Green boost to city by 2010
A new 12-kilometer green belt along the section of Huangpu River in Yangpu District in the city's east will be China's version of Vancouver's Stanley Park, according to a designer of the project.
The project called "Yangpu Forest" will be built by 2010. --(10/28)
Shanghai-Osaka, friendship cities' 30th anniversary
On being invitated by the Osaka government, a municipal delegation led by vice Shanghai mayor, Feng Guoqin, paid a friendly visit to Osaka city on October 25 and were present at the Shanghai-Osaka, friendship cities' 30th anniversary celebration ceremony there the next day.
Feng met with Junichi Seki, mayor of Osaka, and several other local governors before the ceremony. --(10/27)
French education expo opens next week
The 2004 France Education Expo will be held in the city over the weekend as part of the "Year of France in China" program, the French Consulate General in Shanghai announced yesterday. --(10/27)
"Thorpedo" hits Shanghai!
Shanghai sporting fans went wild in September with a promotional tour by one of Australia's sporting superstars - Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe, otherwise known as "The Thorpedo" (a reference to his missile-like speeds!). The visit, sponsored by Australian resource giant BHP International Trading (Shanghai) Company Ltd, was covered widely by local press and included many public events. --(10/27)
Victoria Beckham lands Shanghai
Former Spice Girl and wife of England's David Beckham, Victoria, landed in Shanghai's Putong International Airport on Thursday night.
The hip expecting mother was dressed in a yellow dustcoat, and she set off a frenzy of flashbulbs when she emerged from the plane.
Appointed as the special judge for this year's World Elite Model Pageant Final, which is held as part of the Shanghai Fashion Week, Victoria will spend three days in Shanghai to attend the opening ceremony and meet with young designers. --(10/22)
Yao leads Rockets over Kings in NBA's first China Game
Yao Ming scored 14 points to leadthe Houston Rockets past the Sacramento Kings 88-86 in the NBA's first China Game at the Shanghai Stadium Thursday evening.
Playing at his hometown for the first time since joining the Houston Rockets in the 2002-2003 season, Yao seemed to be a bit nervous before a capacity crowd of more than 10,000. But the 2.26-meter center soon found his rhythm and scored his first basket four and a half minutes into the game as he dunked on Tracy McGrady's assist.
Yao added seven rebounds and one block in 27 minutes and watched the final quarter on the bench.
McGrady added 12 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes for the Rockets.
Liu Wei, Yao's former teammate at the Shanghai Sharks, had two points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 19 minutes at the first "Shanghai derby" in NBA pre-season games.
Having being invited to train with the Kings, Liu, who won the CBA League championship with Yao Ming in 2002, is striking to be the first Asian guard to play in the NBA.
Reece Gaines made two free throws 34 seconds from the end to give the Rockets an 87-84 lead. Darius Songaila answered with twofrom the line to cut it to 87-86.
Tyronn Lue missed one of his two free throws 0.4 seconds later,but Juwan Howard blocked Songaila as the time went out to seal thevictory for the Rockets.
Brad Miller scored a game-high 19 points with Mike Bibby and Chris Webber adding 17 and 14 respectively.
The Kings, 4-0 winners over Rockets in the 2003-2004 regular season, started strongly by racing to a 24-11 lead in the first quarter. The Rockets fought back early in the second as the Kingsrested their starters to overtake the lead at 43-39. The third quarter was hotly contested with the Kings entering the fourth 72-67 up after a 5-0 run.
The NBA's first China games, the second of which will be playedin Beijing on Sunday, have attracted great interest around the world. The games will be televised in 176 countries and regions, according to NBA officials. --(10/15)
6th Challenge Bibendum opens in Shanghai
One hundred and forty green cars from over 50 countries assembled for the Challenge to compare their techinical capabilities and compete in the public displays.
The past five Challenges have been held in France, America and Germany. This is the first time for the Challenge to be held in a developing country. The 140 cars are divided into several sections according to their power sources, such as diesel oil, biological fuel, electricity, hydrogen, solar energy and mixed fuels. This Challenge in Shanghai attracts many famous international car manufacturers like GM, Ford, Benz and BMW. Our locally researched and developed green cars will also have a place on the stage for the first time. More than 700 formal representatives and 500 journalists from home and abroad will participate in the Challenge.
Shanghai's mayor Han Zheng and the vice minister of the State Science and Technology Ministry, Deng Nan, presided over and addressed the Challenge opening ceremony.
