China has issued a regulation to punish officials who forge or cover up data in statistical work.
The regulation, jointly published by the Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and National Bureau of Statistics on the government website on Tuesday, will take effect on May 1.
It is the first such regulation in China, according to a media statement.
"Statistics reflect the trend of the country's social and economic development but there are acts violating law and discipline in statistical work in some regional governments and departments," the statement said.
These acts affected the quality of data, undermined information backup for the country's macro-control and damaged the image of the Communist Party and the government, it said.
The regulation with 15 stipulations sets out punishment measures, especially for officials who fake statistics or publish data against the country's rules and procedures.
Serious penalties including dismissal, demotion, or unspecified "criminal punishment", would be imposed on people who unlawfully change statistics or ask others to do so and those who take revenge on people who refuse to fabricate data or blow the whistle on illegal acts.
People who leak data concerning State secrets, personal or family information and business secrets, as well as delaying reporting of statistics, would also face similar penalties.
It asks local supervisory bodies and the government to fully perform roles in cracking down on statistical corruption so as to safeguard the authenticity of statistical work.
Statistical corruption has been found in China for years to exaggerate local economic growth, which is often related to officials' promotion.
Earlier this month, Fujian province said last year it handled 754 cases concerning forging statistics and imposed fines up to about 1.38 million yuan ($203,000).
Source: China Daily
Chinese and US firms signed 32 trade and investment contracts on Monday worth some $10.6 billion, which the US Chamber of Commerce said will support US economic growth and job creation.
"With businesses in both countries struggling, these deals come at a critical time and will help create jobs and stronger commercial bonds between the United States and China," said Myron Brilliant, the chamber's senior vice president of international affairs, who presided over the signing ceremony.
Companies like China Mobile, Lenovo, Amway, Cisco, Dell, Emerson, EMC, Ford, Freescale and Hewlett-Packard signed deals at the ceremony.
"The Chinese government does not pursue a trade surplus with the US," visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming wrote in an article published on The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
"We will continue to encourage Chinese companies to import more from the US, and we will also welcome US companies and trade-promotion agencies to be more active in China," said Chen.
Prior to the signing ceremony, the US Chamber of Commerce and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products hosted a forum, at which senior American and Chinese business executives spoke about the importance of US-China cooperation in addressing shared economic, geostrategic, and environmental challenges.
Source: China Daily
BEIJING, April 27-- Chinese mainland companies can soon invest in Taiwan for the first time in six decades.
The mainland and Taiwan Sunday agreed on the long-awaited move at the third cross-Straits talks between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
ARATS, representing the mainland, and the Taiwan-based SEF signed three agreements to replace chartered flights with regular ones, jointly combat crime and boost cooperation in finance.
Taiwan sincerely welcomes mainland companies and will expand the field for them gradually, SEF said in a statement. The details of the investment regulations will be "announced in one to two months", SEF Vice-Chairman Kao Koong-lian told a press conference.
Zhang Guanhua, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' institute of Taiwan studies, said the move is "vital to the realization of direct trade across the Straits".
The central government has been calling for direct cross-Straits links in transport, postal services and trade since 1979, and allowed Taiwan companies to invest on the mainland in the 1980s.
But mainland companies were not allowed to invest in Taiwan. Only the mainland's real estate companies can enter the island's market at present, and that too under strict conditions.
"Since the top negotiators of ARATS and SEF have agreed on the investment issue and Taiwan has promised to take specific measures within two months, mainland companies should be able to invest in the island soon. This will turn the one-way investment process into a two-way affair," Zhang said.
The Taiwan authorities have been trying to boost cross-Straits relations since the end of last year and hope to seek the mainland's cooperation in industrial sectors, including in solar energy, herbal medicine, automobiles and aviation, Zhang said. It's these areas that are likely to be the first to be opened to mainland companies.
"Companies in these areas may have a greater chance of investing in Taiwan since the island authorities are eager to seek cooperation in these fields," Zhang said.
The Taiwan authorities, however, may not allow mainland investment in the island's pillar industries such as semiconductors for the time being, Zhang said.
"Nevertheless, as the cooperation progresses, I believe the scope for mainland companies will widen," he said.
ARATS and SEF signed an agreement yesterday to set up a regulatory framework for financial services firms to invest and do business in each other's markets. They agreed to gradually set up a clearing system for the Taiwan dollar and the yuan.
