Cargo train arrives in China’s small commodity hub from Madrid









>>  Iran nuclear talks intensive, pragmatic: Chinese official

By Liu Meichen

The new round of negotiations over Iran’s long-standing controversial nuclear program was intensive and pragmatic, the head of the Chinese delegation said after the talks on Sunday night of February 22.

Wang Qun, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the latest round of talks was held in good atmosphere, and all sides had substantive negotiations over major issues at stakes.

Participating sides agreed to hold the next round of talks at the end of this month, with the exact date and place to be determined, according to him.

Wang reiterated that as the negotiations for the Iranian nuclear program is coming to an end, detailed issues become more prominent and challenges mount, which will make the political resolution imperative and even more urgent.

He reaffirmed that China hopes all sides will strengthen confidence, invest efforts and inject more political impetus into the talks, to facilitate the achievement of a win-win comprehensive agreement.

Representatives from P5+1 group, namely the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, and Iran met in Geneva on Sunday night for fresh talks over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, a move to continue the diplomatic efforts towards reaching a long-term, comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

It has been over a year since Iran and the world powers agreed to come back to the negotiating table for the nuclear problems in 2013. However, wide differences have kept all sides from arriving at a final deal.

The negotiators agreed in November 2014 to extend the deadline for another seven months and aimed to reach a political framework deal by the end of March.







>>  Fijian PM celebrates Spring Festival with local Chinese community

By Liu Peng

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama celebrated Spring Festival in Suva on Sunday of February 22 with the local Chinese community, sending his well wishes as the Pacific island country entered into the year of the sheep on the lunar calendar.

Under the dazzling sun, a red short sleeve shirt-clad Bainimarama arrived at Yat Sen School together with his wife Maria and a granddaughter, greeted by a cheerful crowd braving tropical heat and eager to kick start the celebrations for Spring Festival, locally known as Chinese New Year.

After participating in the lion dance by feeding the “lions” with cash-containing red packets, or hong bao, Bainimarama delivered his keynote speech as the chief guest of the event, greeting ethnic Chinese in Fiji and the Chinese people all over the world with the Chinese expression “ni hao,” which means hello.

“The New Year for your community – the Spring Festival – is a joyous time for you all, as it is for the more than one billion Chinese in China and the vast Chinese diaspora throughout the world,” the Fijian prime minister said.

“The Chinese were one of the earliest groups of foreign settlers to come to Fiji and the Chinese community has played an important role in our nation’s development. We pay tribute to that contribution today and thank the community for their loyalty to our nation, their dedication and their hard work,” he said.

Bainimarama, a retired rear admiral who won the first parliamentary election in September last year since the country’s 2006 coup, thanked China for its steadfast support and generous assistance to Fiji.

This year “marks an even more important occasion,” Bainimarama said, “Because it is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Fiji and the People’s Republic of China. Since then, our relationship has developed into a great friendship between our two countries.”

“Fiji will never forget the support that China has been willing to give us, especially after 2006 when some of our traditional friends turned their backs on us,” the Fijian prime minister underscored.

“China stayed by our side because it recognized that what we were doing as a nation was for the long-term benefit of the Fijian people. And it has done a huge amount to contribute to the development and improvement of our infrastructure, including roads, public housing, hydroelectric projects, solar projects and hospitals.”

The Fijian prime minister spoke highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Fiji in November last year.

“Our relationship reached a new height last year when Fiji had the honor and privilege to host Chinese President Xi Jinping. The president’s historic and successful state visit was the first by a Chinese head of state since we established diplomatic ties in 1975, ” Bainimarama said.

“We found ourselves agreeing, face-to-face, on a great many issues and we opened up new avenues of cooperation in a number of different areas. The visit signified the depth of the relationship between China and Fiji and has set the groundwork for a new era of partnership, which Fijians deeply appreciate.”

Bainimarama asked Yang Zhaohui, charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy to “pass on our sincere greetings, thanks and good wishes to the Chinese government and the Chinese people and our hope for their continuing prosperity in the year of the goat.”

