TRAINING A girl in Xiji County of the Ningxia
Hui Autonomous Region receives free training that will prepare
her for employment in the city.
Harmony Equals Opportunity for All
China has dedicated itself to encouraging social
harmony, but it is alarming to note that this might prove to be
an uphill struggle. At present, not everyone is satisfied with the
implementation of various rights of citizens that are prescribed
by law. Discrimination against migrant workers and various other
social injustices still exist. The first step toward addressing
these issues is to guarantee the legitimate rights of every Chinese
Everybody should have his or her personal dignity
protected by law. No one is to be subjected to unreasonable discrimination.
In a harmonious society, everyone should be given equal opportunity
for personal advancement. When formulating laws and public polices,
the needs and aspirations of all social groups should be taken into
account. More importantly, laws and policies should be implemented
in an impartial manner. The social barriers that hinder the development
of certain disadvantaged groups should also be eliminated.
Those who are in a favorable social position should
not be too hasty in asserting themselves. They must be aware that
their unrestrained quest for rights can only exacerbate social conflict,
which could prove detrimental to their interests in the long term.
The Beijing News
A Conscience for Conservation
China’s economic development has moved and
continues to move at rapid speed, exerting heavy pressure on the
country’s energy and other natural resources. Because China
has set its goals on quadrupling its 2000 GDP by 2020, it has to
work hard to build a conservation-minded society that will work
toward reducing energy consumption and enhancing energy efficiency.
A conservation-minded society is characterized by
an energy-efficient national economy and the economical consumption
of goods. In construction, for example, while the quality and safety
of projects are key, their impact on their surrounding environment
should also be taken into consideration. The need to save energy
and resources is a high priority. Leading government officials are
expected to set examples for their countrymen by working efficiently
and avoiding extravagance in their daily lives. This awareness for
conservation should also be instilled in the younger generation,
who must be reminded of China’s energy shortage. Further,
conservation is for everyone and people from all walks of life should
be committed to it.
People’s Daily Overseas
China’s Environmental Woes
It is alarming that drinking water that meets national
hygiene standards is not readily available to over 360 million rural
dwellers. This is according to Chen Yingxu, an environmental protection
expert and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s
Political Consultative Conference. He cited the figure in an appeal
for government action.
China recently stepped up its efforts in environmental
protection, but rural areas have, regretfully, been neglected in
those efforts. Industries notorious for being heavy polluters have
been relocated to the countryside. Such measures, whilst improving
conditions in the cities, spell bad news for the rural environment.
There is a pressing need to reverse this trend. Suggestions to tackle
the country’s environmental problems include establishing
ecological impact assessment mechanisms in rural areas in a bid
to stop the reckless transfer of pollution from the cities to the
countryside. In addition, more funds should be allocated for the
restoration of the damaged ecological system in the rural areas.
Equal importance has to be placed on protecting both
the urban and rural environments. Everyone is entitled to clean
air and water, no matter where they live.
Inequities in China’s Education
It would not be incorrect to say that education is
a social equalizer. However, despite the efforts China has made
to improve the education sector, many still do not have equal access
to a good education.
The government is not investing as much as it had
initially planned in education. Moreover, resources are not distributed
fairly. Schools in rural areas, in particular, are usually underfunded
and not well equipped. University admission policies that are unfair
to candidates from rural areas have only worsened the situation.
The education authorities have pledged to put this
problem at the top of their agenda. Some “rescue” measures
include extending loans to needy university students and waiving
school fees for students from impoverished families in China’s
hinterland. But, this is far from enough. A nationwide effort is
needed to address the problem of educational inequity.
TEST A volunteer receives an AIDS vaccine
injection in Nanning, Guangxi. The girl, who will undergo
a 180-day observation, was recruited publicly along with seven
others. Officials estimate that there are at least 840,000
people living with AIDS in China.
HK Election The government
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will work
to clear any hurdles in the lead-up to the chief executive by-election
in July according to the region’s Basic Law.
Acting HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen
made the remarks at a special meeting of the Legislative Council
on March 15.
He also pledged that the HKSAR Government would maintain
the policy continuity to guarantee law and order, social stability
and smooth market operation.
Tsang assumed the current post after former HKSAR
Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa resigned on March 10. Tung was elected
vice chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People’s
Political Consultative Conference at the top advisory body’s
annual session this month.
Dalai Lama Stance The Central Government’s
attitude toward the Dalai Lama remains unchanged despite the his
statement on March 10 that the way forward for the Tibetan people
is to “remain within China,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Liu urged the Dalai Lama to treat his comments “comprehensively
and objectively” if he wants to improve relations with the
“The Dalai Lama should genuinely renounce the
stand of ‘Tibet independence’ and stop all kinds of
separatist activities,” the spokesman added. He also called
on the Dalai Lama to openly declare and acknowledge that Tibet is
an inseparable part of China, that Taiwan is an inseparable part
of China and that the government of the People’s Republic
of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of
Space Study Expanded A top astronomer
said that China would install several large telescopes to further
scientific observation of the heavens.
According to Ai Guoxiang, head of the National Astronomical
Observatories, China plans to produce a telescope with the world’s
highest spectrum acquiring rate for use near its Beijing base.
