China to push for “comprehensive” real identities on the Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Hanban: Closing of Confucius Institute in Sweden not to trigger ripple effect

By Wang Xiaopeng and Liu Yizhan

The scheduled closing of the Confucius Institute in Stockholm University in June will not cause a chain reaction, Hanban said on Tuesday of January 13.

“One or two universities announcing suspension or ending of programs is normal, as such cases are common among language promotion institutes of other nations,” the Confucius Institute Headquarters said in a statement.

According to the rules of the Confucius Institutes, universities are free to open or end programs.

Therefore, the Chinese government-backed language and culture body agreed on the decision by the Stockholm University to close its Confucius institute at the end of June.

The institute in Sweden, established ten years ago, was a partnership between Stockholm University and China’s Fudan University. The agreement between the two expired at the end of 2014.

The latest statistics from Hanban show that by the end of 2014, 476 Confucius Institutes and 851 Confucius Classrooms have opened across 127 countries and regions.

More than 200 universities in more than 70 countries are filing applications to establish Confucius Institutes, Hanban said.

Deriving its name from the renowned educator and philosopher Confucius ((551-479 BC)the first Confucius institute was set up in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, in 2004.

According to Hanban, Confucius institutes are governed by a council which consists of members from both foreign universities and their Chinese partners. Annual plans and budget of the institutes are decided by the council.

 

 

 

 

 

TOKYO

>>  Japan, China hold maritime crisis talks in Tokyo

By Zhu Chao

Japan and China hold the fourth round of talks in Tokyo on maritime crisis management mechanism Monday, with both countries agreeing to launch it as soon as possible once a broad agreement is reached.

The working-level talks, participated by officials from Japan’ s Defense Ministry and the Maritime Self-Defense Force and China’ s Defense Ministry, firstly reaffirmed basic agreements they have made so far.

The two sides also discussed some specifics of the mechanism, including technical problems, and agreed to trigger it as soon as possible after some necessary adjustments based on Monday’s talks, Chinese officials said.

The mechanism of high-level consultations on maritime affairs between the two countries was launched in 2012. After three 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.

 

 

 

 

 

JAKARTA

>>  Chinese experts confirm retrieve of CVR from AirAsia flight

Chinese experts confirmed on Tuesday of January 13 the discovery and lift of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from beneath the wreckage of an AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea last month, said an official from the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia.

The experts told Xinhua in a phone call that the CVR has been lifted from sea at around 7:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

Three experts from the Civil Aviation Administration of China arrived in Indonesia on January 6, joining the multinational hunt for the AirAsia flight QZ8501 which vanished from radar screens less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second- biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore on Dec. 28.

The experts have brought with them portable detection equipment including the side-scan sonar.

During the search process, they have detected ping signals suspected from the black boxes several times, according to the Ministry of Transport of China.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR

>>  China’s flood donation proof of close bilateral ties: Malaysia PM

By Zhao Bochao

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said here on Tuesday of January 13 that the Chinese government’s donation to assist the country to overcome floods is proof of close bilateral relations between the two countries.

He expressed his appreciation for the Chinese government’s kind gesture at the press conference after the presentation of flood relief aids from China to Malaysian government.

Najib said that the donation includes 2,950 tents, 220 generator sets of 5 Kw and 3 Kw, 400 water pumps, 45 water hose reels and 60 water purification devices.

The Chinese government will also donate 400 temporary houses soon, he added.

He said that the donation will come in three phases, with the first phase received today, and the second and third phases will follow soon.

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said that China decided to give assistance to Malaysia due to the strong relations between the two countries, adding that China is willing to share its experience and expertise in dealing with the natural disasters with Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

CONAKRY

>>  China offers Guinea 31 tons of anti-Ebola medical materials

By Sikula

Guinea has received 31 tons of medical materials offered by China for the protection of health personnel involved in the fight against Ebola outbreak.

The materials received on Monday of January 12 included 3,200 cartons containing 40,000 protective equipments for health workers, 20,000 equipments for protection of community workers and 10,000 thermos- flashes.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, China’s ambassador to Guinea Bian Jianqiang recalled that the two countries had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on training of 1,000 Guinean health workers by Chinese public health experts.

The Chinese diplomat added that soon, other health kits, ambulances, motorcycles and pick-ups to be used in anti-Ebola war will arrive in Conakry from China.

Receiving the health donation, Guinea’s International Cooperation Minister Moustapha Koutoubou Sanoh thanked China for all its support to his country which has been badly hit by the Ebola epidemic since March 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China-team cures three Liberian Ebola patients

By Tan Jingjing

The China-financed Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Liberia discharged three Ebola patients on Monday of January 12 after they all tested negative for the virus twice, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The three patients, two women and a seven-year-old boy, were found to be infected with the virus in December, spokesman Hong Lei said, adding that after 20 days of treatment at the Chinese facility all three were given the all clear.

China is encouraged by these success stories, Hong said, adding that it was willing to work closely with the international community to help those West African countries struggling to contain the outbreak of Ebola, Hong said.

The 163-member Chinese medical team, formed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has treated 67 patients since Dec. 23 last year, including five confirmed and 45 suspected patients.

Liberian Assistant Health and Social Welfare Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf extended thanks to China for its assistance, according to Hong.

Liberia has the highest death toll from Ebola in West Africa, which stood at 3,471 by the end of last December, followed by Sierra Leone and Guinea.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China, Indonesia pledge cooperation against terrorism

By Wang Huihui

China and Indonesia pledged to cooperate on counterterrorism in Beijing on Tuesday of January 13.

The pledge was made during a meeting between Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee; and Saud Usman Nasution, Indonesia’s National Counterterrorism Agency chief.

Counterterrorism cooperation is an important component of the China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership, said Meng, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Both countries should deepen counterterrorism cooperation to play a constructive role in maintaining bilateral and regional security and stability, given the complex changes in international and regional landscape in anti-terrorism, Meng said.

As both countries had been victims of terrorism, Saud said, Indonesia understands and supports China’s effort to combat terrorist forces and is willing to increase communication and cooperation with China.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Helping disadvantaged children key for world human rights progress

By Li Zhihui

China’s blueprint of enhancing underprivileged children’s development (2014-2020) has shown the country’s determination to join global efforts to translate children’s rights into action.

The plan, approved by the central government in November 2014, pledges to help at least 40 million children in poverty-stricken areas live in developed conditions as close as possible to the country’s average level in terms of health, water, sanitation, nutrition, education, among others.

By 2020, the maternal death rate related to childbirth in these regions will be decreased to 30 per 100,000. Death rate of newborn babies and children under the age of five will fall to 12 per 1,000 and 15 per 1,000respectively.

Knowing that the chance to survive is a right owed to every child, the Chinese government will provide free vaccines as listed in the national immunization program. Those with serious diseases such as congenital heart disease or leukemia will receive more compensation from the national medical insurance program.

As stated by UNICEF, equity means all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential. The Chinese government is making efforts to expand accessibility for children from rural impoverished families to receive education so they can narrow the gap with their peers from large cities.

