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27th of July 2011


The Lion Awakes 

Daily News, Culture & Current Affairs about China











Graeme has been using ChinesePod since 2007

"I highly recommend ChinesePod, I haven't found any Online teaching programmes that come close."




People's Daily


Let calm, peace return to South China Sea

The dispute in the South China Sea was the highlight of the recently concluded foreign ministers' meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bali, Indonesia on July 23. It is universally acknowledged that the South China Sea is China's territorial waters. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that China and ASEAN member nations adopted the guideline to implement the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," which paved the way for further cooperation in the South China Sea and showed China and ASEAN member nations were rational and capable of solving the dispute.


China-ASEAN trade to keep steady growth in H2

China's trade with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries is expected to maintain steady growth in the latter half of this year, after growing by a quarter in the first half, a commerce official said Tuesday.


China's rural pension program covers 199 million people

A total of 199 million Chinese rural residents had joined the country's rural pension insurance program by the end of June, an official of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) said Monday.


Economic engine should be roaring along safe rail

By Li Hongmei

To many Chinese, having the world's fastest trains running on the world's longest high-speed rail is a pronounced symbol of China's modernization and its galloping economy.

But the bullet-train crash which happened Saturday plunges the whole nation into a chilly nightmare in which at least 43 people killed when a stalled train was struck from behind by another train, and the Chinese, still intoxicated by the pride of running fastest, have to wake up to a harsh reality - how to run safely?


Governments' net for outlaws

By Li Hong

The Canadian authorities under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper over the weekend deported the most-wanted Chinese fugitive -- smuggling ringleader Lai Changxing back to China. The repatriation has beamed up tens of millions of ordinary Chinese people,
who hate corruption and economic fraudulence most.

The revered former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, prior to his retirement in 2003, vowed to take whatever measures to bring Lai back and face justice in China. Now his wish is fulfilled.




China Daily


China decides 10 work focuses for energy saving work

China has established guidlines for 10 work focuses on energy saving and emission reduction for the 12th Five-Yeas Plan (2011-2015) period, China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday.

These work focuses include strengthening energy saving and emission reduction, reducing carbon intensity and so on, by means of promoting stepped-pricing for household water and electricity consumption; different electricity price for industry and daily use; providing more loans to energy-saving projects; launching standards for energy saving and environmental protection companies and enlarging the scopes of the low-carbon pilots.

The report said the National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, Energy Saving and Emission Reduction under the State Council, has reviewed and approved the draft in principle.

See Kaixin's - Green China


China in top five of global ODI table

BEIJING - China climbed up the world rankings to fifth-largest outbound direct investor last year and there is still huge potential for a higher placing, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and economists said.

The World Investment Report released on Tuesday also said that China will continue to remain the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) over the next two years, despite growth in this sector declining over the last six months.

China rose one place to fifth in terms of overseas direct investment (ODI) volume, passing Japan and the United Kingdom, according to UNCTAD.


China launches 2-month train safety campaign

BEIJING - China's rail minister has ordered a two-month safety check on railway operations and apologised for Saturday's deadly train crash that killed 39 people, a report on said on Tuesday.

Sheng Guangzu, Minister of Railways, said a range of railway officials were directed to work on front-line operations during the next two months and to learn from the accident, the report quoted a statement on the ministry's website.

He said the safety campaign will extend through the end of September and will focus on high-speed rail and passenger trains, such as implementing maintenance standards and reinforcing checks on power connections to pre-empt outages.

Special attention would also go to prevent accidents caused by flooding and inclement weather, the minister said.

Even before the investigation into the cause of the crash was complete, Beijing on Sunday sacked three middle-level railway officials.

The ministry is still investigating the cause of the accident. Previous reports have said the D301 bullet train rear-ended another express D3115 that lost power following a lightning strike, adding that the power failure knocked out an electronic safety system designed to alert conductors about stalled locomotives on the line.


China's submersible reaches depth of 5,038 m

BEIJING - A Chinese manned submersible successfully reached a depth of 5,038.5 meters during a test dive conducted Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said.


Circular economy investment up

Re-use, recycle, reduce to cut energy consumption, lower emissions

BEIJING - The Chinese government will double its investment in the circular economy this year to 2 billion yuan ($300 million) to support the national policies of energy conservation and emission reduction, a senior official said on Monday.

The figure was provided by He Bingguang, a director-general level official at the department of resource conservation and environmental protection of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The NDRC will use financial support and tax breaks to draw investment into the circular (recycling) economy, which will benefit companies and society.

See Kaixin's - Economic China


Ore target to break foreign grip

BEIJING - China, the world's largest steelmaker and iron ore consumer, has set a target of dramatically increasing ore imports from Chinese-invested resources in the steel industry's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), an industry official said.

Iron ore imports from Australia, Brazil and India accounted for 62.3 percent last year.

Li Xinchuang, deputy secretary-general of China Iron & Steel Association, told China Daily that the country will only be able to break the grip of the three major global miners - Vale SA, Rio Tinto, and BHP Billiton - if it gets half of its overseas ore requirements from Chinese-invested sources.

