Friday, September 19, 2008

China to push forward South-South agricultural cooperation

China will continue to cooperate with developing countries in pushing forward South-South agricultural cooperation, said China's Ministry of Agriculture on Friday.

Lu Xiaoping, the deputy chief of the international cooperation department of the ministry, made the remarks at a news briefing on Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals scheduled for Sept. 25 in New York.

"China is still a developing country. It has a common task with many developing countries in developing its domestic economy, improving the people's living standards and realizing the MDGs," said Lu.

He said China had established effective and pragmatic agricultural cooperative mechanisms with many developing countries. It aimed at promoting information-sharing, research cooperation and technology exchanges in the agricultural field.

"The Ministry of Agriculture has forged sound relations with many international agricultural organizations, financial institutes and developing countries," he said.

"In addition, China signed cooperative documents or memorandums on agriculture with more than 30 developing countries, which established the cooperative mechanism in the field."

Under the framework of the mechanism, China promoted cooperation with the governments of many developing countries on both policy and technology exchanges. They also coordinated with one another in international agricultural negotiations and enacting international rules on agriculture.

Lu said China had helped some of the developing countries to build agricultural technology demonstration centers and farms, which helped them to share China's successful experience and practical technology.

"China carried through cooperation in the planting industry and the prevention of cross-border animal epidemic diseases," he said.

China had also played an active role in human resource exploration and management in the agricultural field, such as sending agricultural experts and technicians as well as holding training courses and seminars, which benefited thousands of people.

So far, China has sent nearly 1,000 agricultural experts and technicians to more than 20 countries. Regarding Ethiopia alone, China had sent about 300 agricultural teachers there in seven years, which benefited more than 30,000 local teachers.

Set in 2000, MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and improving maternal health, all by 2015.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese FM: Credit turmoil won't compromise UN development goals

China on Friday reaffirmed its efforts to honor its commitments to the United Nations development goals despite the global financial turmoil.

"China, together with developing countries, is concerned about the U.S. financial situation, which was triggered by the U.S. credit crunch," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told journalists.

"But I don't think the turmoil will compromise the UN Millennium Development Goals," or MDGs. "China will honor its commitments," he said.

He made the comments at a press briefing on Premier Wen Jiabao's attendance at the UN MDG summit in New York on Sept. 25.

Set in 2000, the MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and improving maternal health, all by 2015.

As this year coincided with the mid-term review for the MDG, heads of states or government chiefs from 140 countries will attend the summit, he said.

"The presence of so many world leaders at the summit shows their intent to carry out the commitments in reaching the MDGs," he said.

Wen will address the summit, elaborating what China has done to realize goals on global poverty alleviation and offering suggestions on how to better attain the goals.

Wen will also attend the general debate of the 63rd UN General Assembly, outlining China's development strategy and foreign policy.

"We can't foresee how the financial market will move, but we can prevail over difficulties as long as all countries make concerted efforts," the vice minister said.

"As for China, our economy is much more solid than in past. Thus, I am confident we will implement our commitments for the MDGs," he said.

Source: Xinhua

China, India conclude border talks without agreement

China and India concluded two days of border talks on Friday without reaching any specific agreements.

"Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan headed their delegations for the talks, which were pragmatic, candid and friendly," according to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

This was the 12th round of bilateral talks since China and India appointed special representatives in 2003 to expedite a resolution of the decades-long border issue.

The statement said Dai and Narayanan exchanged in-depth views on a framework to solve the issue.

They agreed that both countries would carry out the guidelines of their leaders, maintain negotiations and seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides.

The brief statement did not indicate whether any progress had been made during the latest talks.

The next round of discussions will take place in India, according to the statement.

Source: Xinhua

China to launch 100-day campaign to beef up road safety

The Ministry of Public Security will launch a 100-day campaign on Sunday aimed at preventing serious road accidents.

"The aim of the campaign is to avoid very serious road accidents that kill more than 10 people and markedly decrease those causing more than three to five deaths," Vice Minister Liu Jinguo told a conference here.

