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Clinton Warns China on Iran Sanctions

China/Japan | YP - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 05:00

The secretary of state told China on Friday that it would face diplomatic isolation if it did not fall in line.

Categories: China/Japan News

Moon rover Yutu functioning but stationary: Scientist

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

BEIJING - China's first lunar rover Yutu (the Jade Rabbit) is still working but cannot move, a scientist with the lunar probe mission told Xinhua.

The rover, named after the pet of a Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, was launched in late 2013, but its control mechanism failed on its second lunar day before becoming dormant in January 2014.

Yutu, the national pride of the world's third country to soft-land on the moon, was re-awakened, but problems remained.

Ye Peijian, chief scientist of China's Chang'e-3 program, said that the resilient rover had survived longer than its design life of three months.

"For the time being, it can be re-awakened but cannot move," said the scientist, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.

Experts said earlier that Yutu might have been damaged by a rock.

Repairing the moon rover could be very difficult with it being 380,000 kilometers from earth and its voltage has dropped after repetitive contraction and expansion due to the 300 degrees centigrade temperature difference between day and night on the moon.

Categories: Chinaganda

China set to launch fifth lunar probe in 2017

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

The photo of the Yutu moon rover taken by the camera on the Chang'e-3 moon lander during the mutual-photograph process after the successful landing of the moon probe on the moon on Dec 15, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua}

China is set to launch the unmanned Chang'e-5, its fifth lunar probe, in South China's Hainan province in 2017, a top Chinese space scientist and a national political advisor told Xinhua Tuesday.

It is the first Chinese lunar probe that will collect lunar samples and return to earth. The research into the launch is going as planned, said Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e-1, China's first moon probe, and chief commander of the Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 missions.

The preparation of a Long March carrier rocket used to launch the probe and the launch site in Hainan province is also progressing smoothly, he said.

Chang'e-5 will carry a drilling machine to get moon rock from a depth of two meters.

China's lunar exploration program, named after the mythological moon goddess Chang'e, is divided into three stages: orbiting, landing, and return.

China launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, on Oct 24, 2007, from the southwestern Sichuan Province. The probe ended its 16-month mission on March 1, 2009, when it crashed into the moon's surface. The second lunar probe, Chang'e-2, was launched in 2010.

The Chang'e 3, launched in 2013, marked the completion of the second stage of the country's lunar program.

As the backup probe of Chang'e 3, Chang'e 4 will be adapted to verify technologies for Chang'e 5, according to Xinhua.

Categories: Chinaganda

Crime of soliciting underage prostitutes may be abolished

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

 

People buy books about China's criminal law at a bookstore in Yichang, Hubei province on October 29, 2014. [Photo/CFP] 

China's top legislature will study the possibility of abolishing the crime of "soliciting underage prostitutes" after China's top judicial authorities showed support to the move, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) said Monday.

Sun Xiaomei is a committee member of the All-China Women's Federation who has made continuous appeal for the abolition of the crime of soliciting underage prostitutes since 2010.

She told Southern Metropolis Daily that the NPC, China's top legislature, gave a response to her proposal, saying they would seriously consider the possibility of abolishing the "crime of soliciting underage prostitutes" when revising China's criminal law.

The Supreme People's Court (SPC) pointed out last year that if offenders, who sexually assaulted girls aged under 14, were then charged with this crime, then these girls would be labeled as "prostitutes," which will damage their reputation.

According to official statistics, 255 people were charged with the crime between 2010 and 2013.

The crime of soliciting prostitutes under 14, which was written into China's criminal code in 1997, can carry a sentence of five to 15 years' jail, but the crime of rape may see a sentence from three years to the death penalty.

The SPC had said that abolishing the crime of soliciting underage prostitutes is fundamental to solve the chaotic overlap of the crimes of rape and underage prostitution.

Categories: Chinaganda

Reform tops political advisors' agenda in 2014

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) attend the opening meeting of the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

BEIJING -- About one sixth of the proposals from China's national political advisors in 2014 went to reforms, said a report here Tuesday.

Among 6,101 proposals submitted by members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in 2014, 1,108 ones were about reforms in various aspects, said a report submitted to the annual session of the CPPCC National Committee that opened here.

They covered reforms of state-owned enterprises, administrative approvals, government supervision on the market, government debts, social security and household registration.

