News & Reports 2011-09-17(在线收听

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In This Edition
Libya's National Transitional Council becomes the legitimate holder of the country's seat at the United Nations.
Eurozone countries' finance ministers begin talks in Poland over the Greek debt crisis.
China begins a nationwide inspection of certified producers of dangerous chemicals of their pollution control measures following serious chemical pollution incidents.
Overseas real estate companies flock to the Beijing Autumn Housing Fair in a bid to attract Chinese property buyers.
Hot Issue Reports
UN Gives NTC Libya's Seat, Eases Sanctions
The UN General Assembly has voted to give Libya's seat in the world body to the National Transitional Council.
General Assembly President Nassir al-Nasser:
"The results of the vote are as follows: In favor, 114, against 17, abstentions 15. The draft resolution is adopted."
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has passed a resolution to ease sanctions against Libya, including on its national oil company and national bank.
The UN has also set up a mission to help restore public security and initiate economic recovery in the North African country.
Ahmed Omar Bani is a military spokesman for Libya's transitional government.
"The United Nations recognized us since that resolution 1973 and now they have confirmed that, that's all. So we are so proud because of that really and that means we are the right people who have the right to lead this country."
On the frontline, anti-Gaddafi forces are now surging into Muammar Gaddafi's last bastions.
In Bani Walid, a town 140 kilometers south-east of the capital Tripoli, they have been forced to pull back after meeting fierce resistance.
Further to the east, forces are continuing an assault on Gaddafi's hometown Sirte.
Mohammed al-Alagi is the Justice Minister of the NTC.
"Rebels entered Sirte yesterday. They then retreated yesterday, possibly to secure some areas. It's a matter of hours before I believe the siege on the residents of the city will be lifted and they will join the revolution."
On the diplomatic front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has paid a visit to Tripoli and met the new leaders.
Erdogan calls for an end to the bloodshed in Libya.
His trip comes a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the country to show support for the NTC.
Abbas Confirms Palestine's UN Bid
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has now confirmed he will apply to the UN Security Council for full UN membership of a Palestinian state.
His comments come before a meeting of the UN General Assembly next week.
"We are going to the Security Council. Once I give my speech at the General Assembly I will submit a request for admission to the Secretary General in order to pass forward to the head of the Security Council. Therefore, our choice is the Security Council."
The Palestinian leader says he wants recognition as a state within 1967 borders.
"We should enjoy like the rest of the people of this earth freedom and liberty in a Palestinian State on the borders of the 4th of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital."
The areas he refers to include the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. All of these areas were occupied by Israel in 1967.
But Abbas also warns of high expectations on the first-ever Palestinian campaign for the recognition of statehood at the world body, saying the Palestinian Authority will still pursue this option, if statehood is rejected.
Residents in Ramallah welcome Abbas's move.
"We all know that the United States will use the veto against us, but I believe that this issue will really express our side and express our relations with other people and we should all focus on the peace because the Israeli parties will not give us our rights, so the president's issue is very good for all of the Palestinians."
The United States and Israel oppose the Palestinian campaign. Washington has already threatened to veto the application.
Israel says the move is a mistake.
Mark Regev is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman.
"The Palestinian decision to go to the United Nations is a mistake. It will not help peace and won't help bring about Palestinian statehood. The only way to statehood is through negotiations, through peace negotiations."
The last round of talks between Palestine and Israel collapsed nearly a year ago after Israel refused to halt settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Eurozone Finance Ministers Begin Talks on Greek Debt Crisis
Eurozone countries' finance ministers have begun talks in Poland over the Greek debt crisis.
Main topics on the Agenda of the two-day ECOFIN debates includes current economic and financial situation worldwide, preparations for annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank sessions, and for the related G20 meetings, assessment of the European Union (EU)'s financial stability, reforming the EU's financial sector.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner joined the meeting in Wroclaw - the first time that a US finance chief has attended such a gathering.
Geithner has been pushing his European counterparts to find a lasting solution to its debt troubles, which have dragged on for almost two years.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said both the US and Europe have to put their financial houses in order.
"We have problems in Europe and in the United States of America and we have to solve our problems on both sides of the Atlantic and get more stability into financial markets, since that is the main reason why we have to be concerned about a slowdown in the global development. So the Europeans have to do their homework, and the Americans theirs."
Meanwhile, Finland's finance minister Jutta Urpilainen said she doesn't expect the eurozone to resolve a dispute over her country's demand for collateral for loans to Greece.
She said there was still no solution to her country's demand for guarantees to back its contribution to a second, 110 billion euro rescue package, for Greece.
