Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language








>>  Japan’s commitment vital to success in maritime talks with China

By Luo Jun

A maritime crisis management mechanism is conducive to shielding the East China Sea from conflicts, but Japan has to abide by its agreement with China and refrain from further provocation to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Resuming high-level consultations on maritime affairs on Monday of January 12 in Tokyo, defense authorities of the two countries are expected to discuss ways to avoid confrontation and reduce tension in the East China Sea.

China has been patient and has advocated dialogues and peaceful settlement of disputes with Japan, as any armed conflict between the two economic heavyweights will hurt the two peoples and the region as a whole.

During high-level consultations on maritime affairs held in Qingdao, China, last September, the two sides agreed in principle to resume maritime liaison between their defense agencies.

The meeting between defense officials this week is an encouraging sign and offers another opportunity for tension reduction.

Meanwhile, it is advisable that Tokyo sticks to the four-point principled agreement reached with Beijing last November, refrain from further provocation, and bring sincerity to the table so as to constructively address their differences and disputes.

Good faith from Japan is essential to the success of this week’s meeting and to the prospects of such talks, given the fact that they had been disrupted thanks to Japan’s irresponsible moves.

The mechanism of high-level consultations on maritime affairs between the two countries was launched in 2012. After several rounds of successful talks, the talks were suspended after the Japanese government’s so-called “nationalization” of China’s Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea in September 2012.

As tension was built up, Japan took a hardline position and sent its warplanes to interfere with China’s regular operations, posing grave threats to both sides’ safety and escalating tension in the East China Sea.

In June last year, two Japanese F-15 jets deliberately tailed a Chinese Tu-154 plane, coming as near as 30 meters as the Chinese plane conducted a routine patrol over the East China Sea.

The Japanese government’s plan to amend the country’s pacifist constitution and push for weapon exports, as well as its attempts to whitewash war atrocities in World War II have also sounded alarm to the region and the world.

There is still a long way to go to secure peace and stability in the region. The Shinzo Abe administration needs to abandon such dangerous moves above and start fostering favorable conditions for bilateral dialogue and for the improvement of relations with China, for the sake of the two peoples and the region at large.







>>  Chinese military offers aids to Malaysia

By Li Huizi

Two IL-76 air transport aircraft loaded with relief goods set out for Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning of January 12, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense.

The People’s Liberation Army immediately prepared relief goods including tents, generators, sewage pumps and water purifying equipment after the Malaysian defense ministry sent its request.

Malaysia has suffered its worst flood in past 45 years since the end of 2014, with over 200,000 people evacuated from their homes.

The Chinese government also decided on Saturday to offer humanitarian aids worth 20 million yuan (3.26 million U.S. dollars) to Malaysia and Sri Lanka respectively for flood relief.

The aids were for the purpose of the relief of the flood victims and the first batch of 2,500 tents will soon be sent to Kuala Lumpur by air, according to the Ministry of Commerce.







>>  Chinese military delivers aid to Malaysia

By Li Huizi and Wang Xiaopeng

Two IL-76 air transportation aircraft had returned to China after delivering aid to flood-struck Malaysia, a military spokesman said on Monday afternoon of January 12.

The two aircraft had delivered tents, generators, sewage pumps and water purifying equipment to Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning, the spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, Shen Jinke, said.

Since the tail-end of 2014, Malaysia has seen its worst bout of flooding in 45 years, with over 200,000 people displaced by the rising water.

The Chinese government announced on Saturday that it would offer humanitarian aid worth 20 million yuan (3.26 million U.S. dollars), to Malaysia and Sri Lanka for flood relief operations.

The PLA Air Force has been playing a bigger role in international disaster relief in recent years, delivering relief materials to Pakistan, Mongolia and Thailand.

In December, PLA Air Force planes delivered water to Maldives, when the Island nation suffered an acute water shortage.

These relief operations have shown to the world that China is a responsible member of the international community, Shen said.








>>  U.S. extends antidumping duties on China’s lawn groomers

By Gao Pan

A U.S. trade panel voted on Monday of January 12 to extend antidumping duties on tow-behind lawn groomers from China after the first five-year review of the measures imposed initially in 2009.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) voted against revoking the existing duty orders on lawn groomers from China, saying it “would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.”

