Chinese Academy of Sciences excludes officials as academician candidates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China strongly condemns Paris attack

By Fang Dong

China strongly condemned a deadly terrorist attack on the offices of a French newspaper in Paris, a Chinese spokesman said on Wednesday of January 7.

“We are deeply shocked at the terrorist attack and strongly condemn it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “We mourn for the victims and express sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured.”

The Chinese side firmly opposes all forms of terrorism and supports the efforts made by the French side to safeguard domestic security, Hong added.

Three masked and heavily armed men stormed the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in downtown Paris, earlier in the day, killing at least 12 people, including two policemen, and injuring 11 others with four in critical condition.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  First China-LatAm ministerial forum to usher in new era of ties

By Wang Haiqing

Only six months after world media outlets spotlighted the extensive activities by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a Latin American tour, they will be drawn to another milestone in China-Latin America relations.

The first ministerial forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), set to open on January 8, will mark the start of a new era in ties featuring a new level of comprehensive cooperation between the two sides.

Latin America is now one of the most vibrant regions in terms of economic development, and its role on the world political stage has also become much more prominent.

This makes Latin America a perfect partner for China, as they share similar aspirations to raise the profile of emerging economies and that of the developing countries on a global scale.

Over the past decade, trade between China and Latin America has maintained a formidable annual growth rate of 30 percent and trade volume between the two sides increased 20 folds to 261.6 billion U.S. dollars from 2002 to 2013.

Cooperation between the two sides has also covered a broader range of fields including technology, education, infrastructure, finance and investment.

However, dialogues and cooperation between the two sides have been mostly conducted via bilateral channels, and that could prove less efficient at a time when cross-region cooperation calls for a more comprehensive mechanism.

Against this backdrop, the ministerial forum, whose origin also traces back to Xi’s Latin America tour in July, embodies an instrumental upgrade in China-Latin America relations.

Commenting on the upcoming gathering of Latin American leaders, ministers with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing, Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Li Jinzhang said setting in motion a collective cooperation mechanism is a certain choice for the two sides as it follows the trend of the times featuring cross-region cooperation in a multi-polar world.

Via this brand-new platform, China and Latin American countries could better explore cooperation potentials, enhance economic collaboration and achieve common development, Li said, adding that the two sides could also exchange experience in governance, coordinate stances on major international and regional issues, and jointly safeguard common interests on the world stage through the new mechanism.

Meanwhile, the Latin American side has also pinned high hopes for the future development of China-Latin America ties. Former Bolivian President Jorge Fernando Quirog said China’s economic growth has also injected new vitality into Latin American economies when a large number of nations are still grappling with the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, and China’s success story also inspires Latin American countries to get rid of the crisis at an early date and advance social development.

Conducting cooperation via a collective mechanism undoubtedly meets the desire of both China and Latin America. The ministerial forum, as the first step toward the full establishment of a China-Latin America collective cooperation mechanism, will brighten the prospects for China-Latin America cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

MEXICO CITY

>>  Mexico to attend 1st China-CELAC Forum ministerial meeting

By Mao Pengfei

Mexico’s Minister of Tourism Claudia Ruiz Massieu will take part in the first ministerial meeting on cooperation between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), to be held in Beijing on January 8-9.

Ruiz Massieu is going on behalf of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, the Tourism Ministry (Sectur) announced Wednesday in a press release.

Heads of state and cabinet-level envoys from some 30 Latin American countries will attend the China-CELAC Forum, designed to boost cooperation between the Asian giant and the region.

According to Sectur, each country will have the opportunity to share its experiences with the others at two scheduled plenary sessions.

The forum, said Sectur, will benefit development in Latin America and the Caribbean, by promoting multilateral ties and understanding on important global matters, and finding solutions to common problems.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to inaugurate the high- level event, to be attended by Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Delgado, Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros, and host a dinner reception for the heads of the various delegations.

The forum is expected to conclude with the Beijing Declaration, a 2015-2019 China-CELAC Plan of Cooperation, and internal regulations for the forum.

Ministers are to agree on holding a forum every three years, alternating between China and Latin America.

The China-CELAC Forum was proposed by Xi during his visit to Latin America in July 2014, and adopted during the 2nd CELAC Summit.

Costa Rica currently holds the rotating presidency of the 33- member Latin American bloc, and Ecuador is next in line to head the group.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China promotes vision through diplomatic initiatives

By Cheng Zhuo

The upcoming ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the first of its kind, will offer another chance for China to promote its vision and contribute to international affairs.

The two-day meeting, starting on Thursday in Beijing, will also be the first major multilateral diplomatic event hosted in the country this year.

The meeting will see representatives from China and CELAC meeting together with the heads of Latin American regional organizations. Issues scheduled at the meeting include guiding principles of China-CELAC cooperation, major cooperative areas and institution building.

It is believed that this meeting indicates a significant promotion of an all-round collaboration between China and Latin America.

Through solid steps in multilateral diplomacy at home, China is seeking a greater say in promoting a harmonious international order.

In 2014, China hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed an Asia-Pacific dream.

Also, at the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, held in China the same year, Xi called for promoting common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia.

China also held the 2014 Boao Forum for Asia, the third World Peace Forum, the meeting of five nuclear powers on enhancing global nuclear governance, the international symposium on information and network security and a series of other international events.

