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Updated: 2013-09-06 09:26

(China Daily)

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Beijing to consider fees for car congestion

Beijing may take the road followed by other international cities by imposing a congestion fee for cars.

Noting the practice of cities such as London, Milan and Tokyo, the Chinese capital may limit car use in central areas, which authorities hope will cut pollution levels and ease traffic congestion.

Car emissions are believed to account for one-third of PM2.5, a major air pollutant, in most congested areas in Beijing.

The congestion charge would be levied mainly on vehicles in the downtown area and will be set out in the near future by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau and the Beijing Commission of Transport.

The congestion fee is one of the key aspects of a five-year clean-air action plan for the Chinese capital, which has been choking in smog, especially during winter heating seasons.

Capital aims to slash coal use

The Beijing municipal government has vowed to slash the city's consumption of coal by more than 50 percent over five years based on 2012 levels, according to a clean-air action plan issued on Sept 2.

The government plans to reduce the proportion of coal used within the city's total energy mix to below 10 percent. Pollution from coal-fired emissions is a major contributor to Beijing's smog, especially during the winter. It is hoped the plan is to reduce the amount of fine particulate matter to 60 micrograms a cubic meter by 2017, which would be a 25 percent drop from 2012 levels. This will require a reduction in coal consumption of 13 million metric tons over five years. The municipal government has been cutting down on coal consumption for 14 years, according to China Environmental News, which is run by the Environmental Protection Ministry.


Opportunities seen despite dispute

China and Vietnam should properly handle sea disputes and convert challenges into cooperation opportunities, Premier Li Keqiang has told his Vietnamese counterpart.

Li made the remarks in Nanning, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Sept 2, a day before the opening of the 10th ASEAN-China Expo.

China is willing to work with ASEAN to build an "upgraded version" of the China-ASEAN free trade area, he said.

Leaders attending the expo included Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laos' Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Myanmar President Thein Sein, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

China and ASEAN should "maintain the right direction of East Asian cooperation" against the backdrop of a slow recovery of the world economy and new challenges facing emerging market countries, Li said.


CPC's anti-graft website signals openness

The Communist Party of China's anti-corruption watchdog launched a new website on Sept 2 as part of its efforts to increase openness and transparency.

The website,, is jointly operated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision. It replaces one focused on news and information about the ministry, as well as the supervision system.

The two agencies have been sharing staff and offices since 1993, when the Party and the central government decided to merge their responsibilities to streamline organizations.

It also consists of 10 sections, including an online forum where the public can leave opinions and proposals, as well as ask questions about anti-corruption work.

The website receives tips about suspected corruption cases and releases information on anti-corruption investigations. The public can access a database of laws and Party regulations related to corruption.


Police pledge tougher fight against drugs

The number of drug addicts in China had increased to 2.26 million by late June, up 16.5 percent from June 2012, the minister of public security said on Sept 2. Guo Shengkun, also a State councilor, vowed to crack down on illegal drug production and trafficking with heavy punishments. He noted that the number of China's registered drug addicts has doubled in the past five years.

Guo made the remarks during a meeting of the China National Narcotics Control Commission. Public security authorities have found illegal drug-making activities in 28 of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland, he said.


Oil giants fail environmental tests

The country's two major oil providers China National Petroleum Corp and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp have been punished by the Environmental Protection Ministry for failing their 2012 environmental tests.

The evaluation, released on Aug 29, was based on four indicators: chemical oxygen demand, which shows the concentration of organic matter in the water; ammonia nitrogen, a major cause of excessive nutrients in water; and the airborne pollutants sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

The indicator for chemical oxygen demand for China National Petroleum Corp, or CNPC, Asia's largest oil and gas producer, was reduced by 0.08 percent in 2012, far below the target reduction of 0.6 percent.


SASAC head latest target in graft probe

Authorities are investigating the head of the state assets regulator for "serious discipline violations", the top discipline watchdog said on Sept 1. Jiang Jiemin, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, is being probed for "grave discipline violations", a term that generally refers to corruption, according to a statement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party of China's graft-fighting watchdog.

The duties of SASAC include supervising and managing state-owned assets, guiding and pushing forward the reform and restructuring of state-owned enterprises, and appointing and removing top executives of supervised enterprises, according to the SASAC website.

China Daily

 IN BRIEF (Page 2)

President Xi Jinping arrives in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan on Sept 3, the first stop of his first trip to Central Asia since he took office in March. Huang Jingwen / Xinhua

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The cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 12th Chinese National Games in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province on Aug 31. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily European Weekly 09/06/2013 page2)