Mobile app of China’s anti-graft watchdog welcomed by public









>>  New type of major-country relations needs a boost from U.S.

By Huang Yijiazi

Whatever else 2014 will be known for, it was not an easy one for Uncle Sam who wrapped up the year with nationwide protests ignited by racial tensions.

The United States may want to hit the headlines with more positive stories as it enters 2015 by unveiling on Saturday a new Congress for the final two years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

To address its various problems ranging from a troubled fiscal regime to racial issues, it is advisable that the United States, for a start, refrain from blaming any third party for its problems and reset relations with others, especially the big countries, including China.

Uncle Sam should wake up to reality that as the world is transforming from one-polar to a multipolar one, relationships are no longer defined by strategic rivalry, but by fair and healthy competition, practical cooperation and constructive management of differences.

Thus, it needs to shake off the mechanistic thinking that Cold War-like rivalry is inevitable and big countries are condemned to a zero-sum game.

As for relations with China, the world’s second-largest economy and largest developing country, trust-building remains the most urgent task for both countries.

In the past years, Washington’s high-profile “pivot to Asia” policy, which has, intentionally or unintentionally, emboldened a few Asian countries to pick up fights with China over territorial disputes. Spats over trade, environmental protection, cybersecurity and human rights between China and the United States have all contributed to mistrust.

Fully aware of the risk of strategic misunderstanding, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Obama have made frequent and fruitful contacts since they first met at the Sunnylands estate in California in June 2013.

Among the endeavors, the Chinese leadership has proposed a new type of major-country relations. The wisdom, also acknowledged by Washington, could save probably one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships from falling into the so-called Thucydides trap, the often-cited cycle of struggle between rising and established powers.

The two sides should follow the strategy and carry it forward.

Trade and economy is probably an ideal sphere to get started, given the ever-deepening economic globalization and the ever-tightening intertwinement of U.S. and Chinese interests, and that economic issues are closer to people’s lives.

To set things right, Washington should also come to realize that putting its own economic house in order is always a better option than trying to find a scapegoat, and that a strong, stable and dynamic Chinese economy would help secure continued prosperity of the world, including the United States.

It is advisable that the United States engage with China economically in a realistic manner to work for mutual benefits.

Among the tasks facing the world’s two largest economies, negotiating a bilateral investment treaty should be a priority. Such a treaty would have great benefits for both countries.







>>  Int’l Theater Festival kicks off in Chile with Chinese feature

By Mao Pengfei

An International Theater Festival kicked off on Friday of January 2 in the Chilean capital of Santiago, with stage shows from 24 countries.

This year’s edition, which runs until Jan. 18, features a musical production by Chinese contemporary composer Tan Dun, known for his original musical scores for the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

This year’s festival is part of the Year of Chinese Culture in Chile.

Many of the performances will take place outdoors, including the opening night “parade” produced by the Spanish company Antigua i Barbuda called “Cavall de Ferro,” or “Iron Horse.”

As part of the production, an iron horse operated by Spanish and Chilean actors will “gallop” through downtown Santiago, announcing the opening of the three-week event.

Presentations by companies from throughout Latin America and beyond will be held in various theaters in the capital, and then travel to 19 cities in Chile. Enditem







>>  Dibaba retains Xiamen marathon title with new women’s record

By Wu Junkuan and Liu Yang

Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia repeated her title-winning feat in Xiamen one year ago as she improved the event record for a second straight year to win the women’s race at 2015 Xiamen International Marathon here on Saturday of January 3.

The 25-year-old Dibaba enjoyed an overwhelming victory in Xiamen last year. Leading early in the race, the third-fastest Ethiopian woman clocked 2:21:36 to cruise to the top of the podium and beat the previous course record of 2:22:38 set by China’s Zhang Yingying in 2008.

This time Dibaba again built up a huge advantage shortly after the start of the race, and led all the way to the finishing line with a new event record of 2:19:52, levelling her personal best when she finished third in Dubai Marathon in 2012.

“I could have run faster but I felt a little bit pain in my legs in the last 10 kilometers which forced me to slow down,” Dibaba said. “But I am happy with the result.”

Dibaba’s countrywoman Meseret Legesse, runner-up of Xiamen Marathon in 2014, again finished second in 2:27:38. And Kenya’s Mirriam Wangari, a half marathon specialist finished third in 2:27:53.

It was also the second time for Wangari to run in Xiamen. She made her debut over the marathon distance at the 2012 Xiamen Marathon and although she was some minutes behind the winner Ashu Kasim, she claimed second place with a debut time of 2:31:30.

Compared with the one-sided women’s race, the men’s race was much tougher with the strongest field ever assembled in the race’s 13-year history.

Kenya’s Moses Mosop outraced Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia in the final kilometers to win in 2:06:19, breaking the event record of 2:07:32 set by Getachew Terfa Negari of Ethiopia in 2013.