It is evident that China’s presence in the international community is rising, and that is a natural course for the country in pursuit of the Chinese dream of the nation’s rejuvenation.

As the world’s second-largest economy and largest developing country, China has been vigorously promoting a Chinese vision of building a new type of international relations and actively pursuing to boost ties with all other countries.

China’s growing voice comes with mounting commitments.

With full awareness of its responsibility, China is making every possible effort to promote common development and prosperity in the world.

By maintaining economic stability at home, China’s contribution to Asian and global economy against the downturn pressure is remarkable.

In particular, China is committed to promoting cooperation and common development that include all developing countries with various regional and trans-regional cooperation initiatives. China is always an active part in the “Belt and Road Initiatives”, the China-CELAC Forum as well as cooperation projects with Africa.

Also, by always adhering to the path of peaceful development and vigorous efforts such as fighting Ebola epidemic in Africa, promoting denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and helping to seek solution for Palestine-Israel conflict and the conflict in South Sudan, China is shouldering the commitment as a responsible major country in the world in addressing global hotspot issues and maintaining world peace.

With its practical acts, China is proving to the world that the country will keep developing along a peaceful, open and inclusive path, and with further development and greater international initiatives, China will only do good, no harm, to the construction of a better world.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON

>>  U.S. urges Japan to resolve historical issues via dialogue

By Sun Ding

The United States on Tuesday of January 6 called on Japan to continue to work with its neighbors to resolve historical issues through dialogue after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planned to include “remorse for war” in a new statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“We encourage Japan to continue to work with its neighbors to resolve concerns over history in an amicable way through dialogue,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing, stressing Abe’s remarks in his New Year press conference.

The apologies made by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono “marked important chapters in Japan’s efforts to improve relations with its neighbors,” Psaki added.

In 1995, Murayama issued a statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, including an apology for Japan’s overall wartime aggression, while in 1993 Kono, then a top government spokesman, apologized in a statement for the suffering of Asian women who were recruited against their own will as sex slaves.

On Monday, Abe said his cabinet “will uphold the general stance on history of successive prime ministers, including the Murayama statement.”

Abe also said he would like to “write Japan’s remorse on the war, its postwar history as a pacifist nation and how it will contribute to the Asia-Pacific region and the world,” according to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.

In response to Abe’s remarks, China on Tuesday urged Japan to abide by its promise on historical issues and follow a path of peaceful development with concrete actions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China is watching the stance taken by the Japanese government and leaders on the past aggression history and the messages they send to the world.

“We hope Japan could earnestly abide by the promises it has made on the historical issues and follow a path of peaceful development with concrete actions,” Hong said.

 

 

 

 

 

SUVA

>>  China helps Fiji reduce reliance on imported rice

By Liu Peng

A team of rice experts from China helped Fiji to implement a rice development program worth some 5 million U.S. dollars in Vanua Levu, Fiji’s major northern island, the Fijian government announced on Wednesday of January 7.

Uraia Waibuta, acting permanent secretary of Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture said the Chinese expert team is in the South Pacific island country to demonstrate and train farmers and agriculture officers the technologies to increase rice production, to improve local varieties and introduce best cultivation techniques to local rice farmers, according to the Department of Information.

The team is expected to work at the Northern Dreketi Irrigation Project on 200 hectares of rice land extension and also at the Koronivia Research Station for rice seeds experiment and research.

A memorandum of understanding between China and Fiji has been signed to boost rice production in Fiji.

The China Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group Limited in technical partnership with world- known hybrid rice seeds company, Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Company Limited are expected to work together with Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture in producing more rice locally.

Fiji currently imports some 20 million U.S. dollar worth of rice annually, the Department of Information said, adding that ” the assistance provided by the Chinese rice experts is an opportunity for Fiji to reduce its rice import bill”.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Motorola returns to Chinese market with new devices

By Cheng Lu and Li Zhengwei

With Motorola’s acquisition by Lenovo complete, the phone maker will reenter the Chinese market with three of its latest mobile devices after an absence of more than two years, the company said on Wednesday of January 7.

According to the official account of Motorola Mobility at microblog Sina Weibo, the company will hold a launch event on January 26 in China.

The company said they are looking forward to their reunion with the Chinese market after a long absence and they appreciate customer’s patience.

Liu Jun, Lenovo executive vice president and president of Lenovo’s Mobile Business Group, said the three smartphones include new generations of Moto X, dual-SIM card Moto G and six-inch Moto X Pro, which are the most excellent products in history of the brand.

Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest personal computer maker, has fully acquired Motorola’s mobile business in October.

In the 2.9 billion U.S. dollar deal, Lenovo took over the Motorola brand and Motorola’s portfolio of innovative smartphones like Moto X, Moto G and Moto E series, as well as the future Motorola product roadmap.

 

 

 

 

 

LAS VEGAS

>>  China’s Huawei exhibits over 100 products at 2015 International CES

By Xue Ying

Huawei, one of the top Chinese hi-tech brands, exhibited over 100 products at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that opened on Tuesday of January 6 in Las Vegas.

The showcased products include Huawei’s latest flagship smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, mobile access devices, home access devices, smart home devices, OTT and vehicle-mounted modules.

The company also introduced the start of the Hilink era – its strategy to offer fully integrated mobile internet solutions to consumers all around the world – as part of its commitment to bringing the latest technology to consumers and creating extraordinary connected experiences for people everywhere.

