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Thursday, December 02, 1999, updated at 14:40(GMT+8)
Sci-Tech China ready for Y2K Problem

China is well prepared against the Y2K millennium bug, said Zhang Qi, director under the Ministry of Information Industry in charge of dealing with the Y2K problem.

Addressing a press conference in Beijing on December 1, Zhang noted that 18 crucial industries including banking, securities and electricity have all worked out corresponding contingency plans and implementation schemes.

The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, has organized three nationwide out-of-service tests in the banking industry in cooperation with securities, insurance and other financial agencies.

Zhang Jing, director of the payment technology department under the People's Bank of China said that China's banking system is now basically ready for the transition.

To ensure a smooth transition, the Bank has also formulated contingency measures such as preparing adequate cash for customers. The central bank also plans to increase loans to commercial banks from December 31, 1999 to February 29, 2000 when the Y2K bug may pose a problem.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China is also confident with Y2K preparations. Civil aviation companies plan to fly as usual on January 1, 2000.

In spite of the precautions, Zhang admitted that problems still remain. Some regions and enterprises have not taken necessary measures to safeguard against the Y2K bug.

"China is a large country, and the Y2K bug is a problem which the whole world is facing, so I can only say that we are prepared, " said Zhang.

The Ministry of Information Industry will finish the construction of a Y2K information backup center by December 10.

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