News & Reports 2011-06-26

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2011-06-26

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

In This Edition

Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says he is "still confident" that Europe can overcome the debt crisis and that China will remain a long-term investor in Europe's debt market.

Shanghai Municipality braces for high gales and torrential rains as tropical storm Meari swirls northward, battering the China's coastal areas.

US House of Representatives rejects a resolution that would authorize continued American military involvement in Libya, but fails to bar funding for mission in the North African nation.

A 12-month Chinese Cultural Festival gets underway in Sydney, Australia.

Hot Issue Reports

Premier Wen: China to Buy More Euro-Zone Sovereign Debts
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says he is "still confident" that Europe can overcome the debt crisis and China will remain a long-term investor in Europe's debt market.

The Chinese Premier made the comments when meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a visit to Hungary.

"I remember back in the year 2009, in the spring of that year, when the international financial crisis was at its height, I visited Europe in very big snow. At that time I sent the message, and I said that confidence is more important than the currency and gold. Today when we're seeing the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, what I have brought here is still confidence."

The Chinese premier is visiting Europe as the eurozone grapples to contain Greece's worsening debt crisis and possible default which analysts fear could trigger another financial crisis.

Wen Jiabao said China stands willing to help Europe "work for expeditious recovery and stable growth."

Wen Jiabao, the first Chinese head of government to visit Hungary in 24 years, is also seeking to explore greater economic ties with Hungary given its increasing role as a logistics and trade processing hub in Eastern Europe for Chinese goods.

The premier said China is willing to buy a "certain amount" of Hungarian government bonds and aims to boost bilateral trade to $20 billion US dollars by 2015.

He added that China will also provide a special loan of one billion euros or 1.4 billion U.S. dollars to support joint projects between the two countries.

For his part, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said China's buying of Hungarian government bonds would increase the security of debt financing for Hungary in the medium term.

Hungary is Premier Wen Jiabao's first leg of a three-nation European tour. He arrived in Birmingham on Saturday to begin an official visit to Britain before heading for Germany.

East China Bracing for High Gales and Torrential Rains
Provinces along China's eastern coast are on alert as tropical storm Meari approaches.

Shanghai Municipality is bracing for high gales and torrential rains as the tropical storm swirls northward, battering the country's coastal areas.

The city has emptied its reservoirs in preparation for the heavy rain Meari is likely to bring.

Local authorities have also inspected subway stations, underground parking lots and other places at risk of flooding to ease concerns heightened by torrential rains that drenched Beijing and paralyzed parts of the city's transport system on Thursday.

In addition, city authorities have canceled a gathering of some 3,500 people and closed a beach resort and a wetland park for safety concerns.

Meari has brought fierce winds and heavy downpours to neighboring Zhejiang Province.

On Saturday afternoon, two vessels sailing on the waters off Zhoushan Islands of Zhejiang sunk due to the high gales.

Thirty people on board fell into the water but were all rescued later.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino visited two evacuation centers in Metro Manila Saturday and assured all evacuees that he was monitoring the situation and their condition after tropical storm Meari wrought havoc in the metropolis.

He distributed relief goods to the victims of the typhoon.

According to National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council, some 4,000 evacuees are currently occupying Nangka evacuation center while elsewhere some 8,000 individuals affected by floods due to heavy rains.

Rubber boats and trucks were deployed to ferry stranded commuters and rescue residents near swollen rivers and low-lying areas.

Classes have been suspended, government offices shut, and dozens of flights cancelled.

Disaster officials are monitoring water levels in dams and opening the gates of several points that have reached critical level.

Evacuee Jane Rose Fernandez expressed her worries.

"The floodwater in our place is very high. We are scared, especially at nighttime, and it will be much harder to evacuate at night."

US House Mixed Votes on US Involvement in Libya
The U.S. House of Representatives has sent mixed messages on American involvement in Libya.

In two back-to-back votes, the House first rejected a largely symbolic measure which would authorize President Barack Obama to continue U.S. involvement in the military operation in Libya.??

Republican Ted Poe of Texas voiced his opposition to the measure.

"Even the administration has said it's not in the national security interests of the United States to be in Libya. So why are we there? We're there because we don't like Gadhafi. Well, there are a lot of bad guys in the world, and if we start picking them off one at a time, we will be at war with most of the world."

The vote marked the first time since 1999 that either chamber has voted against a president's authority to carry out a military operation. The last time was to limit President Bill Clinton's authority to use ground forces in Kosovo.

But some Democrats accused the Republicans of playing politics with national security. They said the vote would send the wrong message to Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi and American allies.

Less than two hours later, the House turned back a Republican-led effort to cut off money for U.S. military involvement in Libya.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has welcomed the House rejection of the second vote, which would have barred drone attacks and airstrikes in Libya if passed.

Ahmadinejad Accuses US of Sponsoring Terrorism
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the U.S. government of sponsoring terrorism.

