Discipline inspectors set up offices in more top organs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON

>>  British Ebola patient cured by Chinese-made drug released from hospital

A British Ebola patient who was successfully treated with an experimental drug MIL 77 developed by Chinese scientists has been released from hospital on Friday of March 27, local media reported.

Anna Cross, a 25-year-old British army nurse, is the first Ebola patient to have received treatment with the Chinese-made drug MIL77.

It’s uncertain how much credit the drug should take in the recovery, as more research needs to be done to confirm its effects, said an expert from Royal Free Hospital, where Cross was treated.

A paper published in the Chinese Journal of International Pharmaceutical Research said MIL77 has similar antibody combination with Zmapp, which took the spotlight in Ebola treatment. Zmapp is developed by San Diego-based Mapp Pharmaceuticals Inc..

MIL77 has completed the preclinical studies for emergency use, the paper said.

A couple of Ebola patients had recovered after taking ZMapp, but the exact effects still couldn’t be confirmed, the paper said. The United States started large-scale clinical trials for ZMapp in February.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people, out of the some 25,000 infected since 2014, according to World Health Organization’s latest report on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China willing to enhance international anti-corruption cooperation: FM

By Wang Huihui

China reiterated its willingness to deepen cooperation with the international community to fight corruption on Tuesday of March 31 following the recently launched anti-corruption campaign “Sky Net”.

The Chinese government has reportedly given the United States and Britain a “priority” list of Chinese officials suspected of corruption and who are believed to have fled there.

“The international community has reached consensus on strengthening cooperation in chasing fugitives and illegal assets. No country is willing to become a haven for corrupt officials,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

She said China hopes to work to advance international anti-corruption cooperation.

Following last year’s “Fox Hunt 2014″, which targeted corrupt officials and suspected economic criminals who have fled the country, an upgraded campaign code-named “Sky Net” was launched last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KABUL

>>  Enhanced China-Afghanistan ties called for at seminar

By Farid Behbud

Participants in a seminar on China- Afghanistan relations on Tuesday of March 31 called for enhancing bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries.

Addressing the seminar, Chinese Ambassador Deng Xijun said he will spare no efforts in enhancing people-to-people relations and maintaining frequent strategic communication between the two nations.

“We should give play to the irreplaceable leading role of high- level exchanges in boosting bilateral relations and promote the exchange of visits and meetings in multilateral arenas such as international conferences between the leaders of both sides,” Deng told the seminar.

The ambassador urged both sides to maintain the momentum of exchanges at local levels, and strengthen strategic communication on major issues.

“I would like to emphasize that China’s aid to Afghanistan is sincere and without any political conditions,” the Chinese diplomat said.

He also stressed that China will continue to support Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction process for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

“China is willing to play a greater constructive role in Afghanistan, continue to support the effective administration of the Afghan National Unity Government, support the reconciliation between the Afghan Government and various political factions, including the Taliban, support the economic and social reconstruction of Afghanistan, support Afghanistan’s integration in regional cooperation, and work with the international community to make unremitting efforts to realize the successful transition of Afghanistan,” Deng noted.

Sayed Makhdum Raheen, chairman of Afghanistan-China Friendship Association, described China as a great and friendly neighbor of Afghanistan and hoped to further cement ties between the two countries.

Raheen, former minister of information of culture, called for more scholarship to Afghan students at Chinese universities in addition to emphasizing promotion of people-to-people exchange and Chinese investment in the country’s development projects.

“China will invite the Afghan delegations of political parties, youth, media and think-tanks to visit China within this year … China will fulfill its commitment on offering Afghanistan 500 scholarships in the next 5 years, so as to encourage and support more Afghan youth to study in China,” Ambassador Deng said.

Former Afghan National Security Advisor, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, called Sino-Afghan relations very cordial, saying their bilateral relations will develop further in the years ahead.

“There are great opportunities for enhancing economic cooperation between Afghanistan and China. The economic relations must be maintained and strengthened,” he said.

Baryalai Sabir Barya, director general of the parliamentary affairs department of Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan and Daud Moradian, director of the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies were among other participants at the seminar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOMBO

>>  Sri Lankan president returns after visit to China

By Jamila Najmudeen

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island nation on Tuesday of March 31 after a five-day state visit to China, an official from the Foreign Ministry said.

During his visit, Sirisena held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders.

Five agreements were signed between China and Sri Lanka as both nations vowed to work together to deepen their ties and further strengthen their cooperation in economic, trade and other key sectors.

During talks in Beijing, the two sides reiterated that Sri Lanka and China were friends whose relations spanned centuries and had withstood the test of time. They reaffirmed that their strong bonds of friendship were based on mutual respect, understanding and shared cultural values.

The two sides also discussed the overall Chinese investment in Sri Lanka and how the investment would benefit the island nation.

Both sides pledged to expand cooperation in health, agriculture, science, tourism and human resources.

Sirisena welcomed the keen interest demonstrated by China to engage with the new Sri Lankan government and briefed President Xi on his government’s policy after the Jan. 8 presidential polls.

The Sri Lankan president also attended the Boao Forum for Asia in south China’s Hainan province, during which he spoke on intra- regional cooperation in Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YEREVAN

>>  Armenian president’s China visit meaningful, fruitful: expert

By Wei Dafang

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s state visit to China is meaningful and fruitful, which will create plenty of opportunities for Armenians and further strengthen bilateral ties, an expert said.

Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan, Armenian expert on regional security, told Xinhua that dozens of agreements, especially, a 12-point declaration, have been signed during Sargsyan’s visit to China, which plays an important role in Armenia-China relations.

Referring to the China-proposed “Belt and Road” initiatives, Melik-Shahnazaryan said that China has kept good trade and economic relations with the whole world during the past years. And nowadays, China, as a major economic power, will consider active cooperation with countries that remained outside the shipping lanes, he added.

The Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, the expert said, is an attractive economic program that looks to the future and is aimed at closer cooperation with Europe. Thus, the South Caucasus region is of strategic importance for China’s policy, Melik-Shahnazaryan said.

Sargsyan was invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping for a state visit from March 24-28. He also attended the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia held in Boao, south China’s Hainan province.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW DELHI

>>  Indian PM, founder of China’s Alibaba see entrepreneurship driving force for growth

By Wu Qiang

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba Group of China, visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday of March 30 and the two discussed in depth the significance of the spirit of entrepreneurship for growth in both India and China, as well as the whole world.

Both Modi and Ma were just back from attending the state funeral of Singapore’s late leader Lee Kuan Yew. The two highly admired Lee for transforming a backward port city in 1950s into a big economic success.

After Modi came to power in May last year, one of the first things he did was to create a new Ministry of Entrepreneurship which will help produce more entrepreneurs and busineemen in the country.

