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News letter Issue No. 18
2009/07/10
  

Issue No. 18

  July 9, 2009

H.E. Ambassador Song Zhe, Head of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union, received an interview by EuroActiv on June 7. To learn about the interview, please go to http://www.euractiv.com/en/foreign-affairs/ambassador-china-expand-nuclear-power-capacity/article-183819

Ambassador Song spoke at the breakfast briefing held by the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium on July 9. To learn about the speech, please go to http://www.chinamission.be/eng/jd/t572144.htm

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded an unswerving drive to promote the reform of collective forest right system to accelerate the development of the forestry industry on June 22. Wen made the comments when he met participants of a national forestry conference, which aimed to study the sector's reform and promote the household contract system for collective forest land. The State Council issued a statement last July that was effective immediately, in which it called for introduction of a household contract system in the management of collective forestland and ownership of wood. The forest right reform is of similar historic significance of the contract responsibility system based on household management. According to local practices, the forest right reform worked well to boost farmers' enthusiasm for production, increase their income, promote the development of agriculture and rural economy, and improve the environment.

Premier Wen called for efforts to ensure equal access to operating rights among farmers, ensure they benefit from the system and provide more favorable policies and better services to farmers. The government planned to complete the reform in five years and form a sound development mechanism for collective forests based onthe reform. More should also be done to protect natural forests, restore farmland to forest and improve the living standard of forest growers.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang said on June 18 that energy-saving, environmentally-friendly industries should be made a new growth engine for China's economy. At a meeting in Luoyang, in central Henan Province, Li urged companies to step up innovation to cut energy use and emissions. Green development was a global trend in industrial restructuring, he said, and also the long-term strategy for China, which is hampered by inadequate natural resources. Energy saving and emission reduction is also part of the government's measures of boosting domestic consumption and maintaining growth. Green development should be moved forward in such key areas as the industrial, transportation and construction sectors, he said. He asked enterprises to step up research on new energy products, environmental protection facilities, and recycling economy. Innovation should also be made in environmental protection policies to facilitate green industrial restructuring, he said. China is marking an energy-saving awareness week from June 14-21.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo on June 9 called for substantial actions from the international community to reform global financial system. Dai made the remarks when he, on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao, delivered a speech to the leaders' meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and five leading emerging economies (G5) in the Italian city of L'Aquila.

Dai said the international community has already reached consensus on reforming the global financial system, but the key lies in the implementation of the consensus. In the short term, the reform is aimed at stabilizing the international financial market and boosting the growth of real economy, but the reform should be far-sighted. In the long run, the reform should be aimed at enhancing regulation of the international financial system and safeguarding order of the global financial market, so as to avoid the recurrence of a similar crisis. The State Councilor stressed that representation and voting rights of the developing countries should be increased in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He said the developing countries should participate as equal partners in the policy-making process in setting international financial standards and regulation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 24, discussing UN's role on fighting the international financial crisis. Yang, who led a Chinese delegation to attend the UN high-level meeting on economic and financial crisis, said that it remains the top priority of the international community to actively address the financial crisis and boost the early recovery of global economic growth. "The United Nations should play a bigger role in fighting the crisis," Yang told Ban, adding that the current high-level meeting should "send positive signals" to promote the close cooperation among countries and upgrade developing countries' strength in international financial institutions. Ban said China has made great contribution to the international fight against global financial crisis, highlighting China's active participation in the international cooperation within the Group of20 (G20). He said he hopes China could further play a constructive role on global challenges like the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), climate change as well as on regional hotspot issues, adding it is important for safeguarding international peace and promoting common development. The two sides also exchanges views on major international and regional issues.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics reaped a profit of more than 1 billion yuan (146.4 million U.S. dollars), China's National Audit Office (NAO) said. The Games' income mainly came from sales of broadcasting rights, souvenirs and tickets, assets sales, and sponsorship, while the main expenditure items involved temporary facilities, sports and communication equipment, accommodation and medical services. No major problems were found during the audit, and no accidents or quality problems were identified in the construction of the Olympic venues. BOCOG had maintained "strict control" over spending and income, and kept "transparent, economical and efficient" accounts. The profit would be distributed to the International Olympic Committee, the Chinese Olympic Committee and BOCOG, which would set up funds for sports development, including improvements to public sports facilities and promoting mass sports activities, said the statement.

China will abolish export duties on some grains and industrial products and cut the duties for chemical fertilizers and nonferrous metals from July 1 to promote exports, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will eliminate the export tariffs for wheat, rice, soybeans, vitriol and steel wire. Grains are now subject to a 3-percent export levy. Special export tariffs of 50 percent on chemical fertilizer and fertilizer raw materials including yellow phosphorus, phosphate rock and phosphoric acid are expected to be canceled. Export duties for some nonferrous metals including molybdenum, tungsten and indium will be halved to 5 percent. The move follows several increases in export tax rebates to support overseas sales amid the global downturn. Since last August, China has increased export tax rebates seven times. Exports fell 26.4 percent in May from a year earlier to 88.758 billion U.S. dollars, following a decline of 22.6 percent in April.

China began a rescue excavation in Zhoukoudian Caves in a suburb of Beijing, where the skulls of "Peking Man," or Homo erectus, were found in the 1920s and 1930s. Paleoanthropologists will excavate 20 square meters along the western wall of Locality 1, said Gao Xing, deputy director and research fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP), at a press conference on June 24. The four-month excavation aims to protect the western wall fromthreats of collapse. This section remained the most complete sequence of stratum settlement with rich relic deposits of great significance. In addition to the excavation, paleoanthropologists will try to reinforce the cave wall and install more detailed introductions for visitors. Zhoukoudian Caves was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in December 1987.

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