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News letter Issue No. 10

  Issue No. 10

 20 February, 2009

Chinese President Hu Jintao concluded his five-nation journey of friendship and cooperation on February 17. The tour, which started on Feb. 10, took President Hu to Saudi Arabia, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.

The visit was of important significance to further advance the friendly ties between China and Saudi Arabia as well as between China and Africa and to enhance China's solidarity and cooperation with developing countries to stand hand-in-hand in the face of challenges. During the eight days, President Hu attended more than 50 events in the nations visited. He held talks with leaders in these countries on cooperation and joint development, as well as had extensive contacts with people from various sectors with brotherly interactions and friendship. The achievements included:

First, a new consensus was reached on jointly dealing with the challenge of the international financial crisis.

Second, China's ties with Asia and Africa were pushed to a new stage.

Third, to promote mutual benefit and win-win cooperation

Fourth, to create fresh highlights of friendly exchanges with local people.

To learn more about President Hu's visit, please go to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/18/content_10842360.htm

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's comments regarding the report that the UN issued at the end of its review of China's human rights record:

On February 9 and 11, during China's first UPR review under the UN Human Rights Council, a review report was approved unanimously upon consultation. The review was generally proceeding smoothly in an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation. A vast majority of countries spoke positively of China's human rights policies and achievements and supported China's efforts to take on the path suitable to its national conditions. A small number of countries attempted to politicize the process. Their groundless accusations of China were denounced by most countries. Following the spirit of openness and candidness, the Chinese delegation gave a comprehensive and well-received account of China's remarkable progress in its human rights cause, the challenges and targets in improving human rights and answered questions. The Chinese Government will earnestly implement the constitutional principles of governing the country by law and safeguarding human rights, and continue to make unremitting efforts to promote and protect human rights.

China's State Council adopted a stimulus plan on February 11 for the shipbuilding industry at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. The meeting agreed to increase credit support by an unspecified amount for ship buyers. It also decided to extend the existing financial support policies for oceangoing vessels until 2012. These policies include tax rebates on key imported components for domestically owned oceangoing ships. It also recommended investment in research and development of facilities to build high-technology ships and maritime engineering equipment and promote technical innovation. For more information, please go to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/19/content_10851260.htm

The State Council announced plans to boost the country's light industry and petrochemical sectors in a bid to stimulate the economy on February 19. The country will lift processing trade restrictions on some labor-intensive, technology-intensive, energy-efficient, and environment-friendly products. It was decided two more products -- microwave ovens and induction cookers -- will be added to the list of home appliances that come with a government subsidy for rural buyers. For more information, please go to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/11/content_10802529.htm

China said it would unveil support plans for 10 industries to stimulate the economy. So far, similar plans for six sectors - auto, steel, shipbuilding, textile, machinery-manufacturing, electronics and information industries- have been made public.

China will launch a graduate trainee program for one million unemployed college graduates in three years, according to a circular issued by the general office of the State Council on February 15. The government would build training bases for the program with responsible employers, and employers are encouraged to recruit graduate trainees, said the circular. Besides the trainee program, the government would also enhance technical training for graduates from vocational schools with a "double certificates" program. For more information, please go to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/15/content_10824079.htm

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) voiced concern on February 16 about trade protectionism, amid fears that such action would aggravate the economic downturn. China is against any form of protectionism, and proposes cooperation and negotiation to solve all international trade issues. China would give its full support to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to restrain the spread of trade protectionism. For more information, please go to http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/16/content_10828905.htm

China's last road-less county Medog, in Tibet, will be connected with the outside when construction on a highway is completed in three years as scheduled. The 117-km highway, linking Zhamog Town, the county seat of Bome, and Medog, will end the history that local people have to rely on horses and mules for transportation in Medog. At a cost of 950 million yuan (138.6 million U.S. dollars), the project is wholly funded by the country. Situated at Tibet's border with India and nestled among snow-capped mountains, the sparsely populated Medog, which means "flower" in the Tibetan language, has only about 10,000 inhabitants, mostly in rural areas. It is the last of the country's 2,100 counties to be connected via a highway.

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