About 800 proposals were about legislation and judicial system while about 1,000 addressed people's livelihood such as education and public healthcare service.

Political advisors also put forwards about 1,400 proposals on the sustainable economic development and environmental protection, mostly on improving energy efficiency, cutting redundant productivity, developing eco-friendly vehicles and smoothing the transfer of use rights of farm land.

The Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee has received responses to about 99 percent of the proposals from relevant authorities, according to the report.

A total of 20.6 percent of the proposals have been accepted while 63.8 percent are being considered, the report said.

In 2015, political advisors expect to contribute to drafting of the 13th five-year national development plan and the country's strategic initiatives such as the initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, or Belt and Road. Enditem

Categories: Chinaganda

Memories of service staff at the two sessions

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Service staff, ranging from police to waiters to doctors, work behind the scenes for the success of the two sessions, or the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Here we look back at the unsung heroes behind conferences in the past. [Photo/Xinhua]

This photo taken in Mar 1994 shows Cao You, a lighting crew member with CCTV, adjusting and controling the lighting for the 2nd session of the 8th NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo by Liu Jiansheng/Xinhua]

This photo taken in Sep 1954 shows the deputies to the 1st session of 1st NPC signing their names while service staff stand alongside. [Photo by Qian Sijie/Xinhua]

This photo taken on Feb 24, 1978 shows the staff cleaning a dining hall at a restaurant in Beijing to welcome the deputies and members to the 1st session of 5th NPC and CPPCC respectively held in that year.[Photo by Chen Jiasheng/Xinhua]

This photo taken in Feb 1978 shows four medical workers waiting to meet the members who will attend the 1st session of the 5th CPPCC at the airport in Beijing. [Photo by Xie Fengquan/Xinhua]

This photo taken on June 1, 1983 shows a staff holding a board with “Ningxia” written on it, waiting for the deputies from Ningxia Hui autonomous region at the airport in Beijing. The deputies would attend the 1st session of the 6th NPC. [Photo by Huang Jianqiu/Xinhua]

This photo taken on June 1, 1983 shows the staff telling Zhang Junqiu, a famous Peking Opera actor and member of the CPPCC, to sign his name at the reception in Beijing during the 1st session of the 6th CPPCC. [Photo by Ma Juntian/Xinhua]

Photo taken on Mar 20, 1989 shows the staff telling the ethnic minority deputies attending the 2nd session of the 7th NPC to sign their names at the reception area in Beijing. [Photo by Tang Mengzong/Xinhua]

This photo taken on Mar 18, 1990 shows the security guards checking the journalists' cameras for safety at the opening ceremony of the 3rd session of the 7th CPPCC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo by Zhang Yanhui/Xinhua]

This photo taken in Mar 1993 shows the staff of the Proposal Group to the 1st session of the 8th CPPCC dealing with the proposals submitted from members of the CPPCC in Beijing. [Photo by Liu Jianguo/Xinhua]

 

 

Categories: Chinaganda

Taiwan women admits charge of careless driving in New Zealand

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

WELLINGTON - A woman from China's Taiwan appeared in a New Zealand court Tuesday, admitted charges of careless driving causing the death of her father, and injury of her mother last month.

Chia-Fang Chu, 39, of Kaoshiung city, Taiwan, appeared in the Christchurch District Court today. Chu was driving to Christchurch Airport from Lake Tekapo with her parents at the end of their holiday on Feb 18. They were on their way to board their flight home at Christchurch Airport.

She was following the guidance of a GPS when she drove up to an intersection near Rakaia. She stopped at the railway line, but did not stop again at the stop sign just past the railway line. She drove into the side of a four-wheel drive vehicle coming from the right.

Chu's father died of impact injuries at the scene. Her mother remains in hospital, who received rib injuries, a pneumothorax, laceration to the liver, and a fractured scapular.

Chu's two children, her cousin and her child were all in the vehicle. They were on holiday to relax because of depression following Chu's partner's death in a motorcycle crash.

Categories: Chinaganda

China's top political advisory body starts annual session

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) attend the opening meeting of the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]

Members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) attend the opening meeting of the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Reporters at the opening meeting of the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Categories: Chinaganda

Top political advisory body delivers work report

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

The Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, opened Tuesday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

A total of 2,153 members of the CPPCC National Committee will discuss major issues concerning the country's development during the annual session.

