Chinese research vessel on new “seamount” expedition

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARACAS

>>  China is great power never dominating others, Maduro says

By Raimundo Urrechaga

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday of January 9 that China is the great economic and political power of the 21st century without intention to “dominate, plunder and colonize” other nations.

In exclusive statements to the state-run Venezolana de Television from Beijing, Maduro said that China, as a great world power, plays an integral role in promoting global stability and common development.

Maduro was in China for the opening ceremony of the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which concluded Friday.

He noted that China has built a society of justice and equality and made major social developments in the past decades.

“China has an economic and social development plan till 2050. It has become the economic world power of the 21st century,” said the president.

During his visit to China, Maduro met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who promised an “enhanced cooperation” in areas such as energy, infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications.

Regarding bilateral ties, Maduro praised the vision of the late President Hugo Chavez, who forged close ties with Beijing.

“Commander Chavez built the roads and we will continue with loyalty, creativity and commitment. The partnerships and alliances with sister nations will help us achieve the historic feat of advancing to a future of development just like China has,” he said.

Maduro will continue his international tour with his first visit as head of state to the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the recent fall in oil prices.

He will then travel to Saudi Arabia and Algeria, member nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss joint strategies in response to the dropping oil prices.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA

>>  Chinese ambassador hopes rescuers from home to cooperate closely with Indonesia

Chinese ambassador to Indonesia Xie Feng on Saturday of January 10 expressed hope that Chinese rescuers could cooperate closely with the Indonesian side and make their contribution to the search for bodies of passengers and especially the black boxes of the crashed AirAsia plane.

The Chinese rescuers aboard the Chinese search and rescue vessel Nanhaijiu 101 arrived hours before the tail of the ill- fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 were lifted up Saturday afternoon, four days after a group of three Chinese specialists from the Civil Aviation Administration of China came to the country to help the search for black boxes

“Progress has been made in the search operation, but the task ahead remains challenging as the black boxes which are crucial for the investigation into the cause of the plane crash, are yet to be found,” said Xie in a phone conversation with the rescuers.

The Nanhaijiu 101 arrived at the waters in the early hours of Saturday after days of voyage.

The Chinese vessel set off for the Indonesian waters in immediate response to the urgent request from the Indonesian side, reflecting the great importance Chinese leaders attached to assisting the Indonesian side in the search operation and the sincere friendship of the Chinese people to the Indonesia people, he added.

Zhang Guiping, commander of the Nanhaijiu 101, said on behalf of the crew members that they are confident in their ability to help the Indonesian side in carrying out the search and rescue operation, according to the sources with the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta.

The ambassador also made a phone call on Saturday to the three Chinese experts and expressed his respect and gratitude for their hard work over the recent days.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to launch direct air route to Caribbean 

By Zhang Xu and Qian Chunxian

China will launch its first direct air route to the Caribbean on September 28, according to an announcement by Air China.

Operated by Air China three times a week, the new route will fly from Beijing to Havana, with a stop to refuel in Montreal, marking a huge cut in travel time between China and the Caribbean.

Famous for their beautiful beaches, Caribbean countries have attracted more Chinese visitors in recent years. However, the long distance has forced Chinese travelers to transfer in Europe or Canada.

In 2013, the number of Chinese visitors to Cuba surpassed 22,200, up 18 percent compared with the previous year.

 

 

 

 

HARBIN

>>  International snow sculpture contest kicks off in northeast China

By Wang Kai and Bai Xu

The 20th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Contest kicks off in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on Saturday of January 10.

The contest, which is to last four days, has attracted more than 110 artists from 12 countries, including France, Italy, the UK, Russia and the Republic of Korea.

These contestants, in 28 teams, are to show their skills on snow blocks which are 3 meters long, 3 meters broad and 4 meters tall.

Famous artists in the world have been invited to be judges so as to make the event more influential.

Heilongjiang borders Russia and is known in China as the “world of ice and snow” in winter. The contest is an important activity of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

NANNING

>>  French student falls off dormitory building in south China

By Zhang Ying and Bai Xu

A French student was injured after falling off the dormitory building in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said local sources on Saturday of January 10.

The 31-year-old student, whose name was not given so as to protect his privacy, was found lying on the ground near a dormitory building for overseas students in the Guangxi University on Friday evening.

He was sent immediately to a local hospital. A doctor described his condition on Saturday morning as “improving, but not out of danger”.

The student is of French nationality, but his parents are from Guangxi. He had been studying Chinese language at the School of International Education. Police are investigating the cause of his fall.

