China to abolish controversial temporary residence permit








>>  China calls for fine “sprint finish” of marathon talks on Iran’s nuclear issue

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Sunday of February 15 urged Iran and world powers to jointly push for a successful “sprint finish” of the marathon talks on Iran’s nuclear issue.

The P5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) should strive to “finish well the last kilometer of the marathon talks on Iran’s nuclear issue,” Wang, who began his two-day visit to Iran on Sunday, said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-javad Zarif.

The talks have entered a final stage “like the finish sprint of a marathon, the closer to the end the harder.” All sides should be determined to overcome difficulties and obstacles to secure a successful outcome, Wang added.

Wang emphasized China’s position of peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue via talks. “Whatever the circumstance, we firmly support talks, oppose the use of violence and disapprove unilateral sanctions.”

In addition, China has kept a fair and objective position on the nuclear issue. China has no self-interest in either the nuclear issue or in the geopolitics in Middle East. “China makes independent judgment based on facts, seeking fairness and objectivity,” Wang said.

China has also been an active mediator, he said, adding that it has always contributed solutions and wisdom whenever the talks, which have been full of twists and turns, ran into difficulties or arrived at a crucial stage.

Wang urged all sides to seize the “historical opportunity” to resolve the nuclear issue, adding that a comprehensive deal is good for Iran to maintain its lawful rights, to rid the Iranians of economic sanctions, and to maintain peace and stability in the region.

On China-Iran ties, Wang said China values Iran’s role in global and regional issues, particularly in the non-alignment movement, and always attaches great importance to its relations with the Islamic republic.

The Chinese foreign minister said that both sides should further promote political mutual trust, maintain high-level exchanges, and step up mutual support on issues involving their respective core interests.

On the Belt and Road initiatives China proposed, Wang appreciated Iran’s active participation in the project, saying Beijing would like to coordinate with Tehran in their respective development strategies, and to promote connectivity in win-win cooperation.

Wang also suggested that Iran and China should boost cooperation in energy, anti-terrorism, counter-transnational crimes, culture, education, technologies and tourism.

The two nations should also maintain communications and coordination in dealing with international and regional affairs so as to protect the common interests of the developing nations, he added.

For his part, Zarif said Iran wishes to bring bilateral ties with China to an even higher level. He also pledged to deepen cooperation with China in energy, connectivity, railway and harbor transport, science and technology as well as culture and tourism.

Zarif also appreciated China’s constructive role in the talks on Iranian nuclear issue, calling on China to play an even bigger role.








>>  China committed to path of peaceful development: Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan

By Haleem

Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Deng Xijun said here on Sunday of February 15 that China is committed to the path of peaceful development and building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Deng made the remarks in the introduction ceremony of a book containing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks on governance.

The ambassador said the book, “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China”, has 18 chapters comprised of 79 articles highlighting Xi’s speeches, answers to questions, conversations and instructions from Nov. 15, 2012 to June 13, 2014. It also includes 45 photos of Xi.

President Xi’s new ideas and assessments in the book have answered both theoretical and practical questions about China’s development in this new phase of the country’s history, the ambassador said.

The book represents the collective wisdom of the Chinese leadership to deal with domestic and external issues, which serves as an important window for the world to look at and understand the contemporary China and its development, the ambassador said.

Deng added “I sincerely hope that this book can help Afghan friends from all walks of life to know and understand China in a better way”.

The book has been published in at least nine languages, namely Chinese, English, French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Japanese.







>>  Chinese Han Tianyu wins 1,500m at World Cup

By Ma Xiangfei

Han Tianyu lifted his first individual World Cup title on Saturday of February 14 after he won the 1,500 meters at the short track speed skating World Cup in Turkey.

Han clocked two minutes 13.354 seconds for the title while his fellow Chinese Chen Dequan took silver in 2:13.448 in the nine-man field.

Victor An of Russia was third in 2:13.576.

In women’s 1,500m, Guo Yishe was the only Chinese skater in the final after Olympic champion Zhou Yang and Liu Yang were penalized in the semifinals.

Guo was unable to shine in the final where Italian Arianna Fontana won in 2:28.590.

Fan Kexin was penalized in the 1,500m after she and South Korean Shim Suk-hee ran into each other. Elise Christie of Britain eventually won the race in 1:31.513.

Russian Semen Elistratov captured the men’s 1,000m in 1:25.237.