“2014 saw our greatest achievements to date. Our strategy of focusing on premium mid- to high-end products has borne fruit, with year-on-year smartphone sales increasing by 30 percent to over 11.8 billion dollars,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.

Huawei’s global influence has continued to grow as it became the first mainland Chinese company to successfully enter the London-based consultancy Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands of 2014, he added.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Huawei replaced Ericsson in 2012 as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker. In 2014, its smartphone global shipment ranked third in the world.

With 16 R&D centers in countries including Germany, Sweden, the United States, France, Italy, Russia, India and China, the company’s products and services have extended to over 170 countries and regions, serving one third of the world’s population.

This year’s CES, which will be closed Friday, gathered 3,500 exhibitors from all over the world and the number of visitors is expected to reach last year’s 150,000.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Fugitive embezzler apprehended by Beijing police

By Cao Kai and Lu Guoqiang

 A former supermarket manager who fled to Thailand after suspectedly embezzling public funds has been seized by police in an international manhunt.

The suspect, surnamed Zhang, 36, a manager of an office supplies supermarket in Beijing, was alleged to ask a financial staff member to transfer 14 million yuan (2.3 million U.S. dollars) from the supermarket’s account to his personal account on July 30, 2013 in the name of procurement, according to the Beijing police on Wednesday of January 7.

Zhang then transferred the money to Thailand. He fled to Cambodia with his parents on Aug. 4, 2013 and arrived in Thailand later.

Zhang illegally obtained Thai nationality and crossed into Chinese borders three times with a Thai passport, according to the police.

With coordination from Chinese Ministry of Public Security, the Thai government revoked Zhang’s passport. He was caught at a Thai airport on Dec. 1, 2014 and was turned to Beijing police on Dec. 14.

Chinese police have seized more than 400 suspects from 60 countries and regions in an international manhunt called Operation Fox Hunt since July, targeting corrupt officials and economic criminals.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  DPRK soldier dead after killing four Chinese

By Wang Huihui

A runaway soldier from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) who killed four Chinese citizens is dead, a Chinese spokesman confirmed on Wednesday of January 7.

“Chinese police immediately arrested him after the incident. The runaway was injured during the process and died after treatment failed,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

A DPRK runaway soldier reportedly killed four Chinese citizens last month during a robbery after he crossed the border into China in search of food.

Calling it an individual criminal case, Hong said both China and the DPRK have paid great attention to the case. China has already lodged representations to the DPRK.

“The DPRK expressed regret over the incident and extended sympathies to the families of the victims,” Hong said.

He said departments in charge of the case in the two countries are conducting a follow-up investigation and dealing with the aftermath.

 

 

 

 

 

HAVANA

>>  Cuba to send 19 athletes to World Championships in China

By Ovidioacosta

Nineteen Cuban athletes in different specialties have achieved the required marks to represent the island at the 15th World Championships in Athletics next August 22-30 in Beijing, China, daily Granma reported on Wednesday of January 7.

According to the newspaper, during the Centro-American and Caribbean Games, 15 athletes obtained the marks demanded by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the world championships in China.

That list gathers the sprinters Roberto Skyers (20.47 seconds) and Reynier Mena (20.50) in the 200 meters, Raydel Acea (45.36) and Lisneidys Ines Veitia (51.72) in around the oval, while Andy Gonzalez (1:45.73 minutes) and Rose Mary Almanza (2:00.59) will defend Cuban colors in the 800 meters.

Also included are the 110 meters hurdler Yordan O’Farrill (13.46 seconds), the triple jumpers Ernesto Reve (16.94 meters) and Lazaro Martinez (16.91), the Pan American champion Yarisley Silva (4.60) in the pole vault, Yaniuvis Lopez (17.88) at the shot put.

Rounding out the selection of winners in Veracruz 2014 are the disc throwers Denia Caballero (64.47) and Yaime Perez (62.42) together with the marathoner Dailin Belmonte (2:42:01) and the hammer thrower Yipsi Moreno (71.35), three times world champion.

Meanwhile the island’ s masculine quartet in the 400m relay deserved the right to compete at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, after reaching the fifth position (3:00.61) in 4×400 World Relays 2014 in Bahamas.

Before world championships, Cuban Athletics has a pending subject at the Pan American Games scheduled next July in Toronto, where the island will fight for the crown against the United States, its traditional rival in those continental events.

 

 

 

 

 

MELBOURNE

>>  Melbourne to showcase itself as sports city during Asian Cup: Australian official

By Song Dan

Australia’s sporting capital of Melbourne is ready for the opening ceremony and the first match of the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015, said an official.

The tournament will kick off in Melbourne on Friday of January 8 when the host Australia plays against Kuwait.

A total of 16 teams will play 32 matches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and Canberra.

“We very much look forward to the world-class football games that will be played in Melbourne. It would be fantastic not only for Melbourne but for those people who love soccer,” said John Eren, the Minister for Sport in Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria.

The world renowned sporting city, three-time winner of the Ultimate Sport City by Sport Business International is fully aware of its advantages: world class facilities and rich experiences in hosting international high-profile sporting events.

The Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (MRS), the venue where the Asian Cup beginner would stage and Victorian government had made significant investment in, is of 30,000 capacity. The Etihad Stadium is of 50,000 capacity. Melbourne is also the home to the well-known tennis playground Rod Laver Arena, Hisense and Margret Court. All of these stadiums will have retractable roofs on top of them so games can be played on any weather, according to Eren.

