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China starts anti-dumping investigations into US chicken (Xinhua)

Updated: 2009-09-27 11:47

China Sunday started anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into chicken products imported from the United States, the Ministry of Commerce said.

The ministry had carefully evaluated applications from domestic chicken producers, and found grounds for investigation. It will make a final judge based on law and facts, it said.

The United States is the largest chicken products exporter to China, comprising 90 percent of the 407,000 tons of chicken China imported in the first half of 2009.

Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 27, 2009, 3:48 pm


By Fu Jing, Li Jing and Huang Xiangyang (chinadaily.com.cn)

New York City: President Hu Jintao Tuesday told a huge gathering of world leaders that China will spare no effort in ensuring a deal is reached at the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen.

Hu said China will fight for a "significant cut" in carbon emissions while urging developed countries to help other developing nations.

He made the commitment during a one-day summit on climate change in New York. The session was attended by more than 100 heads of state and government leaders, the largest gathering of world leaders seeking to address climate change.

The meeting was aimed at mobilizing political will to "accelerate the pace of negotiations and help strengthen the ambition of what is on offer," according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

While urging rich countries to transfer financial resources and technology to poorer nations, Hu said they should help equip African countries, small island nations, less-developed countries and land-locked nations adapt to climatic catastrophes.

"China will continue its unremitting endeavors in boosting energy efficiency and by 2020, we should try to achieve a significant cut of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product," Hu said.

Experts said it was the first time China's leader had described shifting China's policy away from energy intensity toward carbon management.

It was also the first time China had announced its mid-term goal of mitigating climate change, even though it has not yet added numbers.

"The pledge of a carbon intensity cut has been embedded with tremendous policy implications for China's future sustainable development," Daniel Dudek, chief economist with US-based Environmental Defense, told China Daily.

Dudek said Hu went to New York with new commitments.

"These announcements should sweep away the canard that China is not willing to reduce emissions," Dudek said.

The question now is whether China's pledges will propel the US Senate toward controlling global warming.

Dudek said 2020 will be an important year because it marks the beginning of the period in which scientists believe global emissions must peak if the world is to avoid devastating impacts of climate change.

"In this sense, a magnificent carbon cut in China by then would contribute mightily to turning global emissions from growth to reduction," said Dudek.

Hu also told world leaders China will seek to produce 15 percent of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020. Much of that will come from renewable energy and nuclear power.

He said the nation also plans to battle climate change by planting more trees and he committed to increase forested areas by 40 million hectares.

China will also develop a greener, low-carbon economy, encourage recycling and tap the potential of climate-friendly technologies.

But he insisted that, despite far-reaching social and economic improvements in recent decades, China is still a developing country.

And he said it is well down the global rankings of per capita GDP, with imbalanced domestic development.

"We have been faced with tough difficulties and we still have long way to go toward modernization," Hu said.

Despite its developing-nation status, he said China realizes the "toughness and urgency" of the fight against global warming and said the country has made great strides.

"And we will continue our unshakable efforts in fighting climate change," Hu said, while urging developed countries to make good on their Kyoto Protocol promise to cut emissions by 5 percent of their 1990 levels.

Hu said Copenhagen could be a milestone for the world while calling on developed countries to transfer technology and financial support to developing countries.

Yang Fuqiang, director of the global climate change solutions program at WWF, said China will intensify its domestic efforts to ensure it meets President Hu¨s promise to cut carbon intensity by 2020.

And Yang said the carbon intensity target is likely to be "quantified" before the Copenhagen climate summit.

"To fulfill this commitment, the country will include the carbon intensity targets ... in its 12th and 13th Five-Year Plans (between 2010 and 2020)," said Yang.

Yu Hongyuan, an associate professor with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said China has already started to draw up low-carbon economy guidelines and action plans to fight global warming at the provincial levels.

"This shows the carbon intensity goal proposed by President Hu is not beyond reach," said Yu.

The technology and experience China has built up will be of great assistance to less developed countries, Yang said.

With the carbon intensity cut, and improvements to the country's energy efficiency, Yang said China will slash 4.5 billion tons of carbon emissions between 2005 and 2020.

Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 24, 2009, 11:17 am

WTO chief heeds US move on Chinese tires

World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Pascal Lamy said Wednesday that he was concerned about the latest move by the Obama administration to restrict import of Chinese-made tires.

"It's certainly a matter of concern," Lamy told reporters in Geneva.

"Both the United States and China are members of the G20, and the G20 has taken this stance that they shouldn't have recourse to trade restrictive measures during the crisis," he said.

According to the WTO director-general, the US move could increase the risk of a "tit-for-tat spillover."

"Anything that increases the risk of spillover trade restrictive measures is a matter of concern for me," he added.

US President Barack Obama decided last week to impose punitive tariffs up to 35 percent on all car and light truck tires from China in a so-called attempt to "remedy the clear disruption to the US tire industry."

China had denounced the US move as a "serious act of trade protectionism" and it had filed a complaint to the WTO.

Lamy declined to comment on whether the US special safeguard measure against China violates WTO rules, but said that the WTO's dispute settlement system can finally make the judgment.

Original Source: Xinhua
Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 22, 2009, 9:07 am

China, EU agree to strengthen cooperation through talks

China and EU agreed in Rome Sunday to continue their dialogue in order to strengthen the important cooperation with each other.

Hua Jianmin, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), or China's legislature, met with President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek in Rome, before attending a summit for parliament speakers of the Group of Eight (G8) and emerging economies on behalf of top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo.

During the meeting, Hua said that as two major international forces, China and the EU to deepen mutual cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of both sides. The NPC is willing to continue making dialogues with the European Parliament in order to strengthen the bilateral cooperation.

Hua believed that the two sides should continue enhancing Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership in order to have a better communication and cooperation in the international financial crisis, climate change and other aspects.

Busek said that the relation with China is very important for the EU, and the European Parliament wants to engage in frank dialogue with the NPC to promote Sino-EU cooperation in all fields.

On Saturday in Rome Hua also met with Speaker of Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Gianfranco Fini and Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa, Hon Max Vuyisile Sisulu.

Original source: Xin Hua
Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 17, 2009, 12:11 pm

China wants WTO talks on US tariffs

The government Monday filed a formal request for consultations with the United States under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement mechanism over steep US tariffs imposed on Chinese tires.

The two countries will have 60 days to try to resolve the dispute through consultations, according to the WTO's dispute settlement system. If consultations fail, China can request a WTO panel to investigate and rule on the case.

"China believes that the measure by the US, which runs counter to relevant WTO rules, is a wrong practice abusing trade remedies," the Chinese mission to the Geneva-based body said in a statement.

"China's request with the US for consultations is based on the normal practice of WTO members under the dispute settlement mechanism and concrete action by China to protect its own interests," the statement said.

US President Barack Obama on Friday approved to apply an increased duty to all imports of passenger vehicles and light truck tires from China for three years.

Besides the existing 4-percent duties, tariffs will increase a further 35 percent in the first year, 30 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third. The decision will take effect before Sept 26.

China quickly denounced the US move as a serious act of trade protectionism that violates WTO regulations.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian on Monday said that China hopes all sides will understand its determination to firmly fight against trade protectionism in a bid to safeguard the multilateral trading system and its intention to jointly seek global economic recovery.

"The Chinese government has taken a wise decision to resort to the WTO dispute settlement system. As a WTO member, China is trying to protect the interest of its own tire industry while playing by the rules of WTO," said Zhang Yuqing, WTO dispute settlement body panelist.

But Zhang said he saw little possibility for the two sides to resolve the dispute during the 60-day consultations.

"It is impossible for the US to withdraw its decision so quickly. Neither would China accept the current situation. It would ultimately be up to the ruling of a WTO dispute settlement panel," Zhang said.

The Chinese government on Sunday launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigation into automotive and chicken imports from the US.

The commerce ministry said it acted in response to domestic concerns and the move is not retaliation against the tire dispute.

Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 16, 2009, 3:45 pm

Probe 'not revenge' for hefty tire tariff

By Si Tingting

(China Daily)

Updated: 2009-09-14 06:41

Just two days after the decision by the United States to levy heavy import tariffs on Chinese tires, the government here has reacted by launching an anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigation into automotive and chicken exports from the US.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Sunday did not label it as retaliation against the tire dispute, but said it acted simply in a response to domestic concerns.