"This will drive new investment in the domestic market and bring strong interest from foreigners as well," Reuters quoted Standard Chartered economist Tony Phoo as having said.
"Even though there's nothing really (unexpected) that came out, it's something positive - something that's been holding back for too long," he said.
High hopes over the deals have supercharged Taiwan's stock market this year, making it the world's best performer after Shanghai.
Original Source: China Daily
Source: Xin Hua News
WASHINGTON -- Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said on Saturday that positive changes have taken place in the Chinese economy, whose overall performance is better than expected.
"Facing the impact of the financial crisis, the Chinese government has promptly introduced a policy package to expand domestic demand and maintain financial stability, striving to respond to the impact of the financial crisis," said Zhou at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting held here on Saturday.
"Positive changes have appeared in the operation of the national economy, and overall performance is better than expected, " said the Chinese central bank governor.
The slowdown in GDP growth has been contained, with GDP growth in the first quarter of 2009 reaching 6.1 percent, while the growth rate in industrial production has also rebounded, with industrial added value growing 5.1 percent over the same period last year, said Zhou, adding that "there are signs of gradual stabilization."
Meanwhile, Zhou warned that the Chinese economy is still facing challenges. "It should be recognized that the rebound in China's economy remains to be consolidated," he said.
"The internal and external environments are still challenging, external demand continues to shrink, the decline in export volume is relatively large, some industries have excess capacity, government revenue is falling, and employment pressures continue," he noted.
The Chinese government will continue its implementation of an aggressive fiscal policy and a moderately accommodative monetary policy, and implement the package plan in response to the crisis, said Zhou.
He stressed that the long-term economic development trend in China has not changed.
"As macroeconomic policies gradually take effect, China's economy has the conditions for maintaining relatively rapid development," he said.
Source: China Daily
Attorneys from Bullivant Houser Bailey PC, Scott E. Bartel (C, Front), John P. Yung (R, Front), Daniel B. Eng (L, Front) visit Lehman Lee & Xu at Lehman Lee & Xu ¡®s Beijing office, April 20, 2009.
On April 20, 2009, three attorneys on behalf of Bullivant Houser Bailey PC (Lehman Lee & Xu¡¯s strategic alliance) visit Lehman Lee & Xu. Two parties discuss legal practice and economic tendency at Lehman Lee & Xu¡¯s Beijing office. Bullivant attorneys believe, even under the present severe international economic situation, China's economy has survived the worst period and is now on its way to recovery. They also believe, there will be more and more Chinese enterprises go public in United States in the latter half of this year.
The two parties consent to join hands and move forward with close cooperation.
Re: Bullivant Houser Bailey PC and two Parties strategic alliance
Bullivant Houser Bailey PC is a law firm of more than 160 attorneys with six offices on the West Coast. Founded in 1938, the firm maintains offices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Vancouver, Washington; Sacramento and San Francisco, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
On July 14, 2008, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC and Lehman, Lee & Xu announced their strategic alliance. The two firms will provide People¡¯s Republic of China (¡°PRC¡±) corporate clients with greater access to foreign capital markets and funding.
Through the strategic alliance, Bullivant and Lehman can assist international companies in the following practice areas, including but not limited to:
Corporate Finance and Securities
China's lawmakers on Monday began to deliberate a set of treaties on judicial cooperation with foreign countries, and were expected to ratify them during a five-day session.
The pacts, two on the transfer of convicted criminals with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Australia respectively, and one with Venezuela on judicial assistance, were submitted by the State Council, or cabinet, to the 8th session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for approval.
The criminal transfer treaties would allow convicted persons to serve prison sentences in their home countries and facilitate their rehabilitation and eventual return to the society, Wu Aiying, minister of justice, said when explaining the treaties to the legislators.
Vice Foreign Minister Li Jinzhang said the judicial assistance pact would help crack down on criminal activities and protect the legal rights of citizens and companies of China and Venezuela.
The treaties, signed with Australia in September 2007, with the ROK in May 2008 and with Venezuela in September 2008, were believed to help further China's judicial cooperation with foreign countries and boost the friendly bilateral ties with the nations concerned, the State Council said.