Yu Zhengsheng, the chairman of the CPPCC, delivered a work report on the session.

Focusing on the reform of the economic system, the CPPCC has held meetings on giving play to the decisive role of the market in allocating resources as well as the role of the government. The CPPCC members have offered advices on finding effective ways to realize basic economic policies, to improve modern market system and transform governmenth's functions.

The CPPCC members have also studied deeper implementation of reforms in State-owned companies, price and tax on natural resource products and accounting on gross ecosystem product.

The CPPCC has held meetings that focus on enhancing and improving macro-control to cope with the downward pressure of the economy. The CPPCC has worked with special committees and local governments to research and advice on reducing overproduction, technology innovation in small and medium-sized firms, regulating and developing Internet finance, developing information consumption and enhancing the research and application of big data.

The CPPCC members have also advised on building a new agricultural operating system and pushing the agricultural developing mode and discussed on the opportunities and challenges of genetically-modified agricultural products.

Categories: Chinaganda

Top political advisory body to discuss reform

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the national advisory body, opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

BEIJING - Unfazed by downward pressure on economy, China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng pledged Tuesday further efforts to help advance reforms at the start of the most important two weeks on China's political calendar this year.

Presenting a work report of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee at the opening meeting of its annual session, Yu said the CPPCC should put the "Four Comprehensives" at the center of its work.

He was referring to a political concept initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which comprises comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strictly governing the Communist Party of China.

Reform is a recurring keyword throughout Yu's report, in which he looked back on the national political advisory body's work last year and set new goals for 2015.

In the past year, national political advisors have rallied support and energy for comprehensively deepening reform, Yu said.

They should continue to stick to the reform agenda this year, he told fellow advisors who will spend the next few days reviewing a government work report, among others, that would comb through reform measures undertaken in 2014 and set the tone for this year's economic plan.

The political advisors' gathering runs almost in parallel with the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, which runs from March 5 to March 15 this year.

The two meetings, together dubbed the two sessions, make the most important annual political events in China, where political and economic developments are discussed and key policies adopted.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Although there are no major government appointments on this year's agenda, the meetings are set to be closely watched, as decisive reforms launched last year gave them extra heavy footing.

Defining the year 2015 as "a critical year for comprehensively deepening reforms, the opening year for advancing the rule of law in an all-round way and the final year for completing the 12th Five-year Plan," Yu said the CPPCC should focus their suggestions and proposals on reform and development.

Facing looming downward pressure on the world's second largest economy, Chinese leadership has pinned much hope on decisive reforms in hope of more healthy and effective growth which has slowed down to a stage of "new normal" -- the economy grew at its lowest pace in 24 years, expanding by 7.4 percent.

China saw a fiscal reform program designed to improve the taxation and local government financing systems within two years, the liberalization of the household registration system, and revisions to lending interest rates which gave commercial banks more freedom.

The government also abolished registered capital and administrative registration requirements for new businesses, and slashed red tape blamed for stifling private investment.

Yu noted that most of the CPPCC consultative activities and inspections, surveys and studies last year focused on deepening reform.

In particular, political advisors offered suggestions on key issues such as judicial independence, government transparency, air pollution prevention and control as well as structural optimization of economy.

In 2015, political advisors should deliberate and make suggestions on the formulation of China's 13th Five-year Plan, and strive to make farsighted, strategic and targeted suggestions and proposals, Yu said.

He said that the CPPCC will also conduct thorough investigations and studies on key topics, such as the Belt and Road initiatives and air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, to provide reference materials for the Party and the government in their decision making.

Categories: Chinaganda

Global media on March 2: What to watch at China's 'two sessions'

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Messaging app for political advisors.

The Standard: Messaging app for political advisors

Hong Kong-based The Standard covered several highlights of the CPPCC meeting, including arrival of its members, and a suggestion box placed in every hotel to gather ideas and suggestions during the CPPCC sessions.

It also pays attention to firsts. The general office of the CPPCC National Committee has set up an inspection team for the first time, to supervise the meeting. Also, for the first time, every CPPCC member can download a messaging app.

Suggestion box.

A woman works at a garment factory in Huaibei, Anhui province. File photo provided to China Daily

Bloomberg: What to watch at China's NPC

Bloomberg listed more than 10 topics to watch at China's NPC.