The probe, which is in line with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, follows complaints from Chinese manufacturers that US-made products entered the nation's markets with "unfair competition" and harmed domestic industries, said the ministry in a statement.

MOFCOM added it is still opposed to trade protectionism and committed to working towards global economic recovery.

US President Barack Obama's signed a document "to apply an increased duty to all imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China for a period of three years" on Friday, according to the White House.

In addition to the existing duties of 4 percent, tariffs will rise a further 35 percent in the first year, 30 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third. The levy will take effect before Sept 26.

The move was met with anger in China.

Minister of Commerce Chen Deming branded the decision a violation of WTO rules, a grave act of trade protectionism and a breach of the commitment the US made at the Group of 20 (G20) financial summit in London in April.

"This is an abuse of special safeguard provisions and sends the wrong signal to the world," he said in a statement on the MOFCOM website. He assured China would do everything in its power to protect the legitimate rights of the tire producers but did not elaborate.

However, in an earlier statement, ministry spokesman Yao Jian said the country would "reserve all legitimate rights, including referring the case to the WTO".

Washington played down the dispute on Saturday, claiming it is simply "enforcing the rules" and did not expect the move to escalate into a trade war.

However, the US could also levy heavier tariffs on other imports from China, such as steel, aluminum and chemical products, according to an industry insider who asked to remain anonymous.

The US Commerce Department on Thursday said it had made a preliminary decision to impose duties ranging from 11 to 31 percent on imports of Chinese steel pipes used for oil and gas wells.

The ruling supports the proposal made by the nation's steel producers led by US Steel Corp, which claimed Chinese imports were granted unfair subsidies.

MOFCOM, however, said the ruling is not in line with the subsidy and anti-subsidy agreements under the WTO framework.

Chinese officials and their US counterparts have been unable to reach an agreement after five months of talks. However, the new tariff is lower than the 55 percent proposed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) based on a petition led by the United Steelworkers union (USW) that said tire imports had tripled since 2004, causing plant closures and job losses.

MOFCOM spokesman Yao said the move would push the cost onto the consumers, cause US wholesalers and retailers to scramble to find other suppliers, and fail to create new jobs in the US.

"Chinese tire producers pose no direct competition to those in the US," he said before adding that China's tire exports to the US had not witnessed a remarkable increase as claimed by the USW.

Last year, the country's tire exports to the US grew by just 2.2 percent compared to 2007 and, in the first half of this year, fell 16 percent compared to 2008, explained Yao.

"Four US companies have tire production operations in China and account for two-thirds of exports to the US. The tariffs will have a direct impact on them," he said.

Cooper Tire and Rubber Co, a US-based tire maker, warned that higher tariff could disrupt markets.

The company said in a statement it believes in free and fair trade, and that the ITC's proposed remedy "is not appropriate or acceptable and could have significant negative impacts causing considerable market disruption".

The industry insider told China Daily the closure of many US tire factories "is, to some extent, a result of the strategic adjustment of the tire industry", with many tire firms moving production of low-end tires off-shore to make use of cheap labor.

"President Obama's decision is not in the interest of companies seeking higher profit margins," the insider said.

Analysts claim the actions of the Obama administration are at odds with its public statements about how protectionism could deepen the ongoing crisis.

The US and China, the world's two major economic engines, vowed to cooperate in the fight against the world recession but this dispute has caused friction before its top officials meet at a G20 summit in Pittsburgh on Sept 24-25. Obama is also expected to visit China in November.

The tariff change has also sparked debate in the US.

USW's International President Leo Gerard hailed the tariff hike by saying it "sent the message that we expect others to live by the rules, just as we do".

However, Marguerite Trossevin, legal counsel to the American Coalition for Free Trade in Tires, a pro-business group, said: "We are certainly disheartened the president bowed to the USW and disregarded the interests of thousands of other US workers and consumers."

Source: China Daily...

China News 0 Comment September 14, 2009, 5:50 pm

Assets of former Gome exec frozen

The Hong Kong High Court yesterday extended an order to freeze $214 mill
on in assets of Huang Guangyu, the former chairman of Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings, as he faces legal prosecution and investigation on the mainland.

