City outlines disaster plan
City government yesterday issued a new plan to enhance its ability to deal with natural disasters, major accidents, epidemics and social unrest.
Under the plan, public emergencies are classified into four levels, in descending order of severity: red, orange, yellow and blue. Incidents resulting in three or more deaths rate an orange-level alert requiring oral notification to city authorities within one hour and a written report within two hours. The city also set up a committee and a special office to manage emergencies. --(1/27)
City government hires advisers
The government held a ceremony at a guest hall yesterday to mark the hiring of eight advisers. Mayor Han Zheng handed out the letters of appointment and vice mayor Yan Junqi announced the government's decision on the issue.
This brings the number of advisers working for the government up to 31, all experts in various fields and serving as a think-tank to assist in research and policy formulation. They have launched in-depth studies and provided advice on many occasions regarding strategy and practical solutions.
Hiring advisers helps the government to make policy more scientific and democratic. The advisers reflect the realities of citizens' lives and wisdom. Han expressed his gratitude for their contribution in past years, and looked forward to their continuing support in offering facts and opinions relating to citizens' lives as part of the common effort to accomplish the 11th Five Year Plan. --(1/26)
Charter flight takes Taiwanese home
Shanghai Airlines became the first Mainland-based airline to cross the Taiwan Strait when its charter flight FM807, for the upcoming Spring Festival, took off from Pudong International Airport at 9:00 a.m. yesterday and landed at Taipei Taoyuan Airport at 11:45 a.m.
A total of 251 Taiwanese compatriots took the flight, including two wheelchair passengers, three children unaccompanied by adults, three babies and 26 children, with 154 other passengers catching the return flight back to Shanghai.
From January 24 to February 7, Shanghai Airlines will operate a total of 12 flights for round trips between Shanghai and Taipei and Kaohsiung, with all seats booked.
Last year, 600,000 Taiwanese compatriots iliving and working n Shanghai or neighboring provinces entered or departed the Mainland via the city, with strong market demand expected for direct flights across the Taiwan Strait. It takes 75 minutes to fly from Hongqiao Airport to Taipei Sung Shan Airport, said a spokesman for Shanghai Airlines, adding that, if approved by the Taiwan authorities, there are no other reasons why Shanghai Airlines could not operate two scheduled flights a week. --(1/25)
Clouds but little rain in forecast
It will be cloudy for most of the week, with little precipitation in forecast.
Temperatures will not vary much for the next three days, with daily lows expected to hover just above 3 degrees Celsius. The weekly average temperature should be 5 degrees, with an extreme low of zero degrees in downtown and minus 3 degrees in suburbs, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
A cold, high-pressure system pulled into the city last Sunday and drove away the rain belt that was hanging over the city for 11 straight days, bringing the long-awaited sunshine.
But there won't be sufficient sunshine for people to dry their quilts and clothes as the forecast calls for clouds to cover the city for a few days.
Today will be cloudy, with temperatures between 3 and 8 degrees.
It will be overcast and a little warmer tomorrow, with a high of 9 degrees and low of 4. --(1/24)
Car lovers give kids a tour of city
More than 100 young people volunteered to join the citywide "Winter Sunshine" campaign to help local needy or sick children on Saturday.
Initiated by the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese Youth League, the one-day campaign started with 50 young volunteers taking 25 needy students for a sightseeing around the city on Saturday morning.
All the volunteers are members of the X-car Club, an online community for local car fans. They volunteered for the activity after the event was mentioned on the club's Website last week.
To date, the committee has offered grants totaling 1.25 million yuan (US$154,321) to about 2,500 needy students in the city this year.
The sightseeing rounded up with a tour of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. --(1/23)
SPC adopts Five-Year Plan for city
More than 800 members of the Shanghai People's Congress adopted the city's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) and other key government documents at the conclusion of their weeklong annual session yesterday.
The plan calls for the city to lift its international competitiveness and to speed up infrastructure development over the next five years, including the construction of a subway network covering 400 kilometers.
SPC members submitted 58 bills and hundreds of proposals to the government and lawmaking authorities during the session.
Most of them are related to the city's public health service, inflated drug prices, housing subsidy policies, and education system.
The Standing Committee of the SPC will examine the feasibility of the proposals and then pass them to different government or law-making departments for implementation if warranted. --(1/21)
Cold and windy weekend
The wet weather will end this weekend as a cold air front sweeps into the city, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau forecast yesterday.
Overcast skies and strong wind will dominate the weekend weather. The temperature was forecast to drop to 0 degree Celsius on Sunday.