They are:

_ 7.5 percent, 7 percent, 7-7.5 percent or no GDP target?

_ What will Mr. Renminbi say about the yuan?

_ Will another Tiger fall?

_ Workers of the world, spend!

_ Local governments surrender financing rights. Now what?

_ A larger deficit?

_ 'Under the Dome' smog and harsher environmental rules?

_ New ideas on old reforms of state companies and land?

_ Silk Road, and others

_ PBOC shake up. How high will it go?

_ Unknown Unknowns.

Will China announce plans to merge State players in the oil, construction or shipbuilding industries? What about a new blueprint for energy use? Or will birth control policies be further relaxed to encourage more babies? There's enough known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns to keep even Donald Rumsfeld (who famously coined those phrases) busy.

People visit an anti-corruption exhibition in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Nov 8, 2012. [Photo/IC]

The Irish Times: China's congress to focus on economy, corruption and terrorism law

The Irish Times said that slower economic growth, the fight against corruption, a new counterterrorism law and reform of State-owned enterprises are likely to top the agenda at the National People's Congress (NPC).

Other issues likely to figure at the NPC include healthcare reform, urbanization and measures to combat pollution.

Categories: Chinaganda

China's top political advisory body starts annual session

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

The third session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the national advisory body, opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/chinadaily.com.cn]

A total of 14 national political advisors were expelled due to corruption, said Yu Zhengsheng, China's top political advisor in Beijing Tuesday.Yu made the remarks at the opening meeting of Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body, which kicked off the most important two weeks on China's political calendar this year.

Top Communist Party of China and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended the meeting.

Those that were removed from the political advisory body include two vice chairmen of the CPPCC National Committee, Ling Jihua and Su Rong, who have been suspected of corruption.

Su is now being investigated by the Supreme People's Procuratorate over allegations of accepting huge bribes for promoting his inferiors, among others.

Ling has been under investigation for "suspected serious disciplinary violation" by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection at least since last December.

A CPPCC meeting last month removed Ling from the post of National Committee vice chairman and stripped him of his CPPCC membership.

"This has been a warning for us to improve the integrity of our members and continue fighting corruption," Yu said.

At a press conference on Monday, Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for this year's CPPCC National Committee, said that the cases have affected the image of the CPPCC, though most of their violations did not occur during their tenure as leading national political advisors.

He vowed that the national political advisory body is no harbor for corrupt officials. A total of 2,153 members of the CPPCC National Committee will discuss major issues concerning the country's development during the annual session.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2015. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn]

Categories: Chinaganda

One minute: A baby 'delegate', a selfie stick and 'capricious' spokesman

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Zhu Hong, a national legislator takes care of her baby with husband on the train to Beijing on Monday. [Photo/Yangtse Evening News]

A baby "delegate"

Thousands of national legislators and political advisers converge in Beijing from the provinces to attend the "two sessions", China's most important political event. However, it's not just the delegates who make the trip.

Zhu Hong, a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy of the Jiangsu delegation, who has just given birth, brings her four-month-old baby with her after receiving permission from the NPC and arriving in Beijing by high-speed rail from Nanjing on Monday.

According to her, she plans to feed the baby four times a day and her husband will take care of the baby while she attends the meeting. It's their second child and they are experienced in taking turns to care for babies.

A selfie stick catches many reporters' attention during the CPPCC press conference on Monday. [Photo/cri.cn]

Reporter's selfie stick

Reporters never miss anything that happens during the two sessions, including themselves.

One reporter took full advantage of the popular 'selfie stick', a monopod used to take selfies by positioning a smartphone or camera beyond one's arm's length, to take some pictures of the press corps at Monday's CPPCC press conference. His action clearly drew the attention of other reporters.

The self-service bar is prepared for the CPPCC members in the hotel cafeteria. [Photo/people.cn]

Advisors' lunch

The Railway Hotel is one of the hotels serving CPPCC members during the two sessions. The government has been careful to appear frugal amid the anti-graft campaign, and this was reflected in the lunch in the hotel cafeteria.

There were ten kinds of hot dishes and five kinds of staple food in a buffet, with some fruits and dessert. No wine or drinks were served but there was some boiled water, lemonade and apple juice.