>>  Chinese customs apprehend 33 beef smuggling suspects

By Cao Kai and Yan Ping

Chinese customs have caught 33 suspects who smuggled beef from the United States worth about 200 million yuan (32.6 million U.S. dollars), they announced on Sunday of February 15.

The suspects allegedly smuggled 6,000 tonnes of beef, making false agreements and invoices to cheat customs clearance, according to the customs of the coastal city of Dalian in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.

A team of 260 anti-smuggling police in Dalian, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou caught the suspects in a unified crackdown in January.

The suspects’ bank accounts with about 30 million yuan were frozen, according to the customs office.

Smuggling frozen beef not only harms the development of domestic cattle industry but also threatens food safety at the dinning table, according to the customs.







>>  Party watchdog to target more “flies”

By Cheng Zhuo

The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) discipline watchdog will target more corrupt low-level officials in 2015, according to an article published on its website on Sunday of February 15.

In the article, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) pledged to “seek innovation with disciplinary inspection agencies below county level” and investigate more “flies”, Chinese political rhetoric for corrupt minor officials.

Another article published on the CCDI’s website on Saturday also vowed harsh punishments for those found guilty.

“The harm of ‘flies’… is no less than that of ‘tigers’,” it said, the latter term referring to major corrupt officials.

Corruption at grassroots levels directly harms the immediate interests of the public and undermines the image of the CPC and the government. Such problems, low-profile as they may be, must not be tolerated, Saturday’s article said.

“What is more shocking is that some of the ‘flies’ even have the appetite of a ‘tiger’,” it went on.

Saturday’s article also stressed that disciplinary inspectors at grassroots levels should be diligent in practicing their duties and that public supervision should also be encouraged.







>>  Party officials held accountable for work style violations

By Tian Ying

The Communist Party of China (CPC)’s anti-graft watchdog exposed cases in which Party officials were held accountable for failing to stop graft or other disciplinary violations in their work units on Sunday of February 15.

A research institute affiliated to the Yangtze Waterway Bureau of the Ministry of Transport was criticized for organizing overseas trips with public funds and over-subsidizing their employees, a statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.

For this “work style” violation, Xiong Xuebin, deputy chief of the Bureau’s CPC committee and head of the bureau, was removed from his posts, and the former Party chief of the bureau, Li Weihong (retired) was publicly criticized.

In another case, Huang Yongyue, Party chief of Yongfu county in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was sacked after the county government offered its employees a bonus totalling 2.089 million yuan (U.S. dollars), which was against rules.

Xie Haisheng, Party chief of environment bureau of Xiamen city, in Fujian province, was sacked after several other officials in the bureau were caught engaged in bribery, according to the statement.

Five other cases were also included in the statement. It is the first time the CCDI publicly reported such cases in 2015.

The CCDI said some Party officials failed to stop or report corruption developing in their units, some turned a blind eye to the offenses and others went as far as covering up their units’ wrongdoings, urging Party officials to take primary responsibility for work style revamp in their units.







>>  Premier Li stresses agricultural modernization for economic stability

By Zuo Yuanfeng

Modernizing agriculture, according to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, is urgent for stable growth and sustainable development.

A huge mission, agricultural modernization relies on making use of the advantages of different regions, Li said in an article entitled “Accelerating Agricultural Modernization with Reform and Innovation as the Impetus.”

The article, based on Li’s speech on rural development in December, will appear in Monday’s Qiushi – “Seeking Truth” – a magazine of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

While encouraging varied forms of agricultural operations on moderate scales, Li called for greater policy and financial support for agriculture in general.

According to Li, urbanization should stimulate rural businesses and increase farmers’ incomes.







>>  Police chief calls for further mainland-HK cooperation

By Li Zhihui

Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun said the Chinese mainland would continue to promote cooperation with the Hong Kong police to maintain stability on both sides.

Guo made the remarks when meeting with Hong Kong Commissioner of Police Tsang Wai-hung on Saturday of February 14 in Beijing.

The central government hailed the important role the Hong Kong police played in maintaining peace and security in the special administrative region, Guo said.

He hoped the mainland and Hong Kong police could further cooperate on cases, exchanges and training.







>>  SPP rolls out reform plan to ensure judicial fairness

By Li Zhihui

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) issued its newest five-year work plan Sunday, rolling out measures to ensure judicial independence and fairness.