The U.S. Commerce Department is required to remove an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the department and the ITC vote against it, according to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

The United States initially issued the antidumping duty orders on imports of lawn groomers from China in 2009. The Commerce Department agreed to institute the first five-year review of the measures in July, 2014 and the ITC voted to conduct an expedited review in October, 2014.

In November 2014, the Commerce Department determined that revocation of the existing duty orders on lawn groomers from China would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping at weighted-average margins up to 386.28 percent.

As a result of the ITC’s affirmative determination, the existing order on imports of these products from China will remain in place.

Beijing has repeatedly urged Washington to honor its commitment against protectionism and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment.







>>  China raises initiative to push South Sudan peace process

By Zhang Yue

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed here on Monday of January 12 China’s four-point initiative to promote South Sudan’s peace process.

Wang raised the initiative at the “special consultation of Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD)” with the conflicting parties of South Sudan.

In the initiative, Wang urged the conflicting sides to take into account the realistic and long-term interests of South Sudan people and safeguard the peace and stability in the region.

Both sides should abandon the use of force, carry out the signed agreements and reach comprehensive ceasefire without precondition, so as to create favorable conditions for peace talks, he said.

Wang urges establishment of transition government in South Sudan as soon as possible so as to speed up peace process, and he calls for greater international efforts to support peace process, stability and development in the country.

As for the transition government, Wang hopes it can start work in the first quarter of this year, urging the conflicting parties to care about each other’s concerns, deepen exchange of views in a rational and pragmatic way, and solve the problem of power sharing and distribution step by step.

Wang stressed in the initiative that China firmly supports Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to play key roles in mediating the conflicts of South Sudan, adding China adheres to the stance that key African issues should be settled by African countries in their own ways and on their own.

China will continue to provide IGAD and its mechanism with fund and personnel support, he said.

The Chinese minister in the initiative also calls for greater efforts from the international community to offer humanitarian aid and ease sufferings of the South Sudan people.

He added that peace, stability and development in South Sudan need support and help from the international community and all the concerned parties. He urges the conflicting parties to ensure safety of foreign people and organs in the country.







>>  China urges conflicting parties of South Sudan to speed up peace process

By Li Jianmin

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged here on Monday of January 12 the conflicting parties of South Sudan to speed up reconciliation and peace process in his keynote speech at a consultation with the concerned parties.

At a consultation with the IGAD and the South Sudan conflicting parties, Wang Yi stressed that political solution is the only way out for settlement of the South Sudan problem.

Wang cited an ancient Chinese proverb as saying that “A bright future will emerge as long as concession is offered,” adding that political solution will not sail smoothly, foreseeing setbacks and obstacles ahead.

He stressed that active results can only be achieved when conflicting parties strive for the same direction and reach mutual understanding, in addition to offering proper concessions.

The Chinese minister cited another Chinese proverb that “Brothers with one heart and mind can do everything successfully.”

He urged the the conflicting parties of South Sudan to take concrete and tangible actions with sincere wishes, and eliminate divisions and misunderstanding and try to create a bring future for South Sudan.







>>  Chinese police bust cross-border drug gang

By Chen Ji and Wang Ruoyao

Police in south China’s Guangdong Province said on Monday of January 12 they have seized 172 kilograms of methamphetamine and caught 16 suspects who allegedly trafficked drugs to Indonesia.

Two primary suspects, surnamed Hu and Chen, and eight others were nabbed on Nov. 11, 2014 during a police raid, said a spokesman with the public security bureau of Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong.

Police confiscated about 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 1.9 million yuan (about 306,000 U.S. dollars) in drug money, and three vehicles used for drug trafficking, according to the spokesman.

Chen, from Hong Kong, confessed that he purchased more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine from Hu and shipped it to Jakarta, Indonesia. The Jakarta police later caught several other suspects and seized the drugs on Nov. 22.

On Jan. 5, a joint operation by authorities in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Indonesia captured nine suspected drug traffickers in Indonesia and seized 862 kilograms of methamphetamine.







>>  China Aircraft Leasing Company orders 100 Airbus A320 Family aircraft

By Larry Neild

European plane maker Airbus on Monday of January 12 confirmed an order for 100 Airbus A320 Family aircraft worth more than 9 billion U.S. dollars from China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC).

CALC, the leading independent aircraft operating lessor in China, firmed up its contract in December, but the order was only announced on Monday.

