China to build its first inland Antarctic research station in 2009

ChinaShanghai, Apr 21: China will complete the construction of its first inland Antarctic research station at the highest peak in the region next year.

"The preparatory work for the new station is underway," Sun Bo, leader of the Chinese Antarctic icecap expedition team, told the official Xinhua news agency.

The new research station will be China's third station in Antarctica after the Changcheng Station and Zhongshan Station.

The 17-member team has just came back from their 24th expedition, completing 46 scientific studies and 11 logistic programs.

Cambodia eyes lucrative European, Chinese tourist trade

Phnom Penh  - Cambodia Tourism Minister Thong KhonCambodia will seek to increase direct flights between China and European Union (EU) nations to boost its booming tourism industry, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Monday.

His comments came as Cambodia announced a 17 percent increase in tourist arrivals at about about 400,000 during the first two months of 2008. Tourism is a mainstay of the economy.

"Cambodia needs more flights from the big cities in southern China and they need to be daily," he said by telephone. "The EU is also a market that is under tapped due to a lack of direct flights."

Nepal deploys soldiers, police on Mt Everest

Nepal SoldiersKathmandu - Nepal has deployed dozens of armed police and soldiers high up on Mt Everest with orders to open fire to prevent disruption of the Olympic Torch relay by China, media reports said Sunday.

About two dozen police and soldiers were deployed on the mountain to foil any anti-China activities, following threats by Tibetan activists to disrupt the torch relay, the daily Kathmandu Post reported.

Taiwan, China to resume oil exploration in Taiwan Strait

Taipei  - Taiwan and China will resume joint exploration for oil in the Taiwan Strait as Taiwanese president-elect Ma Ying-jeou hopes to fully open trade with China, the Liberty Times reported Sunday.

The Tai Chao Project - which began in August 2005 but has been halted for several years due to soured ties - will be restarted in May, the newspaper said. Ma takes office the same month.

The project between Taiwan's state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is to drill for oil along the middle line in the Taiwan Strait.

US plans to post Marines at unofficial embassy in Taipei

US Flage & Taipei FlagTaipei  - The United States, in a move that is seen as an upgrading of its ties with Taiwan and one which might annoy China, plans to post Marines at its unofficial embassy in Taipei.

A US State Department advertisement which appeared in the Taipei Times daily on Saturday called for bids from contractors to build a new office compound for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto US embassy since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan to recognize China in 1979.

The contract worth 45-60 million dollars also includes building Marine Guard Quarters on the compound.

At least 120,000 evacuated, 18 missing as typhoon hits south China

China MapBeijing - Tropical storm Neoguri swept China's southern Hainan island Saturday, leaving 18 fishermen missing and stranding thousands of others, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Xinhua reported that 18 fishermen were missing, but said rescue teams found 38 other fishermen who went missing while trying to flee the storm in the South China Sea.

At least 120,000 people were evacuated in advance of the typhoon hitting Hainan and 21,800 fishing boats with 80,000 fishermen were ordered to return to port ahead of the storm, Xinhua said

China launches largest ever Tibet cultural relic preservation

New Delhi, Apr. 19: China on Friday launched a 570 million yuan (81.43 million dollar) project to preserve 22 historical and cultural relics in the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region.

The project, China's largest protectionist move in the region, will last until 2010.

It included 15 monasteries under state-level protection and seven historical sites proving the rule over Tibet by central governments through history, the Xinhua news agency quoted Yudawa, the Tibet Regional Cultural Heritage Bureau director, as saying.

The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance is financing the preservation efforts.

Chinese authorities say Tibet will reopen to tourists 'soon'

New Delhi, Apr. 19 : The Tibet regional government has said that it plans to reopen the region to foreign tourists “soon", without giving a specific date.

In a written statement sent to the China Daily, the information office of the regional government said: "The Tibet tourism bureau is doing its utmost to prepare for the reopening of all scenic spots."

Following the riots in Lhasa on March 14, in which 18 innocent civilians were killed, tourism authorities advised people not to visit the region for safety reasons.

Tourist attractions and scenic spots were closed down and travel services were suspended following the unrest.

Suzlon Arm Receives Orders For 200 MW Wind Power Capacity

Suzlon Energy Ltd has announced that its US-based arm has received Suzlonorders for 200 MW capacity turbines for wind farm projects in China.

The subsidiary company, Suzlon Energy (Tianjin) Ltd (SETL) stated that the order was in two parts.

The first order received from Ao Lu Jia New Energy Development Ltd, China, for delivering 148.5 MW of wind turbine capacity via 99 units of the S82-1.5 MW turbines for use in three wind farms. Deliveries for the first wind farm are planned for shipment during Q2 of 2008-2009.

India and China set to reduce US dominance in space activity

India and China set to reduce US dominance in space activityWashington, April 19: A new study has determined that India and China, along with Russia, Japan and Europe are all set to reduce the dominance that US has over space activities, with advantages of government, human capital and industry working in their favour.

This study is based on two reports: the Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, released by the Space Foundation of Colorado Springs, Colorado and the 2008 Space Competitiveness Index issued by the Futron Corporation of Bethesda, Maryland.

