ISLAMABAD, April 18 (Xinhua) -- A 100-member-strong youth delegation of Pakistan is to leave for China on Sunday on a week-long visit as a program of boosting exchanges between the two friendly countries. "The youths from all walks of life of Pakistan will have the chance to look at China and know more about China," said Charge d'Affairs Yao Jing of Chinese Embassy in Pakistan told youth delegation at a reception. Chinese President Hu Jintao invited 500 young people from Pakistan to visit China within five years when he paid a state visit to Pakistan in November, 2006. The program was launched in 2007. The program is aimed at "increasing mutual understanding" between the two countries and peoples, said Yao. Ullah Saif Shervani, secretary of Pakistani Ministry of Youth Affairs, expressed the hope that the delegation members could take the opportunity to learn from "friendly China" and help enhance "time-tested friendship" between the two countries. "I appreciate the Chinese government for the chance to visit," said Adil Taj, an university student in Islamabad. "We will work hard to make our own contribution to Pakistan-China friendship." The youth delegation is scheduled to visit Beijing, Urumqi and Lanzhou from April 19 to 27.
BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have ordered all-out efforts to combat the severe drought in the country's vast wheat-growing area to ensure a good summer harvest, a State Council meeting was told Thursday. The central government on Thursday decided to earmark another 300 million yuan (44 million U.S. dollars) as drought relief fund in additional to 100 million yuan already allocated. The fund will be used to buy agricultural machinery and other production materials. Lack of rainfall has led to severe drought in northern China, leaving about 141 million mu (9.3 million hectares) wheat or 43 percent of the country's total affected, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA). People irrigate the wheat field at Xiaolu Village in Yuzhou, a city in central China's Henan Province, on Feb. 4, 2009. Henan, China's major grain producer, issued a red alert for drought on Jan. 29. The provincial meteorological bureau said the drought is the worst since 1951. The drought has affected 63 percent of the province's 5.26 million hectares of wheat. About 145 million mu crops have been affected by the drought nationwide, or 40 million mu more than the same period last winter. Government at all levels should give anti-drought work a priority in an effort to stabilize grain production, increase farmers' income and ensure agricultural production, the State Council said. Relevant departments in local regions were asked to enhance farmland management, mobilize human resources, ensure technology service and enlarge irrigation areas. Efforts should also go to build emergency water resources projects and carry out artificial precipitation to alleviate water shortage and ensure drinking water for both people and livestock. The Ministry of Water Resources also said it would enhance supervision and launch emergency plan when necessary. Relevant departments should allocate special funds to aid poverty-stricken people in rural areas. The Cabinet said it will send working teams to eight drought-hit provinces to discuss anti-drought procedures. The MOA has already sent 12 working teams of experts to the drought-hit provinces, to instruct farmers on drought relief work. Plant diseases and pest prevention were discussed and local governments were advised to supervise and prevent the spread of severe animal diseases. Efforts should also be made to monitor or combat forestry fire, upgrade anti-disaster ability and avoid casualty, the State Council said.
BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- China will foster a number of globally competitive logistics companies by 2011, said a stimulus plan of the country's logistics industry released on the government website on Friday. All departments and local governments are urged to make efforts to achieve the goal, according to the plan, issued by the State Council, or the cabinet. It said local authorities should help logistics companies solve problems in their development, realize a 10-percent annual growth in their output and lower the proportion of logistics expenses in the country's GDP. The cabinet said in a notice that the country's logistics industry was affected by the unfolding global financial crisis. The stimulus plan was designated not only to promote its industrial upgrade but support development of other industries, expand consumption and increase employment. As a composite service industry, logistics, comprising transport, storage, information industries and freight agencies, is an important part of national economy, said the plan. The cabinet has rolled out support plans for ten industries including steel, auto and textile, targeting industrial growth, as well as restructuring and upgrading.
BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- With folk dances and songs, China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Wednesday unveiled their year-long exchange program, "China-DPRK Friendship Year." Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his DPRK counterpart, Kim Yong Il, attended the premiere of friendship year, together with ministers of foreign affairs, trade and culture of both countries. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) and his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il wave during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the China-DPRK diplomatic relations and the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009."It is of great significance for China and the DPRK to stage the Friendship Year, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations," Wen said in a speech at the start of the gala. Wen said the DPRK was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. The two countries forged diplomatic relations on Oct. 6, 1949, days after the People's Republic of China was founded. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) delivers a speech as his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il listens during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the China-DPRK diplomatic relations and the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009. "The exchange program spells out the shared aspiration of both countries to cherish their traditional friendship and commit to good-neighbor cooperation," Wen said. "With joint efforts, I am convinced that the China-DPRK Friendship Year will reach its expected goals and yield fruitful results," Wen said. The year-long exchange program will cover a series of cultural events like art performances, photo exhibitions and art shows. Premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il (L) delivers a speech as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao listens during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the China-DPRK diplomatic relations and the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009.Kim, who was on his first visit to China since taking office in April 2007, said DPRK-China friendship was the common treasure of both nations. "Our party and government have paid much attention to the bilateral friendship and committed themselves to promoting the development of our traditional friendship," Kim said. Kim said the DPRK would work with China to make the Friendship Year a success. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd R, 2nd Line) and his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il (3rd L, 2nd Line) wave as they pose for a group photo with performers after the performance for the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009.Following the leaders' speeches, more than 2,000 people from both countries watched an hour-long gala featuring folk songs and dances from both countries. During his five-day visit to China, Kim will also meet with other Chinese state leaders. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (6th R, 2nd Line) and his counterpart of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Il (4th L, 2nd Line) wave as they pose for a group photo with performers after the performance for the launch of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2009.
BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese leaders paid visits on Thursday and Friday to the 2009 Energy Saving, Emissions Reduction and New Energy Science and Technology Expo, which is held at the Beijing Exhibition Hall from March 19 to 23. The leaders of the state and the Communist Party of China included Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang. Chinese President Hu Jintao (4th L) talks with an exhibitor in the 2009 China International Energy Saving, Emission Reduction and New Energy Science and Technology Expo at the Beijing Exhibition Center in Beijing, capital of China, on March 20, 2009. President Hu visited the expo on March 20.They looked around the booths, watching carefully fuel cell cars, hybrid electric vehicles and new energy-saving washing machines, and getting to know the latest measures the government has taken for emission reduction and new energy development. Hu Jintao emphasized that China should enhance its energy saving and continue to develop renewable energy sources in light of the present global economic downturn. China would take an active part in international cooperation to cope with climate changes and jointly build ecological civilization together with other countries, Hu said. Wu Bangguo (2nd R), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, visits the 2009 China International Energy Saving, Emission Reduction and New Energy Science and Technology Expo at the Beijing Exhibition Center in Beijing, capital of China, on March 20, 2009. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) looks at exhibits in the 2009 China International Energy Saving, Emission Reduction and New Energy Science and Technology Expo at the Beijing Exhibition Center in Beijing, capital of China, on March 19, 2009. Premier Wen visited the expo on March 19
BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday evening hosted a gala to mark the traditional Lantern Festival. Top leaders including President Hu Jintao and representatives from Beijing's intellectual circle attended the event. Prior to the gala's opening, Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, addressed the participants on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hu Jintao (C) talks with delegates from the intelligentsia during a get-together marking the traditional Lantern Festival at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 9, 2009. The CPC Central Committee hosted a get-together here on Monday to mark the Lantern Festival He said the year 2008 was very extraordinary, during which the CPC Central Committee with Hu as the General Secretary led the Party and the nation to win the victory in combating unusual natural disasters, to successfully host the Olympics and Paralympics, and complete the mission of flying the Shenzhou VII manned spacecraft. The year 2009 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of new China, and it is also a pivotal year to face big international and domestic challenges and realize new development in promoting the Party and the country's causes, he said. The official urged the intellectual circle to shoulder the historic mission and continue to contribute wisdom and strength to the country's reform and opening-up drive and the socialist modernization. Other leaders attending the gathering included Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang. The Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, is an occasion for family reunion. It marks the formal end of lunar New Year festivities.