The High Court last month gave a temporary approval to an application by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to prevent Huang, his wife Du Juan and two holding companies from disposing of or trading in Gome's shares.

Huang wholly owns the two companies, Shinning Crown and Shine Group, which have about 779 million shares in Gome. The stocks are now held by the Hong Kong court.

The commission's lawyer, Simon Westbrook, said yesterday that freezing the assets of Huang and Du will not have an impact on Gome's business, and that the commission can also protect the company's shareholders.

The SFC has been looking for a mechanism to secure the value of Gome's assets, as its share price will "go up or down daily," Westbrook told reporters in Hong Kong.

Huang, also known as Wong Kwong-yu in Hong Kong, has been detained by the Beijing Public Security Bureau since November last year on suspicion of committing "economic crimes."

Winston Poon, the lawyer for Shinning Crown and Shine Group, told the court yesterday that both Huang and Du are still in detention on the mainland.

The couple is alleged to have organized a share repurchase by Gome in January and February 2008, so that Huang could use the proceeds of the stake sale to repay his $2.4-billion personal loan to a financial institution.

The commission yesterday asked the High Court to give approval for topping up the share deposits, which will stabilize the price of the stock if the asset value of Gome drops during the frozen period. The court, however, rejected the request.

"It is undesirable for the court to have such discretion," Judge Susan Kwan said in yesterday's chambers hearing.

Westbrook said the commission reserves the right to come back and ask for a top-up to maintain the proximate value of $214 million.

"If there's a substantial, sustained drop, then we'll probably come back," Westbrook added.

The SFC said the dealings have caused Gome and its shareholders to lose $206 million, while it is also seeking a ruling for the couple to pay damages to Gome and restore the financial positions of any parties involved.

Moving against the 2.14 percent of the benchmark Hang Seng Index, shares in Gome finished down 1.79 percent, or HK$0.04, at HK$2.19.

Fiona Wong, research analyst manager at Wing Fung Financial Group Limited, said Huang's custody will put pressure on Gome's share price, yet she expects the company to run better business in the second half.

Source: China Daily

China News 0 Comment September 11, 2009, 3:30 pm



Updated: 2009-09-09 07:48

China will gradually reduce limits on equity stake proportion in investment from overseas companies, allowing qualified foreign-invested enterprises to list in the country's stock market, Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, said Tuesday.

The move aims at expanding cooperation fields between China and foreign countries, innovating investment avenues and optimizing foreign investment structures, Chen said at the 13th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen, southeastern Fujian Province without saying when it will take effect.

China's used foreign direct investment (FDI) has declined consecutively for ten months since last October as a result of the global economic downturn. The country's FDI dropped by 20.4 percent year-on-year to $48.4 billion in the first seven months this year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

China will promote the opening-up of the service industry and speed up the construction of economic and technological development zones, in a bid to enhance mutual investment and contribute a dynamic force to the shrinking global economy, said Chen.

It will encourage foreign companies to develop high technology industry, promote outsourcing industry, and support investment in clean technology, energy saving and environmental protection industry.

The country will also create a convenient law and policy environment in mutual investment, gradually granting foreign-funded enterprises the same treatment as their Chinese counterparts, Chen said.

The 13th CIFIT opened Tuesday. This year's fair has attracted 13,000 overseas businessmen. Launched in 1997, CIFIT has become one of China's most influential international platforms for the promotion of investment.

Source: China Daily...

China News 0 Comment September 9, 2009, 11:22 am


Agence France-Presse in Washington
Sep 09, 2009

US energy giant First Solar yesterday won a deal to build the world's largest solar power plant in China, aimed at helping mitigate climate change concerns.

First Solar said it struck a tentative 10-year deal to build in the vast desert north of the Great Wall. The project would eventually cover 64 square kilometres of Inner Mongolia - slightly larger than the size of Manhattan - with a sea of black, light-absorbing glass. The memorandum of understanding was inked with Chinese officials at the company's headquarters in Tempe, Arizona.