The telescope will be open to foreign countries and
will have the capacity to survey 4,000 celestial bodies when it
Ai also revealed that the country plans to build
the world’s largest radio telescope in Guizhou Province to
receive electric waves from space and install a large telescope
in Yunnan Province in a bid to improve its astrophysics research.
China is also expected to launch its first space
solar telescope into orbit in 2008 to study solar physical frontiers.
Satellite Hijacked A satellite company
based in Hong Kong has accused computer hackers associated with
the Falun Gong organization of hijacking a satellite and disrupting
A statement released by Asia Satellite Telecommunications
Corp. (AsiaSat) said that Falun Gong promotional broadcasts were
aired at 9 p.m. on March 14 with the use the company’s 3S
satellite. The company was forced to shut down TV broadcasts to
some Chinese mainland provinces.
The deliberate attack seriously violated international
telecommunications treaties, contravened international regulations
and was in breach of the normal conduct of satellite operations,
Falun Gong, a cult, was banned in China in 1999.
Top Ship Maker China aims to turn
itself into the world’s largest shipbuilding nation and will
build more ships in the years ahead to meet a growing demand for
vessels in the international market, said He Rongguang, President
of Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industrial Co. Ltd.
China has ranked as the world’s third largest
shipbuilding nation for years and is “very likely” to
top the list in the near future if it can maintain current growth
momentum, He asserted.
OIL AGREEMENT Oil and energy officials from
China, Viet Nam and the Philippines sign a landmark agreement
in Manila this month to cooperate in oil exploration in the
South China Sea.
Shipping Merger The State Assets
Supervision and Administration Commission under the State Council
recently announced the merger of the Foreign Cargo Shipping Corp.
with the China Ocean Shipping Corp. (Group), with the former becoming
a wholly-owned subsidiary of the latter.
The recent move has reduced the number of state-owned
enterprises in China to 177 in total.
Only some 80 to 100 state-owned enterprises will
be retained under the reorganization plans of the government. Those
companies will mainly be in sectors of strategic importance to the
national economy, such as energy, metallurgy, automotives and heavy
industry as well as commerce and trade.
Fake Crop Chemicals The government
will intensify crackdown on counterfeit crop chemicals such as pesticides
and fertilizers, according to Minister of Agriculture Du Qinglin.
In 2004, China seized 9.9 million kg of inferior
pesticide, 15.8 million kg of inferior seeds and 79,000 tons of
inferior fertilizer. The seizures helped farmers retain 1.6 billion
yuan ($190 million) in losses, according to statistics of the Ministry
Early this month, Premier Wen Jiabao said rural concerns
about counterfeit crop chemicals would be a main focus of the Central
Government’s work in the agricultural sector this year.
Bus Firm’s EU Access King
Long Bus, based in Xiamen of Fujian, has become China’s first
automaker to be granted permission to enter the European market
by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), Britain’s transportation
With VCA certification King Long can now compete
with buses and coaches manufactured in the EU.
According to Xu Xiangdong, Vice President of King
Long United Automotive Industry Co. Ltd., the company will complete
its two-phase expansion plan by the end of 2006, which will involve
460 million yuan ($55.7 million) in investment. Upon completion,
King Long will be able to manufacture 13,000 vehicles annually.
Low Pollution Economy China is committed
to combating climate change in the coming decades and will work
on building an economy with low carbon emissions, said a senior
According to Liu Jiang, Vice Minister of China’s
National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese Government
for years has been supporting the development of new and renewable
energy sources such as biogas, solar energy, wind power and geothermal
Liu made the remarks at an international conference
in London this month on climate change and ways to reduce dependence
on fossil fuels. Energy and environment ministers from 20 countries
with big domestic energy needs participated in the discussion.
In another development, China has adopted the Law
on Renewable Energy this February.
Extending Reach Beijing-based Wangfujing
Department Store, China’s leading retailer, is speeding up
expansion by opening more outlets around the country and merging
with other brands.
The company will open another six to seven stores
this year in inland cities like Guiyang in Guizhou, Urumqi in Xinjiang
and Xi’an in Shaanxi, announced Liu Bing, Vice President of
Beijing Wangfujing Department Store (Group) Co. Ltd.
Wangfujing is expanding to compete with foreign brands
that have entered the Chinese market since the country fully opened
the retail sector at the end of last year, Li said.
Currently, Wangfujing has five stores in Beijing
and 10 more in other Chinese cities.
Retail ID System China has begun
building a system that will identify counterfeit retail products
in department stores, according to the China General Chamber of
Terminals will be installed inside department stores
where consumers can check information about retail products to find
out if they are counterfeit.
Manufacturers can apply to join the system
free of charge by registering detailed information about their products.
The system is part of the government’s efforts to safeguard
consumers’ rights and crack down on counterfeiting of name
brands, officials say.
Hundreds of Shanghai residents help out with a mural depicting
their interpretation of a harmonious society.
||BIG APPLE ORCHESTRA
The China Philharmonic Orchestra gives a performance
at the Lincoln Center in New York during its world tour.
|SCHOOL YARD FUN
A British teacher plays a game with her students in a school
for children of migrant rural workers in Hangzhou, Zhejiang
||AIKIDO TAKE DOWN
Students of the Chinese People’s Public
Security University learn the art of aikido at the beginning
of a new semester.