Friday, September 26, 2008

3 milk products sold in Macao confirmed melamine-contaminated

Macao's health authorities on Thursday confirmed that three milk products, including biscuits, liquid milk and baby formula, sold in Macao were confirmed to be contaminated with melamine.

The three products are Lotte Koala Biscuit ,Nestle's baby formula NESLAC Gold Growing Up 1+ Tin and the Mengniu Breakfast Milk , according to a press statement from the Special Administration Region's Health Bureau , which said it tested a total of 35 various milk products sold in the local market in a single batch.

The Lotte biscuit was found to be containing the highest volume of melamine, at 24 milligram per kilogram, the Mengniu Breakfast Milk at 2.35 milligram per kilogram, and the Nestle baby formula at less than 1 milligram per kilogram, which meets the safety standard of the neighboring regions, according to the statement.

The Secretary for the SAR's Social Affairs and Culture Chui SaiOn vowed Thursday that the government would "spare no efforts" in providing medical examination and treatment for students who might have consumed contaminated milk.

The students would be given a detailed checkup if needed, and the government would provide them with the necessary treatment should any kidney stones be detected, Chui said after attending a conference this morning.

For the time being, the SAR government has started an urgent communication mechanism with health authorities in the mainland and Hong Kong SAR, after the detection of melamine in some dairy products, the SAR's Government Information Bureau said.

Source: Xinhua

ADB to provide $4.5 mln to foster Central Asia economic development

The Asian Development Bank said here on Thursday that it will provide 4.5 million U.S. dollars to foster closer cooperation among member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation by establishing a virtual institute that will coordinate research, training and dialogue within the regional organization.

ADB will provide 4 million U.S. dollars to the project from its technical assistance fund and another 500,000 U.S. dollars from its Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund, a special fund under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility that supports technical assistance projects.

Another 500,000 U.S. dollars will come from the People's Republic of China Regional Cooperation and Poverty Reduction Fund, while participating governments will provide 200,000 U.S. dollars to complete funding requirement.

"By its virtual nature, the CAREC Institute will not have any permanent location, infrastructure or staff. This approach offers a lot of advantages by making use of existing resources and minimizing fixed investment costs before the institute starts producing tangible results," said Natasha Davis, Regional Cooperation Specialist of the Central and West Asia Department.

The CAREC Institute will further improve regional cooperation by coming up with knowledge resources that meet global standards to support regional infrastructure networks in transportation, trade and energy, ADB said in a press release.

This should help speed up identifying and developing regional projects in the priority areas.


Storms leave at least 14 dead in China's quake zone

At least 14 people were killed in the quake-battered Sichuan province where torrential rains triggered disasters, confirmed local government on Thursday.

The victims were from Mianyang city, where 40 others were reported missing. Nearly 1.19 million people there were affected by rainstorms.

Downpour and ensuing flash floods, landslides and mud-rock flows also destroyed 42,121 houses, toppled 15,979 others. Some 60,893.3 hectares of crops were ruined and 5,310 cattle were killed.

Direct economic loss was estimated at 1.2 billion yuan , according to the disaster relief office under the Mianyang city government.

In the Qingchuan county, rescuers managed to establish contact with the last five cut-off villages and townships, where basic facilities and farmlands were severely damaged but no casualties have been reported yet.

Rescuers are repairing the damaged roads and cables while water and electricity supplies are on the way.

Rainstorm swept the southwestern province on Wednesday, plaguing the people there still recovering from the May 12 massive earthquake.

Source: Xinhua

White Rabbit candy halts sales, as products under scrutiny for melamine contamination

The producer of China's White Rabbit brand candy on Friday announced the suspension of domestic sales of its products, which are suspected of melamine contamination.

The Guanshengyuan company had previously recalled all exports, some of which tested positive for melamine in Singapore earlier this week.

Ge Junjie, vice manager of the Shanghai Guangming Dairy and Food Company, which owns Guanshengyuan, said the suspension of sales of White Rabbit candy reflected "the company's conscientious decision to protect consumers".

The company's candy is still undergoing tests for melamine by the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

The bureau could not provide the test results on Friday morning.

"We decided to halt all sales of White Rabbit candy, although the test results have not yet come out," said Ge.


Summer Davos Forum to open in Tianjin

The Annual Meeting of the New Champions of 2008 World Economic Forum will take place in Tianjin from September 27 to 28, 2008. At present, Binhai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the main venue of the forum, has entered the final stages of preparation, and is ready to welcome "new champions" with high-quality services and facilities.

World Economic Forum is an independent international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation. Klaus Schwab, a professor from the University of Switzerland founded it in 1971 with headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland. As the annual meeting of the forum is held each year in January in Davos, a small town in Switzerland, the forum is also known as the "Davos Forum."

World Economic Forum is committed to call leaders from all walks of life to cooperate in order to discuss world economic problems, to promote international economic cooperation and exchanges with the aim to determine the global, regional and industry agendas, in turn affect the world.

By People's Daily Online

Brazil hails successful lunching of Shenzhou-7 mission

President of the Brazilian SpaceAgency Carlos Ganem lauded the successful launching of the Shenzhou-7 mission on Thursday, describing the mission as a milestone of space activities.

"The AEB celebrates the successful launching of the spaceship Shenzhou-7, with three crew members aboard, which certainly will be a millstone in space activities," Ganem told Xinhua.

"Brazil, as a partner of China, rejoices over the event and whishes a full success of the mission," Ganem said.

The Shenzhou-7, lunched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center in northwest China, is manned by three Chinese astronauts, two of them will perform Chinese astronauts' first space walk.


The current financial turmoil in the United States is the main concern of the world's chief executive officers and investors gathering on Friday for s

"With the cultivation of their respective party and state leadership, the relationship of Laos and China are moving forward in a healthy and vigorous way. The positive momentum of development has been reflected in all aspects in the relationship -- politics, economy, education and tourism, etc. commented Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad in an interview with Xinhua Thursday in the Lao capital Vientiane.

Somsavat, also head of the standing committee of the government, could not help expressing his amazement by his recent trip to Beijing as a guest at the 2008 Paralympic Games closing ceremony.

"Beijing has changed so much. The splendor and grandness of the Beijing Paralympic Games is the best illustration of China's progress. I consider this is the best ever Paralympics in the history. It is not only a pride of the Chinese, but also a boast for the whole Asia," he said.

Somsavat said that with a peaceful and friendly approach, China is exerting more and more important influence on the region and around the globe, from which the Lao-Chinese relationship has benefited.

Frequent exchange of visits by top officials, broadening economic cooperation, booming inter-trade and investment, and the take-off of educational and scientific cooperation, are among the achievements in this bilateral relationship, he said.

Taking tourism as example, Somsavat cited that number of tourists from Laos to China or vice versa both had a leap in recent years, which has benefited the tourism in both countries, but also strengthened understanding and friendship between the twopeoples.

