CRI中国国际广播电台 News & Reports 2012-08-04(在线收听

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

In This Edition
British Prime Minister David Cameron plays down the prospect of military intervention in Syria by the international community.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says his country will not seek a bailout from European rescue funds.
The European Central Bank will hold its benchmark interest rates as it underwent pressure to reduce bond yields to protect the euro.
And gales and rainstorms lash China's coastal regions as two typhoons made landfall in less than 10 hours, forcing over 500 thousand people to evacuate.
Hot Issue Reports
British PM Holds Talks with Russian President
British Prime Minister David Cameron is playing down the prospect of military intervention in Syria by the international community.
Cameron was speaking after talks with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in London.
The British leader also stressed the importance of co-operating with Russia in order to resolve the escalating situation in Syria.
"Syria is not Libya. It's a different situation. I don't think military approaches are right in this case. I've thought very carefully about that. But I think there's a lot more pressure that we can put on and there's a lot we can do, for instance, to help the Syrian opposition with advice and support."
The comments by Cameron coincided with an announcement of resignation by UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan.
Annan said that he was disappointed over the lack of progress in the Syrian peace process and that he would step down after his current mandate expires on Aug. 31.
Mr. Annan took up his post in February.
His internationally backed peace plan called for an end to the violence in Syria and for a Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.
Italy and Spain Hold Joint Conference
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti says his country will not seek a bailout from European rescue funds.
Monti made the remarks after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy in Madrid.
"The kind of aid we understand as being a bailout, state rescue, etc., is not going to happen in Italy."
The two leaders both welcomed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's commitment that the euro currency was 'irreversible'.
The prime ministers also signed a joint statement, calling for greater fiscal and financial integration to complete a true economic and monetary union.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy emphasized that he will continue trying to reduce Spain's public deficit by sticking to planned structural reforms.
"We will keep on making structural reforms, though conscious that we have to take measures that are tough, that are very difficult, that are not nice and that most Spaniards do not like."
Spain unveiled its latest austerity measures in July designed to slash 65 billion euros from the public deficit by 2014, triggering widespread protests.
The Spanish government is trying to avoid a full state bailout though its troubled banking sector is set to be rescued by EU funds.
Argentina Celebrates Bond Payoff
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez has called on the country to celebrate as final payments of 2.3 billion US dollars were made to people who lost assets during the Buenos Aires financial crash in 2002.
Argentina issued the bonds at the height of the 2001-02 economic crisis, when the government defaulted on about $100 billion US dollars in sovereign debt.
Fernandez addressed a packed and cheering Buenos Aires stock exchange.
"Today in this emblematic place that is the stock exchange of the city of Buenos Aires we've announced that tomorrow we're paying the debts of the state that came from previous governments, but this government has to assume the responsibility. "
She also praised her government for meeting its commitments and blamed multi-national financial institutions for the debt crises that afflicted Argentina then and threatened Europe today.
Argentina's foreign-currency debt has dropped from a daunting 166 percent of GDP at the end of 2002 to a more manageable 42 percent as of the end of 2011.
ECB Holds Benchmark Interest Rates, Edging Closer to Bond Buying
The European Central Bank has decided to hold its benchmark interest rates as it underwent pressure to reduce bond yields to protect the euro.
The ECB leaves the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.75 percent and the deposit rate held at zero.
Mario Draghi, president of the ECB, says he expects the Euro-zone economy recover gradually.
"Economic indicators point to weak economic activity in the second quarter of 2012 and at the beginning of the 3rd quarter in the environment of heightened uncertainty. Looking beyond the short term, we expect the euro-area economy to recover only very gradually."
Despite opposition from Germany's Bundesbank, Draghi disclosed the broad outlines of a bond-buying program, as part of the bank's effort to curb soaring borrowing costs.
Draghi signals that the bank is willing to start buying government bonds to curb soaring borrowing costs of troubled euro zone countries.
But the bank says political leaders should move first, and left open some crucial questions about how quickly and forcefully it would seek to stabilize financial markets.
Toyota posted its largest quarterly operating profit in four years Friday. It also raised global sales target this year.
The world's top automaker reported an operating profit of 350 billion yen, or four and a half million US dollars from a loss a year ago.
It keeps its forecast of a 1 trillion yen operation profit for the 2012 financial year to next March.
Toyota also points to exchange rate fluctuations and trouble in Europe as one of the largest problems blocking them going forward.
Toyota Senior Managing Officer Takahiko Ijichi,
"While we will continue to look for cost savings on the operation side and look to reduce our costs, there are still exchange rate fluctuations to deal with especially with regards to the Euro and market concerns."
Ijichi says that the company will do everything possible to make sure to meet its profit goals for the fiscal year.
"We were able to deal with the effects of the exchange rate fluctuations, and still predict a net earnings of 300 billion yen. In that sense, we plan to continue to increase our earnings and no matter what, we will make sure that we reach this goal and are profitable by next March."
Toyota says it now expects to sell about 9.8 million cars and light trucks globally this year. That is up almost 2 percent from its previous forecast.
