Around China: Tourism Green Paper released

08:49, April 20, 2010      

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Tourism Green Paper released

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released the Tourism Green Paper 2010 at a press conference on Monday.

Examining China's travel and tourism competitiveness, which is currently ranked 47th by the World Economic Forum, researchers concluded that tourism has gained a strong foothold after 30 years' development and that domestic consumption is set to reclaim dominance in the industry.

The report predicts that China's tourism market will continue to thrive in 2010, with an estimated 16.1 percent year-on-year increase in tourists' spending. The boom will enable China to quickly ascend the global ranking of travel and tourism competitiveness.

The current gap between China's leading international status and poor tourism ranking is seen as a result of prioritizing economy over environment and people's livelihood in the past. Experts believe the imbalance will ease with the implementation of sound environmental and livelihood policies.

Exports key to growth in 1st quarter

A strong rebound in exports played a big part in China's 11.9 percent year-on-year economic growth in the first quarter, said an economist of a government think tank.

In an article published in the China Securities Journal on Monday, Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the State Council's development research center, said the 28.7 percent year-on-year growth in exports had contributed more than 3.44 percentage points to China's GDP growth in the first quarter.

Exports in the corresponding period last year dragged down growth by 3.35 percentage points.

Zhang said domestic demand, which includes consumption and investment, contributed 8.46 percentage points to China's 11.9 percent GDP growth in the first quarter. This is compared to 9.45 percentage points in the corresponding period last year.

The country's economy is not yet on a path of sustainable growth, as domestic demand still largely relies on government incentives, he added.

Foreign aid appreciated for quake

China welcomes and appreciates the international community's willingness to aid quake relief work in Northwest China's Qinghai province, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Sunday.

Jiang said the international community had extended condolences and expressed concerns about the relief work after a 7.1 magnitude quake struck the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Yushu, Qinghai province.

Some countries and organizations have expressed their willingness to offer assistance, which is a clear manifestation of their goodwill to China, Jiang said.

"The Chinese government welcomes and sincerely appreciates their goodwill," she said, adding that the information for receiving donations has been published.

The spokeswoman said the Chinese government is sparing no effort in rescue and relief, as more rescuers and relief materials are being sent to the quake zone.


Expand domestic demand: V-P

Vice-premier Li Keqiang urged more efforts to expand domestic demand and restructure the economy to revitalize the old industrial base in Northeast China.

Li made the remarks during an inspection tour to Liaoning province from Wednesday to Saturday.

Urbanization, which in itself is a kind of economic restructuring, offered great potential for expanding domestic demand, Li said.

He also stressed the role of scientific and technological innovations in transforming the economic development mode and creating new advantages in competition.


Bus accident death toll rises to 10

Two more people died on Sunday evening from injuries after a bus accident in East China's Jiangxi province, bringing the death toll from the accident to 10, the provincial work safety authorities said on Monday.

Fifteen others who were injured in the accident are still in the hospital receiving medical treatment.

The accident happened at around 6:12 pm on Sunday when a bus with 32 aboard collided with a car with one aboard on a section of the Ganyue expressway in Jishui county, killing eight people on the scene and injuring 17.

The Ganyue expressway links Heyuan city, Guangdong province with Ganzhou, Jiangxi province.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.


Smoking restrictions at Expo site

Smoking indoors will be completely banned and smoking outdoors restricted to designated areas at the World Expo site in Shanghai.

Smoking will be banned inside pavilions and there will be designated outdoor smoking areas, said Huang Jianzhi, deputy director of Shanghai World Expo Coordination Bureau.

Since visitors are not allowed to carry lighters into the Expo site, they will be provided at the areas designated for smoking, Huang said.

"Many people had called for a smoke-free Expo, but after considering international conventions and China's legislature, we believe that we should take some anti-smoking measures but not impose a total ban," said Huang.

On March 1, Shanghai implemented a regulation to ban smoking in 12 types of public places, including schools, hospitals, sports stadiums, public transport and Internet cafes.


First vegetable museum opens

China's first vegetable museum opened in Shandong province on Monday, covering an area of 3,000 square meters.

The China Shouguang Vegetable Museum showcases the relationship between the development of China's vegetable farming and society, exhibiting items such as farming tools, specimens and drawings from the Shandong Longshan civilization period (2340 BC - 1940 BC) to the modern period, said Wang Ziran, deputy director of the museum's project team.

"You can find a 130-million-year-old plant fossil here and see the tools used to farm vegetables in the Han Dynasty, about 2100 years ago," he added.

The museum is located in Shandong's Shouguang city, known as the "Vegetable Town of China", where 56,000 hectares are used to grow vegetables out of a total 94,000 hectares of arable land.


Work for Farmers' Games on track

Preparations for the Seventh National Farmers' Games, to be held in Nanyang, Henan province, are progressing according to plan, the game's organization committee announced at a press conference on Monday.

The Seventh National Farmers' Games, which include 15 main games in 176 categories, will be held in October 2012. It is predicted that more than 30,000 participants, including athletes and guests, from over more than provinces and overseas will attend the games.

According to Mu Weimin, mayor of Nanyang, the organizing committee has received donations and sponsorships for more than 14.33 million yuan ($1.96 million) for the event. Sports infrastructures, such as the main stadium, training center, swimming pool and news center, have been under construction since last December.

Bad fuel: Car owners storm SinoPec

Angry car owners gathered at the gate of SinoPec's Xinxiang branch in Henan province on Monday morning demanding an explanation for the problems with their cars after using petrol bought from their gas pumps.

A large number of complaints over car malfunctions have been recently filed in Xinxiang and Anyang, Central China's Henan province. Car owners claimed problems had occurred to their cars after using the 93 automotive gasoline bought from the local gas pumps, with symptoms including abnormal engine noise, difficulty in starting up and excessive consumption of petrol.

Car owners claimed the petrol is the cause of the malfunction. SinoPec's Henan branch later said it is cooperating with the local government departments to investigate the incident, the result of which will be made public as soon as possible. The company will offer free services for cleaning the affected vehicles and compensation for the owners.


Hen seller held for causing panic

A man was detained for publishing false information online in order to promote his chicken business in Mianxian county, Shaanxi province, information portal reported on Monday.

The man surnamed Guo published a post online claiming the pork sold in the local markets will spread foot-and-mouth disease. The post aroused concerns and panic among the residents and prodded the local government authorities to launch an investigation into the claim.

The police later found the content of the post was fabricated and nailed Guo, owner of a hennery, who then confessed that he did so to boost his business.

Xi'an to become museum capital

Local authorities in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, recently released a circular on the development of the city's museums. Over the next three years, the city aspires to become China's "Capital of Museums", with plans to build more museums that are accessible to the general public. The city hopes to fully incorporate its world-acclaimed prestige as the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization into the modern-day revitalization of the metropolis, authorities said.

Being one of the oldest cities in the country, Xi'an has served as the national capital for multiple dynasties, and thus is blessed with a rich heritage of antiquity and historical relics. Currently, it is home to 47 museums and memorial halls.

The city plans to double the number of museums in three years, local authorities said.

Source: China Daily

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