The Federal government had announced that 61 million Australian dollars would be spent on the Asian Cup, half of which will come from common wealth while the rest will be covered by states and territories and that will be divided up accordingly.

Eren told Xinhua that Victorian government have long been investing generously into its playgrounds for sports.

“We have, as you can see, a huge amount of investment that we have made over the last couple of decades or more in relation to infrastructure. The Melbourne Park with the second stage we will roll over 600 million dollars worth of investment and by the end of it we are looking at closer to a billion dollars worth of investment.”

Eren told Xinhua that the Victorian government and himself are very much acutely aware of how important infrastructure is for the Asian Cup and other major tournaments, “that’s why I suppose we are seen as the sport capital of this nation, because the investments we have made in the past and we will continue to make.”

The minister said that all the investment will receive great returns.

“When you look at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for example, the most recent attendant for football, if we can call it that, was Liverpool when they had a friendly game with Melbourne Victory. More than 95,000 people packed the stadium and that was the first time for the Liverpool. They have never played in front of 95,000 people. Surely they will want to come back.”

He pointed out that except the hardware, people’s zest for sports is the key factor that makes Melbourne the beating heart for sport.

“Melbourne loves its sport obviously. I think that’s what make Melbourne so attractive and such an exciting place to be. Not only because of the infrastructure we have but also the love of sport that Victorians have. That makes it so significantly the most important place to have these events and Asian Cup,” he noted.

The minister also expressed his confidence in Melbourne’s capability in hosting the Asian Cup games, the biggest football event Australia ever had, “This is not new to us. We have sport events all the time and that’s why we are known as the sports capital within Australia.”

The whole world will concentrate on Melbourne in the next couple of months as a long list of events will be held in Melbourne: the Australian Open, the F1, and the Cricket World Cup as well, he said.

“Our departments will work closely to make sure we have a decent transport system to make sure that will get people to the game.”

Regarding the security plan against potential terrorism threat to the Asian Cup, Eren said related departments are working together to ensure that any threat that may exist will be taken very seriously, yet he called on people to enjoy the game.

“This is something that we have to face obviously everywhere right throughout the world. We need to be cautious and careful but at the same time we should be confident. We can’t let this sort of things ruin our enjoyment of life and sport for what it worth is an outlet for a lot of people,” he stressed, adding that he has every confidence in agencies who are working collaboratively together to ensure a smooth event in Melbourne.

“Rest assured, we have done this before, we will do it again and we will do it excellently. We were the sport capital of the world up until 2012 when London took office with the Olympic Games. But we intend to get that title back at some point,” said Eren.

He said that Melbourne wants to be seen not only nationally as the leading state for sport but also internationally, “We will be watched by literally hundreds of millions of people throughout the globe. We want to showcase Melbourne, we want to make sure people understand right across the world what a wonderful city we are.”

The minister said Melbourne will make the utter use of this opportunity to impress the audience around the world with surprises at the opening ceremony of the game.

“I don’t want to spoil those surprises and I’m sure there will be something very significant that will be on.”

He also expressed his best wishes to China.

“Of course Melbournians love China and we love the fact that we have strong ties with China and we love the fact that we are in cooperation not only in business but in relations like sports as well. I hope China can make it to the quarterfinal. I hope China can make it here because there’s a huge fan base in Melbourne.”

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Super Dan looks to third Olympic title in Rio

By Ma Xiangfei and Yue Dongxing

Multi-Olympic and world champion Lin Dan on Wednesday of January 7 said he aimed to win a third Olympic title in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

The top Chinese badminton player showed up at a signing ceremony where he inked a deal with sports gear manufacturer Yonex.

“I hope to win the third Olympic gold medal in Rio, which can show children around the world how one can realize one’s dream through hard work and endeavor,” said the 31-year-old, dubbed “Super Dan”.

Lin is one of the most accomplished badminton players in history, having 2008 and 2012 Olympic singles titles and five world championships gold medals to his name.

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Hong Kong’s FDI arm assists 355 overseas, Chinese mainland companies

By Zhang Yashi

Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) on Wednesday of January 7 announced that the governmental department in charge of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) assisted 355 overseas and the Chinese Mainland companies to set up or expand in Hong Kong in 2014.

The figure represents an all-time high and a year-on-year increase of 5.4 percent, said InvestHK’s Director-General of Investment Promotion Simon Galpin, noting that he is delighted to see the increase in completed projects in 2014.

“2014 was another record year for InvestHK in terms of completed projects. Despite ongoing challenges in the global economy, Hong Kong continues to attract overseas and Mainland investors because of its enduring advantages and emerging business opportunities,” Galpin said.

The 355 completed projects came from a record 47 economies.

The Chinese mainland continued to lead with a total of 75 projects, followed by the United States with 44, Britain, Japan and France.

For the first time, InvestHK helped companies from Bangladesh, Cyprus, Kuwait, Poland, Romania and Tajikistan to set up in Hong Kong.

In terms of subsectors, the department assisted a growing number of companies in asset management, food and beverage and software solutions to set up or expand in Hong Kong.

As for startups, InvestHK assisted 62 founders and entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Hong Kong in 2014. According to a recent survey by InvestHK, there are 1,065 start- ups operating out of 35 co-work locations in Hong Kong.

