Monday, September 22, 2008

Seven listed Chinese banks report $721 mln in Lehman exposure

Seven Chinese listed banks have announced bond holdings of 721 million U.S. dollars in the bankrupt U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers as of Monday, according to Securities Daily.

The individual exposures included 191.4 million U.S. dollars at China Construction Bank , 151.8 million U.S. dollars at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , 128.8 million U.S. dollars at the Bank of China , 76 million U.S. dollars at the CITIC Bank, 70 million U.S. dollars at the China Merchants Bank, 70.02 million U.S. dollars at the Bank of Communication and 33.6 million U.S. dollars at the Industrial Bank.

CCB, with the largest exposure, said earlier it would closely monitor developments, prudently assess potential losses, make sufficient provision for impairment losses and protect the bank's legal rights.

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy would not have a significant impact on CCB's financial situation, the bank said.

ICBC also said it was considering making provisions for its Lehnman exposure.

Source: Xinhua

Survey: More women than men shopping online

More women than men are shopping online, and making purchases more frequently over the Internet, showed the latest survey on online shopping habits issued by MasterCard here on Monday.

The report, which surveyed 4157 respondents across Australia, Chinese mainland, China's Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, showed that 78 percent of all women surveyed had shopped online, and that women shoppers comprised 57 percent of those who had shopped six times or more over a period of three months.

It also showed that price/value was the top consideration in terms of making an online purchase. In fact, of the 61 percent of women who admitted to shopping impulsively online, the substantial discounts and lower prices found online were often the trigger for this.

Seventy-five percent of female consumers who had shopped on impulse did so because of the lower prices, while 49 percent were attracted by the uniqueness of products which were only available online.

The products frequently purchased by female consumers included ladies' clothing or accessories, books and arts and cosmetics, said the survey.

While female consumers were shown to be more prone to impulse shopping, a slightly higher number of male shoppers were surprisingly more planned with their purchases.

The survey showed that 85 percent of male shoppers had conducted some research prior to their online purchase, compared to 82 percent of female shoppers.

In addition, male shoppers are spending more on their online purchases. Seventy-nine percent of men spent more than 100 U.S. dollars on online shopping over a period of three months compared to 72 percent of women shoppers surveyed.

This is possibly due to the types of products men purchase online, said the survey. Men were shopping for home appliances and electronic products, CDs/DVDs/VCDs and books and arts.

Source: Xinhua

China rejects Nigerian mineral shipment over excess radioactivity

More than 70 tonnes of imported zircon sand, a refractory mineral, was ordered on Monday to be returned to its country of origin -- Nigeria -- for exceeding radioactivity standards, authorities said.

The Gamma-ray equivalent of the 74.25 tonnes of zircon sand loaded in four containers was found to be 100 times the normal standard, a Xiamen inspection and quarantine official said.

The zircon sand had been destined for the coastal city of Quanzhou for ceramic production, he said.

Such high level of radioactivity was rare. Importers should set limits on the radioactive standards of minerals, he said.

Source: Xinhua

Innovation breeds the national strength and state prosperity

The just closed 29th Beijing Olympic Games have successfully fulfilled the solemn promise China pledged to the world, and fully displayed the great idea of 'Green Olympics, Science and technology Olympics and Human Olympics' through the active innovation for the duration of preparing for and hosting the Olympic Games.

It has been learned form our experience in hosting the Olympics that the idea of innovation is not only a historic legacy passed on from generation to generation for more than 5,000 years in China, but possesses unfailing fascination attracting us to pursue in the future.

Hundreds and thousands of nationalities coexist in the world arena, each preserving its historical and cultural uniqueness in its struggle for survival and development. But what determines a nation's historical destiny is nothing but its ability to innovate, which is an all-time truth based on facts.

The fruits form practicing the 'science and technology Olympics' also indicate that the basic research work serves as the sources of innovation. Today's popular application of Light Emitting Diode , a semiconductor material, would remind us of the painstaking efforts made by generations of scientists bending on the basic research in the field. When we lavish praises on the superb species of rice and corn, we should not forget the efforts made by those engaged in bio technology, genetic engineering and any other complicated research work.

Innovation will be bolstering and guiding the progress of the economic society. The ideas of clean energies and energy conservation will be finally integrated into people's daily life and widely promoted in a bid to improve the livelihood in the society at large. The new information technology applied to media transmission in the Olympics again manifests the fact that innovation needs the strategic foresight and advance deployment.

Admittedly, in the Olympic showcase of science and technology, we still need to highlight opening up and cooperation. We have actually taken advantage of many international sources in the application of plenty of our innovative technologies. China is also endeavoring to advance with the entire world to maneuver into a new information age featuring energy conservation and emission reduction and fight a joint combat against global climate change.

The Olympics have concluded with a satisfactory full stop, but the legacies left behind the Games would remain there and expand beyond the confines of time and space. Surviving the tests by the Olympic Games, a newly developed car driven by clean energy will soon be put into massive production. In the mean time, China is currently working on a plan encouraging 10 cities across the country to lead the trend in the mixed use of automobiles and vehicles driven by clean energy. Additionally, the G3 communication technology has also won the testers' approval after its successful application to the Olympics, and it will be further promoted and act as the bellwether leading the general development of China's information industries complex.

Meanwhile, the technologies applied to environmental protection and environment-friendly measures which have been proved effective during the periods of the Olympics will gain a widespread support ensuing the Games. The Capital Iron and Steel Company has moved out of the capital area in an effort to clean the atmosphere in densely populated Beijing.

