the slowdown,” said Lu Ting, chief China economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The Bank of Communications attributes its NPL rise partly to the lack of resilience of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the steel industry in coastal provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The EBT (earnings before tax) margins of steel makers crashed to 0.9 percent in 2013, down from 5.7 percent in 2007, according to Ryan Rutkowski, a China analyst with Washington’s Peterson Institute. The steel sector in China has about three trillion yuan of debt, roughly equal to the entire GDP of a country like Poland or Belgium. Some 1.3 trillion yuan of this debt is bank loans. Beside steel, sectors such as cement, photovoltaics, shipbuilding, aluminum are haunted by overcapacity.

“We have clearly felt NPL pressure in the Yangtze Delta since the second half of last year, especially in manufacturing and steel,” said Song Xianping, head of risk control with ABC.

“Banks will inevitably be hurt by rising NPLs as outdated capacities are phased out after huge bank loans have been put in,” said Guo Tianyong, a finance professor with the Central University of Finance and Economics.

A cooling property market means falling land prices, the meat and drink of many local government financing vehicles (LGFVs). The terms of loans to LGFVs are usually short, while the time to recover capital from investment is relatively long, said Zhou Jingtong, a senior researcher with BOC’s international finance institute. For LGFVs, this mismatch may cause liquidity problems, Zhou said.

Earlier this year, bond defaults by two companies in East China — Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. and Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate Co.– rang alarm bells in bloated industrial sectors and the real estate market.

 

NPL RISKS UNCONTROLLABLE?

The NPL ratio in China’s commercial banks was around one percent at the end of last year which may not actually be that high. “This is a relatively low NPL ratio. In 2012, Japan had an NPL ratio of 2.4 percent, Thailand 2.44 percent and Malaysia 1.37 percent,” said Rutkowski.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank, agrees with Rutkowski: NPL ratio in the U.S. can be as high as five percent.

“The LGFVs, the property market and an over-investment hangover are problems, but in my view, not systemic risks,” said Takehiko Nakao, president of the Asian Development Bank.

Rutkowski also thinks these sectors are not a direct threat to large banks as “they still have plenty of funding with relatively healthy loan-to-deposit ratios”.

Major banks have been cutting loans in risky sectors. Last year, ICBC’s outstanding loans to LGFVs, property developers and overcapacity industries declined by 94.3 billion yuan, 8.6 billion yuan and 19.9 billion yuan, respectively. Chen Siqing, head of BOC, is closely supervising the quality of assets in the three sectors in 2014. “An economic slowdown usually has a bottom, and stabilizing growth is high on China’s priority list,” said Qu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  BMW China to recall vehicles

By Zhang Xu

BMW China and BMW Brilliance Automotive will recall 232,098 vehicles from June 18 due to engine problems, China’s quality watchdog announced on Wednesday of April 2.

The recall covers vehicles equipped with N52K, N52T and N55 engines, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said.

A total of 138,534 vehicles imported by BMW China from June 10 in 2009 to July 30 in 2012 were affected, involving BMW 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 series and X1, X3, X5, X6 and Z4.

And 93,564 vehicles of BMW 3 and 5 series produced by BMW Brilliance from Nov. 7 in 2009 to June 6 in 2013 will be recalled.

The recall is due to defects in the bolts at the shell of VANOS, a valve timing system, which may loosen or crack.

The companies will replace faulty bolts free of charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China announces Toyota recalls

By Zhang Xu

Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co. Ltd. will recall 48 Avalon vehicles from April 26 due to defective air bags, China’s quality watchdog announced on Wednesday of April 2.

The recall covers Avalon vehicles produced between July 1, 2002 and May 6, 2003, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.

The recall is triggered by insufficient electromagnetic wave resistance of the air bag ECU, which could cause air bag launch during driving or seat belt preloader error.

The company will repair affected cars’ faulty parts free of charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  12 trapped in collapsed tunnel in NE China

By Zong Wei and Li Baojie

A high-speed railway tunnel under construction in northeast China’s Jilin Province collapsed early on Wednesday of April 2, leaving 12 workers trapped inside, local authorities said.

The collapse happened at about 2 a.m. when workers were pouring concrete to reinforce the tunnel in Hunchun City.

An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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