Looking Forward, Galpin said InvestHK will continue to reach out to potential clients in priority markets including Mainland and those in Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies.

It will focus on subsectors including financial technology, e- commerce and maritime services.

“We are looking to 2015 with cautious optimism. Notwithstanding global economic uncertainty, we have a strong pipeline of companies and are optimistic that we will be able to meet our annual target of assisting 370 companies in 2015,” Galpin said.

InvestHK is the department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government established in 2000 to attract foreign direct investment and support overseas and mainland business to set up or expand in Hong Kong.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  PLA launches new campaign to raise loyalty among servicemen

By Fu Shuangqi

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has kicked off a year-long education campaign for all soldiers and officers, said the PLA General Political Department on Wednesday of January 7.

The campaign was endorsed by President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), said the statement from the PLA department.

Through the education campaign, soldiers and officers are expected to reinforce “their confidence on the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics” and raise their trust in and support for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President Xi, the statement said.

Party members in the armed forces are required to attend at least one workshop in the first half of this year and write reports on how to improve their political awareness and military skills.

Non-CPC members should also work out plans to improve themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>   China’s anti-graft campaign tally in 2014

By Liu Tong, Liu Lu and Zhang Xiaosong

After caging dozens of high-level “tigers” and swatting thousands of lowly “flies,” China’s anti-graft campaign will continue strong measures to root out corruption, said a senior graft-buster on Wednesday of January 7.

Huang Shuxian, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), said cases involving 68 high-level officials are under investigation or have been closed.

According to Huang, the cases involving Zhou Yongkang, Jiang Jiemin, Li Dongsheng, Li Chongxi and Shen Weichen have been transferred to judicial organs, while the cases of Ling Jihua and Su Rong are still under investigation.

Huang singled out north China’s Shanxi Province, a major coal-producing region in China, saying that some Party organizations in the province should be held accountable for widespread corruption.

He also said China will continue to investigate election fraud in Hengyang in central China’s Hunan Province, the subject of one of the largest cases in terms of people and money.

The campaign also made efforts in reducing corruption opportunities for discipline inspectors, prosecutors, and others tasked with fighting graft. Huang said 1,575 corrupt graft-busters were rooted out during the campaign.

China also sought international help in hunting those who fled the country, said Huang. China brought back more than 500 fugitive corrupt officials from overseas and recovered more than 3 billion yuan (483 million U.S. dollars) in 2014, said Huang, adding that China has inked deals with several countries to cooperate in fighting corruption, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

Huang said a total of 71,748 Chinese officials were punished in 2014 for violations of the eight-point anti-graft rules.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to trace accountability of mass corruption in Shanxi Province

By Liu Lu

Party committees should be held accountable for mass occurrence of corrupt cases in north China’s Shanxi Province, said a senior anti-graft official on Wednesday of January 7.

“High-voltage posture will be held to curb corruption,” said Huang Shuxian, vice secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

According to Huang, suspects have been transferred to judicial organs including Zhou Yongkang, Jiang Jiemin, Li Dongsheng, Li Chongxi and Shen Weichen. Ling Jihua and Su Rong are under investigation.

Since the anti-graft campaign started in 2012, China has finished regular inspection across 31 provincial-level regions as well as in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, effectively exposing discipline violation and corruption, including severe corruption in Shanxi.

Shanxi is one of the major coal producers in China and contributes greatly to the country’s energy supply. In 2014, seven of the province’s top leaders were put under investigation.

China will also continue to investigate the election fraud in Hengyang, central China’s Hunan Province, which is one of the largest cases in the country in terms of people and money, Huang said.

In 2014, special inspections have been carried out in 19 ministries, state-owned enterprises and institutions.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  More than 70,000 officials punished for violating frugality rules in 2014

By Liu Tong and Zhang Xiaosong

A total of 71,748 Chinese officials were punished in 2014 for violating the eight point anti-graft rules, the top antigraft body said on Wednesday of January 7.

At a press conference summing up China’s sweeping counter-corruption campaign, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Huang Shuxian, said offenders were involved in 53,085 violations and 23,646 had received serious party and government penalties.

Offences include the violation of rules on the construction of government buildings, use of government vehicles, overseas travel financed with public funds, sending or accepting gifts, excessive spending on receptions, extravagant weddings or funerals, and other discipline violations.

China also brought back from overseas more than 500 fugitive corrupt officials and recovered more than 3 billion yuan (483 million U.S. dollars) in a campaign targeting those that had fled the country, said Huang, adding that China had inked deals with several countries to support global corruption cooperation, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

KUNMING

>>  Party chief of China city investigated for discipline violation

By Cheng Lu and Bai Jingli

The Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Dali City in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is under investigation, local authorities said on Wednesday of January 7.

Chu Zhongzhi, 47, is suspected of seriously violating discipline, the provincial discipline watchdog said in a statement.

Chu began serving as a member of the standing committee of the CPC Dali Bai Autonomous Prefectural Committee, and chief of the CPC Dali municipal committee in August 2013.

Dali is a county-level city, known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage, in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China aims for faster administrative approvals

By Fang Dong, Hu Longjiang and Zhao Chao

The Chinese central government has promised more efforts to accelerate the administrative approval process.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, published a document listing several measures to simplify approval procedures and improve transparency in the process after a meeting on Wednesday of January 7.