Olympics have not only pushed forward the innovation in architectural materials but set up a revolution in the architectural concept. Technologies of high-strength elliptic steel structure employed in the construction of Bird' Nest and some other stadiums can also been extended to the civil architecture.

In a nutshell, we have fully realized that, through the practice of hosting the Olympics and through the perfect marriage of science, technology and the Olympic spirits, to build up an innovation-oriented country means to promote the idea of innovation to every household, and call for a concert effort of people from all walks of life; and vise versa, the fruits by innovation will benefit the people as a whole, and innovation will act as a strong driving force to propel the progress of the economic society. Only on this basis, can the idea of innovation acquire renewed vitality and the spirits of innovation remain immortal.

Its author Wan Gang is the Minister of Science and Technology of PR.C. The article is translated by People's Daily Online

Interview: Senior UN official lauds China's contribution to global MDGs

China has made enormous achievements in realizing its Millennium Development Goals ,rendering an important contribution to the global endeavor to meet the targets, United Nations Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang has said.

"China is the country that has been the most successful and most effective in realizing its Millennium Development Goals, and as an important player and the most populous developing nation, made significant contributions to the global efforts in achieving MDGs," Sha told Xinhua in an interview on the eve of a high-level meeting at the United Nations on the MDGs.

Representatives from more than 150 countries, including about 90 heads of state and government, are expected to take part in the one-day gathering scheduled for Sept. 25.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will deliver a keynote speech at the opening session.

"It is known to all that the Chinese government and people have exerted arduous efforts and made great achievements in realizing the MDGs," Sha said. "China has met the target of halving the number of people living on less than a dollar a day well ahead of schedule."

In 2001-2006, the central government spent a total of 70.9 billion yuan in poverty reduction efforts, Sha said in the interview, which was conducted in Chinese.

China has also fulfilled the target of ensuring all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling. Since 2007, tuition and miscellaneous fees have all been wavered for the country's 148 million pupils in rural areas, a measure being extended to urban areas this fall.

Steady progress has also been reported in reducing by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five and in improving maternal health.

China faces grave challenges in checking the spread of HIV/AIDS and in ensuring environmental sustainability, and the government is beefing up policy measures and increasing input in these respects.

Globally, Sha said, the picture has been mixed in meeting the MDGs -- eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges.

While the number of people in abject poverty has been falling, progress has been slow in some countries, especially those in Sub-Sahara Africa. It appears likely that some countries would miss the 2015 deadline in reducing by half the poverty-stricken population, he said.

Though the mortality rate among children under five has dropped somewhat worldwide, more than 60 countries have not met present targets, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where child deaths account for half of the global total.

The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The eight goals involve eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empower women; reducing child mortality; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a Global Partnership for Development.

"We have now reached the mid-point in realizing the MDGs before2015," Sha said. "Although many developing countries have made due progress in meeting some of the MDGs, there have been great disparities among countries and between different areas within some countries."

"The overall situation brooks no optimism, which makes the upcoming high-level meeting all the more timely and important," Sha said.

The event, which includes three roundtables, will provide a forum for world leaders, the civil society, the private sector and other players to review progress, identify gaps, seek consensus, and come up with new measures to honor pledges aimed at facilitating the realization of the eight development goals, Sha said.


Lebanese president arrives in New York, to meet world leaders

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman arrived in New York Sunday afternoon to attend the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly and meet U.S. President George W. Bush and other world leaders, local Naharnet website reported Monday.

Lebanese delegation sources said that the president is scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Qatari Emir Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The president is accompanied by his wife and a delegation described by the press as "small" compared with previous Lebanese delegations who accompanied Lebanese leaders in their trips abroad.

Suleiman and the first lady will attend Monday night a welcome ceremony hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush at Waldorf Astoria hotel. They will also meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ahead of a traditional dinner for all delegations.

This is the first time that President Bush has met a Lebanese president. Bush's meetings with Lebanese officials were limited to the prime minister and pro-government leaders, after his administration isolated former President Emil Lahoud who had strong relations with Syria


Post-Olympic traffic faces challenges

Beijing traffic saw radical increase on Sunday, the first day after the city's two-month alternating odd-even license plate system for the Olympic Games ended.

The 3.4 million automobiles and five million drivers in Beijing could put Beijing in serious traffic conditions in the "post-Olympic times", even more serious than before, said Zhang Jingchun, spokesman of the Traffic Management Bureau.

The city would see more challenge after the end of the "odd-even" system which took effective on July 20 and aimed at cut air pollution and jammed traffic during the Games, Zhang said.

The reopen of the accesses to Beijing for vehicles from other provinces would also make the highways, national ways, Fifth and Sixth Ring Road to face traffic jams, he said.

The seven-day-holiday of the National Day might draw an influx of visitors to scenic spots and shopping centers, while the bad weather would also influence the traffic, he added.

Thirty-eight new measures will be taken by the municipal administrations, including an emergency plan for the first rush hours on Monday.

"High-tech measures, including TV monitoring and flexible time control of traffic lights, will continue to be adopted as they have been effective during the Olympics," Zhang said.

The cooperation between traffic administrations and other related offices such as observatory and environmental sanitation administrations would be continued in the post-Olympic times, he said.

Source: Xinhua

WHO: China taking right direction in handling dairy contamination issue

China is taking the right direction in dealing with the milk products contamination cases and the information is currently shared in time with the World Health Organization , a senior WHO official said Sunday.

Dr. Shigeru Omi, director of the WHO Western Pacific regional office, told a press conference that China is now taking the issue "seriously" and has launched very intensive investigations.

