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News In Chinese Media

Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Current Events

·Record Number Apply for Annual Bar Exam in China

·China's Qinghai-Tibet Highway Upgraded

·China Breeding Super Hybrid Rice

·First Village-run, State-level Port in China

·China Stages Trade Fair in Nigeria


·Gas Utilization up in China's Energy Consumption

·General Motors Says China Could Be Biggest Auto Market

·China's TV Giant Aims to Enter Top-500 Company List

·Good Prospect for China's Textile Exports

·China's Overseas Tourism Income Up 18 Percent in July

·Shanghai Hosts International Film Festival in October

·China Stages Children's Handicrafts Exhibition

City News
·Ten Parks in Beijing Preparing for National Day Tour
IT Information
·More HK Small Enterprises Urged to Use E-Business
·China on Way to World Steel Power

·Chinese Farmer Rescues Injured Golden Eagle

·China's Poorest County Battles Adversity

·Chinese Police Continue Rounding Up Fugitives

Current Events:
Record Number Apply for Annual Bar Exam in China

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua) -- A record high 182,770 would- be attorneys have registered to take the annual bar examination this year, representing a sharp increase of 28 percent over 1998, the All-China Lawyers Association (ACLA) said here today.
The number of applicants to the bar has been increasing year-on- year since 1986, when the first such national examination was inaugurated.
A senior lawyer with the ACLA said that the law has become one of the most sought-after professions in the country as a complete legal system is in the making and rule of law is becoming a part of life for the Chinese.
"Lawyers are playing an increasingly important role in Chinese society," he said.
According to the bar association, over half of this year's applicants are college graduates under age 30. And a considerable proportion of them are government employees.

China's Qinghai-Tibet Highway Upgraded

LHASA, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Upgrading of the Qinghai-Tibet (Xining-Lhasa) highway, the main highway passage leading to southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, has been completed.
The roadbase of the highway has been deepened, 13 bridges have been added, and road surfaces on dangerous parts have been widened, a local official said.
Cars can now run at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour on the highway, double the original figure.
Work on the highway started in 1991. The total cost reached 1.3 billion yuan (156.6 million US dollars).
Qinghai-Tibet highway is one of the four roads that go to Tibet from inland China, but it receives more than 85 percent of the total transport volume. The highway went into operation in 1954.
A 500 km section of the 1,937-km highway is built on the frozen soil, which makes the highway vulnerable to damages.
Tibet currently has no railways because of its adverse climate and mountainous conditions.

China Breeding Super Hybrid Rice

CHANGSHA, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Yuan Longping, who is known as the "father of hybrid rice", announced here today that his hybrid rice research center has developed a super high-yield hybrid rice.
Yuan, whose hybrid rice has added some 300 billion kg of grain in China over the past 20 years, made the announcement after 12, 000 kg of grain per hectare was produced on a dozen experimental fields in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Yunnan, and Guangdong provinces in three executive years.
The record yield of 17,055 kg per hectare was registered in Yongsheng County in Yunnan.
The results have been confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Super rice yields are 30 percent higher than those of common rice, according to Xin Naiquan, of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Agronomists have been trying to increase rice yields to prepare for the population explosion that is expected next century. The first super rice breeding program began in Japan in 1981 but has not proven successful. The International Rice Research Institute then started the super rice program in 1989 to develop 12,000 kg of rice per hectare by 2005.
Yuan's center began the Ministry of Agriculture's super rice program in 1996 to increase per hectare yield to 10,500 kg by 2000, and the goal has been reached before the deadline.
Hybrid rice has been planted on some 200 million hectares in China and has been introduced into some 20 countries and regions.

First Village-run, State-level Port in China

JINAN, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Longyan port in the east China coastal city of Rongcheng, the country's first top-level port set up by a village, is now open to overseas vessels.
Located on the southern tip of the Shandong Peninsula, the port is the nearest port of entry from the Republic of Korea (ROK). Navigation routes to Japan, ROK, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asian nations have already opened.
The Ministry of Communications has granted the village-run outlet a Category-A port of entry. The port has two 50,000-tonnage, two 10,000-tonnage, three 3,000 to 5,000-tonnage berths and two container berths.
The investment for the port, totaling nearly 300 million yuan ( 36.3 million US dollars), was collected by Xixiakou village, whose annual revenues have reached 610 million yuan, thanks to the development of fishery, ocean shipping and joint ventures.