The order comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. Including this new order, CALC’s total backlog with Airbus stands at 140 A320 Family aircraft.

Airbus in a statement quoted Dr Mike Poon, CEO and Executive Director of CALC, saying: “Adding these A320 Family aircraft, including the latest generation A320neo to our portfolio, means we can fully meet all our customers’ requirements in terms of low fuel burn, high reliability and unbeatable comfort.”

“The A320 Family is without doubt firmly established as a key asset in our fleet.”

John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers said: “We are delighted to see CALC, a leading lessor based in the world’s leading growth market, come back for more of our popular A320 Family aircraft and we welcome them as a new customer for the A320neo.”

The A320 Family is one of the world’s best-selling single aisle product lines with more than 11,000 orders to date and over 6,300 aircraft delivered.







>>  Volkswagen China delivers 3.68 mln automobiles in 2014

By Sun Xiaozheng and Mao Zhenhua

Volkswagen Group China delivered 3.68 million automobiles to market in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in 2014, up 12.4 percent year on year, the company said on Monday of January 12.

The automobiles jointly delivered by Volkswagen Group China, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen also include 221,000 imported models.

A total of 2.76 million Volkswagen automobiles were delivered in 2014, up 10 percent year on year, thanks to popular models including Lavida, Santana and a new Jetta model.

About 578,900 Audis have been delivered in the past year, up 17.7 percent year on year.

In the luxury market, 236 Lamborghinis, 2,600 Bentleys and 46,900 Porsches were delivered in 2014.

Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen Group China, said the company managed double-digit growth above the market average in 2014. “We will continue to build top standard factories in China this year to create more job opportunities for the local people,” he said.

In November last year, a Volkswagen solely invested automobile parts plant opened in the north China port city of Tianjin.

With an investment of 265 million euros, the plant is the 18th built by Volkswagen in China, and will mainly produce a new generation of direct-shift gearboxes (DSG).







>>  Over 5,000 illegal immigrants intercepted in south China

By Cao Kai and Xia Jun

A total of 5,471 illegal immigrants, mainly from Vietnam, were intercepted by border police in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 2014, up 20 percent from the previous year, local authorities said on Monday of January 12.

About 45 percent of the illegal immigrants, ranging in age from 16 to 45, planned to cross the border to work in the booming provinces of Guangdong and Fujian for higher salaries, according to the Guangxi border police.

About 47 percent of them planned to work in border areas and the rest planned to work in cities in Guangxi.

Most of the illegal immigrants were repatriated, according to the border police.

December to April is the harvest season for sugarcane in Guangxi, which has faced a labor shortage, and some of the illegal immigrants planned to harvest sugarcane in border areas.






KOH KONG, Cambodia

>>  Chinese-built 338 MW hydropower dam in Cambodia begins operation

A Chinese-constructed 338-megawatt Russei Chrum Krom River hydroelectric dam, Cambodia’ s largest hydropower station so far, commenced operation on Monday after it had been constructed for nearly five years.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo jointly inaugurated the dam in Mondol Sima district of southwestern Koh Kong province.

The ceremony was also attended by some 1,500 government officials, local authorities and residents.

The project was developed by the giant power company China Huadian Corp for a cost of 495 million U.S. dollars under a contract of a 35-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) with the Cambodian government, Cambodian Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said.

Under terms of the agreement, the plant sells power to the state-owned Electricity of Cambodia at a price of 7.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour, he said.

Hun Sen said the dam would increase the capacity and reliability of electricity supply and bring down the price of electricity in the country. “This project is considered as the largest hydroelectric dam in Cambodia so far,” he said at the inauguration ceremony.

He expressed sincere and profound thanks to the government of China for encouraging Chinese investors to Cambodia, noting that the investment in energy was vital for socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Cambodia.

China is the largest investor in developing hydroelectric plants in Cambodia. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Chinese firms have invested over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to build six dams with a total capacity of 928 megawatts in this Southeast Asian nation.

To date, five dams are fully operational, and the sixth dam, a 246-megawatt Tatay River Hydropower Plant in Koh Kong province, will also be put into operation later this year.






KOH KONG, Cambodia

>>  Cambodia sees greater electricity supply after Chinese-built 338 MW dam begins operations

Cambodia will have a greater possibility to supply reliable electricity to households and businesses with cheaper prices after a Chinese-built 338- megawatt Russei Chrum Krom River hydropower dam began operations on Monday of January 12, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said.

