China launches “Sky Net” to capture fugitive officials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese president, premier offer wreaths over late Singapore’s founding PM

By Xiong Zhengyan

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders on Thursday of March 26 sent wreaths to the Singaporean Embassy in Beijing to pay respects to Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee, Singapore’s founding father, died in Singapore early on Monday at the age of 91.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese state councilor mourns passing of Lee Kuan Yew

By Hou Lijun

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi mourned the passing of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the Singaporean embassy in China on Thursday of March 26.

Yang signed the condolence book, expressing profound sympathy.

Singaporean Ambassador to China Stanley Loh expressed gratitude for the condolences from the Chinese government.

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father, served as the country’s prime minister from 1959 to 1990 and then as a senior minister and minister mentor. He died in Singapore early on Monday at the age of 91.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China, Myanmar conduct joint investigation on warplane bombing

By Hao Yalin

Experts from China and Myanmar’s armed forces conducted a joint investigation on a Myanmar warplane bombing from March 24 to 26 in Lincang of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

Defense Ministry spokesperson Geng Yansheng made the remarks at a regular press briefing on Thursday of March 26.

On March 13, a bomb dropped by a Myanmar warplane hit a sugarcane field in Lincang, which borders the conflict-hit country. The incident killed five villagers and injured eight others.

After the incident, China lodged serious complaints with Myanmar. Myanmar expressed sorrow over the Chinese casualties.

Geng said China had a consistent and clear policy with regard to relations with Myanmar.

China respects Myanmar’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and it will not allow any organization or people, using China’s territory, to infringe upon China-Myanmar relations or stability in the border areas, Geng noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China, ASEAN to meet on DOC implementation

By Wang Huihui

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Yangon, Myanmar, to discuss the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in late March.

The meeting, slated for March 30 to 31, is the 13th joint working group meeting on the implementation of the DOC between China and the ASEAN, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

China attaches great importance to the meeting and will exchange views with other participants on fully and effectively implementing the DOC, promoting maritime practical cooperation and the consultation on compilation of the Code of Conduct (COC), she said.

Officials and experts will also meet on navigation safety and joint search and rescue, she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOKYO

>>  War statement debate, a smoke grenade for Abe to hide revisionism

By Liu Tian and Yan Liang

The world should be increasingly vigilant to the wily Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his moves towards historical revisionism, as his expert panel set up by the government here on his war anniversary statement is nothing but a smoke grenade serving to hide the rightist leader’s real intentions.

According to the summary after the panel’s second round debate that focused on historical issues, the majority of the 16-member panel insisted that the word “aggression” should not be used in the so-called “Abe Statement” by quibbling about “whether it is appropriate to determine that the war was an act of aggression based on present values” or that “Japan should not be the only one to blame as aggression was also conducted by the Allied Forces.”

It is fortunate that some panel members stood against such efforts to deny wartime atrocities, but it is more unfortunate that the minority were fooled by Abe as they are a very essential part of Abe’s hand-picked panel charged with assisting the prime minister to subtly revise the nation’s war history and ensure that Abe’s historical revisionism makes a soft landing in his statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The crafty prime minister is a veteran of such double-hedge tricks. A similar penal was also formed to debate whether the country should exercise the right to collective self-defense in a move to apparently give the opposition a channel to express itself, but in actuality ensuring the results were entirely controllable and in line with his real purpose.

Sadly, Abe’s conspiracy worked again to some extent this time, since all the liberal press here, including those who always fiercely slam such historical revisionism, have become somewhat muted against denouncing such wrong viewpoints being upheld by Abe himself, who even reiterated last week in a Diet session that there is no internationally-recognized definition of “aggression.”

The recently concluded second session of the panel would be the only one focused on historical issues among its total five gatherings and the signal released from the summary cast gloomy shadows over Japan’s relations with its neighbors who have raised concerns about the controversial Abe statement.

Both China and South Korea, Japan’s two most important neighbors, have urged the country to take the golden opportunity of the war anniversary to reconcile with its neighbors and to show the world that Japan is a responsible country and is brave enough to face up to its past, rather than cowardly avoiding admitting the wrongdoing it did decades ago.

Such urges are not aimed at incensing Japan, but in hope that the Japanese leader, officials and lawmakers could make the country into a constructive player in maintaining East Asia’s peace, stability and prosperity by stopping the irresponsible comments that hurt the feelings of its neighboring countries.

The world is hoping that the statement to be issued at the 70th war anniversary could serve as a positive political legacy for the future of Japan and its neighbors, rather than a disaster that would crush the current vulnerable tendency towards improvements in Japan’s ties with its neighbors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China calls for political solution to Yemeni crisis

By Hou Lijun

China on Thursday of March 26 voiced concern over the deterioration of the situation in Yemen, calling on all parties involved to resolve their differences through dialogue.

The Saudi ambassador to Washington announced on Wednesday that his country and its Gulf allies have launched airstrikes on the Shiite Houthi group in Yemen.

Warplanes raided military camps belonging to the Houhti militia in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Thursday, killing four civilians.

China hopes all parties involved will resolve the crisis through political dialogue in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions on Yemen, the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue Conference, and the Peace and National Partnership Agreement, so as to restore domestic stability and normal order as soon as possible, said Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a routine press conference.

All Chinese agencies and personnel in Yemen are safe and sound, she said, adding the Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassy in Yemen have advised Chinese citizens to suspend their travel plans to Yemen.

“We will continue to closely follow the situation in Yemen,” said Hua.

Yemen has experienced a power struggle since January when President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah submitted their resignation in protest against the Houthi group’s takeover of the capital.

Hadi fled to the southern port city of Aden in February after being placed under house arrest by the Houthi group and the remains of his government have made the city their provisional capital.

The Houthi fighters took control of a strategic military air base in the southern province of Lahj early on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China take second place in Infostrada Rio medal prediction

By Zhang Rongfeng

China will collect 76 medals, 28 gold medals among them, ranking second to the United States’ leading 97 in total at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year, according to the prediction of Infostrada, a sports statistics institution.

Infostrada released its Rio Olympics medal table prediction on Thursday of March 26, ranking the traditional summer Olympics powerhouses USA, China, Russia in top three, followed by France, Germany, Australia, Britain and hosts Brazil in 4-8 places.

China remain in second place, the same as what they did in London 2012 in the prediction, but its prospective gold medal number is down to 28, 10 less than what they got from London Games, and the total medal number is also cut by 12 from London’s 88.

The United States are projected to win 47 golds, at least 19 more than any other NOC, but would fall seven short of the 104 the team managed in London. Half of the medals expected to be won by USA look likely to come from athletics or swimming.

Russia’s place is moved up one from London’s fourth position by pulling off 74 medals, just two less than China’s in total. Their gold opportunities are projected to be 25. Britain will slip four places to seventh with a total of 45 medals, dropping sharply from 65 medals four years ago as hosts.

Hosts Brazil are expected to win 10 golds, 14 silvers and three bronzes as they are on target for their best ever Olympic performance. The Brazilian team ended the London Games with a record 17 medals. As hosts, they are expected to improve to 27 medals in Rio.

In the medal table, France take fourth place with 18 golds, two more than Germany’s 16, but in total medal tally, Germany are credited with 55, eight more than the French team’s 47.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China extends Perrin’s coach contract to 2018

By Zhang Rongfeng

Chinese Football Association (CFA) has finished the deal this week to extend Frenchman Alain Perrin’s contract to 2018 on flexible terms, according to local media reports.

The estimated salary for Perrin and his two assistants will be around two million dollars annually, “Beijing Youth Daily” reported on Thursday of March 26.

Perrin coached Chinese team to reach the Asian Cup quarterfinals by collecting three victories in group stage in January, but were ultimately laid low in a 2-0 loss to the host Socceroos, the eventual winner of the tournament.

China’s overall performance under Perrin’s helm since March last year is impressive and the Frenchman’s pragmatic style also plays a role in persuding CFA to bestow the contract extension.

Team China has played a total of 14 games, including 10 friendlies, with Perrin in charge, losing two games only — 1-3 to Mali in friendly and 0-2 to Australia in Asian Cup — winning seven of them.

After the renewed contract, Perrin needs to focus on a long run, steering Chinese team to fight for the 2018 Russian World Cup finals. A series of World Cup qualifiers await him towards the 2018 soccer gala and challenges remain ahead for the Frenchman as his tenure is relevant to team performance under the flexible terms, which are not disclosed specifically.

China is used to be obsessed with big-name coach like Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, Serb Ratomir Dujkovic and Dutchman Adrianus Haan, but those big shots just didn’t work in China.

Perrin succeeded Camacho last year and was supposed to be a care-taker in the beginning. After a year’s record, CFA gave him credential for a longer term after the Asian Cup campaign.

China has taken steps to improve its soccer performance after the country’s central reform leading group, chaired by President Xi Jinping, approved a soccer reform plan, stressing the youth talent foster and grassroots education.

“More efforts should be made at the grassroots level to nurture young talents and to ensure the integration of professional clubs, school teams and amateur teams,” said a statement from reform group this month.

Despite a domestic soccer league that offers foreign managers and players lucrative contracts, China’s national team remains a lowly 82nd place, tied with Guatemala, in FIFA’s latest global rankings.

China has reached the World Cup finals only once at the 2002 Korea/Japan tournament under the leadership of Serbian manager Bora Milutinovic.

Perrin took over as manager of Lyon in 2007 and had led the club to a seventh consecutive Ligue 1 title and also the French Cup in the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARARE

>>  Chinese defense minister visits Zimbabwe, pledging to strengthen ties

By Wang Yue

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on Thursday of March 26 pledged to continue bilateral military exchanges and deepen cooperation between the armies of China and Zimbabwe as he wrapped up his two-day visit to the southern African country.

