First part of Middle Ring Road set to go
The first section of the Middle Ring Road will open to the public at 8 o'clock tonight.
But because of relocation and construction delays, the overall project is unlikely to be completed by the 2007 target.
The first section, 9.42 kilometers of elevated road, will link the Dabaishu area in Hongkou District, via Zhabei District, to reach the entrance to Hujia Expressway C, which connects the downtown with Jiading District in the northwest.--(1/31)
First direct flights link Mainland, Taiwan
Flight Number MU579 of China Eastern Airlines for the non-stop charter flight from the mainland to Taiwan Province takes off at east China's Shanghai Pudong Airport yesterday. The flight took off from Shanghai to Taiwan at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, carrying Taiwan business people aboard for their homeward journey before the Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar new year. It was one of the first civil aircrafts from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan in the past 56 years.--(1/30)
City welcomes rare trove of Picasso prints
The exhibition features 265 works created by the Spanish master from 1920 to 1968 and runs through March 2.--(1/29)
No sign of larger thaw in cross-strait flights
Direct charter flights that begin this weekend between China's mainland and Taiwan will not improve relations due to the island authorities' persistent push for "independence," a government spokesman said yesterday in Beijing.
"The current situation between the two sides remains grim," Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference.
He said the arrangements for charter flights during the coming Spring Festival will not lead to the resumption of cross-strait talks.
Twelve mainland and Taiwan airlines will operate charter flights between the mainland cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and the Taiwanese cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung from Saturday to February 20.
The landmark flights will give thousands of mainland-based Taiwan business people and their families the ability to fly home in two to four hours, cutting three hours from the usual route, which requires a stopover in Hong Kong or Macau.
The direct charter flights were a one-off deal aimed at making it more convenient for Taiwan investors, who have poured up to US$100 billion into the mainland, to return home for family reunions during the Spring Festival, which begins on February 9, Li said.
"It does not signify that cross-Strait negotiations have resumed," Li said.
Li accused Taiwan authorities of fanning the flames of hatred against the mainland, distorting the will of the Taiwanese and planning a step-by-step push for "Taiwan independence" politically and culturally.
The provocative moves of the Taiwan authorities for "Taiwan independence" pose a severe threat to peace and stability across the strait and in the Asia-Pacific --(1/27)
Charity begins signing up social workers
The Shanghai Charity Foundation began recruiting the city's first group of charitable social workers yesterday, an activity that will run through Saturday.
The foundation is expected to choose about 1,000 social workers, including some local expats and Taiwanese living in the city.
They will gather at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower square at 9am this Saturday to witness the founding of the charity service team under the Shanghai Volunteer's Association.
Members of the volunteer team will help people living in poverty. The district charity foundations will publish information about those who need help so volunteers can choose who they will help and what services they will provide.
Meanwhile, a series of other charitable activities linked to the city's annual "the Deepest Love under the Blue Sky" program will be held on Saturday and broadcast live on local TV stations.
Also on Saturday morning, a needy cancer patient will receive a free operation at Changhai Hospital.
About 3pm, famous artworks and antiques donated to the foundation last year will be put up for auction. Money raised will be donated to the foundation's "Enlighten Your Wish" program, which provides free surgery to people with cataracts and infants with heart diseases.--(1/26)
Picasso exhibition to open on Friday
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall will host an exhibition of Pablo Picasso's art works from this Friday until March 2.
All the exhibits, which will arrive in town tomorrow, come from the French-based Picasso Foundation.--(1/25)
City's international expo center to expand
The exhibition industry in Pudong New Area is playing an increasingly important role in the Asia-Pacific Region with the continuous expansion of Shanghai New International Expo Center or SNIEC, one of the district's pillar exposition centers.
Under the push of the surging exhibition industry in recent years, the SNIEC is expected to add two halls with its indoor space reaching 103,500 square meters while the outdoor space will climb to 100,000 square meters by 2006.
The area of the center's present seven halls covers 85,000 square meters while the outdoor space is 45,000 square meters.--(1/24)
Iraqi deputy president leaves Beijing for Shanghai
Rowsch Nuri Shaways, deputy president of the Iraqi Interim Government, left the Chinese capital for Shanghai on Saturday afternoon to continue his China tour.