They are aiming to produce 500 million skilled personals by 2022, who are capable enough to start their own business, thus producing an avalanche of new jobs in every sector all over the country.

More prominently, both Modi and Ma believed the entrepreneurship Singapore had shown and showcased in its growth is good reference for the two largest Asian giants.

In their 50-minute meeting, Modi and Ma exchanged views on the meaning for development and application of internet technology and other information and digital technologies in India’s economic growth.

Ma, who made a success story of electronic commerce and internet-related financing and banking, told Modi that e-commerce, internet banking and financing, digitizing the infrastructure for delivering and shopping, among others will greatly help the small- and-medium-sized enterprises to grow in India, and consequently create millions of jobs.

They agreed that India urgently needs innovative moves to improve the performance of its financing, banking, transporting, delivering, mailing and retailing systems. Through the establishment of a sophisticated e-commerce infrastructure and online-shopping, paying and banking framework like Alipay, as well as internet banking and investing, many small and medium business opportunities will be created and jobs will come.

“Had a very good meeting with Jack Ma,” Modi twitted after the meeting. “In today’s world, globalization is no longer monopolized by big companies. Small and medium sized companies are playing a more prominent role. E-commerce and internet financing can help create new enterprises,” said Ma in an interview with Xinhua.

He said Alibaba group is interested in helping India enable and empower millions to start business and get jobs. But the key to realize this is to help encourage and create the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country.

Describing India’s a country with one of the longest histories in the world but at the same time also one of the youngest nation in terms of average age of its population, Ma said every ambitious businessman should come to the country and closely follow the development of the country. “Nowadays, to invest in another country is not purely to transplant the business to that country, but is to bring the core values of the company to that country,” said Ma.

He said Alibaba group is now focused on bringing its entrepreneurship values to India, share its experiences, help train qualified personnel and create a credit value environment here through internet paying and financing practices. “Once the credit value is established, there will be a sound banking system, and innumerable small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from it,” said Ma. “In a way, it can be regarded as an altruistic move,” he said. “Whether or not we can strike gold in 15 to 20 years here, we are not in a hurry.”

He said due to the complexity of the Indian society, it is impossible for foreign companies not to localize their operation through building a strong local basis in management, personnel and infrastructure.

Alibaba is already hiring Indian talents and sending them to China to get vocational training. Meanwhile, the group has invested some 570 million U.S. dollars in local e-commerce projects.

Ma expressed his confidence that when Modi visits China later this year, some of the ideas on setting up bilateral collaboration in e-commerce and internet financing will be concretized through substantial agreements and projects. “India should soon have its own Alipay, because it is already ready for it,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOME

>>  China Merchants Group launches scholarship program in Togolese university

By Zhang Gaiping

The charity foundation of China Merchants Group (CMG) inaugurated a scholarship program in Togo’s University of Lome on Monday of March 30, and will provide 200,000 U.S. dollars to the university to assist excellent students.

“It is the outcome of cooperation between Togo and China,” said CMG’s general manager Li Xiaopeng, who is also the honorable chairman of CMG’s charity foundation.

The donations will help the university nuture skilled hands needed in the development of port industry in the West African country.

Togo’s Minister of Higher Education and Research Octave Broohm thanked CMG for setting up the scholarship program, and said it is a measure of quality and vision to invest in the youth.

Along with assisting in local economic development, Chinese enterprises have made contributions to the cultivation of talents, benefiting the growth of Togolese youth, said Broohm, noting that the investment in talents is a sign of sustained cooperation between Togo and China.

“We will see to probity measures to be applied in the management of the donation”, said Professor Messanvi Gbeassor, president of the university.

The Chinese embassador to Togo Liu Yuxi also attended the launching ceremony.

In August 2012, China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CMG, acquired a 50-percent stake in the Thesar Maritime Ltd., which owns the right to develop and operate Lome’s container terminal project for 35 years. The project is designed to make Togo an important port to receive mega container-carriers from Asia and Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA

>>  Chinese parents increasingly choosing Australian high schools

By Luke Costin

New Australian data shows China’ s rising middle class is increasingly sending their children to Australian high schools.

Data from the Department of Education and Training on Tuesday of March 31 showed secondary school enrollments of Chinese teenagers in 2014 rose by almost 20 percent on the previous year’s figures.

Almost 4,300 new enrollments took the total number of enrolled Chinese students at public and private high schools to 8,386 last year, up from 7,447 in 2013.

Australia is an education destination for many Chinese, with Chinese citizens making up 26 percent of all international students at Australia last year.

Indian students were second, making up 11 percent of the 583, 000 enrollments across all Australian institutions, with Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand all contributing around 4.5 percent each.

Gaining a pathway to Australian universities, as well as better English education, had families choosing Australia, according to Dr. Minglu Chen, a lecturer at the University of Sydney’s China Studies Center.

“This is what we could expect from China’s growing economy, which is at the moment the second largest economy in the world, which actually also has a growing middle class,” Chen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday. “Australia is not far from China. They are one of the most important Asia- Pacific neighbors.

Reasons for the rise have been attributed to lighter visa restrictions, Australian education ranking well on international scales and a weakening Australian dollar, which has lost 25 percent of value against the U.S. dollar in two years.

Despite the dollar drop, the cost of sending children to Australian schools remains high.

Chinese parents pay about 10,000 U.S. dollars per year for their children to study at public schools, while the cost of studying at a private school can be around three times as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY

>>  Evergrande chairman in no rush to sell Sydney mansion

By Marcus Casey

The Australian government’s order for a company owned by Chinese real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin to sell a 29.73 million U.S. dollar mansion in Sydney has not forced him to rush into selling it.

On March 3 Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that Xu, chairman of the Evergrande Group, had 90 days to sell the harborside Mediterranean-style estate at Point Piper in Sydney’s exclusive eastern suburbs.

Treasurer Hockey told parliament that the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) had decided the property, bought in October, had been “illegally purchased” and without approval.

But Xu’s Sydney real estate agent Bill Malouf told Xinhua on Tuesday of March 31 that Xu would not rushed.

“It’s not on the market, and he hasn’t decided what he wants the actual owner, Golden Fast Foods, to do with it,” Malouf said.

Malouf was dismissive when asked about the 90 day deadline.

“It’s ridiculous behavior to think you can sell a mansion like that in three months,” he said.

“Any half decent lawyer could take that to court and have that order thrown out.”

At the time of the decision it prompted warnings that potential overseas buyers will start to ask whether foreign investment is welcome in the country.

It was the first time since 2006 a treasurer used FIRB rules to enforce a sale of a foreign-owned residential property.

At the time Simon Henry, the co-chief executive of property portal Juwai.com, told local media the decision would lead to growing concerns in China about whether Australia wanted foreign investment.

