City to open golden beach on July 13
Shanghai residents will have their own golden beach, and they will no longer have to take a long trip to Hainan Island to enjoy golden sand, as Fengxian Bay will be open to the public on July 13, Shanghai Evening Post reported today.
The city transported 120,000 tons of golden sand from Hainan Island, which covers the coastline of the 3 square kilometer manmade bay, and imported weatherproofed wood from New Zealand to build a 2,000 meter staircase.
The beach area is surrounded by a 30 meter green belt, including palm trees.
Visitors will likely be charged a 50 yuan (US$6.25) admission fee.
If it is a success, officials plan to expand Fengxian Bay another 30 square kilometers.
Located in the southwest of Shanghai, Fengxian boasts a 31.6 kilometer coastline - the longest of any district in the city.
The bay faces the East China Sea and Hangzhou Bay.
Fengxian Bay Tourism Committee, which is responsible for the project, said the district has abundant tourism resources and it is a good place for residents to spend a holiday.
The district's officials got the idea to build an artificial bay and beach three years ago. Construction work began last October.
After the expansion is complete, people will be able to sail yachts in the bay. But due to the huge investment needed, officials said the expansion won't start for several years. --(6/30)
Facing the future
Cosmetic surgery hospitals said many students have undergone face-lifts following the college-entrance exams last month.
The hospitals said the students wanted to look better for their university life and future careers. Shanghai Art Plastic Cosmetic & Esthetic Surgery Hospital said it has conducted more than 20 operations on students, mostly eye, nose and chin reconstructions. Some parents paid for the surgery as a gift. --(6/29)
City sidewalks to get wider
Narrow city sidewalks will be widened to at least 1.5 meters and some amenities and services, such as restaurants and public telephone booths would be barred from narrow walkways, under an infrastructure draft law.
Shanghai Road and Bridge Management Law is now under discussion by the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress, the city's top legislative body. "The new law aims to widen sidewalks for pedestrian convenience," said Li Zhiqiang, a committee member in charge of urban construction.
The draft stated some public facilities, such as telephone kiosks, mail drops and litter bins, cannot be installed on roads narrower than 1.5 meters. The law will be discussed for two months. --(6/28)
Film festival achieves box-office record
The 9th Shanghai International Film Festival registered a record 7.92 million yuan (US$990,000) of box-office revenue, an increase of 13 percent from a year previously, according to the organizing committee.
More than 200 films from 52 countries and regions were screened during the festival. The various ways to purchase tickets, such as booking via the Internet, by mobile phone or at convenience stores, proved a hit with the public. More than 40 events where audiences could meet the stars were also popular, in addition to pricing policies offering a range from 20 to 60 yuan to suit individual pockets. --(6/27)
Trials begin at Shanghai South Railway Station
The orange-colored train N521 carrying more than 920 passengers departed from platform No.10 of the Shanghai South Railway Station for Hangzhou yesterday morning, the first departure following the commencement of trial operations at the station yesterday.
The main departure hall, decorated with flowers and trees, can accomodate more than 6,000 passengers. --(6/26)
Mercury falls after highs
It will be a rainy and cloudy weekend, with temperatures a little cooler than during the week.
Rain will continue to Monday, and the mercury is expected to top 35 degrees Celsius again on Wednesday following this week's record temperatures, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
The daily high should drop to 29 degrees, 8 degrees lower than the weekly high of 37.3 degrees on Wednesday, the hottest June 21 since records began 133 years ago.
The low is expected to be 24 degrees. Sunday will see more showers, with light breezes of up to 28 kilometers an hour in the downtown area. Temperatures will hover between 24 and 25 degrees.
Temperatures are set to rise steadily next week to above 30 degrees. Showers will continue on Monday and Tuesday. The return of high temperatures from next Wednesday will test the city's power grid as residents turn to power-hungry air-conditioners to battle the heat.
The city government held a conference yesterday to call for efforts to ensure electricity supplies.
The peak power demand on Thursday reached a high of 16.86 million kilowatts, and authorities said they expect it to hit a peak of 20.5 million kw later this summer, 10.2 percent higher than last year. --(6/25)
In celebration of the 85th birthday of the Communist Party of China on July 1, around 26 Chinese classic films and some latest productions will be screened at local cinemas through July 10. --(6/23)
Government takes steps to ensure summer water supply
The city's demand for water this summer is expected to reach a record-breaking 10 million steres (a stere is 1,000 litres). At the scheduled press conference yesterday, Shanghai government spokeswoman Jiao Yang outlined the measures the Water Affairs Bureau would take to ensure the city¡¯s water supply.
She stated that adequate preparations would be made by the water supply companies. Water purification equipment at pumping stations would be inspected and disinfected and any problems dealt with.