"China currently owns less than 10 percent of imported iron ore. We should seek 50 percent of ore from Chinese-invested overseas resources in the next five to 10 years," he said.

Li's remarks underscored the ambition of Chinese companies to secure steady supplies of ore globally.








XinHua News




Local residents hold candles to mourn for the victims of a train crash in Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, July 26, 2011. At least 39 people died and 192 others were injured in the accident that occurred on July 23, 2011 on a bridge near Wenzhou when bullet train D301 rear-ended D3115.


China to pay 500,000 yuan in compensation for each train crash victim

WENZHOU, July 26 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Railways will pay 500,000 yuan (about 77,500 U.S. dollars) in compensation for each victim of the high-speed train crash, according to an official in charge of the compensation deal.

The compensation deal was made public late Tuesday after the first family agreed to accept the amount this morning.


Officials consult Apple before closing more suspect stores

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Officials looking into the illegal sale of Apple gadgets say they are waiting for the electronics company to respond before they decide whether to close three more possibly unlicensed stores.

Two of the five shops found selling iPhones and iPads in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province, have already been closed by the local industry and commerce administration.


Chinese FM to visit 4 European, African nations

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will pay official visits to Albania, Poland, Sudan and South Sudan from Aug. 2 to 9, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu announced on Tuesday


 Central banks of China, Kazakhstan to open special accounts on currency swap

ASTANA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The central banks of Kazakhstan and China have agreed to open special accounts under an agreement on yuan/tenge swap.





Global Times



Debate rages around compensation plans

Authorities released on Tuesday the identity of 28 passengers killed in Saturday's bullet train crash near Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, but a seemingly delayed press conference mirrored the lack of major progress in the investigation.

The casualty list released by Wenzhou police includes an Italian woman, Assunta Liguori, and a Chinese American, Cao Erxing. The official death toll remains at 39, with 192 more injured.

All of the 39 bodies have been claimed by their relatives, based on ID cards, clothes and other recognizable characteristics, but the results of DNA tests are still unavailable, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing local officials.

Negotiations for compensation are also underway. Lin Yan, a relative of one of the victims, became the first to reach an agreement with the authorities on compensation. The settlement was set to 500,000 yuan ($77,625.50).


Anger mounts at lack of answers on train crash

As the nation still reels from Saturday's bullet train crash, more questions and doubts are being raised of the authorities concerning the handling of the tragedy and China's fast-expanding railway system.

The official death toll for the crash near Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, rose by five to 40 on Monday, with nearly 200 hospitalized, including 12 still in serious condition.

Yang Feng, a 31-year-old man who lost his pregnant wife and three other relatives in the accident, questioned the official tally.


Rail ministry struggles to clear doubts

The nation's railway ministry and high-speed rail system have both come under fierce criticism after a fatal collision between two bullet trains Saturday night in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.



CCTV - 9

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Dialogue (30 Minute Current Affairs Program)


Dialogue (30 Minute Current Affairs Program) - Water crisis looming larger

As the world’s population increases, so too does its need for food and water-the two resources which are absolutely necessary to sustain life. Chinese experts warn that by 2030 when China''s population reaches 1.6 billion, per capita water resources will drop to 1760 cubic meters -- perilously close to 1700 cubic meters, the internationally recognized benchmark for water shortages. The China water crisis threatens the stability and prosperity not only in China but globally too. The government must adopt a new policy to reduce water consumption.


Dialogue (30 Minute Current Affairs Program) - China's economy strong but challenges remain

The momentum of China''s economic growth remains strong as the country rolls out policies to develop strategic emerging industries, accelerate the construction of low-income homes and encourage private investment. However, the country also faces resource and environmental constraints in the domestic market, as well as pressure to transform its economic growth pattern and create sustainable economic growth.


Dialogue (30 Minute Current Affairs Program) - Tougher IPR battles





The Wall Street Journal


How China Could Break the Debt-Ceiling Impasse, And Why It Won’t

As the largest foreign holder of US Treasurys, China has a heft in bond markets that no other creditor can claim. The Asian giant is so powerful, in fact, that it could — if it chose — help the White House end the debt-ceiling impasse.

Nissan Sets China Expansion Plan

Nissan Motor Co.'s China joint venture said it will invest 50 billion yuan ($7.76 billion) over five years to expand manufacturing capacity and nearly double sales in China, a key element of the auto maker's broader plan to grab 8% of the global auto market and significantly improve its profitability.


Weibo Watershed? Train Collision Anger Explodes Online

A torrent of outrage over a deadly high-speed train accident grew further on the Chinese Internet Tuesday, reflecting the mounting challenge China’s leaders face in managing opinion of their governance among an increasingly wired and demanding public.


Beijing Seeks to Soothe Train Jitters

BEIJING—The first high-speed train passed through the tracks where a deadly train collision occurred in eastern China, as authorities sought to soothe public concern over safety and the handling of the accident as well as jitters about the future of its prized high-speed rail system.