During his visit, Chang met Vice President Phelekezera Mphoko, who is the acting president of Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe is on a foreign visit, held talks with Zimbabwean Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, and visited the Chinese-built Defense College on the outskirts of Harare.

Chang told Mphoko that China and Zimbabwe’s friendship withstood changes of time. Over the past 35 years since the two established diplomatic ties, China and Zimbabwe have been giving each other understanding and support. Last year, during President Robert Mugabe’s state visit to China, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached consensus on the course of developing bilateral ties.

Chang said the Chinese military is willing to join hands with its Zimbabwean counterpart to further exchanges and deepen cooperation to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.

Mphoko commended Chinese military’s long-time support to Zimbabwe, which includes training of the personnel, and said Zimbabwe regards China as a trust-worthy friend and he wishes that the two sides can further boost ties to a new high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAIROBI

>>  What future for world cross country after Guiyang meeting?

By Ding Xiaoxi

Debate on the future of cross country will still emerge in Guiyang, China when over 50 countries converge for the event on Saturday of March 28.

Year after year, African runners have proven their domination of cross country; they decide the outcome in all four races. The top ten finishers in each of the four races in the last three meetings have all been African-born runners.

Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, have also had athletes performing well in the discipline.

However, most of these nations have imports from Africa and would pass as either Kenyan, Eritreans or Ethiopia. But the emergence of Uganda, U.S and China, especially in youth cadres will certainly raise the interest in the event.

Unlike in Bydgoszcz, Poland, one difference in Guiyang will be the weather conditions. While freezing temperatures and snow greeted the runners in Bydgoszcz, warm and moist conditions are forecast on Saturday.

Outside Africa, bronze medallist in senior men’s race Chris Derrick of the United States will be the athlete to beat.

The 24-year-old is in better form than he was in 2013 when he finished 10th.

European cross-country champion Polat Kemboi Arikan from Turkey leads his continent’s prospects along with renowned cross-country exponent Hassan Chahdi from France, who recently posted a 1:01:38 half marathon debut in Paris.

But the acknowledgment by IAAF President Lamine Diack that the domination of cross country running by Kenya and Ethiopia is killing the sport.

At their council meeting in Berlin, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled that the World Cross Country Championships will now be held once every two years rather than annually.

The IAAF council members argued that this would allow the continents to organize continental championships on the alternate years.

This is after Kenya and Ethiopia dominated the discipline so much that European television interest in the sport has taken a nosedive.

“The World Cross Country championships have become not only an African affair but an East African affair, and these days you don’ t even get athletes from West Africa competing,” IAAF president Lamine Diack.

Yet, in Guiyang, there will be more than enough at stake to inspire even the lame to leap and clear the race.

No less than 280,000 U.S. dollars in prize money will be paid out by the IAAF to the leading runners in the two senior races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

A first prize of 30,000 dollars will be awarded to each individual winner of the men’s and women’s senior races, with money available down to sixth place. In total, 140,000 dollars is on offer for individual prizes.

And after months of preparations, the Chinese lakeside city of Guiyang is ready to welcome more than 400 runners from 51 different countries.

The championships course is located in a mountainous area approximately 30km away from the city and is set in and around a horse racing circuit.

It is a facility which has since 2000 hosted Asian and national cross-country championships.

After Guiyang, the event will return to Africa for the third time in Kampala in 2017. Only Johannesburg (1999) and Mombasa ( 2007) have hosted the event before in the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KASANE, Botswana

>>  Experts urge joint efforts to fight illegal wildlife trade

By Han Qian

In northern Botswana’s town of Kasane, fighting against illegal wildlife trade has been hitting headlines during the last three days as the second African Elephant meeting and the Kasane Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade were held here with delegates from more than 30 countries vowing actions against such practice.

The meetings were held respectively Monday and Wednesday in the town of wide biodiversity, the position and point of view held by delegates on wildlife protection also diversified based on the status quo in their own countries.

African countries, as the source of wildlife and the first stop of illegal wildlife trade chain should take the responsibility to stem poaching.

At Wednesday’s conference, Botswana’s President Seretse Khama Ian Khama said well resourced and organized crime groups and militias are taking advantage of weakness in legislation, institutional inadequacies and civil unrest in range and consumer countries to supply wildlife products.

Michael Wamithi, delegate at the African Elephant Meeting from Kenya said as many African countries are still struggling with their economic and social development, lack of finance is a headache for them in combating illegal wildlife trade.

According to Wamithi, other issues as cited by Botswana’s president, weak law framework, bad governance, corruption and terrorism, arms and drugs trafficking funded by poaching make it more difficult to nip poaching in the bud.

To strengthen law enforcement along transport lines is also crucial to crack down on illegal wildlife trade as noted by UK Environment Minister Lord de Mauley at the Kasane Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade.

The minister said this year’s meeting moved specifically to the transport area including airlines and shipping lines, to engage transport agencies to curb illegal wildlife trade.

As for destination countries, to eradicate the demand market and to sensitize citizens on the importance of wildlife protection should top the agenda.

Vietnam delegate said the country’s government has announced a package of actions to educate the pubic and to engage various civil and enterprise associations in the work.

As to China, Chinese delegate Meng Xianlin, Executive Director General of The Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Import& Export Management Office said official statistics showed during the period 2013 to 2014, illegal wildlife trade cases and weight seized have declined by 70 to 80 percent respectively in China thanks to continuous efforts made in strengthening law framework, enhancing law enforcement capacity and sensitizing people on the importance to protect wildlife.

“To protect endangered species is not a one country issue, the responsibility is around the world, each country even person should take the responsibility, to take action by yourself, also we need cooperation and coordination among countries, governments and NGOs,” said Meng.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KASANE, Botswana

>>  China plays important role in global fight against illegal wildlife trade

By Feng Qidi

As home to treasured species like giant panda, tiger and Tibetan antelope, China has a profound variety and abundance of wildlife, which makes wildlife protection an important work for the country.

Wildlife protection was in spotlight at the Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade held Wednesday in the southern African country of Botswana, with delegates from 35 countries discussing measures to fight against wildlife poaching and trafficking.

At the conference, John C. Cruden, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) told Xinhua he believes China is playing an increasingly important role in the global fight against illegal wildlife trade.

“The Chinese delegates presented their work today, I think they are making great efforts, it’s quite positive and all of us can see China’s strong commitment in fighting illegal wildlife trade,” said Cruden.

Chinese delegate Meng Xianlin, the executive director-general of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Import and Export Management Office, said China has made great efforts in wildlife protection including strengthening law enforcement, providing fund, helping African countries to train staff in wildlife protection and making continuous sensitization among Chinese citizens on the importance of wildlife protection.

Chinese authorities has announced in February a one-year ban on imports of African ivory carvings acquired after the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) took effect in 1975, aiming to access the effects of the ban and to take further measures.

Susan Lieberman, the executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) told Xinhua at the Kasane Conference that the ban shows China’s firm resolution to strengthen its law enforcement and take more responsibility in wildlife protection.

“China now begins to play a leading role in the global fight against illegal wildlife trade and China is doing good in protecting its own wildlife resources, the panda and tiger populations are both increasing, ” said Lieberman.

Last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang offered 10 million U.S. dollars in aid for wildlife protection in Africa.

In February this year, an operation dubbed Cobra Cobra II was co-organized by China, the United States, South Africa and international wildlife protection institutes which cleaned up over 350 cases, capturing more than 3 tonnes of ivory and its products, over 1,000 hides, 36 rhino horns and a large number of other wildlife products.

Also this year, China for the first time sent enforcement staff to Kenya to arrest ivory trafficking suspects.

Training is another job Chinese authorities are pushing forward, not only for its own staff but also for wildlife rangers in other countries.

“Training is one of our important works, each year an average of 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese staffs receive training. In recent years, we’ve made more training for staffs from other countries, like African countries, our neighboring countries and we’ve organized also training overseas, ” Meng said.

At the Kasane Conference, delegates said political will is crucial in the fight against illegal wildlife trade as it is the driving force for all the other works related.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAIROBI

>>  Kenyan chef’s mastery of Chinese cuisine secures him a thriving career

By Ding Xiaoxi

While growing up, Reagan Mdogo Amalemba would never imagine that one day he would become a popular chef in an exotic restaurant located in an affluent suburb of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The 33-year-old father of two grew up in the rugged hills of Western Kenya where access to modern trappings was a mirage.

Amalemba enrolled in a public school where he nurtured the dream of pursuing an elite career that would offer a strategic escape from village drudgery.

His life’s journey took a tragic turn when both parents died and he was forced to drop out of high school because of lack of school fees.

Amalemba’s audacious spirit and ability to adjust quickly cushioned him from social ills that are associated with poor and unskilled youth.

Official statistics showed that there are over 60 Chinese restaurants in Nairobi, creating more than 1,300 jobs for locals.

Moreover, more than 90 percent chefs working in these restaurants are local Kenyans.

Now an accomplished chef in an upscale Chinese restaurant in Nairobi, his inspirational life’s history, as told to Xinhua on Wednesday, could as well earn him a place in history.

“While fate conspired to deny me long cherished dream of a glamorous career, I held on to hope and optimism. Soon after dropping out of school, I navigated through a treacherous journey in Nairobi while searching for opportunities,” said Amalemba.

In 2010, he applied for the position of a chef at Chinese Jinjiang restaurant located in an upmarket Nairobi suburb.

When Xinhua visited Jinjiang restaurant on Wednesday afternoon, Amalemba’s prowess in preparing Chinese cuisine was evident.

In a record five minutes, he prepared Cantonese squid, star fry cabbage, griddle potatoes, sweet and sour pork whose taste and aroma was irresistible.

Amalemba credits Chinese mentors for his mastery of cuisine from the Asian giant.