“May the year to come be auspicious. May it be one of harmony and prosperity. All Fijians join me in wishing you all a very Happy New Year,” the Fijian prime minister said.







>>  Celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year at Disneyland California

By Xue Ying

Even when told the waiting time will be 1 to 1.5 hours, the Zhu family stand without hesitation at the end of the long line to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie dressing in red Chinese New Year costume at the Disney California Adventure Park on Saturday of February 21.

“There is only one time in a year that you can take a picture with Mickey and Minnie in Chinese costume,” said Tjoe, a family member who were together with 5 adults and 4 kids of the Indonesian-Chinese family.

They used to celebrate the Lunar New Year by dining together. But this year, they chose the Disneyland as their place for the festival reunion. “It’ s a good way for family reunion and for Lunar New Year celebration,” said Tjoe, looking at the four joyful young kids, also in traditional Chinese New Year dress.

Writing New Year wishes on red tags and hanging them on the wishing wall, Chinese brush painting and calligraphy, red lantern making, live music and dancing performances … nearly a dozen of Lunar New Year cultural events attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the Paradise Pier in the Disney California Adventure Park where the celebration is being on Feb. 19-22.

Mickey and Minnie’ s character greeting is the most popular one, even beating the Radio Springs Racer, outside which visitors usually line up in a long queue.

“It is quite unique to experience the Lunar New Year celebration here. You cannot find it anywhere else,” said Patrick and Tatiana, a young couple coming from Los Angeles to Anaheim, waiting for taking picture with Mickey and Minnie.

What makes this year’ s celebration different from previous ones is the dancing performance by a group of kids from China’ s Shaanxi province.

“Yangge” and “Waist Drum” dancing by the 20 elementary students aged 9 to 11 brings the visitors authentic flavor of China’ s North Shaanxi culture.

“Their dancing is amazing. I have never seen this kind of dancing before,” said 40-year-old Terra Donahue after watching their performance, though she did not quite understand why the boys wrap white towels on their heads. Farmers in Shaanxi used to wrap white towels on their heads, even when they perform festival dancing “Yangge.”

It was the first time 10-year-old Sun Lingrui, one of the “Yangge” performers, had gone out of her hometown Luochuan County in Shaanxi province. The kids, mostly from peasant families, travelled far to Southern California, first by train to Beijing and then by plane.

“Disneyland is so big, and the buildings are beautiful,” said Sun, who had never dreamed of being in the Disneyland someday.

Sun’s “Yangge” team was sponsored by the Walt Disney company as part of the “Rainbow Bridge Project,” a non-government diplomatic innovation project initiated by the Chinese People’ s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which is aimed at building a bridge between different cultures and between multinational corporations and rural areas in China.

In vibrant red, yellow, green color costumes and with jubilant North Shaanxi folk songs, Sun and her teammates danced cheerfully in the sunshine.

Li Xinyu, group leader of the “Yangge” and waist drum dancing teams, said that the young performers are trying their best to show American visitors traditional Chinese folk arts and deliver the festival blessing of Lunar New Year.







>>  Mexico defeats China in World Series of Boxing

Mexico Guerreros won a 4-1 bout against China Dragons in week six of World Series of Boxing held in the Mexican central city of Aguascalientes, local media reported on Sunday of February 22.

The fights were held in Aguascalientes Olympic Gym on Saturday night.

Mexican Orlando Huitzil Ahuatl opened the path for Mexico’s victory after defeating Chinese Hu Jianguan in flyweight category (52kg) with a score of 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45.

Later, welterweight (69kg) Mexican boxer Marvin Cabrera, champion in 2014 Pan-American Sports Festival, defeated Chinese Liu Wei with a score of 50-46, 49-46 and 49-46.

The other two Mexican victories were achieved by Rogelio Romero against Shi Guojun with a score of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 in light heavyweight category (81kg), and Lindolfo Delgado, Central American runner up, against Wang Lei in lightweight category (60kg) with a score of 49-46, 50-45 and 48-47.