Source: Xin Hua News
The Chinese central government is expected to launch its third batch of stimulus investments in large domestic projects in the second quarter to further boost its economy, according to the China Securities Journal Tuesday, citing an unidentified source.
The central government has so far cashed in a combined 230 billion yuan ($33.82 billion) for its 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package announced last November to bolster the slowing economy, 100 billion yuan in the fourth quarter and 130 billion yuan in the first quarter.
The newspaper said the new money would continue to be poured in projects that could benefit people's livelihood, such as health and education sectors, big infrastructure projects, and housing for low-income earners. Previous investments were dedicated to similar purposes.
An official of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) confirmed the new investment, but said the exact amount was not decided yet. He spoke to Xinhua Tuesday morning on condition of anonymity.
The newspaper said the second-quarter investment might be a larger amount than previous ones, as the government hoped to consolidate foundations for a possible economic recovery with more investment and the summer is a good time for construction work.
"It's good to cash in pledged investment as early as possible, because the economy is under deeper downward pressure in the first half," said Li Huiyong, a Shenyin & Wanguo analyst.
The central government has made arrangements on nearly 40 percent -- 230 billion yuan out of 590 billion yuan -- of the first half of its promised two-year investment, at 1.18 trillion yuan.
"Early arrangement of such investment can leave room for new stimulus plans, if the two-year 4-trillion-yuan package does not work out very well," Li said.
Tuesday's report came after Premier Wen Jiabao said Thursday that the country would "soon" cash in the third batch of pledged central government investment as a means to further expand investment. He said the economy was doing "better than expected" thanks to government stimulus moves.
China's fixed asset investment picked up in the first quarter with an increase of 28.8 percent, which outperformed the annual rate of 25.5 percent last year.
Source: China Daily
Apr 21, 2009
Premier Wen Jiabao made a whirlwind visit to Guangdong following his appearance at the Boao Forum as figures showed the export powerhouse has suffered its worst slump in decades, sources said.
The premier visited the Canton Fair held in Guangzhou, after a quick visit to Shenzhen. Sources said he inspected two exhibition halls where household appliances were on display and he talked to exhibitors.
This came as the export-orientated province, once the country's economic engine, recorded its weakest growth in 20 years in the first quarter of this year. Guangdong's GDP growth shrank to 5.5 per cent between January and last month, a marked slowdown from 10.5 per cent growth a year earlier.
Mainland trade officials yesterday admitted they saw no light at the end of the tunnel for the embattled export sector. Mr Wen's sudden visit was not on his announced schedule and reflects the central government's concerns for the province.
This was the third visit by Mr Wen in the past two years.
His visit to the Canton Fair brought hope to many exhibitors. Some believed that Beijing may wheel out more policies to help stimulate the economy.
"We are hoping the central government can deliver more stimulus policies," said an exhibitor from Ningbo, Zhejiang province, who said her name was Shen.
Ms Shen said that when Mr Wen entered the exhibition hall, all the exhibitors applauded.
She added that manufacturers' main request to Mr Wen and Beijing was for more tax rebates to help them recover from last year's severe hit.
Ministry of Commerce officials said the value of the export orders for the first of three parts of the Canton Fair had dropped by 20 per cent compared with October's session.
The second part of the spring session will be held from Friday to next Tuesday, and the third part will be from May 3 to 7.
Known officially as the 105th Session of the China Import and Export Fair, it is held twice a year and is seen as a prime indicator for the export industry. Fair spokesman Mu Xinhai provided figures detailing a significant drop in business. Mr Mu said that by Sunday, 82,520 overseas buyers had signed contracts worth US$13.03 billion, a drop in value of 20.8 per cent and a decline in the number of buyers of 5.4 per cent compared with October's session.
The global financial crisis, which has resulted in weak demand from overseas, especially from developing countries, is regarded by mainland experts and officials as the main cause of the export recession.
"Amid shrinking foreign demand, our exports will remain low in the short term," Mr Mu said.
According to the official report released yesterday, demand from the mainland's traditional trading partners - the European Union, Japan, Australia and the United States - dropped by up to 38.6 per cent compared with last autumn.
Source: South China Morning Post
China's state asset watchdog said Thursday it will prohibit management staff of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from transferring their shares in SOE affiliates and subsidiaries to their close relatives, its latest move to stop state assets ending up in private hands.