HAIKOU, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Traffic had been resumed on Sunday on the highway that had been flooded by collapse of a small reservoir on March 27, in south China's Hainan Province, local authorities said. The Wanning section of the province's eastern expressway had been resumed in both directions at 8:00 p.m. after nine days of reconstruction work, said an official with the provincial Communication Department. The Bofeng reservoir, with a designed water storage capacity of1.02 million cubic meters, collapsed at about 10 p.m. in Xinglong Town, Wanning City. The ensuing floods washed out a slip road to the province's eastern expressway and swept away two cars, injuring three people in the vehicles. The water also inundated 20 hectares of farmland and caused slight damage to three riverside houses. The municipal water conservancy administration had claimed that only 100,000 cubic meters of water burst from the reservoir. However, Chen Xingzhang, secretary of the CPC municipal committee of Wanning, doubted its credibility. Vehicles had to detour around the flooded road over the past days. The reservoir was being reinforced at the time of the accident. An investigation showed that workers of a company in charge of the project exploded part of the cofferdam before the water dropped to the safety level, which led to the collapse. The scheme had no approval from authorities at the time. The construction contractor, Hongda Water Conservancy Projects Co, Ltd., based in Henan Province, and the project supervising company, Hainan Institute of Water Conservancy and Power Construction Survey and Design, were banned from carrying out further business in the city. Police have detained four project workers in connection with alleged safety violations that led to the collapse in the province, the local Communist Party of China (CPC) committee said Monday. Chen Ruchuan, former head of the water conservancy administration of Wanning City, and two deputy heads, were also sacked from their posts Monday, according to the Wanning municipal committee of the CPC. The local government has been working on a plan to compensate people affected in the accident.
XI'AN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang urged local governments Tuesday to accelerate industrial restructuring and development in western regions and boost domestic consumption to offset the impact of the global downturn. Li made the remarks during an inspection tour of the country's northwestern Shaanxi Province, which ran from Sunday to Tuesday. Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) talks with a salesman about the process of bringing home appliances to the countryside in a market of Yan'an, a city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on March 17, 2009. Li Keqiang made an inspection of Shaanxi Province recentlyHe urged local authorities to take measures to achieve smooth, relatively rapid economic growth this year. He urged the Chinese people to be confident in coping with uncertain times. "Equipment manufacturing is a sector of strategic importance. Local governments should do more to implement industry stimulus plans, promote innovation and build up large domestic companies," he said. Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (R, Front) shakes hands with a veteran in a beadhouse in Yan'an, a city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on March 17, 2009. Li urged companies to develop new technology, new products and foster new industries to become more competitive. He also called on local governments to sincerely apply policies aimed at helping farmers buy household appliances to stimulate consumption, as potential demand in western and rural areas was huge. As of Feb. 1, China's more than 900 million farmers became eligible for subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated home appliances. The subsidy was originally offered in a pilot program in three provinces in 2007. Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd, R) inspects in a workshop of AVIC Xi'An Aircraft Industry (Group) Company in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on March 17, 2009
BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Credit extended by China's banks in the first quarter hit 4.58 trillion yuan (670 billion U.S. dollars), the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said Saturday. In March alone, new yuan-denominated loans increased 1.89 trillion yuan. It was the third straight month that new loans exceeded 1 trillion yuan. "It is not beyond market expectations. The increase was boosted by the 4-trillion-yuan stimulus plan and showed the possibility of a faster economic recovery in China compared with other countries," said Zhang Qizuo, vice director of China International Economy Society. Premier Wen Jiabao said on March 5 at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, that new yuan-denominated loans this year were expected to reach 5 trillion yuan. Historical data show the first-quarter bank credit usually accounts for more than 60 percent of the year's total. "There is a time lag between the credit increase and actual use of capital, but the big increase will surely lay a solid foundation for the recovery of the real economy," said Zhang. In the first quarter, the central bank withdrew 47.3 billion yuan from circulation, 78.5 billion yuan more than the same period of last year. "The increase in currency withdrawal from circulation showed the central bank was carefully watching the credit growth," said Yuan Gangming, an economist with Tsinghua University. Zhuang Jian, an economist at the Asian Development Bank, said the regulators should pay attention to the quality of new loans and prevent bad loans. By the end of February, non-performing loans by Chinese banks totaled 1.53 trillion yuan, 17.5 billion yuan less than the start of the year. The structure of credit growth was also improving. The proportion of bill financing fell to about 22 percent in March from 47 percent in February, though still much higher than the average of 5 percent. "The decline in bill financing is a good sign. It means company activities are increasing and the credit's impact on the economy is strengthening," said Zhuang. Through March, the M2 figure -- a broad measure of money supply,which covers cash in circulation and all deposits -- grew 25.5 percent from a year earlier to 53.06 trillion yuan. The narrow measure of money supply, M1 (cash in circulation pluscorporate current deposits), was up 17.04 percent year on year to 17.65 trillion yuan. "The fast rebound of M2 indicates China's liquidity is abundant. This is very important to the economic recovery. The sharp rise of M1 shows companies are increasing spending on investment and management." said Zhang Bin, an economist with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.