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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2012-06-23
Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.
In This Edition
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urges the international community to increase aid to the world's least developed countries.
The IMF calls on the eurozone to enhance its banking and financial integration to try to contain the debt crisis.
Japan's parliament is set to vote on its controversial tax increase next week.
And medical experts in China warn parents to be cautious when it comes to hormone therapies for their children.
Hot Issue Reports
Chinese Premier Urges more Assistance for Least Developed Countries
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is urging the international community to increase aid to the world's least developed countries.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit, the premier says the onus needs to fall on developed nations.
"The international community, especially the developed nations, should honor their commitment to increase aid for and help reduce the debt burden on least developed countries. The international community should do more to promote South-South and South-North cooperation, and help the LDCs be integrated into economic globalization."
The latest figures from the UN put the number of least-developed countries in the world at 48.
That's double the number of least-developed countries 40 years ago.
Around 1.3 billion people around the world are still living under the poverty line.
Premier Wen Jiaobao says China is going to do its part as well.
"In regions such as Africa, Asia and South Pacific, many people are still struggling in the shadow of poverty. They live under the same sky with us, so they should also be able to benefit from the progress of human civilization."
The Chinese government has so far exempted some 30 billion yuan worth of debt owed by the world's least-developed countries.
Growing the Economy in a more Sustainable Way
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is wrapping up from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Leaders from around the world have been gathering there for 3-days to try to ways of putting the world economy on a more sustainable path.
CRI's Nate Schlabach has more.
The key question during the Rio+20 conference and for the future, is how emerging countries can develop their economies in a more environmentally friendly way.
During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's speech at the conference, he says countries must share the common responsibilities of protecting our planet.
Chief economist for the Agricultural Bank of China, Xiang Songzuo agrees and says this is a serious issue globally and specifically in China.
"How to balance economic growth and environmental protection, which I think right now particularly in China has become a very critical issue and many people are concerned about the deteriorating of the environment. Air pollution, Water pollution, food security and many other things. So how to balance economic growth and environmental, not only in natural, but also social enviroment."
China has continued urging the international community to help make joint efforts in promoting more sustainable development, while saying China itself, is ready to contribute in this area.
Xiang says one of the ways China and other countries can combat this issue is to change their strategy in economic development.
"There is common concern in how to make development growth environmentally friendly and how to protect natural resources. So as how to change or transform the growth model from dependent consumption of natural resources into a growth model less dependent on consumption, even waste of natural resources."
But Professor Pan Jiahua from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences points out, that this is very difficult to achieve, because there is no current model of growing the economy in this way.
"They learn the abilities from the developed countries. On the other, they try to avoid that but there is no such model available and they have to invent their own. That will take time and resources. This is a real challenge for the developing countries to find a new path, which is sustainable, green and has a high rate of growth."
Coming out of this conference an action plan that reaffirms the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is expected to be adopted by the heads of state in an effort to establish better sustainable goals.
This conference, also known as the Earth Summit, marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark UN Conference on the Environment and Development hosted by Rio de Janeiro, which was considered the first step by the UN to put sustainable development as a priority on its agenda.
For CRI, I'm Nate Schlabach.
Greece's New Gov't to Face Rough Road Ahead
Political advisors in Athens are cautioning there will be no "honey moon" period for the new government.
Tsomocos Dimitris, adviser to Greece's New Democracy Party, says the Greek society is ready to accept and adopt public sector reforms.
"For example, values, institutions that Greece exists in the public sector that they're inactive without any clear objective or reason of existence, this will be phased out gradually. Moreover, value wasteful funds and expenditures that are chained to the public sector will reallocate more productive uses of these funds."
Dimitri Tsitos, former President of Greece's Cultural Association, cautions that people in Greece are nearing a tipping-point.
"The situation is that the Greece is in despair. It's not anymore ideological issue. It's social economic issue. People do not have money, do not have means to live a decent life. The worst of all, is that these people don't have any hope. They don't believe in good future."
New Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is widely expected to contact the EU and IMF in the coming days to ask for a 2-year extensions on its bailout to try to ease the burden on the Greek people.
IMF Urges Financial Integration in Euro-zone
Meanwhile, the IMF is calling on the eurozone to enhance its banking and financial integration to try to contain the debt crisis.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has made the suggestion at a meeting of finance ministers of the 17 eurozone countries in Luxembourg.
Lagarde is also suggesting Europe's bailout funds should be channeled directly to the eurozone banking system, rather than through their respective governments.
At the same time, Lagarde says the European Central Bank should cut its interest rates.