Chinese Wang Zhibao defeated Mexican Edgar Alberto Ramirez in super heavyweight category (91+kg) with a result of 47-48, 45-50 and 48-50.

With the 4-1 victory, Mexico ends its sixth stage in the current WSB season, where it has defeated Morocco, Argelia and China, while it has lost against Ukraine, Russia and Cuba. Mexico’ s next meeting will be against British Lionhearts in London.







>>  Chinese boxer Xiong wins WBC international title

By Cao Jianjie

Chinese Xiong Chaozhong beat Japanese Hiroya Yamamoto to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) international minimumweight championship in his hometown of Wenshan on Sunday of February 22.

The 32-year-old Xiong, the first professional boxing champion from China as he beat Javier Martinez Resendiz of Mexico in Kunming for the vacant WBC minimumweight title on Nov. 24, 2012, outpointed the Japanese in the 10-round bout.

Xiong was aggressive from the start, perhaps buoyed by the enthusiastic home crowd, while the 23-year-old Japanese was struggling in the first four rounds.

Yamamoto woke up in the fifth round and fought evenly for two rounds until he looked jaded and overwhelmed since Round 7.

Xiong improved his record to 25 wins including 14 KOs, six losses and one draw.

The Yunnan native lost his WBC title to Mexican Oswaldo Novoa on Feb. 5, 2014 and then lost the International Boxing Organization (IBO) and WBA title fight against South Africa’s Hekkie Budler on Oct. 25 the same year.

Xiong, referred to as “Little Tyson”, grew up in Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in southeast China’s Yunnan province and worked in a coal mine. He took up boxing at the relatively late age of 22.







>>  Jenny Lang Ping starts training camp amid lunar new year holiday

By Wang Jingyu

While most of the Chinese are still celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year with family and friends, Jenny Lang Ping and her players have already started to prepare for the new season in their training camp here in Beijing.

After a minimized three-day holiday, the Chinese women’s volleyball internationals returned from their respective hometown to report to the national team Saturday afternoon and the training resumed on Sunday morning of February 22.

“We will have a busy calendar this year with a lot of tournaments to play between May and September, so the training over next two months is of great importance to us,” Jenny told Xinhua. “We are going to make good use of the time and improve ourselves physically and technically.”

Jenny guided a young but energetic Chinese team to a surprising runner-up finish at the women’s World Championships last October, while the volleyball legend believed her side still had a lot to improve to be a medal contender at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“Our young players have great potential, but we have a lot of work to do,” she said.

The women’s World Cup, slated for Japan this fall and with two precious tickets to the Rio Games on offer, will be the top priority of Jenny’s side and all other top teams from the world.

“We will have the Asian Championships, the World Grand Prix events and some international invitationals to play, but the World Cup will be the most important for us this year,” she said. “I would like to give our young players opportunities to play in the lead-up to the World Cup and then take the best of them to Japan.”






>>  Airport of China’s border city to be operational in 2019

By Han Xiaojing and Wang Zichen

The airport in the northeastern border city of Suifenhe in Heilongjiang Province, the country’s largest contributor to trade with Russia, is expected to go into operation in 2019, local authorities said.

According to the feasibility plan, approved by the central government, the airport will include a 2,500-meter-long runway and a 4,500-square-meter terminal.

The domestic regional airport will handle 450,000 passengers and 3,600 tonnes of cargo by 2025, according to the Suifenhe municipal government.

It will cost about 944 million yuan (153 million U.S. dollars) .

According to Deputy Suifenhe Mayor Wu Qinglan, who is also project administration office head, construction will start at the end of 2016.

Suifenhe is in Heilongjiang’s southeast and neighbors Russia. About 80 percent of Heilongjiang cargo imports and exports are through Suifenhe.

In 2013, Suifenhe became the first Chinese city to trial the use of the Russian ruble alongside the Renminbi.







