Chinese adults read more books, fewer papers

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China, U.S. expand consensus on Korean Peninsula denuclearization

By Zhang Yi

China and the United States have expanded their consensus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and narrowed their differences, a Chinese spokesman said on Monday of April 21.

Spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing that Wu Dawei, China’s special representative on Korean Peninsula affairs, and his U.S. counterpart, Glyn Davies, held in-depth talks in Washington last week on a variety of issues, including the six party talks, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability of the region.

They thoroughly exchanged views during Wu’s visit, Qin said, adding that China is willing to further communication and coordination with all parties concerned, including the United States, and to play a constructive role in promoting peace through dialogue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China condemns Japanese PM’s war-linked shrine offering

By Sun Yi

China has lodged representations over the offering made on Monday of April 21 by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

“We urge the Japanese side to take a correct attitude on historical issues, stop making provocative acts, and win the trust of Asia and the world through concrete moves,” Foreign Ministry Qin Gang told a daily press briefing on Monday.

Qin said that Japanese leaders’ offerings and Japanese cabinet members’ visits to the shrine exposed the “wrong attitude of the Japanese cabinet toward history,” and China has expressed its solemn stance to the Japanese side.

“Japanese leaders’ attitudes toward the Yasukuni shrine, which honors Class-A WWII war criminals, show whether Japan can face up to and reflect on the history of Japanese militarist aggression,” he said.

“The Yasukuni Shrine issue is a destructive factor in the relationship between Japan and its neighbors, and also a negative asset for Japan itself,” Qin stressed.

It is fundamental for Japan to earnestly face up to and reflect on its history of militarist aggression and to make a clean break with militarism in rebuilding and developing the China-Japan relationship, said Qin.

Abe made an offering to the war-linked shrine on Monday, another controversial move following the visit of Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo to the shrine on April 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China’s discipline agency targets extravagance during holiday

By Guo Likun and Zhao Chao

The discipline watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has pledged it will continue to curb official extravagance and other malpractices during the upcoming May Day holiday.

Xu Chuanzhi, a senior official with the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), vowed “zero tolerance” and “severe penalties” on violators in an interview posted on the agency’s website.

Spending public funds on feasts and private tours, official car use infringements, gift-giving, and holding excessively extravagant wedding ceremonies or funerals are “diseases” which are prone to happen during holidays, Xu said.

The May Day holiday will last from May 1 to 3 this year.

Party committees at various levels should alert officials to discipline themselves, their families and subordinates during key holiday periods, Xu said.

In case of serious violations, both violators and their leading officials will be held responsible, he said.

Before traditional holidays in the past year, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, the National Day Holiday, New Year and Spring Festival, the CCDI had issued circulars urging officials to refrain from luxurious banquets and gift-giving.

Since the implementation of the CPC’s “eight-point” anti-bureaucracy and formalism rules, 42,666 people had been punished nationwide by the end of March.

The rules were introduced by the central leadership in late 2012. They order CPC officials to reduce pomp, ceremony, bureaucratic visits and meetings.

“Though problems of harmful work styles have reduced in its brazen form after more than one year of the campaign, they are being carried out in a more concealed way,” Xu said.

Lavish feasts are now being served in dining halls, households and rural restaurants. Some officials are frequenting more secretive private clubs and gifts are given via online payment platforms, according to Xu.

“Innovating ways to find out and effectively solve such concealed forms of violations are the difficulties we face,” Xu said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  “Green business” to tackle China’s pollution problems

By Hu Tao, Xiang Zhiqiang, Pan Qiang and Xiong Hongming

China faces severe environmental tasks but there are opportunities for companies to become more sustainable in the way they operate, delegates at a summit on “green business” said on Monday of April 21.

“China offers great potential for companies in environment control,” said Zhao Lijun, chairman of Poten Environment Group Co. Ltd., a water treatment company.

He made the remarks at the ongoing 2014 China Green Companies Summit in Nanning, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, themed “An era of transformation: reality and aspirations”.

Sustainable business, or “green business”, refers to a company that has little negative impact on the environment.

While cities nationwide try to control smog, consecutive water and soil incidents have led to public concerns over pollution in tap water, underground water and soil.

Excessive levels of benzene in tap water, ten times higher than national standards, were reported in Lanzhou, capital of northwest China’s Gansu Province, on April 11.

