News & Reports 2011-10-15

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2011-10-15

Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

In This Edition

A Chinese fighter jet crashed during an air show with one pilot survived and the other one missing.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China will further open its market as part of joint international effort to tackle the global economic difficulties.

A senior United Nations official speaks highly of China's emergency response to disaster-hit countries in the world.

Inflation in China continue to ease from a 37-month high for a second month despite the stubbornly high food prices.

Hot Issue Reports

Aircraft Falls at NW China Air Show
An aircraft has crashed during an air show in Pucheng county, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

One pilot has survived, as he was ejected from the aircraft just before it crashed. The other pilot remains missing.

Witnesses say the second pilot had been trapped in the jet.

The plane has plummeted into a salt marsh in a nearby village.

There are no reports of casualties on the ground.

CRI's Shaanxi correspondent Huang Lixin.

"6 rescue vehicles rushed to the site to clean up the scene right after the accident occurred. As there was a big explosion after the crash, there are not many items left. The clean-up is finished."

An air show commentator says that the fighter jet FBC-1, also known as a Flying Leopard, was manufactured by the Xi'an Aircraft Industry Corp.

The three-day air show is part of the China International General Aviation Convention that is being held in Xi'an.

A local official says other events for the convention will go on as planned despite the accident.

Chinese Premier Vow to Further Open Market at the Opening of China Import and Export Fair

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says China will further open its market as part of joint international effort to tackle the global economic difficulties.

Wen was speaking at the opening of 110th China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou.

"We are experiencing a volatility of international financial market, the increasing of uncertainties of global economy and the slowdown of recovery of world economies. In this critical moment, the international society should work together to further open the market, jointly fight against protectionism and deal with the world trade dispute in a rational way."

Wen Jiaobao says the Fair plays an important role during the decade after China joined the World Trade Organization.

"If we say China Import and Export Fair opened a window for China to the world, then we can say China opened a door to the world after joining the World Trade Organization. If we describe the establishment of China Import and Export Fair as reaching out a hand to the world, then we can say China embraced the world after joining the World Trade Organization."

China Import and Export Fair, the largest trade fair in the country, has been held in the spring and autumn seasons each year in Guangzhou since 1957.

Stranded Chinese Sailors and Their Family Members on Their Way Home
Family members of the Chinese sailors killed or missing in the attack on two cargo ships on the Mekong River returned home from Thailand Friday night.

A Chinese vessel with police aboard escorted the ships.

Some speed boats of the Thai police were also seen guarding the Chinese ships.

A memorial service was held earlier at the scene where the attack took place.

On the diplomatic front, China's foreign ministry has summoned the ambassadors from Thailand, Myanmar and Laos in connection with the case.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Wei-min.

"First and foremost, China demands a speedy and thorough investigation into the case and the full knowledge of the progress made in this investigation. We also urge that the criminals be brought to justice soon. Secondly, we ask the countries to provide help and protection for the stranded Chinese sailors and vessels at Chiang Saen port in Thailand before our police patrol vessels can escort them back home safely. Thirdly, we require that effective measures are taken to safeguard the navigation safety on the Mekong river and no more such vicious incidents will happen to Chinese sailors and vessels again."

The foreign ministry says the representatives of all three countries have agreed to a quick investigation into the case.

As of now, one of the 13 Chinese sailors still remains missing.

UN Humanitarian Chief Visits China to Strengthen Relationship
A senior official of the United Nations has spoken highly of China's emergency response to disaster-hit countries in the world.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos is on a visit to China.

She has come to Beijing after attending a Regional Humanitarian Partnership Meeting in Shanghai.

"The focus of this meeting is on the disaster preparedness and how the countries in the Asia Pacific region work more effectively together to deal with these issues of disaster preparedness and learn from each other. And China's experience over the last few years are really strengthening and enhancing. Its capacity of dealing with the disasters was the example being used."

She says China has always been a good partner in the UN system and that China's contribution to the organization's humanitarian efforts has grown over the years.

Last year, China gave about 11 million US dollars to the Haiti earthquake relief effort and 18 million dollars to help tackle the flooding crisis in Pakistan.

And recently, China has offered to donate 70 million dollars in emergency aid to famine-stricken Somalia.

17 People Killed in Bomb Blasts in Iraq
At least 17 people have been killed and 50 others injured in two bomb blasts in a mainly Shi'ite Baghdad district, a third attack to hit Iraq's capital in less than a week.

A roadside bomb exploded near a coffee shop, followed by a car bomb nearby.

Local resident Abu Ali is a witness.

"This taxi loaded with a sticky bomb exploded. After that the Iraqi National guards arrived at the site to check it. All onlookers moved to the other side of the street. An improvised explosive devise placed in a box was left on the sidewalk, where the onlookers gathered. It exploded and killed many."

On Monday, at least 10 people were killed in three blasts. And on Wednesday, suicide bombers and roadside blasts killed at least 28 people across Baghdad.