“Chinese social media thinks this move is a little punitive,” he told News Corporation at the time.

“It’s not going to stop investment but it’s certainly going to make people question whether foreign investment is welcome.”

There is a belief in sections of the Australian community that Chinese purchasers are pushing up house prices for young home buyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROME

>>  Chinese developer Vanke unveils grand pavilion in Milan Expo

By Luo Na

Chinese real estate developer Vanke unveiled its pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 on Tuesday of March 31.

The pavilion, for which construction began in June 2014, carries the theme “building community through food.”

The daring, visionary construction is covered with 4,000 glistening red tiles, and contains 310 square meters wide bamboo forest. Inside the pavilion, there are 200 screens showing projecting scenes related to nature, food and culture of China.

A representation of the “shitang,” a Chinese word meaning “dining hall,” the pavilion represents traditional Chinese social structure co-existing in contemporary society.

Some 150 tonnes of steel structures, 19 km of linear rods, 2.5 km of optical fiber, and 1,200 bamboo vertices were used to create the structure. At the end of the Expo, all the steel elements will be collected and reused.

Milan Expo, scheduled to take place in the Italian business capital from May 1 to Oct. 31, 2015, is expected to attract over 20 million visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIENTIANE, Laos

>>  China U-23 beats Laos 3-0 to top AFC 2016 group J

China’s men’s Under-23 team remains in the hunt for a Rio 2016 Olympics berth after dispatching hosts Laos 3-0 to finish its three-game Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championships qualification campaign at the top of its group.

The result guarantees the team a spot at the AFC U-23 Championships in Qatar 2016. A top three finish there would result in Olympic qualification and the chance to vie for a medal against the worlds best.

The win against Laos followed 5-0 victories against fellow group J members Mongolia and Singapore on Friday and Sunday respectively.

Possession fluctuated throughout the game, with a Lao team both passionate and nimble doing its best to interrupt the flow of the well-drilled Chinese.

The scoreboard saw its first addition in the 17th minute thanks to the left boot of Chinese midfielder Feng Gang who sent the ball past Lao goalkeeper Soukthavy Soundala on its way to the back of the net from a launch site just inside the box.

Laos’ players found themselves within striking distance a number of times in the latter part of the first half but were unable to convert chances into goals thanks to the Chinese defense, with the score remaining unchanged as the teams went to the break.

Wildly alternating possession and field position eventually opened up enough space to yield Chinese midfielder Xie Pengfei his side’s second goal.

Laos’ counterattack probed the Chinese defense on multiple occasions but the South-East Asian team was unable to make a mark on a Chinese score sheet that has remained unblemished through out the qualification stage.

When a quick free kick culminated in a goal for China’s Guo Hao in the 77th the result of the match was put beyond any doubt.

Chinese coach Fu Bo said, “Even though we scored 13 goals in the tournament, the three opponents were not strong compared to those we will meet in the final stage. I hope when we play against strong teams we can still play in this way.”

Laos’ coach David Booth said, “They worked hard but unfortunately made mistakes tonight that should not be made at this level which takes away from a lot of the work they have done. Losing 1-0 at the half we still had a chance, when it went to two down, (the Chinese side) didn’t have to create anything.” Enditem

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANJING

>>  Last goal helps China tie Tunisia at Friendly

By Zheng Daojin and Wang Hengzhi

Substitute forward Yu Dabao’s goal in the injury time salvaged a 1-1 draw for China against Tunisia at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center here on Tuesday of March 31.

Tunisia broke the deadlock on 39 minutes with a header following a pinpoint left wing cross. Saber Khalifa missed a penalty after the interval, when Chinese goalkeeper Wang Dalei parried his shot.

Yu Dabao, who levelled the score in the hosts’ 2-2 draw with Haiti on Friday, again played the role of hero as a second-half substitute. After striker Gao Lin’s freekick from the edge of the area slipped from the hands of Ben Mustapha, Yu dashed into the right place timely and drove home.

China played with better organization and more chances in the first half. Wu Lei received a clinical through pass from midfielder Wu Xi to face Mustapha, only to find his powerful shot targeting the near corner denied by Mustapha’s shoulder. Wu Xi and Feng Xiaoting wasted two other good chances. Feng’s header towards an empty net was cleared by Maher Hannachi on the goal line.

The visitors had opportunities in the first half as well. Khalifa’s 20-min tapping shot flew over the bar, before Yassine Khenissi’s foray into an empty net following a nice move to round down keeper Wang Dalei was cleared by a sliding Ren Hang.

The Tunisians seemed to have problems with their stamina in the latter second half. Several Tunisian players had to leave the pitch after cramps on their legs.

China coach Alain Perrin brought in several attacking players and the hosts launched more threatening attacks in the closing moments. But Mei Fang’s header from a corner went high and Yu Dabao’s left foot shot inside the box also missed the target.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Serby, Trump reach second round at snooker China Open

By Zheng Zhi and Lu Yuchen

Top players including Mark Serby, Judo Trump and John Higgins all advanced to the second round of the 2015 World Snooker China Open here on Tuesday of March 31.

Serby established a 3-0 advantage before Mark Joyce hit back with a 99-point and a 52-point break in the following two frames. The World No.1 again edged 57-52 in the sixth and won the eighth after hitting a key long-shot red.

Trump built a 2-0 lead against Andrew Higginson. The latter then took one frame back 130-0 before Trump regained the two-frame lead with 112-1. Higginson won two straight frames later but Trump finally progressed through the first round 5-3.

Trump will face Peter Ebdon in the second round.

“It will be a tough game, he is a tough player,” said Trump. “It’s a different challenge for me.”

“Wizard” John Higgins defeated home player Yu Delu 5-3 earlier on Tuesday, with a top run of 114 points in the seventh frame.

Marco Fu made the maximum break of the tournament ever with 133 points in the morning game, upsetting Ashley Carty 5-0.

Chinese rookie Zhao Xintong went off to a 2-0 start against Mark Williams, but the two-time world champion then won five games in a row to seal a thrilling comeback win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  All Ding needs is a win, says “Wizard” Higgins

By Lu Yuchen and Wang Yong

Local favorite Ding Junhui finally broke the first-round elimination jinx at the 2015 World Snooker China Open, and “Wizard” John Higgins on Tuesday of March 31 said that could become a turning point to see him roar up again.

Ding progressed through the first round with a 5-1 victory over Scotland’s Marcus Campbell at the China Open on Monday, his first victory after falling at the first hurdle in six ranking tournaments in a row.

“Ding isn’t winning matches which is incredible, considering his performance last year,” said the former world champion after he beat another Chinese player Yu Delu at 5-3 including a 114-point shot.