The solar facility is to be built in four phases over a decade and supply power to three million homes. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chief executive Mike Ahearn said the potential for such projects was enormous in China. "The Chinese government is further along in its thinking about solar than we've imagined." He said it would be nearly impossible to install a solar field of similar size in the United States. There was plenty of land, but not enough near transmission lines, Ahearn said.

National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo witnessed the signing of the memorandum. Wu is expected to meet US congressional leaders and officials in President Barack Obama's administration in Washington on a variety of energy, trade and business initiative. The agreement outlined a long-term strategic partnership between First Solar and Ordos city, where First Solar would also consider a manufacturing investment, officials said.

"Discussions with First Solar about building a factory in China demonstrate to investors in China that they can confidently invest in the most advanced technologies available," said Cao Zhichen, vice-mayor of Ordos municipal government.

The mainland is keen to expand capabilities to produce affordable solar electricity as part of a goal to provide 10 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2020, including wind, hydro, biomass and solar.

While current Chinese solar installations total about 90 megawatts, Beijing has boosted its previous solar capacity goal of 1.8 gigawatts by 2020 to two gigawatts by 2011, and 10-20 gigawatts by 2020, according to a statement issued in conjunction with the memorandum signing.

The first phase of the Ordos solar power plant will be a 30MW"demonstration" project that will see construction begin by June next year, officials said. The second and third phases will be 100MW and 870MW projects, expected to be completed by the end of 2014, while the fourth phase will be a 1,000MW facility tipped to be completed by end 2019.

Ahearn said such a system would cost US$5 billion to US$6 billion if it were built in the US, though it would probably be cheaper using lower-cost Chinese labour....

China News 0 Comment September 9, 2009, 9:36 am

Bribers targeted in fight against corruption

BEIJING: China's judiciary agencies have extended focus of corruption targets to bribe givers, as prosecutors expanded a blacklist of bribers to all industries to uproot corruption.

The blacklist database, covering the country's all bribers convicted by Chinese court since 1997 when an amendment to the Criminal Law took effect, was opened for public scrutiny earlier this month.

Individuals or organizations can refer to the blacklist of bribe cases, to see if their cooperation candidates have any record of bribery.

According to a regulation on the use of the database, the blacklist system aims to curb job-related crimes and business bribery.

"It intends to eradicate the hidden rule of power-for-money deal and prevent corruption by curbing bribe offering," it says.

Foreigners and international companies convicted of bribery by Chinese courts are also included in the database.

Earlier last month, the Shanghai procuratorate approved the arrest of four employees of the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd., including Stern Hu, an Australian citizen of Chinese origin and general manager of the company's Shanghai office, on charges of illegally obtaining business secrets and bribery.

An official with the job-related crime prevention department of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said it alarmed people who were thinking of offering bribes, as their names and acts would remain in the database and be exposed to the public. The record cannot be deleted or changed.

Free inquiry can be made in all levels of procuratorate across China with an ID card and a written application letter clarifying the aim of inquiry. The object of inquiry could be people or companies in any regions on the Chinese mainland since all blacklist databases form a national network.

Previously, most of these bribery databases in different regions were not connected and people have to travel or write inquiry letters for cross-provincial inquiries.

The regulation says procuratorates must reply inquirers within three days, including the time when a briber offered money, the sum, the time being convicted by courts and other related information about this briber, who could be the inquirer's cooperation candidates.

Judiciary organizations should not be involved in the handling of the result of inquiry, it says.

Prof. Huang Zongliang of Peking University told Xinhua: "It takes two to make a quarrel. Corruption cannot be wiped out if bribers are always there to lure."

Huang said, "Previously, people taking bribes had always been apriority target in corruption fighting as bribe takers were mostly powerful people or officials who had influence. However, bribe offering should be severely punished as well."

"Money and power are easily colluding with each other, and the crackdown upon bribers is an important part of fighting corruption," said Huang, who gave a lecture in 2004 on capability building and corruption fighting of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to the 25-member Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the highest-ranking Party officials.

The SPP initiated the blacklist in January 2006 which covered bribers in five sectors including construction, finance, medical service, education and government procurement.

The list has been extended to bribers of all industries after September 1 as bribery is common in sectors such as land expropriation, housing relocation, urban law enforcement, power grid restructuring, energy development and rural construction.