A photo taken on March 2, 2015 shows the scene of a press conference at the third session of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee in Beijing, capital of China. [Photo/Xinhua]

"We are capricious"

Lyu Xinhua, the spokesman of the CPPCC, used the phrase "we are capricious", a popular saying on Internet meaning "we do whatever we want", to express that they are determined to continue in the anti-graft campaign when asked whether there are more "big tigers", or high-level corrupt officials to be investigated.

The trendy phrase stumped the interpreter for a bit, so she stopped to ask the spokesman what he meant, before translating it into English.

He also used the Chinese term "iron-cap princes" to say there will be no "iron-cap princes", or privileged people who have immunity from being investigated for corruption.

"Iron-cap princes" refers to 12 special princes during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) whose princely titles were to be "passed on forever" through the generations. Other princes' sons could only inherit a title at a lower level.

Paramilitary policemen stand guard in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 1 March 2015. [Photo/IC]

CPPCC opens

At 3 pm on Tuesday, the CPPCC National Committee will open its annual session in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, will deliver a report on the work undertaken by the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee during the past year.

Three press conferences will be held during the session.

A photographer takes pictures of a suggestion box at Beijing Conference Center in Beijing, capital of China, March 2, 2015. [Photo/IC]

Work style watched

Suggestion boxes have been placed at hotels where the CPPCC members stay, in a bid to prevent undesirable work styles during the conference such as formalism, bureaucracy and extravagance.

A team set up by the session's secretariat will conduct inspections on the work style and discipline throughout the conference.

To guarantee attendance, the list of those absent without a cause will be made public.

Jiang Kun, a member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), gives an interview in Beijing, March 2, 2015. [Photo/news.cn]

A glimpse of proposals by CPPCC members

The secretariat of the CPPCC said it has received 945 proposals from attendees by noon on Mar 2. Here is a glimpse of some proposals that have drawn attention from the public.

The current law, which limits punishment for prostitution and assembling for licentious activities between different sexes, should be amended to cover such activities between the same sex to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

---Sun Jianfang, managing deputy director of Institute of Dermatology, Chinese Academy of Medical sciences.

The monopoly on taxies should be broken up and the numbers of taxies should be determined completely by the market.

---Li Shufu, Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

China should issue a new version of the RMB to deter those corrupt officials who have stashed huge amounts of cash.

--- Jiusan Society, a renowned democratic group in China

China should speed up the legislation concerning rare diseases and promote research on orphan drugs developed specifically to treat rare medical conditions.

---Liu Gexin, chairman of Kelun group, a pharmaceutical enterprise in Sichuan province

Categories: Chinaganda

China parliament to juggle reform drive and slower growth

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

A worker cuts steel bars on the production line of a mill in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. Si Wei / For China Daily

China's slowing economy will be at the forefront as the National People's Congress convenes for its annual meeting this week, with a weekend interest rate cut a reminder of the challenge of balancing restructuring with combating the onset of deflation.

Senior leaders at the National People's Congress, which opens on Thursday, will send an unambiguous signal about the extent of the slowdown when they cut this year's GDP growth target to around 7 percent, which would be the lowest growth in a quarter of a century.

"The focus will be on State-owned enterprise reforms, price reforms and fiscal reforms," said Wang Jun, a senior economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a well-connected think-tank in Beijing.

"The economic growth target will definitely be lowered. A target of 7 percent is more appropriate."

Officials are expected to argue that a lower growth target provides the opportunity to overhaul State firms, laws and the fiscal system.

They hope to transform the world's second-largest economy away from the export- and investment-led model that powered three decades of rapid expansion into one that is driven by more sustainable domestic consumption.

But with fears of deflation rising - annual consumer inflation plumbed a five-year low of 0.8 percent in January - there is also a need to step in to support the economy, evidenced by two interest rates cuts since late November.

Monetary stimulus

The latest cuts to benchmark lending and deposit rates, announced by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) on Saturday, pre-empted official data showing a second consecutive month of shrinking manufacturing activity.

A rate cut makes debt servicing more manageable, a big issue in China where debt surged amid the stimulus spree launched in the wake of the global financial crisis, and freeing up cash may help ward off deflation.

But it does not necessarily advance the reform process.

The biggest beneficiaries of lower borrowing costs would be big State-run firms such as Air China. The national flag carrier has a debt-to-asset ratio of 72 percent, its 2013 annual report showed.