The city averaged 25 to 35 millimeters of rainfall since Wednesday night. Hangtou in suburban Nanhui District recorded 39.8 mm of rain.
Light rain, mixed with snow in parts of the city, is expected today.
Wind speeds will reach up to 61 kilometers per hour downtown and up to 88 km in coastal areas today. Temperatures will be between 4 and 7 degrees.
Tomorrow will be overcast and colder, with temperatures between 2 and 5 degrees. --(1/20)
Property managers to be licensed
Shanghai is planning to issue a special license to property management companies that run protected historic buildings, officials from the Shanghai Housing and Land Administrative Bureau said yesterday.
They said some heritage buildings were improperly renovated and managed.
Once the new license is issued, property management companies that can't pass a test on how to conserve old houses, will not be allowed to manage heritage buildings, according to Wang Anshi, director of the bureau's renovation and management section. --(1/19)
Experts choose festival flowers
Experts choose flowers and plants from Yunnan Province yesterday to prepare for the Fifth Shanghai International Flower Festival, which will be held in Changfeng Park from April 7 to 16. Local experts were sent to Yunnan Province to select special produce last week. --(1/18)
Saks 5th Avenue to open in the city
The Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprise, the world largest top-brand dealer, is to open an outlet in the city within three years, according to a recently-signed contract between Roosevelt China Investments Corp. and the New Huang Pu Group Co., Ltd.
The outlet, to be located in the Waitanyuan area at the confluence of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River, will be the Enterprise's first business venture in East Asia.
New Huang Pu Group, the master developer of the Waitanyuan Project, has full confidence in its cooperation with Roosevelt China Investment in building Waitanyuan into a multi-functional community that will provide high-quality business services, leisure facilities and entertainment.
Besides Saks, other world-renowned groups, such as Peninsula Hotels and Rockefeller Group International, have been settling in the Waitanyuan area. --(1/17)
Wet weather in forecast this week
It should be wet most of this week, but the weather will dry up by the weekend, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Rain is expected from today until Friday, and the weekly average temperature should hover around 6 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures could drop to zero or minus 1 degree during the week, the bureau said yesterday.
Weathermen attributed the rain to active movement of a wet, warm front in the city and neighboring provinces, which also contributed to the stable mercury level.
Today's temperatures are expected to hover between 5 and 9 degrees.
It's going to get a little colder tomorrow, with a forecast high of 7 degrees.
High winds are also forecast for downtown Shanghai on Wednesday. --(1/16)
Folk concerts to be staged
Shanghai's folk musicians will join their counterparts from Hong Kong, Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces to stage three concerts in Zhangjianggang of Jiangsu Province from January 18 to 20, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music announced yesterday. Twenty-four musicians, formed in a special ensemble, have staged concerts in neighboring provinces from January, 2004. This year, local musicians will present Taoist music for the first time during the tour. Renowned "erhu" master Min Huifen will be the ensemble's artistic director. --(1/14)
Aid to needy
The Pudong Charity Foundation has begun a donation campaign under which district residents are contributing blankets, clothing and money that will go to local needy families and poor regions in other provinces. The foundation said it will release details on the amount collected by next month. --(1/13)
Shanghai Port earns top rank
Shanghai became the world's busiest port in 2005, handling 443 million tons of cargo, according to figures released yesterday--(1/12)
Fast alert on foul weather
Property management staff in residential complexes can now be better prepared for strong winds or storms as a disaster weather alert system went into operation yesterday.
The system is backed by the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau and connects with more than 11,000 personal mobile phones of property management companies around the city.
The short messages will reach their handsets within 15 minutes of the bureau issuing any weather alert, such as strong winds, storms, snow and chill or heat.
Currently nearly 3,000 property management companies and more than 6,000 communities, as well as 20 housing repair centers are linked with the bureau's message center.
Earlier, the bureau offered short message alerts only to subscribers by working with local mobile network operators. But the defects in such a system become obvious in case of big storms or other disastrous weather conditions, since it takes a long time for all subscribers to receive the message due to the communication bottleneck.--(1/11)
Emergency-response system promoted at ports
The prevention of nuclear, biological and chemical pollution forms the focus of the emergency response system for domestic harbors. This was announced at a national conference on public health which was held in Shanghai on January 9. --(1/10)
More than 100 university students attended the University Student Career Planning Series Activity yesterday. Sponsored by the world's largest accountancy body ACCA and highai.com, the activity invited renowned career consultants and accounting professionals to teach university students how to find a suitable job and map out a career development plan. --(1/9)
New Year's Flower Fair begins
The 2006 New Year's Flower Fair opened to the public free of charge yesterday at the Shanghai Agricultural Exhibition Hall.
