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  • Evidently few foreigners encountered an emergency in Shanghai over the past year, according to a local hot line.Since local police launched its "110" emergency number in foreign languages last May to assist expatriates staying in the city, only 67 calls have been received in the first six months since its debut.Of the calls, few were for actual emergencies.About 80 percent were made by callers who did not know how to use a prepaid mobile phone card or were complaining about noise pollution. Others were about how to apply for a residence permit.Only a few reported criminal acts, mostly thefts or drunken fighting.Shen shuming, director of the city's "110" emergency call headquarters, said it was not uncommon for some foreigners to mistake "110" for a number for medical emergency or a fire - in China, "120" and "119" are the respective numbers.
    The most important thing for our foreign callers is to tell the operator or the translator where they are the moment they are through.The service is available in English, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, French, Arabic and Spanish. To date, the "110" service offered in foreign languages has been set up in some major cities around the country.
    However, Shanghai is the only city nationwide that is capable to provide an eight-language police call service, thanks to our rich intelligence resources.--1/31/2004

  • While many expatriates chose to leave Shanghai for the Spring Festival holiday, a time when families throughout China have big reunions, those who stayed, however, said they enjoyed the festivities immensely, especially the spectacular fireworks displays.
    Some hosted parties to entertain fellow countrymen and local friends. Other were invited to Chinese homes, where they learned about traditions and enjoyed homemade meals.--1/30/2004

  • In order to push ahead the city's construction of traffic facilities, the city government announced on January 29 that it will complete a batch of key urban projects, including a double-decker tunnel under the Huangpu River and a subway-line extension connecting downtown to Baoshan District.
    Once completed, the 2,785-meter-long Fuxing Road E. Tunnel, which will connect Fuxing Road in Puxi with Zhangyang Road in Pudong, will become the world's first two-level underground passage.
    The 12-kilometer-long subway-line extension will stretch from the northern end of the city's Metro Transportation No. 1 at Shanghai Railway Station to Baoshan District. Once complete, the city's metro and Maglev system will stretch 124 kilometers.
    Additionally, the city also vowed to extend its expressway network from the current 240 kilometers to 364 kilometers, further facilitating people traveling between downtown, rural areas and outlying provinces.
    To relieve traffic congestions, the city will renovate several major downtown areas, including roads around People's Square, Yuyuan Garden and Lujiazui, to better facilitate Shanghai's increasing traffic volume.--1/30/2004

  • On the first two days of the Spring Festival holiday, 257 local people donated 56.4 liters of blood, said the Shanghai Blood Administration Office yesterday. The office dispatched 18 blood collection vehicles around the city to receive people's donation. --1/29/2004

  • The weather may be cold in Shanghai, but retailers are staying warm ringing up sales on the cash register during this Spring Festival as shops, restaurants and even telecom operators say they've already made their first fortune of the Year of the Monkey.
    On the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, Shanghai No. 1 Department Store, a must-go shopping destination for out-of-town tourists, reported that its sales hit a record high of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) on the first day of the Lunar New Year.
    The Orient Shopping Center in Xujiahui and the No. 1 Nextage Department Store in Pudong reported record sales of nearly 10 million yuan each on the first day of the Spring Festival.
    Shanghai Hualian Department Store and Shanghai Hongqiao Friendship Shopping Center said their sales rose by about 35 percent year-on-year on Thursday, the first day of the weeklong holiday.
    The retailer also sold about 30,000 mobile phones through its 26 outlets citywide over the two days with sales totaling 39 million yuan, up 40 percent from an average weekend.--1/26/2004

  • It was reported that more than 1,200 tourist teams consisting of some 26,800 Shanghai residents, nearly an increase of 23 percent from the previous year, will tour overseas to spend the Chinese lunar New Year, according to statistics of the Shanghai-based travel agencies engaging in overseas travel services.
    Hong Kong has become the most favorite tourist destination during the Spring Festival holidays for the Chinese mainlanders,and most of them like to enjoy delicious food and buy discounted goods there. --1/24/2004

  • Many places of Shanghai have been decorated with images of monkeys to welcome the Chinese lunar New Year, also the Year of Monkey.--1/22/2004

  • The city will have 2.4 million tourist arrivals and departures during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday which will start on January 22. The tourism peak will be reached on January 24, or the third day of the Year of Monkey according to the Chinese lunar calendar.--1/21/2004

