China strengthens efforts to foster social integrity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Archives show Japanese war criminal slaughters captives

By Hu Longjiang

Chinese captives were consistently tortured and slaughtered by invading Japanese soldiers in the 1930s, according to the latest Japanese war criminal confession published on Tuesday of August 12.

Shigesaku Nozaki went to northeast China in 1931 to take part in the war of aggression against China and served successively as sergeant of Munitions Factory Squad of Mukden Japanese Military Police and chief of Police Division in Huaide County.

He ordered the arrest and torture of “15 soldiers of Zhang Xueliang’s troops” in 1931 and later shot them to death with handguns, according to his written confession.

Between 1932 and 1935, he led subordinates to interrogate and torture a total of 45 anti-Japanese soldiers, who were all shot dead after interrogation. He was arrested in early 1946.

The confession was published on the website of China’s State Archives Administration (SAA) following denials of war crimes by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Japanese right-wing politicians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDAPEST

>>  China, Hungary hold first defense strategic consultation

By Yang Yongqian

China and Hungary held their first defense strategic consultation on Monday of August 11 in Budapest, capital of Hungary.

The consultation was co-chaired by Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and Peter Siklosi, deputy state secretary at the Ministry of Defence of Hungary.

The two sides made in-depth exchange of views over the issues such as the relations between the two militaries and regional security issues of common concern.

Wang said the Chinese-Hungarian military relations are good, and the establishment of defense strategic consultation mechanism will play an important role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and in promoting pragmatic cooperation.

Siklosi said both sides should make full use of this new channel of dialogue to push forward the development of the relations between the two militaries in a more pragmatic direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GEORGETOWN

>>  China-CELAC Forum “extremely important” for LatAm: Guyanese President

By Chen Weihua

The China-CELAC Forum is “extremely important” for Latin America and the Caribbean, and is likely to be very fruitful, Guyanese President Donald Ramotar told Xinhua in a recent interview.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Latin America tour last month, he and leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) jointly announced the decision to establish the China-CELAC Forum and to hold its first ministerial meeting in Beijing at an early date.

“China has shown great desire to be a real partner and genuine interest in developing the capacity of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. So we see this new development and initiative as extremely important and most welcome for the people of this region,” Ramotar said.

Ramotar lauded the traditional friendship and sound relations between China and Guyana, reaffirming that the Guyanese government always adheres to the one-China policy.

He added that China and Guyana are also conducting “very important economic cooperation.”

“Many Chinese companies invest in Guyana and we have a very close relationship with the Chinese government, which is helping us deal with many of our issues, particularly infrastructure issues that we are working on at this point in time,” Ramotar said.

The cooperation with China includes human resources and cultural exchanges, including a new Confucius Institute and Guyanese universities holding Chinese language classes, according to him.

Ramotar also hopes to build on the success in the future, believing much more can be done in terms of cooperation, not only in culture, but in such areas as agriculture and infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELLINGTON

>>  New Zealand should channel Chinese investment into development: expert

By John Macdonald

New Zealand should learn from China and learn to channel investment into areas that boost local development, a leading China researcher said on Tuesday of August 12 as the election campaign debate over the sale of productive farmland continues.

Dr Jason Young, a research fellow at Victoria University’s New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, said New Zealand should view investment as part of the broader agribusiness relationship with China.

Referring to Chinese food giant Shanghai Pengxin Group’s planned purchase of the central North Island’s 13,800-hectare Lochinver Station, Young said the focus on the large-scale sale of productive land to foreign interests was understandable.

However, he pointed out, leading Chinese agricultural companies such as Bright Dairy, Yili and Mengniu had made large investments in dairy processing facilities in New Zealand.

“On the other side of the coin, the largest and most ambitious New Zealand investment in Chinese agriculture has been led by Fonterra, a top global producer of dairy product and New Zealand’s largest company,” Young said in a statement.