“This project is considered as the largest hydroelectric station in Cambodia so far,” he said at the inauguration ceremony, which was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo. “The dam will provide great benefits to both households and business establishments.”

Electricity shortage is one of the most serious constraints to Cambodia’s effort to attract new investments, according to a joint World Bank and Asian Development Bank report released in October last year. The report said electricity in Cambodia is “not only more expensive than most neighboring countries, but the supply is also intermittent.”

Hun Sen said through the dam, the country’s capacity of electricity supply will be increased as the prices will be further lowered.

Meanwhile, the premier expressed sincere and profound thanks to the government of China for encouraging Chinese investors to Cambodia, stressing that the investment in energy was vital for socio-economic development and poverty reduction in Cambodia.

“The inauguration of the dam also clearly reflects close relations and cooperation between Cambodia and China,” he said.

Situated in the jungle in Mondol Sima district of Southwestern Koh Kong province, the Russei Chrum Krom River hydropower station was developed by the giant power company China Huadian Corp for a cost of 495 million U.S. dollars, Cambodian Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said.

The dam took nearly five years to be constructed under a contract of a 35-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) with the Cambodian government, he said, adding that the dam will produce the power of about 1.02 billion kwh per year.

“The electricity generated from the dam will be sold to the state-owned Electricity of Cambodia at the price of 7.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour,” the minister said. “The government will earn tax revenue of 12.5 million U.S. dollars a year from the project.”

Li Qingkui, Chairman of the China Huadian Corp, said the dam was another historic milestone of economic cooperation between China and Cambodia, while thanking the Cambodian government for fully supporting the project.

“It is the first and largest project that the China Huadian Corp has invested in Cambodia,” he said. “We’re confident that the dam will contribute to expanding electricity supply to households and businesses in Cambodia.”

According to the Electricity Authority of Cambodia, the country had 1,370 megawatts of electricity to supply to about 2.26 million houses or nearly 50 percent of the country’s 14.8 million people by 2013.

It is projected that all the villages in the nation will have electricity by 2020, and at least 70 percent of the households will have access to electricity by 2030.

China is the largest investor in developing hydroelectric plants in Cambodia. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Chinese firms have invested more than 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to build six dams with a total capacity of 928 megawatts in this Southeast Asian nation.

To date, five dams are fully operational, and the sixth dam, a 246-megawatt Tatay River Hydropower Plant in Koh Kong province, will be put into operations later this year.







>>  Lady Lever’s Chinese treasures win star billing in 2.8 mln-pound art gallery facelift

By Larry Neild

Hidden treasures of one of Britain’s most important collections of Chinese fine art are to be given pride of place in a refurbishment project at a gallery built by a soap magnate in memory of his wife.

Work has started at the Lady Lever Art Gallery near Liverpool on a 2.8 million pound (about 4.23 million U.S. dollars) project to restore galleries to their glory days of the 1920s. Nearly half of the funding has come from Britain’s Heritage Lottery Fund.

The gallery is a centerpiece in an entire village created by industrialist and philanthropist William Hesketh Lever to ensure his soap factory workers enjoyed decent housing.

Today, Port Sunlight village, which faces Liverpool on the southern bank of the River Mersey, is an international tourist destination.

One of Lever’s biggest export markets was China, with the company’s Sunlight brand soap popular across Asia. In addition to professional life, Lever had a particular fascination for Chinese art, particularly porcelain.

Lever’s Chinese collection consists primarily of 17th to 18th century porcelain (Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong periods) with smaller collections of reverse paintings on glass, cloisonne, jade and other hardstones, snuff bottles and earlier ceramics of the Han, Tang and Song dynasties, with some items dating back more than 2,200 years.

Dr. Yupin Chung from the University of Glasgow spent three years researching and cataloguing each item at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

She told Xinhua: “I was delighted and amazed when I realised the scale of what is one of the most important collections of Chinese art in the UK. It was also one of the largest private collections anywhere in the world, consisting of more than 1,000 items. I am delighted this new project will enable many more of these works to go on show at Lady Lever Gallery.”

Architects and curators tasked with designing the newly revamped galleries invited members of the local Chinese community to visit.

Lever eventually became Lord Leverhulme. His wife, Lady Elizabeth Leverhulme, died in 1913, and Lord Leverhulme had the gallery built in her memory. It was opened in 1922 by Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.