He also particularly mentioned the educational cooperation withdelightment: "Chinese language teaching projects will be launched soon in schools along the Lao-Chinese borders. Lao officials are now discussing details about the projects with Chinese counterparts. We believe it would provide a better language environment for the prosperity of border trade."

When asked about how the local schools view the projects, the Deputy Prime Minister said, "It is due to this growing local demand that we started the plan. The children were so happy at thenews about setting up Chinese courses."

He noted that a plan to open a Confucius College, a Chinese-government-supported project for teaching Chinese language overseas, in Vientiane is already undergoing preparation.

He also praised China's role in especially the Great-Mekong Sub-region.

He rejected some speculations that flooding in this August in Laos around Mekong River, which runs through the borders between Laos and China, had been caused by the acts by China to discharge waters from dams along the Lancang River -- the part of Mekong inside China's borders.

He explained that the August flooding in Laos has not only took place along the Mekong river, but also many other areas around lakes in the upcountry, which has been caused mainly by particularly heavy rains during this year's rainy season.

It was not directly related to the water discharge from Lancang River on the upper side of Mekong, said Somsavat. Instead, other countries in the Mekong region should be grateful for China's consistent efforts in providing related hydrologic data in an bid to enhance the downriver flooding control, he said.

Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh will attend the West China Expo this October in Chengdu, China, and will also meet Chinese leader at this December's ASEAN Summit in Thailand. "I believe these exchanges and others in the future, will definitely upgrade the already good relations in all aspects between the two countries in a positive way," said the deputy premier.


Financial crisis concern prevails at Summer Davos meeting in Tianjin

The current financial turmoil in the United States is the main concern of the world's chief executive officers and investors gathering on Friday for sessions before the annual meeting of the New Champions 2008, organized by the World Economic Forum.

Three speakers at the session, all heads of the world's major accounting firms, agreed that they did not foresee a global recession following the current financial crisis.

"We are currently at a very difficult spot," Samuel Dipiazza, chief executive officer of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, told reporters," but global economic recession is not likely, even though there is a world economy slowdown, because some emerging markets will keep driving the growth."

The discussion took place amid a global credit crunch which originated in the U.S. starting with the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bear Stearns, and the crisis is still spreading to plague other large financial institutions. The world's stock markets recently tumbled as a result.

"Individual industries in individual markets are going through a contraction, but as for the economy overall, it's not happening," said Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Chief Executive Officer James Quigley. Both Dipiazza and Ernst & Young LLP Chief Executive Officer James Turley said they are optimistic about future actions to be taken by the U.S. government.

The Bush administration proposed a 700-billion-U.S.-dollar government rescue plan to buy distressed assets from troubled lenders, but a top-level White House meeting failed to reach consensus on the plan on Thursday.

Turley also believed the world's central banks would help ensure the credit would be available.

Dipiazza said it would have to wait for two or three weeks before reaching a conclusion and see how the U.S. government would deal with the crisis.

Quigley echoed Dipiazza's comments and said, "The global economic recession will not occur, especially in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific areas, such as China, where it is keeping building up infrastructure, and developing consumer-based economy that is not so much relying on export." While financial upheavals were in the past usually reaction to changes in the real economy, this time there are rising concerns over the impact of the financial crisis over the real economy, or the other way around.

"The situation is more challenging than we thought a few months ago," the PWC CEO acknowledged.

Fred Zuliu Hu, chairman of Greater China, Goldman Sachs ,said at a different session on Friday the global credit turmoil would not have a major impact on China's financial sector due to limited exposure of Chinese lenders to the risks.

The New Champions 2008, the second such annual meeting organized by the World Economic Forum and also dubbed as "Summer Davos", is to be held here from Sept. 27 through 28. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is expected to address the meeting on Saturday.


CEO: Airbus hopes to join in China's large plane project

Airbus hopes to join in China's large plane project, said Thomas Enders, chief executive officer of the world's leading aircraft manufacturer, in Tianjin on Friday.

"I hope so," said Enders, who is in this north China port city for the Sept. 27-28 Summer Davos forum, in response to a Xinhua question on whether Airbus will join in the Chinese project that aims to develop and market homemade large passenger aircraft.

Airbus doesn't see the Chinese project as a threat and is not afraid of possible competition, the CEO added.

"Competition is always a good thing, it makes us nimble and innovative," he told the press.

The Chinese market is expected to be as important as the U.S. and European markets in the next 20 or 30 years, and one of Airbus' future strategies is to enhance cooperation with China, said Enders.

China set up its first ever jumbo passenger aircraft company in Shanghai in May, as a major step in its large jet program. The newly-established company, named Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. , is expected to give the country the capacity of building aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 100 tons, or planes with more than 150 seats.

Jin Zhuanglong, the company's general manager, told Xinhua earlier that "it is too early to set a timetable or make development strategy," adding that the CACC will pose no threat to jet-making giants like Boeing and Airbus.

According to Jin, China welcomes cooperation from foreign companies in the development of the new aircraft. However, the goals of the CACC for the first few years will be establishing an operating system and training talents.

The Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory and the First Aircraft Institute of AVIC I, which participated in the development and manufacture of the country's first homegrown regional jet ARJ21-700, have joined the CACC, whose establishment was approved in February 2007 by the State Council, China's Cabinet.


Chinese Premier back home after attending UN meetings

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao returned to Beijing Friday after attending the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals and the general debate of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly.

During his stay in New York, Wen also met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and foreign leaders, broadly engaged with the U.S. people from many walks of life.

Wen also met with representatives from Chinese missions overseas, overseas Chinese, Chinese students and Chinese-funded institutions, as well as local media.


Mauritian President presents at Chinese National Day celebration

Mauritian President Anerood Jugnauth, Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam and other senior government officials joined the Chinese community in the Indian Ocean island country to celebrate the 59th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

At the grand reception held by Chinese Ambassador to the Indian Ocean island country, Gao Yuchen, the president highly appreciated the great achievement made in China in the last 59 years especially in the last 30 years since China implemented its open-door policy.

Reports reaching here said that Jugnauth also expressed his satisfaction with the development of mutual-trust and fruitful relationship between Mauritius and China in the last 36 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972.

Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade who also presented at the reception, reiterated Mauritius' one-China policy and its support of unification of mainland China and Taiwan.

The reception was held just few hours after the third manned spacecraft, Shenzhou-7, was successfully launched in northwest China, with three astronauts on board to attempt the country's first-ever space walk.

The Mauritian officials and representatives of the overseas Chinese presented at the reception applauded the launch of the spacecraft, saying that it was a demonstration of one of achievements made in the last 30 years of open-day policy and economic reform.

The successful launch of Shenzhou-7 would definitely boost China's international image, one of the Chinese community leaders said at the reception, attended by over 600 guests.