Fonterra was involved in building three dairy farming hubs in China as part of a strategy to be a more integrated dairy business in greater China.

While sustainable growth in the New Zealand dairy industry was limited due to environmental constraints and the need for economic diversity, investing in production in the developing China market was one way to build on New Zealand’s expertise in the dairy industry.

“Just as investment in New Zealand’s agricultural sector is a privilege granted by the state on the basis of overall benefit to the New Zealand economy, investment in China’s dairy sector is guided by a desire to stimulate development in that sector, to improve food safety compliance and to develop a technologically advanced industry,” said Young.

“As would be expected, there is no shortage of debate about foreign investment in China’s rural sector, about the bundling of household leases into long-term commercial subleases for investors, or about the role of foreign investors in local development,” he said.

“However, the knee jerk reaction that has driven some of the public debate in New Zealand has not driven Chinese central or local government policy, nor has it created local opposition to Fonterra’s activities.”

Chinese people remained open to economic engagement with New Zealand with the important proviso that investment was in their long-term development interests and that local farmers had a role in the broader economic activities.

“Attempts to bar Chinese companies from investing strategically in New Zealand agriculture for their economic benefit and security of supply, do not sit comfortably on this other side of the coin,” he said.

New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office has yet to approve Shanghai Pengxin’s purchase of Lochinver, but the sale has become a major issue in the run-up to New Zealand’s general election on Sept. 20 and all the main opposition parties have formally declared they will severely restrict land sales to foreign buyers or even buy back land sold to overseas interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELLINGTON

>>  China Airlines to launch new service to New Zealand’s South Island

By John Macdonald

Taiwan-based China Airlines is to begin flying into New Zealand’s South Island, offering major new opportunities for trade and travel, Christchurch Airport chiefs announced on Tuesday of august 12.

China Airlines would operate three return flights a week between Christchurch and Taiwan via Sydney for an initial summer season from Dec. 2 this year to March 1 next year, airport chief executive Malcolm Johns said in a statement.

“The South Island was a very popular destination for the Taiwanese in the 1990s. The new summer service will connect with the valuable Taiwan market, whose travellers are keen to experience the many attractions of the South Island,” said Johns.

The service would offer an extra 24,000 seats between Christchurch-Sydney-Taipei, which would also open up other travel routes from the South Island via Sydney.

The carrier would be the first member of the Sky Team Alliance, which includes China Southern Airlines and China Eastern, to connect with the South Island.

“This service also brings another wide body aircraft into Christchurch, so is great news for the air freight industry. Importantly, China Airlines also provides a great network for exporters to get high value air freight into the fast growing Asian markets quickly,” said Johns.

CEO of Canterbury Development Corporation, Tom Hooper, said getting New Zealand’s second city more connected globally was a principal driver of economic growth and would help the economy in a number of areas.

“The service will also offer more freight capacity to Sydney and on to Asia, so another opportunity for fresh and time sensitive goods,” Hooper said in the statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEOULE

>>  Yuan deposits in S. Korea rise most in July on higher rates

By Yoo Seungki

Yuan deposits in South Korea rose the most last month as local branches of Chinese banks raised deposit rates amid stronger demand from financial institutions caused by expectations for policy rate cuts, central bank data showed on Tuesday of August 12.

Deposits denominated in the renminbi increased 4.22 billion U.S. dollars in July, the largest monthly growth since the Bank of Korea (BOK) compiled related data, according to the BOK.

The monthly growth was equivalent to nearly 80 percent of a 5.3 billion dollars rise in the first half of this year.

As of the end of July, yuan deposits came to 16.19 billion dollars, accounting for 25.9 percent of the total foreign currency deposits.

The portion continued to advance from 0.5 percent at the end of 2012 to 13.8 percent a year later, before surging to 25.9 percent as of end-July.

Last month’s surge in yuan deposits came as local branches of Chinese banks lifted yuan deposit rates by 0.4-0.5 percentage points.