China to Start a Nationwide Inspection of Chemical Plants
In the wake of several serious chemical pollution incidents, China's Ministry of Environmental Protection says it will begin a nationwide inspection of all certified producers of dangerous chemicals of their pollution control measures.
As Liu Yan reports, the inspection will last through the end of the year.
Zhang Lijun, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection, announced that the Ministry of Environmental Protection will no longer accept applications for new projects related to the production and storage of dangerous chemicals outside industrial zones.
Chinese law states that a factory cannot be built without an environmental impact assessment report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Zhang did not say when the ministry will resume accepting applications, but admitted that the country faced worsening chemical pollution.
"First, the rapid expansion of chemical production and usage puts huge pressure on the environment. The fact is, China is already a major producer and consumer of chemical products. Second, our technology still lags behind, and our structure is not the most ideal. Small chemical plants are everywhere, and consequently, we see a high percentage of low-end products that are highly toxic and easily cause pollution."
The vice minister said the country will raise the environmental standards of chemical plants and tighten penalties and fines on chemical factory owners who break the law.
"Plants that fail to comply with relative policies, produce sub-standard products, or use out-of-date manufacturing devices, will be required to shut down temporarily or permanently. And the ones that have done major harm to the environment will be shut down permanently."
Figures from the ministry show that 70 percent of the 49 major environmental emergencies that occurred between 2006 and 2010 concerned the safety of drinking water. More than 20 environmental emergencies related to drinking water have been reported so far this year.
In response, Zhang said the authorities will particularly focus on chemical plants located along the rivers, lakes and the coast, adding that harsher penalties will be imposed on those illegally dumping chemicals.
A serious pollution incident was exposed in Qujing City of southwest China's Yunnan Province late last month. A local chemical factory was found to have illegally dumped over 5,000 metric tons of chromium-contaminated waste near a reservoir and on hills from April to June.
For CRI, I'm Liu Yan.
Two Shanghai Plants Suspended after Lead Poisoning of Children
Two lead-emitting companies in Shanghai have suspended production after lead poisoning sickened 25 children.
The children who live in the Kangqiao area, an industrial suburb in the outskirts of the city, have been diagnosed with excessive lead in their blood.
12 of them have been hospitalized.
Parents of the children are complaining about the pollution.
"There is storage battery production factory, a waste incinerator and a nearby garbage processing station that could be the cause of the pollution. These things should all be harmful."
"We are just farmers and don't know which factory is polluting and which factory is not. After they were developed here, we never expect that such an illness would happen. The authorities should know which factories are poisoning us and which are not."
A Chinese subsidiary of major lead-acid battery maker Johnson Controls has been identified as the major lead emitter in the area.
The company said in a statement they are not "the source of the issue".
Another enterprise, the Shanghai Xinming Auto Accessories Company, is also under investigation.
Lead poisoning can damage various parts of the body, including the nervous and reproductive systems and the kidneys. It can cause high blood pressure and anemia.
China's environment ministry has called for urgent measures to tackle heavy metal poisoning.
More than 580 lead-acid battery producers, processor and recyclers had been shut down or suspended by the end of July.
Overseas Property Developers Flock to China to Sell Products
Many overseas real estate corporations have flocked to the Beijing Autumn Housing Fair in a bid to attract Chinese customers to buy housing abroad.
The property developers from over 20 countries and regions, including the US, Britain, Canada and Japan, offered hundreds of real estate projects for local investors in an effort to get a share of the burgeoning Chinese market.
Zheng Xiangdong of the organizing committee of the fair, explains the reasons behind the phenomenon.
"As China's economy continues to develop and people's income increases, the demand for global business interactions, overseas study and immigration is great. Meanwhile, the realty business in those countries has been experiencing downturns amid the financial turmoil in Europe and the US. So they are eager to attract investors from emerging economies such as China."
Overseas real estate corporations began attending the Beijing housing fair in 2009 when the international economic crisis hit their business harshly.
A research has shown that Chinese now account for 11 percent of the real estate investors in London.
Insiders say business immigration and preparing for overseas studies are the main drive for Chinese buying housing overseas.
Market Rule Needs to Be Used on Swill-cooked Dirty Oil Problems in China
It's long been no secret that the swill-cooked dirty oil has an complex chain of beneficiaries within the Chinese society. Legal oil processing companies are complaining about lack of raw material while smaller illegal factories are rampant in buying oil waste from restaurants across the country, making huge profit everyday.
Liu Min finds out more.