Survey shows 60% respondents have travel intentions during National Holidays

National Holiday Tourism Work Leading Group Office carried out an on-line survey of travel intentions during the National Holidays, 60% respondents plan to travel, according to the China National Tourism Administration website.

Survey results show that 57.33 percent of the respondents plan to travel in China, of which: 32.88% of the respondents are interested in the city and urban leisure tourism, 24.45 percent of the respondents are interested in cross-regional domestic tourism; 2.97 percent of the respondents plan to travel abroad; and 23.99 percent of the respondents intend to visit relatives and friends.

The survey also shows that during this long holiday, the number of outbound tourists is not big; the most popular destinations are Hong Kong and Macao; among domestic tours, Beijing becomes the hottest destination with an absolute advantage, followed by Zhejiang, Yunnan, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Guangdong. Public transport is still the mainstream of travel, short-term tourists favor traveling by car.

By People's Daily Online

Heavy accident up by 18.9 percent in first 8 months

There are 277, 910 cases of accidents across China which killed 54, 677 people in the first eight month, down by 20.1 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively than the same period of last year, according to news from China's State Administration of Work Safety on September 24, 2008.

However, the number of heavy accidents which killed 10 people or more is 63, the number of death amounted to 1,034 people, up by 18.9 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively.

By People's Daily Online

Full text of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's speech at U.N. High-Level Meeting on MDGs

The following is the full text of the speech by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the U. N. High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals on Sept. 25, 2008:

Mr. President,Mr. Secretary-General,Ladies and gentlemen:

Eight years ago today, the United Nations solemnly adopted the Millennium Declaration, offering new hopes to the people living in poverty around the world.

China is the most populous country in the world. Since 1978, we in China have accelerated development mainly with our own efforts and through reform and opening-up. As a result, China has brought down the number of people in absolute poverty from 250 million to 15 million in less than 30 years. China has made free nine-year compulsory education universal in the country and particularly in the rural areas. We have put in place a new type of cooperative medical care system mainly financed by the government for 800 million farmers. We have set up the system of village and community self-governance for rural and urban residents and introduced government transparency, democratic oversight and direct election at the community level.

In the final analysis, all that we do in China now serves but one purpose -- to eradicate poverty and build on this basis to achieve modernization with prosperity, democracy, advanced culture and harmony.

China is a responsible, large developing country. Though not rich, it has honored its commitments to the Millennium Declaration and done what it can to help some least developed countries. By the end of June 2008, China had cancelled a total of 24.7 billion billion yuan of debts for 49 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Asia and Africa and provided 206.5 billion yuan in various forms of assistance, of which 90.8 billion yuan is free aid. China has provided zero-tariff treatment to the goods of 42 least developed countries. The number of covered tariff items ranges from 736 to 1,115, accounting for 98 percent of the export volume of least developed countries to China. China has trained 15,000 African professionals, sent medical teams and provided free anti-malaria medicine to Africa. China will continue to do so and will dispatch up to 100 senior agricultural experts to Africa and build 30 hospitals and 100 rural schools for Africa. To enhance Africa's capacity for independent development, China decided at the end of 2007 to provide 2.377 billion yuan of free aid and 700 million yuan of interest-free loans to Africa.

Statistics released by the World Bank last year showed that over the past 25 years, China accounted for 67 percent of the achievements in global poverty reduction. The vision set out in the U.N. Millennium Declaration is being gradually turned into reality in the vast country of China. This is also the most important international responsibility that the Chinese today should fulfill.

Nonetheless, we have to recognize that about one billion people in the world still live below the poverty line and hundreds of millions suffer from hunger. China is also under pressure in terms of population, resources and the environment, and it faces such challenges as uneven development between urban and rural areas and between different regions, imbalance between economic and social development and a large low-income group.

To attain the goals of the Millennium Declaration globally remains a long and uphill journey and the difficulties cannot be underestimated.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Counting from today, we have only seven years to go before the end of 2015 to reach the goals in the Millennium Declaration of halving the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, and no more than 12 years before the end of 2020 to significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers. The task is indeed an arduous one. I hope that, we, leaders present today, will join hands to shoulder greater responsibilities as statesmen and pay closer attention to and show more compassion for the poor regions and people in the world.

To this end, I wish to suggest the following:

-- It is important for governments to give top priority to development. Underdeveloped countries should make poverty eradication through development a central task, and developed countries should provide enabling conditions for the development of underdeveloped countries. Development is, first and foremost, economic development and educational, cultural and social development should also be high on the agenda.

-- It is important to give encouragement and support to all countries in taking development paths suited to their national conditions and exploring development models conducive to their national development and poverty eradiation efforts. Respect for the right of people of all countries to independently choose development paths and models should serve as a basis and precondition for democracy.

-- It is important to resolve regional conflicts and ethnic strife through peaceful means rather than by force. We should promote democracy in international relations and encourage all countries to have consultations on an equal footing, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win outcomes and live in harmony with each other.

-- It is important to step up international assistance. Developed countries in particular should assume the responsibility of helping underdeveloped countries. Assistance should be provided selflessly, with no conditions attached. It is particularly important to increase assistance for least developed countries and regions, with the focus on addressing hunger, medical care and schooling for children. I wish to propose that donor countries double their donations to the World Food Program in the next five years and that the international community do more to cancel or reduce debts owed by least developed countries and give zero-tariff treatment to their exports.

-- It is important to improve the working mechanisms for the development goals in the Millennium Declaration. It is necessary to coordinate the efforts of international organizations to jointly overcome the difficulties facing developing countries, including the immediate challenges of soaring oil and food prices, make plans, raise finance for assistance and implement the plans in real earnest.

To facilitate the attainment of the MDGs, China stands ready to take the following actions:

1. In the coming five years, China will double the number of agricultural technology demonstration centers we build for developing countries to 30, increase the number of agricultural experts and technicians we send overseas by 1,000 to double the original figure, and provide agricultural training opportunities in China for 3,000 people from developing countries.

2. China will contribute 30 million U.S. dollars to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to establish a trust fund for projects and activities designed to help developing countries enhance agricultural productivity.

3. China will increase exports and aid to countries facing food shortages.

4. In the coming five years, China will give 10,000 more scholarships to developing countries and offer training programs exclusively for 1,500 principals and teachers from African countries. China will ensure that the 30 hospitals it builds for African countries are properly staffed and equipped and train 1,000 doctors, nurses and managers for the recipient countries.

5. China will cancel the outstanding interest-free loans extended to least developed countries that mature before the end of 2008 and give zero-tariff treatment to 95 percent of products from the relevant least developed countries.