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  Halep wins Shenzhen, looks to Melbourne

By Wang Haoming and Zheng Zhi

World No. 3 Simona Halep stormed over Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets to win WTA Shenzhen Open here on Saturday of January 10, adding ninth WTA title to her collection.

The top-seeded Romanian held all eight of her service games – never facing a break point – and getting four breaks of her own to beat the No.8-seeded Bacsinszky in 62 minutes, 6-2, 6-2.

“I am really happy I played better and better day by day and match by match,” said Halep.

“I’m looking forward to the next tournament and to play just like today or even better,” she added.

The now retired Li Na who was the last year’s winner, presented the trophy to Halep. Li also won the 2014 Australian Open after she claimed the Shenzhen title.

As for the first Grand Slam event, the 23-year old said, “I don’t want to put any pressure on myself for the Australian Open. I have to be focused there, and I hope to win many matches there, but it’ll be tough. I’ll just try to do everything I did here.”

Despite coming up one win short, it was still a dream week for Bacsinszky, who had overcame a serious foot injury. Not only did she reach her first WTA final since 2010, but in the semifinals she beat No.4-ranked Petra Kvitova, the equal-biggest win of her career.

“It was a great week for me. I’m really happy that I made it into the final. I am improving every time I am in China. First quarters in Wuhan, then a semifinal in Guangzhou, now a final. Hopefully soon I will lift a trophy here,” said the 25-year old.

In the doubles final, the Kichenok twins – Lyudmyla and Nadiia – became just the second set of twins to win a WTA doubles title together, by beating Chinese duo Liang Chen and Wang Yafan, 6-4, 7-6 (6). The Pliskova twins have won three WTA doubles titles together.

 

 

 

 

 

DUBAI

>>  Chinese teams advance to semifinals in ITTF world team cup

By Liu Yuqian

The Chinese table tennis women defeated Romania and will encounter Singapore in the semi-finals of the international table tennis federation (ITTF) team World Cup here on January 9, while China’s men’s team will meet Chinese Taipei after beating Brazil.

Followed by the hundreds of Chinese supporters, the Chinese women’ s team comprising Ding Ning, Liu Shiwen, and Chen Meng won against Romania with a clear 3-0 victory. Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen played a singles match each and the doubles together.

China, the Asian champion of 2013, will encounter Singapore in the semi-finals. The Singaporean ladies defeated Hong Kong 3-2 in a long and tough match.

DPR Korea women’s team and Germany, the last year’ s European champion delivered a neck-on-neck battle which the DPR Koreans won 3-1. “For Germany it is always difficult to win against DPR Korea and against Asian teams in general”, player Petrissa Solja told Xinhua after the match.

“That we lost the doubles was regrettable in particular as it was a tough call,” she added. DPR Korea will play Japan on Saturday.

In the men’s quarter finals, China beat Brazil 3-0. China’s coach Liu Guoliang told Xinhua that China had a good opportunity to win the ITTF team World Cup.

Austria was victorious over Germany with 3-0, too. Austria will play against Portugal, which defeated Japan 3-2.

The semi-finals will be held on Saturday, Jan. 10, the finals will be on Sunday Jan. 11. The winning teams, both men and women, will collect 50,000 dollars prize money, while the runner-up teams will take home 25,000 dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

ZHUHAI

>>  Police bust gang trafficking drugs from Chinese mainland to Macao

By Wei Meng and Bai Xu

A gang that allegedly trafficked drugs from south China’s Guangdong Province to Macao has been caught, said local police on Saturday of January 10.

Seven suspects were nabbed at about 1:50 a.m. Friday in a high-end residential community in Zhuhai.

Macao police caught 40 drug users and dealers and seized 645.77 grams of cocaine, 94.12 grams of ketamine, 65.48 grams of methamphetamine, 22.22 grams of marijuana and 18 “magu” pills, a stimulant composed of methamphetamine and caffeine.

According to Wang Yusheng, a police officer with the media office of the Zhuhai public security bureau, they were tipped off last November that a group of drug dealers frequently carried drugs from Zhuhai to Macao, selling them in places of entertainment.

Police from Zhuhai and Macao began to cooperate in information exchanges and fighting drug trafficking in 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Commentary: China’s comprehensively deepened reform benefits self, world

By Zhu Junqing

China has launched a new round of comprehensive and deep reforms in economic, political, cultural, societal and ecological fields, which will not only consolidate the foundation for the “Chinese dream,” but also provide cooperation opportunities for other countries and the whole world at large.

The year 2014 marked the first whole year of the comprehensively deepened reform, which takes economic reform as one of its key tasks.

To advance reforms, China has implemented a series of specific measures, such as delegating and calling off hundreds of items of administrative examinations and approvals, which have sparked huge market vitality and promoted innovation.