Mosop’s winning mark is the fastest-ever time for marathon races organized by the Chinese Athletics Association, beating the 2:07:16 course record of Beijing Marathon set by Ethiopia’s world bronze medallist Tadese Tola, who only finished fifth in 2:10:30 on Saturday.

2014 Eindhoven Marathon winner Tilahun Regassa of Ethiopia was 35 seconds adrift of Mosop while Abrha Milaw finished third in 2:08:09.







>>  Road running attracts over 900,000 runners last year in China

By Wu Junkuan and Liu Yang

The Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) hosted and co-hosted 51 marathon and road running races, attracting more than 900,000 participants last year, CAA vice president Du Zhaocai revealed here on Saturday of January 3.

“Marathon and road running races have been more and more popular in China in recently years. In 2014 the CAA have hosted and co-hosted 51 events with the number of participants hit a record-high 900,000,” said Du while delivering a speech at the China Marathon Conference held here.

“The 51 events included 26 marathons, 11 half marathons and 14 5km or 10km road running races, 12 more than the number in 2013,” Du added.

According to Du, only a total of 80 professional runners competed in the inaugural Beijing Marathon back in 1981, which was the first international marathon ever held by the CAA.

“The comparison reflects the fast development of the sport in China and also reflects the notion of promoting fitness is gaining more attention among Chinese,” Du said.

“With the number of races and participants increasing, the level of the races also has risen. The Beijing Marathon, Xiamen Marathon, Shanghai Marathon and Yangzhou Half Marathon are all IAAF gold label races. The Lanzhou Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label race and in 2014 the Dongying International Marathon was also recognized as a silver label race by the IAAF,” said Du.







>>  China to take paced monetary easing: Barclays economist

By Zhan Yan

Lowering financing costs remains a policy priority for China in 2015 given the likely limited effects on lending rates from the benchmark interest rate cut on November 21, said Chang Jian, Barclays Chief China Economist.

Fundamentally, reduced capital inflows result in tighter system liquidity and rising bank funding costs, reducing banks’ incentives to pass on the lending rate cut, Chang said in a note on Friday of January 2.

In the near term, the government is not likely to send too strong an easing signal, such as a required reserve ratio (RRR) cut, in view of the strong rally recently seen in the stock market, she said.

Chang expects a more paced monetary easing cycle and risks of a delay in the RRR cuts and interest rate cuts in 2015, believing that RRR cuts look unavoidable if lowering lending rates is a policy priority.

The Chinese central bank cut the benchmark interest rate for one-year deposits by 25 basis points and the one-year lending rate by 40 basis points on Nov. 21, 2014.

This was the first adjustment to the benchmark rates since July 2012 and has boosted stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen.







>>  Mobile app of China’s anti-graft watchdog welcomed by public

By Liu Lu and Yu Xiaojie

The mobile application of China’s disciplinary watchdog, which publishes the latest news on the country’s anti-corruption campaign, has been well received by the public after its launch on January 1.

In addition to news, it details how the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) handles reports and publishes pictures of letters submitted from across the country, offering interactive features.

“The app is like a fly swatter given to us to fight corruption,” a user under the name “beibidewolpd” wrote on microblog Sina Weibo.

Another user, nicknamed “Gengshu023″, wrote “it is a big step as the CCDI tries to involve more people to help supervise.”

The CCDI website has also been updated with more detailed sections for the public to report corruption and track the progress.

Many netizens say that the CCDI website has become a timely and authoritative source of anti-corruption news during the ongoing campaign.

The application is available for Apple’s iOS-based devices and Android phones.






>>  6.12 mln train trips made on Jan. 2

By Zhan Yan

About 6.12 million train trips were made on Friday of January 2, the second day of a three-day New Year holiday, surging 18.3 percent year on year, China Railway Corporation (CRC) said on Saturday of January 3.

Traffic in major cities rose significantly during the holiday, said the operator of the world’s largest high-speed rail network.

Some 599,000 passengers left Beijing by train on Friday, a year-on-year rise of 8.4 percent. More than 1.25 million left Shanghai, jumping 20.4 percent and 886,000 left Guangzhou, up 24.3 percent.

CRC said 8 million trips are expected on Saturday, the last day of the holiday, and it would dispatch 84 additional trains to accommodate the holiday rush.







>>  Pulled TV drama replays after removing revealing images

By Liu Lu

A Chinese television drama that was pulled off the air for “technical reasons” after the characters were shown in revealing clothing is now back on TV showing only the actor’s heads.

The drama, “The Empress of China” also known as the “Saga of Wu Zetian”, highlights the life of China’s only known empress. It began broadcasting on December 21, 2014, but was removed a week later by commercial satellite station Hunan TV for “technical reasons.”

Many viewers speculated the suspension was a punishment given by the country’s television regulators for the much-discussed revealing costumes of female characters on the show, which stirred online debate in which the female characters were dubbed “squeezed breasts.”

The show began to air once again on Thursday, but with edited scenes that show only the character’s heads.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has not responded to inquiries.