Han Zheng stated at the ceremony that the Chinese government thinks highly of environmental protection and the sustainable development of energy resources. Environmental protection has occupied over three percent of Shanghai's GDP for the last four years. Han emphasized that this Challenge provides a good opportunity for us to approach these aims: clean air and environmentally friendly cars. The advanced techniques in clean energy sources for cars would also promote research and development of this kind in Shanghai.
Deng Nan noted that the Ministry of Science and Technology has strongly supported the development of environmentally friendly cars in China. She said the basic principles for traffic energy system reform were these: to popularize and make full use of gas cars; to develop and promote mixed fuel cars; to increase research on gas cars and hydrogen fuels.
Shanghai's vice mayor Hu Yanzhao and CEO of Michelin France, Edward Michelin ran the opening ceremony.
Han Zheng met with the delegation lead by European Union V P Palacio before the opening ceremony.--(10/13)
French Culture in Shanghai to kick off
--The cultural extravaganza -- the "Year of France in China" -- coincides with the upcoming Sixth Shanghai International Arts Festival.
The festival, which kicks off on Friday, includes a project entitled "French Culture in Shanghai"' and features a host of cutting-edge performances and exhibitions from France.
"Our aim", said Claude Hudelot, cultural attache at the French Consulate-General in Shanghai, "is to show the Chinese people that France is more than a romantic ideal, the Eiffel Tower or medieval castles; we want to present our country as a modern center of culture, art and science and to give people an opportunity to meet the 'creators'."
On the program list is a multi-million-yuan production of the Baroque opera, "Les Paladins", and it promises to be a highlight of the cultural exchange between the two countries.
The opera's producers chose Shanghai as the first stop of its world tour right after the work's Paris debut in May.
Co-produced by Theater Musical de Paris Chatelet and the UK Barbican Center, the opera will present Shanghai audiences with a splendid blend of exquisite Baroque music, avant-garde costume designs and dazzling visual effects.
"The Sino-French cultural exchange program has more closely connected the artists and people of China and France, which makes it possible for us to see such a latest and innovative work ahead of audiences elsewhere in the world", renowned pianist Xu Zhong, artistic director of the project, said yesterday.
Xu, who lived in France for 12 years, added that Chinese characters and dance music will be featured at the end of the opera to add an Oriental flavor to the production.
Other program highlights include a gala fireworks display staged by France's Group F, the team behind the spectacular millennium celebrations at the Eiffel Tower and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Athens this summer.
The show they will present in Pudong's Century Park on Friday night will start the ``French Culture in Shanghai'' events with a big bang.
One of the joint productions is the percussion collaboration between the Percussions Claviers de Lyon and the Shanghai Percussion Ensemble from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
The concert will feature the premiere of "1+1=3", a percussion work written by France-based Chinese composer Xu Yi. The piece refers back to a time when all along the Silk Road, percussion was used to convey musical emotions and the musical form transmitted aesthetics from Europe to Asia and back again, so this encounter between ensembles from China and France will illuminate the cultures of both countries.
The festival's closing program, "Sylvia", is a ballet featuring French ballet stars and National Ballet of China.
Top musicians and orchestras from France, including world-renowned conductor Christoph Eschenbach who is making a return trip after his successful debut last year, will be taking part in the festival.
Apart from stage productions, exhibitions of art works will serve as another cultural ambassador for France throughout the festival.
One "must-see" event is the exhibition of French Impressionist paintings from the renowned Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The exhibition will showcase the most representative works of 14 Impressionist painters such as Manet and Degas.
The exhibition, sponsored by Louis Vuitton, is currently on show in Beijing and will move to Shanghai in December.
Another not-to-be-missed show is the Cote d'Azur Exposition which will display sculptures by Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso's ceramic works.
Performing agents from the two countries will also meet during the festival's trade fair to discuss future cultural exchanges and opportunities for more collaborations.--(10/12)
Han met with French National Assembly President
On October 7, Shanghai's mayor Han Zheng met with a visiting delegation headed by French National Assembly President Jean-Louis Debre at Hengshan Hotel.
Han expressed warm welcome to the French guests.
Noting the long friendship and close relationship between Shanghai and France, he said the two parties have conducted rich and effective cooperation and exchanges in such areas as economy, culture, education and public health.
Han told the Debres that, Shanghai, aiming at balanced and sustainable development, will pay more attentions to social development in education, health and culture while making fast progress in economy.
The Mayor also introduced the guests about Shanghai's recent achievements, adding that the city will borrow more advanced global experiences in city development and adapt them to the Chinese and local practices to make better development for the city.