The meeting was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

China has worked to streamline administration and delegate powers to stimulate the market as part of its reform efforts amid an economic slowdown.

In the past two years, 798 administrative approval items have been canceled or delegated to local governments by the State Council.

However, more efforts are still needed for the measures to benefit people.

Gao Xiaoping, deputy president of the China Public Administration Society, said procedures are still complicated and problems such as low efficiency exist.

Zhang Zhanbin, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said governments should continue to simplify administrative procedures to improve efficiency.

Responding to the concerns, more specific measures were announced at the meeting to make approvals faster.

Authorities should provide clear instructions on approval applications and receive applicants at a one-stop service window to avoid making them run around, according to the document.

Approval authorities must finish the approval process within a limited time and may not prolong the process for any reason, it said.

All information related to the approval, as long as it does not involve national secrets, commercial secrets or personal privacy, must be publicized, it added.

It also called for handling approvals online for convenience and to save time.

It takes time to rebuild an approval system so it is reasonable, efficient and orderly, Zhang said, adding both top-down policy and real-world tests are necessary.

Earlier on the same day, the National Development and Reform Commission and State Commission Office of Public Sectors Reform canceled 18 preconditions for investment approval, giving enterprises more room to invest and make independent decisions.

Draft amendments to a series of laws on education were also passed at the meeting and will be delivered to the top legislature for review.

The draft amendments propose delegating approval rights for establishing higher learning institutions to provincial governments and allowing for-profit private schools.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China aims for faster administrative approvals

By Hu Longjiang

The Chinese central government has promised more efforts to accelerate the administrative approval process.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, published a document listing several measures to simplify approval procedures and improve transparency in the process after a meeting on Wednesday of January 7.

The meeting was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

Authorities should provide clear instructions on approval applications and receive applicants at a one-stop service window to avoid making them run around, according to the document.

Approval authorities must finish the approval process within a limited time and may not prolong the process for any reason, it said.

All information related to the approval, as long as it does not involve national secrets, commercial secrets or personal privacy, must be publicized, it added.

It also called for handling approvals online for convenience and to save time.

Draft amendments to a series of laws on education were also passed at the meeting and will be delivered to the top legislature for review.

The draft amendments propose delegating approval rights for establishing higher learning institutions to provincial governments and allowing for-profit private schools.

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI

>>  Shanghai FTZ pilots parallel imports of cars

By Yao Yuan and He Xinrong

China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) on Wednesday of January 7 launched a pilot program on parallel imports of cars, which allows dealers to purchase cars directly from abroad.

The program, green-lighted by a circular issued Wednesday, will allow cars to be imported without getting authorization from carmakers and thus promise lower prices for Chinese buyers.

The Shanghai Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai FTZ administrative committee jointly issued the circular.

The circular has listed requirements for companies wishing to join the program, including having engaged in car transaction for five years or more and reporting profits over the past three consecutive years.

Responding to doubt over after-sale services of parallel imported vehicles, the circular required participating companies to shoulder duties of recall, after-sale service, “three guarantees” of repair, replacement or refund of faulty products, among others.

Cars imported through this channel must meet China’s relevant quality and technical standards, it added.

Gu Jun, deputy head of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, earlier said the pilot program would benefit the market competition and the pricing of cars.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese Academy of Sciences excludes officials as academician candidates

By Fu Shuangqi

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has excluded officials as candidates from the latest round of academician elections in a bid to reduce interference.

The CAS has made it clear that civil servants and Party officials are disqualified as candidates, said a CAS statement on Wednesday of January 7.

Previously, government departments were allowed to recommend candidates to the CAS. This year, only current academicians and academic institutions are able to recommend.

These measures are considered an effort by the CAS to maintain an independent procedure and ensure that new academicians are scientists with outstanding academic achievements.

The CAS plans to elect the maximum 65 academicians during this round of elections. Nomination procedures started on January 1.

According to the rules, each academician may recommend a maximum of three candidates. To qualify as a candidate, a scientist needs at least three references, including two from his or her own research area.

If a scientist is older than 65, he or she will need at least six references.

Voting procedures have also changed. Previously, academicians from a given research division voted to elect the division’s new members. This year, voting will be held among all CAS academicians, regardless of research specialty.

A candidate will need more than half of the CAS academicians’ votes to be elected.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to foster “healthy, quality” online literature

By Ren Ke

China will foster online literature sites to lead creative work toward a healthier and higher quality direction over the next three to five years, according to a guideline issued in recent days.

The guideline came in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks on art in a key seminar in October.

Issued by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), the guideline said online literature has become an important part of the country’s digital publishing industry, gaining wide popularity among literature fans and young people.

However, online literature is filled with derivative, plagiaristic and stereotypical works that seek only economic benefits. The industry also faces incomplete supervision by authorities.

The guideline stressed that online literature should serve the people and socialism. It should follow the trend of the times and respond to people’s demands. Social effects and values should be viewed as the priority.

The guideline added that writers must view the people as the center and subjects of their work. Publishers in the industry should focus on quality works with innovative ideas to strengthen the appeal of online literature.

The guideline also called for an administrative mechanism for writers, strengthened training in professional ethics, and a registry and inquiry system for online literature.

It encouraged state-owned publishing firms to publish online. It also said social capital should be allowed to invest in the industry, and China’s online literature should enter the international market.