“At first, I thought that preparing Chinese dishes was a herculean task. Like many Kenyans, I had minimal exposure to foreign cuisines. Surprisingly, the initial fear dissolved and currently I find it easier to cook and serve these dishes,” Amalemba told Xinhua.

Currently a senior chef at Jinjiang restaurant, Amalemba is a model of inspiration to young Kenyans keen on learning the intricacies of preparing Chinese dishes.

Asked whether working at Jinjiang restaurant since 2010 has transformed his life, Amalemba answered in the affirmative and stated his desire to pursue a career in hospitality industry for the long haul.

“Since joining Jinjiang restaurant five years ago, I can say that my life has taken a new turn. A steady and reasonable salary alongside good working environment have offered a much needed fulfillment,” said Amalemba.

His knowledge of Chinese language, culture and cuisine has improved drastically for the past years.

“I can understand the meaning of key Chinese words, though am not able to speak the language fluently. Knowledge of the language makes it easier to communicate with clients,”Amalemba said.

During his five year stint at Jinjiang restaurant, Amalemba has mentored younger Kenyans who are now accomplished in preparing Chinese dishes.

Amalemba represents the new generation of Kenyans who have secured a lifeline from Chinese enterprises.

A once disadvantaged village boy is an inspiration to his peers, having secured a well paying and glamorous career.

“Some of my age mates wonder how I manage to cater for my family without a hustle and even extend financial support to siblings and other relatives,” Amalemba said.

He revealed that Kenyan patrons at Jinjiang restaurant are proud of witnessing their own country folk prepare and serve Chinese cuisine.

The upscale Chinese restaurants dotting the Kenyan capital have struck a chord with local people with a taste for exotic cuisine.

Likewise, the restaurants have cemented Sino-Kenya friendship and unleashed mutual benefits.

Liu Chi, the manager of Jinjiang restaurant, noted that Chinese cuisine has gained popularity among Kenyans.

“Kenyans love Chinese food and appreciates its wide variety of ingredients. Some of our Kenyan clients have even mastered the names of key dishes,” Liu told Xinhua.

Jinjiang restaurant has employed 15 Kenyans and source ingredients from the local market.

Liu added that both the Chinese and Kenyan chefs have a mutual relationship that has enhanced knowledge sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINDHOEK

>>  Chinese engineering company starts work on SADC Gateway port

By Wonder Guchu

China Harbour and Engineering Company has started work on the multi-billion Namibian dollar Southern African Development Community Gateway Port at Walvis Bay in Namibia.

The company has also started building a workers’ camp for more than 3,000 people.

The company has embarked on constructing an access road before working on Phase One of the port project, which requires widening the harbour by about 180 metres and creating an access tunnel that will be 16.5 metres deep.

The access road will be used to transport construction equipment and material from the B2 coastal highway to the construction site.

The construction of the port, which is being funded by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, is expected to take about 27 months.

Once the access road is completed, the CHEC will embark on the construction of two tanker berths to replace the old ones that have been in use for more than 50 years.

The project that has started a year ahead of schedule will cater for commodity exports and importers from landlocked SADC countries.

It will include the largest, most modern ship and rig repair yard on the west African coast. It will also have one of the largest gas and oil supply bases in the region; and an undercover dry bulk terminal that can handle more than 100 million tons per year.

In addition, there will be a large vehicle import terminal; multi-purpose and break bulk terminal; liquid bulk terminals consisting of large tank farms and tanker berths; and a container terminal believed to be able to handle two million units per year.

Last year in November, Clive Smith of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group said the development of logistics in Namibia would help towards attaining the goals of Vision 2030, which requires Namibia to reach developmental stages that are critical in generating jobs and moving the economy ahead.

The new port will lead to the development of several “super hubs” in Namibia along the main corridors linking Namibia to the SADC region.

These hubs will stimulate economic activity in the various regions, mitigating rural migration of the labour force to the capital Windhoek and the coast.

Currently, about 700,000 tons of cargo are transported from the Walvis Bay port into the region. It is expected that in the next 10 years, this would have increased to about 4.5 million tons.

The current tonnage is being moved by 170 trucks while it is estimated that about 750 trucks would be required to move the 4.5 million tons.

According to the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN), estimated that the combined GDP of the SADC landlocked countries that will have access to the port was about 2.36 trillion Namibian dollars (200 billion U.S. dollars).

The association further said the combined annual exports and imports from the countries are expected to increase with between 5 and 7 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MELBOURNE

>>  Rare Chinese artifacts to be displayed in Melbourne

By Matt Walsh

A rare collection of ancient Chinese artifacts will transport visitors back in time to the Qing dynasty, as a new exhibition will open at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) on Friday of March 27.

“A Golden Age in China” is a collection of rare and valuable treasures that will be showcased for 12 weeks, and includes pieces of art collected by one of China’s most successful Qing dynasty emperors, Qianlong Emperor.

Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said that rare collection was a fantastic addition to the NGV.

“The exhibited works have rarely been on public display in China,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“The exhibition draws us into an era of China’s cultural history that resonates across the world to this day. It tells a fascinating story and showcases the richness of Chinese culture.”

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews will open the exhibition on Thursday night, and said that it offers incredible insight into the past of such a mysterious ancient culture.

“This incredible exhibition is an opportunity for Victorians and visitors to see rarely displayed works from China’s illustrious Palace Museum in the Forbidden City,” he said.

Visitors to the exhibition would be able to see some of the emperor’s own works, as well as his extensive collection of weapons, jewelry, pieces of clothing and his impressive imperial seals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY

>>  Australian NSW party under fire for anti-Chinese political campaign

By Patrick Whiteley

he New South Wales (NSW) Australian Labor Party (ALP) on Thursday of March 26 continued to come under attack for being anti-Chinese and sending xenophobic messages to the Australian people.

NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said the NSW ALP’s election strategy has been “reduced to lies and scaremongering about the prospect of a Chinese-owned company bidding to be involved in a future electricity lease transaction.”

With the NSW election set for this Saturday, ALP NSW leader Luke Foley has said he supported a union advertising campaign that claims the NSW government is planning to sell the state’s electricity network to China’s State Grid Corporation.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union campaign attacks China’s State Grid Corporation which is a potential buyer of leases over the state’s power network.

Dominello said Labor’s advertisements are anti-Chinese and anti- Asian and evoke the old “yellow peril” scare tactics.

“They amount to a veiled attack against members of our Chinese community, with subliminal messages which are dark and xenophobic, ” Dominello told a press conference in Sydney.

“This confirms that Labor poses a threat to all the work the Baird Government has done to develop a strong economic relationship with China, our biggest trading partner.

“Through its gutter politics Labor has already damaged our relationship with China and denigrated our local Chinese community in the process.”

President of the NSW branch of the Australia China Business Council, Jim Harrowell, told the Australian newspaper that Foley’s remarks were damaging to business relations with China, raised the fear of the “yellow peril” and politically motivated.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane criticised anti-privatization advertisements, which focused on the prospect of State Grid Corporation’s investment, for “inflaming xenophobia. ”

“In this case, it is disappointing that political advertisements have resorted to such fear-mongering,” Soutphommasane told The Daily Telegraph.

However, Foley has said that he had spoken to many Chinese people at community meetings in Sydney and claims the people were equally opposed to privatization of the electricity network.

“I don’t want the Chinese government, or the French government or the Russian government or even my friends in the Irish government owning the NSW electricity network,” he told reporters.

A Labor spokesperson said the party had a long history of being friends with China with former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam establishing diplomatic relations with China.

Despite the arguments, sitting NSW Premier Mike Baird remains ahead in the polls and is tipped to win Saturday’s election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINDHOEK

>>  Chinese film week in Namibia slated for April

By Musarasane Kaseke

The Chinese Embassy in Namibia will host a Chinese Film Week in association with Sky Theatre Maerua Mall, the capital Windhoek on April 10 as well as a table tennis tournament on April 18.

This was aired out by Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Xin Shunkang during a reception and Xinhua Gallery photo exhibition graced by the founding president Sam Nujoma, in celebration of 25 years of the establishment of China Namibia diplomatic relations on Wednesday in Windhoek.

According to Xin, since his embassy had put together some wonderful moments and co-hosted a photo exhibition with the National museum of Namibia and Xinhua News Agency in Windhoek, to commemorate those great achievements over the 25 years, the events slated for April are meant to be captured for future archiving and commemorations as well.

“We hope our friends, especially media friends could participate in these functions and show, through your lens and reports, the great achievements of our friendship to the Namibian people so as to further enhance our mutual understanding,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDINBURGH

>>  Female panda at Edinburgh Zoo artificially inseminated

By Guo Chunju

The female giant panda Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo was artificially inseminated early on Thursday of March 26, said the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

“The procedure was carried out by the expert team of three veterinarians at RZSS, alongside Chinese colleague Dr. Wang Chengdong from the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas (CCRCGP). Only semen from male panda Yang Guang was used during the procedure,” said Iain Valentine, director of Giant Pandas for RZSS.

Natural mating is also to be attempted before the short breeding window comes to a close on Thursday afternoon, as both pandas remain extremely interested in one another. However, as Tian Tian’s transition to peak (mating potential) was so rapid, it was a priority to move straight to artificial insemination first, Valentine noted.

Throughout Wednesday, Tian Tian remained very quiet and sleepy, but by 5 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) there was a behavioral shift. The results of hormone tests that came back at 7 p.m. local time (1900 GMT), carried out by the University of Edinburgh, confirmed ovulation had occurred, he added.

“Each individual panda is different and their pattern can vary from year to year. This is why we start hormone monitoring via urine samples so early and continually observe our female via CCTV (closed-circuit television) as the window approaches,” Valentine said, adding: “Tian Tian is doing very well and everything went according to plan.”