China Stages Trade Fair in Nigeria

LAGOS, September 13 (Xinhua) -- An economic and trade fair sponsored by China's Tianjin city opened in downtown Lagos on Monday.
The fair, first of this kind in the country by Tianjin, a city with a population of nine million and directly under the jurisdiction of the central government, is to last for five days in the Nigeria's commercial capital.
Among those addressing the opening ceremony of the event are Vice Governor of Lagos State Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Deputy National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Adeohu Balogum and China's Ambassador to Nigeria Liang Yinzhu.
"Nigeria, with a population of well over 100 million people and abundant mineral resources, is an attractive country for investment by business operators who have the West African sub-region in view," Balogum said while opening the fair.
He also expressed the hope that Nigeria could benefit from the wealth of experience which Chinese businesses have acquired over the years in various sectors, especially in the machinery and electrical fields.
The fair mainly features on textiles, stationary & sporting goods, household appliances, medicine & health products, metals & minerals, machinery & equipment and other products made in Tianjin city and its adjacent areas.

Gas Utilization up in China's Energy Consumption

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua)-- China's proven natural gas reserve will increase by an annual average 120 billion cu m between 2001 and 2020, with gas utilization accounting for eight percent of China's energy use, over the present two percent.
According to the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country's annual gas output will hit 110 billion cu m to 130 cu m at most in the next century, and in 2020, China will produce 100 billion cubic meters of gas, equivalent to 100 million tons of crude oil.
The Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Basin in northwest China, the site of China's largest gas field, has so far verified gas reserves of 309. 7 billion cu m, ranking among the world's 80 largest gas fields.
About 100 billion cubic meters of gas reserve has been proven in the eastern part of southwest China's Sichuan Province, which shows the enormous potential for further gas exploration.
The Tarim Basin has become a new hot spot for gas exploration. And a large-sized gas production base is taking shape in the basins of Turpan-Hami and Junggar in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.
The fast-growing gas exploration has boosted the development of gas pipelines, said a CNPC official.
The gas pipeline network in Sichuan Province has successfully carried gas to the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou as well as the Chongqing Municipality for industrial and civilian use.
With the completion of the Shaanix-Beijing gas pipeline, it is possible for the gas production bases in the west China to provide gas for the developed cities in the east China. The country is still giving priority to developing gas markets in north China centering on Beijing.
The country plans to set up a gas pipeline network spanning all of eastern China, linking gas production bases with economically- developed areas such as north China, northeast China and the Yangtze River Delta areas.
Experts from CNPC said that the country will use more than 100 billion cubic meters of gas annually simply by gas-fueling 80 percent of the oil-fueled large enterprises, half of the country's newly-built thermal power generators during the next decade, and 80 percent of its medium-sized cities.

General Motors Says China Could Be Biggest Auto Market

WASHINGTON, September 13 (Xinhua) -- China could be the largest market for automobiles in 20 to 25 years if the country's economy continues to grow at the current rate, said G. Richard Wagoner, Jr, president and chief operating officer of General Motors Corporation (GM).
Wagoner, who spoke to a group of Chinese reporters in Detroit in a recent interview, said, "The fact is that today China is already in production and sales a large market with over a million and half units sold last year."
"There's no country in the world that has the combination of an existing large market today with the opportunity to grow so much over the next decade or two decades," Wagoner said.
He quoted some data as suggesting that "within 20 to 25 years, China could be the largest automobile market in the world."
GM's appearance in China dated back to 1922 with its Manila branch moved to Shanghai. In September 1924, a GM Buick four-door sedan and limousine were sold to Pu Yi, the last emperor of China.
However, it was not until 1990s that GM, realizing China is a big potential automobile market, started to establish joint ventures with Chinese enterprises.
"We haven't been aggressive and successful historically in the Asia-Pacific region. If we are not successful in China, that will continue. If we are, it provides an opportunity that would be effective not just in China, but throughout the region," Wagoner noted.
"We need to be successful in China," he said, expressing satisfaction at the cooperation with the Chinese partners.
Up to now, GM has participated in investment of over two billion US dollars in three active joint ventures -- Shanghai GM, the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center and Jinbei GM located in Shanghai and Shenyang, employing over 2,000 people.
In October 1998, the first four-speed automatic transmission Buick produced in China came off the assembly line in Shanghai GM, a 50-50 percent joint venture between GM and Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC). Regular production began in April 1999.
Speaking of the challenges facing the automotive industry, Wagoner said that globalization is the major challenge and his company is "well-positioned" to address it.
"The auto business is undergoing a rapid change as many industries as a matter of fact, and it relates very much to the fact that the trend towards globalization of industry is accelerating. And that provides great opportunities ... and also provides challenges."
"We, GM, are relatively uniquely well positioned to address these opportunities because we have a tradition of operating in many countries around the world in many cases for 70 to 75 years," he said.
"But I think it requires us to use our technology and capability effectively around the world in variety of markets and use the skills and capabilities of all our people around the world effectively," Wagoner said.
Wagoner, who is expected to attend the Fortune Global Forum in Shanghai later this month, told reporters he viewed the forum as a chance to learn from others.
"I view it as an opportunity to dialogue with the senior leadership of China and Shanghai as well as other executives in a broad range of industries to talk about opportunities in China," he noted.
GM sold 8.165 million units of cars and trucks last year and its sales volume is 161.3 billion US dollars. It remained number one among Fortune's top 500 firms in the world.