The SPP will explore ways of separating the administrative and judicial jurisdictions of procuratorates below provincial level, according to the plan, which covers reforms from 2013 to 2017.

Plans were also made to set up procuratorates that cross administrative divisions to reduce intervention in the judicial process from local powers.

The SPP will cooperate with other departments to establish systems to record officials’ interventions in cases, so that those involved are held accountable.

To enhance counter-corruption efforts, procuratorates with cross-regional jurisdiction over duty crimes will be established, according to the plan.

Amid efforts to prevent wrongful convictions, procuratorate bodies will enhance supervision of criminal investigations by the police as well as measures to limit the movement of suspects.

Administrative compulsory measures involving citizens’ personal and property rights will also be scrutinized, according to the plan.

The plan also underscored that staff within the procuratorate system should not interfere with cases or meet anyone affiliated with suspects under investigation, and the leaking of case details or the accepting of bribes will result in punishment.







>>  China to hold police accountable for erroneous cases, for life

By Ren Ke

Chinese police will establish an accountability system for officers in light of high profile cases, according to a policy paper issued recently.

The paper, which focused on public security reform, vowed to improve law enforcement responsibility; the correction system; and establish life-long accountability for erroneous cases.

It added that, to ensure accountability, investigators should take responsibility for the cases they investigate.

In addition, it called for changes to the way in which police handled cases, to prevent miscarriages of justice and the use of torture to secure confessions.

One high profile wrongful conviction — and execution — was that of teenager Huugjilt in Inner Mongolia. Huugjilt, who was found guilty of rape and murder in 1996, was finally declared innocent last December, over a decade after he was wrongfully convicted.

The real killer was sentenced to death last week.

An official with the Ministry of Public Security, who declined to be named, admitted that although the quality and level of law enforcement had improved, many problems still existed.

“Law enforcement is not strict, not standardized, not just. The trading of power for money and bending the law for personal gain seriously undermines police credibility,” the official said.

The paper also said an administrative system that differed from the one applied to civil servants will be built for the police. Police officers’ benefits will be higher than that of civilian public servants and slightly below members of the armed forces.







>>  Authorities pledge overhaul after inmate deaths in E. China

By Hu Jinwu, Lai Xing and Wang Ruoyao

Authorities in east China’s Jiangxi Province have promised an overhaul on prisons after eight inmates died between 2008 and 2014.

An investigation team composed of officials with the provincial justice department and prison administration said on Saturday of February 14 that “the deaths of the inmates reflect problems in our supervision.”

Of the deaths at the prison in Ganzhou City, one was killed by another inmate, one died after falling from a building and one died of a drug allergy, in addition to five who died of illness, according to the investigators.

Two managerial staff of the prison who were implicated in the murder of inmate Liu Hailong in 2010 were removed from their posts, they said.

The investigation was launched in late January after family members of several dead inmates demanded the truth about the incidents in the prison, the city’s procuratorate and the provincial government.0 The investigators said the prison informed the family members right after the inmates’ deaths and provided them with judicial identification of cause of death.

However, some incidents were not recorded because of a lack of surveillance cameras at the prison or technical failure of the cameras.

The officials also pledged to improve prisons by enhancing their security facilities and health services.

Lax supervision at Chinese prisons has been a public concern in recent years. In the latest scandal in January, a prisoner in Nehe prison, Heilongjiang Province, was found to be in contact with and blackmailing women who lived near the prison via the mobile app WeChat. Mobile phones are banned in prisons and visiting times are monitored by prison guards.







>>  Officials punished for violating frugality rules

By Li Zhihui

Three officials with the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) have been punished for violating frugality regulations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during a foreign trip, according to a statement released on  Sunday of February 15.

They were given serious warnings by the Party for extending the trip longer than necessary, adding unnecessary stops and using public funds for private ends during the trip, said a statement posted on the website of the CPC’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

The three officials were SHFE’s vice general manager Ye Chunhe, discipline chief Lao Guangxiong and Wang Lihua, who was chairwoman of the board of supervisors before she retired.

Ye and Lao also received heavy demerits on their records.

All those involved in the trips were ordered to cover the expenses they had covered with public funds.

The CPC’s eight-point frugality campaign started on Dec. 4, 2012, with the aim to reduce pomp, ceremony, bureaucracy and other undesirable work practices.







>>  Beijing traffic management chief prosecuted for bribery

By Cao Kai and Tu Ming

Song Jianguo, former head of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, will go on trial for suspected bribery, the local procuratorate announced on Sunday of February 15.

