News in Chinese Media

Xinhua News Agency
China To Encourage More Students To Return Home

Vice-Premier Li Lanqing told the newly-elected board of directors of the Western Returned Students' Association, China's largest non-governmental organization for students returning from study overseas, today that the Chinese government will continue to encourage and support more students to return to help the motherland.

Li praised the organization's role in encouraging students studying abroad to return home after finishing their studies and said that it has made a great contribution to social and economic development of China since it was founded about 80 years ago.

He also said he hopes it will be able to make a further contribution to the strategy of revitalizing the country through science and technology and help China face up to challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.

He said that all three generations of the Communist Party of China's leaders have paid great attention to sending Chinese students to study abroad and more than 300,000 have been sent abroad and nearly 100,000 have returned since 1979, when China began its reforms and opening-up and many have made a great contribution to China's modernization. Also present at the meeting were Wu Jieping, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Association's president; Ding Shisun, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and vice-president of the Association; and Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and head of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Association was founded in 1913 by Chinese scholars and scientists who returned to China after studying in Europe and the United States with the goal of fostering patriotism and introducing western culture to China. The present objective of the association is to promote friendship, academic exchanges and unity among its members and contribute to the country's modernization.

Date: 06/29/99

Xinhua News Agency
China to conduct national check-up on petroleum product quality

The State Administration of Petroleum and Chemical Industries has recently issued a notice regarding the national inspection of the quality of petroleum products processed by small refineries.

The notice required all small refineries, scaled at a capacity below 1 million tons/year, granted with national crude allocation in 1998 and able to produce unleaded gasoline with an octane number exceeding 90, to submit applications to their local superiors before July 10 for product quality inspection.

The State Bureau for Quality and Technical Supervision (SBQTS) is responsible for the product survey which is scheduled to be conducted in the third quarter of this year.

If these refineries fail to submit an application before July 10, the notice said, SBQTS will not conduct any product surveys on them and they will be considered unable to produce unleaded gasoline numbered over 90.

By the end of last year, China had had 156 small refineries, each with an annual capacity of one million tons, accounting for 75% of the total number of refineries in the country.

The notice also asked small refineries producing mainly asphalt to deliver detailed reports on their production to their immediate superiors before July 10.

Date: 06/29/99

Xinhua News Agency
Survey Shows Some European Firms Do Well Than Others in China

A recent survey shows that most European companies in China are doing well and believe that their performance will improve significantly within the next three years.

The survey, conducted by the Fiducia Co. Ltd. under the sponsorship of the Delegation of the European Commission in Beijing, looks into the situation of European investment in China and the reasons why some companies are more successful than others, according to Tuesday's China Daily.

Only 11 percent of the companies surveyed felt unsatisfied, and among the rest of the well-doing ones the joint ventures turned out to be more successful than wholly owned ones, the survey indicates.

The survey also shows that those successful companies in China provide the domestic market with products of the same quality as in Europe, and that they use local raw materials and semi-finished products to reduce costs.

In addition, successful companies have also spent more time visiting China before establishing a business, conducted more market tests than unsuccessful companies, and made good use of market surveys, especially those concerning potential demand and competition.

Date: 06/28/99

Xinhua News Agency
Chinese Trade Network Passes Y2K Test

China's trade network passed the test for the millennium bug problem, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC)'s China International Electronic Commerce Center (CIECC) has announced.

The test was carried out between last Friday and Sunday, when the CIECC network ran successfully on the virtual date of January 1st, 2000, and other five dates concerning the year 2000 question.

The result showed that the network, used in the administration of China's trade, could operate without problem when the millennium arrives.

CIECC's network, which links China's trade enterprises, is currently in charge of electronic bidding for trade quotas, import and export statistics, import and export enterprise codes and processing trade administration.

MOFTEC's official website and its subordinating sites are also under the CIECC network.

Date: 06/29/99

China Daily
Low price hurts turtle breeding

A traditional Chinese delicacy once enjoyed only by the rich _ are appearing more often on the dinner tables of many ordinary families.

The recent steep fall in the price of this delicious food has made it the more popular among Chinese consumers who have long since favoured it for both the good taste and high nutritional value.