Dual Typhoons Lash Coastal Regions in East China
Gales and rainstorms have lashed China's coastal regions when two typhoons made landfall in less than 10 hours, forcing over 500 thousand people to evacuate.
Strong tropical storm Saola, weakening from a typhoon, made landfall in Fuding City of southeastern province of Fujian early today.
It's expected to move northwestward at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour, bringing heavy rains to the northern part of Fujian and the inland province of Jiangxi.
Saola previously made landfall on Thursday in Taiwan, killing 5 people and injuring another 16.
A clean-up operation is now underway in Taiwan.
Rescue workers in the northeastern counties of Ilan and Nantou used rubber boats and amphibious vehicles to help hundreds escape flooded homes.
"I was so scared and I couldn't sleep last night, my house has been damaged by flood and it's still covered by mud. My refrigerator and gas tank were washed out of my house."
All seven major reservoirs in Taiwan released large quantities of water to prevent flooding.
The Chinese mainland has expressed condolences to the island regarding the devastation wrought by Typhoon Saola.
Meanwhile, Damrey, the 10th typhoon of the year, has made landfall in the eastern Jiangsu province, bringing torrential rains to the region and neighboring Shandong province.
Light News
China Strives for Steady Economic Growth
China's central government and local authorities are now striving for steady economic growth against the backdrop of the sluggish global economic recovery.
Authorities in southwest China's Guizhou province are expected to announce investments totaling three trillion yuan to develop eco-cultural tourism.
Earlier, the central city of Changsha said it would invest over 800 billion yuan to improve the city's economic structure.
Some analysts are suggesting that the authorities should encourage more private investment to take part in the government-initiated projects.
Wang Wenxiang is deputy director of the Investment Institution of National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency.
"In eastern regions, we should further encourage private investment in emerging industries. Meanwhile, in central and western regions, we should encourage private investment in infrastructure construction, which has previously been dominated by the government."
He says that private enterprises should be allowed to play a bigger role in China's economic upgrading, a major task set by the government for the next several years.
Toll Ways to be Open for Free on Public Holidays
China is set to lift toll road fees for passenger cars during major public holidays.
The move follows increased concerns about traffic congestion during public holidays, which have been triggered by fee collections at toll stations.
CRI's Autumn Szeliga has more.
The latest notice released by the State Council is set to offer a free pass for private vehicles during travel peaks.
Passenger cars with seven seats or less as well as motorcycles will be able to travel through toll roads, bridges and tunnels for free during the Spring Festival, Tombsweeping Day, Labor Day and the National Day holidays.
Liu Yue is a motorist who spends most of the holidays behind the wheel.
"Of course, I'm happy to hear the news. It will help a great deal to cut my travel expenses. One time, I spent around 600 yuan on the toll ways for one trip. I will definitely go for a ride once the toll ways open for free, it will be a totally different experience to drive on free roads. "
However, Xiao Yang who mostly drives to get home from work, says the new rule could bring more traffic to the road.
"Families who initially planned to go for a day tour may change their plan and go for a longer tour. It may start a traffic jam. Why couldn't the roads open for free everyday?"
Last year, traffic authorities in 16-provinces released reports on their toll ways, saying most of the roads are heavily in debt.
The report shows many of the provinces owe over 1-billion-yuan for toll road construction, with only four including Beijing recording profits.
However, drivers are becoming concerned some toll roads are luring money long after the debts have been repaid.
Cheng Shidong, a researcher with the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation of National Development and Reform Commission, says it has to do with the toll ways management system.
"At first, the roads were managed individually, and now, the toll roads are wrapped in a package and managed by local governments. Take Beijing for example, the money collected from all toll ways, no matter from Beijing-Tangshan expressway or Beijing-Shijiazhuang expressway, are governed by the same body, and the local authority will use the money to cover the debts for those toll ways that fail to generate profits. "
Cheng adds that opening toll ways for free on public holidays is not an ideal solution to curb traffic congestion or excessive toll way charges.
"The toll ways are always busy during holidays and they may become even more congested if cars are allowed to go through for free. Plus, for a long-term solution, local governments can re-negotiate their commission contracts with toll way management companies to cut down the fee collection period or the charging standard. "
Toll roads across the country can charge for a maximum of 30 years.
China has over 74-thousand kilometers of highways, 95-percent of which are toll roads.
For CRI, I'm Autumn Szeliga.
Property Inspection Teams In Action
When many Chinese cities saw a rebound in the price of new real estate projects in June, China's State Council, or cabinet, decided to send eight teams to inspect the implementation of property regulation policies by local authorities. Now the teams are undertaking inspections in 16 cities and provinces around the country.
Zhang Wan takes a closer look.
In Shanghai, an inspection team has randomly selected a project from the city's real estate catalog for further investigation. Guo Qingping, head of the team, talks about what they are focusing on during the inspections.
"Our inspection team mainly focuses on three aspects: first, the qualifications of the real estate developer; second, those houses for sale and their prices; the third is the implementation of differential credit policies. We'll particularly inspect if the houses for sale and the prices are transparent."
In addition, the inspection team will also examine local banks that grant loans to homebuyers, especially the procedure of granting loan.