"The first one was (is) the monetary policy with sufficient creativity about it in order to make sure there is proper transmission of the policy. The second is appropriate fiscal consolidation with a focus on the target expressed in structural terms, and the third one is re-capitalisation of the weak banks with preferably a direct link between the EFSF/ESM and the banks without going through the sovereign."
Lagarde has also spelled out a plan that envisions the issuance of jointly-guaranteed eurozone debt, as well as more centralised economic control.
She adds the IMF, the EU and the ECB - the so-called "troika" overseeing Greece's bailout - will send representatives to Greece on Monday to review the country's progress in reforming its budget.
Meanwhile, Spain is going to make a formal request for financial assistance before Monday.
Spanish finance minister Luis De Guindos.
"The formal request will happen in the next days. The formal request is a pure procedural and bureaucratic. The essential is that in the next weeks we have to agree on all the elements of the financial assistance."
The eurozone is offering to lend up to 100-billion euros to Spain to help bail out its troubled banking sector.
Japan to Vote on New Bill to Tackle Debt
Japan's parliament is set to vote on its controversial tax increase next week.
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan has reputedly secured support from the main opposition parties to raise the sales tax, which currently at a relatively low 5-percent.
The new bill will see the sales tax rise in two stages; to 8-percent in 2014, and then to 10 percent in 2015.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshhiko Noda.
"Is it right for us to kick the can further down the road, saying it's still all right? Is it right for us to leave the tab to the next generation indefinitely? With the realities we are facing, we must reach a firm conclusion during the current Diet session."
With an aging society, the Japan's social security costs are continuing to balloon.
The International Monetary Fund predicts Japan's debt to GDP ratio to hit around 240-percent next year.
Be Cautious in Growth Hormone Therapy to Children
Medical experts here in China are warning parents to be cautious when it comes to hormone therapies for their children.
As CRI's Wang Xiao reports, growth hormone therapy is becoming an option for more and more Chinese parents concerned about the height of their children.
Xiao Jie is a nine-year old boy. He is taken to a Child Growth and Development Clinic to see the doctor, because his mother worries that he is too short, at 129cm tall.
The website for the clinic boasts that they use what they call the "nobel technology", helping more than 100 thousand children grow taller and increase intelligence at the same time. But when they get the clinic, they find that the so called "nobel technology" is growth hormone.
The doctor there urges Xiao Jie's mother to give her child growth hormone therapy.
"If you use growth hormone therapy, your kid will grow taller, about 1 to 2 centimeters a month. Your son is shorter than normal kids of the same age, so he must use the growth hormone, otherwise he will be short for ever."
Growth hormone can stimulate the division of cartilage cells. Therefore, it's used to treat children's growth disorders and adult growth hormone deficiency.
But in some clinics, the efficiency of the growth hormone has been exaggerated, calling it the magic drug to help children and young people grow taller. Wu Xueyan, an expert of endocrinology at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, says that growth hormone therapy should only be applied to people who suffer from dwarfism caused by a growth hormone deficiency. The growth hormone abuse may cause damage to the children's health.
"The growth hormone therapy can inhibit the secretion of your own growth hormone, thus disturbing the balance and causing high blood pressure and fat in the blood. It also has negative impacts on the sensitivity to insulin."
Actually, a child needs to have a series of blood test to decide whether he or she suffers from dwarfism. Currently, a course of growth hormone therapy lasts three months, costing more than 8 thousand yuan. That's the reason why so many clinics strongly recommend it.
What's more, some healthcare products brag that they can help you to grow taller. Li Fang, an expert in pediatrics, says these healthcare products contain growth hormone, and Li urges caution.
"Some mothers buy their children these healthcare products, hoping their kids will grow taller. But a patient of mine, an 11 year-old boy, had his voice crack, his beard grow and his Adam's apple distend after having these products. This shows that it contains not only growth hormone, but also other elements. Instead of growing taller, the products will restrain the growth of the child if they continue treatment."
Experts suggest that parents take their children to regular hospitals to have tests rather than small privately owned clinics.
For CRI, I'm Wang Xiao.
Daniel Henney on His New Film Shanghai Calling
Korean-American heart throb Daniel Henney has been chatting about his comedy debut in the new film Shanghai Calling.
The model turned actor plays Sam, a Chinese-American lawyer who's sent to China by his company where he's thrust into a very different culture.