6. In the coming five years, China will develop 100 small-scale clean energy projects for developing countries, including small hydropower, solar power and bio-gas projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Four fifths of the world's population live in developing countries while only one fifth in developed countries. Everyone has the equal right to survival. But if developing countries remain in poverty, this will show that today's world is neither fair nor harmonious. Such a world will inevitably be an unstable one.

If we have those poor mothers and their hungry babies crying for food on our mind, then there is no difference that we cannot put aside and no obstacle that we cannot surmount. As long as governments have a strong sense of responsibility and mission, as long as people of all countries bring out the best of human sympathy and compassion, and as long as we unite to overcome difficulties, no matter where we come from and who we are, we will attain the MDGs.

I look forward to the day when the poor people no longer suffer from hunger and are all able to lead a frugal but comfortable life through their own hard work. I look forward to the day when all children can go to school and everyone enjoys proper medical care. I look forward to the day when we all live in a democratic and free society in which everyone has the opportunity and right to pursue happiness. I look forward to the day when on one is discriminated against for his or her skin color, race or belief and the family of mankind lives in greater harmony.

I believe that this is not just a day that I look forward to, but a day that everyone present here today looks forward to. Let us work towards the goals of the Millennium Declaration, so that the day will come, and will come early.

Source: Xinhua

China, Pakistan to further enhance military ties

Pakistan was ready to work with China to enhance bilateral strategic cooperation under the new circumstances, said a senior Pakistani military official here on Friday.

Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan, made the remarks in a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie.

Speaking highly of the good relationship between the two armed forces, he said Pakistan would continue to push forward bilateral ties and the relationship between the two armed forces.

Liang, also a state councilor, said China and Pakistan, as good neighbors, enjoyed an all-weather friendship.

"China attaches great importance to its friendship with Pakistan and will further strengthen Sino-Pakistani ties and relations between the two armed forces," said Liang.

He said China would promote friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields so as to raise the bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation to a new level.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese premier meets with Bill Gates on development, poverty alleviation

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met here Thursday with Bill Gates, chairman of Bill & Gates Foundation, to discuss issues concerning development and poverty alleviation.

During their talks on the sidelines of the a high-level U.N. meeting for Millennium Development Goals , Wen expressed appreciation over Gates' long-term efforts for promoting settlement of issues concerning development.

The current turbulence in the international economic and financial situation, sharp increases in oil prices and food supplyshortage have made things more difficult for poor countries, Wen said.

He added the high-level U.N. meeting for the MDGs has been held at the right time, and it is necessary for all the parties to seriously evaluate the implementation of the MDGs and to increase aid for poor countries.

Expressing admiration for the efforts that China has made in solving problems in development, Gates, Microsoft founder, said his foundation would like to enhance cooperation with China in launching programs for providing assistance for poor areas and for disease control and prevention in Africa.

Source: Xinhua

Backgrounder: Summer Davos Forum

The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008, also known as the 2nd Summer Davos Forum, will be held from Sept. 27-28 in north China's Tianjin Municipality.

The Summer Davos Forum was created according to a joint proposal by the World Economic Forum chairman Mr. Schwab and China's Premier Wen Jiabao, aimed at establishing a platform for the new generation of fast-emerging multinational companies and mature enterprises to meet, talk and share experience.

It is also named as Annual Meeting of the New Champions as the forum's participants mainly come from international growth enterprises. The Summer Davos, together with its winter counterpart, have been known as the two backbones of the WEF. The first Annual Meeting of the New Champions was held in the country's northern coastal Dalian City on Sept. 6, 2007.

This year's Summer Davos Forum will be arranged under the theme "The Next Wave of Growth", with five topics in focus, namely, "Going Global", "Managing Risks", "Drivers of Future Growth", "Technology and Innovation: The Next Wave", and "China as a Global Player".

With its headquarter located in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, then professor of business policy at the University of Geneva. It is also known as the Davos Forum, as the forum's annual meeting has been held every January in Davos, a renowned Swiss village.

As a world-leading independent, non-governmental organization on international economy, the WEF has set its mission as gathering world leaders from various fields for cooperation, arranging discussion concerning world economic issues, and promoting international economic cooperation and communication. It is called the economic UN, as forum members include business leaders from the world's top 1000 companies, governmental officials, global media tycoons, as well as reputed experts in related fields.

The WEF's annual meeting is usually held in late January in Davos. More than 200 branch forums would be arranged during about a week's time on a preset theme. The issues discussed on the forum have been extending with the WEF's ever enlarging influence in an ever changing world. Forum topics not only include hot fields in world economic development and business trends, but also cover wider issues of global importance on politics, military affairs, security and social development, among others.

Source: Xinhua

World Economic Forum founder: China to maintain fast growth despite world economic slowdown

Though feeling gloomy about the prospects of world economy in the coming couple of years, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said here on Friday that China is still a fast growing economy, and may lead the world economy in the future.

Schwab, nearly 70, reiterated his confidence in the Chinese economy at a press conference in Tianjin, a north China metropolis that is hosting the 2008 Summer Davos forum, scheduled to open on Saturday.

The two-day forum is taking place at a difficult time for the world economy, as the Wall Street was rocked by the demise of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and is facing more difficulties for its banks and investors.

Schwab said the Wall Street storm "shocked" the world. "The change in the financial system will surely bring severe influence to the world," he said, adding that the depression of the Wall Street will change the way of working as well as the way of global cooperation.

He predicted that the world economy will see a slowdown in growth in the next one to three years, and China's growth rate will also drop to seven or eight percent. But he stressed that China is still the fastest growing economy in the world, and will keep a high growth in the future.

Schwab's confidence in the Chinese economy comes from his long-term cooperation with China. After inviting a 79-member Chinese delegation to the Davos annual meeting in 1978, Schwab visited China in the spring of 1979, kicking start his 30-year interaction with the country.

Impressed by China's economic growth and the inspiration of the Chinese entrepreneurs, Schwab set up the Platform of the New Champions four years ago, and decided to place the annual meeting of the forum in China.

According to Schwab, the new platform attracts not only members of the world top 500, but also some medium-sized and small companies.

"These young companies have the potential to list among the Fortune 500 in next five to ten years," he noted.

Schwab pointed out that the key for these medium-sized and small companies to success is to maintain inspiration and innovation, which will help them enter the global market and become new champions of the world.

Statistics show more than 200 leaders of new champion companies have registered to participate in the forum. Schwab expects even more participants in next year's New Champion meeting in Dalian of northeast China, and predicts that the number could reach 500 in two years.

Source: Xinhua

Full text of Chinese premier's speech at welcoming lunchon hosted by U.S. friendly organizations

The following is the full text of the speech delivered by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the welcoming luncheon hosted by U.S. friendly organizations in New York on Tuesday.

