Stones roll into city on April 8
Get yer ya yas out - the Rolling Stones have finally confirmed their Shanghai debut.
Three years after canceling their initial concerts on China's mainland following the SARS outbreak in early 2003, the legendary British rock band will make their local debut on April 8 for one show only at the 8,000-seat Shanghai Grand Stage.
It will be the British rockers' only mainland appearance as part of the group's "Bigger Bang" world tour.
Tickets for the concert range from a hefty 3,000 yuan (US$373) to 300 yuan, plus a handling fee ranging from 9 yuan to 90 yuan. Details on ticket sales will be announced next week.
In 2003, the band canceled shows in Shanghai and Beijing due to the SARS outbreak. At the time, more than 80 percent of the tickets for the Shanghai show had been sold.
The concert's local organizer, Emma Entertainment, said it has been preparing for the concert since November. It received permission from the Ministry of Culture last week to hold the concert. --(2/28)
Etiquette program begins
The city officially launched its "A Million Families Learning Etiquette" project over the weekend - a scheme to teach locals better manners before the 2010 World Expo.
A million city families will receive etiquette training over the next five years.
Altogether 4.5 million local families will soon receive a citizen manual free of charge. The manual contains information about the history of the city, basic qualities a citizen should have and some scientific knowledge.
Six etiquette experts have given lectures, involving family, social, office, campus and public etiquette, as well as how to deal with foreigners.
The lectures are available in local schools and on the Internet.
The city has recruited 415 volunteers to give courses on etiquette in more than 200 community schools. Nearly 900 people applied for the positions.
The program will also teach good manners to students and migrant workers. --(2/27)
The traffic authorities have extended the operation hours of 54 such boards to 10pm from 9pm every day to alleviate traffic congestion late at night. --(2/26)
Power demand rises
The peak demand for power this summer will hit 20.5 million kilowatts, an increase of 1.5 million kilowatts from last year, according to the Shanghai Electric Power Co.
While the firm says there will be supply shortages, they should be smaller than last year. The firm has bought 30.5 billion kilowatt-hours from out-of-town power plants as reserves for this year. --(2/24)
Chemical rules to change in April
The city's Dangerous Chemicals Safety Management Regulations will go into effect on April 1.
City officials said yesterday that Shanghai has never had a major dangerous chemical accident leading to mass casualties or other serious consequences. However, the city government will further enhance control over the production, stock, use and waste disposal of dangerous chemicals. At yesterday's news conference, government spokeswoman Jiao Yang also introduced new medical assurance rules called "suggestions on improving cooperative medical assurance standards in Shanghai's rural areas." --(2/23)
China Eastern Airlines gains finance for expansion
The Bank of Communications, China's fifth largest lender, will extend an eight billion yuan (US$990 million) line of credit to help China Eastern Airlines expand its fleets and purchase aviation equipment, according to the terms of an official agreement signed yesterday.
China Eastern Airlines, the country's third-largest carrier, plans to increase its fleet to more than 320 aircraft by 2010, entailing an addition of around 25 aircraft per year on average. The agreement indicates that the bank and the carrier have established a strategic cooperative partnership, with bilateral cooperation expected in domestic and overseas capital-raising, forex risk management and client-resource sharing. --(2/22)
A 69-year-old monument was discovered under the sidewalk along Feihong Road in Hongkou District yesterday afternoon in good condition. The monument was created in 1937 by employees of Zhong Zi Company in memory of their company leader named Zhang Huisheng, according to an inscription on the monument. --(2/21)
Snowing in Shanghai
The snow on Saturday morning in downtown Shanghai. The unexpected snowfall, which lasted for about four hours, was big enough to accumulate on roofs and gardens. Songjiang District, the hardest hit part of the city, received about 3 entimeters of snow. The snow delayed 92 flights at the city¡¯s two airports. --(2/20)
Curriculum board experts invited
The Shanghai Education Commission on Friday invited the first batch of 47 experts from around the country to set up the Shanghai Elementary School Curriculum Consultation Board.