This is Debre's second visit to Shanghai. Expressing appreciations and surprise for Shanghai's great progresses, he hoped success for the newly launched Sino-French joint medical venture East Sino-French Urology Center.
The worldly known urologist came to Shanghai to unveil the new cooperation program between France and a local hospital Shanghai East Hospital.--(10/11)
Flying eye brigade focuses on city
Orbis' Flying Eye Hospital has come to the city to share its sight-saving work. A professional medical team including 22 ophthalmologists - two from China - travels with the hospital.
Orbis is here to start the "Seeing is Believing" project that promotes high quality cataract surgery techniques through training and screening.
Orbis will perform the surgery for both urban and rural poor, said Leshan Tan, an official with ORBIS.
"We planned this initiative because the majority of China's poor people can't afford or access good-quality eye care due to a lack of qualified doctors nearby and the high cost of surgery," he said, adding that cataracts are the biggest cause of blindness in the country.
Orbis saving Sight Worldwide is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating blindness in avoidable cases through proper treatment.
The flying eye hospital stopped in the country for the first time in Beijing in 1982 and came to Shanghai in 1985, providing treatment to 60 patients.
So far, the organization has started 115 training programs in China, helped more than 3,500 people regain eyesight while also training about 10,000 doctors and 6,300 nurses. On this trip, the ORBIS plane will also stop in Kunming, Yunnan Province. --(10/11)
Fashion events draw near
A steady stream of fashion designers, buyers, photographers and celebrities is expected to flock the city for two different fashion weeks that begin later this month.
Shanghai fashion Week, which runs from October 14 to 19, will feature the designs of Max Mara, Anne Klein, Canali, Max&Co and Kenzo. Organized by the Shanghai Garment Trade Association, the week is divided into two parts: the first part highlighting domestic designers and the second part that is devoted to international brands.
Another high-profile fashion week will be run by the Shanghai International Fashion Center from October 23 to 29. The event will include standard-setting pillars of fashion and fresh domestic designers.
International brands involved in the event include Jean Paul Gaultier, Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Tam and Nina Ricci. Local designers include Jenny Ji, Lu Kun and Wang Yiyang.
Their shows will be held in a tent in Fuxing Park and at the Friendship Hall in the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
One of the highlights of the week is a "vertical catwalk."
German performers will model a sports collection from Esprit while scaling several of the city's skyscrapers as runway. They will sashay down two tall buildings, Citic Square on Nanjing Road W. and Corporate Avenue in Xintiandi.
The final competition of the Clairol Oriental Model Contest will be held in Shanghai Grand Stage on October 29. --(10/11)
Shanghai earned big bucks from tourism during the weeklong National Day holiday, the municipal government said.
By 5pm yesterday, 3.98 million tourists from both home and abroad visited the city, up 5 percent from a year ago, the local office responsible for coordinating holiday travel activity said.
Tourists spent 2.3 billion yuan (US$277.11 million) during their stay, 12 percent more than last year.
Retail sales in the city were brisk, the Shanghai Economic Commission said yesterday. Sales jumped 19.5 percent from a year ago to 2.54 billion yuan, the commission said. The figures were based on a survey covering more than 3,000 stores. --10/8/2004
A series of basketball skill competitions were held at public courts beside the Shanghai Stadium yesterday as the city counts down to an exhibition game between two NBA teams later this month.The Sacramento Kings are scheduled to play local hero Yao Ming and his Houston Rockets on October 14 at the stadium.
Slam Nation, a renowned dunking group from France, displayed their dazzling skills above the rim, adding extra thrills to the grand show, which will run through Thursday in its first phase and be repeated on October 13 and 14.
The Rockets and Kings will meet in two games in China, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai. Local enthusiasm toward the games is already running high with the black market price for a 1,000-yuan (US$120) ticket to the Shanghai game soaring to 15,000 yuan. --10/5/2004
The famous Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall in Shanghai is packed with visitors and local people. The city embranced its largest ever inflow of National Day holiday travelers yesterday. For the first two days of the 7-day holiday, Shanghai received over 1 million tourists.--10/4/2004
The Bund branch of Shanghai Archives has opened a new tourist route with Shanghai Ferry Traveling Bus Co. The new route will let tourists learn about the city through old files and pictures in the archives, as well as the modernization of the city by traveling along the Huangpu River and enjoying the view of the modern buildings.--10/1/2004
Fireworks explode over Century Park in Shanghai last night as people celebrate the 55th anniversary of the National Day. Most people across the country will get a weeklong holiday starting today.-10/1/2004