“Branches of Bank of Communications raised deposit rates in June, and then Bank of China followed the lead in July. Branches of other three Chinese banks followed the suits,” said an official at a domestic financial institution.

Local financial institutions tended to fund the home currency through issuance of asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP), before exchanging the currency for the U.S. dollar at the FX swap market in Seoul.

The institutions used to sell the dollar funds to get yuan funds at the FX swap market in Hong Kong. Differences in the swap rates between Seoul and Hong Kong caused losses to the institutions, but they can recover the losses thanks to higher rates of yuan deposits.

“Yuan deposit rates in offshore markets are much lower than those in the mainland of China, so the lifting of deposit rates in Seoul will guarantee interest margins for Seoul branches of Chinese banks if they run the yuan funds in the mainland,” an official at a Seoul branch of a Chinese bank said by phone.

The official said expectations for the BOK’s rate cuts this week appeared to affect the largest monthly expansion in yuan deposits here.

The BOK was widely expected to lower its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 2.25 percent during the August monetary policy meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The rate cuts would reduce incentives for local financial institutions to deposit surplus cash into local banks, while driving them further to deposit accounts at Seoul branches of Chinese banks.

Average rate of one-year deposit at local banks was in early 2 percent, while those provided by Seoul branches of Chinese banks averaged 3.7-3.8 percent.

The continued growth in yuan deposits was expected to lower the percentage of U.S. dollar deposits further. The dollar deposits took up 64.5 percent of the total as of end-July, down from 74 percent at the end of 2013 and 82 percent a year earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Sinopec subsidiary awarded Malaysia refinery contract

By Lin Jianyang and An Bei

Sinopec Engineering Group, a subsidiary of China’s biggest refiner Sinopec, has been awarded a refinery contract worth 1.33 billion U.S. dollars by Malaysian oil firm Petronas, Sinopec announced on Tuesday of August 12.

It said in a statement that it has been contracted for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of an oil refining and petrochemical integrated plant in Pengerang in the state of Johor.

The core parts of the project include a 15-million tonnes/year crude oil atmospheric distillation unit and an 8.8-million tonnes/year residue hydrotreating unit.

It will involve the largest investment in a plant of its kind in Malaysia in 20 years. Enditemna to Liberians since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in March.

The equipment and supplies come at a time when the country was “faced with logistic constraints to effectively address the problem facing the nation in containing the spread of Ebola,” said Dorbor Jallah of the Ebola Taskforce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAN JOSE

>>  China needs to popularize football to improve game – official

China needs to boost football’s popularity at home if it wants to one day have a world-class team, according to Costa Rica’s top football official.

In an interview with Xinhua, the president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, Eduardo Li, shared some of the reforms he spearheaded since heading the agency in 2007 to turn Costa Rica into a football power.

Costa Rica’s national team was the underdog that surprised football fans and experts alike at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, with the result that the federation will now have to work harder to live up to the high expectations their impressive performance generated both at home and abroad, said Li.

“Thanks to the efforts of not just me, but also others, Costa Rica today has (a program called) Project Goal that makes us proud internationally,” said Li, a second generation Costa Rican of Chinese ancestry.

The first step, said Li, was to change the statutes of the national federation, based on the statutes of the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA), to prevent the president of the football body from being named or dismissed depending on whether the team wins or loses.

Other reforms included “bringing professionals into the management area, so the federation is managed like the private company that it is,” said Li.

“There are no secrets” to Costa Rica’s ability to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, said Li, adding all you need is a well-qualified work team with a willingness to work.

The key is to recruit “valuable professionals in all areas … the athletic area, the coaching area, the medical area, to comprise a work group, which is the important thing,” said Li.

Costa Rica has also improved its minor league formations around the country, said Li, acknowledging the federation still needs to improve its talent scouting.

The Costa Rican federation receives no funding from the government, so it has the autonomy to make the decisions it deems best for football around the country, said Li, “and that’s better, because political interference, with all due respect, is not recommendable in my opinion.”