While most people are glad now to have easier access to the delicious turtles, aquatic product industry members and agriculture officials are warning the sudden fall in price could harm the country's breeding of the soft-shelled creature.

Soft-shell turtles are known for their wonderful taste, high tonic value and even "magic effect" in enhancing virility. They have been on the prescription list of some traditional doctors for patients suffering from physical weakness, particularly for women after child bearing.

As late as the early 1990s, soft-shell turtles were still the honoured dish at grand banquets across China, when their price was as high as 500 yuan (US$60.20) a kilogram.

However, the price has nose-dived to about 60 yuan (US$7.20) a kilogram on the market today.

Some analysts say they believe the incursion of imported soft-shell turtles is to blame for the price plummeting on the Chinese market.

Ding Xiaoming, an official with the Fishery Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, would not rule out the possibility overproduction in domestic turtle breeding centres has outstripped market demand, hence the fall in price.

"The total number of turtle breeding farms in China is not known, but they have multiplied as a lot of farm households have rushed into the lucrative business over recent years," Ding said in an interview with China Daily yesterday.

However, the imported soft-shell turtles are now sold at about 60 yuan (US$7.20) a kilogram _ a price that was tantamount to the average production cost of each turtle bred on Chinese farms, according to the ministry sources.

Although the annual total number of soft-shell turtle imports was not immediately available, 12 turtle wholesalers at the Huangsha Aquatic Product Wholesale Market in Guangzhou, capital city of South China's Guangdong Province, have recently been importing more than 120 tons of turtle a day from Thailand, the China Fishery magazine reported in its June issue.

The importing of turtles, if not curbed, will drive many Chinese turtle breeding companies to bankruptcy, aquatic product industry members said.

Date: 06/30/99
Author: Zhao Huanxin

China Daily
New bus line to replace poorly managed minibus

WITH the opening up of the new "711" bus line in Beijing on June 30, a new kind of bus route starting with the number 7 will soon run on the streets of the city and should eventually replace the old-fashioned minibuses, Beijing Morning Post reported yesterday.

Already, buses bearing an identification starting with 6 had replaced some of Beijing's minibuses. The newly introduced buses have 28 seats.

The number of minibuses in Beijing has been declining for a while and will gradually disappear from the capital.

Aimed at helping residents access a greater number of areas, the new bus lines will have several stops in residential areas. The distance between stops will be shorter than usual, said officials.

As more and more passengers complain about the bad management of minibuses in Beijing, the new bus lines are expected to be better organized.

Unlike minibus lines which usually have several bus companies run over a same route, the new bus lines will only allow one company to operate on one route, so that it will be easier for passengers to make complaints, said the officials.

Date: 06/30/99

Dalian Daily
Hot Weather Normal- Meteorologic Experts

Temperature reached 31 degrees centigrade in the past two days, many people in Dalian felt it gets hot so suddenly.

Meteorologic experts said temperature in fact went up gradually from 25 degrees centigrade of last Thursday to 31 degrees centigrade instead of the sudden rise people felt. The reason for the hot weather in the past two days is that Dalian area is under the effect of warm-core anticyclone of the east Asia area. Meteorologic experts said though temperature this year is a little higher than the same period of last year, it is still within the normal sphere.

According to the prediction of meteorologic experts, the warm-core anticyclone of east Asia area will affect the weather in Dalian area for another couple of days.

Date: 06/29/99

Dalian Daily
DMCTI Opens Vocational Training Institute

With the enlarging of recruitment of higher learning institutes across the whole country, Dalian Managerial Cadres Training Institute plans to open its vocational training institute this year.

Established in 1979, DMCTI has transferred more than 8000 talents for the society and trained cadres of 60 thousand person times over the past 20 years.

The new vocational training institute will have 15 majors set like property management, senior secretary, computer, financial accounting, law etc.. Besides, two teaching buildings with a total space area of 20 thousand square meters have been erected, which are equipped with 100 computers, 3 language labs and 4 simulacrum offices for accounting, property management, secretary and lawcourt.

To speed up higher vocational education, leaders of DMCTI said they are confident to establish Dalian Vocational Training Institute on the present basis within five years, which by then will have 8000 students.

It said that altogether 1280 students will get chance to study at vocational institutes of Dalian this year, 248 more than the last year.

Date: 06/29/99