Regular cargo trains link Chongqing, Germany’s Duisburg





>>  China urges Korean Peninsula caution

By Liu Dongkai

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said here on Tuesday of April 8 that parties involved in the Korean Peninsula should be cautious in their words and deeds as the situation there remains extremely fragile.

Hong told a daily briefing that China hopes the parties proceed from the general situation and do more things that are conducive to easing the situation and to resumption of the six-party talks.

Tensions have been heightened on the peninsula in recent weeks, during which the DPRK fired a volley of missiles, the two Koreas fired artillery shells into each other’s waters, and Pyongyang threatened to conduct a “new form” of nuclear test in response to what it said was continued hostility from the United States.

The United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Monday reaffirmed the UN Security Council’s “unanimous condemnation” of the DPRK’s recent ballistic missile launches as a violation of Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094.

At a meeting in Washington on Monday, the U.S. special representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and his Japanese and ROK counterparts restated their commitment to a “verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.”

The United States and its allies have refused to restart the six-party talks until the DPRK shows its commitment to giving up its nuclear program.







>>  Chinese ambassador presents letter of credence to Philippine president

By Zhao Jiemin

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua presented on Tuesday of April 8 the Letter of Credence to Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.

The Chinese ambassador held a brief meeting with President Aquino after his presentation of the Letter of Credence. Both sides exchanged views on China-Philippines relations and the South China Sea issue.

Ambassador Zhao reiterated Chinese government’s relevant principled position. He emphasized that China attaches importance to its relations with the Philippines. The current difficulties in the bilateral relations, caused by some problems, including the arbitration case on the South China Sea issue, are not what the Chinese side wishes to see, and are not in the common interests of both China and the Philippines.

It is China’s hope that the Philippine side could, in the spirit of seeking common grounds while shelving differences, work with the Chinese side to properly handle relevant disputes, and to overcome obstacles and bring the bilateral ties back to the normal track of development, Zhao said.

Zhao arrived in Manila on Feb. 23 and presented the copy of the Letter of Credence to Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario on March 7.







>>  German companies upbeat on China’s future growth

By Zhang Xu, Zhang Zhongkai, Guo Xinfeng and Liu Xinyong

China’s growth slowdown is normal as it is going through an economic transformation period, with the transition offering new opportunities for foreign firms, an official from the German Chamber of Commerce has told Xinhua.

“We expect general growth to slow which is a natural economic development when the reference base is increasing. The switch from a rapid to a more sustainable economic progress in China is the right course,” said Alexandra Voss, executive chairwoman of the German Chamber of Commerce, North China, on Monday evening during an interview.

China is heading in the right direction by rebalancing its economy and slowly introducing consumption as one of the main economic drivers in addition to exports and large-scale investments in infrastructure development like highways and housing, she added.

There are about 4,500 German companies operating in China. Of these, 60 percent are members of the German chamber. In 2013, 400,000 people in China were employed by German companies.

According to the organization’s annual Business Confidence Survey, members of the German chamber are very positive about their business forecast in the coming years. In 2012, 22.4 percent of respondents perceived their business outlook to be improving; in 2013 this rose to 40.5 percent, showing more confidence in the development of the Chinese market.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his visit to Germany in late March that China’s internal impetus is driving the country’s sustainable and stable growth, thus providing a huge market and opportunities for its cooperation partners, including Germany.

China needs “German quality”, while Germany’s growth requires the Chinese market and “China speed”, the president said.

During his stay in Germany, Deutsche Bundesbank and People’s Bank of China announced the establishment of a clearing center for transactions with RMB in Frankfurt am Main, the business and financial center of Germany.

“This important step is highly beneficial for many German SMEs doing business with Chinese counterparts by easing financial issues between them and lowering the transition costs of deals,” Voss said.

She predicted that certain strategic industries will grow and offer opportunities during China’s market-oriented reform, such as sustainable urbanization, green building creation and energy saving consultation.

The strong focus of the Chinese government on environment and energy and its decision to put more emphasis on these areas will bring great business opportunities for German companies, she said.

But Voss pointed out that German companies still see themselves confronted with a number of challenges in China such as Intellectual Property Rights protection. They also expect easier and wider market entry for foreign companies.

“We reckon that a successful execution of the reforms will ignite competition, provide more opportunities, and minimize challenges for foreign companies. Then it is only a matter of time before natural market forces facilitate more sustainable growth”, she said.







>>  Beijing event enhances wider vision of design at Milan furniture fair

By Marzia de Giuli

With a rich program of exhibitions and B2B meetings, Beijing Design Week has set the stage for a dialogue with the international design community at Milan’s Salone del Mobile, or Milan Furniture Fair, which kicked off in Italy’s design capital on Tuesday of April 8.

