News & Reports 2013-01-27

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2013-01-27

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

In This Edition

Top international financial officials agree that much needs to be done to stabilize the world economy as they conclude the World Economic Forum in Davos.
NATO says its first anti-missile battery in Turkey aiming to protect against attack from Syria is now operational.
Czech former prime minister Milos Zeman wins the country's first directly elected presidential vote.
And China officially starts an annual 40-day drive to handle the world's biggest travel rush during the upcoming Spring Festival.

Hot Issue Reports

Top Finance Officials Call for Continued Efforts to Stabilize World Economy
Top international financial officials agree that much needs to be done to stabilize the world economy as they conclude the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

The International Monetary Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde warned world leaders against complacency despite recent upbeat signs in the world economy.

She said leaders should not "relax" in efforts to reduce the debts as slow growth still plague the developed world five years on from the beginning of the financial crisis.

"It means continuing that movement at a reasonable pace, not too fast, not too brutally, and also indicating very promptly what will be the future of the discussion on debt and more importantly what will be the medium term plan to reduce deficit and to change the debt trajectory."

Lagarde said that the 17 European Union countries that use the euro had to follow through on steps to keep the troubles at banks from burdening governments.

She added that US officials had to "indicate very promptly" how they're going to deal with their ongoing budget dispute between President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress.

Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was rather pessimistic about the world economy.

"It is not a very pretty picture I have to say. What we are relieved about, in fact we should be very worried."

But overall the gathering of 2,500 members of the world's business, financial and political elite in Davos is considerably more upbeat than it was last year.

And fears have eased that the euro currency union would break up, or that the budget problem in the US would lead to automatic budget cuts that could cause a recession.

Dutch Patriot Anti-missile Batteries Operational at Turkish Military Base
NATO says its first anti-missile battery in Turkey aiming to protect against attack from Syria is now operational.

The Patriot missile battery, provided by the Netherlands, is meant to protect the city of Adana by shooting down missiles that could come over the Syrian border.

Dariusz Kacperczyk is a spokesperson for the NATO Patriot Detachment.

"Behind us there is the first NATO Patriot battery in Turkey which is operational at the moment as of now, actually. That means that this is up and running. It is under NATO command and control, it is fully integrated and plugged in to the NATO and Turkish air defence system. This is the Dutch battery which is located on this side in the city of Adana."

NATO officials say the mission is for a maximum of one year.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands are providing two batteries each of the latest version of the US-made Patriots.

The other five batteries are expected to be in place and operational in the coming days.

NATO reiterated that the Patriots are for defensive purposes only.

Syria has not fired any of its surface-to-surface missiles at Turkey during its nearly two-year conflicts, but mortar shells from Syria landed in the southern Turky last October causing casualties in a border town.

The Syrian government has described the NATO deployment as a provocation.

EU and Latin American Leaders Kick off Summit in Chile
A summit between Latin American and EU states is underway in Chile with an aim to deepen their economic ties.

Leaders of 60 nations have agreed to a broad agenda which includes reducing trade barriers and making new climate change commitments.

Shortly after his arrival in Chile, Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen stressed the importance of free trade across the Atlantic.

"I came here for expressing free trade values because we believe that the small country can survive in a world market if we believe in free trade."

After a meeting with Chile President Sebastian Pinera, German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed comments made by British Prime Minister David Cameron days ago.

Cameron has offered British citizens the prospect of a vote on whether to stay in the 27-country European Union.

Merkel said she talked to Cameron about the matter at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

"Of course with Great Britain we must keep the dialogue open and like that we will maintain a friendly relationship that works in both ways and keep driving towards the future of the European Union."

President Pinera said he had been informed in advance of the UK's absence from the summit.

Pinera also said he would like the UK to remain part of the EU.

US Condemns NKorea's Threat of Nuclear Tests
A U.S. research institute says recent satellite photos show that North Korea could be almost ready to carry out its threat of conducting a nuclear test.

The analysis was provided to the Associated Press by 38 North, a website of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Researchers say images of the Punggye-ri site reveal that over the past month, roads have been kept clear of snow and that North Koreans may have been sealing the tunnel into a mountainside where a nuclear device could be detonated.

But it remains difficult to discern North Korea's true intentions, as a test would be conducted underground.

North Korea declared its test plans on Thursday after the U.N. Security Council tightened sanctions in response to a December long-range rocket launch.
But the North did not say exactly when or where the test would take place.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has condemned the threats made by Pyongyang.

"These statements coming out of North Korea are needlessly provocative. Any kind of further test would be another significant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and only will serve to further Pyongyang's isolation."

North Korea conducted nuclear testes in 2006 and 2009 in defiance of opposition from the international community.

Pyongyang is banned from conducting ballistic-missile launches and nuclear tests by UN Security Council resolutions.

Zeman Wins First Directly Elected Presidential Vote, Schwarzenberg Concedes
Czech Republic's Former prime minister Milos Zeman has staged a big return to power by winning the country's first directly elected presidential vote.