"After acknowledging the problems, the Chinese government is very serious about the matter and I hope the situation would be put under control as soon as possible," Omi said, lauding government efforts to recall suspected problematic products, strength inspection and monitoring, and conduct a serious probe into the cause of what he described as "a serious public health issue."

He said the WHO is assisting China in probing the scandal but did not conduct independent investigations as he said he believed the Chinese investigation results will show the world the whole picture of what was happening and how things developed.

He said globalization makes the scandal concern not just China but the world at large. "Every country is vulnerable, every country can be affected, so all the international community should work together to solve the problem," Omi said.

Omi said challenges are coming from local governments and small firms. "There is large room for improvement on quality control, more investments are needed at the lower level, and serious commitment should come from the private sector."

The dairy scandal broke out recently as 6,244 infants fell ill after consuming tainted baby formula of Sanlu Group, a well known and widely bought brand in China. More than 150 babies were diagnosed with acute kidney failure. Four of them have died.

Melamine, a toxic chemical rich in nitrogen, is believed to have been added in the formula to boost the protein level of the watered down milk. Protein test is required in China before any dairy product reaches the market.

Anothony Hazzard, a food safety specialist at WHO Western Pacific regional office, said that according to the requirement of China, the WHO is conducting research on poison of melamine. He added that what the WHO's doing right now is to immediately share the latest information with all of its member states and warn the risks and it's up to each member state to decide on respective actions.

Source: Xinhua

China's dairy association calls for timely raw milk purchase after tainted milk scandal

Dairy Association of China has released an open letter, calling on its member enterprises to keep timely raw milk purchase to support the industry development after the tainted milk scandal.

"Milk producers should keep buying milk from farmers and strictly follow the purchase contract. Timely milk collection, on the bases of quality guarantee, serves the interests of the farmers," according to the letter released on the DAC's website.

A clampdown on tainted milk has swept the nation as dozens of Chinese milk producers, including many industry heavyweights, were found containing melamine that caused more than 6,200 children nationwide to have kidney stones.

The scandal has forced many companies to halt production, and start close-door self-reflection on quality control. That leaves dairy farmers to spilt the milk simply because there are no buyers.

In the letter, the association said it took so many years to establish the milk producing bases, which was not an easy job. Enterprises, which were not affected by the scandal, should enforce their social responsibilities, protect the enthusiasm of farmers and help promote the healthy development of the industry.

DAC also urged milk processors to beef up quality control and enhance output on the premise of safety, to ensure supply and safeguard the interests of consumers.

"No price fluctuation is allowed, and the prices should be decided by the product quality," according to the letter.

Source: Xinhua

Health Ministry: More than 12,000 babies hospitalized for taking tainted milk

China's Health Ministry on Sunday revealed that more than 12,000 infants were in hospital after taking tainted milk powder as of 20:00 on Sunday.

In a regular briefing of the nation-wide baby formula accident on Sunday, the ministry said the number of the total inpatients throughout the country was 12,892.

There were 104 cases in which babies showed serious symptoms, said the ministry, and 1,579 babies had been cured and left hospital.

A baby formula of Sanlu Group, a domestic dairy maker based in Hebei Province, was found containing melamine which had killed four infants.

According to the briefing, hospitals around China had received 39,965 baby outpatients who had taken the toxic formula and been cured.

After the Sanlu formula's exposure, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine conducted a nationwide examination of baby milk powder to find 22 companies whose formulas were tainted.

The ministry said in the briefing that so far they have not found a single case involving liquid milk products although most of the baby inpatients were kicked by Sanlu-made formula.

It also confirmed that no death case caused by toxic formula had been found in September.

Source: Xinhua

New mother offers controversial breast value amid China's tainted milk scandal

A new mother sensing a business opportunity amid China's tainted dairy food scandal has caused fresh controversy by offering to breast feed other children -- at a price.

The 32-year-old woman surnamed Huang said she had been producing more milk than her 3-month-old son could consume and she would sell the surplus in a breastfeeding service for 300 yuan a day.

However, her advertisement on the Internet has aroused a storm of criticism among conservative Chinese.

"I know there has been criticism on the Internet, but I have stayed cool about this. Everybody can talk freely on the Internet, and what they say is their own business. I don't care," said Huang.

"Also my husband fully supports for me on this."

Huang, who lives in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, said she had received about 30 phone calls from prospective clients by Sunday, but had no takers.

She preferred customers to live with her, or rent a house nearby, which could cost about 1,000 yuan a month, to allow their babies to benefit from the freshness of the milk. "Human milk should be consumed within half an hour, as it starts to turn after that," she said.

Otherwise they could leave their children with her for the day.

If prospective customers had doubts about her own health or the safety of her milk, Huang said she could go with them to the hospital for a comprehensive physical examination.

"I have plenty of milk and my new born child cannot take it all," she said in her on-line ad under the name "Bushisgood", a pseudonmym used by her nephew, who had placed the ad. on the bulletin board at 9:23 a.m. on Saturday at her request.

"Every day, I had to dispose of more than two kilograms milk, which was a great pity," said Huang. "Too much milk made me feel uncomfortable, and I had to get up every night to express it."

Huang had read news stories of "nannies in some southern cities such as Shenzhen, who could have a month salary of more than 18,000 yuan".

"I can feed two more children, who will be fed first as the clients," she said.

Meanwhile, Huang's ad. has triggered a debate on the Tianyaclub bulletin board.

An Internet user named "Puffing smoke rings" said "the mother is crazy", but "Naked Huanghou" supported her, saying, "Modern society is full of business opportunities and it's up to you what you make of them."