The guideline put forward some measures to foster the industry, such as guiding the critics of online literature, establishing an assessment system, advancing new technology to promote online literature, strengthening copyright protection, and cracking down on pornography and other “harmful” content, as well as fiscal support to the industry.

Addressing renowned authors, actors, script writers and dancers at a symposium in October, Xi urged artists to create more works that are both artistically outstanding and morally inspiring in order to serve the people and present core socialist values.

Artists should not “lose themselves in the tide of the market economy or go astray while answering the question of whom to serve, otherwise their works will lack vitality,” he said.

Art should not be a “slave” to the market and should not bear “the stench of money,” Xi said.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China investigates malpractice behind four deadly accidents

By Guo Likun

China’s top prosecuting body is investigating multiple cases of alleged malpractice, which occurred over the past ten days, including a warehouse blaze in northeast China that killed five firemen.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) vowed to bring those responsible to task in a statement released on Wednesday of January 7.

The incidents include the collapse of scaffolding at a construction site at Tsinghua High School in Beijing, which left ten dead and four injured on Dec. 29, and a factory blast in Foshan, in south China’s Guangdong Province, which killed 18 and injured over 30 on Dec. 31.

There was also a warehouse blaze in Harbin in northeast China on Jan. 2 that killed five firemen and injured 14, and a fire in southwest China’s Yunnan Province on Jan. 3, which destroyed Gongchen Tower, an ancient city gate tower that dates back more than 600 years.

The SPP has sent staff from its major liability accident investigation office to the related provinces to support the local prosecutors.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Electrical fires plague China’s cultural relics

By Tian Ying

China’s cultural heritage authority said on Wednesday of January 7 that electrical fires are to blame for 40 percent of fire accidents affecting the country’s heritage buildings.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage said it will covertly investigate cultural sites across the country on their fire protection measures and draft relevant technical protocols.

Meanwhile, the country will invest more in fire-protection infrastructure in historical cities, villages and ancient building sites to rule out fire threats in three to five years, according to the Administration.

On Saturday, Gongchen Tower, a 600-year-old city gate tower in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, burned down in a fire caused by an electrical wire fault.

The fire was put out in two hours and did not cause any casualties.

In 2014, a blaze destroyed nearly two-thirds of well-preserved Tibetan homes in Shangri-la County of Yunnan.

Official statistics showed that from 2010 to 2013, 52 fires that endangered cultural relics were reported to the administration.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Beijing airport sees record passengers in 2014

By Rong Jiaojiao and Fan Xi

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) saw 86.128 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 2.9 percent year on year, the operating authority said on Wednesday of January 7.

BCIA was listed as the second busiest airport by passenger numbers in the world for its fifth-straight year, behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States.

International passenger traffic hit 20.73 million at BCIA in 2014, recording 4.6 percent growth compared with 2013, according to the airport.

In addition to passenger numbers, cargo increased 0.2 percent to 1.85million tonnes, and a total 582,000 flights were handled at BCIA last year, up 2.5 percent year on year.

To meet Beijing’s rising demand for air transportation and ease the BCIA’s burden, a new airport started construction in southern Beijing at the end of 2014, which will take about five years to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  China’s Guangdong reports third human H7N9 case in 2015

By Yao Yuan, Xiao Sisi and Zhou Qiang

South China’s Guangdong Province reported its third H7N9 human infection of this year on Wednesday of January 7, with health authorities warning that the province has entered a high-incidence period for bird flu.

A 56-year-old man in the city of Zhaoqing was confirmed to be infected with the H7N9 virus Wednesday, the provincial health and family planning commission said in a statement.

The man is in critical condition at a local hospital, it said.

Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, reported this year’s first and second H7N9 human cases on Monday and Tuesday in the cities of Shenzhen and Dongguan. The Guangdong disease control and prevention center said the province has entered the bird flu’s high-incidence period, which occurs in winter and spring, and that risks exist for occasional human infections.

Authorities in Guangdong and Hong Kong last week culled thousands of chickens after Guangdong’s poultry exports to Hong Kong were found to be infected with the virus.

Hong Kong raised its response level in hospitals to “serious” from “alert” after a 68-year-old woman was hospitalized on Dec. 25 with H7N9, the region’s first case since early 2014. The woman had arrived from Shenzhen two weeks earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China shares close mixed Wednesday

By Zhan Yan

Chinese shares closed mixed on Wednesday of January 7, ending the two-day rally at the beginning of the year.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended at 3,373.95 points, up 0.67 percent. The Shenzhen Component Index closed at 11,613.36 points, down 0.47 percent.

Total turnover on the two bourses shrank to 682.67 billion yuan (111.91 billion U.S. dollars) from 839.3 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

The gold sector rose remarkably with Shandong Gold expanding nearly the daily limit of 10 percent to 23.69 yuan per share.

Global gold prices continued to rise Tuesday as oil prices continued to fall, driving down U.S. energy equities and triggering a move to gold as a safe haven. An election in Greece has further supported the move to gold as a safe haven as traders fear Greece may exit the euro zone. Analysts believe these two factors are inciting investors to return to safe haven assets like bonds and gold.

The environmental protection sector dropped remarkably. Beijing Capital, a sewage treatment company, shrank 4.06 percent to 12.76 yuan per share.