The government will continue to work with civil societies and the private sector to support development at each phase of the children’s lives, from prenatal care in a mother’s pregnancy to effective and affordable education until they finish compulsory school years.

The national plan also pledges to build more child welfare institutions, send more teachers to rural and remote areas and increase the allowances for special education and rural teachers.

These measures are only a few of many efforts China is making to ensure underprivileged children’s rights of survival, development and being protected. They are also in line with the UNICEF Strategic Plan( 2014-2017) which advocates “Realizing the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged.”

In the fight against poverty, promoting children living in poor regions bears special significance, as it is a fundamental method to stop the passing of poverty to next generations.

As a responsible player in the world’s efforts of promoting human right progress, China needs to act and it is acting now.

 

 

 

 

 

DETROIT

>>  Cadillac boss: global strategy prioritizes China

By Xu Jing

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen’s first move was escaping the General Motors’ umbrella by moving the 112-year-old luxury GM segment’s headquarters to New York. His second move is to set sights on China.

Eventually, he sees Cadillac’s sales in China exceeding those in the United States, but not within the next 10 year time frame. “We have a large customer base here, very high brand recognition, and as we expand the product portfolio to address the gaps in our lineup, we can expect to see strong growth in the U.S. market over the next ten years as well.”

“It doesn’t matter to me where the dollar comes from, from Beijing or from New York, it doesn’t matter. It comes to me, right? ” he told reporters at the 2015 North American International Auto Show on Tuesday. “Our priority in terms of the sequence of events has got to be China.”

“China is the area where we can generate the most rapid return on investments in our new products as we generate economies of scale to help us set them up in the first place,” he said.

De Nysschen announced on Dec. 5 at the Shanghai Auto Show that Cadillac will build more than 95 percent of its cars locally in China by 2018, as part of its strategy to make the country a key market for the premium brand alongside the United States.

Company data revealed Cadillac sales in China rose 51 percent to more than 64,00 units in the first 11 months of 2014.

De Nysschen saw continued growth during 2015 in the Chinese market. “Our expectation is that the luxury market in China will grow about 6 percent,” he said. Cadillac also has plans to keep up with the Chinese government’s national plan for electric cars.

“Cadillac will ensure we have full power train capability to keep us in full compliance with the requirements in China,” he said. “The 12 billion dollar investment plan that I announced also covers the power-train requirements for Cadillac which must include a whole plethora of alternative power trains, like plug ins, HEVs, PHEVs, and full battery electrics.”

“The timeline for the Chinese market is defined by the compliance curve, Cadillac will remain 100 percent compliant to what Chinese regulations are,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

KHARTOUM

>>  China urges substantive talks in South Sudan

By Zhu Junqing

China has urged the conflicting parties in South Sudan to launch serious and substantive negotiations as soon as possible.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the appeal Monday after an international mediation effort in Khartoum initiated by China and led by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).

At a joint press conference with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and IGAD chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin, Wang lauded the results of the mediation effort.

At the meeting, the warring parties in South Sudan agreed to immediately cease hostilities, to accelerate the formation of a transitional government, and to relieve the humanitarian situation in the conflict zones and to facilitate delivery of international humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese citizens.

The conflicting parties also reiterated their support for and active participation in IGAD mediation efforts, and expressed welcome to China’s support for the group.

Wang warned against further protraction of the South Sudan peace process, saying the situation now stands at a crossroads.

If the parties in South Sudan can join hands and move forward in a brave way, peace is attainable; if they stall, peace will fade away; if they backpedal, there will be no hope at all, said Wang.

He called on the warring parties to take into account the nation’s fundamental interests, seize the new opportunity, and work together with the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

He said China supports the leading role of IGAD in the process.

Both the Ethiopian foreign minister and the IGAD chief mediator appreciated China’s efforts.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy-turned foe Riek Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee homes.

 

 

 

 

 

KHARTOUM

>>  China backs Sudan’s socioeconomic development, committed to regional peace: FM

By Deng Xianlai

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Monday of January 12 that his current visit to Sudan is a demonstration of Beijing ‘s support to the African nation, which is at a crucial social and economic development stage.

At a banquet hosted by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Wang, who held a special consultation with the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the South Sudan conflicting parties earlier on the same day, also said that China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

For his part, al-Bashir said that bilateral ties are facing new opportunities, and that Sudan is ready to work with China to explore new areas of cooperation, strengthen coordination on issues concerning regional peace and security, so as to lift the bilateral relationship to a new height.

“The enduring Sudan-China relationship continues to develop, and serves as an example for South-South cooperation. We always understand and support each other on regional and international issues,” al-Bashir said.

He also hailed the success of the China-proposed Special Consultation in Support of the IGAD-led South Sudan Peace Process, saying it contributed to promoting the South Sudan peace process.

Wang said China values its traditional friendship with Sudan, and is willing to promote bilateral ties with a strategic vision and a long-term perspective.

He also said that China is ready to explore new potentials with Sudan, promoting sustainable development in traditional areas of cooperation, actively discussing new cooperation model, and exploring new areas of cooperation.

Wang said that China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the region, and that the one-day intensive Special Consultation, during which five points of consensus were reached, is a helpful attempt of China to support the Africans to solve African problems through African ways and to make positive contributions to regional peace and stability.

“China is willing to maintain close communication and cooperation with Sudan on this issue,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

KHARTOUM

>>  China-supported consultations in Khartoum reactivate peace process in South Sudan

By Shao Jie

The Special Consultation in Support of the South Sudan Peace Process led by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has reactivated the ongoing endeavors to reach a peaceful settlement of the violent conflict in South Sudan.

Khartoum on Monday hosted the consultation meeting on the conflict in South Sudan with the participation of foreign ministers from China, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia, besides representatives of South Sudan’s rebels and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

The consultations, patronized by China, have received appreciation from South Sudan’s two conflicting parties, which welcomed China’s role in bridging the gap between the two South Sudanese rivals and ending the violence in the newly-born state.

To this end, South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Barnaba Benjamin told reporters following the consultations that “we welcome the Chinese role which we believe is constructive and seeks to resolve the conflict in South Sudan.”

“We hope these consultations, under China’s patronage, would put the IGAD-led negotiations on the right track,” he noted.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti, speaking at a press conference following the consultations, said the conflicting parties in South Sudan have agreed on five points.

“The five points which have been agreed upon included immediate cessation of hostilities, accelerating the formation of a transitional government and implementing it as soon as possible, taking concrete steps to relieve the humanitarian situation in the conflict zones and working to facilitate delivery of international humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese citizens, and supporting the IGAD efforts aimed at achieving peace in the newly-born state,” Karti said.

He further commended the efforts being made by China to settle the armed conflict in South Sudan, saying “China, as a permanent member state in the UN Security Council, is working seriously and sincerely to end the conflict in South Sudan. It is acting on the base of its international responsibility and not to achieve any other purposes.”

South Sudan rebels’ chief negotiator Taban Deng, for his part, said “China is qualified to play a positive role and this meeting is the evidence. We hope these consultations would give a new push to the negotiations.”

He went on saying that “we have no objection toward what China is doing and we believe the Chinese role is in the interest of the initiative of the IGAD which is patronizing the negotiations between the two conflicting parties in South Sudan.”