Build on Past Achievements and Work Together for an Even Better China-US Relationship

-- Speech by Premier Wen Jiabao at welcoming luncheon hosted by American friendly organizations

New York, September 23, 2008

Doctor Henry Kissinger, Ambassador Carla Hills, Mr. Greg Brown, Secretary Elaine Chao, Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to begin by thanking the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S.-China Business Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Society, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce, the Committee of 100, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the America-China Forum, the Business Roundtable and the China Institute in America for co-hosting this event, which brings together friends, both old and new, for a delightful gathering.

I cherish the fond memory of the gracious dinner you hosted for me in Washington during my official visit to the United States back in 2003. On that occasion, I made a speech entitled "Working Together to Write a New Chapter in China-US Relations," in which I drew three conclusions on Sino-U.S. relations. First, for China and the United States, cooperation benefits both, while contention hurts both. Second, the two countries have the foundation for cooperation and common interests. Third, China-U.S. cooperation is conducive to stability in the Asia-Pacific region as well as peace and development in the world.

Five years have passed since then and I am happy to see that these three conclusions have stood the test of time. China-US relations have made significant progress. First, our high-level contacts are more frequent than ever before. There are now more than 60 dialogue and consultation mechanisms between our two countries. The Strategic Economic Dialogue and the Strategic Dialogue have, in particular, have played an important part in increasing strategic mutual trust between the two sides. Second, our two-way trade grew from 126 U.S. billion dollars in 2003 to 302 billion dollars last year, an increase of nearly one and a half times within five years. China and the United States are now each other's second largest trading partner. The two sides have conducted dialogue and cooperation in a series of news areas, such as energy resources, climate change, product quality and food safety. The U.S.-China Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework signed not long ago stands out as a good example of such cooperation. Third, China and the United States have maintained communication and coordination on global security issues such as counter-terrorism and non-proliferation and on regional and international hotspot issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, to jointly contribute to world peace and stability.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As a Chinese saying goes, "amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states." The growing China-U.S. relations is also reflected by the ever-deepening friendship between our two peoples. In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Wenchuan of Sichuan Province, the U.S. side provided generous assistance in cash and in kind to China. I remember running into three young Americans in Beichuan, one of the hardest-hit areas, when I was overseeing the rescue and relief work there the day after the quake struck. I learned from my conversation with them that they were American volunteers rushing to the quake zone from Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan. They were the first group of volunteers from foreign countries that I met in the quake-struck areas. After them, headed by the USAID, representatives of some well-known American companies and organizations also went to the quake areas, at the risk of aftershocks, and offered us their advice on recovery and reconstruction. Their visit was the very first of its kind in the history of exchanges between our two countries, and I later had a meeting with them in Beijing.

Thanks to efforts of the U.S. government and people of various sectors, 150 Chinese students from the earthquake-hit areas are now studying in the State University of New York. I am convinced that when they return to China after finishing their studies here, they will be able to better help the building of their homeland and will surely join in the endeavor to promote China-U.S. friendship. We also saw many scenes showing China-U.S. friendship during the Beijing Olympic Games that ended last month. Here are a few examples. President Bush and three generations of the Bush family traveled to Beijing and joined Chinese spectators in cheering for Chinese and U.S. athletes. The U.S. women's volleyball team and gymnastics team that competed with the Chinese teams both had Chinese coaches. Chinese players in NBA teams are very popular. The U.S. synchronized swimming team unfurled a banner with the words "Thank you, China" on it by the pool side, and they received thunderous applause from the Chinese spectators. These examples show once again that there exist a deep affinity and a strong bond of friendship between our two peoples. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the American people from all walks of life for their long-term commitment to the China-US friendship, and to extend heartfelt gratitude to the U.S. government and people for their strong support to our earthquake rescue and relief work and our efforts in hosting the Olympic Games.

Ladies and gentlemen,

With the U.S. presidential election less than two months away, many people have asked for my opinion of the China-U.S. relations after the election. I told them that whoever becomes the next U.S. president, China hopes to maintain and develop the constructive and cooperative relations with the United States. And we are confident that whoever becomes the next U.S. president, China-U.S. relations will continue to move forward, as the trend of history will not turn back. I say this because: First, China and the United States have never enjoyed so extensive common interests as they do today. From maintaining world peace and stability to tackling growing global challenges, to promoting trade and investment liberalization, China-U.S. cooperation has gone beyond the bilateral context in terms of both its substance and significance, and is having increasingly important impact on the world. Steady growth of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of our two peoples and meets the trend of the times. Second, due to differences in social system, development level, history and culture, there may be differences between the two countries on certain issues. This is nothing to fear. As long as the two sides engage in dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, they will be able to gradually dispel misgivings and enhance mutual trust. Third, both the Chinese people and the American people are open, innovative, and eager to learn.

In just more than 200 years, the United States has developed itself into the most powerful country in the world, with brilliant achievements in the fields of economy, science and technology. The Chinese civilization, dating back 5,000 years, is showing great vitality in the new era. What is behind the splendid achievements we both have scored though our histories are different? I think it is openness, inclusiveness and the spirit of drawing upon the strengths of others. Two countries that appreciate each other and learn from each other can live together in amity and achieve common progress.

Fourth, China's development will not harm anyone, nor will it be a threat to anyone. China has taken an active part in the building of the international system and will not do anything to undermine it. China is a big responsible country. The Chinese economy now contributes to more than 10 percent of the world economic growth. China has taken an active part in the settlement of major international and regional issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the Iranian nuclear issue. China is ready to work together with the rest of the international community to jointly meet such global challenges as the financial turbulence, energy shortage, food shortage and climate change.

China and the United States are not rivals, but partners in cooperation, and can well become friends. During his stay in Beijing for the Olympics, President Bush said to me that the U.S.-China relationship is not one in which "I win you lose" or "you win I lose." Gains for China do not mean losses for the United States, and vice versa. The United States can benefit from China's prosperity and development and our two countries can prosper together. I am pleased to see that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party attach importance to China-U.S. relations. I believe this shows the strategic vision and political wisdom of President Bush and the two political parties, and represents the wish of the entire American people. I want to stress that the Chinese Government has always attached importance to China-U.S. relations. We sincerely hope that through friendly cooperation, our two countries will pioneer a bright path of harmonious coexistence and common development between big countries with different cultural backgrounds.

History has shown that the smooth development of China-U.S. relations depends, to a great extent, on the proper handling of the Taiwan question.

Today, the new leader in Taiwan has reaffirmed the 1992 Consensus, and cross-Strait relations have shown sound momentum toward relaxation and improvement. The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the Straits Exchange Foundation will have their first meeting after a gap of nine years. Direct charter flights on weekends between the two sides have been launched, and tourists from the mainland have visited Taiwan. More major steps aimed at promoting the people-to-people, economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Strait are now under discussion.

The current and coming period will be crucial for the development of cross-Strait relations. We are ready to work for practical solutions to the various issues under the principle of "building mutual trust, laying aside disputes, seeking consensus while shelving differences and jointly creating a win-win situation " and on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, so as to create conditions for the further growth of cross-Strait relations.

