News & Reports 2011-06-18

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2011-06-18

Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

In This Edition

Chinese President Hu Jintao addresses an International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, saying China is willing to make joint efforts with other countries to address major world economic challenges.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's forthcoming official visit to Hungary, Britain and Germany is expected to greatly boost China-EU relations.

South Africa demands an immediate end to the NATO's bombing campaign in Libya and calls for the African Union and United Nations to take the lead in reaching a political solution.

The outlook from property development in China was cut to "negative" from "stable" by Standard & Poor's, which says that tighter credit and further government curbs may lead to rating downgrades next year.

Hot Issue Reports

Hu Stresses All-round Cooperation as China, Russia Upgrade Partnership
Chinese President Hu Jintao says that China would like to discuss and make joint efforts with other countries to address major world economic challenges.

Hu Jintao made the remarks in a key-note speech delivered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

At the forum with the theme of "Emerging Leadership for a New Era," the participants are discussing the key topics such as "Securing Global Growth," "Building Russia's Creative Capital," and "Expanding Technology Horizons."

Hu Jintao arrived in St.Petersburg from Moscow, where he had held talks with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.

Hu Jintao said the two sides should work to boost bilateral trade, with the goals of reaching 100 billion dollars by 2015, and 200 billion dollars in 2020.

He also expected the two sides to build a strategic partnership on energy cooperation.

China and Russia have become the main trade partners for each other. During the current visit, President Medvedev and I have agreed to increase the bilateral trade up to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, and to reach the amount of 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Chinese Premier to Visit Hungary, Britain, Germany
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Hungary, Britain and Germany from June 24 to 28.

The premier will meet leaders of the three countries to discuss bilateral relations, China-EU relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

Fu Ying, vice minister of the foreign affairs.

"China-EU relations are now at an important stage. We would like to further enhance our mutual understandings and expand cooperation between the two sides on an equal basis of mutual respects and benefits."

Fu says China and EU are key trade partners to each other and hopes China could help the Euro zone countries overcome the economic crisis. She encourages Chinese companies to invest in Europe.

"I hope European countries, media and enterprises could welcome investments from Chinese companies. They are no different from the investments from other countries. Chinese companies have the ability to invest and develop overseas. This is also our commitment to the world's economy."

Wen Jiabao will hold an annual meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron during his stay in Britain, while in Germany, he will co-chair the first China-Germany governmental consultation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Torrential Rains Batter Parts of China
Heavy rains have threatened the Yangtze River basin and nearby provinces in China. Floods and mudslides have killed more than 100 people, and forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes.

East China's Zheijiang Province has started its highest level emergency response to flood control as Qiantang River is at its highest level since 1955.

According to Xuan Weili, director of Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters of Zhejiang Province, they have lowered the flood water level but the situation is still grave.

"There will be a duration of high water level, and there will be a process before the high water level recedes, during which the dike will face ever-increasing danger, so we are still under great pressure to control the flood."

Two dikes in the province have cracked as a result of continuing rains, forcing more than 120,000 people to move to safer places.

The provincial meteorological center has forecasted further downpours for the weekend.

In southwest China, about 5,000 passengers on four trains have been stranded as rain-triggered landslides buried parts of the Chengdu-Kunming railway. Food and water is sent to the trapped passengers, and buses are to evacuate them.

In south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a total of 44 tourists were trapped in a landslide in a scenic spot. They have been rescued already.

SA Demands Halt to NATO Bombing Campaign in Libya
South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has demanded an immediate end to the NATO's bombing campaign in Libya and called for the African Union and United Nations to take the lead in reaching a political solution.

"South Africa calls for a cease fire, a pause which will enable a political process to take route. We maintain the resolution 1973 was adopted to protect civilians and ensure access to humanitarian aid and not about regime change and assassination."

The foreign minister says South Africa demands greater efforts to reach a ceasefire between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and opposition rebels.

"South Africa calls on the international community, including the UN security council to focus its energies on finding a political solution to the Libya crisis and not a military one."

As one of the 15 Security Council members, South Africa voted for UN resolution 1973 in March, which gave a mandate to protect civilians in Libya.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi has agreed to hold internationally-supervised elections, but the agreement is dismissed by the rebels, the U.S. and France.

Indonesian President Visits Tokyo
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said that his country is taking lessons from Japan's nuclear crisis that was triggered by the March 11 earthquake.

Speaking at a Tokyo university, Yudhoyono said that as Indonesia is also prone to various natural disasters, it could learn from the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant and possibly rethink its future energy policy.

"Of course, we'll take so many lessons from this because remember that like Japan, we are also vulnerable to natural disasters, tsunami, quakes and other types of disasters. So, yes, we are taking lessons from that, in Indonesia we could use wisely and correctly the future use of energy sources."

But he did not indicate whether he endorses the use of nuclear energy.

Earlier this week, Italy voted in a referendum to decide not to revive nuclear energy.

Germany and Switzerland also announced gradual halting of nuclear power generation following the Fukushima crisis.

Talks with NRDC
The latest round of international climate talks was scheduled to close its curtain later Friday in Bonn, Germany.

The two-week talks, which got underway ten days ago, are part of the process leading up to the next Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa this December.

Since last December's Cancun talk, many countries have already acknowledged that their expectations for Durban are low.

And the Bonn talks are anything but easy.