The Water Affairs Bureau would also strengthen administration to ensure water quality, Jiao added. Furthermore, the Bureau would regulate the water supply during hours of peak demand.
Emergency measures for dealing with pollution caused by the flooding associated with typhoons are also in place. --(6/22)
Lion King roars in Shanghai musical
The Shanghai Grand Theater will be transformed into a mysterious African jungle when the curtain rises on the Broadway musical "The Lion King" on July 18.
The musical, a major summer attraction for children - and adults - will run for three months, staging 100 performances. Tickets are available, ranging from 100 yuan (US$12) to 680 yuan. --(6/21)
New TOEFL exam
The English Testing Services announced that it would add one more paper-based TOEFL test on August 19 to ensure all examinees have access to the test during the transition.
The registration deadline for this paper-based administration is July 4. A new Internet-based TOEFL, or TOEFL iBT, will be offered in the country starting from September 15. --(6/20)
Ambulance, emergency services expanded
The city is upgrading its inadequate first-aid response and will add 100 ambulances and five first-aid stations by year's end, officials told the World Medicine Summit yesterday.
Currently, Shanghai has 240 ambulances and 58 first-aid stations. Most stations respond to emergencies within a 6-kilometer radius. The aim is to narrow the radius to 4 kilometers.
Neither the equipment nor the network can meet the needs, officials said.
"An ambulance can reach a patient in eight minutes in developed countries, while locals must wait 13 minutes downtown and 21 minutes in outlying areas," said Guo Yongqin, director of the Shanghai First Aid Center.
Some patients can't get an ambulance due to vehicle shortage, especially during peak times from 8am to noon and in very hot or cold weather.
Liu zhongmin, president of Shanghai East Hospital and director of its emergency department, said the first one hour after an accident or emergency is the critical 'golden hour.'
About 80 percent of emergency patients can survive after early professional treatment, he said. Survival chances drop if the key hour is missed.
Local ambulances handled 283,000 calls last year, 114 percent over 2000. Demands are rising partly because of rising aging population.
Ambulances are expected to transport 400,000 to 450,000 patients in 2010, said Guo. The city is training workers in pre-hospital first aid and installing ambulance satellite navigation systems. --(6/19)
Police assistant's bravery honored
The Shanghai Political and Legislative Committee honored 10 local residents for their bravery on Friday.
Sun Jiankuan, a police assistant in Zhabei District, found a motorcycle carrying three canisters of liquid gas on May 25. He told the driver it was against the law to carry gas canisters on a motorcycle and demand he come to the police station. The driver was allegedly very rude and tried to flee. Sun grasped on to the bike as it sped off, and banged his head on a telegraph pole. He later died in hospital. The driver has been detained by police. --(6/18)
City battles plant
Sanitation officials said yesterday they expect this summer to remove almost 800 tons of a floating plant that threatens fish stocks in Suzhou Creek.
The plant, known as duckweed or water lentil, grows on the surface of the creek and can grow at an amazing rate - doubling in size every 48 hours.
It feeds off nitrogen and phosphorous contained in sewage and river runoff. As the plant dies and rots, it absorbs oxygen, killing fish and threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishermen.
Workers from the Shanghai Public Sanitation Bureau are already removing duckweed from the creek around the clock at a rate of 20 to 30 tons a day, and the bureau will draft in extra help during July and August, when the plant's growth is at its highest.
Last summer, workers removed over 600 tons of duckweed and this year they expect to remove 800 tons.
To control the spread of duckweed, water quality must be improved, officials said. Duckweed is a common plant usually found in ponds, marshes, lakes and streams. --(6/16)
Barrage of fireworks greets SCO leaders
Heads of state from the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization arrived in China's commercial powerhouse yesterday, where they were treated to a massive fireworks display along the city's famed riverfront in advance of today's annual summit.
The leaders taking part in the meeting are Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
The SCO, an intergovernmental organization that comprises the five countries and China, was established in Shanghai and is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
As they deplaned at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, the presidents were presented with bouquets from Shanghai children.
Yesterday afternoon, Hu joined the group to plant a magnolia tree at a hotel in western Shanghai.
The magnolia flower is the symbol of Shanghai, and as the trees can live for as long as 1,000 years, the planting was meant to symbolize the strength of the SCO.
At today's summit, the presidents are expected to review the organization's achievements, outline objectives for future cooperation and exchange ideas on major international and regional issues.
Summit organizers plan to issue a declaration and endorse a series of documents, including one creating a new security network.
On the sidelines of today's session, Hu will hold meetings with his counterparts from the other SCO members as well as participants from observer countries.
The four observer nations are represented by Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is attending the summit as a guest.