It is a significant surviving example of late Victorian and Edwardian tastes and remains the only major public urban gallery in Britain built by its founder to house his own collection.

The gallery now forms part of the state-owned National Museums Liverpool (NML) collection.

A spokesman for NML said: “We are taking the South End galleries back to Lord Leverhulme’s original vision, restoring the rooms to their former glory and making our world class objects more accessible to all. The updated galleries will open in 2016, but the rest of the gallery remains open, with lots to see and explore until then.”

Director of art galleries at NML, Sandra Penketh, said: “This year marks the centenary of the laying of the gallery’s foundation stone, so it is especially fitting that 100 years since it began we can continue Lever’s vision for the gallery to inspire a love and understanding of art.”

Today, the company Lord Leverhulme founded in 1886 lives on as Unilever, employing around 174,000 worldwide and with an annual turnover of around 59 billion dollars.

Despite its global reach, Unilever’s registered office remains at Port Sunlight, just a few meters from the Lady Lever Art Gallery.







>>  Hong Kong bans import of poultry eggs from Taiwan

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) has banned all egg imports from Taiwan with immediate effect due to avian influenza outbreaks, it said on Monday of January 12.

The decision was made in view of the announcement of the Taiwanese authorities of further outbreaks of H5N2 sub-type and H5N8 sub-type avian influenza in Yunlin County and Chiayi County.

A CFS spokesman said Hong Kong does not import any live poultry or poultry meat from Taiwan, but a small quantity of poultry eggs is imported from Taiwan.

According to records, about 6 million poultry eggs were imported into Hong Kong from Taiwan between January and November last year.

The CFS will closely monitor information issued by the Taiwanese authorities and the World Organization for Animal Health on the avian influenza outbreaks in Taiwan, and take appropriate action in response to the development of the situation, it said.







>>  HK stocks close 0.45 pct higher

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong stocks ended up 0.45 percent on Monday of January 12, with the benchmark Hang Seng index rising 106. 51 points to end at 24,026.46, after trading between 23,905.01 and 24,118.59. Turnover totaled 89.94 billion HK dollars (about 11.59 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 64.58 points, or 0. 53 percent, to close at 12,016.66.

Three sub-indices gained ground, with the Properties sub-index rising the most by 3.35 percent, followed by the Commerce and Industry 0.53 percent and the Utility 0.29 percent. The Finance fell 0.29 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed flat at 71.10 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank rose 0.8 percent to 128.10 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX increased 0.9 percent at 178.60 HK dollars.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties grew 0.5 percent to 21.20 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, closed up 0.4 percent to 53.45 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka- shing, jumped 14.7 percent to 143.20 HK dollars.

As for mainland-based financial stocks, China Construction Bank, the country’s second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, sank 0.8 percent to 6.40 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, went down 0.9 percent to 5.68 HK dollars. Bank of China retreated 1.1 percent to 4.39 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was down 0.5 percent to 8.77 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)







>>  Chinese vice premier stresses tourism safety

By Shi Hao and Qian Chunxian

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on Monday of January 12 urged local governments and tourism authorities to learn from the fatal stampede in Shanghai and heighten health and safety measures.

Local governments and tourism authorities should identify risks, step up safety procedures and enhance emergency response systems, Wang said during an inter-ministerial meeting on tourism.

He called on all key players to be aware of their responsibility to public safety during the upcoming Spring Festival and Lantern Festival holidays.

Tourism plays a unique role in boosting domestic demand, stabilizing growth, creating jobs, alleviating poverty and improving people’s livelihoods, according to Wang.

He said China’s tourism industry has entered a golden age but also faces new challenges.

A stampede in Shanghai’s famous waterfront killed 36 people and injured dozens on New Year’s Eve. The incident highlighted health and safety risks at popular destinations.

“More effort must be made to regulate the tourism market so we can ensure travelers’ safety,” he said.






>>  Han cadres required to learn Tibetan language

By Fang Ning and Li Hualing

Mastery of the Tibetan language will become a requirement for non-native cadres in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

All seven prefecture-level cities in Tibet have started organizing Tibetan language training for non-native cadres, according to the regional bureau of compilation and translation on Monday of January 12.