The panda enclosure will likely remain closed at Edinburgh Zoo until Sunday, March 29, according to a press release.

In 2013, Tian Tian became pregnant after artificial insemination, with the method being recommended by Chinese experts. During the breeding season, her behavior suggested she would not be responsive to Yang Guang, and putting them together potentially posed risk of injury. Tian Tian carried a fetus until a late term, but then lost it, according to the RZSS.

Edinburgh is the only city in Britain that houses pandas, after Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived at Edinburgh Zoo on Dec. 4, 2011 from China for a 10-year exchange program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Yuan strengthens after Armenia currency swap deal

By Wang Hongjiang

The central parity rate of the Chinese yuan strengthened by 35 basis points to 6.1375 against the U.S. dollar on Thursday of March 26, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.x The surge came after a currency swap deal between China and Armenia valued at 1 billion yuan (162.93 million U.S. dollars), or 77 billion Armenian dram.

The three-year deal signed by China’s central bank and its Armenian counterpart aims to boost bilateral trade and investment, and it could be extended upon agreement by both sides, said the People’s Bank of China late on Wednesday.

To encourage international use of the yuan, China has signed currency swap agreements with more than 20 countries and regions since the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the U.S. dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

 

 

 

 

 

SEOUL

>>  JD.com launches “Korean Mall” imported goods platform in SeoulBy

By Peng Qian

Chinese B2C e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. on Thursday of March 26 launched its online imported goods platform ” Korean Mall” in Seoul, a major step of developing its South Korean market.

Liu Qiangdong (Richard Liu), Founder and CEO of JD.com on Thursday officially announced the open of “Korean Mall” in a seminar co-held by South Korea’s leading e-commerce solution provider cafe24, which is also one of JD.com’s local partner.

Liu said “Korean Mall” will focus on satisfying rising demand driven by K-pop among Chinese consumers for Korean products, including clothes, cosmetics, electronics and others. By opening online shops on JD.com, Korean entrepreneurs will have more opportunities to offer goods directly to Chinese customers, diversifying sales channels.

“The surprising growth rate of JD.com will be a great opportunity for any local companies to enter into the Chinese market,” said Lee Jae-seok, CEO of SimpleX Internet which operates cafe24, adding that they will closely work with JD.com to help stimulate e-commerce trade between China and South Korea.

In 2014, JD.com has sold approximately 3.8 million mobile phones, more than 4.02 million IT products and nearly two million cosmetics of Korean brand with the total turnover of ten billion RMB (1.61 billion U.S. dollars). JD.com estimated that the turnover of products with Korean brand will exceed 50 billion RMB (8.05 billion U.S. dollars) in the next three years.

“We aim to absorb more than one thousand Korean enterprises to sell their products on JD.com by the end of this year,” said Liu.

Liu added that JD.com plans to set up storage base in South Korea to reduce the intermediate stages of sending Korean products to Chinese customers, trying best to lowering the logistic cost and making sure Korean brands have more competitive price in the Chinese market.

“Our final goal is to lower the logistic cost to only two dollar when sending a Korean product from South Korea to China’s countryside,” said Liu.

Liu said JD.com has made agreement with China’s customs in Hangzhou, Ningbo and Guangzhou on fast customs checks and logistic bonded, which can enable Chinese customers receive Korean products in three to seven days after ordering. More time will be saved after JD.com signing agreement with Qingdao, Weihai and Lianyungang, cities closer to South Korea.

Liu also told Xinhua that besides helping Korean companies sell products to China, JD.com will cooperate with South Korea’s local e-commerce enterprises to selling Chinese products to South Korea by the end of 2015.

Liu said JD.com will start develop its overseas market at full- scale in 2015 since it has already launched “Korean Mall” and ” French Mall.” JD.com will continue strengthening its overseas direct purchase and open more online exclusive mall in Japan, Australia, the U.S. and many European countries in future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TORONTO

>>  Chinese bank, Canadian group to jointly explore offshore RMB market

By Zeng Dejin

The newly-launched RMB clearing bank in Canada and the owner of the Canadian stock exchange inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) here on Wednesday of March 25 to explore the RMB offshore market in North America.

According to the document, ICBC Canada (ICBK) and the TMX Group that owns and operates the Toronto Stock Exchange, will work to develop new opportunity for a wide range of financial products including bonds, stocks, interest rate derivatives and commodity derivatives.

ICBK, a subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), was officially launched here on Monday as the first RMB offshore trading center in the Western hemisphere.

The focus of ICBK-TMX cooperation will include, but not be limited to, the joint product development in multiple asset classes, clearing and settlement products and risk management mechanism.

Additionally, they will jointly explore the development of financial services, offshore RMB financing services, RMB bonds, index, Exchange Traded Fund and commodity.

Analysts say the move indicates that RMB Internationalization achieved “a new remarkable progress in Canada.” The cooperation, which relies on the mature financial market in Canada, is obviously beneficial to both China and Canada, according to them.

Shu Gu, the senior executive vice president of ICBC, expressed his support in a statement, “it is a great opportunity to robust the trade between China and Canada. We believe this will also promote the pleasant business relationship with TMX Group.”

“This MOU with ICBK represents an important new relationship for TMX Group,” said TMX Group CEO Lou Eccleston. “We are pleased to begin work with ICBK to explore ways in which we can collaborate to strengthen our respective organizations and increase our presence in a key global marketplace.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAN DIEGO

>>  Beijing doctor saves U.S. woman while touring San Diego’s Sea World

By Zhang Chaoqun

A Chinese doctor saved a collapsed American woman while touring the Sea World in San Diego, California last month, the U.S. theme park confirmed Wednesday. The noble act has gained tons of thumbs up in China’s social media sphere.

The rescuer turned out to be Tang Ziren, a supervisor at the emergency department of Beijing Chaoyang Hospital. Writing in his Sina Weibo account on March 21, China’s equivalent to Twitter, Tang said he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a U.S. woman who collapsed around 10 meters away from him due to a sudden cardiac arrest.

“I continued chest compressions for about 10 minutes and successfully revived the patient after a rescue team arrived,” Tang wrote. Since then the post was flooded by over 50,000 “likes” and more than 9,000 comments and reposts.

“He was nice. He has saved someone’s life,” said Lionel Thomas Jr, supervisor of customer service of the Sea World, who rushed to the scene at the time. He told Xinhua that the incident happened at around 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 and right over the Shipwreck Rapids of the park.

“The guest was in condition of low stroke. A gentleman came over and said ‘I am doctor’. He assisted and so he gave CPR until our service assists came over and the fire department came,” Thomas recalled.

“We have a lot of guests that like to have heart attacks or strokes, but not too many guests will jump in and like to help out,” he said. “He definitely save the life.”

Thomas added that the woman was with her husband and kids and the family was happy that Mr. Tang was there.

Less than 30 meters from where it happened that day, there is a first aid station and an Automated External Defibrillator rescue facility nearby.

“Right now it’ s like 10,000 (people) in the park, but in the summer it can get to 50,000 per day,” Thomas said. “All the management, we are all CPR certified in first-aid. It will take two to five minutes, and we have people walk around.”

He confirmed that Mr. Tang had asked the woman’s family for CPR permit. “You have to introduce yourself saying ‘I am CPR certified, may I assist’, only if the guy say ‘yes’ , you can do that, if they say no, you can’ t do it there.”

After the emergency service personnel took the woman into the ambulance, Thomas gave Mr. Tang a gift for his good doing. “I am from guest service, so I went to the front and got him a ‘Dine With Shamu’ (an-hour private buffet), and brought him over.”

Sea World Communications Director David Koontz told Xinhua, “while we don’ t discuss specific medical procedures related to guests of our park, I will confirm that on Feb. 22 a park visitor did lose consciousness and that nearby guests initially responded to assist.”

“Our park medical personnel were on scene in less than 2 minutes, took over medical care and resuscitated the guest who was then transported to hospital,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BANGKOK

>>  Bereaved Chinese families to arrive in Thailand

By Zhang Chunxiao and Li Ying

Families of three Chinese tourists who were killed in a bus crash on Phuket Island on Wednesday will be arriving in Thailand soon, China’s consular office in Phuket said on Thursday of March 26.

One bereaved family will land in Phuket in the evening while the other two are going through necessary procedures, the office said.

Around noon on Wednesday, a tour bus carrying 18 Chinese tourists plunged into a valley, killing three and injuring 15 others.

An agreement has largely been reached for a local insurance company to cover medical expenses for the injured, with compensations for the deceased pending further negotiations by relevant parties, according to the consular office.

Three tourists were severely injured in the accident, whose conditions have improved after surgeries, said Chen Chen, a volunteer tourist police in Phuket.

The local police station is proceeding with its investigation into the accident.

On Thursday morning, officials from the China National Tourism Administration and the consular office visited the victims again in the hospital. They will stay on in Phuket to cooperate with relevant Chinese and Thai agencies in the follow-up work, the office said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HKSAR gov’t seeks to balance tourism, social needs: chief executive

By Wang Xiaoni

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government will strive to balance supply and demand in areas such as tourist attractions and public spaces, Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying said here on Thursday of March 26.

In response to a query during a Legislative Council question and answer session this morning, Leung said tourism contributed 4. 7 percent of the total GDP, similar to the contribution from all professional services.

He said the tourism industry also created job opportunities for the grassroots, and many people will become jobless or underemployed if the industry was to contract.

Leung said people should not harm Hong Kong’s image as a tourist destination in an attempt to resolve problems created by parallel trading, as it would be difficult to restore its reputation.

The HKSAR government and the Travel Industry Council will boost promotion, he said, adding that people should avoid radical action towards mainland visitors.