Web users complained the edited version only has close-ups of the character’s faces, greatly affecting the composition and plot.

However, some supported the cut.

“I can hardly look at the TV as there are so many breasts…” wrote “Jingjingmi-ko” on microblog Sina Weibo.

Wu Zetian, the only recorded empress of China, was concubine of Emperor Taizong in Tang Dynasty. After Emperor Taizong’s death, Wu married his successor Emperor Gaozong.

After Emperor Gaozong’s stroke, Wu ruled the country in her own right.







>>  Huawei’s sales revenue to hit 46 bln USD in 2014

By Cao Kai and Feng Lu

The sales revenue of China-based telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is projected to reach 46 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to its rotating CEO Hu Houkun.

The strong performance was partly boosted by its terminal equipment sales, which is projected to reach 11.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, according to Hu at a New Year greetings statement.

Huawei’s smartphone shipments in 2014 is estimated to rose by more than 40 percent to 75 million, cementing Huawei’s third place in the global smartphone market after Samsung and Apple.







>>  600-year-old tower destroyed in SW China fire

By Cao Kai, Ji Zhepeng and Hou Wenkun

The Gongchen Tower,an ancient city gate tower with a history of more than 600 years, was destroyed in a fire in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on Saturday morning, local authorities said.

The fire broke out in Nanzhao Township, Weishan County, at 2:49 a.m. and was put out two hours later.

No casualties were reported in the fire but the tower, built in 1390 during China’s Ming Dynasty, was burnt down with few scorched wooden structures left.

The tower, 26 meters long, 15.7 meters wide and 16 meter high, is listed as a key cultural protection site in Yunnan Province.

“I want to cry,” said a local resident.

“Hundreds of history is gone,” he lamented.






>>  Death toll of south China factory blast rises to 18

By Cao Kai and Cai Guozhao

The death toll of a factory blast in south China’s Guangdong Province rose to 18 as an injured worked died in hospital on Saturday of January 3, local authorities said.

The blast occurred at about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday at Fuwa Engineering Machinery Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in the Shunde District of the industrial city of Foshan, killing 17 people and injuring another 33.

As of Saturday noon, 11 were in critical condition and 17 were slightly injured. Four have left hospital after treatment, according to a statement from the Foshan district government.

Fuwa, founded in 1997, is a global trailer axle and chassis component manufacturer. It was expected to invest 2.26 billion yuan (370 million U.S. dollars) to build its headquarters in Foshan.






>>  Death toll rises to 6 in central China scaffold collapse

By Cao Kai and Chen Wenguang

The death toll of a scaffold collapse in central China’s Hunan Province rose to six as the body of the missing worker was found on Saturday afternoon, local authorities said.

The collapse happened at about 5:10 p.m. on Friday of January 3 when 11 people were working at a construction site at the Hunan Shizhuyuan Nonferrous Metals Co. Ltd in Chenzhou City, according to the municipal government.

As of Saturday afternoon, six workers died and another five are receiving treatment at local hospitals.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated.







>>  Five dead in south China tunnel collapse

By Cao Kai and Qiu Ming

Five people were confirmed dead in a tunnel collapse in south China’s Guangdong Province, local authorities said on Saturday of January 3.

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. on Monday at the Fenghuangshan tunnel in the provincial capital of Guangzhou where a landslide buried five workers, according to a statement from the municipal transportation commission.

The last body of the workers was found on early Saturday morning.

The tunnel is being built by the China Railway 23th Construction Bureau Ltd.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.







>>  Snow hits Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

By Zhan Yan

Snow will hit southwest China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from Saturday to Monday, the National Meteorological Center forecast on Saturday of January 3.

Southern parts of Tibet will see blizzards, it warned.

Snow will blanket northwest Xinjiang and southeast Jilin from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

Smog will linger in north China, Sichuan basin and regions along the Yellow, Yangtze and Huaihe rivers on Saturday and Sunday.

A cold front on Monday will move from north China to south China and dispel the smog.







>>  Highway crash kills 6 in southwest China

By Wang Xinming and Zhang Yi

Six people were killed and three others injured after a sedan crashed with a van in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, local traffic police said on Saturday.

The accident happened on Friday afternoon on the Shuihuang highway in the city of Liupanshui.

The injured are in stable condition.

The cause is being investigated.






>>  China issues alert for smog in north China

By Zhu Shaobin, Lin Hui and Chen Chunyuan

China’s top meteorological authority forecast medium to severe smog in the country’s northern regions including Beijing and Tianjin as well as the neighboring Hebei Province on Sunday of January 4.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) said the smog, which has been in the north since Saturday, is expected to last till Sunday.

Meanwhile, smoggy weather will also affect the country’s eastern province of Jiangsu as well as the southwestern province of Sichuan on Sunday, according to the NMC forecast.

The NMC has issued a yellow alert for the smog, representing the third highest warning level among four grades in weather alert.

However, this round of smog will be short-lived. The NMC said a strong cold front will start dispersing the smog on Monday of January 4.









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