Song accepted bribes worth 23 million yuan (3.75 million U.S. dollars), according to the No.1 branch of the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate.

He was accused of helping a number of companies and individuals to get vehicle plates, which have to be granted through a lottery system.

The procuratorate did not say when the trial would take place.







>>  Former Shanghai health deputy jailed for 19 yrs

By Huang Anqi and Wang Ruoyao

A Shanghai court sentenced a former deputy director of the city’s health and family planning commission to 19 years in prison for corruption on Sunday of February 15.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court convicted Huang Fengping, 50, of taking bribes, embezzlement and possessing a huge amount of assets with unclear sources.

The court found that Huang accepted cash and gold bars worth about three million yuan (about 480,000 U.S. dollars) from salespeople and executives from pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies when he worked as deputy head in a Shanghai hospital and head of another from 2003 to 2013.

From 2009 to 2013, when Huang headed the neurosurgery branch of Shanghai’s medical association, he embezzled about 1.4 million yuan of sponsorship money for the branch’s events.

Huang also failed to explain the sources of his assets worth over 11 million yuan. The court will recover all assets and fine him five million yuan.

He was arrested in December 2013 and stood trial in August 2014.







>>  Five local officials under investigation for bribery

By Wang Xiaopeng and Chen Fei

Five officials at the local level are being investigated over allegations of taking bribes, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said in a statement on Sunday of February 15.

Wu Wenyuan, head of the rural credit cooperative union of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, was arrested for taking bribes and is being investigated.

Li Bao, vice director of the department of environmental protection in Hebei Province is being examined after allegedly accepting bribes.

Three former officials in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yang Youming, former vice director of the department of transport, Jia Fenqiang, former vice director of the department of public security, and Zhou Jinzhu, former deputy head of information technology office, are also under investigation and have been placed under “coercive measures” for allegedly accepting bribes.

According to the Criminal Procedure Law, coercive measures include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest. The SPP did not specify what measures had been taken.







>>  Chinese officials penalized after boozy lunch kills colleague

By Zhou Yan and Tan Yuanbin

Eight food and drug officials in central China’s Hubei Province were penalized for the death of a colleague due to an alcohol-fuelled working lunch in December, the provincial disciplinary watchdog said on Sunday of February 15.

Liu Jianxin, an official with the food and drug administration in Tongshan County in the city of Xianning, died after drinking excessively during working lunch with a supervisor and seven colleagues in Huangsha township on December 19, 2014, the provincial commission for discipline inspection said in a press release.

All seven people present were penalized for drinking during working hours, it said.

Six of them, including Liu’s supervisor Zhang Yu who was deputy chief of the food and drug administration in Tongshan County, received warnings but stayed at their job.

Huang Tianfu, food and drug chief in Huangsha Township, was removed from his post.

Tongshan County’s food and drug chief You Tao received an official warning.

China has banned officials from drinking at lunchtime, to purge the tradition of mixing booze and business.







>>  China to abolish controversial temporary residence permit

By Li Huizi

China plans to abolish its controversial temporary residence permit and push forward reform of the household registration system, according to a public security reform plan released on Sunday of February 15.

Permanent residence permits will be adopted to replace the much-criticized temporary residence permit, according to the plan approved by central authorities.

Temporary residence permits have long been held by hundreds of millions of Chinese migrant workers, who have to apply for the permit before formally living and working in a new city.

Observers said the permit has led to instability and unsettlement and that the temporary residence registry system is no longer suitable for today’s situation.

Many cities in China have already ended the temporary permit system, but Beijing currently still uses it.

In 2003, Sun Zhigang was stopped by police in the street in Guangzhou for a random check. He had no ID card and had not applied for the permit, so police considered him a beggar and sent him to an asylum, where he was beaten to death.

The tragedy triggered nationwide debate, as sending those without ID cards and residence permits to asylums against their will is unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ rights to personal liberty.

Permanent residence permit holders will enjoy many of the same privileges as local residents. They may receive social security, buy apartments and cars and receive the same public services as local people. In many Chinese cities, only locals or migrants with more than five years of paying local taxes in the city are allowed to buy apartments and cars.

According to the reform plan, the level of public services enjoyed by residents will depend on their duration of residence.