In the long run however, State companies like Air China are still plagued by deeper problems such as inflexible hiring and firing rules for employees, and a lack of currency hedging expertise that exposes airlines to foreign exchange risks.

Fiscal reform

One of the biggest challenges is getting local governments to implement reforms. Bad debt levels have climbed as the economy has stuttered, heaping pressure on local governments and State-owned companies and prompting some to push back on more stressful changes.

The proposed changes to the fiscal system would force local governments to deal with a funding gap worth 4.2 percent of China's $10 trillion economy, economists at ANZ Bank said.

"If it is not properly managed, the funding gap will drag on the growth in government investment and lead to lower-than-expected GDP growth," they said.

Reforms to stop unauthorized borrowing by local governments, which owe more than $3 trillion, would hurt budgets already squeezed by falling tax receipts and land sales even as they are still expected to spend to support the economy.

Even a plan to let local governments raise funds by selling bonds - a milestone adopted in January - may not win their full support as they would need to disclose their accounts.

To clean up state finances, a new budget law prohibits local governments from guaranteeing any debt incurred by firms, or local government financing vehicles, which were created to borrow billions of yuan from banks on governments' behalf.

"The fiscal reform will be very difficult this year," said an influential economist who advises the government on policy and reform issues.

"If they report more debt, they may be blamed for incurring the debt. If they report less debt, they may get a fewer quotas for municipal bond issuance."

Categories: Chinaganda

Banks should accelerate restructuring: ex-head of ICBC

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Chinese banks "must accelerate their transformation and upgrading by restructuring their asset and profit structure and regional layout of branches," said Yang Kaisheng, former president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The country's economy is entering the "new normal" stage for it has shifted from high-speed growth to medium-to-high-speed growth.

Currently, credit asset is taking an increasingly smaller proportion of the banks' total assets due to financial disintermediation and profit from net interest margins will shrink further.

"Therefore, the banks will make great efforts to develop their asset management business to compensate for the decline of net interest income, which is a move toward transformation by the banks," Yang said.

He said Chinese banks have relatively high provisions for impairment losses and Tier 1 capital, the core measure of a bank's financial strength, takes a large proportion of their total assets, so people should not overemphasize risks related to banks' asset quality while paying close attention to the risks.

 

Categories: Chinaganda

Ministry plans five-year air pollution control project

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

Equipment at a watchmaking plant is sealed by a member of the environmental supervision team of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Jan 4 after the company was found to be seriously polluting the surrounding environment. [Photo/China Daily]

BEIJING - China's Ministry of Science and Technology has started planning for a five-year air pollution prevention and control project, the ministry announced on Tuesday.

A draft blueprint for the project has been published on the ministry's website and the ministry is soliciting public comment.

According to the draft, the focus of air pollution control in China should be shifted from simply responding to heavy smog to a coordinated scheme to prevent both PM2.5, or airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, and ozone (O3).

Air pollution monitoring and management practices will be shifted from the city level to a regional scale, the draft said.

Authorities will promote joint scientific and technological research and sharing of achievements to support air pollution control efforts, the document said. The research will focus on the cause and spread of pollution, its impact on health, monitoring and warning systems, as well as pollution management and air quality improvement technology and strategy.

The research will also help promote the diagnosis and prevention of pollution-related diseases, the draft added.

According to the draft, the project will be carried out starting this year until 2020.

The ministry said it will improve the plan after listening to opinions from government departments and experts.

Categories: Chinaganda

Caveman saves money for family

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

In today's trending, meet the man who lives in a cave to save money for his family, a couple continues traveling despite losing their money, 81-year-old granny pulls car with her teeth, and a father leaves his daughter on an expressway by accident.

Shi Zhiyong lives in a cave without doors or windows in Handan, North China's Hebei province, Mar 2. [Photo/IC]

Man lives in cave to save for his family

Chinese people admire those who sacrifice themselves for their family, but one man really went above and beyond to save money for his family.

Shi Zhiyong, 35, who works as a loader in a logistics company, lives in a natural cave without doors or windows, to save the 100 yuan ($16) he would have spent on rent for his family, in Handan, North China's Hebei province, dfic.cn reported on Monday.

Shi mails almost all of his 3,000 yuan monthly wage to his family, who thinks he lives in a hotel, said the report.

Speaking of shoestring budgets, learn about the couple who continued traveling despite losing their money on their first day in our next story.