China issued a rule last October to forbid SOE middle and senior management officials to own shares in SOE affiliates, subsidiaries or other SOE-invested businesses, in order to curb state-asset losses. Those who already held such shares were ordered to transfer those interests.
The management staff are not allowed to sell the shares to their close relatives or the companies that the relatives control, said the State-owned Assets Supervision and Management Commission (SASAC) in a document, which made clear the details of the October rule.
Instead, the SOEs should be the first to buy those shares, whose prices should not exceed their audited net value in the previous fiscal year, said the SASAC.
Public discontent with state asset losses and privatization has been growing since share-holding reforms were launched three decades ago to introduce private ownership into SOEs.
SOE management ownership of equities in affiliates, subsidiaries and SOE-invested companies has led to problems, such as executives procuring products or services of those businesses at prices unreasonably higher than the market price, resulting in "state-owned assets losses in disguise," according to Zuo Daguang, director of the SASAC's Liaoning branch.
In order to contain insider-control and state-owned assets losses, the SASAC and the Ministry of Finance jointly issued a document in April 2005, forbidding management buyouts of large SOEs.
Thursday's document also specified the definition of the SOE senior and middle management staff, which include members of board of directors and supervisors. They were required to transfer shares in SOE affiliates within a year of the publication of the October rule or resign from their posts.
Source: China Daily
By Wang Xu and Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)
China said yesterday it will stick to its policy of maintaining a stable exchange rate, after the US Treasury Department said the yuan is undervalued.
"We will continue to promote the reform of the renminbi exchange rate mechanism, aiming to keep the renminbi basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a press conference. "It is in the interests of not only China but also the world."
Her comments came in response to a US Treasury report on Wednesday that said China didn't manipulate the exchange rate for export advantage, but it still claimed the yuan remains undervalued.
The report said China has taken steps to enhance exchange rate flexibility and reaffirmed the need to allow the exchange rate to adapt to an equilibrium level.
The renminbi has appreciated by 20 percent between June 2005 and February 2009. And the currency even appreciated slightly against the dollar when most other emerging markets and other currencies fell sharply against the dollar.
Dong Xian'an, chief economist with China Southwest Securities, said the US Treasury's remarks helped avoid a possible clash at a time when international cooperation is critical for pulling the world economy out of recession.
"Both nations will opt for cooperation, which is critical for global economic recovery," Dong said.
As the biggest foreign creditor of the US government, China further increased its purchases of American securities in February. Its holdings of Treasuries rose 0.6 percent to $744.2 billion, according to the latest International Capital Report by the US Treasury Department.
"China's investment and management of foreign reserves will follow the principles of safety, liquidity, value-increment and diversity," Jiang said.
It is estimated that 70 percent of China's $1.95 trillion in foreign exchange reserves is invested in US dollar-denominated assets.
"Currently, US Treasury bills, notes and bonds are considered comparatively safe and the most liquid," said Zhao Xijun, a finance professor from Renmin University of China.
Source: China Daily
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China posted a 20.6 percent year-on-year decline in the first quarter to $21.78 billion, the Ministry of Commerce announced Wednesday.
In March, FDI was $8.4 billion, the biggest amount since October 2008 which was $8.35 billion. However, the March figure was down 9.5 percent from a year earlier, ministry spokesman Yao Jian said at a news conference.
March was the sixth consecutive month that FDI fell. The good news is that the decline eased from the 15.81 percent drop in February and a 32.67 percent drop in January.
Zhang Hanya, an economist with the National Development and Reform Commission said a reduced decline indicated overseas investors growing confidence in the country's economic recovery.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday that the Chinese economy showed signs of positive improvement in the first quarter as a result of the economic stimulus package adopted by China.
Yao added stable investment inflows were important for the country to stabilize exports, enhance employment and boost consumption as the government tries to make China more attractive to investors.
The ministry said in March it was shifting authority for approving certain foreign investments to provincial governments.
Original Source: Xin Hua News
Source: China Daily
BEIJING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government published its first-ever working plan on human rights Monday, pledging to further protect and improve the country's human rights conditions.
The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010), issued by the Information Office of the State Council, or Cabinet, highlighted various human rights goals that would be implemented in less than two years.