China's TV Giant Aims to Enter Top-500 Company List

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Sichuan Changhong Electronic Company, China's largest TV manufacturer, has an ambition to be among the world's top 500 industries before 2010.
Changhong will take in 100 billion yuan (12.048 billion US dollars) in sales income annually by then, said Ni Runfeng, the company's president and general manager.
The company, located in China's important industrial and scientific research center Mianyang, a city in Sichuan Province, southwest China, produces and sells televisions and related consumer electronics.
The company, which was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 1994, reported annual sales of 11.6 billion yuan last year, with total assets exceeding 18 billion yuan. It now leads the 50 most competitive companies in the Shanghai bourse.
Ni believes that as Europe and the US are restructuring their industries, the processing industry will gradually emerge in a large scale in China, providing opportunities for Changhong.
In two or three years there will be intense competition among Chinese electronic giants, as was the case in Japan in the 1980s, and survivors of the game will get a much bigger market share, according to him.
Over the past two years, Changhong has been trying to convert from solely a color TV manufacturer into a large-scale producer of electronic information products for ordinary families.
Last month, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China provided a credit of 4.149 billion yuan and 70 million US dollars to Changhong to support its cable TV HFC Net's digital project.
Ni said Changhong's next step is to develop the international market. Many countries like India, Russia and some in South America have shown interest in technological cooperation with his company.
Some of world's top-500 companies like Toshiba, NEC, Philips and Sanyo have already established joint research centers with Changhong to develop new technology.

Good Prospect for China's Textile Exports

KUNMING, September 13 (Xinhua) -- China's textile industry, which reported a decline in exports in the first six months of this year, will have a good chance to recover with adjustment of its product structure and the globalization of world trade, experts said today.
Figures from a recent national conference organized by the China Chamber of Commerce for Textile Products show that China's exports of textiles were 82.94 billion US dollars during the January-June period this year, down 4.6 percent on an annual basis, and garment exports sustained a 20 percent drop to 16.2 billion dollars.
Inside sources attributed the decrease to the unfavorable economic environment at home and abroad and the anti-dumping and other restrictive policies adopted by some countries.
China has become the world's largest textile producer, and its textile exports increased from 6.44 billion dollars in 1985 to 45. 6 billion dollars in 1997, representing an average annual growth rate of 17.7 percent.
It is estimated that the country's textile export will grow by 50 million dollars a year if its entry to the World Trade Organization is approved.
Experts have called for further reform of state-owned textile enterprises and the development of non-state enterprises to enhance their competitive strength in the world market.

China's Overseas Tourism Income Up 18 Percent in July

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua) -- China said today that it hosted 6.26 million overseas tourists in July and earned 1.27 billion US from the services, which represented a year-on-year increase of 16.18 percent and 18.12 percent respectively.
According to the National Tourism Administration, the overseas tourists included 718,000 foreigners, 22.6 percent more than a year earlier; 5.28 million from Hong Kong and Macao, 15.26 percent more; and 250,000 from Taiwan, 20 percent more.
In the first seven months of this year, China received a total of 40.95 million overseas tourists and earned 8.13 billion US dollars, increasing by 15.13 percent and 15.53 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.