More than 100 companies will display more than 200 flower species at the four-day fair.--(1/7)
City forecasts rail travel records for Spring Festival
A record number of trains will be put into operation during the upcoming Spring Festival travel peak to deal with the annual surge of people heading home, the Shanghai Railway Administration said yesterday.
But even with the added equipment, passenger capacity may fall short as the number of travelers is also expected to hit a new high during the 40-day period.
The Spring Festival travel season usually begins 15 days prior to the Lunar New Year and ends 25 days after. It's traditionally a time when many Chinese, especially migrant workers and college students, use economical forms of travel such as trains to go home and spend the holiday with their families.
This year the travel period runs from January 14 to February 22.
The huge rush of passengers poses a big challenge to the country's transport system, especially in the big cities.--(1/6)
Inspection institute to ensure medical equipment quality
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration started to construct a national medical equipment quality monitoring and examination institute in the Nanhui International Medical Park over the weekend. The institute will be completed in 2007, performing inspection on high-tech appliances and set up a group of advanced laboratories.--(1/5)
Stamp lovers line up to visit museum
The arrival of the new year brought a new museum to the city, which will give local residents the chance to look at rare stamps, and horse-drawn carriage used for mail delivery.
The Shanghai Postal Museum, located at No. 276 Beisuzhou Road, opened on January 1, and is the first postal museum in the country.
Upon entering the museum, visitors will see some simulation carriages or model cars and planes used in postal transportation between 1909 and 1929.
The second floor houses numerous pictures depicting the history of China Post.
China joined the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1914. That same year, the Shanghai Post Bureau began handling international mail.
Dozens of valuable stamps are also on show in the museum.
Numerous stamp collectors waited outside for it to open on Sunday morning.--(1/4)
Italian paintings on show in Shanghai
An exhibition of 51 Italian paintings from the collections of the Bellini Museum opened to the public in Shanghai On Sunday.
On show are masterpieces by such well-known Italian artists as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Tiziano Vecellio.
Among the most eye-catching is Michelangelo Buonarroti's "Taking Jesus Down from the Cross", a painted wooden carving bas relief.
The Bellini Museum is a private museum based in Florence, Italy.
The one-month show in Shanghai Art Gallery is one of a series of cultural exchanges to be staged between China and Italy in 2006. --(1/3)
Citizens face growing pressure of employment
Once destined to have a good job, college students are now under growing employment pressure. In 2005, 3.38 million students graduated from colleges and universities, a 20-percent increase from in 2004, while education authorities estimate 4 million college graduates in 2006.
Those who will seek jobs in 2006 also include 2.7 million graduates from secondary vocational schools, 2.1 million graduates from middle and high schools, 700,000 ex-servicemen, 2.6 million former rural residents who now have urban registered permanent residences, 1 million laid-off workers from state-owned enterprises yet to be placed and 8.4 million registered unemployed people.
The pressure of employment, especially for youngsters, is unlikely to decrease in the coming five years, said Mo Rong, deputy director of the Institute of Labor Science of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Governments at various levels are playing a more active role in promoting employment. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, China will create 9 million jobs in 2006 and resettle 5 million unemployed laid-off workers, aiming to confine the registered unemployment rate in urban areas to 4.6 percent.
Tens of thousands of people, many of whom are relatively old, lack skills and live in abject poverty, have been employed in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, thanks to jobs created by the government indirectly.
China has been fostering the diversification of education, after it realized many college graduates are not welcome by employers as they are trained under similar modes. Chinese PremierWen Jiabao announced in November that the country will invest 10 billion yuan (1.23 billion dollars) in developing vocational education, aiming to train more skilled workers for the upgrading of industries. --(1/2)
Metro Line No. 4 opens
Metro Line No. 4 went into operation yesterday, connecting the city's first three metro lines and providing a new link between Pudong and Puxi.
About 30,000 people took the line on the first day of operations, said the Shanghai Metro Operation Company.
The figure was far below the expected passenger flow of 150,000 people a day, but officials attributed it to the new line's late opening at 8:45am, well after the start of morning rush hour.
Starting today, the line will run on a normal schedule with the first trains heading out at around 6am.
Metro operators also noted that many companies were closed yesterday for the New Year, which cut into passenger numbers.
Besides, many commuters still didn't know about the new line and are unfamiliar with its route.
Despite the low number of commuters, many said they are thrilled the line is finally up and running. --(1/1)