Others questioned the 300-yuan price. Some thought "the product" was worth the price since there was too much tainted baby milk in the market, but others said it was too expensive.

As for whether the mother's "business" was legal, Yang Yongtao, a nutrition department director at a Chengdu hospital, said China had no laws forbidding it.

"Breast milk is good for babies and is recommended by the government," Yang said.

However, he also reminded the buyers to check the health of mothers, who could carry infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B.

More than 6,200 infants had developed kidney stones and four infants have died after drinking baby formula tainted with melamine, a chemical illegally added to give false protein readings in tests.


2008 Int'l Confucius Cultural Festival to be held in Qufu

The 2008 China International Confucius Cultural Festival will be held from September 27 to 29 in Qufu, Shandong province.

Confucius was a great educator, philosopher and the founder of the Confucian school of ancient China born in Qufu City. His idea of "harmony is precious" and "seeking harmony without uniformity" has great practical significance of promoting the harmonious development of the world today.

By People's Daily Online

Olympic venues open to tourists for China's National Day holiday

The Olympic venues will open to tourists during the week-long National Day holiday between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, an official told a news briefing on Monday.

Venues, including the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, the "Water Cube" National Aquatics Center and the National Gymnasium, would be open to the public as they appeared during the Games, said Zhang Huiguang, the Beijing Tourism Bureau head.

Those venues will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Ticket prices range from 20 yuan to 50 yuan. A pass for all venues costs 100 yuan, he said.

The optimum tourist capacity in the Olympic venues is 77,500 and the maximum capacity is 250,000, he said.

A "Magic Water Cube" symphony concert will debut on Sept. 29 in that venue and cultural exhibitions will be displayed in the area.

Beijing is seeking ways to make better use of the 12 new venues built for the Olympics, with plans to host major international sporting and cultural events.

The Bird's Nest has become home to the Beijing Guo'an Football Club and the Water Cube would probably become the largest aquatic recreation center in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

Beijing expects more tourists in first post-Olympic holiday

More than 7 million tourists are expected to visit Beijing in the upcoming National Day holiday, the first "golden week" holiday after the Olympics and Paralympics.

Ding Xiangyang, deputy mayor of Beijing, told a working conference of the municipal bureau of tourism on Monday that it would be a nearly 18 percent increase from the same period last year, when 5.94 million people, including residents and tourists from other parts of China, visited the national capital during the holiday.

The Olympic Games and the following Paralympics have fully demonstrated a venerable and yet modern China to the world and greatly improved the sector's service level, Shao Qiwei, head of the National Tourism Administration, has said.

Many people were keen to come to Beijing as their travel plans had been delayed during August, the usually busy travel season, said Zhang Lingjun, deputy head of domestic trip department of China International Travel Service.

Source: Xinhua

Shijiazhuang party chief sacked over milk scandal

The party chief of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, was sacked here on Monday over the tainted milk powder scandal.

The dismissal of Wu Xianguo from his post as secretary of the Shijiazhuang Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China was decided by the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee, according to the committee's organization department.

Wu was also dismissed as member of the standing committee of CPC Shijiazhuang Municipal Committee.

The provincial party committee said Wu did not properly deal with the delayed reporting by dairy producer Sanlu Group over the incident and thus should share responsibility.

Dairy giant Sanlu, based in Shijiazhuang, was the first company exposed in the tainted dairy products scandal, which has sickened nearly 1,3000 infants and killed three.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese astronauts for Shenzhou-7 mission arrive at launch center

A panel of six Chinese astronauts arrived at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province on Sunday, making the last-minute preparations for the country's third manned space mission.

Taking a special flight to the remote center, three qualified spacemen and three substitutes said they had "full confidence to successfully accomplish the mission" after various trainings and tests.

The Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship, the Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower are vertically transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province Sept. 20, 2008. The transfer finished at 3:15 p.m.on Saturday, marking the final stage of the launching preparation.
The astronauts will pilot spacecraft Shenzhou-7 to carry out the mission during which one of them will spacewalk outside the capsule.

The spacecraft has been planned to be launched at an appropriate time between Sept. 25 and 30 after the spaceship, its carrier Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower were vertically transferred to the launch pad on Saturday.

The Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship, the Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower are vertically transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province Sept. 20, 2008. The transfer finished at 3:15 p.m.on Saturday, marking the final stage of the launching preparation.
All the six astronauts prepared for Shenzhou-7 were once trained and tested at Jiuquan center more than two weeks ago when they had a live experience to enter the spaceship and learned the mission's whole process in a all-ready simulation.

The six spacemen now had moved to their special accommodation to be quarantined and to adjust their psychological conditions for the mission.


Vice President calls for public science awareness

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has called for greater public science awareness and encouraged Chinese scientists to get more involved in science education.

"Promoting science awareness is an important task in implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development," Xi said in Beijing on Sunday, which was National Science and Technology Popularization Day.

Xi, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, joined children to conduct science experiments, and encouraged them to learn about resource saving.

Xi also visited exhibitions on energy saving technology, including the use of solar energy and the production of diesel from waste cooking oil.

"This year is crucial for the energy saving target set for the 11th five-year plan period," said Xi, adding that such green technology should be further promoted and energy-saving efforts should be enforced.

The government has set a goal to reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent and major pollutants discharges by 10 percent from 2006 to 2010.

Xi also called on the public to improve awareness of disaster prevention and relief so as to minimize damage caused by natural disasters.