Henney say he hopes to be a role model to other Asian American kids:
"If you watch our film, there's a scene that gives me the chill every time.You see an Asian leading man kissing a blonde beautiful woman like Eliza, it's like I've never seen that on TV before. When I was a kid, I was always searching for role models. Everyone I saw on TV who looked like me, could barely speak English or was like doing martial arts. I couldn't relate to that because I was in Michigan. There's tons of Asian-American kids out there who are looking for that role model. I think now, because of the way the world is changing, we're going to have that."
Shanghai calling is to be released in China this fall.
Popularity of Hollywood Blockbusters in China
Terence Chang is a Hong Kong and American film producer responsible for some big name movies such as "Face Off" and "Mission Impossible 2."
He's also a Golden Goblet jury member at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival.
CRI's Emily Hennessy had a chance to sit down with Chang to discuss the popularity of Hollywood blockbusters in China.
Chinese tourists are now being treated in the US to the comforts of home when they check in at the front desk. That means hot tea in their rooms, congee for breakfast and Mandarin-speaking hotel employees at their disposal.
Chinese "welcome programs" at reputable chains like Marriott and Hilton even address delicate cultural differences: No Chinese tour group should be placed on a floor containing the number four, which sounds like the word for death in Mandarin.
More than a million Chinese visited the U.S. in 2011, contributing more than $5.7 billion to the U.S. economy. That's up 36 percent from 2010, according to the Department of Commerce. By 2016, that figure is expected to reach 2.6 million Chinese.
In a striking departure from the traditional Chinese business traveler, a growing number of them are simply coming to America for fun - with lots of cash on hand. The average Chinese visitor spends more than $6,000 per trip.
And so hotels are openly competing to win the hearts of the Chinese, who generally travel in large groups and stick to a tight itinerary.
In February, the U.S. government announced that Chinese visitors who had obtained an American visa within the last four years did not have to reapply in person but could apply via courier instead.
As a result, visa interview wait times in China are currently just under a week - compared to last year's average of more than a month.
A die-hard Chinese fan of England's soccer team died at home in Changsha, Hunan province, on Tuesday, after 11 nights of watching the matches since the start of Euro 2012.
The 26-year-old man was healthy and fit, and was the main force on his college soccer team.
The man watched the match between Italy and Ireland, and drank a lot of beer with his friends in a bar until 5 am on June 19, before he returned home to sleep, from which he never woke up. His mother found him on the bed when she tried waking him up for an evening meal the next day.
Doctors say multiple factors led to the man's death, including prolonged sleep deprivation, massive amounts of beer, a bath after drinking as well as a low indoor temperature. Cause of death was low blood sugar and slow blood circulation.
Meanwhile, the Beijing Morning Post reports that hospitals in Beijing are receiving more patients since the beginning of the UEFA Championship.
The number of patients with facial paralysis is 20 percent higher than usual.
Several million German car workers be allowed to leave work early on Friday to watch Germany take on Greece in the Euro 2012 quarter finals.
Some 3.4 million employees at Volkswagen, Europe's leading automotive group, will be able to leave earlier than normal in order to get home for kick-off.
Against the turbulent backdrop of the eurozone's debt crisis, the match, being played in Gdansk, Poland, has special resonance, pitting Europe's most troubled economy against the bloc's effective paymaster.
Opel said its various plants had their own individual agreements but that at its main factory at Ruesselsheim, the evening shift would end two hours earlier, leaving enough time to enable all the workers to go home.
And at Daimler, decisions are also being made site-by-site. A spokesperson of the company did stress the importance that car orders remain on schedule.
The Daily Star
A Pakistan police commander has ordered tens of thousands of pot-bellied officers to diet or quit frontline duties.
Habibur Rehman, police chief in Pakistan's most populous province Punjab, has ordered 175,000 personnel not to allow their waistlines to exceed 38 inches, or 96.5 centimeters.
At least 50 percent of Punjab police are said to be overweight.
Local daily The News said the number of overweight officers in the city of Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the army, stood at more than 77 percent.
Police said officers had been given until June 30 to shape up and those deemed too fat from July 1 would not be given jobs in the field.
A police spokesperson says police officials are joining gyms, jogging and doing other exercise, including a lot of running to become thin and slim.
The spokesperson, however, blames the problem on understaffing, as police officers don't get time for physical fitness.
U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday after a huge sell-off in the previous session, boosted by the financial sector despite multiple credit ratings downgrades by Moody's a day earlier.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained half a percent to close at 12,641. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 0.7 percent to 1,335. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 2,892.
European markets however, all traded lower. London's FTSE 100 fell one percent to 5,514. Frankfurt's DAX lost 1.3 percent to 6,263. CAC 40 in Paris was down three quarters of a percent to 3,091.