China sends 2 investigators for San Francisco crash probe




>>  China sends 2 investigators for San Francisco crash probe

By Zuo Wei

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Wednesday of July 10 that it has sent two specialists to the United States to track an investigation into last Saturday’s Asiana Airlines plane crash.

The experts, who will be participating in the investigation as observers, arrived in San Francisco early Wednesday, the CAAC said.

A total of 141 Chinese were among the 291 passengers aboard when Asiana Airlines Flight 214 bound for San Francisco from Seoul made a crash landing at the San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.

Among the 141 Chinese citizens, two were confirmed dead, one remains in critical condition and the other 138 were confirmed safe as of 12:00 Beijing Time, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

According to an annex from the Convention on International Civil Aviation, any country whose citizens suffer serious injuries or death in an aviation accident can send observers to track the investigative process.

The international convention also prescribes that the country where the accident happens must take charge of the investigation.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the ongoing probe. 



>>  Counseling provided for victims of San Francisco crash: FM spokeswoman

By Zhang Yi

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday that the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco is providing counseling for those affected by a fatal plane crash last Saturday.

Hua said at a regular press briefing that 80 of the 141 Chinese who were involved in the accident have been checked into a hotel near the San Francisco International Airport airport, adding the Consulate General has set up a liaison office in the hotel.

Two Chinese students have been confirmed dead in Saturday’s crash.

The Consulate General has provided veteran counselors to provide one-on-one care for the relatives of the deceased, as well as for two students who were severely injured, Hua said.

The Chinese Consulate General is also working to provide psychological care for the other students involved in the crash, she said.



>>  China concerned about Japanese defense report: FM spokeswoman

By Liu Dongkai

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday of July 10 that China is concerned and strongly discontented with a recent Japanese defense report.

“The new edition of Japan’s defense white paper deliberately ignores basic facts and maliciously plays up the ‘China threat,’” Hua said at a regular press briefing.

The report, which was released on Tuesday, said Japan’s security environment is becoming increasingly grim.

The report also said that China’s defense policies and military development lack transparency, adding that China’s maritime activity has been dangerous and caused concern on the part of the international community.

Hua said China is on a path of peaceful development, adding that its policies are purely defensive in nature.

“Japan does not have the right to say this or that regarding China’s internal affairs,” Hua said.

Secondly, China cannot be criticized for carrying out normal maritime activity according to international law and relevant domestic laws, Hua said.

“We have always worked to resolve territorial and maritime disputes through dialogue and consultation. However, we will never allow any other country to infringe on China’s territorial sovereignty,” Hua said.

Hua said Japan has deliberately increased tension surrounding the Diaoyu Islands, as well as undermined China’s territorial sovereignty and stability.

“Japan should earnestly reflect on its own actions instead of seeking excuses,” she said.

Hua said Japan is going against the global trend of maintaining peace and stability by deliberately stoking tensions and inciting confrontation.

“The goal of the Japanese side is to create an excuse for its military buildup and break away from post-World War II international order,” Hua said.

“This calls for high vigilance by the international community,” she said.

Hua said Japan should embark on a path of peaceful development and take action to improve political trust and maintain regional peace and stability.

China places importance on its relations with Japan and is ready to develop relations with the country, Hua said, adding that Japan should change its attitude and make tangible efforts to eliminate obstacles that are undermining the development of bilateral relations. 



>>  China speeds up cultivation of future military engineers

By Zhang Yunlong

China’s education and military authorities have jointly launched a program to step up the cultivation of future military engineers from selected university students, an official statement said on Wednesday of July 10.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement that the MOE and the four general departments of the People’s Liberation Army recently issued a joint circular signalling that the program would be launched from this year.

Program candidates will be picked from top university juniors who are already being trained by civil universities for national defense purposes and are set to formally join the service after graduation.

Selected students will undergo a 6- to 12-month-long field study in military academies, research institutes, troop units equipped with new kinds of armaments and armament production enterprises, according to the statement.

The ministry said the program is intended to make best use of quality resources held by the civil and military circles to boost students’ military engineering capabilities and speed up their readiness as future high-calibre engineering professionals.

Around 300 students will be selected for the new program this year, according to the statement.   



>>  China introduces fair organ distribution system

By Guo Likun

A new system for the management and distribution of donated human organs will soon go into operation nationwide, a health official said on Wednesday of July 10.

Technical means will be used to monitor human intervention in organ distribution, Deng Haihua, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said at a Wednesday press conference.

The system has been in development since 2010, Deng said, adding that the system is ready to go into use nationwide after successful trials.

All patients currently on organ waiting lists will be ranked according to their degree of need, he said.

“The system will be used in line with organ distribution policies and will automatically match organs and recipients in accordance with their degree of medical need, as well as the donor and recipient’s compatibility,” Deng said.

The commission will also introduce rules concerning the obtainment, distribution and management of organs in order to make the distribution process more transparent, he said.