Events to mark National Science and Technology Popularization Day will be held from Sept. 20 to 26.

Source: Xinhua

China to set up Shenzhou-7 media center to overseas journalists

Journalists from abroad who hope to cover the launch of China's third manned spacecraft, Shenzhou-7,are welcome to a new purposed-built media center in Beijing which will go into operation on Thursday.

It is the first time China opens its usually mysterious space mission to foreign media. Some overseas news organizations have been invited to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province to cover the mission.

The media center is open to all foreign journalists stationed in China and those working in China temporarily. The former need to show the media pass issued by the Foreign Ministry and the latter should have the J-2 visa issued by Chinese embassies in foreign countries.

Journalists from Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, who are stationed in the mainland, are required to show the media pass issued by relevant mainland authorities. And those from Taiwan are also required to show the media pass issued by the mainland authorities.

The center at the Media Center hotel provides free TV and radio signals, free broadband Internet access and free reference materials

Experts on space technology will be available to comment on the operation of the spacecraft, sources with the media center said.

The center has set up reception hotlines: 86-10-68521600 for foreign journalists and 86-10-68521800 for journalists from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

The Shenzhou-7 spacecraft is scheduled for launch sometime between Sept. 25 and 30 after the vessel, its Long-March II-F carrier rocket and the escape tower were vertically transferred to the launch pad on Saturday.

A panel of six Chinese taikonauts , including three selected crew and three substitutes, have arrived at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu. One of the taikonauts will conduct a space walk during the mission.

To fulfil its promise to host an open and high-standard Olympic Games, the Chinese government adopted a series of new regulations at the end of 2006 to facilitate foreign media coverage of China.

The country's press authorities have said that China will remain open to foreign media after the Olympic Games.


Co-benefits strategies to tackle climate change and air pollution

Scientists say that countries must take an integrated way to deal with climate change and air pollution but not separate the two in making policies because it will be cost effective and benefit both.

Co-benefits strategies in dealing with climate change and air pollution have been recommended at the end of the three day forum titled Air Pollution and Climate Change, developing a Framework for integrated Co-benefits Strategies which was held in Stockholm from September 17th to 19th.

The forum was organized by Stockholm Environment Institute and led by the UN Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and the UNEP on behalf of the Global Forum’s partners and is being developed in consultation with the Secretariats of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization.

A summary of the discussions by about 100 scientists, professors and experts in climate change and air pollution field, calls on governments to address the air pollution and climate change in an integrated way since many developing countries still treat them as separated issues.

It says that an integrated co-benefits approach can achieve win-win solutions, for example China has integrated air pollution and greenhouse gas reduction policies. A recent assessment for Europe, China and India found that a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions could lead to about a 15% decrease in air pollution-induced deaths. On the contrary, if people take separate strategies to deal with the two, it not only doubles the cost, but also causes problems to each other.

Participants also noted that it is important to adopt the co-benefits strategies at the national level even though such strategies can differ from region to region.

As for the implementation of the strategies, existing regional air pollution networks could play an important role and it is urgent to let various countries to know the strategy and implement the co-benefits and integrated strategies in making policies to handle the climate change and air pollution issues.

New research shows that air pollutants such as small particles and ozone, also have a major effect on climate. Black carbon particles, which remain in the air for several days have a net warming effect on planet by absorbing the energy from sunlight and reemitting it to the surrounding environment. These particles also contribute to air pollution that accounts for an estimated 800,000 premature deaths globally every year, most of which occur in Asian and developing countries according to the World Health Organization.

“The science now shows that air pollution and climate change are inextricably interlinked and cost-effective integration of air pollution and climate policies is more urgent than ever,” said Dr. V. Ramanathan, project chair of the UNEP Atmospheric Brown Cloud Project. “Drastic reduction of air pollutants that warm the earth in the short-term is one way to buy the planet time for developing cost-effective ways for reducing CO2 concentrations.” But the best way is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution simultaneously.

Professor Chen Changhong, representing the Asian group stressed that development and climate change are closely connected. In Asia, development is still the priority. Climate change and air pollution are also closely connected. To solve these problems, Asia needs more financial assistance and quicker technology transfer. In many areas, lack of knowledge dissemination and poor integration of air pollution control and climate change are still common phenomena.

He said the regional networks such as EANET and ASEAN Haze Agreement can help to form a framework in integrating air pollution and climate change. And scientists in air pollution, climate change and energy should sit together to discuss coordinated ways to deal with these issues. Policy makers should also be quickly informed about the co-benefits strategies and be motivated to take right actions.

By Xuefei Chen People’s Daily Online correspondent in Stockholm.

Launch of Shenzhou spacecraft first opens to foreign media

A group of a hundred journalists organized by Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee arrived in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on September 21, 2008.

A number of foreign media are also authorized to report the launch of Shenzhou-7 spacecraft this time, and they are allowed to participate in the news conference by the flight crew.

This is the first for foreign media to report the launch of China’s Shenzhou spacecraft.

By People's Daily Online

Experts dismiss concerns over China's manned space program

Chinese space technology experts on Monday dismissed concerns about military purposes of China's manned space program, saying it was aimed at serving China's economic development.

"So far, China's manned space program hasn't carried out a single military task," said Cui Jijun, director of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province.

Cui said Chinese scientists saw the manned space program as a scientific exploration and hoped it could help boost China's overall scientific level and innovation capability.

Cui did not disclose what scientific experiments Chinese taikonauts would conduct during the upcoming Shenzhou-7 mission, but said all the experiments would be for civil purposes.