Auto convoy demonstrates against Tibetan independence

Beijing - A convoy of cars drove through two diplomatic neighbourhoods in Beijing on Saturday to protest independence for Tibet.

The unusual protest parade featured signs in several languages reading "Tibet belongs to China," eyewitnesses said.

Protestors presented themselves as members of an automobile club, driving 15 small cars made by the Chinese brand Chang'an "Ben Ben." The drivers played the national anthem and flew red flags.

Before the protest police secured the streets in the Sanlitun district, especially in front of the French embassy.

China denies plan to clear out all students before Olympics

ChinaBeijing  -  China's education ministry on Friday denied ordering foreign students to leave before the Olympic Games in August, but one of the country's major universities said it had cancelled summer courses and expected all foreign students whose courses end this term to leave China by July 10.

A ministry spokesperson issued a statement saying that reports of a ban on foreign students during the Olympics were "false" and that international cooperation and academic exchanges would continue "normally."

"The relevant stories are totally false," the spokesperson said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

Shanghai shares lose 4 per cent after "panic selling"

Beijing  - Shares on China's largest stock market lost nearly 4 per cent of their value on Friday, plunging to the lowest point for more than one year, as analysts blamed panic selling.

The key Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks shares traded in both local and foreign currencies, fell 128.07 points to end the day at 3,094.67, down 3.97 per cent.

The smaller Shenzhen Component Index also lost more than 3 per cent on Friday, as state media quoted analysts as saying a plunge in PetroChina shares had sparked panic selling in the two markets.

Hong Kong residents back torch relay as rehearsal is held

Hong Kong  -  A trouble-free rehearsal for the Olympic torch relay was
held in Hong Kong Friday as a survey revealed 93 per cent of the city's
people are opposed to anti-China protests.

The real torch relay on May 2 is unlikely to run as smoothly, however,
as a number of pro-democracy groups prepare to use the event as a
platform to demonstrate over human rights in China.

A full rehearsal of the 30-kilometre relay through Hong Kong caused
nothing worse than traffic congestion as 40 roads along the route were
closed or affected from 10.30 am onwards.

Volkswagen, SAIC open new factory in China

Beijing  -  Volkwagen AG and SAIC Motor Corp Ltd opened a new factory Friday in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing with an annual production capacity of 60,000 cars.

The joint venture company between Germany's VW and China's largest carmaker bought and expanded a factory on a 640,000-square-metre plot of land from Italy's Fiat to help fulfil rising demand in China, VW said.

Santana Vistas, new versions of China's best-selling car, are to be initially produced at the new factory, where 1,200 people are to work.

The factory is the fourth for the joint venture, Shanghai Volkswagen, and the 49th production facility for Volkswagen worldwide.

Exile group: Over 100 Tibetans arrested in protests of detentions

Beijing  -  More than 100 monks and laypeople have been arrested in a western Chinese county in a daisy chain of arrests and demonstrations by ethnic Tibetans, a Tibetan exile group said Friday.

The protests Thursday began when 22 monks demonstrated in a Rebkong County market in Qinghai province against the arrests Sunday of three monks for participating in a peace march, said the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, which has good contacts in Tibet.

China says it's ready for dialogue with Dalai Lama over Tibet

Dalai LamaTokyo - Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Friday told Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and other party leaders that Beijing is ready to talk with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and to offer information to Tokyo on the current situation with Tibet.

During the meeting with the Chinese minister, Japanese leaders, including Fukuda, urged disclosure on the recent incidents in Tibet and talks with the Dalai Lama without any preconditions.

China had earlier dismissed Japan's concerns by saying it is an "internal matter," the Kyodo News Agency said.

Kaashyap Tech Inks MoU with Chinese Firm Oceansoft

Kaashyap Technologies Ltd (KTL) has signed up a Memorandum of Kaashyap Technologies LtdUnderstanding (MoU) with Oceansoft Information System Co Ltd, China.

KTL signed MoU with an objective to penetrate the aggressive Chinese market in different fields including IT training and building resources in the areas of SAP, IT Security and Capital Markets.

According to the MoU, the training will start at three subsisting centres of Oceansoft by the coming month (May 2008). This will be accompanied by training on soft skills and building proficiencies for the BPO sector.

Air New Zealand says report clears it of underpaying Chinese staff

New ZealandWellington - Air New Zealand welcomed Friday a government report clearing it of accusations that it illegally underpaid Chinese flight attendants on its Shanghai-Auckland services rates.

The Department of Labour report, which followed claims the airline operated a "flying sweat shop," confirmed it met legal requirements when establishing its Chinese cabin crew base in Shanghai, Ed Sims, the long haul group general manager, said.

He said the report showed that criticism of the airline, which is 76-per-cent state-owned, for paying the crew rates below New Zealand's legal minimum wage, was unfounded.

China still biggest producer of unsafe consumer goods, EU says

ChinaBeijing- Beijing must step up its product safety efforts, European Union commissioner Meglena Kuneva said Thursday, citing figures which show that most of the dangerous consumer goods on sale in the EU - a third of them toys - are made in China.

"While we have made real progress with China, there is a lot more to be done," said Kuneva, who holds the EU's consumer protection portfolio.

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