Statisitcs shows that Milos Zeman won 54.8 percent of the vote for the largely ceremonial post.

Zeman said he's grateful to the voters who chose him.

"First of all, I would like to thank all the citizens of the Czech republic that have voted for me in these elections."

His opponent, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, had 45.2 percent.

"Ten percent is a clear difference, Milos Zeman won. I respect it and I hope he will be a president for all the Czech citizens. Now it's turn of the younger generation and younger people. It is very important that the next presidential election won't be about the past but about the future of the Czech Republic."

Many believe that voters punished Schwarzenberg for the government's unpopular austerity cuts that aimed to reduce the budget deficit.

68-year-old Zeman will replace the euro-skeptic Klaus, whose second and final term ends March 7th.

Under the Czech constitution, the president has the power to pick the prime minister after a general election and to appoint members of the Central Bank board.

Otherwise the president has little executive power and the country is run by the government chosen and led by the prime minister.

Sudan, S Sudan Start New Round of Talks in Ethiopia
Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan have met in Ethiopia's capital Addis Abbas for a new round of talks in the headquarters of African Union to solve the current issues between the two countries.

This was the two presidents' third meeting since last September.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of AU Commission, said that she hopes Sudan and South Sudan could strike deals on the unsolved issues and implement those already-signed agreements as soon as possible.

"It is of great concern that the implementation of the signed agreements is facing difficulties. It is our hope that this council will be able to encourage the two states to implement all aspects of their agreements which will mutually acceptable compromise on both sides. President al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir have been very encouraging us in reaching these agreements. And it is right why we encourage them to remain steadfast in their search for peace security stability in the interests of their citizens in both countries."

President Salva Kiir Myardit of South Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan had a four-hour-long meeting aiming to resolve the pending issues between the two sides.

According to reports, the new round of talks did not see any breakthroughs, the demilitarized zone and border issues remained the focal point of the meeting.

VP Says Chavez's Condition Improves as He Faces more Treatment after Cancer Surgery
Venezuelan vice President says that Hugo Chavez's condition has improved and he is now optimistic as he faces more treatment following cancer surgery.

Nicolas Maduro said after meeting Chavez in Cuba that the ailing president is looking good following his Dec. 11 cancer surgery in Cuba.

"The commander is in the best moment we've seen him in these days of struggle. He has a smile and a gaze full of light."

Maduro said Chavez also sent a message for Venezuelans, including that he was "very optimistic" about his treatment.

Chavez hasn't appeared or spoken publicly since before the operation, and his government has said he suffered complications including a severe respiratory infection but has recently been improving.

Meanwhile, hundreds of young people gathered on Saturday in Caracas for a street rally in support of Chavez.

The youth sat on the ground and chanted and cheered to express their support for the Venezuelan leader.

Chavez has undergone repeated surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment for an unspecified type of pelvic cancer.

The 58-year-old president won re-election in October, and lawmakers indefinitely put off his inauguration earlier this month.

China Spring Festival Travel Rush Begins
China's transportation networks have officially started an annual 40-day drive to handle the world's biggest travel rush during the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Passengers are expected to make a record-high 3.4-billion journeys by train, air and land nationwide.

Our reporter Yin Xiuqi has the details.

The Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, falls on Feb. 10th this year.

Hundreds of millions of people will embark on a journey for family reunion, putting huge pressure on the country's transportation networks.

Among them, the railways will handle 225 million passengers, up by 4.6 percent year on year.

Wei Ruiming, an official from China's Ministry of Railways, says the railway transportation is still stressed despite intensified efforts.

"The railways' capacity increases by 220,000 passengers everyday than last year. However, the carrying capacity is relatively limited considering the travel demand during the Spring Festival holiday. Therefore it's hard to meet the travel demand despite our efforts."

To cope with the increasing number of passengers, the railway authorities will add 450 more pairs of temporary trains everyday to meet the travel demand.
That represents an increase of 166 pairs of trains everyday on average than last year.

Meanwhile, the number of passengers traveling home by road is expected to reach over 3 billion.

Feng Zhenglin, Vice Minister of Transport, says the road system is fully prepared.

"We will increase our passenger capacity at short-distance travels, especially the short-distance travels in rural areas. We must ensure that the migrant workers can travel to home."

This year, an increasing number of people will travel by air for their family reunions and more likely for tourism purposes.

Airlines in China have arranged 25,000 more flights for the passengers. The flights are mainly added in tourist cities and cities with a great number of migrant workers.

The Chinese New Year is one of the most important traditional Chinese festivals with a one week public holiday.

Each year, the Chinese people travel from the country's developed regions to their underdeveloped hometowns for family reunions before the Chinese New Year.
And after the holiday period, family members travel to return to their working places - mostly the big cities again.

For CRI, I'm Yin Xiuqi.