Meanwhile, IGAD Chief Mediator Seyoum Mesfin lauded what he described as China’s efforts to realize peace in South Sudan, pointing out that the agreement reached by the conflicting parties in South Sudan is an important step to be built upon during the forthcoming IGAD summit.

An extraordinary IGAD summit is scheduled to be held on Jan. 18 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to discuss the situations in South Sudan.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy-turned foe Riek Machar around the capital, Juba.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and the defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee homes in the world’s youngest nation.

 

 

 

 

 

KHARTOUM

>>  China’s efforts bring hope for peace in South Sudan

By Shao Jie

China’s newest efforts to broker peace in South Sudan have created new opportunities for the African country.

China on Monday of January 12 mediated consultations in Khartoum on the conflict in South Sudan with the participation of foreign ministers of China, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia, representatives of South Sudanese rebels and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The consultations have reactivated international efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the violent conflict in South Sudan, and have won appreciation of South Sudan’s conflicting parties, which welcomed China’s role in bridging the gap between them and ending the violence in the newborn state.

Analysts say the special consultations in support of the IGAD-led South Sudan peace process represented a model for what Beijing could do to bridge the differences between the South Sudanese rivals and support IGAD efforts with no need to open a new negotiation forum.

“There is a firm belief that the Addis Ababa negotiations are suffering from some difficulties and that they have taken too much time without reaching tangible results,” Abdul-Rahim Al-Sunni, a Sudanese political analyst, told Xinhua.

The new push by China, he said, is timely.

China plays a positive role in enhancing the IGAD efforts, and such a role is welcomed by all parties in South Sudan,” said Al-Sunni.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a vital economic partner of South Sudan, China has political and economic weights to be a key player in international efforts to end the armed conflict in South Sudan, he noted.

As a main result of the consultations, the conflicting parties in South Sudan reached a five-point agreement on pushing forward the peace process, which has laid a foundation for the country’s reconciliation and stability.

The agreement included immediate cessation of hostilities, acceleration of the formation of a transitional government, concrete steps to relieve the humanitarian situation in the conflict zones and to facilitate delivery of international humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese citizens.

China is playing an increasingly important role in solving regional conflicts, said Al-Fadil Darab, a Sudanese political analyst.

South Sudan has been plagued by a civil war since December 2013. Its Oil Minister Stephen Diu Dau said that the country’s oil revenues fell sharply in 2014 as a result of the armed conflict.

South Sudanese authorities have called since early January to make 2015 a year for peace for the South Sudanese people and to end the conflict.

Meanwhile, IGAD, which also mediates between the South Sudanese rivals, further urged the leaders of its member states, the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and China to put further pressure on the warring parties, so as to end hostilities as soon as possible.

IGAD chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin has lauded China’s efforts to realize peace in South Sudan, pointing out that the agreement reached by the conflicting parties in South Sudan is an important step to build upon at the forthcoming IGAD summit.

An extraordinary IGAD summit is scheduled for Sunday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to discuss the situation in South Sudan.

Noticing that China’s help is effective and significant for concerted endeavors to stop the bloodshed in the world’s youngest state, observers believe that South Sudan will see very good chances to practically advance its peace and development process in 2015.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy-turned foe Riek Machar around the capital, Juba.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and the defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.

 

 

 

 

 

MANILA

>>  Philippines expecting more Chinese tourists with opening of new flights

By Tan Weibing

The Philippine government is expecting more Chinese tourists as China’s Xiamen Air is set to open direct flights to the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday of January 12.

The department, quoting a Philippine consul in China, said Xiamen Air will have direct flights covering Xiamen-Manila and Quanzhou-Manila regular routes commencing next month.

The two Chinese destinations are both major cities in China’s southeastern Fujian province.

“The period is the onset of the Chinese New Year festivities in China and the Philippines and is expected to bring more Chinese tourists to the Philippines,” the DFA said.

Latest data from the Department of Tourism showed that from January to October in 2014, China was the fourth largest source of tourists in the Philippines with 354,202 arrivals or a 8.95- percent share of overall traffic of 3.955 million arrivals.

Currently, the Xiamen-Manila route is being serviced by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and China Southern Airlines.

Xiamen Air, the first privately owned airline in China, is flying to other Southeast Asian cities including Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Siem Reap.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Toyota recalls 48 Avalon sedans in China

By Xu Bo and Cheng Jing

Toyota Motor China Investment Co. Ltd. will recall 48 imported Avalon models in China because of airbag and electronic control unit (ECU) malfunctions.

The recall, starting February 1, involves the vehicles manufactured between July 1, 2002, and May 6, 2003, according to a statement from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The ECU malfunction means that air bags may not be released on impact or could cause seat belt preloader issues, the company said.

Toyota in April last year offered to add electrical noise filters to the airbag ECU, but this did not fix the problem, according to the statement.

 

 

 

 

 

MADRID

>>  Spanish City of Toledo signs ‘Chinese Friendly’ agreement

By Paul Giblin

The historic Spanish city of Toledo on Tuesday of  January 13 signed an agreement with the organization “Chinese Friendly’ in order to adapt to and strengthen its appeal to Chinese tourists.

Toledo, which is around an hour’s drive south of the Spanish capital of Madrid, was briefly the Spanish capital in the 16th century, and the city’s range of historic buildings and cultural offerings saw it declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

The wealth of interesting sites and its ease of access from Madrid has made the city a key tourist destination for visitors to Spain.

As part of this agreement, employees in the tourist sector will receive special courses about the special needs and tastes of Chinese tourists, with the aim of making them feel more welcome.

This can be done by employing greater number of Chinese speakers in hotels and restaurants, offering food Chinese people like and also ensuring signs and information in Chinese available in the city.

Recent years have seen an important expansion in the number of Chinese visitors to Spain, and on his recent visit to China, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his country would take further steps in issues such as emitting visas to ensure travel between the two nations becomes ever easier.

 

 

 

 

 

BERLIN

>>  Panda specimens go on show in Berlin

By Feng Yujing

Berliners love panda, live and dead.

Shortly before the specimen of the panda Baobao and Yanyan were about to make their first public debut in Berlin’s Museum for Natural History on Monday evening of January 12, the central hall of the museum was already packed with spectators.

As the museum staff estimated, a total of 1,000 people came on that night, eager to see Baobao and Yanyan, who both died in Berlin Zoo, to make their public appearance again. Berlin’s mayor Michael Mueller opened the exhibition.

The male panda Baobao who was given to West Germany by China in 1980 died of old age at the age of 34 at the Berlin Zoo, as the female panda Yanyan, who was loaned by China to Germany died of acute constipation in 2007, leaving no off-springs in Berlin.

While panda Baobao climbing on a branch stares straight ahead, as if he’s quietly enjoying the distant landscape, Yanyan sitting on the ground raised her right arm slightly, as if she is going to reach the bamboo in front.

Detlev Matzke, taxidermist of Museum for Natural History, who made the panda specimen, said that he put a lot of efforts into them.

As Detlev Matzke said, the whole taxidermy process took him a total of six months and the most difficult part is the eyes, which took him 10 days.

