Call to solve solar panel disputes

Updated: 2012-09-03 08:11

(China Daily)

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Call to solve solar panel disputes

Beijing and Berlin should work toward boosting negotiations to end the dispute between China and the European Union over import duties for solar panels, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said on Saturday.

China has urged the EU to avoid any form of protectionism against Chinese products, spokesman Shen Danyang said.

Germany's SolarWorld and other European solar panel manufacturers filed an anti-dumping complaint with the European Commission in July. The commission has 45 days, from the submission, to rule on whether an investigation should be held.

Student numbers down for 14 years

China has seen 14 straight years of decline in the number of students in the compulsory-education phase, according to figures from the Ministry of Education.

Primary-school students saw a year-on-year decrease of 143,400 in 2011, and junior high school students declined by some 2.12 million from that year. The number of primary schools also decreased from 1997's 628,800 to 2011's 241,200, and junior high schools dropped from 1997's 66,200 to 2011's 54,100.

Experts attributed the drop of student numbers mainly to the country's declining birth rate.

Drug companies told to do audits

China's food-and-drug watchdog has told the country's pharmaceutical firms to carefully scrutinize sources of their material to prevent substandard ingredients being used in medicine.

The State Food and Drug Administration has asked drug enterprises to audit their suppliers to ensure the quality of ingredients and medicine products, according to a report in the Sunday edition of People's Daily.

In a Friday statement, the administration also announced an investigation into the truth of a media report that certain pharmaceutical firms have been manufacturing an antibiotic intermediate using "gutter oil", referring to reprocessed oil made from kitchen waste dredged from gutters behind restaurants.

Rail riders can soon pick seats

Passengers buying high-speed train tickets online as of Sept 15 can choose their seats - aisle, window or middle - just as they do with airline tickets, the Beijing News reported on Sunday, citing sources from the Ministry of Railways.

High-speed train seats in China will be numbered by a combination of letters and numbers. The number represents the row, and the letter is a specific seat in the row. Passengers will be able to identify their seats according to seat codes and select the seats accordingly, the report said.

If passengers are not satisfied with their seats when booking online, they can cancel orders and select again. But passengers are allowed to cancel orders only three times a day, according to the official railway ticket-booking website


2 students killed in school bus crash

A school bus accident claimed the lives of two students and injured 13, two severely.

The accident, early on Sunday morning, occurred when a bus carrying the students from a senior high school in Songzi city, Hubei province, to a chemistry competition in Jinzhou, also in Hubei, struck a tree and fell on its side.

The injured students were rushed to a hospital, where the two severely injured were said to be in a stable condition.


Father, son officialssentenced for graft

A court in Anhui over the weekend sentenced a former official in Suzhou city to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery. The court also sentenced the official's son to life imprisonment for the same crime.

Zhang Zhihuai, former head of the Suzhou land and resources bureau, and his son, Zhang Dong, former chief of a subordinate body of his father's bureau, received more than 20 million yuan ($3.15 million) in bribes from 2005 to 2011 to help local real estate developers and intermediate agencies acquire land-use rights, according to the court.


High standards used in rebuilding

Stringent standards are being implemented in rebuilding a Hunan province bridge, whose collapse five years ago killed 64 people and injured 22, according to sources.

On Aug 13, 2007, a bridge over the Tuojiang River in Fenghuang county fell apart because of its shoddy construction. With its alarming death toll and an economic loss of nearly 40 million yuan ($6.35 million), it was the country's worst bridge collapse tragedy.

Sources with the new bridge's contractor, China Railway Construction, have said that the reconstruction has progressed smoothly since the project began in November, with work on the arch structure now in full swing.

Standardized rules are being applied in the entire process, including steel-bar processing and cement mixing, according to the company.

Five-Star Red Flag rises higher

A kindergarten in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, said it has adjusted the heights of the Chinese national flag and the national flag of the United Kingdom after the school reportedly placed the Union Jack above the Five-Star Red Flag.

The Junyue Kindergarten is under construction and about to open. A local education official was quoted by local media as saying that they had asked the school to make the adjustment according to related regulations.

China Daily - Xinhua