Leung said there were fewer mainland visitors during this Lunar New Year compared with last year, and if it becomes a trend, the outlook for tourism and related industries will be affected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  25 pct employees in HK look to leave their workplaces in a year: survey

By Zhang Yashi

A survey result made public on Thursday of March 26 shows that about 25 percent of employees in Hong Kong intend to leave their jobs within the next 12 months because of low compensation and limited career growth opportunities.

Randstad, an international human resources services provider, conducted the “Randstad Award 2015″ survey between September and December 2014 when more than 7,700 Hong Kong employees were interviewed.

The result reveals that one in four of the interviewees expressed that they intend to leave their workplace within the next 12 months, with 38 percent saying it was attributed to low compensation; 28 percent, limited career growth opportunities; 26 percent, a lack of recognition.

Hong Kong employees generally think that competitive salary, good work-life balance and a strong relationship with their direct manager are the most common reasons employees will stay with their current employer this year, according to the survey.

The survey also shows that the top five most important criteria when choosing an employer are salary and employee benefits, pleasant working atmosphere, good work-life balance, career progression opportunities and long-term job security.

Peter Yu, director of Randstad Hong Kong, said the findings reflect the challenging landscape faced by employers in Hong Kong.

“Not only do employers need to deal with the tight labor crunch creating a climate where workers are demanding higher wages or threatening to leave, but the diverse needs of the multi- generational workforce means that it’s more important than ever for companies to invest in their employer brands,” Yu said.

As the war for talent continues, all organizations need to look at their full employee value proposition and offer benefits that appeal to every generation of workers. Otherwise, they will find their employees looking to move to companies which offer the benefits that suit their needs, he added.

The Randstad Award research also surveyed respondents on the most attractive employers in Hong Kong, with Cathay Pacific taking out the top spot. Almost seven in ten Hong Kong employees expressed a desire to work for the local airline.

Yu said this reflected that Cathay Pacific has great commitment to investing in its employer brand, which was also recognized for its strong management, good work-life balance and pleasant working atmosphere.

Hong Kong Ocean Park and CLP Power Hong Kong Limited were the first and second runners-up of the Most Attractive Employer in Hong Kong award respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HK expects over 6 mln boundary crossings during Qingming festival

By Wang Xiaoni

Around 6.45 million passengers will pass through Hong Kong’s control points during the Easter and Qingming Festival from April 2 to 7, up 14 percent from last year, Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said here on Thursday of March 26.

About 75 percent, or 4.83 million passengers are expected to pass through land boundary control points, and Lo Wu is forecast to be the busiest control point, the department said.

The number of outbound passengers using land boundary control points is forecast to peak on April 3, with around 507,000 passengers leaving Hong Kong, while the number of inbound travelers will reach its highest on April 5, with an expected 470, 000 people arriving in the city.

The department has re-deployed additional staff to reinforce control points to cope with the anticipated heavy passenger traffic, it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  First big data decision analytics research center established in HK

By Wang Xiaoni

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has established the Stanley Ho Big Data Decision Analytics Research Center, the first among all tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, it said here on Thursday of March 26.

The research of the center aims to address important issues spanning six major areas, including healthcare, environment, social networks, finance, logistics and learning.

Founding director of the center Helen Meng said the center brings together faculty members and researchers from different disciplines in CUHK to address challenges posed by the unprecedented volumes of data that can be analyzed to bring new insights in applications across many domains.

Meng said the center also actively collaborates with industry and major partners such as IBM and Microsoft, and it recently organized a workshop to address new opportunities in education afforded by E-learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Hong Kong’s export value up 7.2 pct in February

By Wang Xiaoni

The value of Hong Kong’s total exports for February rose 7.2 percent from a year ago, while the value of imports of good fell 0.9 percent year-on-year, the statistics department said here Thursday.

Taking January and February as a whole to neutralize the distortion caused by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, the value of total exports of goods rose 4.6 percent from a year earlier, and the value of imports of goods increased 3.9 percent.

A visible trade deficit of 72.6 billion HK dollars (about 9.4 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to 11.8 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first two months of 2015.

A government spokesman said exports to the United States and some Asian economies saw more visible growth, nevertheless, given the still-challenging global economic outlook, more observations will be needed to ascertain if the moderate growth trend will continue in the period ahead.

The spokesman said the external trading environment remains overshadowed by various uncertainties, including the slow pace of recovery in some advanced economies, diverging monetary policy stances of major central banks, and geopolitical tensions in various regions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HK stocks close 0.13 pct lower

By Wang Xiaoni

Hong Kong stocks ended down 0. 13 percent on Thursday of March 26, with the benchmark Hang Seng index falling 31.15 points to end at 24,497.08 points, after trading between 24, 398.84 and 24,592.01.

Turnover totaled 83.21 billion HK dollars (about 10.72 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 49.22 points, or 0. 41 percent, to close at 11,919.69.

Two sub-indices gained ground, with the Properties sub-index rising by 0.21 percent and the Utility 0.06 percent. The Commerce and Industry fell 0.21 percent while the Finance lost 0.16 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed flat at 67.35 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank fell 0.4 percent to 140.70 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX decreased 0.8 percent at 178.30 HK dollars.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties fell 0.2 percent to 21.20 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, declined 0.6 percent to 53.80 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka- shing, went up 1.0 percent to 156.20 HK dollars.

As for mainland-based financial stocks, China Construction Bank, the country’s second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, added 0.2 percent to 6. 38 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, closed flat at 5.57 HK dollars. Bank of China lost 0.9 percent to 4.36 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was up 0.8 percent to 8.35 HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Gold price closes higher in Hong Kong

By Wang Xiaioni

The gold price in Hong Kong went up 190 HK dollars to close at 11,220 HK dollars per tael on Thursday of March 26, according to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society.

The price is equivalent to 1,213.70 U.S. dollars a troy ounce, up 20.55 U.S. dollars at the latest exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar against 7.76 HK dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAIPEI

>>  Taiwan investigates Fukushima food imports

By Chen Siwu

Health authorities in Taiwan are investigating how food products made near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant have illegally entered the island with false origin labels.

The labels might have been changed in Japan, Taiwan’s health chief Chiang Been-huang said, according to media reports on Thursday of March 26.

Anger has been growing in Taiwan after about 300 food products were found to have been imported and sold there with falsified Chinese-language labels.

Taiwan has banned food imports from Japan’s Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures since March 2011 after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Since news of the scandal broke, items including tea, packet noodles, cookies and sweets have been ordered off supermarket shelves.

Taiwan’s food and drug chief Chiang Yu-mei said it’s not clear whether the importers misunderstood the codes used on Japanese packaging to indicate place of origin or knowingly falsified the information to dodge the ban.

Under regulations in Taiwan, all Japanese food imports should carry Chinese-language labels that show the place of origin.

Simply attached on top of the originals, the labels on the illegally imported products claimed that they were manufactured in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Okayama or other regions far from Fukushima.

Media have accused the island’s food and drug agency of a cover-up and said that it is aware of a dozen companies that have been importing food from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba with fake origin labels.

The health authorities have admitted that they are considering lifting the ban on food imports from those areas due to pressure from Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Taiwan stocks close 0.5 pct lower

By Wang Xiaoni

Taiwan’s share prices closed down 0.5 percent on Thursday with the weighted index down 48.71 points at 9,619.12, according to news reaching here from Taipei.

Turnover totaled 115.18 billion new Taiwan dollars (about 3.68 billion U.S. dollars) during the trading session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 COLOMBO 

>>  Chinese delegations to visit Sri Lanka to boost bilateral trade

By Jamila Najmudeen

Four Chinese delegations will arrive in Sri Lanka this week to strengthen bilateral trade and commercial ties between the two countries, the country’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday of March 26.

The delegations, representing different Chinese regions, will arrive in the country on March 26, 27, 30 and April 1, respectively.

These visits are expected to help cultivate relationships between the individual regions and Sri Lankan business entities, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.

The delegations are also expected to hold meetings with members of the Sri Lanka-China Business Council, Sri Lankan businessmen, officials of the Export Development Board and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

The Chinese business delegations have also expressed their interest to meet their local counterparts engaged in the business areas of travel, automobile, aluminum, heavy industries, furniture, imports and exports.

An MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) will be signed between China’s Liaoning Province and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and China have aimed at strengthening ties, especially in the economic and trade sectors to boost the island nation’s economy.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  U.S. treasury secretary to visit China

By Liu Dongkai

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit China on Monday and Tuesday as an envoy of President Barack Obama, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said here on Thursday of March 26.

Lew will meet with Chinese leaders and heads of government departments, Hua told a daily briefing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATHMANDU

>>  Nepalese delegation leaving for China to attend solar utilization convention

By Hari Prasad Poudel

A Nepalese team comprised of government officials and business delegation is leaving for China on Thursday of March 26 to attend the 10th China (Jinan) Solar Utilization Convention & Exhibition 2015.

Kiran Saakha, the coordinator of Nepal-China Solar Promotion Council is leading the delegation to attend the exhibition starting from March 28 in Shandong Province of China.

“We will meet solar industrialists and government officials and talk about the promotion of solar energy in Nepal,” Saakha told Xinhua on Thursday.

Chinese solar goods are popularly purchased in Nepal due to its quality and reasonable prices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s top legislator meets Armenian president

By Liu Dongkai

Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang met on Thursday of March 26 with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said Armenia is an important cooperative partner of China in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

He said the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping has provided fresh opportunities for deepening bilateral cooperation.

Zhang said the NPC has set up sound cooperative relations with the Armenian parliament. He said the legislatures of the two countries should cooperate and exchange their experience making laws as well as advance multi-level contact between political parties and social groups. He said the two sides should use parliamentary friendship panels to promote bilateral relations.