The urban construction sector has always been vulnerable to bribery.

The SPP said Thursday that bribery in urban construction projects accounted for nearly 40 percent of all the 6,277 business bribery cases Chinese prosecutors dealt with in the first six months, which involved 918 million yuan (US$134 million) in total.

More than 77 percent of the cases were charged with "taking bribes" and 19 percent with "paying bribes," the SPP said.

Original Source: Xinhua
Source: lawinfochina

China News 0 Comment September 7, 2009, 5:12 pm

New Chinese Hotel Industry Guideline released

China Tourist Hotel Association (CTHA) recently published the new version of the Chinese Hotel Industry Guideline, in which an article about checking-out-before-12 pm is deleted.

The guideline does not set clear rules about the time of checking out, though it does emphasize that tourist hotels should inform guests of the check-out time, Zhengzhou Evening Post reported Friday.

"Check out before 12 pm or additional charges will be added," has long been a guild regulation in the hotel industry.

The Beijing Consumers' Association pointed out that this regulation was improper as it harmed consumers' interests and rights.

The Chinese Hotel Industry Guideline previously however refused to change it preferring to follow standard international practice.

From now on the new guideline stipulates hotels should post the prices of different rooms and the method of charging in a prominent place at the reception or tell guests about the above information in a proper way.

Source: China Daily

China Law 0 Comment September 4, 2009, 5:23 pm

EU urged to restrain anti-dumping measures

The European Union (EU) should restrain its use of anti-dumping measures against imports from China, the Chinese ambassador to the EU urged on Tuesday, calling for more dialogue and cooperation.

"We saw reemergence of anti-dumping cases against China recently. An increasing number of Chinese enterprises received unfair treatment. We are very concerned about this," Song Zhe told the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament, which is newly formed after June elections.

"But we believe between China and Europe, there is more cooperation than competition, more opportunities than challenges. At present, it is urgent to strengthen economic and trade cooperation by maintaining mutual flow of trade and investment and creating more business opportunities," he added.

Faced with the worst economic crisis in decades, the EU has launched a series of anti-dumping actions against China this year, covering a wide range of Chinese products. As from late July, the 27-nation bloc took five separate decisions in just three weeks.

Such a frequent use of anti-dumping probes and punitive duties has been unprecedented. The EU's unusual move leads to concern, especially when the world economy is in recession due to the financial crisis.

"We hope the EU will prevent this uncontrolled development of anti-dumping. We also hope to strengthen dialogue and refrain from arbitrary use of anti-dumping measures for the sake of further cooperation opportunities," Song said.

He said that China has been opposed to any form of protectionism, especially in the current financial crisis which needs cooperation among world governments rather than protection.

In his address to EU lawmakers, Song noted that economic and trade cooperation has always been an important part of China-EU relations, which he said are becoming more mature and stable in recent decades.

Currently, China and the EU are one of the most important trade partners to each other. Bilateral trade volume reached $425.6 billion in 2008 from $2.4 billion in 1975, an increase of 176 times, according to Song.

Mutual investment also started from scratch and now the EU have made a total investment of $63.9 billion and operating more than 20,000 companies in China. In recent years, Chinese companies are beginning to invest actively in Europe.

The sustained and rapid development of China-EU economic and trade cooperation has created huge benefit to both sides and helps promote closer bilateral relationship.

However, Song acknowledged the China-EU trade and investment have no escape from the current global financial crisis.

"In the first seven months, bilateral trade volume fell by 20.7 percent and the EU investment in China fell by 4.8 percent. China- EU trade and economic relations are facing severe test," he said.

Despite the difficulties, Song referred to the bright sides. He said the economic stimulus plans implemented by China and the EU provide enterprises of both sides with new business opportunities, while both markets contain great potential in the wake of the crisis.

But Song stressed unless China and the EU make efforts to defuse friction and contradictions, to strengthen consultation and cooperation and seek mutual benefit and win-win results, the great potential can not be translated into reality.

He said China and the EU should have a strategic perspective on the long-term development of bilateral relations and make sure that temporary issue does not affect the mainstream of cooperation.