Ultimately, said Li, the factor that today differentiates Costa Rica from China is that Costa Ricans are “100 percent football fans” who are interested in the game, play the game nationwide and generate new talent.

“Perhaps that is what is lacking in China, popularizing football so it can have the talent it needs to reach the (world- class) level it seeks,” said Li.

Spending alone is not enough, said Li, noting “larger developing countries don’t have the (football) talent Costa Rica has, even though we don’t have the financial resources they do.”

Li said he considered his Chinese counterpart “a good friend,” and was willing to organize exchange programs and cooperation in the sport to improve football in both countries.

He also acknowledged the “enormous contribution” that China’s government made to Costa Rican football with its generous donation of the San Jose National Stadium, which was inaugurated in 2011.

Li, the grandson of Chinese emigrants, was born in Costa Rica’s Pacific coast town of Puntarenas, and though he speaks no Chinese, has traveled to China on various occasions.

“I am very proud of my Chinese roots and of my ancestors,” said Li, whose career in football began with the founding of the Puntarenas football club, which went on to become a First Division team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUBAI

>>  China U17 basketball team scores first victory at WC

China’s U17 basketball men’s team beat Egypt 85-58 at the FIBA World Championship here on Monday of August 11.

Chinese center Hu Jinqiu, who plays for the Zhejiang Guangsha of China, topped the rebounding list with 14.7 boards per game.

The 16-year-old, 2.06 meter high center helped his team for the first victory of the tournament so far after three games in the preliminary round. China is ranked third in Group D and will face Italy in the last game of the group.

The United States beat Philippines 124-64 for the third wins in Group A on Monday.

In Monday’s other matches, Italy beat Spain 64-50 while Greece defeated Angola 62-51. Greece will face Australia, which lost to Canada 85-74.

 

 

 

 

 

DUBAI

>>  China to meet USA in FIBA U17 quarter-finals

China beat Italy 79-67 on Tuesday to advance into the quarter-finals of the FIBA U17 Basketball World Championships, facing Group A winners the United States in the knock-out round.

The Chinese team won the second game in row after losing the first two matches in the preliminary round to set up a meeting with the U.S. on Thursday of August 7.

Zhao Yanhao, who topped the scoring chart by 22.2 points per game in the tournament, led the Chinese to the victory, while his teammate Hu Jinqiu averaged 15.2 rebounds per game as the best rebounder.

Serbia also made to the last eight after beating the hosts United Arab Emirates 116-31 to face Canada in the next round. Australia, France, Puerto Rico and Spain also advanced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Uzbek President to visit China in mid August

By Xiong Zhengyan

Uzbek President Islam Karimov will pay a state visit to China from next Tuesday to Wednesday as guest of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced the visit in a statement issued on Tuesday of August 12.

Karimov came to Shanghai in May to attend the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAIPEI

>>  Taiwan reports first tourism surplus with mainland

By Han Miao, Du Bin and Chen Jianxing

Taiwan posted its first tourism surplus with the Chinese mainland this year since opening to mainland visitors in 2008, according to the island’s tourism authority.

Mainland travelers contributed about 3.63 billion U.S. dollars to the island’s tourism revenues in the first six months of this year, surpassing the 3.067 billion U.S. dollars Taiwanese brought to the mainland, data from the tourism authority showed.

The tourism deficit with the mainland shrank to 726 million U.S. dollars in 2013 from 4.151 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, the authority said.

It also showed that the gap between mainland tourists and Taiwanese visitors traveling across the Taiwan Strait narrowed to 2.28 million last year from 4.18 million in 2008.

The demographics of the visitors have also changed. About half of the Taiwanese visiting the mainland were doing business, while more than 75 percent of mainland visitors come to the island for sightseeing.