But Higgins believes that one win can make Ding from feeling difficult and under pressure to winning the China Open — and even his first World Championship title.

“He’s been losing confidence he has before. Once he got the confidence then he would be a tougher player,” said Higgins.

Ding, who bagged home five titles in 2013/2014 season to become the world number one, will next take on Mark Davis from England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEOUL

>>  S.Korean shares rise on expectations for stimulus in China

By Yoo Seungki

South Korean shares gained on Tuesday of March 31 on expectations that China’s central bank may lower interest rates further.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10. 99 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,041.03 at the close. Trading volume stood at 547.25 million shares worth 5.29 trillion won (4. 77 billion U.S. dollars).

Expectations spread among some investors that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) may cut interest rates further after the central bank decided to ease regulations on home-backed loans.

Zhou Xiaochuan said during the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), which ended on Monday, that it needs to watch whether the Chinese economy might fall into deflation, boosting the rate cut expectations further.

In addition to expectations for monetary stimulus in China, the launch of quantitative easing in Europe and the expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate increase coming after June helped stimulate market sentiment.

Foreigners raised stock holdings by 41 billion won, but institutional and retail investors sold shares worth 9 billion won and 25 billion won, respectively.

Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.7 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.5 percent. Memory chip giant SK Hynix rose 0.2 percent, but the No.1 mobile operator SK Telecom declined 0.5 percent. Naver, the most-used search engine, slid 0.3 percent, and Cheil Industries lost 1 percent.

The South Korean currency finished at 1,109.5 won against the greenback, down 4.6 won from Monday’s close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HK retail sales down 2 pct in first two months

By Jiang Tingting

Hong Kong’s retail sales decreased two percent year on year in value during the first two months of 2015, the Census and Statistics Department said on Tuesday of March 31.

In February alone, Hong Kong’s retail sales increased 14.9 percent from one year earlier and was provisionally estimated at 46.6 billion HK dollars (6.01 billion U.S. dollars).

The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets increased by 3.7 percent during the first two months. Sales of other consumer goods such as medicines, cosmetics, food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco also reported growth.

However, the value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts decreased by 15.9 percent in the first two months compared with the same period last year.

A government spokesman said that taking the first two months of 2015 together to remove the distortions caused by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, retail sales were nearly flat in volume terms compared to the same period last year.

“The subdued performance was mainly due to the notable fall in the sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts, conceivably reflecting the weak tourist spending on big-ticket items. Yet, the performance of many items that are more closely related to local consumption showed some relative improvement from December 2014,” the spokesman said.

Looking ahead, the spokesman noted that the near-term performance of retail sales is still subject to uncertainties, depending on the labor market conditions as well as inbound tourism growth.

“The government also need to closely monitor how various uncertainties in the external environment may affect local consumption sentiment going forward.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  HK stocks close up with turnover reaching 7-year high

By Jiang Tingting

Hong Kong stocks continued the bullish trend to end higher on Tuesday of March 31 with turnover reaching a seven- year high.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 45.77 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 24,909.89 points, after trading between 24, 876.37 and 25,113.2. Turnover totaled 148.88 billion HK dollars ( about 19.2 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.32 percent, or 39. 53 points, to close at 12,346.09.

Half of the four sub-indices gained ground, with the Utilities up 1.3 percent. The Commerce and Industry rose 0.83 percent. The Properties fell 0.97 percent, and the Finance retreated 0.17 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, closed down 0.37 percent at 66.7 HK dollars, while its local unit Hang Seng Bank gained 0.07 percent to 140.5 HK dollars. Local bourse operator HKEX decreased 1.19 percent to close at 190.7 HK dollars.

Local developers Hang Lung Properties rose 1.17 percent to 21.7 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, climbed 0.18 percent to 54.70 HK dollars, and Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka- shing, went down 1 percent to 158.9 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 0.78 percent to 6. 47 HK dollars. ICBC, the world’s largest bank by market value, closed 1.24 percent higher at 5.72 HK dollars. Bank of China gained 1.12 percent to 4.51 HK dollars.

PetroChina, the country’s largest oil and gas producer, was up 0.82 percent to 8.58 HK dollars. Sinopec, another leading oil refiner, ended at 6.19 HK dollars, up 1.14 percent. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.761 HK dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG

>>  Gold price closes lower in Hong Kong

By Jiang Tingting

The gold price in Hong Kong went down 90 HK dollars to close at 10,920 HK dollars per tael on Tuesday of March 31, according to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society.

The price is equivalent to 1,182.76 U.S. dollars a troy ounce, down 9.75 U.S. dollars at the latest exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar against 7.76 HK dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  Two pandas selected from SW China for Macao

By Wang Jian, Yu Li and Yi Ling

A pair of giant pandas were selected on Tuesday of March 31 as gifts from the central government to Macao after three months of deliberation.

A female panda, numbered 667, and a male, numbered 726, were chosen from 55 candidates who met the age requirement at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan Province, said Zhang Zhihe, the base director.

They have no blood relations, get on well with each other and are at the prime years for breeding, he said.

The pandas, both 110 kilograms in weight, will be flown to Macao at the beginning of May, taking the place of two pandas previously sent as gifts. Male panda Kaikai and his partner Xinxin, who died of illness last year, arrived in Macao in 2010. It is not decided yet whether Kaikai will be returned.

According to Lan Jingchao, head of the base’s veterinary hospital, panda No. 726, born in 2008, has large black patches around his eyes. He is strong, energetic, active and good at climbing. He likes interacting with the keepers and other pandas and has shown leadership qualities.

Panda No. 667, born in 2007, has a very round mouth, head, ear and body shape, which makes her seem like a rolling ball when playing. She is gentle and has a good appetite. She has displayed typical rutting behaviors for three years but has not yet mated, Lan said.

The pandas have gone through three rounds of selection. After the first two rounds, which were conducted by experts from across the country, two pairs stood out based on criteria such as age, health and fertility. The final selection was conducted by representatives from Macao.

A 30-day quarantine will be carried out before the two pandas set off on their journey to Macao.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Mainland appreciates Taipei mayor’s comments on cross-Strait ties

By Cheng Zuo

A representative of the Chinese mainland on Tuesday of March 31 expressed appreciation to comments by Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je on cross-Strait ties.

The mayor’s latest remarks are expected to promote exchanges between Taipei and the mainland, said Fan Liqing, spokeswoman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

She also revealed that the mainland city of Shanghai is planning a forum between the two cities.

Ko said in an interview with Xinhua on Monday that he himself is willing to assume new role in the development of cross-Strait relations.

When commenting about the “1992 Consensus,” Ko said “one China” is not a problem and that agreements already signed between the mainland and Taiwan, as well as the exchange history between both sides, should be respected.