Deng said the rules will also make the use of the system compulsory.

During the trials, 38 authorized institutions obtained 720 organs from 353 donors through the system, the commission’s figures showed.

China has the world’s second-largest demand for organ transplants. About 300,000 patients suffer from organ failure each year, but only around 10,000 organ transplants are performed annually due to a lack of donors.

China introduced an organ donation system in 2010, with the non-governmental Red Cross Society serving as an independent third party in supervising and facilitating donation procedures.

As of July 8, 2,495 organs had been donated via the system, Deng said.

At present, human organs are mainly procured via three channels in China: donations from executed prisoners, the relatives of deceased people and regular citizens.

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, issued regulations on voluntary organ donation in 2007. But China has struggled to popularize the practice, as traditional Chinese customs call for people to be buried or cremated with their organs intact.

It is no secret that organs taken from executed prisoners are an important source for organ transplants in Chinese hospitals.

But this reliance is expected to end within two years, as the development of the organ donation system will encourage more people to donate, former Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu said last year.  



>>  China issues timetable for gov’t info disclosure

By Tian Ying

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, on Wednesday of July 10 issued a timetable for disclosing government spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips, as well as information on investigations into major accidents.

The timetable was included in a State Council document that orders all localities and government departments to put promoting transparency high on their agenda, in a bid to enhance government credibility.

According to the document, provincial governments should disclose their spending on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips starting from 2013, and municipal and county governments should strive to disclose such information by 2015.

In 2011, the central government first published the actual figures of spending on the three items in its final accounts report for 2010. Government spending in these areas has long been the center of public concern over the misuse of public funds.

Also according to the document, investigation reports on major accidents should be fully disclosed to the public starting from 2014.

Moreover, the State Council identified nine categories of information as priorities in promoting government transparency, including information on administrative examinations and approvals; budgeting and government expenses on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips; subsidized housing; food and drug safety; environmental protection; production safety; pricing and charging; land appropriation and demolition; and public welfare institutions and enterprises and, in particular, the education sector.

Specifically, governments should make public the administrative examination process and results. Municipal and county governments should completely disclose information concerning the construction, distribution and revocation of subsidized housing.

Also, governments should inform the public about law enforcement and other work to ensure food and drug safety, as well as disclose information on air and water quality and environmental evaluations of various construction projects.

Governments at all levels are also expected to publicize prices and charges in the education, transportation, healthcare, property and travel sectors, among others.

In regards to land appropriation and demolition information, governments should promote the establishment of a land seizure information inquiry system and make public the appropriation decisions, evaluation and investigation results, and compensation.

In the education sector, information on college enrollment and university financial status should be made more available to the public. 



>>  Chinese premier tours Guangxi, pledges policy support

By Cheng Jing

During a research tour to south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from Monday to Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang pledged policy support to help stabilize growth and improve people’s lives in this relatively underdeveloped region.

The three-day tour saw Premier Li visit ports, companies, plantations and villages, where he talked with local workers, businesses and farmers to better grasp the current economic conditions in the world’s second-largest economy.

Li urged the region to further open up to the outside to capitalize on the opportunities created during the ongoing industrial transfer from the east to the west.

In a conference with small- and micro-sized enterprises, the premier pledged continuing policy support for them as their success, which would create a massive number of jobs, can facilitate China’s economic growth and transformation.

After talking with farmers and impoverished villagers, Li promised that the government will help them increase income and improve the infrastructure through various channels.

During the research tour, he also visited local economic planning agencies to inquire about the effects of the government’s move to transform functions.

“The central government will continue to streamline administrative procedures and delegate powers to lower levels, and local authorities should also free up approval items in more sectors,” Li urged. 



>>  Chinese shares surge after premier’s talk

By Liu Xinyong

Chinese shares surged more than 2 percent on Wednesday of July 10 after Premier Li Keqiang said the country’s macroeconomic policies should ensure economic growth at a reasonable range.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.17 percent, or 42.67 points, to end at 2,008.13. The Shenzhen Component Index soared 3.3 percent, or 250.78 points, to 7,851.25.

Combined turnover on the two bourses expanded to 158.73 billion yuan (25.73 billion U.S. dollars) from 116.5 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Premier Li told an economic meeting on Tuesday of July 9 that it is crucial for China to coordinate the efforts of stabilizing economic growth, promoting economic restructuring and pushing forward reforms.

“Macroeconomic policies should be founded on the present situations, but also be forward-looking, to ensure economic growth at a reasonable range,” Li said.

Coal miners and property developers were among the strongest on Wednesday, with sub-indices for those sectors surging 4.45 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

China Shenhua, the largest coal miner in China, rose 2.66 percent to close at 16.23 yuan per share, while the Shandong-based Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. soared by the daily trading limit of 10 percent to 9.88 yuan.

