Monday, August 28, 2006

What's New in China

New Education Law to Take Effect
A new law addressing China’s compulsory education system (grade one to nine) will take effect starting September 1, Xinhua reported. The new law is a revision of an old compulsory education law that has been in place for the past 20 years. The new edition focuses on striking for a balance of education between rural and urban areas, as well as the fast developing east and the backward west of China. To make sure children in impoverished western rural areas can afford school, the new law provides them with free education through the ninth grade.

Several High-profile Government Officials Sacked on Wrongdoings
In the latest anti-corruption wake, several high-rank government officials have been removed from offices and put under investigation, including the chief prosecutor of Tianjin and three state legislators. Li Baojin, the chief prosecutor, is under investigation for “economic problems,” Xinhua reported. Two municipal officials in Shanghai are also being investigated for misappropriation of nearly US$420 million social security fond. In addition, a Sichuan delegate to the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature body, was expelled from the congress for his deliberate thwart of investigation of his drunk driving accident, which killed one people, Channel News Asia reported.

Bankers the Major Bribery Receivers
Bank executives and staff have become the main forces among commercial bribery recievers, Gong Jie, a China Banking Regulatory Commission official said in Beijing recently. Banking institutions possess 70 percent of money resources in China, which makes them the major target of bribery in exchange for bank loans, Mr. Gong said. So far this year, more than 60 bribery cases occurring with financial institutions have been revealed, involving more than 4.6 million yuan (US$570,000), China News reported.

Group Dating Welcomed in Big Cities
About 10,000 singles turned out in a group dating event held in Shanghai recently. Same events were also welcomed in other major cities like Beijing. Such gathering provides busy single young professionals the opportunity to meet with people outside their offices, and hopefully, generate some romance. A government branch called the Women Association usually holds the date, according to BBC.

Trade Deficit in China’s Book Imports
China is now importing much more print publications from overseas than exporting, Yu Yongzhan, deputy director of China’s national publication administration told a forum in Beijing on Monday. He dispelled “misunderstandings” that China imposed many limitations on foreign publications, claiming that China spent more than US$150 million every year importing books, newspapers and periodicals, while earning US$20 million for its own publication exports. Mr. Yu also said that the imports are increasing every year, China News reported.

----by Josie Liu

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