People on both sides should look to a common, better future, the two sides should, based on the existing political foundation, uphold the principle of knowing each other, understanding each other, respecting each other and cooperating with each other and adhere to the spirit of “both sides belong to one family”, Ko said.

The “1992 consensus” was an agreement reached in 1992 with a core of acknowledgment that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAIPEI

>>  Taipei mayor seeks new breakthrough in cross-Strait ties

By Chen Siwu and Li Hanfang

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je said he himself is willing to assume new role for a breakthrough in the development of cross-Strait relations.

“I’m not a member of the Kuomintang or a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), so I don’t have to bear the burden of the two parties,” Ko said in an interview with Xinhua on Monday.

“Therefore, it will create an opportunity for me and the Taipei city under my leadership to break the stalemate concerning the cross-Strait relations and let the mainland and Taiwan have better communication and development,” Ko said.

When asked about the “1992 consensus”, Ko said actually no one in the world thinks there are “two Chinas” and therefore “one China” is not a problem.

The “1992 consensus” was an agreement reached in 1992 with a core of acknowledgment that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China.

He said agreements already signed between the mainland and Taiwan, as well as the exchange history between both sides, should be respected.

To boost cross-Strait exchange and let people on both sides to pursue a common and better future, leaders of the mainland and Taiwan should, based on the existing political foundation, uphold the principle of knowing each other, understanding each other, respecting each other and cooperating with each other and adhere to the spirit of “both sides belong to one family”, Ko said.

The cross-Strait exchange in the past had both successful achievements and flaws, Ko said, adding the mainland and Taiwan should exchange in a multi-dimensional and diversified way.

Any provocative remarks or those that do no good to the increase of good wills across the Strait are unnecessary and should be restrained, Ko said.

Ko again tried to clarify his remarks he made during an interview with the Foreign Policy published in January, saying what he had said was interpreted out of the context and misunderstood as praising colonization.

After the controversy about his remarks about colonization, Ko said he is also reflecting on himself about how to explain an idea completely within a very short period of time.

“I know what I do (concerning cross-Strait relations) could draw different views from some people. But if I don’t set out to do it, there will be no breakthrough,” he said, adding he is willing to take responsibility for the sake of cross-Strait peace and well-being of the people.

“Just as what I had done as a surgeon before, results will prove it,” Ko said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAIPEI

>>  Taiwan to raise stock fluctuation limit in June

By Chen Siwu

Taiwan’s financial regulator will raise the daily fluctuation limit for stock prices to 10 percent from June 1, two months ahead of schedule, it announced on Tuesday of March 31.

The new measures, previously slated to take effect by August 3, loosen the maximum upward or downward trading limit for stocks on the main board and on the over-the-counter market from the current 7 percent.

The daily fluctuation limit for futures and options prices will also be raised to 10 percent. The current 7-percent limit has been implemented since 1989.

The easing aims to encourage investors to buy into small and medium cap stocks and brings the Taiwan stock market in line with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges on the Chinese mainland.

Tseng Ming-chung, chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, said last month that such new measures are expected to boost the stock market’s turnover by 10 percent by the end of this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  S. African parliament speaker to visit China

By Hou Lijun

South Africa’s National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete will head a delegation to visit China from April 3 to 9, according to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Tuesday of March 31.

Mbete will visit at the invitation of top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China’s top legislator meets Ugandan president

By Xiong Zhengyan

China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Beijing on Tuesday of March 31.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), said China and Uganda have always trusted, respected and helped each other. He characterized the relations as a model of how China and Africa seek mutual benefit and common prosperity.

As China-Uganda relations have broad prospects, the NPC would like to deepen cooperation with Uganda’s parliament, Zhang said, pledging to increase exchanges at all levels, share more experience on legislation, supervision and state governance.

He also called for the implementation of a China-Uganda bilateral investment treaty and an agreement on avoiding dual taxation.

Museveni, on a state visit to China, said Uganda appreciates China’s support on development and opposing colonialism.

Museveni called for stronger legislative collaboration with China.

On Saturday, the Ugandan president attended the opening ceremony of the 2015 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in south China’s Hainan Province.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRAGUE

>>  Senior CPC official met Czech PM, house speaker on ties

By Sun Ding

The Communist Party of China (CPC) stands ready to strengthen cooperation and exchange with Czech Republic’s major political parties and cement political mutual trust so as to put the bilateral ties on the track of sustainable and sound development, a senior CPC official has said.

Sun Zhengcai, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, made the remarks during his visit to Czech Republic and meetings with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, also chairman of the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and Jan Hamacek, CSSD deputy chairman and speaker of the Czech lower house of the parliament, on Monday and Tuesday.

Conveying the cordial greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Sobotka and those of China’s top legislator Zhang Dejiang to Hamacek, Sun said huge potentials have been unleashed for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Czech Republic thanks to the fresh opportunities embraced by both sides for development.

With strong willingness for cooperation and economic complementarity, the two countries should rely on China’s strategic vision of the “Belt and Road” initiatives and the platform for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, also known as “16 plus 1 cooperation”, to achieve multi-layered and wide-ranging cooperation for mutual benefits, win-win results and common development.

Chongqing is dedicated to enhance bilateral cooperation on local level and promote the China-Europe relationship as well as the relationship between China and the Central and Eastern European countries to a new height, said Sun.

Sobotka and Hamacek asked Sun to convey their sincere greetings to China’s leaders.

Czech Republic respects the core interests and major concerns of China and stick to the “one China” policy, they reiterated, noting it is their country’s diplomatic priority to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

The Czech side will actively participate in developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the CSSD, which will uphold its friendly policies towards China that feature mutual respect, trust, benefit and learning, will continue to contribute to deepening party-to-party exchange and pushing for development of the bilateral relations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese vice premier meets U.S. public policy advisors

By Liu Dongkai

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli met here on Tuesday of March 31 with a delegation from the the Center for American Progress (CAP) of the United States.

Zhang said in recent years, China-U.S. relations have made continuous progress. He said China is ready to work with the United States on the consensus reached by the two heads of state by expanding cooperation in all areas.

Zhang said climate change must be an important area of China-U.S. cooperation. He expressed the hope that the two sides would expand the depth and width of practical cooperation on climate change and work for tangible results.

The CAP delegation is headed by John Podesta, former chief of staff to then U.S. President Bill Clinton and founder of the public policy research and advocacy organization.

Podesta said U.S.-China relations have global significance. He said the two sides should cooperate to address global challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Discipline inspectors set up offices in more top organs

By Wang Xiaopeng

The Communist Party of China’s (CPC’s) disciplinary watchdog has established resident offices in four CPC central organs for the first time, it announced on Tuesday of March 31.