Xiong Jiawen and her boyfriend pose for photos with local tourists. [Photo/Weibo]

Couple travels 10,000 km despite losing money

Would you continue travelling after losing almost all your money on the first day of your trip?

A 25-year-old girl worked and saved while traveling to make up for the loss and finally completed her more than 10,000 km journey with her boyfriend. The whole trip only cost them 30,000 yuan ($4,860), Chutian Metropolis Daily reported.

Xiong Jiawen, from Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, together with her boyfriend Wu Zhejun, 25, started their tour to seven Southeast Asian countries on October 9. They lost their wallet, containing their money, debit card and identity card on their first day on Bali Island. However, Xiong decided to continue their trip, despite having only $100 left.

Xiong purchased down jackets cheaply in Vietnam and sold them for a profit on WeChat, which covered a few days' expenses.

In order to save money, they walked five kilometers carrying heavy baggage under the hot sun in Bali to avoid paying the bus fare, according to their travelling records. In Cambodia, they set off at 4 am by bike to reach the tourist attractions 7 kilometers away, costing them only $1 for the bike rental.

Next up: Meet the amazing granny who dragged a car with her teeth.

[Video]

81-year-old woman drags car with teeth

Amazingly, an 81-year-old woman dragged a 1-ton car with only her teeth.

Wang Xiaobei, born in 1934, from Binzhou, East China's Shandong province, appeared on a CCTV 1 program, Amazing Chinese season 2, and performed the amazing feat of dragging a car with her teeth, China News Service reported on Monday.

The senior finished her performance in 38 seconds by dragging a car containing her friend, her grandson and his wife.

Her performance drew thunderous applause from the audience.

She has a healthy body and does not think there is any difference between herself and a younger person, she said.

An image still of Wang Xiaobei, 81, dragging a car with her teeth during a performance on a CCTV broadcast. [Image still from CCTV]

In our final story, a father accidentally leaves his daughter on an expressway.

The girl finds her dad with the help of the police. [Photo/qzwb.com]

Dad accidentally leaves daughter on expressway

A driver, surnamed Huang, drove on for over an hour without realizing his daughter was missing from the car. It wasn't until the 10-year-old girl managed to call him that he realized he had left her on an expressway in Quanzhou, East China's Fujian province, qzwb.com reported on Monday.

The family of four stopped at a rest stop on the expressway for a break on their way from Central China's Hunan province to Jinjiang, Fujian. When the whole family was sleeping, the girl went out of the sedan to use the toilet. She was surprised to find the car and her family gone when she came back.

The girl found the police and eventually contacted her dad, who said he thought the rest of the family was still sleeping when he started the car.

That's all for today's trending. Happy new year and do check back tomorrow for more news!

Categories: Chinaganda

Buddhist monks break bricks in kung fu

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

A monk breaks a brick using his head on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple in Changchun, Jilin province. [Photo/IC]

Braving the brisk temperatures and heavy snow, a group of Buddhist warrior monks practice Chinese kung fu on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple in Changchun, Jilin province.

Buddhist monks practice Chinese kung fu at Wanshou Temple in Changchun, Jilin province. [Photo/IC]

To qualify as a Buddhist warrior, the monks do the exercise for 7 hours every day regardless of the weather throughout the year. They live an extremely simple but disciplined life by getting up at 5 in the morning, going to bed at 9 pm and eating only vegetarian food.

Two Buddhist monks practice Chinese kung fu on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple. [Photo/IC]

Buddhist monks practice Chinese kung fu on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple. [Photo/IC]

Two Buddhist monks practice Chinese kung fu on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple. [Photo/IC]

Buddhist monks practice Chinese kung fu at Wanshou Temple in Changchun, Jilin province. [Photo/IC]

The monks warm up before doing the exercise. [Photo/IC]

The youngest of the Buddhist warriors is only 11 years old, but like the rest of the monks, he also persists in practicing kung fu everyday. [Photo/IC]

A monk breaks a brick using his head on March 2, 2015, at Wanshou Temple in Changchun, Jilin province. [Photo/IC]

Categories: Chinaganda

Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

BEIJING - The Third Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is to open in Beijing on Tuesday.

The CPPCC serves as a key mechanism for multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and a major manifestation of socialist democracy.