Li Najing is the CEO of Aowei Environmental Protection Company based in Shenzhen. His company is the only legal oil waste processing company granted by the local government. After collecting the restaurant cooking oil, they can refine it into biodiesel for vehicle usage. However, the CEO is quite embarrassed to admit that they could hardly make any profits due to the illegal cooking oil collection chain.
"The smaller, illegal oil processing factories have secret contracts with those restaurants, and the restaurants are more willing to sell the waste to them. We have no way to access that wasted oil. Now my company's net profit is nearly zero. I don't know how long we can continue our business."
Similarly, in the city of Harbin, more than 7000 restaurants in the city produce oil waste and daily trash up to 500 tons per day, but less than 10 percent of them have signed contracts with legal oil processing companies.
In most of the cities in China, restaurants and hotels can't charge anything when legal oil processing companies come to pick up oil. In some cities like Shanghai, the restaurants have to pay for the legal oil processing companies for their pick-ups. But in contrast, the restaurants can receive a considerable amount of income by selling the waste oil to illegal operators who come to the doorstep to buy the waste. Then the illegal operators will recycle the waste oil and sell it as cooking oil again to make huge profit.
Such benefit chains have existed in all corners of the Chinese society for years, but until now, nothing has been done to tackle the issue. Sun Yunshi, a member of the Shanghai People's Congress Standing Committee questions the local government what can be done regarding this issue.
"We've turned in suggestions this April to get rid of the collection fee for the wasted kitchen oil to break the benefit chain. So, I want to ask again, do we have a plan to implement such a policy and do we have a timetable to enforce it? "
Tao Yuan, a researcher from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau says such a solution cannot cure the stubborn disease.
"Even if you don't charge the restaurants anything, the wasted oil would still leak onto the illegal channels since they can make money out of it. One ton of oil can be sold at 3800 yuan. I suggest we do more research and then decide whether the government needs to continue to levy the fee or not."
Some officials also suggest that the government needs to allow the legal companies to establish their own teams to collect the wasted oil. It's necessary that they pay for the oil so that they can compete with the smaller factories. Some say the market rule should've been introduced a long time ago in order to cure stubborn social ills like dirty, swill-cooking oil.
For CRI, I'm Liu Min.
Pork Price Hike in China
Latest official figures show China's pork prices, a stable meat in the country and a key driver of inflation, has hit a new record high, rising 0.7 percent last week from the previous week.
The Ministry of Commerce said that was the fifth consecutive weekly rise in the price of pork.
Spikes in the cost of pork and other food items have constantly driven up Chinese consumer inflation, although the meat only accounts for 3 percent of China's consumer price index basket.
In August, pork prices rose some 46 percent from a year earlier, contributing 1.3 percentage points to the annual inflation of 6.2 percent.
For more about China's pork price hike, here CRI's Zeng Liang.
Pork has been an important element in China's food culture. There are almost half a billion pigs in China, one for every three people. But since last year, the price of pork has seen an abnormal surge.
Customers complain they're feeling the pinch.
"The price has risen too much, but pork is for sure a necessity in our daily diet. We cannot do without it. So now we consume less pork, and more chicken and duck as the alternatives."
"Last year, the least popular parts of pig cost only 7 yuan, but now the price is around 14."
The demand for pork has tripled amongst rural residents and doubled amongst urban dwellers over the last 20 years.
In China, most pigs are raised by small scale pig farms. These small scale farms do not have the capability or capacity to process their product from start to finish.
From these farms to supermarkets, pigs have to go through breeders, slaughterhouses and processors. Analysts believe the fragmentation has crippled the supply chain.
Li Guoqiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says the old system has to change.
"Large scale farming is necessary, because the cost for small farms is too high. The information flow through the Internet can help to decrease the cost, but it is not sufficient. Other supporting measures like logistics are also needed."
While many countries have strategic oil and grain reserves, China also possesses a national pork reserve.
The Ministry of Commerce initiated a live hog reserve that began operating in 2007.
Authorities have said it planned to release part of the central government's 200,000-metric-tons of frozen pork into the market in an attempt to cap rising prices.
For CRI, I'm Zeng Liang.
Newspaper Picks
Xinhua: Mandarin Chinese is reportedly becoming a more popular foreign language course being taught in the U.S. public school system.
The teaching of Mandarin in US schools is apparently spreading into large rural areas such as Georgia, Nebraska, and North Carolina as well as larger areas like Florida.
Although there is much popularity of Mandarin Chinese among U.S. public school students, this does not mean that learning the language immediately comes easily for all of them. Experts say the attitude and dedication of a student is probably 80 percent of the battle in learning Mandarin, along with not being surrounded by native Mandarin speakers.