Leading resident supervisors have taken office in the CPC Central Committee’s General Office, Organization Department, Publicity Department and United Front Work Department.

Similar branches were also set up in the country’s top legislature, top political advisory body and the General Office of the State Council, or the cabinet, according to a statement issued by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

The move followed a decision made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in December to establish CCDI resident disciplinary offices in more central CPC and government organs.

Such offices have already been established in more than 50 central government organs. And the CCDI plans to set up offices for all central Party and government organs, the number of which is about 140.

These offices will focus on supervision, being responsible for disciplinary inspections, pressing implementation of party discipline and tracing accountability.

Hailing the move as innovative in the anti-corruption cause, Tuesday’s statement said setting up more offices is an important step to strictly governing the Party.

It said the new offices will be fully completed in three months.

In recent years, inspectors have uncovered scores of graft cases in central CPC and government authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Double-faced official tells of his decadent life

By Li Huizi

While acting as a strong advocate of discipline, rule of law and anti-corruption, Wang Min, a former senior official in Shandong Province, indulged in his personal life and colluded with businesses to gain profit for his family.

Wang, a former Standing Committee member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Shandong Provincial Committee and Party chief of Jinan, capital of the east China province, was an official of integrity in his subordinates’ eyes.

His staff, some of whom took him as an exemplary model, were greatly surprised at Wang’s fall, according to an article on the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection website on Tuesday.

Actually Wang, an alternate member of the CPC Central Committee, was indeed “clean and honest” in his own constituency. He banned family members from getting involved in businesses or meddling in government affairs in Jinan.

However, outside Jinan, he led a decadent life by colluding with Zhao, head of a real estate company. In June 2014, Wang “sought pleasure” in Zhao’s private club in Beijing during a study session at the CPC Central Committee Party School.

Six months later in December, Wang was put under graft investigation by the CCDI. On Feb. 17, he was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office.

The CCDI found Wang took advantage of his posts to seek benefits for businesses of his relatives and friends, violating Party rules and codes of conduct. He was also found to have taken advantage of his posts to seek profits for others and accepted huge bribes in return for favors in the selection of officials and enterprise operations.

The statement said his “vile” wrongdoings continued after the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012, and his case has been transferred to judiciary.

Tuesday’s article said that Wang accepted more than 173 gift shopping cards after the 18th Party congress, accounting for a quarter of the entire sum of the accepted cards, and more than 12 percent of the bribery received by Wang occurred after the congress which saw Xi Jinping, who vowed intensified graft fight, took the Party helm.

The article said Wang’s double-faced nature cheated the Party and the masses, seriously damaged the Party and the government’s image, and other Party members should draw a lesson from his case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to phase out outdated regulations

By Wang Cong and Zhang Zewei

China has announced a new drive to phase out outdated rules.

The State Council, the country’s cabinet, said on Tuesday of March 31 that it will put all government rules and regulations since the founding of the New China under scrutiny.

A statement from the State Council said the new undertaking, which will take approximately three years, is crucial to cutting red tape and devolving power while improving regulation, and to building a law-based government.

In particular, authorities will focus on removing obsolete government regulations that now run counter to the Constitution and laws, impede deepening reform and opening up, and those that infringe on citizens’ rights and interests.

The government should make sure that “anything the law does not authorize is not done, while all duties and functions assigned by law are performed”, the statement said, adding that details of rules to be abolished will be made public and that the campaign will be based on “scientific evaluation”, so as not to leave room for “regulation vacuums”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Counsellor at Chinese embassy in France under investigation

By Han Xiaojing and Xiong Lin

Wu Xilin, the minister counsellor for commercial affairs at the Chinese Embassy in France, has been put under investigation for suspected bribe-taking, the Beijing People’s Procuratorate announced on Tuesday of March 31.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI

>>  Baosteel Group executive under investigation

By Wang Ruoyao

Cui Jian, vice general manager of China’s leading steelmaker Baosteel Group Corporation, has been put under investigation for suspected “serious violations of discipline and law”, Shanghai discipline authorities announced on their website on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Four local-level Chinese officials under probe

By Hu Longjiang

Four Chinese officials are under investigation for suspected “crimes of bribery”, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced on Tuesday of March 31.

The four include Yu Zhigang, vice general manager of the direct-current power filiale under the State Grid and Huang Jian, chairman of the Guangxi Xinhua Bookstore Group Co. Ltd. The Xinhua Bookstore is not affiliated with Xinhua News Agency.

Huang Fengkai, former party chief of the Wuhan Vocational College of Software and Engineering and Wu Jide, former deputy director of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Gansu Provincial Committee and former party chief of the provincial association of industry and commerce are also under investigation.

Wu was also accused of embezzlement, power abuse and illegal fundraising from the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese police continue hunt of economic fugitives overseas

By Zuo Yuanfeng

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has said it will launch a new round of its campaign to capture fugitives overseas implicated in economic crimes following last year’s success.

Fox Hunt 2015 will kick off on Wednesday targeting economic suspects and corrupt Party members and government officials, according to a ministry statement released on Tuesday of March 31.

Fox Hunt is part of a larger campaign codenamed “Sky Net” that combines government, Party, law enforcement agencies, the central bank and diplomatic services.

The MPS vowed to strengthen cooperation with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Supreme People’s Court and the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in preventing private overseas trips with improper visas and the illicite transfer of money via offshore companies and underground banks.

“Cases must be investigated deeply, and the space for fugitives overseas will be crushed,” the statement said.

The ministry stressed that equal focus should be given to seizing suspects and retrieving illicit property, through the dual efforts of pursuit and persuasion.

In Fox Hunt 2014, 680 fugitives were repatriated to China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese authorities receive over 560,000 complaints on food, drug in 2014

By Wu Chen

A total of 562,402 complaints and tip-offs about food, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, cosmetics and medical equipment were received last year, double the figure of 2013, an official with the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said on Tuesday of March 31.

Most complaints were about online sales of fake products, false advertising, unlicensed production and adverse reactions, said Liu Pei, director of the complaint center of the SFDA.

About 74 percent of the complaints were about food, and 12.9 percent were related with pharmaceuticals and some 6.3 percent on dietary supplements.

Nearly 78 percent complaints were collected via hotline 12331, while the rest were through websites, letters and personal visits, according to Liu.

Liu said the complaints and tip-offs have become important sources for the food and drug watchdog to deal with crime. They led to 57 percent of major food and drug cases last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China opens taps for water conservation funding

By Li Yan, Lin Hui, Yu wenjing, An Bei and Zhao Chao

China plans to build 27 major water conservation projects in 2015, and would prefer them to be built and operated with private funding, senior officials said on Tuesday of March 31.