Taiwan opened to group tourists from the Chinese mainland in 2008, and to individuals in 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAIPEI

>>  Taiwan holds religious service for victims of latest disasters

By Han Miao and Chen Jianxing

Hundreds of mourners joined Taiwan’s political leaders in Kaohsiung to honor the victims of last month’s gas blasts in Kaohsiung and plane crash in Penghu on Tuesday of August 12.

Master Hsing Yun, founder of Taiwan’s influential Fo Guang Shan Monastery, led a sutra chanting as members of more than 30 religious groups gathered wishing the dead rest in peace, the wounded recover soon and those alive to live happy and safe life.

At the service, Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou also extended condolences to the victims, vowing to work hard to help them return to a normal life as soon as possible.

He called for a thorough reflection and investigation over the two accidents, urging local governments to defuse potential hazards after Kaohsiung’ s painful lesson.

The island’ s deputy leader Wu Den-yih, administrative chief Jiang Yi-huah, legislative head Wang Jin-pyng and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu also attended the event.

A TransAsia Airways flight, which took off in Kaohsiung, crashed in the Penghu islands on July 23, killing 48 of the 58 people on board.

One week later, a gas explosion ripped through Kaohsiung on July 31, leaving 30 people dead and 310 injured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China trims red tape

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has decided to exempt 45 more items from central government approval to reduce intervention in the economy.

In a statement released on Tuesday of August 12, the cabinet noted most of these items, either removed or devolved to lower levels, concern investment, employment and innovation. They include the verification of small companies for tax relief, approval of PhD research funds in higher education institutes and the approval of Web domain registration service providers.

Fewer approvals by the central government will give more power to local governments and freedom to enterprises, which is believed to stimulate vitality and creativity in the market and society.

The central government has cut or delegated to lower governments nearly 400 administrative approval items since the new leadership took office in March last year.

In Tuesday’s decision, the cabinet also canceled official certifications for 11 professions, covering a wide range of fields including international commerce, taxation, asset evaluation and land registration.

The statement said the move aims to lower the thresholds for employment, create a sound environment for talent development and further stimulate people’s passion for starting up businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHENYANG

>>  Law officer under probe in NE China city

By Zhou Yan and Li Zheng

The president of a city court in northeast China’s Liaoning Province has been placed under investigation, the province’s commission for discipline inspection said on Tuesday of August 12.

Song Jingchun, president of the Anshan Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, is suspected of “seriously violating discipline and laws,” the commission said in a statement.

Song is the second senior law officer put under investigation in Liaoning Province in a month.

Li Wei, president of the Intermediate People’s Court in Dalian, was put under investigation in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHENYANG

>>  108 replica guns seized in NE China

By Li Laifang and Li Zheng

Three suspects were detained as police in northeast China seized 108 replica guns and 8,764 steel ball bullets from an underground storehouse, said police on Tuesday of August 12.

A 36-year-old woman surnamed Zhang, owner of a military commodity club, her husband surnamed Lin and a buyer surnamed Bai have been detained, said Ma Haiyang, of Yuhong public security bureau in Shenyang City, capital of Liaoning Province.

Police said they had been aware of the illegal sale of replica weapons and steel ball bullets in Yuhong since June. An investigation showed these guns came from the military commodity club. Tests showed these weapons were antipersonnel and posed threats to citizens.

Zhang, a fan of military commodities, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2008 for illegally holding guns, but she did not reveal to police the left-over ammunition at the time. She resumed her illegal business after she completed her prison term.

China bans the manufacture and sale of guns to control violent crime. Private citizens are not allowed to own guns. According to Chinese law, a person can be sentenced to prison for up to seven years if convicted of illegally owning a gun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Deep-sea sub Jiaolong returns to home port

By Wang Cong and Luo Sha

Jiaolong, China’s manned deep-sea submersible, returned on Tuesday of August 12 to Jiangyin of coastal Jiangsu Province after a 52-day scientific expedition in the northwest Pacific Ocean.