The Shenzhou-7 spacecraft is scheduled for launch sometime from Sept. 25 to 30.

Six Chinese taikonauts, including three selected crew and three substitutes, have arrived at the launch center. One of the taikonauts will conduct a spacewalk during the mission.

A small satellite would be released after the Shenzhou-7 entered orbit to observe its flight and live broadcast video images.

Sheng Jie, deputy general designer of the Shenzhou-7 launch system, said the satellite was for civil scientific research to improve China's communication technology.

"The key part of this research is to make sure the small satellite keeps a safe distance from the Shenzhou spacecraft," Sheng said. Control of the satellite was a challenge for the space survey and control system.

In 2003, China became the third country after the United States and Russia to send a human into orbit. It followed with a two-man mission in 2005.

Chinese scientists had conducted experimental research into space life science, space materials and micro-gravity, using the Shenzhou spacecraft and recoverable satellites. Other trial tests included crop research and high-power astronomical observation in space.


Commander: ground team ready for Shenzhou-7 spacecraft launch

The chief engineer of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft launch said the ground work for the mission has been completed and the team was confident of a successful lift-off.

A total of 6,000 staff on the ground team had spent months improving infrastructure and testing the functions of computers and software, said Cui Jijun, commander-in-chief of the ground operation team.

"The launch site has undergone an overhaul since last year to make sure it is safe and reliable," he told Xinhua on Monday.

Equipment like flow meters of rocket propellant, cranes and conveyor belts were replaced. Data files were created to simulate the countdown and launch phases. Plans for about 239 emergency scenarios have been drawn up.

"Judging from the preparations so far, we are confident that we will accomplish the launch successfully," said Cui.

The Shenzhou-7 is scheduled for a lift off sometime from Sept. 25 and 30 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province. The vessel, which is attached to the Long-March II-F carrier rocket, was moved to the launch pad on Saturday.

Six astronauts, including three selected crew and three substitutes, have arrived at the launch center. One of the trio will conduct a spacewalk during the mission.


Ministry: all freshmen from China quake zones in college

All eligible freshmen from areas hit by the May 12 earthquake have enrolled in colleges and universities around the nation with government assistance, China's Ministry of Education said on Monday.

For students from families left financially vulnerable as a result of the 8.0-magnitude quake, "special green channels" were opened to enable them to enter college without having to pay fees. Some were even given financial support according to government regulations," the ministry said.

The ministries of finance and education issued directives that impoverished students from the worst-hit areas would be exempt from tuition and boarding fees. For freshmen, the government wouldalso offer basic living subsidies, packages of daily necessities and school supplies, and part-time job opportunities.

According to the Ministry of Education, the colleges also phoned every freshman in quake-hit areas to learn their family situation and give them encouragement. They offered subsidies for students' travel expenses and provided counseling for those in need.

The quake, which struck southwestern Sichuan and neighboring provinces, left more than 80,000 dead or missing, according to the latest official figures. It was the worst quake to hit China in more than three decades.

Source: Xinhua

Ships ready to track Shenzhou VII space mission

All five satellite tracking ships are now in position to support China's first space walk mission.

The final Yuanwang ship arrived at its destination on Monday, said Jian Shilong, director with the China Maritime Tracking and Control Department.

The ships will remotely track and support the Shenzhou VII space shuttle which will blast off in late September.

Four ships are on the Pacific ocean and one is on the Atlantic.

"In previous missions including the Shenzhou V and Shenzhou VI missions, only four tracking ships were deployed," Jian said. "We added one more to the Shenzhou VII mission to monitor the taikonaut's extra-vehicular activities."

Jian said the tracking ships will monitor the entire space walk and also keep tabs on the depressurization of the orbital module when taikonauts leave and re-enter the spaceship.

The Yuanwang ships can control the shuttle's solar panels, its orbit maneuvers and maintenance.

In all, China boasts a fleet of six Yuanwang space tracking ships which have carried out 68 expeditions and traveled more than1.4 million sea miles in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

The tracking ships constitute China's space telemetry network together with some 20 terrestrial surveying stations.

Source: Xinhua

Gunners go top as Liverpool's title hopes compromised

LONDON: Arsenal surged to the top of the English Premier League for the first time this season after coming from behind to beat Bolton 3-1 on Saturday.

Goals from Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson sent the Gunners clear on a day when Liverpool's title credentials were dented by their goalless draw against newly-promoted Stoke at Anfield.

Chelsea can reclaim top spot with victory over champions Manchester United on Sunday.

Bolton got off to a good start when Kevin Davies headed into the lead, but Arsenal responded with a period of sustained pressure that produced goals for Eboue and Bendtner in quick succession and Brazilian midfielder Denilson's late strike wrapped things up at the Reebok Stadium.

Liverpool had started the day level with Chelsea on points and thought it was on its way to victory when Steven Gerrard fired in a 23m free-kick after only two minutes.

But the strike was controversially disallowed for offside and Stoke, thanks to an inspired display by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, were not breached again.

It was the first time Liverpool had failed to win in 11 league matches at Anfield and manager Rafael Benitez was left fuming over what he described as an "unbelievable" decision by referee Andre Marriner.

"If we had scored the first goal, the game would have been completely different, very open," said the Spaniard. "But the referee disallowed it and nobody can explain why. In his position it is impossible to have a good view. It is very, very strange."

Elsewhere, Fulham's strong start to the season was checked by a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn that handed new manager Paul Ince victory over his Fulham counterpart Roy Hodgson, who once managed the former England midfielder at Inter Milan.