The series of attacks highlight security risks in Iraq as U.S. troops prepare to leave by a year-end deadline more than eight years after the U.S. invasion, but Baghdad and Washington are in talks to decide whether troops will stay on as trainers after that.

Mexico Prison Riot Kills 7
A prison riot in the drug-ravaged Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon has left 7 inmates dead and at least 20 injured.

The riot broke out between prison officials and a group of prisoners, and security officials in the state are looking over security footage to identify the culprits. Security spokesperson Jorge Domene.

"I have some details but, yes, there was a clash between building A against building B and that's where we are questioning all those who participated. We have videos and evidence where we can identify those who caused this riot."

A concerned woman says she has heard that her son was stabbed but has little information from authorities.

"He's in very grave condition. Authorities only told us that they stabbed him, they didn't tell us if they took them anywhere."

Many of Mexico's jails are packed with prisoners linked to the country's thriving drug trade. Around 44,000 people have been killed in drug violence since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on drug cartels.

Thai Flood Victims Take Shelter in Evacuation Centers
Thousands of Thai flood victims are taking shelter in evacuation centers, 50 kilometers north of Bangkok, as Thailand faces its worst floods in five decades.

The floods has devastated one third of Thailand since July, and has claimed at least 289 lives.

Chart-chai Suksa-ard, the coordinator for the registration department at the evacuation centre, says officials are monitoring the evacuees' psychological health.

"We are concerned about the people's stress levels. We have a certain process of checking on them. If psychological problems are found, we will hand them over to the medical team."

Some of the evacuees say they still remember how it felt to abandon their homes.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has tried to reassure Bangkok residents that the capital should largely escape the flooding, as work to strengthen its defenses continues.

S&P Cuts Spain Rating by One Notch on Weak Growth
Standard and Poor's has cut Spain's credit rating by one notch from double A to AA-.

The rating agency cites high unemployment, tightening credit and high private-sector debt as the reasons for the downgrade.

S&P made the announcement as finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world's 20 biggest economies are due to meet in Paris.

Baader Bank trader Stefan Scharf-fetter says the announcement was expected.

"It is no big surprise that Spain was downgraded. We were all counting on that. The problems in Spain are known, so this has no negative consequences on the markets."

Spanish unemployment stood at 21 percent, the highest in the European Union.

High yields on Spanish government bonds also raise concerns that it could be the next euro zone economy to need bailing out after Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

CPI Figures Hits 6-percent in September
Inflation in China continued to ease from a 37-month high for a second month despite the stubbornly high food prices. The National Bureau of Statistics released the CPI figures for September on Friday.

CRI's Shen Chengcheng has more.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, has risen 6.1-percent year on year in September. That's 0.1-percent down from the 6.2-percent in August.

September is the second month of easing from July's peak of 6.5-percent, which was a 37-month high. That was considerably higher than the Chinese government's target of 4-percent for this year.

However, the slowdown didn't bring down the high food prices, which rose 13.4-percent. And the price of pork climbed the most, more than 43-percent.

Wang Jun is a fellow researcher at China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

He says the hike in food prices is partly because of the two holidays, the Mid-Autumn Festival and last week's National Day Holiday.

But, he adds that high food prices are not going to change the easing trend of the CPI numbers.

"The speed of economic growth is slowing down, so the inflation should follow suit. The government measures adopted earlier to ease inflation are starting to work. In September, a new factor contributing to the CPI numbers is high vegetable prices. Apart from that, the prices of other products are decreasing. So September's CPI continued to ease."

In the meantime, some economists say the pressure of inflation is still high.

"The inflation rate is still at a high gear. We should not forget that September's CPI is 0.5-percent higher than the number of August. That's against expectations that the 3rd quarter index would go down."

That's Cao Honghui from the Financial Research Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He says the Producer Price Index, a major gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, rose 6.5-percent year on year in September, and it has been driving food prices high.

"The high prices of the raw materials and labors are taking a toll on the food prices. And in the short term, they are not going down."

So that means the Chinese government will continue its policies to curb inflation.

A case in point - the government has reduced the prices for gasoline and diesel by 0.22 yuan per gallon and 0.26 yuan per gallon respectively.

However, researcher Wang Jun says we are going to see a few adjustments to the tightening policies due to the slowdown of the overall global economy.

"We probably shouldn't keep tightening the current monetary policy, and should loosen it up on certain fronts. That can help those small and medium-sized businesses and the cash-strapped banks to tide over, which is totally necessary."

For CRI, I'm Shen Chengcheng.

BlackBerry Service Restored, But Blues Persist
BlackBerry services have finally been restored worldwide.

This follows an embarrassing technical glitch that left millions of angry users without email and messaging for almost four days.

But while the firm's immediate technical problems may have been resolved, Research In Motion still faces lingering customer outrage.