In order to understand the habits of the giant panda, Matzke had to watch a lot of photos and movies so that he could determine the final “pose” of two pandas’ specimens.

John Christian Vogel, Director General of the Berlin Museum of Natural History, told Xinhua, due to Berliners’ affection for panda, the museum had the pandas dissected as to give them “eternal life”.

Marie, a real panda fan from Berlin, wore a black and white panda overall on the opening night. She said: “Panda is my favorite animal, as they are always so cute. I donate money every month for panda to the World Wildlife Fund.”

“The panda is far more than an endangered species. It is a symbol of how we deal with nature on our planet,” said Volker Holmes, head of species conservation at WWF Germany, adding that WWF wouldn’t choose panda as its trademark without reason.

As one can see in the exhibition hall, panda’s roles as ambassador for the environment, as current research topic, as superstar or as diplomat and advertising medium were summed up by the museum in 30 exciting and surprising stories for the visitors.

Meanwhile, a total of six pandas, including the two original skeletons of Bao Bao and Yan Yan and valuable collection of materials from Berlin and Paris can be seen in the exhibition.

The exhibition “Panda”, set up by Berlin’s Museum for Natural History in cooperation with the WWF Deutschland, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and Berlin zoo, will last till 31 July 2015.

The museum expects approximately 200,000 to 300,000 visitors during the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

MELBOURNE

>>  Chinese, Singaporean and Korean ballkids to feature at Australian Open

By Luke Costin

Maria Sharapova and Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis have unveiled the 380 ballkids, including six Chinese children, who will line the Australian Open courts during the tournament which starts next Monday on January 19.

World No.2 Sharapova, undefeated in 2015 following her title win over Ana Ivanovic in Brisbane, said on Tuesday she was pleased to be back in Melbourne where she took out the title in 2008.

“I’ve had some incredible matches in my career here,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a great couple of weeks coming up.

“I want to welcome all of the ballkids. You make our experience so much easier.”

Kokkinakis, the world No.147, harbors ambitions to break into the top-100 and believes he has the game to match the world’s best.

“My goal is to crack the top-100 as soon as I can and then go from there,” he said. “That’s not easy but I think I’ve got the game and I’ve beaten a lot of top-100 players.”

Kokkinakis, 18, a former ballboy himself, was full of praise for the hard work done by the 12 to 15 year olds who patrol the courts at Melbourne Park, often in searing temperatures.

“I appreciate everything you guys do because I don’t want to be walking around for five hours picking up balls. It’s a big help, especially in the heat we had last year.” ( Joining the 352 Australian ballkids at the year’s first Grand Slam event are six Chinese, two Singaporean and 20 Koreans.

Sarah from Seoul made the cut after three years of trying and said the chance to be on court with her tennis idols was thrilling. “I want to see Nadal. I like watching tennis games with him,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”

As for making the move from ballkid to tour player, Kokkinakis shared some tips with his young, captive audience: “Put in a lot of hours and enjoy it.”

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA

>>  Australian ball boy helps inspire China to Asian Cup victory

By Riley Beveridge

A 12-year-old ball boy from Brisbane, Australia, could prove to be China’s secret weapon at this year’s Asian Cup after he helped goalkeeper Wang Dalei save a penalty in their opening game victory over Saudi Arabia on Saturday night of January 10.

Stephen White was situated behind the goal China was defending in the second half of its 1-0 victory when Saudi Arabia was awarded a penalty.

As Saudi Arabian striker Naif Hazazi prepared himself for the spot kick, Chinese goalkeeper Wang sought inspiration from behind the goal.

“He asked if he should go left or right,” White told News Ltd., who reported the story on Tuesday. “I told him left, because that’ s the way I always go in trying to predict where the ball will go. ”

Wang dived left and saved Hazazi’s tame effort, helping China earn a crucial three points to start their tournament.

“I was very surprised,” White continued. “I was really excited when he saved it.”

As was Wang, who immediately pointed in the direction of the 12- year-old following his instinctive save.

The celebrations continued after the match, with Wang greeting White with a warm embrace at the final whistle.

On Monday night, White was invited to China’s training session ahead of their upcoming match against Uzbekistan in Brisbane on Wednesday.

There, he was presented with the jersey worn by Wang over the weekend.

“China is now my second team at the tournament after the Socceroos,” White said.

The youngster will be back in action on Tuesday, acting as the ball boy as Australia takes on Oman.

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

South Korea upset China 3-2 in CFA women’s soccer tourney

By Wang Haoming and Zheng Zhi

South Korea rallied to beat China 3-2 in the “BaoAn Cup” CFA international women’s soccer tournament here on Tuesday of January 13.

Canada edged Mexico 2-1 to grab their second victory in the tournament.

China built a 2-0 lead within first 34 minutes. Li Ying broke the deadlock in the 20th minute through a trick shot and Tang Jiali added another connecting Ma Jun’s header in the 34th minute.

South Korea managed to change the scoreline to 2-1 just one minute later as Ji Soyun’s long shot hit the net.

South Korea launched intense attacks in the second half. In the 62nd minute, Ji scored again to put the score level for South Korea by converting the penalty created by Yoo Younga who was fouled down in the box.

Jeon Gaeul’s volley finally put the South Korea 3-2 ahead and also secured the match decider.

“Our first game is difficult, we lost to Canada 2-1. But the team were better today, South Korea and China both will play the World Cup this year. I hope we can both do well,” said South Korea coach Yoon Dukyeo.

 

 

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO

>>  Brazil forward Goulart set for China move

By Michael Place

Cruzeiro have given permission for Brazil forward Ricardo Goulart to negotiate a move to China’s Guangzhou Evergrande or Shandong Luneng, local media reported on Monday of January 12.

Goulart and Cruzeiro president Gilvan de Pinho Tavares are said to be in talks with officials from both Chinese clubs.

Football news portal Lancenet said a verbal agreement had already been reached with only paperwork remaining for the transfer to be confirmed.

It is understood Evergrande football director Marcello Lippi was impressed by Goulart during a scouting mission in Brazil last month.

Shandong Luneng’s Brazilian coach Cuca knows the 23-year-old from his time in charge of Cruzeiro’s rivals Atletico Mineiro from 2011 to 2013.

Goulart has scored 38 goals from 105 matches for Cruzeiro and played a key role in the team’s 2013 and 2014 Brazilian Serie A title victories.

He was rewarded by national coach Dunga with an international call up for Brazil’s friendlies against Colombia and Ecuador in September.

 

 

 

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO

>>  Brazil midfielder joins China’s Guangzhou Evergrande

Brazil international midfielder Ricardo Goulart has signed a four-year deal with Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, his club Cruzeiro said on Tuesday of January 13.

The 23-year-old, who had also been linked with a move to China’ s Shandong Luneng, reportedly signed for a fee of about 13 million US dollars.

Goulart scored 38 times in 105 appearances for Cruzeiro and played a key role in the team’s 2013 and 2014 Brazilian Serie A title victories.

He was handed an international call up by Brazil coach Dunga for the Selecao’s friendlies against Colombia and Ecuador in September.

