Premier Zhu Rongji presides over the first plenary meeting of the new State Council, pointing out "four tasks, five requests and three disciplines" for building a clean and efficient government.

President Jiang Zemin receives Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University.

President Jiang Zemin meets Belarussian parliamentary delegation led by Anatoly Alexandrovich Malofeyev, speaker of the House of Representatives (lower chamber), and Pavel Shipuk, speaker of the House of Republics (upper chamber).

Premier Zhu Rongji will attend the second Asia-Europe meeting to be held in London on April 3-4. Zhu will also pay official visits to Britain and France at the invitations of British Prime Minister Blair and French Prime Minister Jospin.

Mozambique President Joaquim Alberto Chissano is to visit China from March 28 to April 3 at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao.

Nanning, Guangxi, has set a good example for developing cities to improve their sanitation environment through setting up dustbins in front of every stall, keeping traffic orders by street police posts and regulating taxicab service.

News in brief:
*Photo: Sightseeing on top of the dam of Three Gorges.
*Popular science organizations are common in Wuhan.
*Liaoning has made use of $15 billion of foreign investment. Investors from almost 100 foreign countries have established 6,872 enterprises in the province.
*Starting March 30, a Boeing 757 of the Southwestern Airlines will fly between Chongqing and Nagoya.
*First generating unit of Yunnan Qujing Power Plant begins operation.


People's Bank of China has announced that interest rates on bank loans and deposits will be lowered with effect from March 25.

People's Bank of China spokesman is interviewed on lowering interest rates and reform of the deposit fund system.

Economic review on implementing the policy of protecting farmland in the past 10 months

China General Technology (Group) Holding Ltd (Genertec) is founded in Beijing.


Ringleaders of a criminal group were executed in Qinghai Province. According to Qinghai Supreme People's Court, the criminal group of 15 youths aged 17-23 have committed 34 cases of gang-rape and robbery by violence, disguised as public security police or anti-explosion police, for more than a year in the city of Xi'ning. Other criminals are sentenced to 5-20 years' imprisonment.

Beijing mayor Jia Qingling praises Beijing Public Security Police and Armed Police for their good work during the two sessions of Ninth NPC and CPPCC held in Beijing.


Eleven departments under the State Council have issued a circular to call for helping the disabled as the Day for the Disabled will fall on May 17. The 17 million disabled people make up one third of the total people below poverty line in China.

Vice-Premier Li Lanqing meets Belarussian parliamentary delegation.

Vice-Premier Li Lanqing meets Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University.

Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan talks with visiting Guinean Foreign Minister Lamine Kamara.

The nine-part VCDs on Marshals of PRC are released to commemorate 9 revolutionary veterans: Zhu De, Peng Dehuai, Liu Bocheng, He Long, Chen Yi, Luo Ronghuan, Xu Xiangqian, Nie Rongzhen and Ye Jianying.

Opinion: On tackling difficulties

China Eastern Airlines won the highest flight-safety award.


Cash income per capita farmer in Hunan Province was 2,217.67 yuan in 1997, an increase of 14.1% over that of 1996, which contributed greatly to scientific and technological farming.

Legend Computer Co. has carried out a structural reform to face challenges from international rivals.

Shortage of funds is the biggest problem for farm research, according to Agricultural Policy Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

State Meteorological Administration releases 1997 China Weather Communique.

On March 23, a forum is held in Beijing to mark the 20th anniversary of the convening of the National Science Conference

Artists who participated in the performances along the Nanning-Kunming Railway are awarded in Beijing.

State-recommended books have become bestsellers.


Congratulations to newly elected Chinese leaders from foreign VIPs

Russian President Boris Yeltsin chaired a conference of President's Office on March 24.

Analysis: Why Yeltsin dismissed the Russian government?

US President Bill Clinton arrived in Accra on March 23 for his visits to six African countries.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan takes his time on his peaceful mediation mission in Middle East.

A trip to Northern Ireland (part 3), by People's Daily journalist Jiang Qianhong


Nigeria announces to reduce its daily oil production by 125,000 barrels.

The second conference on world telecom development opened in Valletta, the capital of Malta, on March 23.

Economic news from the Philippines and Thailand

El Nino and the abnormal weather, by Chao Jiping, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences


Review on Hilton Chinese Basketball League before the final

On March 23, China beat South Korea 6-0 in Group-C matches at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Budapest.

Chinese University Students Basketball League opened on March 19.

Contests in brief:
*Boxing, judo, martial arts and wrestling contests will be held on May 26-31 in Shenzhen's Window-on-the-World Park. Contestants will come from 30 countries and regions.
*National Auto Rally Championship will be held in Huairou, northeastern suburbs of Beijing, on May 7-10
*Yueyang International Dragon-boat Festival will be held June 26-28 in Hunan Province.
*China Golf Open will be held at Shanghai's Sun Island International Club on April 16-19.


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