The new challenge for Beijing Design Week was being an interpreter of a “wider vision of design” through developing new partnerships and forms of business dialogue during the show which runs on 8-13 April, organizers said.

How a global vision of design can be transformed into concrete opportunities for cultural and commercial exchanges? Beijing Design Week’s answer was nurturing creative realities and workable proposals that enable design to permeate into everyday life.

For example, the largest delegation of Chinese distributors of made in Italy was present at Salone del Mobile and will take part in the “China Home B2″ project of dialogue between Italian and Chinese professionals in the field of furniture design.

Also during the six-day exhibition, a Sino-European Innovation Center supported by Beijing Design Week will be launched to promote bilateral investments in the creativity industry with investment forum, exhibitions, visits and match-making both in China and Europe.

Main supporter of the project was China Red Star Design Award, which since 2006 has encouraged innovative design and promoted the internationalization of design in China.

In fact, the Salone del Mobile was also an occasion to give new life to the Chinese folk tradition. In the “Kanjian project”, bamboo, wood, lacquer, ceramics and other traditional materials were used to create objects expressing the essence of history as an integral part of contemporary life.

Beijing Design Week is a government-supported annual festival that since 2011 has established itself as a leading international platform dedicated to the transforming landscape of design in China.

After having been awarded the title of “City of Design” by UNESCO in 2012, Beijing took the festival as a further signal for the growing potential of Chinese creativity and for the rebranding of the “Made in China” concept as “Designed in China.”

During the 2012 edition of Beijing Design Week, Milan was protagonist of the festival’s Guest City program, highlighting an increasing cooperation in the design field between the two countries.







>>  New Zealand to step up anti-drugs cooperation with China

Greater police and Customs exchanges between New Zealand and China will be targeted at stopping organized crime and drug smuggling between the two countries, the New Zealand government announced on Tuesday of April 8.

The new initiative, which follows the signing of a Memorandum of Arrangement (MOA) on precursor controls between China and New Zealand in April 2013, would see a New Zealand Police attach officer to the consulate in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, for a two-year trial period.

The officer would work with Chinese enforcement agencies to help identify criminals who were responsible for illicit drug or precursor chemical imports to New Zealand, Police Minister Anne Tolley and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said in a joint statement.

Customs and Police staff would also travel to China to take part in targeted operations and to increase the level of engagement with Chinese enforcement agencies.

“Our agencies are already producing good results with the support of their Chinese counterparts, and this initiative will support them to be more effective in keeping these despicable drugs out of New Zealand,” Tolley said.

“A permanent police presence in Guangdong and greater cooperation will allow authorities to significantly disrupt the crime syndicates who are behind the drug trade to this country, while also impacting the supply chain,” she said.

“It is important that we continue to look at new ways to stay one step ahead of these criminals,” said Williamson.







>>  Regular cargo trains link Chongqing, Germany’s Duisburg

By Han Xiaojing and Zhang Guilin

The first regular cargo train linking southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality and Duisburg in Germany departed on Tuesday morning of April 8, marking the latest step in the two countries’ building of a Silk Road economic belt.

China and Germany are at opposite ends of the Silk Road economic belt, trade infrastructure along a route linking east Asia and Europe through central Asia. They were called on to serve as engines for economic growth by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit last month to the port of Duisburg, the world’s biggest inland harbor and a European transport and logistics hub.

The two countries, linked by the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway, should strengthen cooperation in building the Silk Road economic belt, Xi said.

On the trip to Duisburg, he witnessed the arrival of a cargo train at the city’s railway station from Chongqing. It had traveled the entire length of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international line.

This was launched in January 2011. A total of 110 customized trains, mostly loaded with electronic products, have traveled along the route so far. With the operation of the regular train, 114 trains are expected to exchange diversified products between the two countries within this year.

The railway begins in Chongqing, crosses the border into Kazakhstan at Alashankou, and passes through Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching its terminus in Duisburg at the heart of Europe.

The railway cuts the five-week shipping time of the past to only about two weeks, and costs 80 percent less than air transportation.

“The Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway has boosted economic cooperation between all the countries along the route,” said Soren Link, mayor of Duisburg.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the country’s 2012 trade with all countries along the economic belt topped 549.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 14.2 percent of its total foreign trade volume that year.

And the railway has also provided a great opportunity for the opening up of inland cities in China, according to Dai Dingyi, deputy head of the China Society of Logistics.

With the encouragement of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe railway, more Chinese cities, including Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province and Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, have launched railway lines to European cities.

In the past three years, high-tech companies including AT&S, Europe’s largest printed circuit board (PCB) producer, have set up manufacturing bases in the city’s Liangjiang New Area, the third national development zone in China.