Most of the experts are renowned educators, scholars, writers and artists. The board, whose tenure will be five years, will be asked to propose consultations for the city's education reform and policy-making. --(2/19)
City wakes up to snow
Snow fell in most parts of the city yesterday morning as it came under the control of a cold high pressure system, the first snow since the Spring Festival holiday.
It didn't cause much traffic problems, however, as it melted on the ground soon though a few places reported having ice flakes, thanks to a minimum of 2.6 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The daily high dropped to 4.8 degrees under the chilly winds, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Ferry boats sailing between downtown city and the three local islands resumed normal service yesterday after being closed the day before because of foggy weather at the mouth of the Yangtze River, maritime officials said.
The local waterways at the mouth area had been affected by gales and fog since Wednesday, forcing some boats to anchor in local ports. The situation began to improve yesterday as the weather turned more friendly.
It will be rainy both today and tomorrow.
Temperatures today should range between 2 and 6 degrees. It will be a little warmer tomorrow, with temperatures between 3 and 8 degrees. --(2/18)
Work begins on 2 generators
Construction began in Shanghai yesterday on the country's biggest coal-fired power generators, as the city looks to increase its power supply to meet growing demand caused by rapid economic development.
The two generators, each with a capacity of 1 million kilowatts, make up the third phase of a power project in the Waigaoqiao area of Pudong that began in the 1990s.
The two new generators will boost the city's generating capacity to more than 15 million kw when they go into operation by 2008, according to the Shanghai Waigaoqiao No. 2 Power Plant.
The company manages two 900,000 kw generators, which were built as the second phase of the Waigaoqiao power project. They went online ahead of schedule in 2004 to quench the city's thirst for energy. The first phase, consisting of four 300,000 kw generators, began operation in 1998.
The two 900,000 kw generators are currently the biggest generators in operation in the country.
Serious seasonal shortages took place in 2003 in the city and around the country due to China's rapidly growing economy and massive use of electric air conditioning.
Company officials said they will install desulfurization devices during construction to reduce the sulfur pollution to the city's air.
The third phase of the project is estimated to cost 9.3 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion), much cheaper than the second phase's price tag of 10.6 billion yuan. The more powerful generators are cheaper because they use domestically produced equipment, company officials said.
Currently the city is capable of generating 13.3 million kw, mostly from coal-fired generators. The capacity still falls short of demand in summer and winter when electric air conditioners or heaters are widely used, forcing Shanghai to buy power from out of town. --(2/17)
BIE official praises Expo relocation work
The secretary general of the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) yesterday praised Shanghai's relocation efforts in the run-up to the 2010 Shanghai Expo after a three-day visit to the city.
Vicente Loscertales toured Pujiang Expo Garden, a new residential complex in Minhang District for those relocated from Expo sites.
On inspecting construction at the complex and learning of the smooth progress of relocation work, he described the new neighborhood as a perfect testament to Shanghai's pledge of offering relocated residents a 'Better city, better life'.
According to Shanghai Expo bureau officials, the new complex will be home to people relocated from the downtown districts of Huangpu and Luwan.
Gardens covering 10,000 square meters are planned for the center of the complex.
Some familiar structures in the park, moved from the old residential quarters along with the residents, have been perfectly merged into the new living environment, Loscertales said.
The Pujiang complex is only part of the Expo relocation work, which, involving 18,000 local families, is the largest of its kind in Shanghai.
So far, over 99.5 percent of families affected have signed relocation agreements, according to city bureau officials. --(2/16)
City plans to build 50 parks this year
The city plans to build about 50 new parks this year to increase the amount of green space and boost tourism, the Shanghai Greening Committee announced yesterday.
The project calls for the creation of two major national parks on Chongming Island, as well as two major forests.
In addition, the committee will also focus on building wetlands in Qingpu District and on Chongming Island.
Committee spokesperson Fang Yan said experts are currently choosing the best locations to set up the wetlands.
The committee also said yesterday that renovations on 15 large parks will be completed this year. They include Fuxing Park, Heping Park, Penglai Park and Zhabei Park.
The city will also plan to build 32 small community parks in neighborhoods around Shanghai.