China Fires Three Officials as Rail-Crash Toll Reaches 35

BEIJING—China's government fired three railway officials as it began an investigation into a deadly crash between two bullet trains that raised new safety concerns about the country's vaunted high-speed rail system.


Historian Finds New Relevance in Chinese Conflict

The Opium War is a touchy subject, admits Julia Lovell.

The Chinese often refer to the conflict that began in 1839 as the beginning of colonial submission, while for many British it has faded to the footnotes of history.

But the myths of the war are still relevant, as they explain China's complicated relationship with the West, Ms. Lovell argues in her new book, "The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China."

But it was fun to compare the English and Chinese accounts and found that they diverged on every point.








The New York Times


Op-Ed Contributor
A Step Toward Trust With China

We don’t have to give away secrets to make our intentions clear, just open up a little.


I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor
Counterpoint: Debunking Myths About China

SHANGHAI — On these pages on July 1, two prominent China watchers — David Shambaugh (“China’s Communist Party at 90”) and Minxin Pei (“Great party, but where’s the Communism?”) — analyzed the failures and challenges of the party as it faces a major leadership transition in 2012. Eric X. Li, a venture capitalist in Shanghai and a doctoral candidate at Fudan University’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs, joins the debate.

The Chinese Communist Party has been running the largest country in the world for 62 years. How has it done?

See Kaixin's
- A Color Revolution in China? Keep It Red - Eric Li




Caixin Online


Government Mulls More Support for SMEs

The State Council is currently considering the loosening of taxation and financing policies toward SMEs, according to an MIIT official

(Beijing) -- The State Council, China's cabinet, may ease taxation and financing policies toward small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), according to Zhu Hongren, Chief Engineer and Spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).


Silk Prices Continue to Drop

Silkworm farmers have been forced to shutter businesses amid a slump in international demand for raw silk

(Beijing) – Silk and silk cocoon prices have dropped by more than 11 percent since mid-June, hitting both silkworm farmers and raw silk producers.


Kitchen Oil Slipping Past Biodiesel Pipeline

Used Shanghai restaurant oil that's supposed to be turned into fuel is instead being diverted to illegal reprocessors

Only a few dozen workers are still reporting every day at a huge factory in Shanghai that turns waste edible oil from restaurants into biodiesel, which can be used alone or blended with petrodiesel as a low carbon alternative fuel.


Guangdong Hears Its Biological Clock Ticking

Behind the uncharacteristically public push by Guangdong Province for revisions to China's one-child policy is an old-age dependency ratio set to boom in 40 years

Guangdong is growing old and getting nervous. With an aging population, the debate over China's one-child policy, once confined only to academic circles, has now broken into the public arena.


Tianjin's Senior Housing Gamble

Tianjin municipality has committed itself to an 18.3 billion yuan high-end senior housing project – but some have called it a burden the government can't afford

As China faces an age of aging, one hour north of Tianjin, a miniature town is being built for the growing population of elderly in one of China's most-populous municipalities. But an unclear financing structure has created a debate surrounding the government's moves to develop a badly-needed industry – through the private sector.


Global Economy on a Slow Summer Burn

By Andy Xie

Inflation in China, a debt crisis in Europe and joblessness in America are cooling the not-yet-recovered world economy

China's price struggle is just one of many signs of this summer's increasingly apparent global economic slowdown. The signs are obvious in the developed world. High unemployment and falling house prices are battering the United States, a sovereign debt crisis is spreading in the euro zone, and Japan is trying to recover from the earthquake-tsunami disaster.




Asia Times Online


Speedy growth lays tracks of China's tears
By Wu Zhong, China Editor

The seeds of China's bullet train disaster on Saturday were laid in the high-speed growth responsible for the economic achievements of the past 30 years. An autocratic system has been the engine of Beijing's advances, but 39 lives will have been lost in vain unless the government conducts a thorough review of nationwide railway expansion and of the wider decision-making processes.


Like daughter, like mother

In 2004, at the age of 36, Iris Chang shot herself to death, seven years after her novel The Rape of Nanking had become an international bestseller. Iris' mother Ying-Ying Chang recalls how she converted this tragedy into a positive force to write the recently released memoir The Woman Who Could Not Forget - a tribute to Iris' courage.

See Kaixin's - Nanking, Nanking


Pomp and porn during the Qing Dynasty
Decadence Mandchoue by Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse
Reviewed by Kent Ewing

In an erotic romp through the twilight years of the Qing Dynasty, these memoirs recount among other trysts the Victorian Orientalist author's subservient servicing of the Empress Dowager Cixi, then 69, and adventures with the eunuchs and catamites of Peking's bathhouses. Intermingled with fantastical imperial palace intrigue, the work has faced charges of fraudulence and obscenity; this belies its charm and historical significance.



An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination





 "The Real China is made by Chinese mothers and grandmothers, from each individual family's hard work," says Xue Xinran

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