At present, the CPPCC consists of representatives of the CPC and non-Communist parties, personages without party affiliation, and representatives of people's organizations, ethnic minorities and various social strata.

It also has the representation of compatriots of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan, returned overseas Chinese, and specially invited people.

Most of the CPPCC members are experienced political figures, social celebrities, and experts and scholars specializing in various fields.

The main functions of the CPPCC are to conduct political consultation, exercise democratic supervision and participate in the discussion and the handling of state affairs. Political consultation covers major principles and policies proposed by the central and local governments and matters of importance concerning political, economic, cultural and social affairs.

Democratic supervision means to exercise, by means of offering suggestion and criticism, supervision over the implementation of the Constitution, other laws, regulations and major policies, and over the work of government agencies and their functionaries.

Participation in discussing and handling state affairs means to organize CPPCC members of various parties, people's organizations, people of various ethnic minorities and other social groups to take part in the country's political, economic, cultural and social activities in whatever way they think fit.

The current CPPCC should be distinguished from the political body bearing the same name but established in 1946 following the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression upon the decision taken by the CPC and the Kuomintang in their negotiations in Chongqing as part of the preparations for forming a new government.

But hardly before the old CPPCC began to function was it disintegrated in November of the same year when the Kuomintang betrayed the resolutions of the conference and unilaterally proclaimed the convocation of a "National Assembly."

The first session of the new CPPCC was held in Beijing in September 1949. Authorized to perform the functions of the supreme organ of power, the session adopted a "Common Program" which bore the nature of a temporary constitution, proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China, elected a council of the central people's government with Mao Zedong as the chairman, and elected the First National Committee of the CPPCC.

The CPPCC ceased to act as the supreme organ of power in September 1954 when the National People's Congress was convened. Instead, it shifted its functions as China's patriotic united front organization for its broad representation. It has ever since played a vital role in the country's political, economic, cultural and social affairs and in international exchanges.

The CPPCC has a National Committee and local committees. With a functioning term of five years, the CPPCC committees hold annual sessions.

Categories: Chinaganda

China's top political advisors

China Daily - 49 min 43 sec ago

BEIJING - The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is headed by the chairman of its national committee.

Yu Zhengsheng, the current chairman, was elected in March 2013 at the first session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee by about 2,200 members. Yu is one of the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Several prominent Chinese politicians had chaired the CPPCC, the country's supreme organ of power before 1954 and the national political advisory body afterwards.

The First Session of the First National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was held in Beijing during Sept. 21-30, 1949.

With the participation of 662 representatives from all walks of life, the session elected Mao Zedong chairman of the First CPPCC National Committee.

The CPPCC ceased to act as the supreme organ of power as the National People's Congress took over in September 1954. Since then, the CPPCC, with its broadest representation, began to function as an organization to unite people from different walks of the society.

The annual session of the CPPCC National Committee provides the most solemn arena for political consultation in the country.

The first sessions of the second, third and fourth CPPCC national committees were held in 1954, 1959 and 1964 and elected Zhou Enlai chairman and Mao Zedong honorary chairman.

Deng Xiaoping was elected chairman of the Fifth National Committee of CPPCC, which was held in Beijing during Feb. 24-March 8, 1978, with an attendance of 1,988 members, the first ever held after the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.

The First Session of the Sixth CPPCC National Committee was convened during June 4-22, 1983. With 2,039 members attending, the session elected Deng Yingchao its chairperson.

The Seventh CPPCC National Committee met in its first session during March 24-April 10, 1988 and elected Li Xiannian its chairman. The session was attended by 2,081 members.

The First Session of the Eighth CPPCC National Committee was convened in Beijing during March 14-27, 1993 in Beijing with 2,093 members attending. It elected Li Ruihuan its chairman.

The First Session of the Ninth CPPCC National Committee was held in Beijing during March 3-14, 1998 in Beijing, with 2,196 members attending. It re-elected Li Ruihuan its chairman.

The First Session of the 10th CPPCC National Committee was held in Beijing during March 3-14, 2003, with the participation of 2,295 members.It elected Jia Qinglin its chairman.

The First Session of the 11th CPPCC National Committee was held in Beijing during March 3-14, 2008, with the participation of 2,195 members. It re-elected Jia Qinglin its chairman.

Categories: Chinaganda

The Tank Man 6-4

Mark Roswell aka Da Shan

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