Shanghai Hosts International Film Festival in October

SHANGHAI, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Film studios from over 45 countries and regions have sent more than 340 films to the Shanghai International Film Festival scheduled to run on October 22 to 31.
One of the nine biggest film festivals in the world, the Shanghai International Film Festival was established in 1993 and has received worldwide attention.
The Organizing Committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival closed a deal on Wednesday which designates Air China as its official carrier.
Air China has been offered the opportunity many times since 1988 due to its service record that boasts 44 years of safe flight.

China Stages Children's Handicrafts Exhibition

TIANJIN, September 13 (Xinhua) -- An exhibition of hundreds of examples of Chinese children's artwork opened today in the city of Tianjin, the large port in north China.
The two-day exhibition's theme is "Dreams of Chinese Children". The exhibits are part of a collection of Gu Ying, a famous writer of children's readings, who took twelve years to put it together.
They includes handicrafts from all 56 ethnic groups in China, and items made out of fabric, toys, musical instruments, earthenware, and wood carvings.
A seminar on children's handicrafts will be held tomorrow in Beijing also.

City News:

Ten Parks in Beijing Preparing for National Day Tour

Beijing, September 13 (Xinhua)--Beijing's ten major parks are busy preparing for a five-day tour program as part of the mass activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of New China, an official said.
Tens of thousands banners, a million of flowers and 80 big flower terraces will redecorate the 10 selected parks, where two million local residents are expected to go to spend their National Day holidays during October 1-5, according to Feng Shouren, executive deputy chief director of the National Day park tour headquarters.
The ten parks, which are in the easy reach of urban residents, are the Summer Palace, Zhongshan Park, Working People's Palace of Culture, Beihai Park, Jingshan Park, Yuyuantan Park, Tiantan Park, Grand View Garden, Chinese Ethnic Group Theme Park and World Park, Feng told at a press conference organized by All-China Journalists Association.
"People are free to buy tickets and join the park tour this year," he said. Such kind of activities used to be organized and require special invitation cards.
The theme of this year's park tour differs from one park from another, he said. For example, dragon boat race and colorful boats will come in the limelight in the water-surrounded Summer Palace.
According to him, 20 stage shows and 120 spots for mass cultural activities will be available in the ten parks.

IT Information
More HK Small Enterprises Urged to Use E-Business

HONG KONG, September 13 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) Monday urged more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong to use e-business in the drive to turn the city into an innovation and technology center in Asia.
A recent survey on the adoption of e-business in Hong Kong showed that 65 percent of local companies have not used any form of e-business, and 93 percent of them have less than 10 staff, reflecting that local SMEs as a whole are slow in e-business adoption.
The survey was conducted jointly by the Institute of Information and Media Industries of the HKPC and IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd. A total of 3,702 local companies were interviewed and the result of the survey has been grossed up to the whole population of around 280,000 companies in Hong Kong.
"In the 21st century, the readiness of a company to adopt e- business will become a major determinant of its market competitiveness," said Thomas Tang, executive director of the HKPC.
Since over 98 percent of Hong Kong companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, how they perform in this area will directly effect the future of Hong Kong's economic development, he added.
To encourage a wider adoption of e-business, the HKPC will organize over 60 seminars and training workshops on e-business for the SMEs in the next six months, Tang said.
The announcement of the e-business adoption survey result is the first event under HKPC's campaign of "World of Innovation -- E- Commerce Week", and other events include the launch of the China PPNet, a Hong Kong-based information network to facilitate information exchange between companies in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
According to the International Data Corporation, e-commerce will be the dominant form of business transaction in the future. The number of Internet users worldwide is estimated at 112 million with a total online trade volume worldwide in 1998 topping 43 billion US dollars, while Hong Kong has to date over one million Internet users.