>>  Cargo train arrives in China’s small commodity hub from Madrid

By Han Xiaojing and Wei Donghua

A cargo train with 64 containers completed its maiden journey from Madrid, Spain, to China’s eastern city of Yiwu, on Sunday of February 22.

The train traveled for 24 days along the Yixin’ou cargo line, the longest of all the China-European cargo railways, officials said. The train was carrying famous Spanish products including wine and olive oil.

The 13,000-km line passes through China, Spain, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France.

The service opened at the end of 2014. The first train from China to Spain, carrying stationary, craft products and products for the Christmas market, left Yiwu on Nov. 18, 2014, and arrived in Madrid after 21 days.

The line is a more efficient export channel for Yiwu’s commodities, as the city previously relied heavily on air and sea transportation.

“The cargo train will boost economic exchange between Yiwu, the world’s largest small commodity market, and Madrid, Europe’s largest small commodity market,” said Li Huihuan, manager of Yiwu C. F. International Logistics Co. Ltd.

According to Yiwu customs, Yiwu’s import and export volume in 2014 was 148.6 billion yuan (23.7 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 28.6 percent year on year.







>>  China to step up construction on major transport infrastructure

By Rong Jiaojiao and Zhao Chao

China will maintain the scale and intensity of major transportation infrastructure construction in 2015 to buoy growth.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that more railway lines, particularly in the central and western regions, will be put into operation this year, which will stabilize economic growth and improve people’s livelihoods.

The NDRC will continue to encourage social capital through preferential measures to attract investment in major transportation infrastructure in 2015.

In 2014, the NDRC approved 34 billion yuan (5.56 billion U.S. dollars) for transportation infrastructure, which included railways, roads, airports and waterways.

China had more than 110,000 kilometers of railways by the end of 2014, 15,800 kilometers were high speed rail (HSR), making it the HSR world leader.







>>  China continues safe rural drinking water efforts

By Rong Jiaojiao and Yu Wenjing

China will provide clean drinking water to 58.67 million rural residents, including 7.04 million teachers and students, by the end of 2015 to achieve its target for 2011-2015.

“Safe drinking water in rural areas is a government priorities and we must achieve this goal,” said Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei.

Li said the project would be supported by more government funding and favorable policies as well as a new financing mechanism that would encourage private capital.

The government will strengthen water quality control and step up supervision to resolve drinking water safety issues in rural areas, he added.

The target for the 2011-2015 period was to give 281.37 million rural residents access to safe drinking water. The 58.67 million rural residents is the last group of the target.







>>  Chinese brokerages post big profits in 2014

By Rong Jiaojiao

Chinese brokerage firms saw surging profits in 2014 boosted by easing measures from policymakers, the Securities Association of China (SAC) said.

Combined net profits of 120 brokerage firms totaled 96.55 billion yuan (15.78 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, surging 119.34 percent from 2013, according to SAC.

The aggregate revenues of these brokerages hit 260.28 billion yuan last year, up 63.45 percent compared with 2013.

The sector’s strong performance was attributed to bullish Chinese shares in the last quarter of 2014, thanks to the recovering economic climate and easing measures from the central government.

China’s A shares raised 724.9 billion yuan in 2014, with 47.1 billion yuan raised through the initial public offerings (IPO) of 94 enterprises, and 677.8 billion yuan from refunding by 609 listed companies, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) revealed.







>>  Six more H7N9 cases reported in China

By Cao Kai, Xiao Sisi and Gao Haoliang

Six more H7N9 human cases were reported in south China’s Guangdong Province and the neighboring province Jiangxi, local health authorities said on Sunday of February 22.

Five men, all in their fifties, were diagnosed with the disease on Friday and Saturday in five different cities in Guangdong. Three are in a critical condition, according to the provincial health and family planning commission.

So far 59 H7N9 human cases have been reported in Guangdong Province.

A 74-year-old man from Nanchang City, capital of Jiangxi Province, was diagnosed with the disease on Saturday, the second H7N9 human case in the province.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013. It is most likely to infect humans in winter and spring.