Its carrier, Xiangyanghong 09 which set sail early July from Fuzhou of Fujian Province, traveled more than 9,000 nautical miles for the submersible’s first expedition since 2014.

The expedition team said Jiaolong dived 10 times to survey cobalt-rich crusts and life forms inhabiting the bottom of the sea, clocking around 99 hours in total.

The sub collected 116 biological samples, 22 rock samples, 100 kg of cobalt-rich crust and 24 kg of polymetallic crust samples, as well as 1,232 liters of seawater from the Pacific Ocean. Experts also tested a remotely operated underwater vehicle, Longzhu.

The expedition team said some repairs will be made to Jiaolong before it heads for the southwest Indian Ocean in a mission in November, when it will study polymetallic sulfides.

China began in 2002 to work on the ambitious ocean exploration program.

Named after a mythical dragon, Jiaolong reached 7,062 meters underwater in the Pacific’s Mariana Trench with a dive in June 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANNING

>>  China hunts law-breaking billionaire

By Zhong Qun, Zhong Quansheng and Li Bin

Working with international police, China is hunting a businessman who fled the country to dodge possible responsibilities in an alleged law-breaking financing trickery, authorities said on Tuesday of August 12.

The International Criminal Police Organization has issued a red warrant for Liao Rongna, actual controller of Zhengling Group, a private conglomerate based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. He is suspected of illegally absorbing public deposits, the Liuzhou public security bureau said.

The investigators found Liao took in several billion yuan worth of loans by promising high returns, but failed to repay his debts.

More than 1,500 loan contracts worth 3.2 billion yuan (519.8 million U.S. dollars) were uncovered in investigations since April.

Liao’s wife, former vice chair of Zhengling’s board of directors, is also wanted by Chinese law-enforcers, the bureau said.

Liao, who made the Hurun Rich List in 2009, was rumored to escape to evade police. His younger son, former chair of the board of directors, was detained by police in June, the bureau said.

In China, the harshest punishment for being found guilty of illegally absorbing public funds is death penalty.

Zhengling Group used to be among top 100 enterprises in Guangxi, with its businesses covering automobiles, construction materials and logistics, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Alleged embezzlement not found in charity: gov’t

By Tian Ying

Chinese authorities said on Tuesday no offenses were found after a probe into alleged embezzlement by a charity group.

In January of this year, Zhou Xiaoyun, a former investigative reporter and web celebrity, reported to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) that Smile Angel Foundation (SAF), a charity group that donates to children with cleft lips from poor families, embezzled donated money. The accusations caused a fresh stir as the nation’s charity sector grappled with a trust crisis caused by frequent scandals.

Zhou accused the SAF of failing to explain the whereabouts of donated money worth 70 million yuan (11.3 million U.S. dollars).

Zhou said the SAF spent 110 million yuan from 2006 to 2012, which means donations for each surgery averaged 99,000 yuan, far exceeding the 5,000-yuan cost for other charity groups.

The MCA entrusted the SAF’s supervisor, Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), to investigate the case, and the RCSC later hired a third-party auditor to do the job.

After the audit, the SAF was found to have received charity money worth 142 million yuan from 2006 to 2013 while spending roughly 130.4 million yuan.

Among the expenditures, 53.22 million yuan went to subsidizing SmileAngel Children’s Hospital, 40.02 million yuan was spent on 9,616surgeries, 31.12 million yuan went to quake-relief donations, academic exchanges and brand promotion, and 6.03 million yuan was used for administration costs.

The foundation has a balance of 11.71 million yuan, according to the audit results.

The MCA backed Zhou’s request for disclosures of the SAF’s annual work reports, saying that such foundation reports should be published for public review and supervision.

Established in November 2006 by actor Li Yapeng, the SAF is one of the most popular charity groups in China. It was registered as a specialized fund under the RCSC’s affiliated Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

The reputation of Chinese charity groups, especially the RCSC, took a major hit in 2011 when a woman calling herself Guo Meimei claimed on social media that she managed an organization under the charity while flaunting her wealth and extravagant lifestyle.