According to the State Council, the inspection aims to further ensure the implementation of property regulation measures, curbing speculative housing demand, and ensuring the effects of property regulation measures.
A report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that twenty-five major Chinese cities saw a rebound in the price of new real estate projects in June. Take Shanghai for example. Housing prices there have been rising since April, which was seen as a turning point. Many people became worried that housing prices were started to go up again.
Liu Haisheng, Director of the Shanghai Municipal Housing Support and Building Administration Bureau, gives his view of the city's housing market.
"Based on the current situation, most buyers have rigid housing demands. We can hardly say that there is a rebound in housing prices. We found that some real estate agencies misled potential homebuyers through advertisements in hopes of increasing their sales volume, so we will make efforts to crack down on false advertising in the real estate market."
Liu adds although housing prices in July were a bit higher than those of the previous month, they were actually lower than those of the same period last year.
Apart from Shanghai, the inspection teams will also go to other cities and provinces, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hebei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian.
They will inspect how well housing purchasing limit policies and differential credit policies have been carried out, and check the supply and management of residential land and the implementation of tax policies.
The inspection teams will also urge regions where property regulation measures are not strictly followed to make rectifications.
The announcement of sending inspection teams came after the country's property market showed signs of warming following the government's efforts to stimulate the slowing economy in recent months.
China's economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level in more than three years, sparking speculation that the central government might ease property curbs to shore up growth.
But central government officials have repeatedly stated that property regulation measures will be kept in place to prevent a rebound in housing prices.
For CRI, I am Zhang Wan.
Chinese Volunteers Shine at the London Olympics
In the medal count at the ongoing London Olympics, the United States has overtaken China for the number one spot in the medals table.
The U.S. is with 21 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze to China's 20 gold, 13 silver and 9 bronze medals.
Coming in third is Russia with 23 total medals, Britain, Japan and Germany follow that.
Apart from all the world class athletes, the games are also seeing more than 70,000 volunteers from across the globe helping out by providing all kinds of services.
CRI's Ding Lulu tells us how The Chinese volunteers among them are earning wide-spread acclaim.
Xiao Xingning is a Chinese overseas student who has been studying in London for two years.
The 20-year-old is now volunteering at the Games' media operation department.
"We need to get the media bags ready, which contain all the stadiums' information, traffic guide and time schedule of the games. The delegations also send their athletes' information to us and then we send it to the media. We also answer questions raised by the media."
He has been working for more than a month, providing consultancy services of the press conferences for the Olympic delegations and media.
Not only here, Chinese faces also appear elsewhere.
Zhang Chen, a student at the London College of Fashion, has been chosen to hold the nameplate of a delegation at both the opening and closing ceremonies.
"We will hold the nameplate of the country we are guiding so that when the delegations come out from their lounges, they can find their countries' nameplates. I am going to guide the Italian delegation."
Xiao Xingning says that it is a great opportunity for Chinese volunteers like himself to work and live with those from other regions, working together to move the Games ahead.
"I felt rather excited at first since this chance is so precious and rare. I have also learned many sports-related terms, which helps improve my English. My communication skills will also greatly improve."
Chinese volunteers are only the microcosm of all the 70,000 volunteers at the London Olympics.
In snazzy and brightly colored uniforms, the volunteers are the real 'Games makers' because their efforts are crucial to making the Games happen.
Journalists covering the London Olympics say that the Olympics will be a complete success with the help of the volunteers.
"Everything was OK. The people were very nice. The people are very careful."
"Very OK! They helped us with everything. I think they won the first match."
The London Games will last until August 12th.
For CRI, I'm Ding Lulu.
Fears over sinking streets
Beijing's city government has released an alert via its microblog, warning of collapsed roads and sinkholes in the capital due to the recent heavy rain.
Around 2 pm Tuesday afternoon, a car was almost consumed by a sinkhole in Zhongkou Hutong, Xicheng district. Two hours later, a man was injured after falling into a hole on Baiyun Lu, also in Xicheng district.
Officials say Beijing experienced at least 18 road collapses over the last ten days of July.
However, some experts argue that instead of natural disasters, poor materials and inadequate maintenance of the underground pipe networks are the reasons for the collapse.
Good Samaritan gets share of the blame.
A teenager who risked her life by trying to push a toddler out of the way of an oncoming truck has been held partly responsible for the accident in Foshan, Guangdong province.
Both the girl and the toddler received serious leg injuries.
A responsibility report declares that the girl and the toddler are each 12.5 percent responsible for the accident, and the truck driver is 50 percent responsible.
This report caused heated debate with 85% of respondents saying they don't think the teenager should be responsible.
It's feared that this blame will further discourage selfless acts by Good Samaritans.
Market Update
U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, snapping a four-day losing streak, after the latest government report showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in July.
The Dow Jones industrial average rallied 1.7 percent to 13,096. The Standard & Poor's 500 surged 1.9 percent to 1,391. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 2 percent to 2,968.
European markets also traded high. London's FTSE 100 gained 2.2 percent to 5,787. Frankfurt's DAX rose 3.9 percent to 6,866. CAC 40 in Paris advanced 4.4 percent to 3,374.