Shaways arrived in Beijing Wednesday evening for a five-day working visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong.--(1/23)
Students could be allowed to get married
Local students are overwhelmingly pleased to hear officials in Beijing will drop rules of banning university students from marrying or having children while still in school.
An official from the Chinese Ministry of Education said yesterday the current restriction on marriage and childbearing for college and postgraduate students will be lifted.--(1/22)
Phuket holidays planned
Three local travel agencies have banded together to restart trips to Thailand's tsunami-hit Phuket Island over the Spring Festival holiday.
And for Chinese nationals heading for Europe or Down Under, several new services are being offered to make posting security bonds easier.
Shanghai international Travel Service, Shanghai China Youth Travel Service and Spring International said they are now developing a low-price Phuket package that will begin on February 11, two days after the start of the Lunar New Year.--(1/21)
Charter flight dates announced
China Eastern Airlines Co Ltd yesterday announced the schedule for its charter flights to Taiwan over the Spring Festival, becoming the second local airline to do so.
On Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China named six mainland airlines to operate non-stop charter flights across the Taiwan Strait from January 29 to February 20, including two local airlines.--(1/20)
Han outlines tasks for this year
While Shanghai's GDP should continue to grow by double digits this year, the government must do more to build an environmentally efficient economy, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday during the opening of the annual plenary meeting of the Shanghai People's Congress.
Han said he expects the city's GDP to grow by about 11 percent this year, but set energy consumption goals to ensure growth is sustainable. He said total energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (US$1,204) of GDP should be less than 1.02 tons of standard coal.
Over the past two years, the city used about 1.07 tons of coal per 10,000 yuan of GDP on average. Nationwide, 2.06 tons of coal was used per 10,000 yuan of economic activity.--(1/19)
Job center placements increase
Shanghai Job Placement Center, the city's only government job placement organization, announced yesterday that it recorded more than 1 million job openings last year.--(1/18)
City plans new botanical garden
The city plans to build a new botanical park, which will be three and a half times larger than the current Shanghai Botanical Garden, according to the local greenery administrative bureau. The park, to be located in suburban Songjiang District, will cover an area of 2.1 million square meters. --(1/17)
Cold weather leads to increased fires
Owing to the cold and dry weather recently, the number of fires reported in the city is on the rise, mostly resulting from errant use of gas and faulty electrical appliances, the city's Public Security Bureau said yesterday.
During the first 10 days of this month, local firemen received 511 emergency calls, up 9.4 percent from the last 10 days of December, authorities said.
There were 74 fire reports in the city on Thursday alone, leaving two elderly people in Xuhui District dead, according to the Wenhui Daily.
But another two elderly women were lucky enough to escape a similar tragedy that occurred around midnight yesterday.--(1/16)
Zoo builds cages for lions, tigers
The Shanghai Wild Animal Park is rushing to build more homes for a group of newborn lion and tiger cubs.
The housing shortage was created by the unexpectedly rapid reproduction of the African lions and Siberian tigers.--(1/13)
Railway cops nab ticket sclpers
Railway police announced yesterday they arrested three train ticket scalpers and three suspected swindlers on Monday.
As the State Public Security Ministry has named January 10 as its annual People-Loving Practical Activity Day, railway authorities carried out an anti-crime campaign at local railway station to create better conditions for the coming Spring Festival holiday, according to Zhang Guangqi, spokesman for the city's railway police department.--(1/12)
Green spaces growing
Shanghai's greenspaces have increased to 10 square meters per capita, according to a January 11 government green work meeting.
Also from the meeting, the city has met its goal of providing a large green park of over 3,000 square meters for every 500 meters within the downtown area.
Government data indicates that Shanghai constructed 19 million square meters of greenery last year, equivalent to the total area of 20 Shanghai Botanical Parks. Twelve million square meters of this greenery are public green spaces, including 12 parks of more-than-3,000-squre-meters.
This year, the municipal government plans to continue its efforts and add 21 million square meters of greenery with 10 million square meters for public spaces. As a result, the local per-capita green space is expected to be more than 11 square meters by the end of 2005. --(1/11)
24 free parks added
Another 24 local parks will open to the public free of charge this year, bringing the number of free parks in the city to 120, said the Shanghai Greenery Bureau. The bureau also announced that construction will begin on a botanic garden covering 210 hectares, equalling to 7 Yanzhong Greenlands, in Songjiang District this year. Meanwhile, the city will build 2,100 hectares of greenlands this year, and the per capita greenland will amount to 11 square meters, the bureau said.--(1/10)
China's first red cross medical team formed in city
China's first red cross medical team for tsunami-hit victims in south and southeast Asian countries was formed yesterday in Shanghai and is scheduled to set out next week.