China on Way to World Steel Power

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua) --Fifty-years of expansion and growth have made China the world's top steel producer, but China is cutting its steel production to increase quality and efficiency in the sector.
The Chinese government recently announced that it would issue an additional 60 billion yuan worth of treasury bonds to help economic growth, with 15.3 billion yuan worth earmarked for technological renovation efforts of the country's old industries, including the key metallurgical industry.
Pu Haiqing, the new director of the State Administration of Metallurgical Industry, said that the government's support helps the industry's shift in focus from quantity to quality.
In the early 1950s, China could only produce 100 types of low quality rolled steel and the annual steel output was 158,000 tons.
In sharp contrast, more than 1,000 types of rolled steel are produced today, and, from 1996 to 1998, annual steel output exceeded 100 million tons, making it first in the world.
In 1953, the country's demand for rolled steel was 2.4 million tons and it imported 930,000 tons. In 1997, the country's demand for rolled steel was 110 million tons, 92 percent of which was produced domestically.
In 50 years, China has established a complete steel production system and 10 key steel enterprises that account for 50 percent of the country's steel.
From 1949 to 1998, fixed assets investment in the steel industry totaled 478.7 billion yuan and during that period, the sector had 553 billion yuan in pre-tax profits.
Pu said that the goal of the industry is to build China into a world steel power and to do this, it decided to cut production by 10 percent this year. This decision has been seen as a turning point and it will help China shift from top steel producer to a real steel power.
Steel output is expected to cut to 103 million tons this year. The country will impose stricter controls on steel imports and will no longer import anything that it can produce and it will make an effort to export 4 million tons of steel products.
The year's target is to pull 46 large and medium-sized State- owned enterprises out of the red and to get them to have total profits of 5 billion yuan.
Pu said that China's iron and steel industry has enormous market prospects. Apart from the low per-capita steel consumption, about 80 kg. a year, there are other factors that could increase demand for steel, like increasing infrastructure and housing construction. China will push the renovation of its older enterprises, develop hi-tech value-added products, and improve the proportion of quality steel to make China an true iron and steel power, Pu concluded.


Chinese Farmer Rescues Injured Golden Eagle

XI'AN, September 13 (Xinhua)-- An injured golden eagle, which is high on the state endangered species list, was rescued by a farmer in northwest China's Shaanxi Province recently.
Ding Yijun, who lives in Longtan village of a mountain area in southern Shaanxi, was working in his field when he found the unusual bird, which had a badly injured right wing.
Ding took the bird home and contacted local wild-animal protection workers, who examined it and confirmed it was the rare apuila chrysaetos (golden eagle), a bird of prey found scattered throughout China's northeast and northwest mountain.
Animal experts supervised the eagle's recovery, which lasted about ten days.
Elderly villagers said they had never seen such a bird in Longtan before.

China's Poorest County Battles Adversity

LANZHOU, September 13 (Xinhua) -- After struggling for years to overcome water shortages, China's most impoverished county has taken productive measures to cultivate water resources and improve its harsh environment.
Dingxi County in northwest China's Gansu Province has solved the problem of limited drinking water and irrigation by collecting rainwater. And local farmers are reporting profits from their sales of mineral water discovered in a mountain stream in the southern part of the county.
With 250,000 indigent, the county's poor rural population now makes up 3.2 percent of the total, compared with 70 percent in 1982.
In addition to developing water resources, the Dingxi people have also planted trees and grass and built terraces to combat water loss and soil erosion, which has improved conditions for farming.
Dingxi and Hexi in Gansu Province and Xihaigu in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region -- known as the "Three West" -- were the earliest poor regions in China to carry out the State's poverty- relief programs.
For the past 16 years, the government has allocated more than 200 million yuan (about 24 million US dollars) to Dingxi County for the purpose.
With this money, local residents have developed crop farming, livestock raising, labor service export, farm products processing and other industries. As a result, they are now able to develop their economy independently.
Local officials said that the county also will accelerate its move to open to the outside world, introduce foreign capital and cooperate with foreign businessmen.

Chinese Police Continue Rounding Up Fugitives

BEIJING, September 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police began a second nationwide action against fugitives from justice on September 10, the Public Security Ministry reported today.
In Shandong Province, east China, more than 36,000 police were mobilized to set up 1,200 checkpoints and to visit 250,000 places of public recreation and arrested 1,200 fugitives.
More than 11,000 police in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province in the northeast, visited some 1,000 places of public recreation and 10,000 leased houses to check some 65,000 people against National Fugitive Information Network files and arrested 53 fugitives.
Public Security Minister Jia Chunwang declared the action a success and urged the police to work for a final victory of the three-month campaign, which began on July 1, to create a better society for China's 50th founding anniversary and the smooth return of Macao.