Five years ago, President Bush openly expressed his position of opposing "Taiwan independence," which generated positive international impacts, won admiration and respect from the Chinese people, and enabled the smooth development of China-U.S. relations. Today, five years later, we hope the U.S. side will stick to its commitment of adhering to the one-China policy and the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, opposing "Taiwan independence," and supporting the improvement of cross-Strait relations, to realize common development. This is beneficial to people across the Strait, to the China-U.S. relations, and to world peace.

Ladies and gentlemen,

People are following closely the direction of China's development after the Beijing Olympic Games. I will answer this question when I address the United Nations tomorrow. To put it simply, China remains committed to the path of peaceful development, to reform and opening-up, and to an independent foreign policy of peace.

The Beijing Olympic Games is a success, but China still has a long way to go before achieving modernization. For China, to run its own affairs well and to maintain stability and development is the biggest contribution that it makes to the world and the biggest international responsibility that it undertakes. Meanwhile, we will continue to work with other countries to firmly maintain world peace and stability, actively participate in international economic cooperation, facilitate dialogue and exchange among different civilizations and work for the harmonious and sustainable development of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We will soon celebrate the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the United States. Over the past 30 years, profound changes have taken place in China and tremendous progress has been made in China-U.S. relations. We should not see this as a sheer coincidence but a historical necessity. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that, "The times call for bold belief that the world can be changed by man's endeavor, and that this endeavor can lead to something new and better." Today, we have every reason to expect and believe that the largest developing country and the largest developed country in the world will have enough courage and wisdom to tide over any hardship and obstacle, to build on past achievements, and to work together for an even brighter future.

Thank you!

Source: Xinhua

CPC official meets Montenegro Prime Minister

A senior official of the Communist Party of China met here on Friday with the visiting Montenegro Prime Minister and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Socialists Milo Djukanovic, both agreeing to step up cooperation between the two parties.

Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, welcomed Djukanovic's attendance at the upcoming 2008 Summer Davos forum to be held in north China's Tianjin Municipality.

The CPC would like to "continuously deepen cooperation with the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, enrich the forms and contents of our exchanges, and further promote comprehensive development of relations between the two nations," Wang said.

Djukanovic congratulated China on the successful hosting of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics and the launch of the Shenzhou-7 manned space flight.

"Montenegro, as a friend of China, always feels happy for every achievement China makes," said Djukanovic, adding that the Democratic Party of Socialists would like to strengthen cooperation with the CPC.

The two sides also touched upon regional and international issues of common concern.

Chen Fengxiang, deputy head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, also attended the meeting.

Source: Xinhua

Association urged to promote friendship with overseas Chinese

A senior Chinese leader on Friday urged the China Overseas Friendship Association to continue making efforts towards uniting overseas Chinese through strengthening communication, increasing friendship and promoting cooperation.

The COFA should become an organizer, participant and promoter of friendship with Chinese compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and foreign countries and regions, said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference , at the plenary session of the COFA board of directors.

Jia, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau, congratulated the opening of the session on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.

He called the association an effective platform for promoting the great consolidation and alliance of all Chinese.

He urged the body to make it its main task to firmly struggle against all kinds of separatist forces under the new situation. Efforts should be made to bring into full play the role of leaders of overseas Chinese groups, try to guide them to support the nation, and form a powerful joint force among Chinese at home and overseas, to safeguard national unity and unification.

In his speech, Jia recalled the historic changes in China over the past 30 years, mentioning rise in economic strength, comprehensive national power and the living standards of the people.

He hailed the success in fighting the severe winter earlier this year and the deadly May 12 earthquake, as well as the hosting of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games and the launch of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft.

All these events will greatly enhance the international status and image of China and increase the pride and confidence of Chinese at home and overseas, he stressed.

Source: Xinhua

FM: Premier Wen elaborates China's policies of reform, development during UN visit

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has clarified China's policies of continuing reform and opening-up and seeking peaceful and common development during his just-concluded visit to the UN headquarters, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Thursday.

During his 48-hour stay in New York, Wen attended the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals and the 63rd annual general debate of the UN General Assembly.

Wen's visit was particularly significant in view of the increasingly complex international situation, the recent turbulence in the international economic and financial sectors, the sharp increases in oil prices and food supply shortage, and the whole world is keen to know in what direction China is heading after the Beijing Olympic Games, Yang told Xinhua.

During his visit, Wen declared China is determined to follow the path of peaceful development and stick to the policies of reform and opening-up, and an independent and peaceful foreign policy.

In terms of international relations, the premier said China is ready to develop friendly relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

Wen said China, as a responsible and major developing country, is ready to work with other members of the international community to contribute to global peace and development.

Wen also reiterated China's commitment to promoting the world’s common development. In this regard, he gave a comprehensive account of China's achievements in launching programs aimed at providing assistance to poor areas, and its contribution to global poverty reduction and South-South cooperation.

The Chinese premier put forward several proposals aimed at speeding up realization of the MDGs and called on countries around the world to pay more attention to the issue of poverty and to increase international aid.

Wen also unveiled six initiatives adopted by the Chinese government in its mission to assist developing nations, including setting up a development fund under the Food and Agricultural Organization , helping to train agricultural technicians, increasing agricultural exports, writing off debts and tariff, as well as offering assistance in the construction of clean energy projects.

Referring to the U.S. financial turmoil, Wen said China was confident of coping with the negative impact of the current crisis.

Confidence-building is even more important than gold and currency in the face of financial crisis, he pointed out.

China will strive to maintain the stability of its macro-economy, financial and capital markets, which is vital for the stability of the global economy, he said.

Wen also expressed China's willingness to cooperate with the United States in addressing the crisis, while calling on the international community to show solidarity and make joint efforts in maintaining the stability of the financial market.

Wen's opinions were echoed by the participants at the meeting, who agreed that China was an important player in stabilizing the world economy and financial system.

Talking about the recent tainted milk formula scandal in China, which has drawn world attention to food safety in the country, Wen stressed that the Chinese government attaches great importance to food safety and has adopted effective measures to ensure product quality and food safety.

He said China will never try to pursue corporate profit or economic growth at the expense of people's health and lives.

Wen noted that China's exports will not only meet international standards, but also meet the specific requirements of the importing countries.

China is willing to step up cooperation with the Unites States and other nations to ensure food safety, he added.

On China-U.S. relations, Wen said the two countries share broad common interests and that China and the United States are not rivals but partners in cooperation.

Wen called on both sides to enhance dialogue and communication, deepen mutual trust and cooperation, and efficiently handle sensitive issues such as the Taiwan issue, in order to ensure a healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.

This is in accordance with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is conducive to world peace, stability and development, and also conforms to the trend of history, Wen said.