Ahmadinejad made comments at the International Conference on Campaign Against Terrorism, taking place in Tehran.

"The government of the United States and its allies are supporting and using some of these networks through making use of financial resources of some of their regional allies. One of the most important forms of organized terrorism is imposing the illegitimate and occupying regimes of Israel."

Officials from 60 countries, including several heads of state, are attending the two day conference.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai emphasised that most victims of extremism were Muslim, and condemned those who used the name of Islam to justify their attacks against innocent civilians.

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari described terrorism as "the central challenge of our times."

The United Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, and Interpol are among the international and regional organizations which have officially been invited to send representatives to the conference.

A number of bilateral and multilateral meetings are scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the conference.

Hezbollah: CIA Recruits Group Members to Spy for Israel
The Islamic militant group Hezbollah has claimed that CIA officers at the U.S. embassy in Lebanon have recruited some of its low-level members to spy for Israel.

It was the first time Hezbollah has acknowledged that spies have penetrated the militant group.

In a televised speech, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah gave the details of its investigation.

"A few months ago, within the spy combat unit of Hezbollah, we found two cases of people in contact with U.S. intelligence officers working as diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Awkar. We now have proof that this embassy is a spying nest and that some U.S. diplomats are intelligence officers recruiting members of Lebanese society and Lebanese political factions."

The speech was shown on Al Manar Television, which is controlled by Hezbollah.

Nasrallah did not name the suspects, saying he wanted to protect their families whom he said he knows personally.

Nasrallah added that none of the suspects have any sensitive information about the group.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy have both declined to comment on the accusation.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating war in 2006 that killed 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis.

Ukraine's Ex-PM Goes on Trial
Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has gone on trial on charges of abuse of office.

Tymoshenko insists the charges are a plot by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.

Tymoshenko was charged with abuse of office for signing a deal with Russia in 2009 to buy natural gas at prices investigators said were too high and without authorization by the members of her Cabinet.

Tymoshenko denies the charges, saying that she didn't need such permission as Prime Minister.

"The gas crisis is over because I managed to negotiate with Prime Minister Putin. We reached an agreement for Ukraine to have a 20-percent discount on the price and to have eleven billion cubic meters of gas at the price of 153.9 U.S. dollars per cubic meter. This would enable Ukraine to get out of the crisis, and we retained these favorable conditions for two years."

In early 2009, Russia cut off its gas supplies to Ukraine during a dispute over gas prices and accused the latter of stealing gas, which was transported via Ukraine for EU countries.

Nuclear Safety Conference Closes with Fruitful Achievement
The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has declared the organization's nuclear safety conference in Vienna a success, even though member nations still refused to give his agency any enforcement powers over new safety measures.

Yukiya Amano said the conference had drawn up a post-Fukushima road map to avoid or mitigate future nuclear reactor disasters.

But although the recommendations approved by the IAEA's conference were ambitious, compliance in applying them will be voluntary.

Amano was still upbeat, saying in his closing comments that the ministerial meeting had achieved its main goal.

"The result in the words of the ministerial declaration agreed by you on Monday will be a strengthening of nuclear safety, emergency preparedness and radiation protection for people and the environment worldwide."

Over the past five days, about 30 government ministers joined a thousand experts to discuss the lessons of Japan's March 11th nuclear disaster and how to reduce the risk of further major nuclear catastrophes.

Outlining a five-point plan to strengthen nuclear reactor safety, Amano called for bolstering IAEA standards and ensuring they are applied; establishing regular safety reviews of all the world's reactors; beefing up the effectiveness and independence of national regulatory bodies; strengthening global emergency response systems, and increasing IAEA input in responding to emergencies.

Australians Celebrate 12-month Chinese Cultural Festival
Some 50 dancers from remote areas of China have helped launch the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia with the dance performance "The Legend of Shangri-la" in Sydney. Now Australians can get a taste of China that goes beyond tucking into dumplings or sipping hot jasmine tea. CRI's Sydney correspondent Chen Xi has the story.

With dynamic lighting, music and a three-dimensional stage design, the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia has started with a dance show "The Legend of Shangri-la," a spectacle of ancient Chinese folklore, ethnic instruments and dances, in Sydney, the country's largest city.

Many local audiences say they were thrilled by the Chinese performers.

"The music, the drums, the costumes-, it's very enjoyable."

"It's very good, very lovely, very professional and very energetic."

"Yes, it is amazing. I really am enjoying it, and it was unexpected. It's been very Chinese, quite traditional, but also modern as well-kind of interesting combination of the two."

Under the direction of China's living treasure Yang Liping, more than 50 dancers and musicians tell ancient stories about Chinese culture. As one of the main performances, the aboriginal dance show marked the 12-month Chinese cultural festival in Australia, which started this month.

Yang Zhijin, China's Vice Cultural Minister, said at the opening ceremony that the event came about from demand of people from both countries.