The ministry directed local bureaus nationwide to check all passenger vehicles within their area and offer education to all drivers at least once before Oct. 15.

Local offices were directed to overhaul road signals and traffic safety facilities, report any hidden troubles and give feasible suggestions for improvement.

Liu said that those who failed to complete these measures would face punishment.

Liu urged local bureaus to beef up rural road safety, check and register all vehicles of seven seats or more and those transporting dangerous chemicals, and absolutely avoid overcrowding.

On Sept. 13, a bus accident in southwestern Sichuan Province killed all 51 people aboard.

Source: Xinhua

As tainted milk is withdrawn, China says supplies are sufficient

The Ministry of Commerce said here on Friday that 3,215 tonnes of milk powder had been removed from retail outlets around the country amid the tainted milk scandal, but supplies of safe domestic milk powder are sufficient.

The ministry is to continue monitoring the market and take effective measures to guarantee supply. A daily report system, initiated on Sept. 15, requires local authorities, major dealers and manufacturers to report key statistics, such as the price, stock and sales of milk powder.

The National Development and Reform Commission also issued an emergency notice, asking local authorities to step up price monitoring and intervene when necessary to stabilize the price of baby milk powder.

More than 6,200 infants have developed kidney stones after drinking baby formula tainted with the hazardous chemical melamine, which makes the protein content of the milk appear higher.

Dairy giant Sanlu, based in the Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang in north China, was the first company exposed in the scandal, but subsequent investigations found a total of 22 manufacturers involved, including leading companies such as the Bright Dairy & Food and Mengniu Group.

Source: Xinhua

HK testers: No more dairy products from mainland tainted

All the 47 samples of dairy products, including milk, milk beverage, milk powder, yogurt and condensed milk, were free from melamine, Hong Kong testers said Friday.

The Center for Food Safety of Hong Kong released the latest batch of test results of the Chinese mainland dairy products on Friday.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to collect dairy product samples for testing," a CFS spokesman said.

The CFS warned the public on Thursday not to consume dairy products from Chinese mainland's brand Yili as eight samples of its goods had been found to contain melamine.

Source: Xinhua

HK stocks rally dramatically, market's full recovery looms

Hong Kong stocks rallied 9.61 percent Friday, its biggest gain in eight months, but analysts and traders said it was too early to say whether the local equities market has fully recovered.

Hong Kong's benchmark Index on Friday almost recouped all the losses in former three sessions this week, following Wall Street's overnight rally and Chinese mainland's rebound Friday on news of latest market-boosting measures.

But analysts said the index will likely remain in a wide 16,000-20,000 range in the near term as uncertainties surrounding global economic growth and the health of major financial institutions continue to loom.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 410.03 points or 3.86 percent overnight, boasted on news that worldwide leading central banks injecting multi-billion U.S. dollars capital to ease liquidity in strained markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up nearly 9.46 percent, the biggest one-day percentage gain in seven years, on news that Chinese mainland government launches a series of major rescue market-boosting efforts.

The central government on Thursday announced to cancel the share trading stamp tax on stock purchase, effective on Friday, while the stamp tax on share selling remained unchanged at 0.1 percent.

Central Huijin Investment said it began buying ICBC, China Construction Bank and Bank of China Thursday, sending the three banks' share prices steeply up in Hong Kong market which led Friday's blue-chip gains.

Analysts said Bank of China's rally was also helped by its purchase of a 20 percent stake in France's Compagnie Financiere Edmond de Rothschild.

However, the strong gains in regional stock markets failed to allay concerns that the turmoil in the global financial markets will continue to exert downward pressure on local shares, analysts said.

"Investors should be taking today's opportunity to trim some holdings rather than chasing into a rally," said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia, as the bear market isn't over.

Peter Lai, a director at DBS Vickers Securities, said there hasn't been enough change in the market and companies' fundamentals to warrant optimism on their outlook.

"Trading remains driven by news and sentiment, so I would expect index to continue to swing wildly in the near term," he said.

Source: Xinhua