Qoizha, deputy director of the bureau, said they have handed out 40,000 books on basic Tibetan language for daily conversation.

President Xi Jinping stressed at a conference on ethnic work in September 2014 that in ethnic regions, ethnic minority cadres should learn Mandarin, and Han cadres should also learn ethnic languages. The language skill should become a “requirement” for cadres.

“One cannot serve the local people well if one cannot speak the local language,” Xi said.

Tibet has adopted a bilingual policy since the regional legislature passed a law in 1987 stipulating both Tibetan language and Mandarin as official languages in the region.

Qoizha said over 90 percent of Tibet’s population of 3 million is of Tibetan ethnicity. Breaking the language hurdle can help non-native cadres better interact with local communities.

In the past 20 years, close to 6,000 cadres and technical professionals from various Chinese provinces and municipalities have been sent to help develop the southwestern autonomous region of Tibet. Cadres usually stay in the region for three years.

According to Wang Fengchao, deputy head of the Organization Department of the Tibet autonomous regional committee of the Communist Party of China, seven cadre cohorts from 18 provincial regions have been sent to 74 counties and cities in the southwest region since 1994, when the cadre aid program was launched. They have worked in fields such as the economy, technology, education, and medical science.

Zhao Lei, a cadre working in Zantang Township of Shannan Prefecture, said simple conversation in the local tongue can bring a feeling of intimacy between people.

He said he hopes to learn more Tibetan so he won’t have to depend on his Tibetan colleagues for interpretation wherever he goes.

Cering Banjor, Party chief of the No. 4 Chadang Village in Nagqu Prefecture, said the village committee has helped Han cadres find language partners for the required language training. Most of them have been able to use Tibetan for simple conversations.

Qoizha said in addition to Tibetan-language reading materials, the regional government plans to produce bilingual language-learning TV programs to help civil servants learn the language.







>>  China raises consumption tax on oil products

By Zhan Yan and Han Jie

China’s finance and taxation authorities on Monday of January 12 announced that consumption tax on oil products would be raised from Tuesday.

The tax on gasoline, naphtha, solvent oil and lubricating oil will be increased to 1.52 yuan (about 25 U.S. cents) per liter from 1.4 yuan. The levy on diesel, jet fuel and fuel oil will be increased from 1.1 yuan per liter to 1.2 yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT).

This will be the third increase in as many months, following one on November 29 and another on December 13.

The retail prices of gasoline and diesel will be cut by 180 yuan and 230 yuan per tonne after taking the higher tax into consideration, the National Development and Reform Commission announced in a separate statement.

This the 12th retail fuel prices cut since July 2014, as the government reacts to lower global crude oil prices.

Proceeds from the higher taxes will mainly be allocated to counter-pollution initiatives and the new energy sector, according to the MOF and the SAT.

However, experts warn that the drop in oil prices is bad news for the new energy sector. For example, new-energy cars will see reduced sales, said Liu Shangxi, director of the research institute for fiscal science at the MOF.

China’s energy consumption accounted for about 22.4 percent of the world’s total in 2013, but its energy consumption per gross domestic product (GDP) was 3.5 times of that of the United States and seven times of that of Japan, according to Liu.

Fuel tax and pricing reform measures began five years ago, and have featured consumption tax hikes and the introduction of a pricing system more closely linked to the international market.

Consumption tax was first imposed in 1994 on consumer goods with a high energy cost and high pollution to make production and consumption more environmentally-friendly and promote sustainable growth.

Over ten countries including Russia, Australia, New Zealand and France have raised their oil product consumption tax since 2012 to ensure green development.







>>  China 2014 auto sales up 6.9 pct

By Cheng Jing

China’s auto sales rose 6.9 percent year on year to 23.49 million units in 2014, data from an industry association showed on Monday of January 12.

The growth marked a sharp slowdown from the 13.9-percent rise seen a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the country’s vehicle output stood at 23.72 million units last year, up 7.3 percent year on year, the data showed.







>>  China’s 2014 welfare lottery sales hit 206 bln yuan

By Hu Longjiang and Huang Xiaoxi

China’s major lottery, the welfare lottery,saw sales of 205.96 billion yuan (about 33.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, up 16.67 percent year on year, authorities announced on Monday of January 12.

Last year it raised more than 57 billion yuan in public welfare funds, according to the China Welfare Lottery Issuing and Management Center.