“The water conservation projects will help expand China’s domestic demand and support economic growth,” Jiao Yong, deputy head of the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), said at a press conference.

The amount of investment in major water conservation will be increased from last year’s 488 billion yuan (79.74 billion U.S. dollars), Jiao said.

Private capital’s involvement will be prioritized, according to a document jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance and the MWR on Tuesday.

The ministries opened the threshold of these projects to all kinds of qualified bodies including state-owned enterprises, private and foreign enterprises.

During a visit to the MWR in November, Premier Li Keqiang urged the government to accelerate 172 water conservation programs that have strong economic and social importance.

Currently, 57 water projects are under construction.

These projects, including the 27 new ones planned this year, will be mostly located in China’s central and western regions, focusing on agricultural water conservation, water diversion, water source management and protection, as well as large-scale irrigation.

China is also planning to formulate national pilot water projects to test new techniques in this field.

Plagued by uneven water resources, floods and droughts, China’s water resources per capita are only around 25 percent of the global average.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HANGZHOU

>>  E China river pollution raises supervision concerns

By Zhon Qun and Zhou Jing

The Dongjiehe River in east China’s Zhejiang Province has become a striking but disturbing sight in the past few months: it looks like an oil painting.

The discolored river in Longshan Township, Cixi City, is thick with red and yellow oil slicks, after a company reportedly discharged wastewater into the current.

Pictures of the contaminated river have gone viral on the Internet and drawn widespread concern, with the public questioning implementation of environmental regulations.

On Tuesday, the Longshan publicity department confirmed to Xinhua that bearing manufacturer Shuanglong Bearing had accidentally spilled oil into the river.

It said that the company has been ordered to halt production, and that the waterway has returned to normal after cleaning.

In recent years, China has ramped up efforts to prevent water pollution. Its latest move, the revised Environmental Protection Law, which came into effect on Jan. 1, promises heavier punishments for those that fail to rectify violations. But the threats don’t seem to have been entirely successful as a deterrent.

Last year, state broadcaster CCTV ran a special program on water contamination in which it said Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. had been secretly discharging wastewater that contained antibiotics.

In addition, sample tests of major waterways, including the Yangtze, Pearl and Haihe rivers, all showed traces of antibiotics, with the Pearl River in south China being the most severely polluted, according to CCTV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Ancient Chinese culture textbooks available in middle schools

By Ren Ke

Textbooks on ancient Chinese culture will soon be available to middle school students to boost their knowledge of the past, a local newspaper said.

The list of cultural books was organized by the Ministry of Education and carried out by the Ancient Chinese Culture Center. It will be available next semester for schools to adopt should they choose, the Beijing News said on Tuesday of March 31.

It is the first textbook dedicated to ancient philosophy and classic Chinese culture. Currently, middle school students are taught modern literature with a minimal focus on classics.

The textbook will help middle school students understand classics by Lao Tze, Confucius, Mencius and others. It will also analyze the differences between the East and the West, comparing the concepts of Confucius’ benevolence and Socrates’ virtues, as well as Mencius’ ideas of moral and profit versus Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism.

The textbook came as ancient Chinese culture regains popularity in society amid extra emphasis by the government.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed on several occasions the importance of traditional Chinese culture, saying that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation needs the prosperous Chinese culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Police warn of traffic safety during Tomb Sweeping Day

By Cheng Zhuo

Chinese police have warned travellers to be mindful of traffic safety during the upcoming Qingming holiday, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day.

Traffic is expected to increase as people visit relatives’ gravesites or enjoy a spring outing during the holiday, which falls on Sunday this year, the traffic management bureau under the Ministry of Public Security said in an official statement.

They warned of traffic risks based on previous holiday data, which includes possible accidents on dangerous mountain roads, expressways and around major cities.

According to previous statistics, accidents caused by negligence and dangerous driving may also increase during the holiday, the document said.

It also warned of possible rain and dust in different regions, which could affect local traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China continues to see deficit in foreign service trade

By Cheng Jing

China continued to see a deficit in foreign service trade in February, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed on Tuesday of March 31.

The country’s service trade deficit reached 76.7 billion yuan (12.5 billion U.S. dollars) in February, narrowing from 103.7 billion yuan in January, according to the SAFE.

Last month, the country spent a total of 175.5 billion yuan in international service trade, nearly double the 98.8 billion yuan it made during the period.

Distinct from merchandise trade, trade in services refers to the sale and delivery of intangible products such as transport, tourism, telecommunications, construction, advertising, computing and accounting.

China’s State Council has pledged a string of measures to accelerate the development of trade in services, including gradually opening up business in finance, education, culture and medical treatment.

The SAFE began issuing monthly data on service trade in January 2014 to improve the transparency of balance of payments statistics. Beginning in 2015, it added monthly data on merchandise trade to the report.

In February, China saw a surplus of 365.9 billion yuan in foreign merchandise trade, data showed.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China revises current account surplus in Q4, 2014

By Zhan Yan

China on Tuesday of March 31 revised its current account surplus in the fourth quarter in 2014 to 411 billion yuan (67.4 billion U.S. dollars) from the preliminary figure of 375 billion yuan.

The deficit under the capital and financial account was trimmed to 187 billion yuan from the initial estimate of 559 billion yuan, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange show.

In 2014, the surplus under the current account reached 1.35 trillion yuan, while the capital and financial account surplus was 232 billion yuan.

The country’s international reserve assets rose by 720.9 billion yuan in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  China Vanke’s 2014 profit up 4.2 pct

By Cao Kai and Zhao Ruixi

China Vanke Co. Ltd, the country’s largest property developer by market value, saw a 4.2 percent profit growth in 2014 despite an overall industry decline, it announced on Tuesday of March 31.

Its net profits reached 15.7 billion yuan (2.56 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014.

The Hong Kong-listed company achieved a sales revenue of 215.1 billion yuan in 2014, up 25.9 percent year on year.

In 2014, the company added 41 new development projects and the site area attributable to Vanke was about 2.06 million square meters.

The cash and cash equivalents held by Vanke amounted to 62.7 billion yuan at the end of last year, bringing down the net gearing ratio to 5.4 percent, the lowest since 2006.

China’s property market took a downturn in 2014 after boom years that took home prices to levels out of reach for ordinary wage earners. The cooling has continued into 2015, with both sales, prices and investment down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHENZHEN

>>  Huawei profits up 33 percent

By Wang Pan and Wang Ruoyao

China’s leading telecommunications company, Huawei Technologies, reported on Tuesday of March 31 that its profits leapt 32.7 percent last year.

The privately-owned company said in its annual report that its net profit rose to 27.9 billion yuan (about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014 and its revenue grew to 288.2 billion yuan, up 20.6 percent year on year.