The 54-page document is divided into five sections: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Civil and Political Rights; Rights and Interests of Ethnic Minorities, Women, Children, Elderly People and the Disabled; Education in Human Rights; and Performing International Human Rights Duties, and Conducting Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of International Human Rights.
"The realization of human rights in the broadest sense has been a long-cherished ideal of mankind and also a long-pursued goal of the Chinese government and people," the document stated.
In the future, China plans to continue to "raise the level of ensuring people's civil and political rights" through improving democracy and the rule of law.
CIVIL, POLITICAL RIGHTS TO BE GUARANTEED
The death of a Chinese man at a police station in Yunnan Province two months ago aroused public outcry for enhancing transparency and supervision of the country's detention system.
Their concerns were addressed in the second section of China's new human rights action plan, which stipulates principles for safeguarding detainees' rights and treatment.
Corporal punishment, abuse, insulting detainees or the extraction of confessions by torture will be strictly prohibited, according to the document.
"All interrogation rooms must impose a physical separation between detainees and interrogators," it stated, adding that a system for conducting physical examinations of detainees before and after an interrogation will be introduced.
Detainees, their families and society at large will be informed of detainees' rights as well as law-enforcement standards and procedures. Real-time supervision conducted by the people's procuratorate on law enforcement in prisons and detention houses will be intensified, according to the document.
"For detainees' convenience, complaint letter boxes should be set up in their cells and a detainee may meet the procurator stationed in a prison or detention house by appointment, if the former feels he has been abused and wants to make a complaint," it said.
Regarding the death penalty, the action plan stated it will be strictly controlled and prudently applied.
"Every precaution shall be taken in meting out a death sentence," and judicial procedures for death sentences will be stringently implemented.
"China adheres to the basic principle of a legally prescribed punishment for each specified crime, suitable punishment for each crime, criminal law equally applicable to everyone, public trials and statutory procedures," it read.
On the right to a fair trial, the document stipulated that "the information of open trials shall be fully released," and that courts "shall record or video their court sessions and major relevant trial activities, and establish audio-visual archives of trial work" for consultation.
"People's courts are required by law to give the reasons for cases that are not tried openly."
The action plan pledged to guarantee lawyers' rights to meet, correspond with and review files of persons in custody, as well as to conduct investigations and collect evidence.
"The state also guarantees the personal rights of lawyers and their right to debate or defend when they carry out their duties," the document stated.
It promised to improve government transparency through better disclosure of important information including revenue, expenditures and development plans.
On participation in political affairs, the government said the people's congress system, or legislative body, will be more widely represented by ethnic minorities, women, and farmers.
The government promised that "all channels are unblocked to guarantee citizens' right to be heard."
"Journalists' right to gather materials, criticize, comment and publish" will be ensured in accordance with the law. Citizens' right to use the Internet, in accordance with the law, will also be guaranteed.
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's leading political advisory body, will invite more social organizations to join to play a bigger role in reporting public opinions, according to the document.
"The channels for people to make complaints in the form of letters and visits will be broadened and remain unblocked," the document stated, vowing to establish a nationwide complaint information system and a state-level office to deal with complaints.
The government admitted that "China has a long road ahead in its efforts to improve its human rights situation," though unremitting efforts have been made to promote and safeguard human rights since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The government said its action plan was framed in response to the United Nations' call for establishing a national human rights plan. It was also based on the essentials of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Source: Xin Hua News
THE Ministry of Commerce is sending a delegation to the United States this month to explore trade and investment opportunities - close on the heels of a similar mission to Europe - according to sources.
The team will visit Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco on a 10-day trip later in the month.
Gao Yaling, a press officer at the ministry, confirmed the trip but would not elaborate.
The trip comes only two months after a commerce minister-led trade mission to Europe, where Chinese enterprises signed deals worth more than US$13 billion in four countries.
Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher on China-U.S. relations at Qinghua University, said: ¡°When many countries are trying to shut their doors and protect their domestic markets, China is demonstrating its commitment to free trade by sending such missions to major trading partners.¡±
The delegation is also seen as a prelude to a trade and economic dialogue between China and United States, the first after the U.S. President Barack Obama took office.
Beijing dispatched similar missions to the United States before each year¡¯s high-level Strategic Economic Dialogue, or SED, a bi-annual event initiated by President Hu Jintao and former U.S. President George W. Bush in 2006.