  • Economy to increase by 10% in 2004.Shanghai's economy grew last year at its fastest annualized rate since 1998, with the city's gross domestic product reaching 625.1 billion yuan (US$75.3 billion), an increase of 11.8 percent from 2002.
    The city anticipate its GDP will grow by more than 10 percent this year, according to Jiang Yingshi, director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.The full set of 2003 economic figures has been announced today is that Shanghai's economic growth last year beat earlier expectations although the city met such difficulties as the SARS outbreak and long-time scorching weather, which resulted in a shortage of power supply.
    The city also announced yesterday that its foreign trade hit its record high of US$112.4 billion in 2003. And Shanghai received US$11.1 billion in contracted overseas investment last year, a 23.5 percent increase from a year earlier. About US$5.85 billion in foreign investment was actually used in the city last year, an increase of 30.1 percent from 2002.--1/20/2004

  • Shanghai Airport Authority, operator of the city's two airports, said the facilities handled 90,000 people a day during the first 10 days of a 40-day peak travel period that began on January 7, an increase of 28 percent from last year. And long-haul buses leaving Shanghai are also carrying many more travelers than expected. Inter-provincial bus stations around the city handled 1 million passengers during the first 11 days of the peak period, 21.5 percent more than last year and higher than the forecast of a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.--1/19/2004

  • The upcoming Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year which will kick off from January 22, has warmed up the flower market in Shanghai, boosting up sales and prices.According to a recent survery, to shy away from the crowded flower market, many local people have turned to the Internet to buy flowers.--1/18/2004

  • With the Spring Festival just one week away, the city is smothered in a festive mood with retailers busy decorating stores and people on the street smiling after the purchase of new year gifts.The lunar New Year is the traditional time for family reunion, visiting friends and wishing each other the best blessings for the coming year.Many companies give out year-end bonuses, often the equivalent of a month's salary. With people's income rising, the coming holiday is expected to be a bonanza for local retailers. In addition, local travel agencies have reported an increase in the number of out-of-town and overseas visitors to the city. They will help fuel local markets.--1/15/2004

  • Approved by the Ministry of Construction, Shanghai, with public green space of 9.2 square meters per capita, was officially awarded the 'National Garden City' yesterday.To date, the local green coverage rate has reached 35.78 percent.Shanghai has made a rapid development in green space construction over the past several years, building Shanghai Wild Animal Park, Century Park, Huang Xing Park, Taiping Bridge green land, and a batch of open public green space. Shanghai will facilitate green land construction in downtown areas in the coming several years, with more than 10 million square meters of public green space established every year, the spokesman added.--1/14/2004

  • Housing prices in Shanghai are likely to grow at a slower pace this year after recording a 33 percent surge in 2003, some industry reports indicated.The benchmark of the city's new apartment prices, the Shanghai Housing Index, grew by 1.9 percent last month to hit 1,123 points, the Shanghai Real Estate Index Office reported yesterday.The index surged 33.1 percent in 2003, compared with the 15.5 percent growth in 2002. The price of second-hand apartments in the city rose 17.1 percent last year.According to the agent's report, the rental and trading prices of second-hand high-end properties declined by an average rate of 2 percent a month in the second half of last year. --1/13/2004

  • As winter break is only one week away for local primary and secondary school students, educational travel groups specializing in short, overseas winter tours, are soliciting business from parents. The winter camps, either organized by individual schools or in collaboration with local travel agencies, plan to send student delegations abroad -mostly to Australia, the United States and some European countries - for short term visits, according to the Shanghai Education Commission.The cost of the tours range from 10,000 yuan (US$1,204) to 30,000 yuan, including roundtrip airfare and accommodations for one to two weeks.--1/13/2004

  • The Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company announced on Friday that it has started to dig the world's largest two-level tunnel across the Huangpu River.Once completed in June of 2006, the 2.8-kilometer-long tunnel will connect the Shangzhong Road in Puxi and Huaxia Road in Pudong. The underwater passage will be comprised of two parallel pipes, each of which has four traffic lanes. Currently, vehicles running between the two sides of the Huangpu River depend on three tunnels and three bridges.--1/10/2004

  • Shanghai will create more than 60,000 new jobs for local laid-off workers and surplus farmers this year, city officials announced yesterday.Meeting that promise will be the first phase of a citywide program to create some 100,000 jobs for the unemployed by 2005, which was officially launched yesterday.Most of the jobs the city is creating at the moment are assistant positions offered by local government departments - such as the Environmental Protection Bureau, Public Security Bureau and Civil Affairs Bureau.Those who are employed through the program will earn 800 to 1,000 yuan (US$96-US$120) a month as well as receiving medical insurance and social security.To encourage more jobs to be created, the government will also offer subsidies of 2,000 to 4,500 yuan to companies which sign a one-year contract with needy laid-off workers or a disabled person.--1/9/2004

  • Tickets for September's Formula One automobile race are being booked by local travel agencies even though prices have not yet been determined.China's first F1 race - the world's most prestigious racing circuit with drivers such as Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen - will be held in the city's suburban Jiading District on September 25 and 26.F1 races generally attract 70 percent of fans from the domestic market. The remaining 30 percent come from abroad. --1/8/2004