The medical team was composed of 15 medical personnel in Huashan Hospital, the only high-level medical organ directly under the jurisdiction of the China Red Cross Society.
The hospital had sent its staff to rescue the victims of the devastating earthquake in Tangshan City in 1976, which killed 242, 000 lives, and those injured in the heavy floods in southern China in 1998 and in the deadly SARS epidemic in 2003.
Members of the team are below the age of 50, in good health, have rich clinical experience and speak English. They were chosen mainly from cardiological, epidemiological, respiratory, digestive, skeletal and surgical departments.
They are scheduled to leave for Indonesia on Jan. 11 and remain there for a month. --(1/9)
Bailian expands to Delta area
Shoppers pass through a tunnel decorated with old pictures of the Shanghai Oriental Shopping Center. Shanghai Bailian Group, China's largest retailer, announced yesterday it will set up 26 stores under the Oriental brand in the Yangtze River Delta region.--(1/8)
City ready for peak traffic season
Local transport authorities have launched their preparation work to satisfy the massive traffic congestion expected during the upcoming Spring Festival.
The shanghai Urban Transport Management Bureau expects 468 million people to use the city's urban transport network, including buses, taxis and rail transport, during the peak period that runs from January 25 to March 5.
It means that public transport system in the city will have to handle up to 11.7 million people every day on average, an increase of 1.7 percent from last Spring Festival, the bureau said in a statement published on its official Website.
The city plans to put 15,800 buses into operation during the season, 1.27 percent higher than a year earlier.--(1/6)
Snowfall keeps parks empty over holiday
A rare snowfall in the city and an ongoing cold snap kept most people away from Shanghai's public parks over the New Year's holiday.
According to several big parks in the city, the number of visitors over New Year's holiday decreased by at least 50 percent compared with the same period last year.--(1/5)
Metro lines set commuter record
The city's Metro system transported a record 470 million passengers in 2004, the Shanghai Metro Operation Company said yesterday.
The three mass-transit lines handled about 1.28 million passengers each day on average last year, up 16.3 percent from the previous year. The highest loads occurred on the weekends - about 1.6 million a day. The city is expanding urban rail transport in preparation for the crowds of tourists expected for the World Expo 2010. There are about 82 kilometers of Metro and light rail lines in operation today, and another 22 kilometers are under construction.--(1/4)
Shanghai's blood donors get lottery tickets
Starting in 2005, Shanghai blood donors can use their donation certificates to play the lottery, having chances to win a car.
A blood donation appeal with a difference has been launched on the streets of Shanghai.
From January 1st to 3rd, donation vans provided by Shanghai's Blood Administration Office, or SBAO, will tour the city's eight districts, collecting volunteers.
Starting in 2005, blood donors will enjoy an extra incentive. They can use their donation certificates to play the lottery, and have the chance to win a car.
The SBAO have been working with the lottery organizers to get the scheme started, and they hope it will attract more much-needed blood donors. --(1/3)
Snowfall closes expressways
This week's unprecedented snowfall in the city has forced highways to be shut for hours at a time, caused massive delays at Hongqiao Airport and packed hospital waiting rooms.
Police closed off some elevated roads and seriously iced streets yesterday due to safety concerns, but all highways in the city were reopened before 3:26pm yesterday.
All local highways had been shut down by yesterday morning because of the snow. Speed limits were lowered to 60 kilometers per hour on the reopened highways yesterday morning, according to the Shanghai Highway Administration.
Nearly 40 tons of salt had been spread on local streets to help melt the ice and snow by 5:30am yesterday and some 3,200 traffic police officers and workers from other city departments were called in to help direct traffic and clear up icy streets since Thursday evening.
Police said the snow didn't cause any deadly car accidents since Thursday, but the wet, icy streets caused lots of trouble for drivers who aren't used to snow. --(1/2)
Fudan University celebrates 100th anniversary
Students from Fudan University view over 200,000 dominoes with the Chinese characters "Fudan" to begin a year-long 100th anniversary celebration yesterday.--(1/1)