Sarkisian said Armenia is ready to enhance mutual trust and expand cooperation with China to lift bilateral relations to a new level. He said he supports strengthening exchanges between the legislatures of the two countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s top legislator meets Sri Lankan president

By Xiong Zhengyan

Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang on Thursday of March 26 met with visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the strengthening of ties.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, reviewed the traditional friendship between China and Sri Lanka, saying the two countries had withstood the tests of time and had become trustworthy partners and friends.

The legislative bodies of both countries have the responsibility and obligation to carry forward and develop China-Sri Lanka friendship, Zhang said.

He pledged the NPC would work more closely with the Sri Lanka parliament to carry forward the consensus of the two presidents and step up legislation cooperation to provide legal guarantees for pragmatic cooperation.

Earlier Thursday, President Xi Jinping held talks with Sirisena and witnessed the signing of cooperation deals on infrastructure, health and other sectors.

Sirisena, who is on his first state visit to China since taking office in January, said his country would like to deepen cooperation with China in all sectors, strengthen legislative ties and seek stronger ties with China.

After Beijing, Sirisena will fly to south China’s Hainan province to attend the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese VP meets Islamic Dawa Party Delegation of Iraq

By Hou Lijun

Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao met with a delegation headed by Sadiq al-Rikabi from the Islamic Dawa Party of Iraq in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon of March 25.

China views the ties with Iraq from a strategic height and a long-term perspective and supports Iraq’s reconstruction process, said Li, adding that China is willing to offer assistance to Iraq within its capacity.

He hoped that the two sides would constantly deepen their political mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation.

The Communist Party of China(CPC) is willing to enhance communication with the Islamic Dawa Party on party building and state governance, so as to push forward the comprehensive development of bilateral relations, he said.

Sadiq said the Islamic Dawa Party hopes to develop a sound cooperative relationship with China, the CPC as well as the Chinese people.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China vows anti-terror, maritime security cooperation with Pakistan

By Hou Lijun

China is willing to deepen cooperation with Pakistan in anti-terrorism, maritime security and military technology.

The pledge was made by Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong during his meeting with the Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Muhammad Zakaullah in Beijing on Thursday.

China has supported Pakistan on its state construction and army building, said Fan, adding that China hopes to enhance coordination and cooperation with Pakistan on regional security affairs.

China will work with Pakistan to push forward the construction of the the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor within the framework of China’s “Belt and Road” initiatives and build a community of shared destiny, said Fan.

Zakaullah said Pakistan will work with China to deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two armed forces, especially the navies, to push their cooperation to a new height.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

Interview: Maersk CEO sees change, opportunity in Chinese economy

By Yi Ling

Despite his packed schedule, Nils S. Andersen, CEO of the world’s largest shipping company, the Denmark-based Maersk Group, will not miss his annual spring meeting in China.

Andersen attends the China Development Forum held in late March of each year to learn about China’s political and economic policies from top government officials.

“China is the world’s largest exporter and potentially the biggest importer in the future. This is why we value China so much. It’s an enormous market with great potential,” he told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

This year, he came with a record that could make the host country jealous. Maersk reaped a record high profit of 5.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. China, the company’s largest source of business, is undergoing an economic transition to rely less on labor, resources and investment and more on domestic consumption and services.

The world’s second largest economy slowed its pace with growth of 7.4 percent in 2014, a 24-year low, and the figure is expected to drop to 7 percent this year.

However, it’s not all bad for China in the CEO’s eyes.

“You have to be Chinese to think that China’s economy is gloomy. The seven-percent growth is still very strong,” he said.

“For a number of years, the Chinese government has been hoping to transform the economic development model to one driven by consumption and services. This is exactly what we are seeing now,” he said.

“The government is hoping to further stimulate domestic demand and achieve balanced development, which is not an easy task,” said the CEO.

He believes the formula that made China successful in the past — stimulating exports and attracting foreign investment — was good for the growth phase, but has now become risky.

“It is dangerous if the economy grows too fast and too dependent on investments, and the Chinese government also needs to combat pollution, which is difficult if the economy is growing at a very rapid pace,” he said.

When Andersen first started at Maersk in 2007, the industry titan was overextended with business interests in shipping, oil and gas, ship-building, banking, and supermarkets.

During the heart of the financial crisis in 2009, the company lost 12.9 billion U.S. dollars, its bitterest loss since World War II.

However, Andersen led the company in streamlining and job cuts so Maersk could focus on shipping and oil, which returned the giant to profits.

“The Chinese government is focusing more on stimulating domestic demand and services to build up a balanced society. This is not easy and it takes time,” he said.

Andersen promised to help the Chinese government achieve the goal and hopes to see a “free and open” economy in China.

“We feel that we are welcomed in China and we have been investing a lot of money here in recent years, and I don’t see why that shouldn’t continue,” he said.

“We see the import and export opportunities continue to be there and what we should do is adapt to the new situation,” said the CEO.

Maersk currently has 123 offices and 14,000 employees in China. Its China-related business accounts for one-third of its total worldwide.

Andersen said this year the company is launching a port project in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province to accommodate large container ships, and it is seeking more opportunities to work with Chinese companies.

“Now China has become more competitive in technology, branding and quality. The economic transition in China also brings pressure to Chinese companies and they need to strengthen their competitiveness by knowing more about the market. This is where Maersk comes in. We provide those companies access to local markets,” said Andersen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China invites foreign military representatives to Sept. parade

By Liu Hua

China will invite militaries of relevant countries to participate in a parade later this year, a defense ministry spokesman said on Thursday of March 26.

“As this year is the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War II and China’s victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, China will hold a military parade in Beijing in September this year,” Spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a monthly press briefing.

Geng said the Chinese military will, in accordance with international norms, sent invitations to the militaries of countries that fought in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and on the anti-Fascist battlefield in the eastern theater, as well as other related countries.

The purpose of the military parade is to highlight China’s firm stance to safeguard, together with all nations in the world, the outcomes of World War II as well as world peace and tranquility in pursuit of a more beautiful future for all human beings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  New Ebola trial vaccine by Chinese researchers safe: Lancet

By Wang Di

Results from an early trial of an Ebola vaccine developed by Chinese researchers indicate it is safe, according to a paper published in The Lancet medical journal.

The findings suggest the high-dose vaccine is safe and “robustly immunogenic,” its developers said Wednesday in the journal, adding that one shot of the high-dose vaccine could mount a “glycoprotein-specific humoral and T-cell response” against the Ebola virus in 14 days.

The vaccine is the first based on the Ebola virus strain responsible for the west African outbreak. Until now, all tested Ebola vaccines were based on a virus strain from the Zaire outbreak of 1976.

The vaccine was jointly developed by the biotechnology institute of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and Tianjin CanSino Biotechnology.

A team of Chinese researchers, led by Zhu Fengcai with the disease prevention and control center in Jiangsu Province, tested the vaccine’s safety in 120 individuals from the province.

The test subjects were randomly assigned a placebo, or a low or high dose of the vaccine.

“No serious adverse events” were reported during the trial, the researchers said, adding the most common reaction was mild pain at the injection site.

According to the study, the new trial vaccine is stable and much easier to store or transport in tropical areas with inadequate cold-chain capacity, such as west Africa.

The deadly Ebola virus has killed more than 10,000 people in west Africa out of nearly 25,000 infected since the start of 2014, and no licensed vaccine against the virus is available yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Expert: China eyes more credible judiciary amid rule of law drive

By Guo Likun

The leadership’s renewed promise to reform China’s judicial system is a sign that its efforts will pick up speed this year, according to a law expert.@ Addressing a study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Political Bureau on deepening judicial reform on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said measures must be put in place to boost public confidence in the judicial system, as their opinion was the ultimate gauge of the effectiveness of reform measures.

“The advancement of rule of law is impossible without a credible judicial system,” said Zhang Yonghe, a jurist and executive director of the Center for Education and Study of Human Rights at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

“The central leadership wants to make breakthroughs to the realization of rule of law by reforming the judicial system,” he said, adding that enhanced public confidence would be the most tangible result.

The reputation of the legal system has been sullied by injustice, miscarriages of justice, corruption and outside intervention. The approval rating of the judiciary has been dragged down by several high-profile wrongful convictions.

China accelerated its advancement of the rule of law after the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. This was expedited further following the release of a blueprint on legal reform issued by the CPC Central Committee in October 2014.

Measures rolled out included the blacklisting and punishment of officials who interfere in cases, and the banning of prison attire in courtrooms.

In addition, two circuit courts were established by the Supreme People’s Court in late January.

Zhang said that more detailed and targeted measures could help to win back public trust.

He did, however, warn of the looming deadline of 2020, when “rule of law should be fully implemented as a basic strategy and a law-based government should be basically functional.”

“Introducing a reform framework is important, while putting detailed plans into practice is also vital,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China launches “Sky Net” to capture fugitive officials

By Ren Ke and Hua Chunyu

A campaign to capture corrupt officials who have fled abroad, carrying the name “Sky Net”, will be launched next month, the top anti-graft authority said on Thursday of March 26.

This campaign follows the success of Fox Hunt 2014.

From April, the campaign will focus on fugitive officials, illegal certificates, underground banks and misappropriated assets, according to a meeting of the central authority’s anti-graft coordination group.

Sky Net will involve several government departments, including the Organizational Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), or the central bank.

The MPS will focus on the seizure of fugitive suspects implicated in corruption cases, while the SPP will take charge of those suspected of duty-related crimes.

In addition, the central bank will work with the MPS on crimes that involve the transfer of money abroad, while the Organizational Department of the CPC Central Committee will check travel documents.

The ongoing countercorruption drive has already led to the conviction of nearly 100 “tigers”, referring to high-ranking officials, and many more minor officials, or “flies”.

It aims to block the “last route of retreat” for corrupt officials.