  • Thousands of people jumped on planes and trains yesterday to get out of Shanghai as the country's annual Spring Festival migration kicked off.More than 100,000 passengers left Shanghai by train yesterday, the first day of a 40-day peak travel period, according to officials at the Shanghai Railway Station.The railway station normally handles about 80,000 people a day.--1/8/2004

  • Jiao Yang, a Shanghai Municipal Government spokeswoman, described 2003 as a harvest year for urban construction, saying the city has completed all the key projects planned for this year at yesterday's press conference.The projects, covering 36 programs in seven sectors of infrastructure, environment, traffic, landscaping, industry, power and social welfare system, cost investment exceeding 55.3 billion yuan (US$6.7 billion), according to Jiao.--1/5/2004

  • Shanghai residents and tourists lined the Bund and crowded major shopping streets, bars and restaurants last night to have a few drinks, watch some fireworks and ring in the new year.A large crowd of young couples and tourists pushed for prime viewing positions along the Huangpu River to watch the bell tower on top of the Shanghai Customs Building and count down the final minutes of 2003.Thousands of people gathered in Xintiandi, the city's toney bar and restaurant area, to take in pop shows and fireworks and to participate in what was billed as an "all-night rave."At the Longhua Temple, 108 people literally rang in the new year by striking the temple's bell, a very traditional and popular event that is said to bring good luck.Not surprisingly, the city's best-known bar streets, such as Hengshan Road and Maoming Road, were packed with revelers, including much of Shanghai's expat population.--1/5/2004

  • With the seven-day Spring Festival holiday approaching, many local residents are facing a very untraditional problem - what should they do with their pets while they are away on vacation.As a matter of fact, pet shops are flourishing in Shanghai and other major cities across the Chinese mainland. They provide a wide scope of pet-care service such as selling pet food, operating pet clinics and even running match-making services. Most of pet shops are able to take care of pets according to the owners' request."We feed pets the same food as they have at home and give them sufficient time to play around. What's more, they are kept in individual cages to prevent cross infection,"said Zhou Fujun, who manages the Naughty Family Pet Center, a renowned pet shop in Shanghai.But not all pets are accepted by pet shops. Pets like puppies and kittens must have received all of their shots and acquired a health license before a pet shop will take care of them.At Naughty Family, kennel charges range from 60-80 yuan (US$7.2-US$9.6) per day for dogs, while other such shops in the city charge anywhere from 30 to 100 yuan per day for boarding. Currently, there are more than 40 professional pet shops in Shanghai.--1/5/2004

  • With the Closer Economic Partnership\p Arrangement taking effort yesterday, varied parties in Hong Kong attaches high expectation of the potential of the pact. The CEPA pact copes with the developing economic relationship between Hong Kong and Chinese mainland, as well as the globalization trend. An important part of the pact is allowing Hong Kong's retail and restaurant sectors to start business in the mainland. Administrator in Hong Kong and Guangdong may start working on the business plan as early as possible, a spokesman with the Democratic Alliance for Betterment Of Hong Kong proposed.An official from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce expect the CEPA enables Hong Kong to benefit from China's enter into WTO before the mainland market is opened to the world in 2006.--1/2/2004

  • Shanghai Party leaders, together with representatives from all circles of life participated in the New Year's concert at the Grand Theater yesterday morning.--1/2/2004

  • More passengers and freight were handled at the two airports in Shanghai last year despite the outbreak of SARS, the Shanghai Airport Authority announced yesterday.The increased demand during last year has spurred the operator of the two airports to improve existing facilities this year to help meet rising traffic before new runways and terminals at Pudong International airport are put into service.Officials with the airport authority said they will improve the current terminal building and runway at Pudong airport to meet the rapid rise in air travel demand this year.The authority will double the existing areas for handling baggage claim, customs clearance and security checks in the Pudong terminal and also expand waiting areas for passengers.Meanwhile, with the number of flights getting close to the Pudong airport's full capacity, officials will have to expand parking bays for cargo aircraft and offer more night time slots for carriers to launch new cargo services.--1/1/2004

  • The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau announced a tough new regulation on local restaurants yesterday, ownting to numerous complaints about smoke and noise.The new regulation, which goes into effect today, states that no new restaurants are allowed to open in residential buildings, although existing eateries can stay where they are.Existing downtown restaurants and cafes are banned from adding new roasters or fryers, according to the regulation.Meanwhile, all restaurant ventilation outlets should be at least 10 meters away from residential buildings, schools and hospitals, according to the regulation.--1/1/2004



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