“After showing great economic leadership, especially during the recent global financial crisis, China has its eyes fixed firmly on its next destination — aiming for higher quality, more inclusive and more sustainable” growth, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde had said.

China’s economy generally stayed on a reasonable track last year despite some hobbles and its efforts to upgrade and optimize various industries have yielded initial positive results.

In the first half of 2014, the growth rate of the service sector surpassed that of the manufacturing industry, signalling a significant change in structural adjustment and transformation.

Meanwhile, China’s job market has proved resilient despite slowing economic growth, with more than 13 million new jobs expected to be created this year.

Guided by the “new normal” theory, the Chinese economy is shifting from high-speed growth to medium and high-speed growth, with a continuously optimized economic structure and a growth model changing from investment-driven to innovation-driven.

“This reform program will secure the ‘Chinese dream’ for the next generation, and in doing so, will benefit the entire global economy,” Lagarde said

In fact, China has made up its mind to facilitate an open world economy, with initiatives such as the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” the “Silk Road Economic Belt,” the BRICS Development Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

As experts have said, China’s comprehensively deepened reform will unleash huge market demands, which will boost not only its own domestic demand-driven economic development, but also the recovery of the world economy.

According to estimates of the IMF, China’s contribution to the global economy has topped the world, accounting for 27.8 percent in 2014.

Moreover, China’s economic growth driven by its structural reform is expected to contribute 30 to 40 percent to the Group of 20′s goal for an additional 2-percent growth over the next five years.

 

 

 

 

 

ON BOARD KEXUE

>>  Chinese research vessel on new “seamount” expedition

By Yao Yuan, Ni Yuanjin and Meng Jing

China’s most sophisticated research vessel — named Kexue, or Science — left from the eastern city of Xiamen on Saturday of January 10 on a new expedition to a west Pacific seamount.

The second expedition to the Yap Seamount sea area will focus on deep-sea environment and ecology, said Dong Dongdong, chief scientist of the expedition.

With 74 people on board, the vessel is expected to travel 6,000 nautical miles and return in mid-February.

Sun Song, head of the Institute of Oceanology, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said the expedition will improve understanding on the little-known seamounts, which are mountains rising from the bottom of the ocean without reaching the water surface.

It will also improve knowledge on China’s climate and natural disasters by shedding light on the interaction between the ocean and China’s off-shore waters, Sun said.

Kexue earlier this month wrapped up its first Yap Seamount expedition, also China’s first on such landscape, having conducted missions such as deep-sea photographing and biological sampling. The Yap Seamount is rich in mineral resources and ecological diversity.

With a gross tonnage of 4,711, Kexue is 99.8 meters long and 17.8 meters wide. With a cruising capacity of 15,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 15 knots, it can travel with a crew of 80 for 60 days.

 

 

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  Xinjiang legislature approves burqa ban

By Yao Yuan and Fu Xiaobo

The legislature of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has approved a regulation banning the wearing of the burqa, an Islamic garment that covers women’s faces, in public places in the regional capital of Urumqi.

Burqas are not traditional dress for Uygur women, and wearing them in public places is banned in countries such as Belgium and France.

The regional People’s Congress told Xinhua Saturday the regulation will go into effect after being amended. It was drafted by the municipal legislature of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, last year.

The regulation is seen as an effort to curb growing extremism that forced Uygur women to abandon their colorful traditional dress and wear black burqas.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  China deletes 3 mln porn files in 2014

By Tian Ying

An official with China’s anti-pornography authority said that over three million pornographic files or posts were deleted in 2014.

Zhou Huilin, a vice director of the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, told Xinhua in an interview on Friday that the office’s work last year had been “remarkably effective.”

In a campaign to clean up the country’s online environment, authorities shut down more than 10,000 websites or pages containing illegal or harmful information.

Moreover, authorities confiscated more than 16 million illegal publications, including over 12 million pirated ones, and handled 212 cases involving fake journalists or media organizations, according to Zhou.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s second underground neutrino lab breaks ground

By Fu Shuangqi

A large underground laboratory for neutrino experiments broke ground on Saturday of January 10 in Jiangmen of south China’s Guangdong Province.

The lab will be built 700 meters underground and put into operation in 2020, said Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the project’s spokesman from the Chinese side.

It is designed to operate for at least 20 years and will be equipped with the world’s most precise and biggest liquid scintillation detector for neutrino, Wang said.

It is about 53 km away from the nuclear reactors in Yangjiang and Taishan cities, a perfect location for such experiments, he said.

In 2012 through the neutrino experiment conducted near the Daya Bay Reactor also in Guangdong, Chinese and foreign physicists announced that they had confirmed and measured a third type of neutrino oscillation.