The city government warned citizens not to drink tap water for 24 hours.Investigators later found crude oil in soil along a duct between two water plants.

The country has been late in combating and curbing pollution, said Zhao.

At the annual session of the National People’s Congress in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang “declared war” against pollution and pledged to fight it with the same determination the country battled poverty.

China’s environmental protection industry is still at the early-development stage. The country might introduce specific documents on third party participation in pollution reduction this year, said Luo Jianhua, secretary general of the China Environment Chamber of Commerce.

Social capital is encouraged to invest in the environmental protection market and promote third party participation in pollution reduction. Such documents could help environmental companies to grow bigger, he said.

In 2009, Coca Cola introduced its “plantbottle”, made from renewable natural plant material. In April 2013, it was introduced to the Chinese market. The soft drink giant is committed to replacing its traditional plastic package bottle.

“Technological innovation is providing the company business opportunities in tackling the pollution issue,” said Bai Changbo, vice president of Coca Cola Greater China.

“Technological innovation is the path, and public participation is needed for sustainable development,” said Zhao.

In its 12th Five-year Plan period (2011-2015), China is aiming to boost industrial transformation and upgrade a number of key industries, including iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and building materials.

The country is expected to complete an amendment to the environmental protection law this year, and roll out other related industrial and financial policies for the environmental protection industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  China to stage plays to celebrate Shakespeare anniversary

By Shi Hao and Luo Xiaoguang

Nearly 40 plays will be staged in the following eight months in China to mark William Shakespeare’s 450th birth anniversary.

A play adapted from Macbeth will raise the curtain of a series of performances named “Salute to Shakespeare” on Tuesday of April 22, according to a news briefing held at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Monday.

Eight troupes from Britain, Scotland, the United States and China will perform nearly 40 shows of Shakespeare’s original or adapted plays.

“William Shakespeare is great. He is cherished not only in the U.K. but in the whole world,” said Pu Cunxin, a renowned actor with Beijing People’s Art Theater, at the news briefing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese adults read more books, fewer papers

By Zuo Yuanfeng

Reading books is becoming increasingly popular among Chinese adults, but newspapers and magazines are falling out of favor, according to survey results released on Monday of April 21.

Polling 40,600 adults in 29 provincial-level regions, an annual survey on reading habits found that they read 4.77 paper books and 2.48 digital ones in a year, up 0.38 and 0.13 respectively.

The survey, conducted from September by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication, revealed that some 50.1 percent of Chinese adults read digitally, up 9.8 percentage points from last year and the first time this figure has topped 50 percent.

Meanwhile, they read 70.85 newspapers and 5.51 magazines a year, respectively down 6.35 and 1.05 year on year.

“Despite occasional dips, Chinese people in general have been reading more in recent years,” said Xu Shengguo, a senior researcher with the academy.

Xu attributed the phenomenon to increasing awareness of self-improvement through reading and soaring cultural demands driven by social and economic development.

Supporting this view, 70.5 percent of respondents opine that reading is “very” or “relatively” crucial to their living and development, but more than half think they haven’t read enough — mainly due to busy work schedules, lack of a reading habits and a dislike of reading.

“Still, we have to admit that our reading volume is far less than in countries such as France, Japan and the Republic of Korea,” Xu said.

Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of digital readers said they wouldn’t buy what they have read digitally in paper format — a figure that has been climbing for four consecutive years and which, the researchers suggest, marks a graver challenge to the paper book market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>  Chinese rare earth miner’s profits nosedive

By Shi Hao

China Minmetals Rare Earth Co. Ltd, a leading miner in the business, posted a drastic decline in net profits in the first quarter of 2014 due to low rare earth prices.

The company made 1.6 million yuan (261,341 U.S. dollars) in net profits from the start of January to the end of March, diving by 94.1 percent year on year, according to a financial report released on Monday of April 21.

The miner’s business revenue also declined by 98.5 percent to reach 3.3million yuan in the first three months.

The financial results came after a 20.5-percent decline in net profits and a 57.6-percent drop in business revenue in 2013.

Along with weakened profitability, the company’s rare earth stockpiles also surged by 167.8 percent in 2013.

“The grim outlook of the global economy and sluggish domestic demands hammered rare earth prices and weighed on mining companies,” said the report.

The company’s shares tumbled by 2.8 percent in Monday’s trading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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