Fantasy Literature for Children has Huge Potential in China
Fantasy literature, a reading genre that was introduced from the western world, has recently been developing rapidly in China. Many Chinese authors have now begun their endeavors in writing Chinese-style fantasy stories. CRI's Ding Lulu has more.

Reporter: Thanks to the development trend over the past years, fantasy literature is now accessible to not only adult readers but also children.

A forum was recently held in Beijing during which participants agreed that such development trend would have an increasingly strong impact on children's literature in China.

Xu Dexia, director of China Children's Press and Publishing Group, believes fantasy fiction will continue to heat up in China this year although it is still in its infancy.

"Fantasy literature was very successful in catching the spotlight in the publishing industry in 2012. For example, a recent symposium attracted well over 50 writers to attend."

Of the fantasy literature, science fiction is highly popular with children. 13-year-old Liu Wangding is a great fan of such books. He is also a member of a local young readers society "Super Reading World".

"I like reading science fiction, and one of my favorite books is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Fantasy literature satisfies my curiosity, and I'm always interested in learning about science."

A senior editor of children's literature at the People's Literature Publishing House, Feng Zhen, says it is good to see that fantasy literature thrives in China.

"Fantasy literature is a purely imported genre from western countries. Chinese authors took some getting used to it before being able to produce such stories of their own. That is why there has been a blank period in the domestic market. With the Harry Potter stories introduced into China, such books quickly became popular in this country."

However, Feng Zhen says translated works would not, and should not prevent the development of home grown fantasy literature given the difference between Chinese and western cultures.

"Western fantasy literature is popular though, but Chinese children have difficulty to fully appreciate such stories simply because of different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, Chinese writers have a huge role to play in helping develop this branch of literature for our young readers."

Feng Zhen cited the success of "Luoling's Magic", a best seller written by Chinese writer Chen Liuhuan. The book depicts a 13-year-old alien girl growing up on Earth. The series has sold 1.6 million copies since hitting the shelves.

For CRI, I'm DLL.

Reaction in Beijing as Li Na Loses Australian Open Final
Chinese tennis fans have praised Li Na despite her defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Australian Open ladies singles.

Fans in Beijing insisted that they had watched a great spectacle. They gathered at a tennis club in the Olympic Park in Beijing, to watch a live broadcast of the event.

Liu Zhiwei, vice president of Chinese Tennis Association, said Li Na played well under difficult circumstances.

But he added that despite her injury on court, she demonstrated a strong mentality and the quality of an outstanding athlete.

He said the tennis she played in the match was something that he had never seen before.

Li Na was taking part in her third Grand Slam final where she faced Victoria Azarenka.

The Chinese hopeful lost out to the World No.1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6.

After the game, Li Na admitted that she has met a tough opponent.

"It's a tough match, you know, she's No.1. defending champion. so, I think in the important game, she was playing better than me, so that's why she can win the title."

Encouraged by Li Na's success in the world tennis arena, tennis has become a popular sport in China in recent years.

Xinhua: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

After months of tensions, China-Japan relations on Friday showed signs of improvement, with Chinese leader Xi Jinping calling for joint action to resolve sensitive bilateral issues.

Xi Jinping has met with Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the junior party in Japan's coalition government. Their meeting in Beijing marked the highest-level political contact between the two countries since tensions spiked over an island dispute in September. Yamaguchi has handed the Chinese leader a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A commentary by China's Xinhua News Agency says the meeting has opened a window of opportunity for China-Japan relations. But it says Tokyo needs to follow up with tangible action to ease tensions and bring ties back to normal.

The article notes that Abe has promised in the letter to "keep the big picture in mind and advance the Sino-Japanese strategic relationship of mutual benefit."

The commentary points out that Abe has to realize that strategic relations between the two neighbors cannot be established through mere rhetoric, but must depend on responsible and tangible long-term practices.

Abe also said in the letter that Japan and China share responsibility for the Asia-Pacific region's peace and development.

The Xinhua article asks, "How can a country that does not reflect on criminal acts of aggression or apologize to its neighbors be responsible for regional peace and development?"

Xinhua then says it is high time for Japan to assure Asia-Pacific countries that it is not only able to make promises, but also has the determination and capability to turn them into reality.

China Daily: UN Resolution on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council approved a Resolution earlier this week demanding North Korea not conduct any further ballistic missile tests, nuclear tests or any further provocation.

Hours after the latest resolution was adopted, North Korea responded that it would "strengthen its military capabilities for self-defense, including nuclear deterrence".

An editorial carried by China Daily is calling for comprehensive treatment that addresses both the symptoms and root causes of the tensions over the Korean Peninsula.

The article says that at such a sensitive time, it would be unwise for Pyongyang to insist on pressing ahead with its satellite program.

The article says it is important to draw attention to the positive information the resolution delivers rather than interpreting the resolution as a signal of further estrangement or isolation of North Korea.

The China Daily editorial recommends the parties concerned shore up engagement, consultation and contacts to dissolve enmity and suspicion and pave the way for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.