The growth partly thanks to Huawei’s development of consumer business, mainly smartphone sales. Consumer business revenue hit 75.1 billion yuan last year, up 32.6 percent.

It spent 40.8 billion yuan on research and development (R&D) in 2014, 29.4 percent more than in 2013, according to Ken Hu, deputy chairman and rotating CEO.

Huawei has invested more than 190 billion yuan in R&D over the past decade, he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China to implement bank deposit insurance in May

By Zhu Shaobin

The Chinese government announced on Tuesday of March 31 that it will implement the long-awaited bank deposit insurance scheme in May, taking a key step in the country’s financial reform.

From May, financial institutions will be required to pay insurance premiums into a fund that will be managed by an agency appointed by the State Council, according to a statement posted on the government website.

The scheme is designed to return bank clients’ deposits if their bank suffers insolvency or bankruptcy. The reimbursement will be drawn from the new fund in the case of the deposit being 500,000 yuan (81,433 U.S. dollars) or less, which applies to 99.63 percent of Chinese depositors, said the statement.

The reimbursement shall be paid within seven working days, according to the deposit insurance scheme’s regulations.

Banks will pay also indemnity with their own assets to those who have deposited more than 500,000 yuan.

The scheme will cover both RMB deposits and foreign currency deposits from individuals as well as companies. Both the principal and interest are under protection by the scheme.

A separate statement quoted an unnamed official as saying, “The scheme will help build public confidence in the financial market, straighten the relationship between government and the market… and maintain financial stability.”

Deposit insurance schemes are an important part of any financial safety net. More than 110 countries and regions have established such schemes. The scheme has long been considered a precondition for China to free up deposit rates — the last step in interest rate liberalization.

Guo Tianyong, a professor at Beijing’s Central University of Finance and Economics, stressed the importance of the scheme to broader economic reform. “Whether it is full liberalization of deposit rates or more approvals of private banks that China will push forward in the future, the country first needs a safety net in the shape of a deposit insurance scheme.”

Guo said the scheme will help the development of small banks as it will make depositors more confident in them.

Chen Hufei, an analyst at Bank of Communications, said the scheme has to some extent reminded depositors of the potential risks of saving all their money as bank deposits, and will likely encourage them to diversify asset allocations via multiple investment channels, such as pension insurance, wealth management products, stocks, securities, and precious metals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese stocks close lower Tuesday

By Xu Feng

Chinese stocks nosedived into negative territory just ahead of the closing bell on Tuesday of March 31, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 1.02 percent, or 38.67 points, to finish at 3,747.9 points.

The Shenzhen Component Index shed 0.25 percent, or 32.65 points, to close at 13,160.66 points.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, added 1.95 percent, or 44.69 points, to end at 2,335.17 points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANJING

>>  Party official in E China committed suicide

By Han Xiaojing and Zhu Guoliang

Jiang Hongliang, a senior Party official in Wuxi city in east China’s Jiangsu Province committed suicide on Tuesday noon of March 31, the local publicity department announced.

Jiang, deputy secretary of Wuxi City Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) jumped from a tower in a local forest park. He was taken to hospital immediately but died at 1:50 p.m.

According to initial investigation, Jiang was suffering from depression. Further investigation is underway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese spend big on cross-border Internet shopping

By Zhu Shaobin

Chinese consumers spent more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in cross-border shopping online in 2014, new data has showed.

The payment value for overseas products rose steadily month on month last year, with November and December (the traditional discount season in Western countries) each seeing over 200 million U.S. dollars spent online for overseas products, according to figures released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on Tuesday of March 31.

As the end of last year, 22 third-party payment services such as Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s Tenpay, were authorized as pilot providers of cross-border payment services. The SAFE authorized such services across the country in January.

“More and more overseas businesses are expanding their reach to the Chinese market. So far, Tenpay’s cross-border payment service has linked up to 1,000 merchants such as U.S.-based eBay and Shilla in the Republic of Korea,” said Hong Taoli, chief inspector of Tenpay’s international business.

Such services are making it increasingly easy for Chinese consumers to shop for overseas products, Hong said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  Drug gang busted in SW China

By Han Xiaojing and Wu Guangyu

Police have arrested 29 gang members for producing and dealing drugs in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, they announced on Tuesday of March 31.

Police in Sichuan’s Deyang City also apprehended 14.63 kg of methamphetamine and the stimulant “magu”, and 75 kg of ephedrine, a major drug making raw material. Three guns, four vehicles and a large amount of equipment for drug production were confiscated.

The bust, which took place on Friday, is the culmination of an operation dating back to August 2013, when police began tracking a drugs ring with a leader surnamed Zhang which had been producing drugs in Deyang and selling them in both Sichuan and the northern Shanxi Province.

The case is under further investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Man arrested for Beijing Cartier robbery

By Zhong Qun and Xiong Lin

A man has been arrested in Beijing on suspicion of robbing a Cartier jewelry store in the city earlier this month, a local procuratorate said on Tuesday of March 31.

The second branch of the Beijing People’s Procuratorate approved the arrest of Moikit Leng, a Malaysian, after he allegedly fled with 11 watches from the store on Beijing’s main shopping street, Wangfujing, on the night of March 16.

According to a report by The Beijing News, the stolen watches are valued at about three million yuan (488,600 U.S. dollars).

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUIYANG

>>  SW China quake affects 23,000

By Yang Hongtao and Wang Ruoyao

A 5.5-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest China’s Guizhou Province on Monday has affected 23,000 people, local authorities said on Tuesday of March 31.

According to the provincial civil affairs department, as of noon on Tuesday, the number of people affected by the quake in seven townships of Jianhe County stood at 23,018, 10,000 more than the department reported on Monday afternoon.

More than 2,500 people have been relocated as over 1,500 buildings were damaged. In addition, 17 hospitals and four medical institutions were also wrecked by the quake.

The quake caused direct economic losses of 120 million yuan (about 19.5 million U.S. dollars), according to the department.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 1,000 tents, 2,000 sleeping bags and 2,000 folding beds to the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Disaster relief supplies sent to quake-hit Guizhou

By Hu Longjiang and Huang Xiaoxi

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 1,000 tents, 2,000 sleeping bags, 2,000 folding beds and 1,000 sets of folding desks and chairs to Jianhe County in southwestern Guizhou Province after it was hit by a 5.5-magnitude earthquake on Monday morning of March 30.

No deaths have been reported, though the quake was Guizhou’s biggest in terms of magnitude since 1949. More than 23,000 people have been affected and 2,536 relocated.

Provincial authorities have sent teams to help with the rescue work and allocated 1 million yuan (about 162,880 U.S. dollars) and 206 tents for disaster relief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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