Public security departments should facilitate permanent residence registration and ID card applications when applicants are not in the cities where they applied for permanent residence, the plan said.

Public security reform was listed as a focus by central authorities last year as part of China’s rule of law drive.







>>  Armed police guard China’s festival travel rush

By Tian Ying

China’s armed police are out in numbers across 246 train stations and airports nationwide to ensure a safe journey home for Spring Festival travelers, the police headquarters announced on Sunday of February 15.

The armed police are tasked with keeping order in densely-populated transportation hubs to prevent stampedes, crime and terrorist attacks.

Emergency plans have been drafted so police can spring into action the minute an attack happens, the headquarters said.

The busiest stations are heavily guarded, with nearly 1,000 armed police stationed at Beijing train stations and about 2,000 dealing with swarms of travelers departing from the southern metropolis Guangzhou.

Spring festival is China’s most important holiday centering around family reunions. Hundreds of millions of people travel home during the holiday to spend time with their families. This year’s festival falls on Feb. 19.

It is estimated that 2.807 billion trips will be made during the 2015 Spring Festival travel rush.







>>  China Mobile’s 4G users top 100 mln

By Rong Jiaojiao and Gao Kang

China Mobile, China’s largest wireless service provider, said on Sunday of February 15 that its 4G clients have topped 100 million by the end of January thanks to its expanded service coverage.

The company said it has established more than 700,000 4G base stations so far, covering over one billion people.

They forecast 4G users will top 250 million in 2015 and the company will set up one million 4G base stations by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the company said it has expanded its 4G roaming service to more than 71 countries and regions, forming the biggest 4G network worldwide.

In December 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology licensed China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom to operate the home-grown TD-LTE standard, or Time Division – Long Term Evolution, a major variant of the 4G standards with the other being LTE FDD.







>>  China forex regulator sees volatile capital flows in 2015

By Jiang Lin, Wang Peiwei and Cheng Jing

China’s cross-border capital flows will remain volatile this year amid uncertainties both at home and abroad, the country’s forex regulator said on Sunday of February 15.

As China gradually moves to make its foreign exchange mechanism more market-oriented, the structure of “trade surplus and capital outflow” will become increasingly normal, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a report.

Meanwhile, easing monetary policies in some major economies will put emerging markets under growing pressure from capital outflows, SAFE noted.

China’s capital account deficit widened sharply in the last quarter of 2014 to 91.2 billion U.S. dollars, compared with the third quarter’s 9 billion dollars. The widening deficit fanned concerns of massive capital outflows from the country as economic growth slowed.

The SAFE reiterated that the capital outflow remains “moderate and within the limit” and the liquidity in the foreign exchange market remains “ample”.







>>  Shale gas exploited in north China

By Cao Kai and Ren Huibin

A six-meter-high industrial gas flow was discovered at a shale gas well in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, marking a breakthrough in shale gas development in north China, local authorities said on Sunday of February 15.

The well, based in coal-rich Ordos City, is 3,568 meters deep. The maximum daily gas flow of the well is 50,000 cubic meters and has a daily production capacity of 19,500 cubic meters, according to the regional land and resources department.

More than 87 percent of the shale gas discovered at the well is methane, making it a potential high-yield well, according to the department.

The date for commercial development of the well is not yet known.

Shale gas is a natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. As a clean and efficient energy source, its importance is growing globally.

China’s reserves being invested in for exploration have hit 130 billion cubic meters.

The Fuling field based in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality is expected to become China’s first shale gas field with an annual production capacity of 10 billion cubic meters in 2017, equivalent to an oil field with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.







>>  Heavy smog disrupts flights in east China city

By Zhou Yan and Wei Shengyao

Heavy smog delayed more than 50 flights on Sunday of February 15 at an airport in east China’s Shandong Province, stranding travelers on their way home for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

The provincial capital Jinan was blanked by heavy pollution, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 285 at 4 p.m., according to the China National Environment Monitoring Center.

“It was a gloomy and humid morning,” said Zheng Yue, a resident of Jinan. “By the afternoon, the sky was even darker.”

The air quality disrupted a third of Jinan International Airport’s takeoffs and landings on Sunday.

The airport said that as of 6 p.m., at least 55 flights were delayed, including 23 arrivals and 32 departures.

Flights to Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, and to Haikou, in the southern province of Hainan, were delayed by more than four hours.

Jinan Airport is a pivotal hub in east China, which serves both domestic and international flights.








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