China Vanke, the nation’s biggest property developer by market value, jumped 6.42 percent to 10.28 yuan. Poly Real Estate Group Co., the second largest developer, surged 5.43 percent to 10.67 yuan.

Since Monday evening, most of southwest China’s Sichuan Province has been battered by rainstorms.

However, most listed companies in Sichuan told Shanghai Securities News, a newspaper under Xinhua, that production was not affected, as they had taken precautions.

The sub-index for Sichuan rose 2.71 percent. Luzhoulaojiao Company, a leading liquor producer based in the city of Luzhou, rose 1.19 percent to 23.88 yuan.  



>>  China auto sales pick up in first half

By Liu Jie

Automobile sales posted strong growth in the first half of the year, despite the country’s lackluster economic performance, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturing (CAAM) data on Wednesday of July 10.

Sales grew by 12.34 percent year on year to 10.78 million units, 9.41 percentage points higher compared with the same period last year. Output grew 12.83 percent to 10.75 million units, 8.75 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

About 8.67 million passenger cars were sold across the country during the January-June period, up 13.81 percent from a year ago, while sales of commercial vehicles climbed 6.68 percent to 2.12 million units.

Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of CAAM, told a press conference on Wednesday the cities of Tianjin, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shijiazhuang, Chongqing, Qingdao and Wuhan will likely implement curbing policies for car sales that will slash trade by 25 percent in those areas.

CAAM estimates that car sales will dwindle by about 400,000 units if the new curb comes into effect.

As one of the measures to ease air pollution and traffic congestion, the Beijing municipal government adopted a license plate lottery system in 2011 to curb the rapid growth of vehicles.

Shi said the policy has cut sales in Beijing by 520,000.

“The curbs push up consumers’ costs, as they tend to buy large vehicles with powerful engines, as well as high-priced imported cars,” Shi said.

The market share of vehicles with a 1.6-liter engine fell by 17 percentage points, and the average price of cars has increased 88 percent since then, he said.

He advised the government to respect the market economy principle and take a cautious attitude about introducing new curbs.



>>  China to float 30 bln yuan in 7-year T-bonds

By Rong Jiaojiao and Liu Xinyong

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Wednesday of July 10 that it will issue 30 billion yuan (4.85 billion U.S. dollars) in 7-year book-entry treasury bonds.

It is the ministry’s 15th issuance of such bonds this year, according to a MOF statement.

The bonds will be sold from July 11 to 15 and become tradable on securities markets on July 17.

The interest rate for the bonds is fixed at 3.46 percent.

Interest and the principal sum will be paid upon maturity on July 11, 2020, the ministry said. 



>>  China completes overhaul of dairy standards: official

By Tian Ye

China has completed an overhaul of standards for dairy products as part of efforts to address food safety concerns, a health official said Wednesday.

Chen Rui, an official from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said at a regular news conference that the government is also strengthening standards concerning food contaminants, fungal toxins, food additives and food labels.

The overhaul is part of a five-year plan to upgrade food safety regulations.

According to the plan, which was released in June 2012, the government will improve national food safety standards by revamping outdated standards, reviewing and abolishing any contradicting or overlapping standards and working out new regulations.

Many regulations overlap or contradict each other because multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago.

According to Chen, who is now deputy director of the department in charge of formulating, monitoring and assessing food safety standards under the NHFPC, China has now promulgated 303 sets of national standards on food safety, food additives and nutrient supplements.

Consumers have accused food safety authorities of being too lax, which has led to multiple food safety scandals.

When asked to comment if the government will refer to food safety standards used in other nations when formulating its own standards, an official said China will set standards based on its national conditions, but will refer to the standards of developed countries.

The NHFPC will have to consider both the health of consumers and the development of the food industry, according to Wang Zhutian, an assistant to the director of the food safety standards department. 



>>  China develops 100-megapixel camera

By Cheng Zhuo

A Chinese institute has successfully developed a camera featuring a 100-megapixel charge-coupled device (CCD) chip, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced on Wednesday of July 10.

It is currently China’s highest pixel camera, the academy said in a statement.

The camera, IOE3-Kanban, was developed by the Institute of Optics and Electronics under the CAS and is capable of producing images with 10,240 x 10,240 pixels, the statement said.

Moreover, it is small and light, with its widest part measuring only 19.3 cm, the statement said, adding that it can be used at temperatures ranging from minus 20 degrees centigrade to 55 degrees centigrade.

Its high sensitivity and high dynamic range (HDR) features mean it will be useful in high-resolution imaging in the fields of aerial mapping, city planning, disaster monitoring and intelligent transportation systems, the statement said.

The statement said the camera is equipped with advanced optical systems, camera control systems and high-capacity data recording systems, and it has proven successful in a recent trial use as a part of a national aerial remote-sensing system.

According to the statement, the institute also developed an 81-megapixel camera during the 10th Five Year Plan period (2001-2005), and the latest achievement took the researchers two years to develop.  






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