"China and Australia are both major countries and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. In recent years, both sides have witnessed more frequent exchanges, deepening political trust and expanding trade and economic cooperation. Peoples of the two countries hope to learn more about each other. So, with the support of Chinese and Australian governments, we have started to hold the Year of Culture in both countries. And this is a good platform to learn more about their cultures."

Holding a Year of Culture in both countries was a joint endeavor made during Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Australia in 2009.

Geoff Raby, Australia's ambassador to China, highly praised the just-concluded Year of Australian Culture in China.

"We have had a wonderful 12 months. Over that period, we've had over 150 different performances and acts, and we have taken Australian culture to the far west of China, Xinjiang, to the northeast, to the southwest and, of course, along the coastal seaports and in the central provinces. It has been, I think, a wonderful year."

As the Chinese saying goes, "A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near." In the following 12 months, performances celebrating the Chinese Culture Year will be staged across the whole of Australia. Music, dances, films, literature, arts and exhibitions will showcase the depth and beauty of Chinese culture for the Australian public.

For CRI, I'm Chen Xi reporting from Sydney, Australia.

Peng Shuai in Last 16 at Wimbledon
China's Peng Shuai has for the first time reached the last 16 at Wimbledon. The 20th seed defeated Melinda Czink from Hungary 6-2, 7-6. Our London correspondent Tu Yun reports from Wimbledon.

It's the first meeting between Peng Shuai and Czink, who currently ranks 262nd in the world. But the Hungarian surprisingly ousted 10th-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur in the first round. Can this momentum continue? The answer is no.

Czink could barely do anything to upset Peng Shuai in the match except that the Hungarian broke early in both sets. But Peng Shuai's better serving and strong defense left Czink with no chance.

"I think this owes a lot to my coach, my fitness coach. My training was not so finely conducted in the old days. But now I'm in better control on court."

Peng Shuai will face fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Other high-profile players including Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams also entered the last 16.

In men's singles, fifth-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden was crushed by Australia's 18-year old Bernard Tomic in straight sets, making the biggest surprise so far in men's singles of the tournament.

"I didn't feel good on court at all. And, you know, I wasn't moving well. I was misjudging a lot of balls and I didn't have the right timing. It was just not my day today."

The Australian will handle Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the next round.

"Probably most definitely the best achievement that I've done so far. You know, I'll always remember this is the first time I've really done well at a Grand Slam. I'm in the fourth round now. I'd love to win another round. I think I can win. I've got to go out there and believe like I did today."

Ninth-seeded Gael Monfils of France was knocked out by 93rd-ranked Polish Lukasz Kubot. Top seeds including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all safe through.

Tu Yun, CRI news, Wimbledon.

China Daily: Lower Dairy Standards Violate Public Interest

The Chinese dairy industry is once again under the spotlight of media attention and public concern as industry insiders claim that new national dairy safety standards are "the worst in the world."

Under the standard, every one hundred grams of milk must contain at least 2.8 grams of protein, lower than the original standard of 2.95 grams set 25 years ago and the International one.

And the maximum amount of bacteria allowed in every milliliter of milk surged to 2 million from 500-thousand under the original standard. It's now 20 times the allowable amounts in the US and Europe.

An editorial in the China Daily says the lower-than-before standards, even if not "worst in the world," are a source of deep public concern.

The newspaper cites industry insiders as saying the lower standards are the outcome of lobbying by major dairy manufacturers.

Proponents of the new, lower standards have cited "national conditions" and the livelihoods of small dairy farmers as the reason for the changes.

But the editorial says such claims are misleading and harmful, because lowering industry standards works against the national interests by undermining public health.

The article urges the dairy industry to put aside short-term corporate interests and do what is necessary to improve the quality of its products.

The newspaper calls on national quality watchdogs to keep public interest in mind and fend off lobbying of diary companies to uphold strict national standards.


Drainage System ?C The Soul of a City

Many Chinese cities have recently been inundated by heavy rains. It seems that each time a heavy rain arrives, cities suffer floods that have a devastating impact on people's daily lives. Take the capital Beijing for example, torrential rains on Thursday virtually paralyzed the city's traffic in addition to causing huge damage to properties. People question why drainage systems in our "modern" cities are not modern at all.

Experts and scholars say failing drainage system is an urgent issue to iron out during China's urbanization drive.
Ding Hongxian, commentator from the Nan Fang Daily, says government officials appear busy fixing their eyes on accomplishing quick concrete results during their tenure. They are not interested in seeking a long-term approach to healthy and sustainable development. Under such circumstances, few officials would bother to spend any effort on time consuming and sophisticated underground drainage system. As a result, short-sighted development is stoked by GDP oriented policies and practices, and city sprawling goes unchecked.

Ling Hu Buchong, another commentator from Nan Fang Daily, says some officials may have innovative ideas to better city construction and development but are reluctant to put them into practice. He believes the defective evaluation system for officials' performance must be remedied. Otherwise, China's urban development remains fashioned in seemingly posh skyscrapers with primitive drainage systems.