“The world is now so connected that everyone knows what is going in China, England,” Goulart said. “I will do all I can to draw attention to myself — I’m still very much hoping to play for the national team.”

Evergrande have clinched the past four Chinese Super League titles and won the 2013 Asian Champions League.

 

 

 

 

 

ULAN BATOR

>>  Two Chinese businessmen murdered in Mongolia, suspects arrested

By Ganbat Namjilsangarav

Two Chinese businessmen were murdered here Sunday in a robbery and all the four suspects have been arrested, Mongolian police and the Chinese embassy said on Tuesday of January 13.

The four suspects robbed and killed the two Chinese men, who came to Mongolia to purchase wool and cashmere, after breaking into their apartment, police said, putting the motive at greed for money.

Initial police investigation revealed that 210 million tugrug (about 108,864 U.S. dollars) of cash was looted from the apartment.

The four suspects, all in their 20s, left Ulan Bator after committing the murder and robbery and were captured in Darkhan-Uul city in north central Mongolia, according to the police.

The Chinese embassy in Mongolia has urged the Mongolian authorities to fully investigate the case and punish the perpetrators.

Besides, the embassy has also requested Mongolia to beef up protective measures for Chinese enterprises and dwellers in Mongolia, and reminded Chinese nationals to be careful and vigilant.

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Hong Kong adjusts Vietnam travel alert

By Huang Xin

In view of the latest situation in Vietnam, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Tuesday of January 13 adjusted the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for Vietnam from red to amber.

“Hong Kong residents who intend to visit the country or are already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to personal safety, and avoid protests and large gatherings of people,” said a government spokesman.

The Security Bureau will continue to closely monitor the situation and issue updates through the media and the OTA webpage.

The Hong Kong government’s OTA features three levels of amber, red and black in an ascending order.

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  More subsidized flats planned: HK chief executive

By Wang Xiaoni

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government will increase the supply of subsidized flats for sale to meet the public’s demand for housing, the city’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said here on Tuesday of January 13.

Speaking to reporters before attending the Executive Council meeting this morning, Leung said the sale of Home Ownership Scheme Flats in 2014 was substantially oversubscribed, reflecting the fact that the middle class could not afford to buy private houses due to surging prices.

The HKSAR government will try its best and use a multi-pronged approach to increase the supply of subsidized housing for sale, he said.

However, rising the flat supply requires an increase in both available land and construction workers, Leung said, noting that the society had not yet reached a consensus on these two issues.

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Foreign banks optimistic about future performance in China: report

By Wang Xiaoni

Foreign banks in the Chinese mainland continue to be optimistic about their future performance going forward, according to a report released by Ernst & Young Greater China here on Tuesday of January 13.

“The regulatory landscape continues to challenge foreign players, while alongside are also the opportunities generated from the evolving RMB internationalization and interest rate liberalization,” Managing Partner of Financial Services at Ernst & Young Greater China Jack Chan said.

In terms of total assets, based on the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s 2013 annual report, foreign banks’ market share in China was just 1.73 percent as of Dec. 31, 2013, below the market share of 1.84 percent back as of Dec. 31, 2004.

According to the report, foreign banks in China expect a modest improvement in performance over the next three years. Half of the participants predict a slight improvement, while 45 percent of them hope to see a significant improvement.

Despite the optimism, the report said many of the CEOs that they have surveyed find the market challenging and complicated by issues surrounding financial reform and economic uncertainty.

The most difficult regulatory challenge in 2014 was access to the bond market, followed by the myriad of rules and regulations and capital and liquidity constraints, Chan said.

As China’s economy evolves, the foreign banks believe it is critical that the capital markets open up and the foreign banks participate more fully in the bond market, he said.

The report is based on interviews with 41 foreign bank CEOs and senior bank executives based in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong and conducted during August and September 2014.

It examines the challenges facing players as they push to improve their footprint in China. It also looks at the trends and regulatory reform that is shaping the market and offer insights into ways of driving growth now and in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HK stocks close 0.79 pct higher

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong stocks ended up 0.79 percent on Tuesday of January 13, with the benchmark Hang Seng index rising 189. 51 points to end at 24,215.97 points, after trading between 23,908. 23 and 24,254.11. Turnover totaled 84.85 billion HK dollars (about 10.91 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 46.36 points, or 0. 39 percent, to close at 12,063.02.

Four sub-indices all gained ground, with the Commerce and Industry sub-index rising the most by 1.01 percent, followed by the Properties 0.97 percent, the Finance 0.61 percent and the Utility 0.35 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed up 0.3 percent to 71.30 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank rose 0.9 percent to 129.30 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX increased 0.4 percent at 179. 40 HK dollars.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties grew 0.9 percent to 21.40 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, closed flat at 53.45 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, added 0.1 percent to 143.40 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, climbed 0.2 percent to 6. 41 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, went up 0.5 percent to 5.71 HK dollars. Bank of China went up 0.2 percent to 4.40 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was up 0.2 percent to 8.79 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese president appoints ambassadors to three countries

By Bai Jie

Chinese President Xi Jinping has appointed ambassadors to Yemen, Cameroon and Micronesia, according to a statement from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on Tuesday of January 13.

Tian Qi has been appointed ambassador to Yemen, replacing Chang Hua.

Wei Wenhua has been appointed ambassador to Cameroon, replacing Wo Ruidi.

Li Jie has been appointed ambassador to Micronesia, replacing Zhang Lianyun.

Xi made the appointments in line with decisions made by the Standing Committee of the NPC, the nation’s top legislature.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese president’s envoy to attend Mozambique president’s inauguration

By Bai Jie

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Justice Minister Wu Aiying, will attend the inauguration of Mozambique’s new president, Filipe Nyusi, at the invitation of the country’s government.

The ceremony will be held on Thursday in Mozambique, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced on Tuesday of January 13.

Nyusi, from the ruling Frelimo party, was elected last October as the southern African country’s fourth president since its independence in 1975.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese Premier to attend WEF annual meeting, visit Switzerland

By Hou Lijun

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and pay a working visit to Switzerland from Jan. 20 to 22, a Foreign Ministry spokesman announced on Tuesday of January 13.

Li is visiting at the invitation of WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab and the Federal Council of Switzerland, said spokesman Hong Lei at a routine press briefing.

During the meeting, Li will deliver a key-note speech and meet representatives of the International Business Council, said Hong. Li will also meet individually with Schwab.

During his visit to Switzerland, Li will have talks with President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga when the two leaders will open celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two.

The WEF annual meeting, which will take place on Jan. 21-24 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, is to convene under the theme “The New Global Context”.

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Service module of China’s lunar orbiter enters 127-minute orbit

By Guo Likun and Yu Xiaojie

The service module of China’s unmanned test lunar orbiter entered a 127-minute orbit on Tuesday of January 13 after three orbital transfers since Sunday.

To decelerate the craft enough for it enter its target orbit, the service module conducted three braking maneuvers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced.

“After the circular flight stabilizes, the module will travel along the current orbit at an altitude of 200 km above the moon’s surface for tests to validate key technologies for the next lunar probe mission, Chang’e-5,” said Zhao Wenbo, vice director of SASTIND’s lunar probe and space project center.

