Thursday, October 18, 2007

Smiling Hu joins CPC delegates in discussion

Hu Jintao joins a panel discussion with delegates of Jiangsu province on Tuesday. He listens to the delegates talk about social and economic development in the rich eastern province, and discuss his report delivered at the start of the Party congress on Monday. (Xinhua Photo)Hu Jintao took a commoner's approach on Tuesday while he joined the Jiangsu delegation to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to listen to the delegates talk about social and economic development in the rich eastern province, and discuss his report delivered at the start of the Party congress on Monday.Jiangsu's Party chief Li Yuanchao and other officials praised the country's past five years as "having maintained sustainable, fast, coordinated and healthy development" and "having improved the lives of ordinary people", citing the province's own growth in the meantime.Hu urged the province to fully exploit its advantages and take the lead in transforming the mode of economic growth in accordance with the Scientific Outlook on Development."We stress sound and rapid development, better quality, efficiency and an enlightened approach to development that results in expanded production, a better life and sound ecological and environmental conditions," he said.Delegate Wu Renbao, former Party chief of Huaxi Village, China's richest, spoke highly of the Party congress. "The report is comprehensible to ordinary farmers," he said."I would like to keep working although I'm old," 79-year-old Wu said. Hearing that, Hu Jintao was the first to applaud with a broad smile.Chen Qiuyan, who cleans the sewage treatment system in Xuzhou City, was excited about her second meeting with Hu. "We will carefully study and put into practice the essence of the congress," she said.Hu visited Chen and her colleagues during a visit to Jiangsu in 1996."Please forward my best regards to your colleagues," said Hu. "I hope your working and living conditions have improved with the past decade's economic growth and hope you'll do an even better job," Hu said with a gentle voice.Toward the end of the two-hour discussion, Hu said that the report he made on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee is a product of democracy and crystallizes the collective wisdom of the entire Party and all the Chinese people.After deliberations and revisions at the Party congress, the report will become a political proclamation and action plan to guide the Party in uniting all the Chinese people to seek better development along the path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, Hu said.

Election procedures set for CPC national congress personnel reshuffle

Hu Jintao(C) presides over the second meeting of presidium of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 17, 2007. The seven-day 17th CPC National Congress opened in Beijing on Oct. 15. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will first hold a primary election before a final ballot to choose members of a new CPC central committee and its discipline commission, the presidium of the congress decided here Wednesday.The 237-member presidium to oversee the congress held its second meeting at the Great Hall of the People Wednesday afternoon, and adopted the electoral procedure that has been in practice since the 13th party congress in 1987, Xinhua was informed.The presidium meeting, presided over by Hu Jintao, endorsed a proposed name-list of nominees for the candidates of members and alternate members of the central committee, and members of the central discipline commission. The name-list will be submitted to all delegations to the congress for consideration.A name-list of ballot scrutineers was also accepted by the presidium, and will be ratified by the congress before the final vote begins.Zeng Qinghong, secretary-general of the congress, briefed the presidium on the name-list of nominees.In addition, the presidium adopted draft resolutions on the report made by Hu Jintao on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee, the report of the Central Discipline Commission and amendments to the party constitution. The resolutions are to be submitted to delegates for consideration.The presidium represents people of different aspects, consisting of members of the Political Bureau of the 16th CPC Central Committee, retired party veterans, leading officials of ministries and provincial-level localities, military officers and grassroots party members.Among the presidium are 29-year-old table tennis Olympic champion Wang Nan, China's first astronaut in space Yang Liwei, outstanding female judge Song Yushui, and "National Model Worker" bridge crane-driver Xu Zhenchao.The personnel reshuffle is one of the most important agenda of party congress. The CPC party constitution rules that all elections should be carried out through secret ballot.The primary election system was first introduced into party congress in 1956 when the 8th national party congress was held. Then at the 13th national congress in 1987, the differential voting system was adopted.At that congress, five percent of nominees lost in the primary election for candidates of members of central committee, and 12 percent of nominees lost in the election for candidates of alternate members.The margin of elimination in the vote of the 14th and 15th national congresses were not released. The 16th party congress, however, recorded a margin of elimination at a little more than five percent.At the 16th party congress in 2002, members of the central committee were elected with a 5.1 percent margin, and alternate members of the central committee, 5.7 percent. Seven people lost in the primary vote for members of the Central Discipline Commission, marking a 5.8 percent margin.Ye Duchu, a senior party expert with the Central Party School, said he expected the margin of elimination this year to remain similar to that of the 15th and 16th party congresses, although some others have speculated that the margin this time may be higher."The 15th and 16th party congresses adopted a margin of around five percent, and I think the 17th congress will follow suit," Ye said.Hu Jintao said in his report to the congress that the party should "expand intra-party democracy.""We will reform the intra-Party electoral system and improve the system for nominating candidates and electoral methods," he said in the report.In choosing delegates prior to the congress, all 38 constituencies adopted a 15 percent margin in the elections, five percentage points higher than that in 2002.Who would become top party leaders of China will not be known until next Tuesday, when the newly-elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee meet with the press.