There was no such relief for managerless and up-for-sale Newcastle, which dropped to second-from-bottom of the table after a 3-1 defeat at West Ham.

Italian striker David Di Michele helped ensure his compatriot Gianfranco Zola's reign as West Ham manager got off to a flying start.

Di Michele, who was making his first start for the Hammers, scored twice before the break to put his new club in charge.

Matt Etherington then bundled in Di Michele's mishit shot eight minutes after the break before Michael Owen netted a consolation effort for the Magpies.

The display earned former Chelsea favorite Zola a rapturous reception from the Hammers fans, which he admitted had touched him.

"It means a lot to me and also to the players," he said. "They worked very hard and well this week so when you get the results it is a great satisfaction."

Michael Chopra put his personal troubles to one side by scoring both goals in Sunderland's 2-0 lunchtime win over local rivals Middlesbrough, which lifted Roy Keane's side into the top half of the table.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

Roma bounces back with first win of the season

ROME: AS Roma lifted the gloom surrounding the Stadio Olimpico by claiming its first win of the season at the fourth attempt in a 3-0 home success over Reggina on Saturday.

Veteran defender Cristian Panucci opened the scoring at the end of the first half and a rocket from Alberto Aquilani doubled the advantage soon after the break before substitute Simone Perrotta struck the third with the last kick of the match.

The capital-city club had failed to win in their first three games this season, picking up one point in its two previous Serie A matches and losing embarrassingly 2-1 at home to debutant Romanians Cluj in the Champions League.

But despite still missing captain Francesco Totti and center-backs Philippe Mexes and Juan from their starting line-up, Roma showed signs that they are starting to rediscover the form that has seen them finish runners-up in the last two seasons.

Panucci claimed this result was the right response but victory owed more to a woeful performance from Reggina than their own improvement.

"I'm happy because we needed this victory because the beginning of the season wasn't positive," he said.

"This is what the team's response should have been and it was and we're very happy.

"There is a lot of pressure at Roma, we lost a league match and one in the Champions League but people acted like we'd thrown away three years of work."

Roma typically played plenty of attractive football but its Achilles heel, as always, was an inability to finish off good approach work.

Coach Luciano Spalletti likes to play one man up front with two wide players but his central striker is more of a number 10 than 9. That problem was evident on 32 minutes when neat interplay between Aquilani and Rodrigo Taddei saw the former play French winger Jeremy Menez into the box.

But with only goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo to beat, the ex-Monaco man opted to square the ball but no-one had burst into the six-yard box so the chance went begging.

Roma did get the lead its domination deserved in first half stoppage time but only after a mix-up in the Reggina box.

Daniele De Rossi fired a free-kick into the area and a shanked clearance fell to Taddei, who had been in an offside position, leaving the Brazilian the simple task of squaring to an unmarked Panucci to tap home from close range.

And just six minutes after the restart Aquilani was allowed to stride forward until he unleashed an unstoppable left-foot shot from just inside the Reggina area.

Perrotta, another player on the injury comeback trail, slotted home a third with the final kick of the match after Campagnolo had parried fellow sub Totti's free-kick.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

US, Russia keep Davis Cup hopes alive

PARIS: Defending champion United States and two-time winner Russia kept their hopes of reaching the Davis Cup final alive on Saturday after both teams clinched marathon doubles wins in their semifinals.

In Madrid, the makeshift pairing of Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish enjoyed a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win for the 32-time champion over Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco to trail Spain 2-1.

Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, Russia, which slumped to a dispiriting 2-0 deficit against Argentina on Friday, saw Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov defeat David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas 6-2, 6-1, 6-7 , 3-6, 8-6.

Both ties will be decided in Sunday's reverse singles when Spain's world No 1 Rafael Nadal tackles Andy Roddick and David Ferrer meets Sam Querrey.

Argentina, which has never won the Davis Cup, will have Nalbandian up against world No 6 Nikolay Davydenko and teenage sensation Juan Martin Del Potro facing Igor Andreev.

Bryan said he was pleased the way he and Fish had responded to the pressure of playing in the intimidating 22,000-capacity Las Ventas bullring in Madrid.

"The crowd was very loud and it wasn't easy, but we stayed tough," said Bryan who was paired with Fish for the first time after his twin brother, and regular playing partner, Bob withdrew from the tie with a shoulder injury.

At stake on Sunday is a place in the final which takes place from Nov 21-23.

Tursunov and Kunitsyn could have wrapped up their rubber in straight sets but squandered three match points in the third set.

However, Tursunov said that Russia's captain Shamil Tarpischev had wanted a five-set win more than straight sets.

"When we were up two sets to love he basically said: 'Keep David out there as much as you can because if you win in three sets it's not really helpful because he's still going to be able to play tomorrow,' so we tried our best to keep him out on the court," said Tursunov.

In the play-offs, where the winners will secure places in the World Group in 2009, Olympic doubles champions Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka came back from a set down to beat Belgium's Olivier Rochus and Xavier Malisse.

The Swiss duo won 4-6, 7-6 , 6-3, 6-3 in Lausanne to give their team an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Serbia also opened up a 3-0 winning lead over Slovakia in Bratislava. Viktor Troicki teamed with Nenad Zimonjic, the 2008 Wimbledon doubles champion, to defeat Michal Mertinak and Filip Polasek 7-6 , 6-4, 6-7 , 7-6 .

Troicki, the world 128, came in as a late replacement for Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

On the clay courts of Antofagasta, world No 80 Chris Guccione and Carsten Ball, the 189th-ranked player, clinched a memorable win for Australia to keep their country's hopes alive against Chile.