A total of 680 fugitives suspected of economic crimes were repatriated to China from July to December 31 last year.

Huang Shuxian, deputy head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), who also heads the office that pursues fugitive suspects and stolen assets, urged central and local departments to make coordinated efforts to ensure corrupt officials are brought home to face justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON

>>  U.S., China in regular engagement on anti-corruption cooperation: State Department

By Zhi Linfei

The United States and China are having regular engagement on law enforcement cooperation, including on China’s ongoing hunt for fugitive corrupt officials in the United States, the State Department said on Wednesday of March 25.

“I can say broadly … that the United States and China regularly engage on law enforcement matters of mutual concern such as repatriation and anti-corruption through the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a regular news briefing.

She was responding to a media query on a Chinese media report that China has handed the U.S. government a priority list of over 150 high-profile fugitive officials in the United States with hopes to bring them back to China for trial.

Psaki said the Chinese delegation, at the most recent meeting, “agreed that they would supply us more evidence regarding their priority fugitive cases so that we can increase our focus on the location and prosecution or removal of these fugitives.”

The two countries held the latest meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation in Beijing last December, during which China reportedly provided the U.S. side a priority list of about 150 fugitive officials wanted in China for corruption charges.

“And we continue to encourage China to provide strong evidence and intelligence to ensure that our law enforcement agencies can properly investigate and prosecute cases related to the alleged corruption,” Psaki said.

The spokesperson confirmed that China had provided such lists in the past and “certainly that’s something that is ongoing.”

She added that the U.S. Department of Justice is taking the lead in conducting anti-corruption cooperation with China, while the State Department also holds discussion with China on what information is needed and what steps can be taken.

The fact that the two countries have not signed an extradition treaty should not be an obstacle to China-U.S. cooperation on bringing corrupt officials to law, Psaki indicated.

“As a general matter, we can return fugitives to other countries, even when there is no extradition treaty, or when none exists, including through immigration proceedings, but there’re a number of steps that need to be taken,” she said.

Still, the lack of an extradition treaty remains a major obstacle to anti-corruption cooperation between China and the United States, making extradition cooperation impossible. China has to use other means to chase fugitives and their illegal assets such as repatriation, prosecution and trial of the suspects in the United States.

On whether the two countries will commence negotiations for an extradition treaty, Psaki said that the United States will first take a number of factors into consideration.

She said an individual extradited from the United States to another country “would receive a fair trial, and not be subject to torture or other forms of mistreatment in that country.” Moreover, the United States would not consider an extradition treaty unless the other country commits to extradite its own nationals, she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUNMING

>>  Former deputy party chief of Yunnan expelled from national legislature

By Wang Jian and Bai Jingli

Qiu He, former deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Yunnan Provincial Committee, was removed from his post at the national legislature on Thursday of March 26.

The Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Yunnan, said it had voted for the termination of Qiu’s qualification of deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC).

Qiu is under investigation for alleged serious violations of Party discipline and laws, according to a statement by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

He has also been removed from his post as deputy secretary of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee and expelled from the provincial legislature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Former provincial official prosecuted for bribery

By Hu Longjiang

Former Chinese provincial official Yang Baohua has been prosecuted for taking bribery, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on Thursday of March 26.

Yang, former vice chairman of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was put under investigation last May for suspected serious “violation of discipline and law”.

According to the prosecuting authorities, Yang illegally took a huge amount of money and goods, sought benefits for others by abusing power while he served on various party and government positions in central province of Hunan from city leader to vice chairman of the provincial political advisory body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Mayors called in as environmental supervision shifts to local governments

By Liu Tong and Cui Jing

China’s environmental watchdog summoned another local city government mayor on Wednesday of March 25 to discuss slack pollution response measures, as it exploits a tougher environmental protection law and aims to change people’s perception of “weak enforcement”.

Interviews between a city mayor and senior environmental protection ministry officials are usually tense.

In the case of Zhumadian, a city in central China, the ministry official bluntly criticized the city government for not quickly shutting down polluters that did not pass environmental impact assessment.

“The government of Zhumadian should bear the responsibility for this,” said Zou Shoumin, head of the ministry’s supervision bureau, adding the interview served as a serious warning.

Zou also urged Zhumadian government to take effective measures to rectify the problems as soon as possible and probe those who should be held accountable for dereliction of duty.

Zhang Xin, vice mayor of Zhumadian (the position of mayor is vacant), said he accepted the criticism and vowed to quickly form and implement an action plan.

Zhang was following in the steps of a number of Chinese mayors who have been called in to the ministry’s headquarters for pollution problems. Last November, the mayor of Anyang City was called in to discuss the city’s smog response measures while the government of Kunming was also criticized in January for failure to control pollution of a major lake.

By calling in the mayors, the ministry is also taking advantage of a newly amended environmental protection law and shifting their supervision from factories to local governments.

The new environmental protection law, which became effective on Jan.1, stipulates that responsible persons in the government should resign if they fail to order the shut down of certain polluters.

According to Zou, such interviews usually work — under the instructions of the mayors, governments attach more importance to the problems and improve environmental quality.

Premier Li Keqiang also pinned hope on the law. The new law must be a powerful, effective tool to control pollution instead of being “as soft as cotton candy,” said Li while speaking at a press conference following the annual national legislative session which concluded on March. 15.

“Whether the environment is good or not hinges on whether the government can take responsibilities,” said Zou, adding environmental protection personnel should not fight the “war on pollution” alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Beijing bans burning leaves for cleaner air

By Yao Yuan and Wei Mengjia

Beijing has completely banned the common trash-disposal practice of burning leaves, the city’s landscape and forestry bureau told Xinhua on Thursday of March 26.

The bureau said they hoped to reduce air pollution and risks of fire by prohibiting disposal of leaves, weeds and other plant wastes in gardens and mountain areas via bonfires or incinerators.

Beijing banned open-air burning of straw, leaves and weeds in 2014 in its battle with the choking air pollution.

In the latest ban, issued earlier this month, the bureau threatened to punish gardening administrations if their workers violate the rules.

It said Beijing churns out three million tonnes of plant waste each year. Eco-friendly disposal and recycling methods, including turning the waste into fertilizer or bio-fuel, were required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China bans commercial logging in NE forests

By Zhan Yan

Commercial logging will be forbidden in key state forests in northeast China on April 1, said China’s forestry watchdog Thursday of March 26.

The State Forestry Administration (SFA) said commercial logging would be banned in state forests in Inner Mongolia and Jilin to assist in the recovery of China’s wood resources.

Before this, Heilongjiang, another heavily forested area in northeast China, banned commercial logging in state forests on April 1, 2014, the SFA said.

Supervision will be stepped up to ensure that the ban is carried out in full, and violators will be punished, the watchdog said.

The latest round of forestry measures were announced on March 17. By 2020, commercial logging of state forests will be reduced by about 20 percent and forested areas increased by more than 6.6 million hectares, an area more than twice the size of Belgium. Forest growing stock will increase by more than 1 billion cubic meters.

Forest zones will receive government grants when they stop logging to encourage green industries such as tourism and create jobs.

China has 4,855 state forests, about 40 percent of its total forest area, employing around 750,000 people directly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China creates key telecom chip

By Shi Hao, Gao Kang, Zhang Xinxin

 Chinese state firm has successfully invented a cutting-edge chip for data transmission in telecommunication.

Centec Networks under the China Electronics Corporation unveiled the fourth-generation GoldenGate switch silicon on Thursday of March 26, which boasts of high performance, reliability and energy efficiency.

As the first domestic chip of its kind, GoldenGate is expected to challenge U.S. semiconductor maker Broadcom’s dominance in the Chinese telecom market, one of the largest in the world.

GoldenGate is available now with volume production scheduled for the third quarter of 2015.

A chip is the most important component of an electronic device. A major producer of mobile phones, computers and other digital gadgets in the world, China can’t produce high-quality chips for many uses.

Last June, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a guideline to encourage research on and production of home-grown integrated circuits. Domestic chip makers have reported some improvements or even breakthroughs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUNMING 

>>  New prospects for Chinese village doctors

By Cao Kai and Li Meng

As veteran village doctor Deng Qiandui approaches retirement, he dreams of a pension scheme similar to that enjoyed by his urban counterparts.

Deng, 51, who’s highest level of education was junior middle school, became a doctor at the Lamadi Village in the Nujiang Valley of underdeveloped southwestern Yunnan Province after six months of training at the township hospital in 1983.

As one of the two doctors in the village, Deng provides basic medical services for 1,030 people but he has not been covered by the social insurance system like his urban and township counterparts.

According to Deng, a township hospital doctor receives a monthly pension of about 2,200 yuan (358 U.S. dollars) after retirement, more than twice what he earns now. In 2009, he earned a little more than 200 yuan every month. Government subsidies have since increase remarkably but are still far from enough.

Deng is one of more than 1 million village doctors in China who have little professional training and are poorly funded. The humble salary and lack of pension have stopped many young people entering into the profession, making medical services in remote areas even more difficult to access for villagers.

For most people in the Lamadi Village, Deng’s clinic is the only choice when they get sick, with the closest township hospital four and half hours away by foot through mountain paths.

To ensure a quality medical service in rural areas, the State Council, China’s cabinet, released a document for better treatment of village doctors Monday.

The document ensures one doctor for every 1,000 rural residents. These rural doctors will get extra training for free, better opportunities to further education, preference in their future careers, along with higher pay and pensions.

Village doctors are irreplaceable in China as there are still 800 million people living in the countryside, said Lu Lin, head of the Yunnan provincial disease control and prevention center.

“The root of the crowds of patients in urban hospitals is the lack of effective grassroots medical service,” said Lu.

For Deng, a government recognition, decent salary and a pension equal to his township counterparts is what he needs most.