China to launch 1st moon orbiter in late October

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese official said here Tuesday that researchers and technicians are making final preparations for the launch of the country's first moon orbiter, Chang'e I, at the end of October.Zhang Qingwei, minister in charge of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), who is attending the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said in an interview with Xinhua.
A passenger aircraft is silhouetted against the moon in New Delhi September 29, 2007.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)Zhang said his team has nearly finished pre-launch tests on the rocket and orbiter, which have been transported to the launch site.Advanced cameras and X-ray spectrometers have been installed in the orbiter for mapping three-dimensional images of the lunar surface, analyzing dust on the moon, and studying the space environment between the Earth and the moon."The appropriate time for the launch is in April and October. We finally choose October with the consideration of weather and celestial conditions," he said."China's moon exploration project is for peaceful use of space," Zhang said. "We're now equipped with high technologies in doing our own research."The next step in the ambitious mission is to launch a moon vehicle, and then get it back, Zhang said.Sending the first astronaut into space with the Chinese-made spaceship Shenzhou V in 2003, China became the third country, next to the Soviet Union and the United States, to carry out manned space mission.The Chinese government has included the moon adventure in 16 key state science projects by the year 2020.China hopes to join Int'l Space Station project BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to become the 17th nation joining the International Space Station (ISS) project, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Xueyong said on Tuesday. "China sincerely wants to cooperate with the United States in space exploration and join the International Space Station project that has already involved 16 nations," said Li, a delegate to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on the sidelines of the event.Chinese space expert: Int'l cooperation to be trend in space explorationNEW DELHI, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- International cooperation will be a trend in space exploration in the future, said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space engineering project who is here attending an meeting on space science.In an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently, Zhou said the ambitious missions to the moon and mars have become a hot spot in space exploration, which is not only the endless pursuit of the human being, but also the motivation of the scientific development.

China's Religious Official Lashes out at Dalai Lama's U.S. Award

China's top religious affairs official on Wednesday lashed out at the Dalai Lama's U.S. congressional award and meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush, saying he had staged a "farce"."It's like a Peking Opera, and the Dalai Lama is the protagonist singing his long-time attempts to split the motherland and seek 'Tibet independence'", said Ye Xiaowen, director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, at a press briefing during the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.When no one sang along, the Dalai Lama claimed he had dropped his "independence" claim and wanted a "higher degree of autonomy" and "Greater Tibet" instead, Ye said."Both are the same old claim of 'independence' in guised forms. "One who betrays his own country must feel isolated wherever he is, said Ye. "When he feels isolated and miserable, he would stage a farce with the Westerners, hoping to exert more influence."Quoting the Bible, Ye told "those who watched the Dalai Lama's farce" not to do unto others as it would not have others do unto it.The religious affairs official warned the Dalai Lama, 72, to repent and mend his ways. "The Dalai Lama question is quite easy to solve, as long as he stops his secessionist activities," he said. "I hope he'll solve this problem in his life."He said the central government has been in contact and consultation with the Dalai Lama's envoy. "Any attempts to split China are doomed to failure, whether the Dalai Lama is alive or not."

China Wants Wage-Earners to Rake in Property Income

It is a good news that the Chinese government will facilitate financial innovations to give the average people more opportunities of gleaning more proceeds from asset investment, senior financial officials and corporate executives said on Tuesday.Shang Fulin, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said his eyes were widened as soon as he heard the words "property income" in Hu Jintao's keynote speech at the start of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Monday morning."Conditions would be created to enable citizens to have property income so as to increase the income of the urban and rural residents," Hu said.Shang interpreted Hu's remarks as an important message that China would "actively advance the healthy development of capital market, making the vast number of investors to share in the economic boom fairly and equally".China's economic takeoff with annual growth rate tripling the world's average for about three decades has bulged the pockets of Chinese people and lifted up their aggregated bank deposits to somewhere around 15 trillion yuan (two trillion U.S. dollars).As the country's stock markets turned into a bull run since last year from a four-year stagnancy, more than 120 million people, about 10 percent of its population, had opened accounts on Shenzhen and Shanghai stock markets by early October.Fund companies which now hold more than 90 million accounts have seen their total assets exceed three trillion yuan, while the combined equity market capitalization of domestic bourse surpassed 25.32 trillion yuan (3.37 trillion U.S. dollars), taking up about 5.7 percent of the world's total.Shang attributed the boom to shareholder reforms initiated in 2005 to float non-tradable state-own shares, the crackdown upon insider trading and the clean-up and rectification of the securities sector.Driven by banking and coal mining shares, the country's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed at 6092.06 points on Tuesday, the second high in two days.Jiang Jianqing, board chairman with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and delegate to the congress, said it is the first time that the ruling Communist Party explicitly blends such a message in a keynote political document, which is expected to set the tune for the country's development strategy in the coming years."The word bears a striking feature of the times as more and more people realize that wealth accumulation is to retain and increase the value of assets," aid Wu Yan, board chairman of the People's Insurance Company (Group) of China.Although China began economic reform and opening-up policies 29 years ago, its financial market remains relatively closed and fragile. The Chinese are also less financially sophisticated in comparison with those in developed countries. Many Chinese are used to accumulating wealth through working and bank savings.Chen Xiaolong, an official with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that property income--referring to the capital gains from bank deposits, securities real estate, automobiles and collection--contributed only two percent to the country's per capita disposable income on average.Salaries took up 70 percent while transfer income such as pensions and subsidies and operational income from trade accounted for the remaining 28 percent.NBS figures showed that per capita property income of China averaged 240 yuan (about 32 U.S. dollars) last year, up 26.5 percent from the previous year. "Considering the small base, property income has a huge growing potential," he said.Another random survey by the NBS revealed that Zhejiang people in eastern coast possessed the most financial savvy. In the first three quarters of last year, their property income stood at 697 yuan, the highest of the country."As China facilitates financial innovations, the Chinese people will find more investment opportunities including investing aboard through qualified domestic institutional investors," Jiang said.