News briefs

Updated: 2011-07-01 10:27

(China Daily)

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News briefs
The summer heat provides a perfect excuse for two pandas to relax at a research center in Ya'an, Sichuan province. There were 1,596 giant pandas living in China's mountainous areas, figures from the last survey conducted 10 years ago show. The State Forestry Administration is considering a new census. [Li Wei/for China Daily]


Local govt debt hits new high

Local governments had an overall debt of 10.7 trillion yuan (1.15 trillion euros) by the end of 2010, said China's top auditor on June 27 in a report to the National People's Congress.

It was the first time the world's second-largest economy publicly announced the size of its local governments' debts. The scale amounts to more than one-quarter of its GDP in 2010, which stood at 39.8 trillion yuan.


Summer harvest nearly complete

The Ministry of Agriculture said on June 28 that the country has nearly completed its summer harvest, with 87.8 percent of its winter wheat gathered by harvesting machines, up 2 percentage points from one year earlier. More than 96 percent of the wheat grown in the country's major agricultural provinces was gathered by harvesting machines, a rise of half to 1 percentage point year-on-year.

The ministry said last week that wheat output will increase for the eighth consecutive time this year.


West Lake makes UNESCO list

The World Heritage Committee (WHC) inscribed the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, on the UNESCO's World Heritage List on June 24 in Paris.

The 35th session of WHC recognized the West Lake and its hinterland as an extraordinary model of cultural landscape, which reflects Chinese philosophy and aesthetics and which has inspired countless landscape artists in China and abroad. It is estimated that at its peak, 2 million tourists visited Hangzhou's West Lake in one day.

Wang Guoping, head of the West Lake's world heritage application team, said ticket prices of scenic spots will not rise and no real estate projects will be allowed in the designated area.


High-speed rail market overseas

China's railway sector will stick to its strategy to explore high-speed rail markets overseas, said Wang Yongping, spokesman for the Ministry of Railways.

China is now filing patent applications for its high-speed railway technologies in countries and regions including the United States, Brazil, Europe, Russia and Japan, which is an indispensable step for tapping overseas markets, said Li Jun, director of the general affairs office of the transport bureau under the ministry.

So far 21 patent applications have been filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in these areas.


ECH measures to be reviewed

The Ministry of Commerce announced on June 27 it will re-examine lifting anti-dumping measures on epichlorohydrin (ECH) imported from four countries.

The ministry will evaluate the possibilities of dumping and damages if the measures were lifted, said a statement on the ministry website.

The ministry imposed five-year anti-dumping duties of up to 71.5 percent on ECH from Russia, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the United States on June 28, 2006, after finding the imports hurt the interests of domestic sector.


Priority for biotechnology

China will spend 2 trillion yuan ($308.5 billion) on science and technology, making biotechnology a major priority, in the next five years, Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong said at the ongoing 2011 International Conference for Bio-economy (Bio Eco 2011).

The Chinese government will work to further combine biotechnology with economic development and with improving ordinary people's livelihood, Liu said.

In the next five years, China will further use biotechnology to prevent disasters or alleviate the harm caused by them, to protect the environment, to employ "green" construction methods and to control climate change.

China Daily


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