Friday, October 10, 2008

World's tallest man becomes a dad

The world's tallest person, Bao Xishun, a 2.36-meter man in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, became a father last week after his wife gave birth to a boy.

Bao's wife, 29-year-old Xia Shujuan, produced the child via Caesarean section early last Thursday at Zunhua Hospital in Hebei Province, which neighbors Inner Mongolia.

The baby weighed 4.2 kg and was 56 cm long. Doctors said he was slightly taller than most newborns, who are usually 47 cm to 52 cmat birth.

On Thursday, Xia was discharged from hospital after a week's recovery. They moved to their residence in Zunhua City.

The 57-year-old Bao told Xinhua on the phone he was very happy that both his wife and son were well. The former herder said he named the boy "Tian You" and hoped he could grow up with a sound body and happy life.

The couple were married in July last year.

Source: Xinhua

Four killed in southwest China mine cave-in

Four people died and one other was injured after a coal mine shaft collapsed on Thursday afternoon in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The cave-in occurred at around 2:30 p.m. in the licensed Zhenxing mine in Laibing Town, Xuanwei City. Eight people were in the shaft at the time of the accident, according to the city government.

Rescuers pulled out the victims at 4 p.m.. Those that were seriously injured died in hospital despite doctors' efforts. A slightly-injured worker was continuing to receive medical treatment. The others were unharmed.

The cause of the cave-in was being investigated.

Source: Xinhua

Canada to show products, services in Macao

A catalogue show featuring Canadian products and services will be held in Macao from Oct. 13 to 24, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute announced on Thursday.

Jointly organized by the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong and the IPIM, the Catalogue Show will include food and beverage, medical and health, environmental industry, construction and building products, education, information and communication technology, etc. There are over 50 types of catalogues, according to the IPIM.

Canada has frequent trade cooperation with Macao, with its investment scope in the Special Administration Region covering educational, traveling and trading service industries.

In 2007, the SAR's imports from Canada reached 90.8 million patacas , mainly including machinery and equipment, wood, medicine, skincare and food. For the first seven months of this year, Macao's total import value from Canada reached 68.9 million patacas , a 41.7 percent increase over the same period of 2007.


China securities regulator raises refinancing threshold

China's securities regulator on Thursday said publicly-traded companies must pay dividends in cash rather than stock over three years before submitting their refinancing applications.

The move could help to encourage long-term investment and reduce market volatility, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has plunged 66 percent from its record high last October.

In a new regulation stipulating cash dividend payment by listed companies, the CSRC said: "The listed firms, if applying for refinancing, must pay dividends in cash totaling no less than 30 percent of its distributed profits over the past three years."

The regulation went into effect on Thursday.

In the draft version released in August, companies were allowed to pay dividends either in cash or stock.

The listed firms were also ordered to reveal their cash dividend policies and previous cash dividend data to investors in their annual reports to improve transparency.

"The listed company should give reasons why it failed to pay a cash dividend if it is able to and where the money goes," according to the rule.

Cash dividends could offer stable investment returns and prompt large institutional investors to reduce speculation on the secondary market, the regulator said.

A couple of huge refinancing plans earlier this year triggered a market plunge on concerns over stake dilution and liquidity stress.

In a separate regulation on share buy-back, also effective on Thursday, the CSRC said it allowed a cash dividend payment when the controlling shareholders bought stocks on the secondary market.

Such action was banned in the draft version released in late September to solicit public opinion.

Share buy-back through bidding at stock exchanges also no longer needs regulatory approval.

The CSRC added it would continue to revise the rules on stock buy-back and also give consideration to repurchase through agreement or tender offer.


Vice premier:China confident, capable of overcoming economic challenges

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said on Thursday the country is fully confident and capable of overcoming the current economic difficulties, vowing to work closely with other countries to safeguard stability of the global financial market.

Wang, in his meeting with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, said China has already taken relevant measures to face up to the turbulences of the international financial market.

As the largest developing country and a rising market, China's priority is to well handle its own problems, he said.

He believes China has great potential in domestic market and economic growth, adding the country would continue to take measures to maintain the stable and relatively fast economic development.

"The Chinese government is to strengthen coordination with other countries to face up to the global crisis and promote the stability of the global economic and financial market," Wang told Schroeder.

He appreciated the former German Chancellor's contribution to cementing bilateral ties. Regarding both countries as important trade, investment and technical cooperation partners, Wang said to further facilitate bilateral trade cooperation complies with the fundamental interests of both sides.

Schroeder extended congratulations to China's full success in holding the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. He hopes the two countries to step up cooperation in various areas to push forward bilateral ties.


Ministry of Commerce: China's Iron ore, steel prices may fall further

China's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said the prices of iron ore and steel products have further room for slide following recent retreat.

Prices of domestic iron ore were at 1,200 yuan per ton at the end of September, 12.4 percent lower than a month ago on slumping shipping rate, the ministry said.

Prices of steel on average last month slid 5.9 percent month-on-month to 5,670 yuan per ton. The slide was because of falling production costs and weaken demand in economic slowdown.

Domestic iron ore supply is sufficient as the closures and production cuts in some steel mills have reduced demand for iron ore, it added.

Four leading steel makers, including Shougang Group, Hebei Iron and Steel Group, Shandong Iron and Steel Group and Anyang Iron and Steel Group. will slash 20 percent of their production this month amid slack domestic demand and dropping steel prices, Monday's China Securities Journal reported.


Party meet focuses on rural reforms

The Communist Party of China Central Committee began a key four-day meeting in Beijing yesterday to discuss rural reforms in a bid to spur growth amid a global economic slowdown.

On top of the agenda for the third Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee is promoting reform and development in rural areas.

The meeting is the most important political event of the year, with 204 members of the Party's central committee to chart the nation's economic direction after 30 years of reform and blistering growth.

The meeting's emphasis on rural issues highlights the top leadership's efforts to reduce the widening urban-rural wealth gap and tap the vast rural market.

Despite fast economic development over the past three decades, a yawning wealth gap has opened up between urban and rural residents, hindering the country's bid to build social harmony.

Senior analysts said the meeting is expected to make it easier for farmers to lease or transfer the management rights of their land, measures that have become necessary as many farmers move to the cities as migrant workers.

In 1978, China adopted collective land ownership for the 750 million rural dwellers, according to which villages or townships assume land ownership. Households manage land, usually on a small scale, for 30-year periods through contractual agreements with village or township communities.

The system has liberated rural households from the highly concentrated land ownership system, but it fails to meet residents' income and productivity aspirations, said Dang Guoying, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Experts hope the reform will lead to larger, more efficient farms that can meet the demands of the evolving economy.

The Party has solicited opinions from both within and outside on a draft of the CPC Central Committee decision on major issues concerning rural reform and development, which will be presented to the plenum for deliberation.

According to earlier reports, the State will beef up support to, and protection of, agriculture; accelerate agricultural modernization; protect farmers' rights and interests; and promote innovation.

Source: China Daily