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Hourly News 2008-06-21
    2008-06-21 13:59:30     CRIENGLISH.com

Broadcasting Time: 08:00 AM, GMT:+8:00, 2008-06-21

 
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Chinese President Goes on-Line to Talk to the Public

Chinese President Hu Jintao talked to Internet users Friday morning via a major news portal, the first time that the nation's leader has gone online to chat with the public.

Hu Jintao was speaking through a forum of people.com.cn, the news portal of the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the CPC.
During the chat, Hu Jintao said the Internet is a major channel for public opinion, and the government must listen to the people and lean on their wisdom to do a good job.

China had the world's most net users with 221 million as of February, outnumbering that of the United States.

Chinese Vice Premier Urges Stronger Strategic Dialogue between China, U.S.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said in New York Friday that China and the United States should strengthen their strategic dialogue to enhance understanding and trust and facilitate the long-term, stable and sound development of Sino-U.S. constructive cooperation.

At a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the vice premier said establishing and developing constructive relations between Beijing and Washington is a historic inevitability. He praised Kissinger for his important contributions to the development of Sino-U.S. relations.

Kissinger, for his part, said the overall stable development of U.S.-China relations over the long term is a reflection of the interests of both countries.

China Raises Prices of Refined Oil, Electricity

China has raised the prices of gasoline, diesel oil and aviation kerosene.

Beginning Friday, the benchmark gasoline and diesel oil retail prices will be marked up by 1,000 yuan or nearly 145 U.S. dollars per ton, a rise of more than 16 percent and 18 percent respectively.

The National Development and Reform Commission says more subsidies would be offered to farmers, public transport, low-income families and taxi drivers to cushion the crunch of price rises.

China Exclusive: Tibet Confident on Security during Olympic Torch Relay

A local official says the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government is confident to have a safe and successful Olympic torch relay on Saturday.

Palma Trily, executive vice chairman of Tibet says police have been deployed to ensure security during the relay, but there is none from the People's Liberation Army (PLA), as "the duty of the PLA is to guard the frontier and protect the territory."

He made the remarks while meeting a 50-strong delegation of journalists, including staff from 29 overseas news organizations.

Olympic Torch Relay Starts in Tibet

The 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay starts in Tibet today Saturday.

An official with the Tibet's sports bureau says the Olympic torch relay in Tibet would have 156 torch bearers including 75 Tibetans. The Lhasa leg starts from Norbu Lingka Square and ends in Potala Palace, covering 9.3 kilometers.

In the one-day Lhasa leg, the flame kindled on the top of Mount Qomolangma on May 8 will join the main torch, which would be the first time in the history of Olympic Games.

Civil Aviation Administration of China

Yang Guoqing, Vice minister of Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on Friday that CAAC will ensure smooth air transportation during the upcoming Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

Yang Guoqing said CAAC will thoroughly check the Beijing Capital International Airport and all its facilities. An operation team working especially for the Games will be trained to handle emergencies.

Also on Friday, the State Grid Corporation of China offered about 3000 wheelchairs to a dozen airports, including the Capital International Airport. It is believed that these facilities will basically meet the demands of passengers with disabilities during the Olympic period.

Beijing to Restrict Vehicles on Road to Cope with Busy Olympic Traffic

Beijing has announced a two-month ban on vehicles with even and odd-numbered license plates on alternate days from July 20, to help improve the air quality during the Olympic Games.

Exceptions to the restrictions will include taxis, buses and emergency vehicles.

To compensate motorists for the restrictions, all vehicle owners will be exempted from taxes and road maintenance fees for three months, costing the government 1.3 billion yuan or 186 million U.S. dollars.

China's Insurance Sector Pays 327 Million Yuan to Quake-Ravaged Areas

According to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, Chinese insurers had paid 327 million yuan or 46.7 million U.S. dollars in claims from areas affected by the May 12 earthquake.

The total included 184 million yuan in life insurance and 143 million yuan in property insurance.

Protesters Mount Besiege of Government Seat in Bangkok

Thousands of anti-government protesters led by the People's Alliance for Democracy on Friday broke through police barricades and mounted a besiege around the Government House in central Bangkok. The protest is to pressure a step-down of the administration led by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej.

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