The incident triggered public concern about embezzlement and improper management within charities.

The controversy surrounding the case was reignited after Guo was detained for gambling during the World Cup and organizing other gambling activities.

Guo said her wealth had no ties to the charity and she wanted to clear the RCSC’s name during her confession, which was made public earlier this month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China strengthens efforts to foster social integrity

By Wu Yu, Liu Zheng, Qian Chunxian and Cheng Jing

Since China released an outline for a government-led social credit system in June, governments at all levels and various industries have joined the campaign for integrity.

A new policy effective in July stipulated that individuals blacklisted by the Supreme People’s Court due to bad credit records would be unable to purchase plane tickets.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China announced on Sunday of August 10 it has identified and intercepted 108,000 trips involving 12,389 people listed by the Supreme People’s Court since the policy went into effect.

The People’s Bank of China, which is leading the creation of the credit system, has pledged to improve the current credit system to cover more information and enrich its database.

At the end of 2013, China’s credit system covered 839 million people and 1.92 million companies and organizations, but the information mainly centered on data in the banking system, without records for other social and economic activities.

In the securities sector, Zhuang Xinyi, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said that the commission is planning a system to monitor and record whether players in its capital markets act with integrity.

The CSRC will strengthen the legal and regulatory foundation for building integrity in the capital market, support the legislature in amending laws on capital markets, improve rules and regulations on self-discipline in the sector, and set detailed standards for the obligations of market entities.

The CSRC will also toughen punishments for violations involving breaches of faith, especially fraud during initial public offerings, release of false information, insider trading, market manipulation and serious dereliction of duty by brokerage firms.

June’s plan is the country’s first national plan to build social integrity. It highlights the government’s resolve to build a more trustworthy social environment after frequent reports of financial fraud and food safety scandals erode public trust.

The outline focuses on credit assessment for individuals and government agencies in four areas, including administrative affairs, commercial activities, social behavior, and the judicial system.

The authority pledged to establish a set of laws and regulations on social credit, a society-wide credit reference system, and a related reward and punishment mechanism by 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China hikes non-residential natural gas prices

By Chen Siwu and An Bei

China will increase the wholesale price of natural gas for non-residential use by 20.5 percent from September 1 to “guide the reasonable allocation” of resources, the top economic planner announced on Tuesday of August 12.

The price adjustment will only be based on the amount of natural gas industrial and commercial users consumed in 2012, while the price for newly added gas consumption since then will remain unchanged, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Meanwhile, the natural gas price hike will be waived for the time being for fertilizer makers, a sector that is struggling currently, with the NDRC saying it will apply the price changes to fertilizer makers “at an appropriate time later.”

After the adjustment, the price of non-residential natural gas will rise by 0.4 yuan to 2.35 yuan (about 38.2 U.S. cents) per cubic meter at gas stations.

The latest hike comes after a similar 15.4-percent increase for non-residential gas consumers in July last year when the NDRC launched a new pricing mechanism.

The commission said the new pricing program has produced “positive results” in terms of supply and demand, thus quickening the pace of domestic gas development and the introduction of overseas resources.

The NDRC also announced on Tuesday that it will give up its control of the wholesale price of imported liquified natural gas, shale gas and coalbed methane from Sept. 1, letting suppliers sign independent contracts with downstream users concerning gas trade and transport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  International Sports Film Week kicks off in Beijing

By Wei Mengjia

2014 Beijing International Sports Film Week opened here on Tuesday of August 12, featuring nearly 60 sports films at home and abroad to be shown during the festival.

During the seven days, a series of activities will be carried out in Beijing to let the public enjoy the sports by films, including the sports film exhibitions, sports culture exhibition, film salons, and the selection of Chinese films to attend the 32nd International Festival of Sport Movies and TV in Milan.