Between then and 2008, Chinese enterprises purchased technologies, goods and services worth US$62.4 billion.
The shopping missions ¡°set a good example for other countries and are conducive to a better global trade environment,¡± said Feng Lei, a researcher on international trade with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. ¡°The current crisis is, to a large extent, a crisis of confidence. Buying trips by China will help restore confidence of enterprises and consumers both in China and other countries,¡± he said.
The purchases will also help reduce China¡¯s trade surplus with the United States, said Zhou.
During the first two months of the year, China¡¯s exports to the United States declined by 16.1 percent to US$29.1 billion, and imports were US$10.4 billion, down 20.9 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of US$18.7 billion.
Zhou, who used to work at the Ministry of Commerce, said the government plans to send similar delegations to Africa and Japan later this year.
Source: Shenzhen Daily
China's central bank announced Wednesday a sale of 70 billion yuan (about $10 billion) of three-month bills in Beijing on Thursday.
The move was aimed at maintaining a steady growth in the country's monetary base and keeping interest rates stable, said the People's Bank of China in a statement.
Since the beginning of 2009, the central bank has increased the frequency of its three-month bill sales. In February, it sold three-month bills once every week. Thursday's sale will be the biggest one since May 2008.
A Guosen Securities report said the amount of liquidity in the market is abundant and commercial banks need more channels for short-term investment. Three-month bill sales helped broaden the channels.
Analysts said the central bank might continue to drain funds from the market as new yuan-denominated loans reached about 2.5 trillion yuan in the first two months, but it will leave it on track to conduct a small net injection into the market in March as several previous sales will be due this month.
A total of 5 billion yuan (731.5 million U.S. dollars) of the local government bonds of the Henan Province are scheduled for sale on April 7, said the Chinese Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Friday.
The batch of bonds, which is the third of its kinds in China, will be issued by the MOF on behalf of the Henan provincial government and take the form of book-entry national treasury bonds.
The ministry said the three-year bonds will be sold to investors between April 7 and April 9, and will become tradable as of April 13 on the inter-bank market and securities exchanges.
The bonds have a fixed coupon of 1.63 percent, higher than that of the previous two batches of bonds, with interest to be paid annually.
China planned to float 200 billion yuan of local government bonds this year, with the first batch of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government and the second of Anhui Province issued on March30 and April 1, respectively.
The ministry said most of the 200-billion-yuan local government bonds would be issued during the second and third quarters this year.
According to the ministry, Sichuan Province will be the next to have its local bonds issued, with the public bidding starting on April 7.
HONG KONG: The court will rule on the PCCW privatization case next Monday, High Court Judge Susan Kwan said after the second day of hearings into the matter.
PCCW Chairman Richard Li offered shareholders a buyout price of HK$4.2 per share to privatize the Hong Kong-based telecom carrier last December. The offer price was later increased to HK$4.5 due to opposition from minority shareholders. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) began to investigate the transaction after alleged vote rigging took place at the PCCW shareholder meeting on Feb 4.
Earlier, the SFC revealed in court that PCRD Deputy Chairman Francis Yuen had contacted Fortis' Regional Head Lam Hau-wah before the key vote on the PCCW privatization plan on Feb 4.
SFC lawyer Winston Poon told the court yesterday that the regulator found that Yuen had talked to Lam thrice on the phone before he acquired PCCW shares from the market on Jan 5.
When SFC quizzed Yuen and Lam, both claimed that they had forgotten the contents of their phone conversations, he said.
The link-up between Yuen and Lam was found to be suspicious given that the latter used to earlier assist Yuen at Fortis Insurance. However, they deliberately played down the relationship during the inquiry, Poon said.
Benjamin Yu, the lawyer who represented PCCW's major shareholder Starvest, earlier questioned the SFC investigation of Lam and Yuen, saying the probe was biased and incomplete. However, Poon did not agree with the contention.
Source: China Daily
LONDON - Leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) industrialized and emerging economies kicked off their one-day discussion in London on Thursday and are expected to issue a joint communique for a global solution to the financial and economic crisis.
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown (L) greets US President Barack Obama as he arrives for the G20 summit at the ExCel centre, in east London April 2, 2009. [Agencies]
The summit started by a breakfast scheduled at 8:30 am local time after the leaders were greeted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the entrance of London's exhibition center, or ExCel London, in eastern London.