Also attending are representatives of international organizations that have established relations with the SCO, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In an article published on the eve of the summit, Putin hailed the SCO for "having introduced new patterns of successful international cooperation." --(6/15)
City expects rains tonight
A low pressure system will bring light showers to Shanghai starting from dusk today, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday. Heavy rainstorms may occur tomorrow as the system develops.
Influenced by a hot and damp southwest wind, the daily high reached 32.7 degrees Celsius yesterday. Today's highest temperature may still exceed 30 degrees Celsius, the bureau said.
It's evident that the city will enter the Plum Rain Season after tonight's showers as a stationary front is moving in fast from the southern reaches of the Yangtze River, according to the bureau.
The annual rainy season, named after the period when the fruit matures, normally begins some time around June 10, according to weather experts.
The city experienced a dry Plum Rain Season last year. The bureau has forecasted that the season this year will have slightly more rains than usual. However, it is not impossible to have two consecutive years with dry Plum Rain Seasons, according to the bureau's records. --(6/14)
City to increase greenbelts
The city will expand its greenbelt coverage into the suburbs to enhance local tourism resources, environment officials have said.
Major focus will be on the public areas, including parks, streets and river banks.
Both towns and villages in Shanghai will be included in the project, according to the Shanghai Greening Committee.
The committee will reward the 10 best towns and 50 best villages in Shanghai by 2010. The winners need to have a greenbelt coverage of more than 35 percent in central areas, and a ratio of more than 90 percent on their streets and river banks. The town must also have a public park bigger than 40,000 square meters and each village has to own a central greenbelt area of more than 2,000 square meters. --(6/13)
Road controls set for summit
Shanghai will block several major roads, close entrances to some Metro stations and curtail mass transit service to keep parts of the downtown clear this week for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit.
The main traffic control zones are the Bund, from 6-10pm Wednesday; People's Square, 6-11pm Thursday; Pudong's Lujiazui, 4am-10pm Wednesday and 7am-3pm Thursday; and Century Plaza, 2-9pm Thursday.
Traffic may blocked periodically during the two days on Century Avenue, the Yan'an Road E. Tunnel, Yan'an Elevated Road and neighboring streets.
Schedules will change for public buses and ferry boats traveling within the affected areas. Details weren't provided.
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel under the Huangpu River will be closed both days.
Metro Line 1 will shut its No. 2 exit at the People's Square Station at 4pm Thursday.
Metro Line 2 will close its No. 2 and No. 3 exits at the Henan Road M. Station at 6pm Wednesday.
The Lujiazui Station will be closed from 2pm Wednesday to 3pm Thursday.
The No. 1, 2, 7 and 8 exits at the Shanghai Technology and Science Museum Station will be closed from 4pm Wednesday to noon Thursday. The station will be shut down from noon Thursday to the end of the day.
The SCO's sixth annual summit takes place on Thursday. Presidents of all member states - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - are scheduled to attend. The presidents of SCO observer nations Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan will also be present. India, another SCO observer, will send its minister of petroleum and natural gas to the summit.
City traffic authorities have set up a hotline, 962-000, for further information. --(6/12)
Shanghai's greenery authority is beautifying the city's landscape in preparation for the upcoming summit meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. --(6/11)
City reports US$160 billion in foreign trade
The Shanghai Customs announced yesterday that local foreign trade grew in the first five months of this year, with combined imports and exports of US$162.63 billion, up 23.3 percent year-on-year.
From January to May, local ports reported exports of US$100.55 billion and imports of US$62.08 billion, up 26.6 percent and 18.4 percent respectively from last year. --(6/9)
Shanghai Port handles 1.82 million TEUs in May
Shanghai hit a new record by handling 1.82 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) through its ports in May, a jump of 19.6 percent year-on-year, the Shanghai International Port Group said yesterday.
On May 22 alone, more than 80,000 TEUs passed through the ports, a new record for a single day, according to the largest port operator on the Chinese mainland.
Yangshan Deep-Water Port, a key contributor to the figures, handled 1.024 million TEUs in the last five months, accounting for 12.5 percent of all traffic through Shanghai ports.
The city is expected to reach its goal of handling 10 million TEUs by the end of this month and aims to reach 20 million TEUs this year. --(6/8)
Proper eye care urged
People who wear glasses should have their eyes checked by a doctor every year, while children who wear glasses should undergo an exam every six months, several optical experts said yesterday, which was National Eye Health Day.
The Shanghai Optometric and Optical Association and Transitions Optical Inc offered free consultations yesterday on eye care, how to choose glasses and how to maintain them.