Challenged by an EU lawmaker on the EU's trade deficit with China, which is a major concern for the 27-nation bloc, Song said it has been caused by various reasons and China is working on that.

"The trade imbalance is caused by many reasons, including the international industrial transfer and thus the relocation of trade. China's trade policy is not the cause," he said. "Nevertheless, in recent years, the Chinese government adopted a series of measures to encourage more imports, such as import promotion activities, greater facilitation of imports, sending purchasing groups and so on."

Separately, a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in Beijing on Monday that China's trade surplus with the EU for 2009 will be less than last year.

Song said in order to solve problems arising from expanding trade relations, China and the EU should uphold the principle of mutual openness and mutual benefit, maintain and improve the existing communication and coordination mechanisms, and give full play to complementary advantages of both economies.

Original Source: Xinhua
Source: lawinfochina

China News 0 Comment September 3, 2009, 5:51 pm

Man to appeal on information disclosure lawsuit

GUANGZHOU: A resident in south China's boom town Guangzhou has lost a lawsuit in which he demanded information disclosure from the local industrial and commercial bureau.

Xu Dajiang, who sued the bureau for refusing to provide information on the administrative penalties it imposed, said he would appeal after the Tianhe District Court in Guangzhou made the first instance ruling Monday.

Xu submitted written applications to seven government bodies, including the industrial and commercial bureau, in May for information on the penalties.

An application was sent to the bureau on May 6, in which Xu said he requested information on administrative law enforcement by the bureau in bazaars, supermarkets and department stores.

The bureau turned down Xu's request May 18, saying such information could only be disclosed to those who were punished, and administrators were not supposed to take the initiative in such disclosures.

In China, all administrations must actively publicize information about regulations, budgets, emergencies, land acquisition and in other areas, as laid out in the Provisions of the People's Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information, which became effective from May 1 last year.

The public, whether individuals or organizations, also have the right to request government information related to their work, life and research by making a written application.

The district court held that the information on administrative penalties imposed by the industrial and commercial bureau had nothing to do with Xu's work, life and research and that he was not the one punished by the bureau. It therefore rejected Xu's request to revoke the bureau's decision not to provide information.

But Xu, well-known in Guangdong for his efforts against fake products, said he required the information because stores had not been punished although they had been caught by him selling bogus merchandise and had been reported to the bureau.

Among the seven government bodies from which he sought information, the city's pricing bureau supplied all he wanted, the quality supervision bureau said it would make disclosure with consent from the punished, and others disclosed only part of the information.

The industrial and commercial bureau was the only one that refused to provide any information, said Xu.

"It seems that government bodies do not have a unified standard in information disclosure," he said.

Xu said those who refused to disclose information might be afraid of exposing internal problems in their organizations, or a surge in work load following disclosure.

Original source: Xinhua
Source: lawinfochina

China News 0 Comment September 2, 2009, 5:37 pm

China's legislature updates laws

BEIJING, Aug. 27, China's top legislature Thursday agreed a legislation overhaul with the updating and revision of 141 provisions in 59 different laws.

  Most amendments focused on deleting outdated terms or clarifying them, as well as making certain provisions consistent with revised laws.

  Article 7 of the General Principle of the Civil Law of the People's Republic of China, which reads, "Civil activities shall have respect for social ethics and shall not harm the public interest, undermine state economic plans or disrupt social economic order," has had the expression "undermine state economic plans" deleted.

  The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) agreed that "state economic plans" was redundant with China's transition from a planned to a market-oriented economy over the past three decades.

  In laws regarding fisheries, railways, urban real estate and electric power, the expression "requisition" has been changed into "levy".

  In China, "requisition" refers to the transfer of the right of use, while "levy" refers to the transfer of ownership from individuals or groups to the state.

  In many laws regarding mineral resources, wild life protection, frontier hygiene and quarantine, teachers, and civil aviation, references to specific articles of the Criminal Law have been altered to "according to relevant provisions of the Criminal Law".

The 10th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th NPC was held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday. At the ninth session held in June, eight laws and regulations were annulled.

Original Source: Xinhua
Source: lawinfochina

China Culture 0 Comment September 1, 2009, 10:10 am