Security is tight around the venue. Police can be seen at every crossroads within about five kilometers. Journalists have to pass through two security checkpoints to get to the press center, where about 2200 registered journalists work and many of them stayed for the night.
Outside the Excel, anti-capitalist protesters started their second day of protests. On Wednesday, at least 87 were arrested and one protester died, London's police said.
Brown, the host, who made a global trip and met the leaders to prepare for the summit, said he was confident that the summit will produce consensus on a global plan for economic recovery and reform. "We are within a few hours, I think, of agreeing a global plan for economic recovery and reform and I think the significance of this is that we are looking at every aspect," Brown said on the eve of the summit.
The leaders are expected to have a busy day of intensive talks. A joint communique will be issued at the end of the summit. Expectations are high that the leaders of the world's largest economies would be committed to a coordinated response to the economic crisis, an overhaul of the global financial architecture and restraint from protectionism.
Attending the meeting are leaders from Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, the United States and the European Union (EU).
Source: China Daily
On 17 October, 2008, the Shenzhen Administration for Industry and Commerce (¡°AIC¡±) issued a notice, stating that ¡°[i]n accordance with the Decree of Government Information Openness and relevant regulations of Shenzhen government information openness, all basic information of entities registered with Shenzhen AIC is open to the public. The public can look up the information from the AIC official website. AIC also has set up a serach system in the AIC Registration Hall and all the entities information such as capitals, shareholders, modifications and etc. are free to the public.¡±
According to the previous rule, access to company files should cost no less than RMB50 yuan. The charge was approved by the Price Bureau and was completely legal. Some considered that it was unreasonable that AIC charged money for information that was supposed to be open. The charge could be described as ¡°a legal robbery¡±. The new notice removed the charge which was sure to be popular.
However, this morning, when I went to Futian District AIC to search full set of company files, he was informed that he should go to the Municipal AIC to obtain the files. According to our experience, the company files s District AIC if the company was registered with the District AIC. Since being rejected, I went to the Municipal AIC accordingly.
When I arrived at the Municipal AIC, I was told that I should have applied first, and in 15 days AIC would notice us whether I would be approved to look up or not. What¡¯s more, I should have been agreed by the company that I intended to look up. That is to say, when I paid for the charge, it would take me about 1 hour to look up the company information; when it¡¯s free, how much time am I supposed to spend? Obviously, when AIC provides the free service, it also sets up complicated procedures and ineffectiveness. Although we don¡¯t have to pay RMB50 yuan, we have to spend more time and more cost.
In Chinese government circles there¡¯s a saying ¡°there's always countermeasure to a policy¡± to describe the local government issuing local rules to counter the central government policies. It seems that Shenzhen AIC also followed the rule and the real intention, which is to provide citizens with conveniences, would be settled for a lot less.
At last, I would like to say: ¡°How I miss the times when I was robbed legally!¡±
China's central government has worked out a long-term real estate development plan and will make it public after Oct 1, according to Qi Ji, vice minister of housing and urban-rural development.
Qi made the remarks on Friday while attending the proposal discussion at the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
"The plan, covering from the development to consumption stage, is partly aimed to address the job problems of migrant workers," Qi was quoted by Beijing Business Today as saying.
The construction sector usually employs around 30 million migrant workers.
"To maintain the situation, we have to do something to ensure the property investment and development," Qi added.
Source: China Daily
REGULATORS are cracking down on unqualified securities brokers after finding more than 60 percent hadn¡¯t passed professional exams, domestic media reported yesterday.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission will introduce new rules next month demanding all brokers have standard qualifications and work for only one firm at a time, the China Daily reported.
Competitive practices ¡°among brokers may harm the rights of investors and affect the development of the securities market. Therefore, it was necessary to regulate the market,¡± an unnamed regulatory official was quoted as saying.
Small securities firms hire low-paid, unregistered and uncontracted brokers on a commission basis and then distance themselves from them if investors complain, Xinhua reported.
Only 30,000 of China¡¯s 80,000 securities brokers had passed the qualifying exams as of the end of October, the China Daily reported, quoting the regulator.
After the financial crisis broke, China took pride in its tightly regulated financial industry.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 65.5 percent last year, the steepest annual loss in the market¡¯s 18-year history.
Source: Shenzhen Daily