For more details from the talks, CRI's Liu Yan earlier talked with Dr. Yang Fuqiang, a senior adviser on climate and energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who is now in Bonn to take part in the talks.

China's Property Rating Downgraded
The outlook from property development in China was cut to "negative" from "stable" by Standard & Poor's, which says that tighter credit and further government curbs may lead to rating downgrades next year.

The credit rating company says property sales may start to slow as the government's policies "start to bite," leading to price cuts that may drive home prices 10 percent lower over the next 12 months.

It also says in a statement that Hong Kong's real estate market faces the risk of a "sharp correction".

China's central bank has raised banks' reserve ratio requirements for the ninth time since October.

The government said last month it will maintain curbs after intensifying measures with higher minimum downpayments for second-home purchase and the introduction of annual residential property taxes in Shanghai and Chongqing.

Analysts say price cuts among developers may hurt their liquidity, raising the likelihood for a broader "price war".

For more on this, Liu Yan earlier talked to Grayson Clark, Fund Management Expert at EU-China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project.

MOC: Improve Policy Environment for Software and Information Service Industries
China will further improve its policy environment for software and information service industries.

Qiu Hong, assistant minister of commerce, made the remarks at the ongoing China International Software and Information Service fair in Dalian. She says China will put more efforts in cultivating high-end software talents and attract more people from abroad during the 12th five-year plan period.

"China has a stable political environment and a sustainable growing economy. A strong basis of the software industry, abundant human resources, well established facilities and huge market demands; all of these factors will effectively guarantee the rapidly growing software and information service industries."

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the import and export of software industry has kept a fast growing pace in 2010. Eleven enterprises have exports worth more than 100 million US dollars.

Ted Dean, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

"With large investments already in China, our member companies have a strong interest in China fostering an environment that supports innovation in the IT industry. AmCham is committed to finding more ways to partner with the government in order to promote win-win outcomes for both countries.

Experts Call for Professional Media Reports and Proper Official Approach on Food Safety Issue
Experts are saying that unprofessional media reports and inappropriate official remarks are heating public concerns about food safety in China.

The remark comes amid a week-long national campaign, which aims to publicize knowledge and regulations regarding food safety.

Wu Jia has more.

Various activities promoting knowledge on food safety have been held around the country during this week.

However, official explanations haven't been able to allay public concerns, with many still worrying about their daily food.
Xu Ruicheng, a Beijing resident, says he is worried after seeing a just-released official data.

"Though I haven't been involved in any actual cases, I do notice the reports stating that 60 percent of food additives can not be detected in tests. I'm worried about how they would affect my health."

Food safety incidents in recent years, such as the tainted milk powder which killed 6 infants and made nearly 300 thousand others ill, are caused by intentional contamination by food producers.

But experts point out that on the other hand, media reports on food scandals has, to a certain extent, exacerbated the anxiety.

Professor Shi Anbin is Deputy Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University.

He says that a lack of professional health journalism is part of the reason for the current anxieties about food safety.

"In some countries health journalism is a specific major for reporters, while in China many journalists reporting food safety issues have no such educational background. Journalists sometimes lack related knowledge and some experts are not good at making professional terms easily understood, so I think that's why many experts' opinions are not conveyed correctly by the media."

Professor Shi Anbin says that officials should also have proper understanding and approach on this issue.

During the conference on food additives, a spokesman from the Ministry of Public Health talked about proposals to blacklist journalists who are responsible for false reports on food safety. The remark caused an immediate outcry.

"He used the word blacklist improperly. It diverted public attention from the safe use of food additives to the issue of media supervision. The press conference was held with the goal of promoting knowledge of food additives, but it failed due to this inappropriate publicity strategy. "

As for ensuring food safety is at the top of the government's agenda, Professor Shi stresses that media supervision can be an effective way to help complete this task - but only through objective, professional and responsible coverage and reports.

For CRI, this is Wu Jia.

Newspaper Picks

Xinhuanet: Do you think its possible the internet could be blamed for sloppy usage of Chinese characters found in the gaokao, that's China's National College Entrance Exam? Well apparently it is to blame, that's according to a report on The Vice head of the evaluation panel of the Chinese language papers here in Beijing says he has seen a rise in mistakes in the use of Chinese characters among exam takers this year. Qi Yongxiang is blaming the internet, he says for falsifying phrases and giving a bad influence on youngsters. He's also blaming TV hosts and their so-called wrong usage of characters as setting a bad example.


China Daily: One of the top stories featured in the Chinese media today is that of the wild giant Panda who just two months ago was found dying in the mountains of Sichuan Province. Well good news for Panda lovers 10-year-old-Song-Ya, is recovering from having intestinal surgery after being diagnosed with an intestinal obstruction which caused her illness. Song-Ya which means elegant pine tree, is still in intensive care and will need further medical observation before she can be released back into the wild. Song-Ya lives in Wolong Nature reserve home to some 1600 Pandas, 60-percent of the world's total Panda population. She was spotted by villagers on April 23rd who alerted the vets from the Wolong centre.

Market Update

Major US stocks rose on Friday after France and Germany outlined an agreement to aid debt-burdened Greece, but analysts said a recent bearish trend may not be over.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4 percent to end at 12,004.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.3 percent to 1,272.

But the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent to 2,616.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 5715, Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.8 percent to 7164, and the CAC 40 index in Paris rose 0.8 percent to 3824.