RIM founder Mike Lazaridis, gave a public apology via YouTube.

"Since launching Blackberry in 1999, it's been my goal to provide reliable, real time communications around the world. We did not deliver on that goal this week. Not even close. I apologise for the service outages this week."

The breakdown reportedly started at the company's British hub and then spread, eventually affecting 70 million subscribers worldwide.

Secondhand Luxury Product Sales Booming in China
Sales of luxury goods continue to rise in China and now even secondhand luxury products are gaining in popularity in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing. A number of outlets specialized in selling secondhand luxury brands are capitalizing upon this golden opportunity in China.

Liu Min has more.

The demand for secondhand luxury products is booming in China. Manager Liu Lian from the Milan Station Shop, a secondhand luxury product outlet based in Shanghai says that they have plenty of loyal customers visiting the store everyday.

"Years ago, our business was just ok, but starting from 2008, the annual trading volume has increased by 15 to 20 percent on average every year."

In 2010, the overall business income of Milan Station Chains reached 730 million Hong Kong Dollars and the net profit made on the Chinese mainland exceeded 32 percent.

Such promising business in China has lured some international chains to open stores in China. Japan's Brand Off, the biggest outlet chain specializing in selling secondhand luxury products is one of them. This September, the company opened its first franchise store in Shanghai. The store manager Takayuki Shimata says the company finally decided to explore the Chinese mainland market after a series of research.

"First, we invested in establishing six chain stores in Hong Kong, which turned out to be a great success. Since we already had franchise stores in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, we started to think about where we should continue with our business expansion. We've decided that Shanghai is the best choice."

In order to maintain the store's reputation, the managers have to maintain a keen eye when buying secondhand products since no one want to take the risk of purchasing fake goods which would lead to huge loss. A consistent appraisal system with high level of appraisers is critical to the entire business.

Currently, 200 million people in China are considered as the existing and potential consumers of luxury products. But the huge market is short of talented individuals specialized in luxury business management or capable of high level appraisal, especially when it comes to secondhand products. Now a common appraiser can make an annual income of at least 150 thousand yuan in Shanghai.

In recent years, majors in luxury product appraisal have gained popularity in both domestic and overseas universities. Currently, the People's University of China and Shanghai University offer bachelor and master degree courses on luxury product appraisal.

An anonymous student says that even though the tuition fee is very high, many students are still willing to take the courses in order to pursue such a career.

"We spend the first year studying at the campus of Shanghai University, and then we we'll go to the campus in Paris to continue the program. We'd spend one year learning the local language, and then the second year we will take classes related to the major. The overall expense is nine to ten thousand Euros per year."

But professor Xia Zhengwei, specialized in Luxury Brand Management, says such teaching program in China is far from mature.

"We have to consider introducing more professional teachers in this field. Plus, we need to work more on how to combine the study program with the real market demand."

Market insiders have also indicated that the industry also requires an independent third party which would process the professional appraisals in order to provide a more convincing and secure trading environment for luxury products, which would benefit both consumers and the secondhand retailers.

For CRI, I'm Liu Min.


China Daily

China says a national system to keep track of bribery convictions is to be set up by the end of this year. The China Daily reports that Individuals or companies found to have offered bribes are likely to be disqualified from bidding for other projects. Apparently cases of bribery have become increasingly rampant in recent years. In 2010, there were over 3-thousand suspects prosecuted for providing bribes and this has increased by 30-percent on the previous year.

Now the government officials targeted are those in capital intensive industries such as construction, finance, education, health and medicine, as well as government contracts.. Experts are saying the scale of the corruption is seriously disrupting the market economy. So the new bribery system will allow organizations and individuals to submit an enquiry about a certain company, and will be sent a bribery record of the company if the company has problems. Companies with records of bribery may face restriction of their market access, canceling or degrading of their qualifications or the termination of their business.


The Wall Street protestors are cleaning up the corporate owned park they have been camped out in for the last few weeks. Protestors have been scrubbing, mopping and picking up rubbish in an attempt to stave off a scheduled cleanup that demonstrators reckon is a pre-fix to them being evicted. So quite cleverly they are getting in there first and sprucing the park up so it doesn't need to be cleaned! They are even moving out the tents and mattresses, camping supplies and any signs of having lived in the park. Most of the protesters are peaceful and don't want any trouble but there are rumors that if anyone is forced out it could turn into a show down.

Market Update

U.S. stocks rallied on Friday as market sentiment was boosted by stronger-than-expected retail sales and earnings, with major indexes ending at 10-week highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.5 percent to 11,644. The blue-chip index gained about 4 percent for the week, the third weekly gain in a row.

The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1.7 percent to end at 1,225. For the week, the broader index surged more than 6 percent, the best since July 2009.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.8 percent to 2,668.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was up 1.2 percent to 5466. Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.9 percent to 5967. CAC-40 in Paris gained 1 percent to 3218.