Once completed, the Jiangmen lab will be the second Chinese neutrino project and it will help scientists determine the neutrino mass hierarchy, Wang said.

“It will help us to better understand the rules of the universe and the particle world,” he said.

More than 320 scientists from 45 research institutes and universities around the world have formally joined the project led by Chinese scientists.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese bank predicts 7.2-percent growth in 2015

By Zhang Xu

China’s Bank of Communications (BOCOM) has predicted 7.2-percent growth for the country’s economy in 2015, according to the bank’s new outlook report.

The report said uncertainties in the domestic and global situation will continue affecting China’s economy and result in more exports, less investment and stable consumption.

Moderate economic recovery in the United States will help strengthen China’s 2015 exports with faster expansion of about 7 percent.

It said the surplus in commodity and service trade will hit 420 billion U.S. dollars and 195 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, while the actually utilized foreign capital will stand at 125 billion U.S. dollars.

Fixed investment will see slower growth of 14 percent because of overcapacity and stricter supervision of local debt and financing.

New consumption patterns and a booming capital market will ensure a stable growth rate of about 11.8 percent in total retail sales volume by the end of this year.

The bank estimated 13.5-percent growth in new loans year on year to 11 trillion yuan (1.79 trillion U.S. dollars), and the capital market will see total social financing of 3.6 trillion yuan through bonds and stocks.

BOCOM forecast that China’s 2015 GDP growth will slow to around 7.2 percent, but remained cautiously optimistic about development, noting that deepening reforms will improve economic efficiency and bring benefits.

The report also predicted that the country’s consumer prices will not face sharp surges amid prudent monetary policy, but weak domestic demand and overcapacity will continue to drag down the growth of producer prices.

Meanwhile, China’s central bank is likely to announce slight cuts in interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio, said the report.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Lock-up shares worth nearly 37 bln yuan eligible for trade

By Fang Dong

Lock-up shares worth nearly 36.88 billion yuan (6.02 billion U.S. dollars) will become eligible for trade on China’s stock markets in the coming week.

A total of 4.87 billion shares of 26 companies will be tradable on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Under China’s market rules, major shareholders of non-tradable stocks are subject to one or two years of lock-up before they are permitted to trade the shares.

Inner Mongolia MengDian Huaneng Thermal Power Corporation will see non-tradable shares worth 14.64 billion yuan become tradable on Jan. 15, the largest amount of such shares to hit the stock market.

Chinese shares closed lower on Friday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ending at 3,285.41 points, down 0.24 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Heavy snowfalls to weaken in SW China

By Fang Dong

Heavy snowfalls that hit China’s southwestern regions in past two days will start to weaken on Saturday of January 10 but the temperature will remained low, China’s meteorological authorities said.

Southwest China’s Sichuan and Yunnan provinces will see light to medium snow and sleet in the next three days after unexpected heavy precipitation hit the regions in Jan. 8 and 9, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast on Saturday.

However, heavy snowfalls are still likely in some places and the temperature will remained at low level.

The NMC warned of natural disasters including flood, debris flow and landslide and said the local governments should take responsive measures for possible problems in electric power transmission and transport.

In the meantime, light to medium smog will shroud China’s northern areas and regions along lower reaches of the Yellow, Yangtze and Huaihe rivers, the NMC said.

 

 

 

 

 

CHANGSHA

>>  Four murdered in central China apartment building

By Yang Jian, Liu Liangheng and Bai Xu

Four people, including two children, were killed in an apartment in Changsha in central China’s Hunan province on Saturday morning of January 10, said local police.

They were stabbed to death between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the Yunding Cuifeng residential community on the west side of the city. The killer set fire to the apartment, which was soon put out.

Police didn’t give detailed information about the victims.

A resident of the community who declined to be named told Xinhua that the two children were both boys. One of them was a second-grader, while the other was a pre-schooler.

The case is under police investigation.

 

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  5.0-quake hits China’s Xinjiang

By Ayinuer, Fu Xiaobo, Bai Xu, Mao Yong and Tian Ying

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the city of Atux in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at 2:50 p.m. on Saturday of January 10 (Beijing Time), the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

The epicenter was detected at 40.2 degrees north latitude and 77.3 degrees east longitude with a depth of 10 km, according to the center.

So far no casualties have been reported from the Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture of Kizilsu. Atux is the seat of the prefecture.

The prefecture is located in the west end of Xinjiang. There are about 20 villages less than 30 kilometers away from the epicenter. Some old houses were “moderately damaged” in the tremor, according to the regional seismological bureau.

A work team has been sent to the affected area by the regional government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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