The spacecraft has enough power remaining and is in sound condition, according to SASTIND. Technicians on Earth have exercised timely and stable control, with the tasks of tracing the service module and system tests progressing well.

The lunar orbiter was launched on Oct. 24. The service module was separated from the orbiter’s return capsule on Nov. 1, with the capsule returning to Earth on Nov. 1 after circling the moon during its eight-day mission.

The service module reached the Earth-Moon second Lagrange Point (L2) in late November and left the L2 point on Jan. 4 after completing all preset scientific tasks.

The orbiter is a test run for the final chapter of China’s three step lunar program — orbiting, landing and returning.

The obtained data and validated re-entry technology will be used for the development of Chang’e-5, which is slated for launch around 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  Scientists reveal first genetic map of Tibetan barley on PNAS

By Sun Xiaozheng and Wang Pan

Scientists from a genomics organization in south China’s Shenzhen City have published the draft genome of Tibetan highland barley in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the organization said on Tuesday of January 13.

The achievement will help cultivate better strains of Tibet’s staple food and increase yield, according to the BGI Tech Solutions in Shenzhen.

The research assembled 3.89 billion of the estimated total of 4.5 billion base pairs of the chemicals that make up DNA in the barley genome, and included 39,197 protein coding genes, said BGI.

A genome is the full complement of an organism’s DNA, complex molecules that direct the formation and function of all living organisms. The size of an organism’s genome is measured by the number of bases it contains — base pairs being the building blocks of DNA.

The wheat genome, for example, has about 17 billion base pairs and soybean about 1.1 billion.

Zhao Shancen of BGI said that the work could help explain adaptation to extreme environmental conditions and increase yields.

Highland barley, known in Tibetan as “ne”, has been grown on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for nearly 4,000 years.

It makes up 70 percent of all cereal crops in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, home to the world’s leading barley production base and center for barley diversity research.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese company orders 100 Airbus aircraft

By Liu Xinyong and Qian Chunxian

China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC) on Tuesday of January 13 confirmed an order for 100 Airbus A320 aircraft, Airbus China said in a statement.

The order comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. CALC has now 140 of the A320 family awaiting delivery.

“Adding these A320 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,” said Mike Poon, CEO and executive director of CALC.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, said the order demonstrated continuing strong market demand for Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

The A320 family has seen more than 11,000 orders to date with over 6,300 aircraft delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China allows foreign investors to wholly own e-commerce business

By Shi Hao and Zhang Xinxin

Foreign investors are allowed to fully own e-commerce companies in a pilot scheme in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced on Tuesday of January 13.

The MIIT said in a brief statement that telecommunication authorities in Shanghai would take charge of the pilot scheme and regulate and supervise foreign investors.

The ministry did not reveal any further details.

The entry of foreign investors to Shanghai FTZ is expected to trigger a gradual opening to overseas capital in China’s lucrative e-commerce business currently dominated by homegrown giants including Alibaba, JD.com and others.

The Shanghai FTZ was launched in September 2013 to test a broad range of economic reform measures.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to push for “comprehensive” real identities on the Internet

By Hu Longjiang and Nan Ting

Chinese people’s activities online will be subject to reinforced scrutiny as authorities expand the real-name registration system across more social networks and websites.

China’s Cyberspace Administration (CCA) will “comprehensively” promote the management of real identities online, with social networks — including microblogging platforms, forums and instant messaging services — all having to enforce a real-name registration system, CAA official Xu Feng said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Real names will only be seen by backend administrators and users may still choose a screen name.

Chinese Internet authorities have been pressing for a real identity system since 2011, and new users of WeChat and other instant messaging apps have, since August, been required to provide their real names.

Xu was quoted as saying in a China News Service report that his administration checked instant messaging services at the end of last year, and found more than 80 percent of the WeChat users had already registered with their genuine identities.

China has more than 275 million users on microblogs with Sina Weibo leading the pack, and 459 million users of mobile instant messaging apps, led by WeChat.

The CCA also announced on Tuesday that over the last two months it had shut down 17 public WeChat accounts that masqueraded as government organs or media, and 33 websites involved in the circulation of pornography.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China shuts objectionable accounts on Wechat

By Wang Xiaopeng and Li Zhihui

China’s Cyberspace Administration announced on Tuesday of January 13 that it has shut down 17 accounts on instant messaging platform WeChat over the past two months.

The move targeted mass-publication accounts as opposed to those used for personal communications. Some accounts that were closed masqueraded as public organizations or media groups, such as The People’s Daily and inspection groups of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Others were closed for publishing political news without permits, selling counterfeit invoices and spreading information about gambling and guns.

The administration also closed 24 websites and 9 channels or columns on websites which were spreading lewd or pornographic content.

In 2015, we will release blacklists of websites that break the rules on a regular basis to protect Internet users’ rights and the orderly flow of information on the Internet, said Jiang Jun, spokesman for the administration.

Data from the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center showed that it handled more than 1 million tip-offs in 2014, most of which are related to pornographic content. The administration confirmed that it would welcome tip-offs from the public as usual.

 

 

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  Xinjiang to require real names for firework purchases

By Cheng Lu and Fu Xiaobo

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will require people who buy fireworks and firecrackers for Chinese New Year to register using their real names, authorities said on Tuesday of January 13.

The move is meant to reduce safety risks caused by illegal firework outlets and poor quality fireworks on the market, and to prevent terrorists from obtaining raw materials to make explosive devices, said Li Jianghui, an official with the region’s work safety department.

Customers should register with their ID cards if they want to purchase fireworks or firecrackers, he said.

The work safety department has demanded all firework retail outlets install a system to track the flow of commodities and record the type and quantity of products purchased by each customer, he said.

Xinjiang has selected 19 fireworks manufacturers from dozens across the country to sell products in the region this year, said Guo Zhirong, head of the regional fireworks industry association.

Sales of fireworks in Urumqi, the region’s capital, will be allowed starting February 4. Sales times in other areas vary.

Chinese people traditionally light fireworks and firecrackers to celebrate the Spring Festival, China’s lunar new year, which falls on Feb. 19 this year. The noise from the fireworks is meant to scare away evil spirits and bad luck.

During last year’s Spring Festival holidays, Beijing required customers purchasing more than five boxes of fireworks at a time to register using their ID cards.

Media reported that Urumqi implemented the real-name fireworks purchase policy in the city last year.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to announce new support for new energy cars

By Guo Yujing, Hua Yedi and Zhang Yi

China will create a favorable environment to foster quicker growth in the new-energy vehicle sector through fiscal policy, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday of January 13.

Existing polices have already created a fertile environment for the sector to expand, said Zeng Xiao’an, director of the ministry’s economic construction department .

Zeng said a new policy package was on the cards, which would support the growth of new energy automobiles.

According to Zeng, more charging stations and supporting infrastructure were also in the pipeline.

The government would also help improve innovation in the sector, Zeng said.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  High employment for China’s leading universities

By Hu Longjiang and Shi Yucen

More than 90 percent of graduates from 75 universities overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE) got jobs in 2014, the ministry said recently.