He said the Chinese government has always attached importance to china-U.S. relations and will go all out to maintain and develop the constructive and cooperative bilateral relations, irrespective of which party comes to power in Washington.

During his stay in New York, the Chinese premier also met with representatives of overseas Chinese associations and the heads of local Chinese-language media.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier vows to improve disaster response, relief

The government pledged on Friday to improve its emergency response and disaster relief abilities, as new floods and typhoons affected people in south China, including many who survived the May 12 earthquake.

"Improving disaster relief is a fundamental task in realizing scientific development and building a harmonious society," Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said at a national conference on Friday.

China experienced some of the most serious natural disasters this year, with losses of life and property on a scale rarely seen in its history, he said.

The government will upgrade the emergency response and disaster relief system by increasing input, he said.

Hui urged local authorities to continue taking effective measures to minimize the loss of life and property in southern China.

He stressed the necessity to evacuate and relocate people threatened by natural disasters, repair damaged infrastructure and prevent ensuing disasters.

Hui also urged relevant authorities to deal with the renewed risks from the Tangjiashan quake lake "in a timely manner".

Water levels in the lake, the largest of 34 formed as a result of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, have risen menacingly in recent days amid torrential rain.

At least 14 people were killed in the quake-battered province where the heavy rain triggered disasters.

Typhoon Hagupit, the 14th strong typhoon this year, killed 10 people in south China since it landed in Maoming, Guangdong, on Wednesday.

Floods and high winds spawned by the storm affected 8.73 million people and 400,000 hectares of crops in southern Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

He asked local governments and departments to enhance assistance to the quake zone, speed up the reconstruction of destroyed residences in rural areas and ensure all survivors spent a safe and warm winter.

Source: Xinhua

Construction work starts on China's Lanzhou-Chongqing railway

Work on a major railway connecting this city, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province, with the southwestern city of Chongqing, began in Lanzhou on Friday.

The 820-km, double-line electrified railway, co-invested by the Railway Ministry, Gansu and Sichuan provinces and Chongqing Municipality, is expected to open to traffic in 2014.

The railway will cut the distance on the route from 1,466 km to820 km and the travel time from 22 hours to 6 and a half.

Fares will fall, too, to about two-thirds of the past, according to forecasts by rail authorities.

Trains are expected to run at 160 km per hour, with a daily capacity of 50 trains.

The line "is conducive to optimizing the railway layout, improving the transportation quality and promoting the development of western China," Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang told a launch ceremony.

Investors will put 2 billion yuan into environmental protection, accounting for 2 percent of the total cost, according to China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Ltd.

The May 12 earthquake had a minor effect on the railway. The railway designers used a detour around geologically dangerous areas, said Huang Yanbin, chief designer.

Source: Xinhua

Beijing airport expects 1 mln-plus passengers over National Day holidays

Beijing Capital International Airport is expected to handle about 1.07 million passengers during next week's National Day holiday, up 7 percent from last year and a record high.

The holiday runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5. Total departing and arriving flights will reach 8,373, up 16 percent from last year, said an official from the Beijing Capital International Airport Company on Friday.

He forecast that the peak travel day would be Sept. 29, with about 180,000 passengers, while Oct. 5 would have the most flight sat about 1,300.

Source: Xinhua

China tells netizens it's fighting flood of spam text messages

The Telecommunications Administration Bureau held online discussions with netizens on Friday over spam text messages that are being sent to cell phones, saying it had received 510,000 complaints from users as of August.

Bureau deputy inspector Wang Jianwen said the bureau had set up a center to handle complaints about spam text messages in April, and in May alone it received 380,000 complaints.

Complaints declined to about 50,000 and 40,000 in June and July, respectively, which suggested moves by the government and mobile service providers had been effective, Wang said.

According to a May report by the China Internet Network Information Center, cell phone users were each receiving about 13 spam text mails every week as of the end of 2007, up 50 percent year on year.

Many messages were deceptive, and Wang warned the public not to reply to or trust such messages. In addition, getting so many unsolicited messages was annoying.

Wang said one problem was that messages were sent across provinces and regions and through different networks, making it hard to curtail them.

The bureau, which is under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, has urged the industry to take nationwide steps against the problem.

Telecom providers are promoting spam-blocking software on cell phones.

Source: Xinhua

China's PLA General Staff chief meets guests of Brunei, Cameroon, Laos, Thailand

Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, met here Friday with military guests from Brunei, Cameroon, Laos and Thailand who are attending a military exercise by the PLA in northern China.

China has developed sound bilateral relations with Brunei, Cameroon, Laos and Thailand, respectively. Meanwhile, two-way military exchanges and cooperation have increased gradually, Chen said.

"We would like to continuously promote the friendly relations with the armed forces of Brunei, Cameroon, Laos and Thailand, deepen strategic mutual trust and enhance understanding so as to achieve common progress," Chen added.

The guests, including Haji Awang Halbi Bin Haji MD Yussof, Commander of the Brunei Armed Forces, Rene Claude Meka, Chief of General Staff of Armed Forces of Cameroon, Sanyahak Phomvihane, chief of the General Staff of People's Army of Laos, and SongkittiJaggabatara, Supreme Commander of Royal Thai Armed Forces, agreed to further cement and develop military exchanges and cooperation with China so as to strengthen bilateral relations.

The military exercise by the PLA in the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Thursday, was witnessed by more than 110 military delegates and observers from 36 countries.

Ma Xiaotian, China's deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Chen Xiaogong, assistant chief to the General Staff of the PLA, among others, attended the meeting.

Source: Xinhua

Torrential rain leaves 16 dead, 48 missing in China's quake zone

Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain have left 16 people dead and, and there are fears for the safety of 48 others missing in an area in southwest China still recovering from the 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12, local authorities said on Friday.

Almost 1.3 million people were affected by the disasters in Mianyang City in Sichuan Province, of whom 20,000 need emergency evacuation, a city government spokesman said.

"So far, we have moved 18,000 residents who were threatened with danger to safe areas. We are now relocating the other 2,000,"he said.

The downpours and ensuing flash floods, landslides and mud-rock flows also damaged more than 40,000 houses and leveled 16,000 others. Direct economic losses were estimated at 1.6 billion yuan , he said.

In addition, almost 61,000 hectares of crops were ruined and 5,310 cattle were killed.

Rainstorms began pounding Mianyang on Monday, a hard-hit area during the devastating quake in May that left 87,000 people dead or missing.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese banks urged to guard against liquidity risks

Chinese banks should guard against liquidity risks, market risks and operation risks in response to the U.S. subprime crisis, Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said on Thursday.

The shareholding commercial lenders also need to actively avert credit risks brought about by the economic slow-down, Liu told a bankers' meeting in Beijing.

He urged banks to boost corporate governance and internal control, closely watch the major developments in the global financial sphere and improve the ability to predict and avert international risks.