In 2013, Chongqing attracted 10.6 billion U.S. dollars of foreign investment, and its total import and export volume reached 68.7 billion U.S. dollars.







>>  China launches web page to report misconduct

By Liu Lu

The disciplinary watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Tuesday launched a new section on its website inviting the public to report corruption and misconduct.

The move is aimed at tightening disciplinary inspection ahead of the May Day holiday.

The CPC’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)’s website,, has published 183 cases relating to breaches of the eight-point anti-bureaucracy and formalism guidelines.

Every Monday, the website will name officials who have breached the guidelines.

According to the CCDI, the public is encouraged to expose officials who use public money for gift cards, travel and dining and accept online consumption cards.







>>  Alleged online rumormonger to stand trial in Beijing

By Hu Tao and Tu Ming

A netizen suspected of defamation and provocation will stand trial on Friday in Beijing.

Qin Zhihui, 31, a former employee of the Erma Company is accused of creating and spreading online rumors about several celebrities via Sina Weibo from December 2012 to August 2013, said Chaoyang District Court in Beijing.

A police investigation found that Qin, who went by various online names all containing “Qinhuohuo” invented stories to attract followers on Sina Weibo and influence online opinion makers, including spreading false information about the, now dissolved, Railway Ministry, generating huge numbers of reposts and many negative comments.

The prosecution asserts that Qin has had a bad social influence and seriously disturbed the social order through online rumors. His behavior caused severe social disorder. He violated the law and should be criminally liable for his actions.







>>  Expert predicts 20-year smog battle for China

By Liu Xin Yong, Han Miao and Wei Hua

It may take China about 20 years to resolve the issue of serious smog that has been plaguing major Chinese cities, a German environmental expert said in Boao, Hainan Province, on Tuesday of April 8.

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker, co-chair of the International Resource Panel, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that air pollution was also a headache for Germany in the 1960s.

After that, strict air quality rules were adopted in many cities, forcing coal power plants, iron manufacturers and other industries to reduce polluting emissions.

“I believe the dependence on coal in China is roughly the same as it was in Germany in the 1960s. In Germany, it took maybe 20 years [to adjust from a model that was over-reliant on coal], and this is also doable for China,” Weizsacker said.

Meanwhile, he said he was impressed by China’s determination to raise energy efficiency and combat air pollution in the next few years.

By 2020, non-fossil-fuel energy will account for 15 percent of China’s total primary energy consumption, and CO2 emission per unit of GDP will drop by 40 to 45 percent from the level of 2005, the government has promised.

China has been hit by bouts of serious smog, peaking since 2012. Last month, Premier Li Keqiang described air pollution as “nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,” and said China will “declare war” on pollution.

Weizsacker is in Boao, a town in southern China’s Hainan Province, to attend the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, which runs from Tuesday to Friday and takes the theme “Asia’s New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers.”







>>  Beijing volunteers grapple with doctor-patient rows

By Zhong Qun and Weng Ye

A program in Beijing using volunteer intermediates between doctors and patients is China’s latest attempt to ease tensions in the consulting room.

Styled as a volunteer program, the “Guardian Angel” initiative will recruit medical workers, patients and university students to provide services including hospital guidance, psychological intervention and the spread of health knowledge, said Feng Guosheng, head of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals (BMAH).

The program will iron out tensions between doctors and patients by building mutual trust through a communicative process. “Patients will understand doctors better after talking with our volunteers,” Feng said.

The project, across 21 hospitals in the capital, will recruit more than 1,500 volunteers this year to serve in a one-year term, said Wei Jiang, of the BMAH committee of the Communist Party of China.

Cases of assaults on doctors have attracted much attention recently, as frustration, misunderstandings and dissatisfaction trigger violence. On March 5, a doctor at Chaozhou Central Hospital in south China’s Guangdong Province was publicly humiliated by the relatives of a patient who died under his care. In the same month, two government officials were punished for an attack on a nurse at Nanjing Stomatological Hospital in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province. In February, a doctor from northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province was beaten to death by a patient.

Authorities at various levels have been at pains to assuage public ire. In January, Zhejiang Provincial Higher People’s Court ruled that hospitals should bring the criminal law to bear on those who disrupt order in medical institutions. The government of the northeastern city of Harbin announced similar policy in February, and the local public health department promised more help for medical institutions and staff.

Meanwhile, the National Health and Family Planning Commission released a circular on Feb. 20 banning doctors from taking “red envelopes”, or gifts of money from patients from May 1, mandating what was once a moral issue.

Guo Xinbao, director of the Beijing Volunteer Federation, sees Beijing taking the lead for other localities struggling with the problematic situations at health care facilities. “It is a good way to halt current medical disputes and ensure social stability,” he said, promising to reward those volunteers who perform well.

“Anyone who does not abide by the rules will be eliminated from the program,” he said.