Seventy-four universities of the 75 had an employment rate of above 90 percent last year, with only one’s employment rate standing at 88.62 percent, according to the ministry statistics.

Other than the 75 universities, most of which are leading ones in the country, the majority of China’s universities are run by provincial governments.

Among the 75, the China Pharmaceutical University had the highest employment rate of 99.59 percent, followed by the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and the Northeast Normal University.

Tsinghua University and Peking University were ranked 14 and 40, respectively, with employment rates of 97.9 and 95.96 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Beijing wholesale market closes to ease traffic

By Lü Qiuping and Luo Xiaoguang

A wholesale market in downtown Beijing has closed and is expected to move to neighboring Hebei Province in a move to reduce traffic congestion and population density in the capital.

Tianhaocheng Market, which closed on Monday of January 12, became the first market in the famous clothing wholesale zone near Beijing Zoo to shut its doors. Other markets, such as Julong and Zhonghe in the zone, are also expected to move.

Stall tenants are encouraged to move their businesses to Langfang City, Hebei Province, but will not be organized to do so, said an official in charge of the closure.

The emptied building will be renovated into an office building, according to the official.

Built in the mid-1980s, Beijing Zoo wholesale market zone is known for clothing and small commodity wholesalers and retailers.

A study by the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences showed 11.6 percent of Beijing’s workers are employed in wholesale and retail-related businesses.

Chen Gang, vice mayor of Beijing, said last year that the city has decided to relocate small commodity markets in the downtown area, as they are inconsistent with the functions of the country’s capital.

According to an agreement signed by Beijing’s Xicheng District and Langfang City last April, the two sides will build a logistics zone and wholesale market together in Langfang, after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for integrated development of the region around Beijing last February.

 

 

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  96,000 couples in China’s Guangdong allowed to have second baby

By Xiao Sisi

About 96,000 couples in south China’s Guangdong Province have been given permission to have a second child, local health and family planning authorities said on Tuesday of January 13.

A pilot program in east China’s Zhejiang Province was launched in January 2014, following the easing of the one-child policy, allowing couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child, as a result couples nationwide may now have a second child.

Guangdong, China’s economic powerhouse, began to accept second child petitions last year.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission predicts that China would see more second child applications this year than in 2014.

Nearly one million couples have been planning to have a second child nationwide.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s largest imperial garden launches tourist App 

By Wei Mengjia and Cheng Lu

Beijing’s Summer Palace, China’s largest imperial garden, now has a smart phone app, which was released on Tuesday of January 13.

The app profiles 112 of the garden’s popular areas and maps them using GPS, said a Summer Palace manager. The app is free to download.

Those who have downloaded the app can choose from nine recommended routes, and then directions, information and pictures are displayed on their cellphones, he said.

Built in 1750 by the Emperor Qianlong, the Summer Palace has been destroyed twice, once in 1860 and again in 1900.

Despite the garden’s turbulent history, many of the garden’s important artifacts have been preserved.

 

 

 

 

 

WUHAN

>>  Buddhist relic discovered in central China

By Li Wei, Yuan Zhiguo and Wang Ruoyao

Archaeologists have discovered five precious sariras, believed to be collected from the cremated ashes of Buddhist masters, at an ancient tomb in central China’s Hubei Province.

It is very rare to find sariras in a tomb, as they are usually unearthed at Buddhist temples, Chen Qianwan, head of the archaeology institute of Xiangyang City, said on Tuesday of January 13.

The bead-shaped holy objects usually are kept in sacred containers. The most recent find was embedded on the top of a tomb belonging to an official from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) at the foot of the Xianshan Mountain in Xiangyang, according to Chen.

The largest of the sariras has a diameter of about 3 centimeters. In the light, they vary in color from red, purple, blue, cyan and orange.

The objects were found in late December and later identified by prestigious monks and researchers as sariras. They believe the owner of the tomb was a Buddhist.

The findings will be kept in the city’s museum.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” passes 800 ml yuan mark

By Liu Tong

Tsui Hark’s “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” added 109 million yuan (17.5 million U.S. dollars) of box office sales through the week Jan. 5-11, bringing the total to 802 million yuan.

The results made the 3D epic film the third Chinese movie screened in 2014 to pass the 800 million yuan mark, only after “Breakup Buddies” and “The Monkey King 3D,” which took some 1.2 billion yuan and 1 billion yuan respectively.

The movie is also Tsui Hark’s third movie to have passed 500 million yuan, after the “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon” and “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D.”

“Tiger Mountain” ranked third on the weekly box office charts. This week saw “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” at the top, which added 166 million yuan for a gross of 196 million yuan.

“Miss Granny,” a remake of a South Korean comedy with the same title, came in second, taking another 127 million yuan for a total of 128 million yuan.

Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster,” its second screening in 3D version, took 31 million yuan. While the animated “One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes” added 25 million yuan to its gross of 110 million yuan.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s weak foreign trade growth suggests more policy easing

By Rong Jiaojiao, Wang Xi and Yue Ruifang

China’s foreign trade increased 3.4 percent year on year in 2014 denominated in U.S. dollars, significantly lower than the 7.6-percent rise in 2013 and the 7.5 percent target, indicating more room for monetary easing.

Denominated in U.S. dollars, exports rose 6.1 percent in 2014, while imports increased 0.4 percent, Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced on Tuesday of January 13.

Denominated in Chinese yuan, exports increased 4.9 percent to 14.3 trillion yuan, while imports fell 0.6 percent to 12.04 trillion yuan. The foreign trade surplus widened to 2.35 trillion yuan in 2014, an increase of 45.9 percent.

The leading export index slid for the third month to 40.1 in December 2014, the lowest since December 2013, and a pessimistic prospect for exports in 2015.

Zheng Yuesheng attributed the weak foreign trade growth in 2014 to a slow global recovery, less competitive Chinese made products, less foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector and falling commodity prices.

The average price of China’s iron ore imports dropped 23.4 percent in 2014, while crude oil and soy bean import slid 6.1 percent and 6.8 percent,respectively, Zheng said.

“With domestic demand still depressed, policy easing is still needed,” said Bob Liu, an analyst at the China International Capital Corp (CICC), adding that the government may set a lower export growth target for 2015.

Liu Ligang, chief Greater China economist at ANZ Banking Group agreed. that weak domestic demand and investment led to weak growth.

Trade with the European Union, China’s biggest trade partner, edged up 8.9 percent to 3.78 trillion yuan, while trade with the United States, the second-biggest partner, rose 5.4 percent to 3.41 trillion yuan. Trade with third-largest partner ASEAN, rose 7.1 percent to 2.95 trillion yuan.

Trade with Japan contracted 1 percent 1.92 trillion yuan.

For 2015, economists believe that the foreign trade growth will continue the downward trend.

Bob Liu predicted that both export and import growth will fall in January, but export growth should still be much stronger than imports. The trade surplus is expected to remain high in January, before experiencing a seasonal decline in February and March.