The shareholding commercial banks have become more competitive over the past years.

On average, their capital adequacy ratio was at 10.1 percent and their non-performing loans ratio fell to 1.65 percent by the end of June.

The banks posted total net earnings of 55.4 billion yuan in the first half of the year, up 106.2 percent from a year earlier.


Depositors calm after HK bank run

HONG KONG: The run on Bank of East Asia eased yesterday after reassurance from officials and a high-profile tycoon's stock purchase helped soothe panicked depositors.

Fewer people were seen lining up outside the bank's branches on the news that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority injected HK$3.88 billion to the inter-bank market and that Li Ka-shing, the city's richest person, had bought BEA shares.

Thousands swarmed to Hong Kong's fifth largest bank by assets to withdraw money on Wednesday after rumors spread, questioning the bank's financial situation amid its exposure to the ongoing US financial meltdown. That was the first bank run in Hong Kong since 1997.

BEA Chairman David Li reassured depositors yesterday, saying that the bank is safe and strong. "I am buying shares," he told a reporter in the morning.

Most of the long lines outside the BEA outlets disappeared in the afternoon, and shares in the bank rebounded yesterday after a nearly 7 percent slump the previous day.

Financial Secretary John Tsang reiterated that the bank's financial position is sound and that it has adequate liquidity.

"If they need it, we will provide full support and liquidity," Tsang said. "There's no need to be nervous, we won't stand by and watch with our arms folded." The BEA has not sought any help from the government, he added.

However, the inter-bank market remained tight yesterday, with overnight inter-bank rates rising to nearly 4 percent and the one-month rates trading above 4 percent.

The HKMA injected HK$3.88 billion into the city's inter-bank market, the second injection in less than two weeks, to ease credit tightness and counter deposit outflow from the BEA.

Joseph Yam, the chief executive of the HKMA, said the authority will add more liquidity to the banking system if necessary. "There is no problem in Hong Kong's banking system and bank deposits in the city are safe," he said.

Crowds began to gather outside BEA branches on Wednesday after text messages flashed across the city warning the bank was unstable as it held a large number of assets linked to Lehman's and AIG.

BEA said the messages are "malicious rumors" and has reported the case to police.

In a statement, BEA said its exposure was HK$422.8 million to Lehman's and HK$49.9 million to AIG, out of consolidated assets of HK$396.6 billion.

Merrill Lynch said in a research note the bank has a "sufficiently robust" liquidity and capital position, according to Dow Jones Newswires.


Widely used A320 to begin assembly in Tianjin

Lan Xinguo, chairman of Sichuan Airlines, is proud his company was the first Chinese airline to operate the Airbus A320 aircraft.

It will also be the first Chinese airline to operate the aircraft assembled in the Airbus A320 assembly line in Tianjin.

The new assembly line in Tianjin will officially open at the end of the month, with its first aircraft delivered to Sichuan Airlines on lease from Dragon Leasing in mid 2009.

Lan said that facts have proved that the decision to operate Airbus A320 aircraft was right and wise.

The airline has benefited from high reliability and low costs of the aircraft, he said.

There are more than 350 A320s now in service by 12 operators on the Chinese mainland and still more than 400 on order.

Worldwide, more than 6,300 Airbus A320s have been sold and more than 3,500 delivered to some 280 customers and operators worldwide, making it one of the world's best-selling commercial jetliners ever.

With the successful entry into service of the A320 in 1988, Airbus expanded it into a family that includes A318, A319, A320 and A321 in the following years.

The Airbus family grew in its effort to give customers the opportunity to build fleets with maximum flexibility. Thanks to fly-by-wire commonality, an airline can operate Airbus aircraft across a whole range of sectors, from short-haul to ultra long-haul, switching cross-qualified pilots and crews according to needs at short notice. Maintenance costs are also lower, a significant benefit to operators.

Airbus pioneered the fly-by-wire concept with its A320 family, and years of reliable service around the world have proven its significant benefits through commonality, improved flight safety, reduced pilot workload, a reduction of mechanical parts and real-time monitoring of all aircraft systems. The use of a digital cabin management system on all A320 aircraft makes the control of interior lighting, temperature, audio, video and other systems quick and easy through a centralized data system.

The A320's fly-by-wire technology was not only a way of improving flight control and reducing weight. It enabled Airbus to take safety to a new level by introducing the flight envelope protection.

A320 family's advanced technology and maximum operational flexibility result in lower fuel burn, reduced maintenance costs, lower direct operating costs and higher residual values than competing aircraft.

The wider fuselage also provides increased cargo capability. The A319, A320 and A321 are unique in their category in offering a containerized cargo loading system that is essential for profitable cargo operations.

The advantages of the A320 family's wide fuselage extends below the main cabin into the underfloor cargo holds, which are wider and deeper than any other single-aisle aircraft, and accommodate airline-standard LD3 containers also used on wide-body aircraft.

A further advantage the A320 offers is its wider cabin, enabling airlines to install more spacious seats with a wider aisle.

The cabin size and shape allows for larger overhead stowage compartments to be fitted, which offer more convenience and lead to faster boarding and deplaning.

A320 in China

China Southern Airlines is the largest A320 family aircraft operator in the country, with 105 of the aircraft in service. China Eastern operates 96, Air China 42, Sichuan Airlines 37, Shenzhen Airlines 19 while Hainan Airlines 17.

Start-up airlines in China, such as United Eagle Airlines, Junyao Airlines, East Star and Spring Airlines also chose the A320 for their fleets. The low costs are one of the reasons for their choice.

In addition, the commonality between the A320 and other larger Airbus aircraft such as A330/A340 and the double-decker A380 as well as the new A350XWB to be in service in 2013 will help these companies upgrade their fleet to larger Airbus aircraft.

Source:China Daily

Garbage power plant to transmit electricity in S. China

Kaisheng Thermal Power Plant, a plant yielding electricity by making use of chicken waste and hull in Guangze County, south China's Fujian Province, will be combined into grid and generate power by November this year.

The plant, established jointly by Guangze Shengnong Group and Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Engineering Co.Ltd with a total investment of 240 million yuan, is Fujian's first environment-friendly and biomass-fired power plant with installed capacity of 20 megavolt ampere .

By People's Daily Online

Indonesia official says China not dumping sodium

Indonesian Anti-Dumping Committee said Thursday that China was not dumping sodium tripolyphosphate into Indonesia, according to local daily Bisnis Indonesia.

Therefore, the products will not be charged for import tariff of anti-dumping.

"KADI did not charge import tariff for STPP from China, because the accusation had not been proved," said KADI chairperson Halida Miljani.

STPP is used in various applications such as a preservative for seafood, meats, poultry and pet foods. It is also used in toothpaste and as a builder in soaps and detergents, improving their cleansing ability.