Students struggle for jobs as graduation approaches






>>  China protests Japanese minister’s visit to war shrine

By Bai Jie

China on Saturday of April 12 protested against a Japanese Cabinet minister’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.

“This once again shows the mistaken attitude of the current Japanese Cabinet toward history,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.

China has lodged solemn representations and protests with the Japanese side, he said.

On Saturday, Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo visited the Tokyo shrine that honors, among others, convicted war criminals.

Hong said it has been an important basis of China-Japan relations since World War II that Japan earnestly faces up to and reflects upon its history of aggression, and distances itself from militarism.

“We urge the Japanese side to correct its attitude and heed the calls from neighbors and the international community to stop all provocation that runs counter to the trend of the times,” he said.

The worship by Shindo to the shrine, which honors the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 war criminals executed for their crimes at the end of the World War II, is symbolic of Japan’s past militarism. Visits by Japanese politicians to the shrine regularly trigger anger from neighboring countries, especially China and the Republic of Korea.







>>  Chinese bank credits benefit 46 ASEAN transport projects

By Zhang Zhenfu and Zhao Xiaohui

The Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank) has provided credit support to 46 transport infrastructure projects in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries by early 2014, a senior executive of the bank told Xinhua Saturday of April 12.

With preferential loans from the Eximbank, 24 highways, three railways, one port, three airports and nine bridges have been built, rebuilt or renovated in ASEAN countries, according to the executive.

Take Cambodia where most places had no railways for an example. The bank’s lending has facilitated the country to put in place its national rail system, building railways of about 2,173 kilometers.

Other big-name projects indebted to the Eximbank services include the Second Penang Bridge in Malaysia, the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia, and the Luang Prabang Airport in Laos.

The executive said the Eximbank would continue to provide efficient, all-round and professional financial services to ASEAN countries.







>>  Party chief of China’s national science association probed

By Liu Tong

Shen Weichen, Party secretary and executive vice president of China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), is now under investigation for suspected serious violation of discipline and laws.

The Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection made the announcement on its website Saturday, without providing further details.

As China’s largest national organization of scientific and technological workers, CAST maintains close ties with millions of Chinese scientists, engineers and other people working in the fields of science and technology, according to its website.







>>  Students struggle for jobs as graduation approaches

By Sun Xiaozheng, Xu Xiaoqing and Weng Ye

“I’ll never forget that experience,” said Li Mingzhen, a senior college student at Fudan University in Shanghai, when recalling her interview with a well-known Chinese search engine company.

Li was weeded out in that competition last autumn. But it was not her failure that surprised her most. “I walked inside the interview room, and I found my college instructor was there, among other candidates,” Li said.

The man was three years older than her and held a graduate degree. “How could you possibly compete for a job with your own teacher, when he trumps you in gender, education background and working experiences?” wondered Li.

“I couldn’t speak a word during the group discussion in the first 10 minutes.”

The 23-year-old Shaanxi native’s interview story reflects the struggles of millions of Chinese graduates, who this year face job-hunting competition that is set to be tougher than ever. Under a cruel dynamic, China’s economic growth has slowed while the graduate supply continues to rise.

According to the Ministry of Education, 7.27 million university students will enter the job market this year, mostly in June and July. That figure is 280,000 more than in 2013, a year already labeled the most difficult employment season on record.

Latest statistics from the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (SMEC) show that the total number of graduates in Shanghai in 2014 will be 178,000, the same as in 2013. But only 20 percent of the city’s university graduates had signed employment contracts by March 10.

On that date, the number of registered job openings in Shanghai stood at 90,000, less than half the number of graduating students.

“But more job vacancies are expected as small enterprises usually don’t register their job openings,” says Tian Lei, a supervisor of the SMEC’s Student Affairs Department.

From March to May is the golden time for graduates’ job hunting, adds Ping Hui, an official with the SMEC.

Ping highlighted three groups of students facing particular difficulty in finding jobs. The first is graduates from vocational institutes, where specialties are not competitive. The second is students majoring in finance, law, history, literature, art and sport, and the third is female graduates and those from families with financial difficulties.

According to a 2011 report released by the All-China Women’s Federation, 56.7 percent of female university students interviewed said there were “fewer job opportunities for girls,” and a remarkable 91.9 percent said they had suffered gender discrimination from employers.

Luckily for Li, as a female student from Fudan Journalism School, she got two offers in early April: one for a position as an administrative assistant for a Sino-U.S. university and one from a famous TV program producer. Li chose the latter to become a TV director.

“The job-hunting process is cruel, and sometimes frustrating, but the result is sweet and gives me confidence,” she said.







>>  Xinjiang gold shines in 2013

By Zhou Yan and Liu Bing

Gold production in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region rose by 21 percent last year, the regional gold administration said on Saturday of April 12.

In 2013, Xinjiang’s gold output totaled 17.1 tonnes, yielding nearly 4.7 billion yuan (760 million U.S. dollars) of revenue, the administration said in a press release.

Gold output in Xinjiang has grown for 10 consecutive years, with a number of new discoveries and mines, and will continue to rise this year to as much as 20 tonnes.

In the first quarter alone, 2.14 tonnes were extracted, up 22.5 percent from the same period of last year. Q1 data was much higher than expected, as many mines suspended production during the winter.

Xinjiang is one of China’s top gold producing regions, and has reserves estimated at around 200 tonnes across 600 different sites. Gold output from Xinjiang makes up about 4 percent of China’s total output.

Last year, China’s total gold production reached 428 tonnes, but consumption topped 1,000 tonnes.







>>  One dead in China cable car plunge

By Zhou Yan, Cheng Di, Chen Zixia and Yang Rongrong

One tourist was killed and four others injured when a cable car fell off the cableway at a mountain resort in east China’s Jiangxi Province on Saturday of April 12.

The accident happened at around 10:20 a.m. at Mount Dujuanshan, a famous destination in Jinggangshan, a city government spokesman said.

The accident was caused by equipment failure, but no details were given.

Cable cars were stopped after the accident and 219 tourists were stranded in their cars for six hours, the official said.

Service resumed at 4:30 p.m. and all stranded tourists returned to ground safely. The four injured tourists were taken to hospital but none is in critical condition.

Mount Dujuanshan, known as “Pen Rack Mountain” as its 17 peaks are aligned like pens, has an average altitude of 1,357 meters. Late Chinese leader Mao Zedong established a revolutionary base there in 1927.

A round trip on the 5,200-meter cableway costs 160 yuan (about 26 U.S. dollars) for each adult.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.









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