Han Meng, a volunteer at the capital’s Institute of Pediatrics, sees the project as a way to rebuild the image of doctors, tarnished by various scandals. “I believe that it will help understanding,” he said.







>>  China reiterates ban on kindergarten drugs

By Cheng Zhuo

Feed toddlers drugs without authority should be resolutely banned, a Chinese health official said on Tuesday of April 8.

Health authorities at local levels have been told to conduct thorough inspections by Thursday, Mao Qun’an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a press conference.

The spokesman’s comments come after several Chinese kindergartens have been found giving children antiviral drugs to improve attendance.

Given the health risk, preventive medication for young kids must be practiced with great prudence, in accordance with the law, and under the supervision of medical institutions, Mao stressed.

Also at Tuesday’s press conference, the spokesman said that monitoring of human H7N9 infection has revealed no signs of major mutation of the virus and there is little chance of a large-scale outbreak of the disease.







>>  China invests 3 trillion yuan in healthcare

By Hu Longjiang

The Chinese government has pumped around three trillion yuan (about 488 billion U.S. dollars) into its medical care reform in the past five years, the nation’s health authorities said on Tuesday of April 8.

The investment was made both by the central government and local authorities, Mao Qun’an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a press conference.

After years of effort, China’s public hospital reform has reached more than 1,000 counties across the country, covering a population of 500 million, said Mao. “To put it simply, the framework for a national basic medical insurance system has been comprehensively established,” he said.

Mao noted that a key factor to further China’s healthcare reform is to increase salaries for medical staff and cut the link between doctors’ income and medicine sales.

Salaries are generally low for staff in public hospitals, which dominate the nation’s health service market. Thus, many doctors have colluded with pharmaceutical companies and earned “gray income” by over-prescribing drugs or prescribing unnecessary drugs.

Solving the problem is an urgent task for the commission and it has been taking action, according to Mao.

The spokesman also said the commission will strengthen protection for medical staff after a spate of patient violence against such personnel.







>>  Chinese shares “too cheep to ignore”: HSBC

By Lin Jianyang

Chinese shares have fallen to levels which are well below their five-year average, and are “too cheep to ignore”, HSBC said in its latest China investment atlas.

“No matter whether it is in terms of price-to-earnings or price-to-book terms, some Chinese stocks are valued even lower than during the global financial crisis,” said HSBC’s Head of China Equity Strategy Steven Sun in the report.

In the past few weeks, China has been producing a series of tepid macro economic data, and has had no shortage of bad news. The onshore bond market may soon witness its first bond default in recent history, while the Chinese currency Renminbi has fallen to the lowest level in a year.

The HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which sampled small- and medium-sized enterprises, dipped to an eight-month low of 48 in March, from a final reading of 48.5 in February. It also signaled the sharpest fall of output since November 2011.

Although the timing of a stock market bottom is difficult to call, downside risks have been alleviated by the depressed valuation, Sun said.

Against the rest of the region, China also offers clear value. In terms of price-to-earnings multiples, the discount that Chinese equities trade at is the widest it has been since 2007, he said.

The market hopes that policy makers in China take fresh steps to boost the country’s flagging economy.

“We think a rally might be underway due to the cheap valuations, but this is more likely to be a short-term rebound than a new cyclical bull market,” Sun said. “We maintain our cautious stance on 2014 stock market performance, given the structural challenges that China needs to overcome.”

Sun said most of HSBC’s 2014 index target forecasts are unchanged, with Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) China at 68 and Hang Seng Index at 24,000.

But HSBC slightly lowers Shanghai Composite Index to 2,400 from 2,500 and the Hushen 300 Index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings to 2,600 from 2,800.

These targets imply potential returns of 11 percent to 24 percent by the end of next year, including dividend yield. Potential return equals the percentage difference between the current index level and target level, including forecast dividend yields when indicated, Sun said.

On Tuesday, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index opened lower at 2,054.53 points, down 0.21 percent. The Hushen 300 Index opened at 2,179.92 points, down 0.25 percent.







>>  NE China tunnel collapse workers leave hospital

By Yi Ling and Duan Xu

Seven of 12 workers rescued after more than 80 hours trapped in a collapsed tunnel in northeast China’s Jilin Province have been discharged from hospital, local authorities said on Tuesday of April 8.

The other five rescued workers are still under inpatient care, but they are in stable conditions, according to a statement issued by the information office of the Hunchun City government.

The 12 workers were pouring concrete in an under-construction high-speed rail tunnel when it collapsed at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Rescuers made contact with the trapped workers and delivered food to them at 1:55 p.m. Friday through a passage bored into the tunnel.

The workers were all saved at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. In hospital, they were found to be dehydrated but otherwise in decent health.







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