Guccione and Ball defeated former Olympic champions Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez 6-7 , 7-6 , 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in a four-hour, doubles marathon to cut the deficit in their play-off to 2-1.

In Bucharest, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes kept India alive in their tie with Romania beating Horia Tecau and Adrian Cruciat 6-4, 7-6 , 6-4 to reduce the overall deficit to 2-1 ahead of Sunday's concluding two singles.

Britain's hopes were left hanging in the balance after Austria won the doubles to take a 2-1 lead into the final day at Wimbledon.

Jurgen Melzer and Julian Knowle made short work of Jamie Murray and Ross Hutchins, racing to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win.

Elsewhere, Israel opened up a 2-1 lead over Peru at Ramat Hasharon after Andy Ram and Harel Levy beat Mauricio Echazu and Matias Silva 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.

At Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, the Dutch also led 2-1 thanks to Peter Wessels and Jesse Huta Galung seeing off Jun Woong-sun and Lee Hyung-taik 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

In the day's other play-off, Croatia was- 2-1 ahead of Brazil in Zadar after Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa defeated Ivo Karlovic and Lovro Zovko 6-7 , 6-2, 7-5, 6-7 , 6-3 to keep the South Americans in the tie.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

Safina overcomes Kuznetsova to win Pan Pacific Open

TOKYO: Olympic silver medallist Dinara Safina powered past Svetlana Kuznetsova in an all-Russian final on Sunday to win the Pan Pacific Open, her fourth title of the year.

Safina, the 22-year-old French Open finalist and world No 5, notched an easy 6-1, 6-3 victory over Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion and world No 7, to take the title in her first-ever appearance in Tokyo.

"I'm just feeling great. I've been playing here the whole week my best tennis I've ever played. It's nice, because it's the first time I'm here in Tokyo. I could show my best tennis. I'm really happy this week," said Safina.

"We know each other very well," Safina said of Kuznetsova. "Actually we are very good friends off court. I focused on myself and I think I did everything right today. I don't want to say she will have revenge, but hope that we will have some good matches."

With the win, Safina - who has also won titles this year in Berlin, Los Angeles and Montreal - will move up in the WTA rankings to a career-high No 3.

"Actually it's very nice when you can go up in the rankings. I just hope that I'm going to continue to be healthy and give 100 percent day by day," said Safina, the sister of former US Open and Australian Open champion Marat Safin.

Safina defeated Kuznetsova thanks to her powerful returns on second serve, winning five of eight break chances.

Safina had her first break opportunity at 15-40 in the fourth game of the first set, which she cashed in two points later by charging to the net on a short ball for a backhand volley winner to lead 3-1.

She carried the momentum through to win the first set, never facing a break point on her own serve.

Kuznetsova, who hit a double fault on a break point to lose the first game of the second set, got back to 2-all when Safina returned the favor, double faulting on break point in the fourth game.

But Safina piled on the pressure, firing a sizzling forehand passing shot to break back in the following game and pulling off another break in the ninth to finish off the 78-minute match.

It was Safina's ninth career victory overall. She took home the winner's check of $196,900.

Safina improved her lifetime record against Kuznetsova to six wins and four defeats. She has not lost to Kuznetsova this season, and defeated her in the semifinals at the French Open.

For Kuznetsova, who has yet to win a title this season, it was her fourth loss in a title match this season, after Sydney, Dubai and Indian Wells.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

Hamilton ready for Belgian GP appeal

PARIS: Lewis Hamilton will bid to extend his world championship lead here on Monday with the action coming amongst the suits of an FIA appeal tribunal rather than on the racing track.

The British driver was controversially penalized 25 seconds after winning the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, a decision which relegated the McLaren star to third place.

Hamilton was adjudged to have cut a chicane during a duel with Finnish rival Kimi Raikkonen in the closing laps.

That verdict handed victory to Felipe Massa of Ferrari, who came home second after Raikkonen had crashed with one lap remaining, and slashed the Briton's lead in the championship which now stands at just one point.

Days later McLaren said it intended to appeal, with team chief executive Martin Whitmarsh protesting Hamilton's innocence.

"From the pit wall, we then asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to repass," he said.

"They confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was 'okay'."

The appeal's outcome will have ramifications for the championship after last weekend's rain-hit Italian Grand Prix, were Massa clawed back vital points by finishing sixth, one place up from Hamilton.

The Briton now sits on 76 points, just one point ahead of Massa, with Poland's Robert Kubica, of BMW Sauber, on third with 58.

McLaren's arguments may fall on deaf ears as Article 152 of the FIA's international sporting code states that a drive-through penalty is "not susceptible to appeal."

Source: China Daily/Agencies

China's 3rd Arctic expedition team returns to Shanghai

The icebreaker Xuelong, the carrier for China's third scientific Arctic expedition, arrived at the Shanghai Port on Monday afternoon, ending its 75-day journey.

The 167-meter Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon," with 122 scientists and staff on board, arrived at 2 p.m. It will sail to the China Polar Research Center in the Pudong District's Jinqiao area at 10 a.m. on Wednesday after a short break in the port, according to the center.

During the expedition that left Shanghai on July 11, the team collected much data and many samples and achieved preliminary results, such as the discovery of salinity reduction in some Arctic sea areas, circulation anomalies and atmospheric circulation fluctuations.

The team also did research at 87 degrees north latitude, the furthest north in the Arctic that the research team ever visited, after the team's helicopter landed on a large piece of a floating ice on Aug. 30.

China made its first and second Arctic expeditions in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

Source: Xinhua