Human cases of H7N9 have been reported this winter in several other Chinese localities including Shanghai, Fujian, Guizhou and Zhejiang.







>>  8 dead, 1 missing after boat sinks in central China

By Cao Kai and Xie Ying

Eight people have died and one is still missing as of 4 p.m. Sunday after a boat sank in the Zijiang River in central China’s Hunan Province on Saturday afternoon of February 21, local authorities said.

The accident happened around 4 p.m. Saturday when a private boat with 18 people on board sank on the Jiugongqiao section of Zijiang River. Nine people have been rescued.

Tang Huilong from Tanghong Village, Jiugongqiao Township, Shaoyang County, had borrowed the boat from his neighbor to take his family to visit the Taohua Island, 700 meters away from Tang’s house. The boat sank on its return journey.

Among the dead and missing were a 61-year-old and a one-year-old infant. Seven of the nine rescued people have been discharged from hospital.

The preliminary investigation shows that the boat, 12 meters long and 1.5 meters wide, got into difficulty due to the strong current.

“Because of the rapids, the boat suddenly lost balance and started to sink and everybody fell into the water,” one survivor said, whose husband died as a result of the accident. He had managed to rescue his daughter but failed to save his son before his own drowning.

According to an official with local maritime bureau, the boat, which is not authorized for commercial operation, should only carry at most eight passengers.

Search and further investigation is undergoing.







>>  4 killed, several injured in SW China car accident

By Han Xiaojing and Mo Jun

Four people were killed and several others injured after a coach overturned in Qinzhou City in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday morning of February 22, local authorities said.

The accident happened around 9 a.m. when a coach, which plies the Xiniujiao township-Beihai City route, overturned in heavy rain at the Pingshandong Village section of the road.

Four people died at the scene.

Rescue efforts are still ongoing , and the number of injured is still unclear.







>>  Magnitude 5 quake hits Xinjiang, no casualties yet

By Han Xiaojing, Fu Xiaodong, Liu Bing and Li Huizi

An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale hit Shawan County, in Tacheng Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at 2:42 p.m.on Sunday of February 22, the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported.

The epicenter was monitored at 44.1 degrees north latitude and 85.7 degrees east longitude at a depth of 4 km, according to the CENC.

There are no reports of casualties or property damage, according to the county government.

The quake was felt in Shawan County. According to resident Wang Jianan, who said the lamp in her second floor room swung for about 20 seconds. All those in the building rushed outside.

Residents in Urumqi, 180 kilometers away from Shawan, and Korla City, which is more than 300 kilometers away, also felt the earthquake.

A resident of Korla City, Zhao Min, said her kitchen table shook when the quake happened.

According to the regional seismological bureau, two townships, Xigebi and Dongwan, are near the epicenter.

Three rescue vehicles have been despatched to the epicenter and the authorities will follow up on the impact of the quake.







>>  Geological disasters kill 349 in 2014

By Rong Jiaojiao and Wang Libin

Geological disasters in China caused 349 deaths and 51 are unaccounted for in 2014, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.

The disasters — 10,907 in total, which including landslides and land cave-ins — incurred direct economic losses of 5.41 billion yuan (884 million U.S. dollars), down 46.7 percent year on year.

The number of incidents dropped 29.2 percent year on year, while the number of those killed and missing down by 40.2 percent.

China has continued to strengthen monitoring and early-warning system,and heightened its disaster prevention training and emergency drills for the public, the ministry said.







>>  China on blue alert for blizzard

By Rong Jiaojiao

China’s weather observatory on Sunday of February 22 issued a heavy snowstorm blue alert for the country’s northeast regions.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast snowstorms will hit northeastern provinces on Sunday and Monday, with up to 20 millimeters of snow expected in Heilongjiang Province.

Parts of Heilongjiang will see blizzards and strong winds and icy road conditions.

The NMC advised residents to stay indoors and asked local authorities to be prepared.

China has a four tier color coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.












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