If Deng retires this year, he would get only 60 yuan pension every month like his fellow villagers.

“It is unfair for us whose work is no different with urban and township doctors,” said Deng.

In some cases, their job is more difficult, he said, recalling an instance when he had to travel across a steel rope hanging above a river to reach one patients’ home.

Deng hopes the government can set up detailed arrangements for them as soon as possible.

To his surprise, Deng’s son, 29, a migrant worker in the booming city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, wants to come back to be a village doctor.

As village doctors seem to have more prospects after the government push, Deng agreed and decided to send him to a technical secondary school in the Nujiang Prefecture to study medicine.

“In two years he will graduate,” Deng said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Express delivery sector posts massive growth

By Zhu Shaobin, Zhao Wenjun and Ye Feng

China’s express delivery sector is growing six times as fast as GDP, according to an industrial index released by the State Post Bureau (SPB) on Thursday of March 26.

In terms of industrial expansion, the sector recorded an average 50.3-percent annual growth during the 2010-2014 period, eclipsing annual economic growth, which came in at 7.4 percent for 2014.

Meanwhile, an index assessing delivery firms’ development from four perspectives — scale of industrial development, service quality, coverage, and development trends — stood at 282.4 in 2014, up 70.8 on 2013.

SPB chief Ma Junsheng said the express delivery sector has maintained robust and healthy development, with services and coverage both improving.

The number of parcels received by express delivery in China last year reached 14 billion, the biggest volume around the world. The sector’s market value hit 204 billion yuan (33 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 42 percent year on year.

Ma promised earlier that China will help domestic express delivery firms expand overseas this year to support booming cross-border online shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Cross-border capital inflows surge, exodus groundless

By Wang Hongjiang and Wu Yu

China’s cross-border capital net inflows rose 38 percent year on year to a total of 55.1 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months this year, China’s forex regulator said on Thursday of March 26.

The surge reversed the capital net outflows which occurred between August-December last year, according to Wang Yungui, an official of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

The foreign exchange settlement and sale of foreign-capital banks logged a total deficit of more than 25.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months.

Wang attributed the deficit to increasing holdings of U.S. dollar-denominated assets among enterprises and individuals instead of capital outflows.

In the first two months, foreign-currency deposits of enterprises and individuals increased 63.9 billion U.S. dollars while the ratio of exchanging foreign currencies into Renminbi, or Chinese yuan, decreased 10 percentage points in the mean time, Wang told a briefing in Beijing.

In the first two months this year, China’s surplus in commodity trade rose almost twelve fold to stand at 120.6 billion U.S. dollars, said Wang.

Meanwhile, actual inflow of foreign investment soared 17 percent year on year to 22.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Robust exports, investment and consumption data indicate China still has great growth potential, according to Wang.

Chinese economic growth has entered a “new normal” of slower growth with the second-biggest economy expanding by 7.4 percent last year and setting a more modest target of around 7 percent in 2015, arousing a new wave of pessimistic forecasts.

In recent years, China has strived to steer the economy away from investment-and infrastructure-led spending towards being more consumer-and household-spending focused.

Structure optimization and spontaneous momentum for growth have been upgraded thanks to China’ s continuous economic restructuring efforts in recent years, said Wang.

China has a full “tool kit” at its disposal and will use them if growth nears the lower end of its range, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a press conference after the annual parliamentary session earlier this month.

To tap growth potentials, mini stimulus measures could be adopted include reserve requirement ratio and interest rate cuts and tax reductions while plans also in place to engineer longer-term development containing comprehensive reform and major strategies such as construction of “Belt and Road” Asian trade infrastructure, coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and development of the Yangtze River economic belt.

Overall, there is no data available that supports assertions of capital exodus or predictions of an impending collapse of the Chinese economy, said Wang.

When asked about the Renminbi exchange rate formation mechanism, Wang said market was designed to play a decisive role.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day. The central parity rate of the yuan against the U.S. dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Wang said the central parity rate of the yuan against other foreign currencies including the euro and the Japanese yen should also be considered when talking about the Renminbi exchange rate formation mechanism.

The central bank was quitting a normal intervention on the exchange rate over the past year, said Wang, adding that market is playing a more and more important role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING 

>>  Chinese stocks close mixed, small shares tank

By Xu Feng

Chinese stocks ended mixed after volatile trading on Thursday of March 26, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up 0.58 percent, or 21.37 points, to finish at 3,682.09 points.

The Shenzhen Component Index dipped 0.35 percent, or 44.12 points, to close at 12,712.98 points.

Combined turnover on the two bourses shrank to 1.20 trillion yuan (195.5 billion U.S. dollars) from 1.26 trillion yuan the previous trading day.

Heavyweights including ship-builders and the oil industry posted handsome gains.

The ship-building sub-index surged 7.9 percent on market rumors that China Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd and China State Shipbuilding Corp. will merge. The two shares both rose by the daily limit of 10 percent.

PetroChina, China’s largest oil and gas producer, gained 5.8 percent to 11.99 yuan per share while Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner, added 2.88 percent to 6.44 yuan.

Following rumors that authorities will crack down on stock price manipulation, many small and medium-sized market shares which have recently risen took sharp dives.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, tanked 3.91 percent, or 93.22 points, to end at 2,291.79 points.

Guangdong-based Qtone Education Co., Ltd, a company specializing in online education, fell by the daily limit of 10 percent to 273.6 yuan. Its share increased nearly 300 percent within two months.

Gao Xiang, chief financial advisor with CITIC Securities, remained bullish on the future performance of the stock market despite Thursday’s volatility.

“Technically, Thursday’s corrections are a result of investors choosing to sell shares and lock in profits following days of rapid gains. This will help the market in future,” Gao said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China cuts retail oil prices

By Liu Xinyong

China’s top economic planner will reduce price of gasoline by 240 yuan (39.1 U.S. dollars) per tonne and diesel by 230 yuan, it said on Thursday of March 26.

The adjustment, which will come into effect Friday, means benchmark retail price of gasoline will drop by 0.18 yuan per liter and that for diesel down by 0.2 yuan, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement.

Under the current mechanism that became effective in March 2013, prices of refined oil products will be adjusted when international crude oil prices can translate into a change of more than 50 yuan for each tonne of gasoline and diesel prices within 10 working days.

The NDRC reduced oil prices twice in January and raised prices twice in February, tracking changes in international crude oil prices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

URUMQI

>>  Chinese archeologists find oldest remains of processed wheaten food in Xinjiang

By Fang Ning and Liu Jie

Chinese archeologists have found the oldest processed wheaten food remains ever unearthed in the country, indicating people ate bread-like food 2,600 to 2,900 years ago.

Yang Yimin, associate professor with the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said on Thursday of March 26 that his team has used infrared scans to screen the food remains, which were discovered in pottery wares unearthed from Yanghai Cemetery in north China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

“The ingredients were mainly flour made from barley and millet. It was also mixed with lactobacillus and yeast,” he said.

The food was made in a period between China’s Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC) and Spring and Autumn Period (722-476 BC).

Yang said the discovery showed wheat became an important staple food in Xinjiang for that period.

Food decomposes quickly and is rarely found at archeological sites. However, the remains were preserved at Yanghai Cemetery because of the extremely arid climate in the Gobi Desert, south of Huoyan (Flaming) Mountain in Xinjiang’s Turpan Basin, which is known for its extreme heat in day time.

There are more than 500 ancient tombs found in the cemetery, which covers an area of 54,000 square meters. Archeologists often find rare relics such as well-preserved trousers with a stitched crotch, believed to be worn by early nomadic minority people living in Xinjiang.

Yang said the most findings would not only lead to better ancient food processing methods, but also better information on the role Xinjiang played in influencing China’s cuisine and diet.

Among the major grains for ancient China, only Chinese millet originated from the central Yellow River region, while rice was domesticated in southern China regions. Wheat and soybean, which were generally believed to have been originated from Central Asia, were cultivated in China’s northwest region.

More and more archeological research shows wheat cultivation in China first started in Xinjiang and then spread to Qinghai and Gansu provinces, which further suggests Xinjiang’s important role in linking China with the West.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  ”Furious 7″ movie to premier in China

By Zhang Rongli and Wang Di

“Furious 7,” the latest installment of the street-racing “Fast and Furious” franchise, will hit Chinese cinemas on April 12.

The movie, directed by James Wan, is one of the last films starring Paul Walker, who died midway through shooting in a car crash in November 2013 at the age of 40.

Walker’s performance was completed with his brothers Caleb and Cody doubling for the actor. A digitally recreated Walker also appears in the film.

The street racing action film franchise has attracted a large number of fans worldwide since the first installment debuted in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANNING  

>>  Scaffolding collapse kills 3 in S China

By Yao Yuan, Xiang Zhiqiang, Wu Xiaokang and Wang Jun

A scaffolding collapse on Thursday of March 26 left three workers dead and ten others injured, including three in serious condition, in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The city government of Nanning, capital of Guangxi, said 18 workers were on the scaffolding at a factory under construction when the accident happened at about 8:20 a.m.

The injured have been sent to hospital.

The government is investigating the cause of the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Cold front to hit N China, rains to sweep south

By Yu Wenjing and Rong Jiaojiao

A cold front will hit north China, bringing floating dust and strong winds, while rains will sweep south China, over the next three days, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said on Thursday of March 26.

The country’s weather observatory said a cold front will hit parts of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, as well as areas of northwest and northeast China from Thursday to Saturday. These regions will see floating dust and strong winds, and even sandstorms. Temperatures will drop by four to six degrees Celsius.

The NMC added that haze will shroud areas along the Yellow and Huaihe rivers, as well as north China on Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, south China will experience rains and showers in the coming days. Rainfalls will hit parts of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as Guizhou and Hunan provinces, according to the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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