Lottery sales are divided up to cover the jackpot as well as lottery management fees and public welfare fund.

The majority of money allocated to the public welfare fund covers social insurance programs, poverty relief, initiatives for the disabled as well as donations to other charity projects.

From 1987 to 2014, sales of the welfare lottery totaled 1,170 billion yuan, raising 360 billion yuan in public welfare funds, according to the center.







>>  Chinese stocks extend losing streak

By Liu Xinyong

Chinese shares continued their downward trend on Monday of January 12 partly due to weakness in coal mining and real estate.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped for a third consecutive trading day since reaching a 65-month high on Wednesday, ending 1.71 percent lower at 3,229.32 points.

The Shenzhen Component Index ended at 11,285.18 points, down 0.35 percent, marking the fourth day of declines in a row.

Total turnover on the two bourses shrank to 570.38 billion yuan (93.15 billion U.S. dollars) from 702.68 billion yuan on the previous trading day.

Property developers and coal mining companies were among the largest losers, with their sub-indices dropping 2.76 percent and 2.62 percent, respectively.

China Vanke, the country’s largest developer, plunged 2.45 percent to 13.12 yuan, while Poly Real Estate, the second largest, dropped 3 percent to 10.36 yuan.

China Shenhua, the largest coal mining company in China, dived 3.39 percent to 20.83 yuan per share.

PetroChina, the largest oil and gas producer in China, lost 3.73 percent. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest commercial bank, dropped 1.23 percent.

Bucking the trend, the ChiNext Index, which tracks China’s Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, closed 2.12 percent higher at 1,586.12 points.







>>  Former official of China’s FAW arrested

By Zhou Liquan and Zhang Yi

Former deputy general manager of China’s FAW Group, An Dewu, has been arrested over allegations of bribery, Jilin provincial procuratorate said on Monday of January 12.

The procuratorate is still building its case against An.

State-owned FAW is a major automaker in China and has a joint venture with Volkswagen.







>>  Former city official in east China sentenced to 15 years

By Sun Xiaozheng and Zheng Liang

A former official in Quanzhou City, in the eastern province of Fujian, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for graft, a local court said on Monday of January 12.

The Longyan City court found Luo Guoqing guilty of accepting bribes amounting 9.09 million yuan (1.46 million U.S.dollars) from 2005 to 2011.

Luo was previously a member of standing committee of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Quanzhou Municipal Committee, and Party secretary for Nan’an City.

Luo had taken advantage of his authority, the court verdict read.

Luo’s personal wealth, around two million yuan, has been confiscated and the proceeds of his crimes will be returned to the state, the court said.







>>  Six attackers killed by police in Xinjiang

By Cao Kai, Cao Zhiheng and Ayinuer

Six attackers with explosive devices were killed by police in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Monday morning of January 12, local authorities said.

A suspect with an explosive device was spotted by local residents at about 10:10 a.m. in a commercial district in Shule County. The suspect, who later attacked police with an axe and tried to detonate the device, was shot dead by police.

When the police were handling the suspect, another five attackers attempted to ignite explosive devices attached to their bodies. They were killed by the police on the spot.

No casualties of police or civilians were reported.

A minibus with explosive devices was also spotted at the site.







>>  Two hospitalized with H7N9 flu in China’s Guangdong

By Xiao Sisi and Zhang Yi

Two new confirmed human cases of the H7N9-strain of avian influenza were reported in South China’s Guangdong Province on Monday of January 12.

Both patients — Yang, 42, and Zhu, 52 — are in a critical condition, according to the provincial health and family planning commission.

Earlier this month, authorities in Guangdong and Hong Kong ordered the culling of thousands of chickens after birds exported from Guangdong to Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.

Hong Kong raised its hospital response level “serious” from “alert” after a 68-year-old woman, who had arrived from Shenzhen two weeks earlier, was hospitalized on Dec. 25 with H7N9.

This was the region’s first case since early 2014.







>>  4 missing in east China Sea

By Wang Junlu and Zhang Yi

Four people are missing in waters off the east China coast after their boat capsized in a strong gale, authorities in Zhejiang Province said on Monday of January 12.

The missing are members of a five-man sand boat crew. One has already been rescued.

Taizhou city authorities said they suspect the boat may have been carrying too much weight.

A China Coast Guard ship, and local official and civilian rescue teams are continuing the search.









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