Film and sports lovers in Beijing can watch nearly sixty sports films from 11 countries and districts of the world, which tell the inspiring stories of sports, such as skating, rock climbing, motorcycle racing, track and field, according to the organizer Beijing Olympic City Development Association.

To support China to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the organizer also designed to show more films of “ice skating and skiing” and will also invite some coaches and sportsmen to communicate with the public.

All the tickets will be sold on the Internet at favourable prices.

Established in 2005, Beijing International Sports Film Week is an international sports film exhibition event since it became one of the important Olympic cultural activity during Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Martial arts fantasy rules China’s box office

By Wang Xiaopeng

“The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom,” a domestic martial arts fantasy, grossed 123 million yuan (about 20 million US dollars) to lead China’s box office in the week ending on August 10.

“Brick Mansions,” an action movie starring late actor Paul Walker, came in second by earning 84.7 million yuan in the week, according to a report by China Film News on Tuesday.

Not far behind was “The Continent,” a romantic comedy by writer-turned-director Han Han, which took in 79 million yuan. The work, which is Han’s directorial debut, has grossed a total of 597.8 million yuan since its debut on July 24.

Fourth place was taken by “Girls,” a romantic drama directed by Hong Kong director Barbara Wong, known for her bold interpretation of sex and relationships from a female perspective. It pulled in 69.6 million yuan in the week.

Rounding up the top five list was “The Legend of Qin,” an adventure fantasy that debuted on Aug. 8 , with 37.8 million yuan, according to the report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUIYANG

>>  Death toll rises to 12 after rainstorms hit SW China

Hu Tao, Li Ping, Yang Hongtao

The death toll from continuous rains in southwest China’s Guizhou Province has increased to 12, with 12 still missing, local authorities said on Tuesday of August 12.

From 8 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Tuesday, downpours battered most cities and counties in Guizhou with regional torrential rainstorms leading to surging river waters and blocked traffic, the Civil Affairs Department of Guizhou said.

Heavy rainfalls have caused minor flooding in some cities, with some experiencing power outages and communication cutoffs.

So far, the storms have collapsed more than 400 rooms and affected around 10,000 hectares of farmland. The direct economic loss in Guizhou was estimated at 640 million yuan (about 104 million U.S. dollars).

Local governments have relocated more than 35,000 people to safe places.

Civil affairs authorities have distributed bailout funds and sent people affected by the rainstorm clothes, quilts and other disaster-relief goods.

Rain is expected to continuously hit the eastern and southern regions of Guizhou from Tuesday to Wednesday, said the provincial geological station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  50 mln Chinese affected by floods

By Zuo Wei and Linhui

China’s national flood prevention headquarters said on Tuesday of August 12 that 50.27 million people across the country have been affected by floods this year, with 311 people killed and 88 missing.

As of Aug. 12, direct losses caused by floods amounted to 107.8 billion yuan (17.52 billion U.S. dollars), the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

But the headquarters noted the number impacted by floods was halved and deaths were down by 60 percent compared with the average in the past 14 years.

Data showed China’s seven major rivers remained below flood levels since the start of the flood season while several smaller rivers have experienced a surge of floodwaters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARBIN

>>  Drunk driving blamed for fatal minibus accident

By Li Laifang, Wang Junbao and Liang Shubin

Drunk driving was blamed for a fatal minibus crash that killed the driver and all seven passengers aboard after they collided with a truck in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, traffic police said on Tuesday of August 12.

The minibus driver, surnamed Wang, was drunk when the tragedy happened, said traffic police in Harbin, the provincial capital, after an initial investigation.

The minibus crossed the highway center line and collided head-on with a heavy-duty truck driving in the opposite direction at 9:42 p.m. Monday. All eight people in the minibus, aged between 11 and 79, died on the spot. The passengers were Wang’s family members and friends.

The truck driver, surnamed Song, did not drive in the required lane according to traffic regulations, said police.

The accident is still under investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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