"There are 300 million people with myopia in China, accounting for 30 percent of the world's myopic population," said Hu Dongfang, secretary general of the association. "The quality of glasses is the top concern of local people when making a purchase. This consultation is to tell people the importance of suitable and good quality glasses and teach people how to choose glasses."
She said cheap glasses can harm a person's vision, and regular eye exams are important.
About 20 percent of the city's primary school students are found to have myopia, and that number rises to 48 percent in secondary school, 71 percent in high school and 73 percent in university.
"Most students' myopia is due to long-term use of computers, too much reading and improper health habits," said Zhang Wenrong, an optometrist at Wuliangcai Optical Co. "Parents should take children to hospitals or optical stores for examinations early."
Moreover, ultraviolet radiation from sunshine is another threat to optical health, and can lead to cataracts. About 16 million people around the world lose their sight due to cataracts every year, of which 3 million get cataracts from ultraviolet radiation. --(6/7)
City beautifies 4 downtown areas
The city has given four downtown tourist attractions, namely People's Square, Nanjing Road, the Bund and Yu Garden, a complete facelift as part of the preparations for the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, municipal authorities announced yesterday.
The fountain in People's Square now has a 100-square-meter flower garden alongside featuring a large lute and musical note statue created from hundreds of flower pots and glass.
The Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, the busiest shopping street in Shanghai, has been decorated with bonsai plants such as firs, maples and bamboo.
The city also planted and upgraded 7,050 square meters of greenery in the Bund area. Workers will be continually sweeping, wiping and picking up garbage to ensure the area stays in tip-top shape.
Old billboards and posters have been removed near Yu Garden. Cyclists have been ordered to park their bicycles in an orderly fashion on Fumin Road and Fuyou Road. --(6/6)
City prepares for SCO summit
Preparations for the upcoming summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are nearing completion.
Pudong International Airport has opened a "green channel" especially for the delegates and reporters attending the summit, which will help them to clear customs faster than usual. Meanwhile, a 20-member crew will command the air traffic control of the charter flights carrying the delegates.
Hongkou district has cleaned and repainted 25,000 square meters of outer walls and repaired 4,000 square meters of sidewalk. Xuhui District has revamped the four main streets near Shanghai South Railway Station and 84,000 square meters of green space and squares.
The police, telecommunications providers and water suppliers are all on full alert. Eighty fire hydrants were replaced near the major venues for the summit. In case of a power cut, workers will arrive in one minute to restore the supply.
More than 170 student volunteers attended a swearing-in ceremony last weekend. Some of them have already started work.
The SCO summit meeting will be held in Shanghai on June 15. Founded in 2001, the organization has six member countries, namely China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. --(6/5)
Ocean of choice at seafood festival
Seafood lovers should head down to the Longhua Temple area, where restaurants from one of China's most famous fishing towns are making waves.
Twenty-four well-known eateries from Zhoushan, which has one of the four largest fisheries in the world, have set up shop near the temple, with a range of fresh fish and shellfish on offer.
The event is part of the Fourth Zhoushan Seafood Delicacies and Culture Festival, which is taking place in the southeast coastal city.
Arts performances and tourist information on Zhoushan is also available.
The Longhua temple stalls will remain until June 11, but the seafood festival in Zhoushan will last until September 28.
For those looking to join in the fun in Zhoushan, Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center has come up with a tour that will take people from Yangshan Deep-Water Port to Zhoushan. Travelers can take a 90-minute bus ride at 7:50am from Shanghai Indoor Stadium to the port. They then can take a 90-minute yacht ride to the Sanjiang Port in Zhoushan.
Zhoushan city will hold another festival, the Eighth Zhoushan International Sand Sculpture Festival, which starts on July 15. --(6/4)
2010 ICOM Convention to be held in Shanghai
Shanghai won its bid to host 22nd Convention of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), ICOM announced in Paris yesterday.
The city pipped Moscow in a vote of ICOM representatives at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.
ICOM was founded in Paris in November 1946 --(6/2)
Overnight work ban to cut down on noise
Starting yesterday, work is banned at most of the city's 8,000 construction sites from 10pm to 6am, to reduce noise as students prepare for the national college and high school entrance exams.
The ban will be in effect until June 17.
Overnight work will only be allowed on about 50 key infrastructure projects, such as metro lines and elevated roads.
On exam days, all construction will be banned with a 100-meter radius of exam venues.
"Any local resident can dial 12319 to report construction companies that violates the rule," said Qiao Fuquan, an official with the city's construction management office.
Officials with the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said they are in talks with district authorities and other departments about setting up an annual construction ban during the exam period.
The timetable will be published later for public input.
Though bureau officials won't give any figure on noise complaints at this time of the year, complaints about noise have historically topped the environmental problem list in recent years. --(6/1)