The ChiNext Index, China’s Nasdaq-style tracking board of growth enterprises, closed 1.07 percent lower at 1,523.39 points Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Former NBA player Yi lifts Guangdong to 18th straight win

By Huang Jie

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian had a double-double as Guangdong beat Xinjiang 111-94 on Wednesday of January 7 in the 29th round of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league.

The victory extended Guangdong’s winning streak to 18 games, the longest for all teams during this season. Liaoning, who opened the season with 17 straight victories, now tops the league standings ahead of Guangdong.

Yi scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for Guangdong. Will Bynum had match-high 30 points and dished out five assists. Zhu Fangyu hit three of his five three-pointers in the final quarter, adding 28 points.

Sebastian Telfair had 29 points to lead Xinjiang. Andray Blatche scored 27 points in the first half but only made one free-throw in the second half to finish with 28.

The victory was also Guangdong’s eighth straight home win against Xinjiang since the 2011/2012 season. Xinjiang is now ranked seventh.

Liaoning became the first team to secure a play-off berth after beating Dongguan 124-117 at home. Dongguan’s six-game winning streak was snapped.

Lester Hudson led Liaoning with a triple-double of 38 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while Bobby Brown’s 64 points still could not bring Dongguan a victory.

Also on Wednesday, Shanghai beat Tongxi 107-97 thanks to Michael Beasley’s 28 points and 13 rebounds. Shanxi ended Bayi’s three-game winning streak at 104-92. Guangsha crushed Sichuan 118-99. Beijing defeated Foshan 109-94. Fojian lost to Jilin 118-124. Tianjin downed Jiangsu 116-105, and Qingdao beat Shandong 108-91.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China nabs iPhone thieves who tunneled into warehouse

By Yao  Yuan and Lu Guoqiang

Three Chinese men came up with a quicker way to get their hands on the latest iPhone 6: instead of queuing outside Apple outlets, they dug a hole into a warehouse.

Beijing police said on Wednesday of January 7 that they had detained three men suspected of stealing 240 iPhone 6 handsets, valued at about 1.4 million yuan (228,496 U.S. dollars), from a Beijing warehouse.

Police said the three men broke into the facility between Dec. 12 and 13 via a 50-cm hole dug out of the wall. One suspect surnamed Chang used to work as a driver for the logistics company that owned the warehouse and was familiar with the site.

They later sold the gadgets and spent most of the money on cars, gold, and gambling.

Police located the suspects by tracking the phones’ serial numbers, leading to the arrests in late December.

Apple’s products are hugely popular and costly in China. Chinese netizens have dubbed the latest iPhone 6 the “Kidney 6″ following news reports of a teenager selling his kidney to buy Apple products.

In 2012, a 17-year-old high school student from Anhui Province had one of his kidneys removed and sold it to an organ-trafficking gang. He later confessed to using the money to buy an iPhone and an iPad.

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  Norovirus sickens 140 pupils in China school

By Li Laifang a nd Wu Jun

Classes have been suspended after 140 students were sickened by norovirus at a school in south China’s Guangdong Province, local authorities said on Wednesday of January 7.

Grade I and II students of Shenzhen Baihe Foreign Language School began showing signs of food poisoning after experiencing stomach aches and vomiting on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday morning, a total of 140 students out of the school’s 1,400, showed similar symptoms.

An investigation by the local disease prevention and control center showed the mass vomiting was caused by the noro virus infection. The affected students were taken home by their parents for treatment.

The school will strengthen disinfection in public areas and ask staff to wash their hands frequently. Classes for Grade I and II were suspended.

Symptoms of the highly-contagious stomach virus include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body aches. Usually patients recover within several days.

 

 

 

 

 

JINAN

>>  East China province busts 8,000 drug cases

By Wu Shuguang and Li Baojie

Police authorities in east China’s Shandong Province busted 8,045 drug cases last year, with 9,240 suspects being arrested and 426 kg of drugs seized.

Shao Haohao, chief of the narcotics control brigade under the Shandong provincial bureau of public security, said nearly half of the cases were busted in the fourth quarter after a nation-wide crackdown on drug-related crimes was launched.

Last year, local police also netted 17,030 new drug users and 2,342 of them were put under forced isolation treatment, Shao said.

Shandong reported its first drug user in 1986. By 2000, the number of registered drug users rose to 500.

By 2014, the number rose sharply to 64,000 and the real number is estimated at 300,000, he said, adding the direct and indirect effects of drug use cost the province 10 billion yuan (1.6 billion U.S. dollars).

 

 

 

 

XINING

>>  Two dead, 28 injured after bus collision in NW China

By Wang Daqian and Bai Xu

Two people were killed and 28 others were injured after two buses collided in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, said local police on Wednesday of January 7.

A gray bus driving from Qinghai’s capital, Xining, to Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture collided with a white bus in Jainca County at 1:10 p.m. Wednesday and rolled into a nearby river.

The driver of the gray bus and a passenger died at the scene. Another 28 were injured and sent to hospitals, five of whom are in critical condition.

Police didn’t disclose the number of passengers in the two vehicles.

An investigation into the accident is under way.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  5.2-magnitude quake hits Ilan, Taiwan: CENC

By Guo Likun

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake jolted Taiwan’s Ilan county at 12:48 p.m. Wednesday (Beijing Time), the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

The epicenter was monitored at 24.3 degrees north latitude and 121.7 degrees east longitude with a depth of 10 km, according to the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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