His point was echoed by a research note from Merrill Lynch, forecasting that the elevated trade surplus could be sustained for several months on falling crude oil prices, while export growth could soften on a strong RMB.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China 2014 exports rise 6.1 pct, imports up 0.4 pct

By Rong Jiaojiao and Wang Xi

China’s exports rose 6.1 percent year on year in 2014, while imports increased 0.4 percent, customs data showed on Tuesday of January 13.

Last year, the country’s total export and import values increased 3.4 percent year on year, said Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs. In December of 2014, China’s foreign trade value hit 2.49 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

Trade with the European Union (EU), China’s biggest trade partner, edged up 8.9 percent year on year to 3.78 trillion yuan in 2014, while

trade with the United States, China’s second-biggest trade partner, rose 5.4 percent year on year to 3.41 trillion yuan in 2014.

China’s trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its third-largest trading partner, rose 7.1 percent year on year to 2.95 trillion yuan.

Its trade with Japan meanwhile contracted 1 percent year on year, to 1.92 trillion yuan.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China oil output edges up

By Liu Xinyong and Wang Libin

China’s crude oil output increased 0.7 percent year on year to 210 million tonnes in 2014, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Tuesday of January 13.

This is the fifth consecutive year that oil output has stayed above 200 million tonnes, the ministry said in a statement.

Seven major oilfields, including Daqing in Heilongjiang Province, Shengli in Shandong Province and the offshore Bohai, all recorded production of more than 10 million tonnes.

Output of natural gas rose 10.7 percent to 132.9 billion cubic meters, with 3.6 billion cubic meters being coal-bed gas and 1.3 billion cubic meters of shale gas.

Overall, 330 million tonnes of oil and gas equivalent was produced last year, up 3.7 percent year on year.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Senior legislator expelled from CPC, indicted by prosecutors

By Wang Xiaopeng and Tian Ying

Bai Enpei, a senior legislator from China’s top legislature, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office following a graft investigation.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) made the announcement on Tuesday of January 13.

Bai is former deputy head of the Environment and Resources Protection Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature. He is also former secretary of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee.

The CCDI investigation found that Bai took advantage of his post to seek profits for others and accepted “a huge amount in bribes.”

Bai seriously violated CPC discipline and is suspected of breaking the law, the CCDI said in the statement.

Bai has been under investigation by the CCDI since late August.

Also Tuesday, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced that Bai has been placed under “coercive measures” and indicted by prosecutors for bribery.

According to China’s criminal procedure law, coercive measures include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Infectious diseases kill 1,710 in China in December

By Hu Hao and Ren Ke

A total of 1,710 people died as a result of infectious diseases on the Chinese mainland in December 2014, with HIV/AIDS being the top cause of death, according to health authorities on Tuesday of January 13.

Last month, 1,440 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) died, according to a statement on the National Health and Family Planning Commission’s website.

The second highest cause of death was tuberculosis, which killed 141 people.

In total, 556,111 people tested positive for infectious disease on the Chinese mainland last month, according to the statement.

No cases of Class-A infectious diseases, which includes the plague and cholera, were reported.

Of December’s total, 283,364 cases were Class B infectious diseases, with Hepatitis; tuberculosis; syphilis; gonorrhea; and scarlet fever, accounting for 92 percent of cases in this category.

The statement said category C infectious diseases claimed 15 lives in August, with infectious diarrhea, foot-and-mouth disease and influenza reported most frequently.

 

 

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  South China province reports another two human H7N9 cases

By Cheng Lu and Xiao Sisi

South China’s Guangdong Province reported another two H7N9 human infections, local authorities said on Tuesday of January 13.

Both cases were found in Shenzhen City. A 57-year-old woman and a 41-year-old man were both confirmed as infected on Monday, the provincial health and family planning commission said in a statement.

The woman is in a critical condition at a local hospital, while the man is stable.

The health authorities warned that the province has entered a high-incidence period for bird flu, which occurs in winter and spring, and that risks for occasional human infections are high.

In addition to Guangdong, Shanghai Municipality, Fujian Province and Zhejiang Province have all reported human cases of H7N9 this winter.

 

 

 

 

 

XIAMEN

>>  H7N9 leaves one dead in east China

By Shen Rufa and Zhang Yi

A patient infected with the H7N9-strain of avian flu has died in Xiamen City in the east China province of Fujian, the local health and family planning commission said on Tuesday of January 13.

The commission did not disclose further details but confirmed four other cases of H7N9 in humans.

One person has already recovered but three remain in a critical condition, the commission said.

The health authorities in Xiamen said they were closely monitoring the patients while enhancing measures to control the outbreak.

 

 

 

 

 

JINAN

>>  Police bust child trafficking rings in east China

By Sun Xiaozheng and Wu Shuguang

Police in east China’s Shandong Province have rescued 37 children and identified 103 suspects since 2014 in an ongoing investigation into child trafficking operation, local authorities said on Tuesday of January 13.

After receiving a tip-off from a member of the public in June 2014, police detained six people for allegedly abducting a child at a local train station.

One of those arrested, Bao, confessed to being active in the group since late 2013 and informed police that the gang had been trafficking babies from Sichuan Province to cities of Linyi and Jining in Shandong since 2012.

In their investigation, police have uncovered a total of eight trafficking rings all led by two suspects identified as Ji and Ma.

In September 2014 about 40 suspects were detained over allegations of selling more than 20 babies.

On September 10, 2014, police also raided a location in Yanzhou City in Shandong and took four suspects into custody. One baby boy was rescued from the scene.

Two suspects, Gong and Wu, confessed to have been cooperating with Ji and had coordinated the purchase of babies from pregnant women.

The Yanzhou group had sold 12 newborns since 2013, according to police.

China has seen many cases of human trafficking in recent years. In March 2013, Chinese police rescued 92 children and two women and detained 301 suspects.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China uncovers 174 solid waste smuggling cases

By Wang Xi, He Zongyu and Cheng Jing

China’s customs have uncovered 174 solid waste smuggling cases since 2012, involving 385,900 tonnes of illegally imported garbage, such as electronics and discarded clothes, customs authorities revealed on Tuesday of January 13.

Some 712 suspects were captured in the smuggling cases, according to Zheng Yuesheng, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs.

Chinese law on the control of solid waste bans imports of solid waste that cannot be used as raw materials or that pose a serious risk to the environment.

However, driven by high profit margins, some dealers have smuggled or worked with overseas organizations to bring foreign garbage to China illegally, prompting authorities to launch campaigns to stop the activity.

 

 

 

 

 

HANGZHOU

>>  Chinese man charged for attempted bus bombing

By Fang Lie and Zhang Yi

A Chinese man in his 70s has been charged for a botched attempt to bomb a bus in Zhejiang Province, local prosecutors said on Tuesday of January 13.

The defendant, Wang, set off a grenade on a bus in the city of Jinhua, but the out-of-date explosive only caused a minor explosion that hurt nobody and caused no damage, the prosecutors said.

More than 10 passengers who were on the bus at the time helped police catch the defendant.

The prosecutors claimed Wang decided to bomb the bus because he was angry that on several occasions the drive had not stopped the bus right in the stop.

The prosecutors said Wang’s action jeopardized public security even if it did not cause any damage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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