Meanwhile, 1,000 hectares of grass and trees will be set up across the city this year, about half of which will be open to the public. Shanghai has built 28,789 hectares of green space over the past five years. --(2/15)
Water project laid out in city's XI "Five Year" Plan
The Shanghai Chentou Corporation disclosed on February 13 that a sum of 4.7 billion yuan (US$586.32 million) would be invested to ensure that suburban residents are supplied with high quality drinking water.
This project is part of the integrated construction of the water supply systems in Shanghai. Following the first 1 million residents in some areas of Songjiang and Qingpu Districts, another 7 million would soon benefit from the new waterworks built with the joint efforts of the big water supply companies in the downtown areas and their local ones.
An official from the Corporation said that the project, which includes the construction of two waterworks at Changxing Island in Chongming District and Lingang New City in Nanhui District, would be concluded by the end of 2010. --(2/14)
Foreign banks prepare for liberalization
Fourteen foreign banks in Shanghai increased their yuan-denominated operational funds by a total of 1.424 billion yuan (US$176 million) last year, in preparation for the comprehensive opening of the Chinese banking sector by the end of this year.
The domestic banking sector is expected to be fully open to foreign investors and foreign banks will be permitted to conduct yuan-denominated business for individuals.
Last year, 14 foreign banks in the city applied for a combined increase of 2.148 billion yuan in their yuan-denominated operational funds, and after approval by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, they have actually added funds of 1.424 billion yuan.
The banks have also invested more in their Chinese businesses by offering financial products linked to interest rates, exchange rates and various indices, and have applied for licenses to launch treasury bond sales, insurance and fund businesses. By the end of last year, foreign banks in Shanghai had combined assets of US$48.433 billion, an increase of 25.87 percent from a year earlier, with the growth rate itself being up 10.65 percentage points year-on-year. --(2/13)
Sweet or salty? Either way tangyuans pack tasty fillings
With the Lantern Festival on Sunday traditional food tangyuan sales have increased.
People eat tangyuan, a dumpling made of glutinous rice flour and usually stuffed with either sweet red bean paste or salty pork, on the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
Many people across the city are busy tracking down famous brands of tangyuan prior to the festival. --(2/10)
Gym hygiene in spotlight
The city has no plans to follow Beijing's lead and demand commercial gyms disinfect equipment every two hours to prevent infection.
Currently, the city's hygiene rules on gyms only cover swimming pools and air quality.
The Shanghai Health Supervision Agency said the present health management rule doesn't regulate hygiene of gym facilities and there is no guideline for inspections of gyms or free facilities in neighborhoods.
Officials said threat from such facilities is not serious, but people should wash hands and shower after working out, and gym operators should take measures to ensure equipment is cleaned regularly. --(2/9)
Museums have grand plans
The city's top two museums plan to attract visitors this year with the Shanghai Biennale, a collection of sketches by Picasso, Chagall, and Cezanne, and precious items on loan from the British Museum, according to officials from the Shanghai Art Museum and Shanghai Museum. --(2/8)
More drugstores open in the city
Shanghai saw the opening of 396 new retail drugstores last year, an increase of 18 percent from a year before, the largest-ever increase, according to the Shanghai Food and Drug Administrative Bureau yesterday.
Many new drugstores opened in suburban areas, with the number of outlets up by 61 percent in Songjiang District last year and by 33 percent in Qingpu District.
Some 93.3 percent of local residents have access to drugstores within 15 minutes' walk, in line with the statistics for developed countries.
However, one-third of the existing local retail drugstores have reported deficits, with another quarter managing only to break even. --(2/7)
Metro lines extended
Two metro lines extensions covering 22 kilometers will be put into use within this year, the Shanghai Construction and Transport Commission announced yesterday. Metro Line No. 2 will be extended from Zhongshan Park to the Hongqiao Airport and Metro Line No. 3 will be extended north towards Baoshan District.--(2/6)
It will be windy and rainy over the weekend, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.
Today's temperatures are set to drop to zero degrees and rain is expected on Sunday. The bureau expects Monday to be overcast, with temperatures ranging between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.--(2/4)