Port rock blasted
The largest underwater rock with the Yangshan Deep-Water Port was successfully demolished yesterday afternoon. Demolition experts used 67 tons of explosives on the 50,000-square-meter rock under the port waterway.
The blast took only several seconds to complete. The ruble was removed from the water quickly to avoid disrupting traffic. Destruction of the largest rock would benefit development of the port traffic, said maritime officials. --(3/31)
Flower Port plans to open all year
The Shanghai Flower Port is expected to open to the public throughout the year soon since experts are cultivating more new species of flowers.
Currently, the duplicate of the Keukenhof Tulip Garden in the Netherlands only opens from the end of March to early May, as tulips are only in bloom for a short period of time each year.
The establishment of Shanghai Flower Research and Development Center on Tuesday, however, could change the situation in one or two years.
Officials said the center has collected more than 2,000 samples of wild and cultivated lilies, and about 300 samples of carnations from all around the country. --(3/30)
Wujiaochang Plaza nears completion
Wujiaochang Plaza in Yangpu District nears completion yesterday. The finishing touches ¡ª lighting, greenery and an artificial and waterfall ¡ª still need to be completed before it opens in early April. --(3/29)
Project to improve children's health care
Project hope, the American foundation which focuses on the medical treatment of children, said it plans to open up medical training centers in many of China's largest cities with the cooperation of Shanghai Children Medical Center.
The first group of cities to receive training centers include Chengdu, Kunming and another city - possibly Harbin. The centers in the three cities are expected to upgrade the health care of local children.
The project of training Chinese doctors in western areas has been carried out by Project HOPE and SCMC since 1999. In the past seven years, 894 doctors from 31 provincial areas in China have received free training classes in SCMC.
The mission of the project, called "Training Trainers," is to raise the medical level for doctors in rural areas in western China. After receiving three to 12 months' free training in Shanghai, the graduates are expected to teach what they have learned in Shanghai to more doctors at their hometown. --(3/28)
'Fudan standard' to benefit more liver cancer patients
Shanghai has drawn up a new standard to enable more cancer patients to undergo transplants, according to a conference on liver diseases yesterday.
The standard, named the 'Fudan Standard', stipulates that a liver cancer patient with no more than three tumors, the diameters of which are no greater than 9 centimeters, can undergo a liver transplant. The number of patients covered will be double that covered by the existing standard, while the survival-rate under the new standard is expected to be unchanged.
Chinese liver cancer patients account for 53 percent of the world total, and of the world's 400 million hepatitis B virus carriers, 80 percent or 320 million are of Chinese origin, 150 million of them in China. --(3/27)
Tomb sweeping weekend
The weather should be warm but cloudy this weekend as hundreds of thousands of local residents are expected to set off to nearby provinces to sweep the tombs of their dead relatives.
Temperatures should top 20 degrees Celsius on both Saturday and Sunday, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau forecast yesterday.
More than 400,000 are expected to travel to neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces over the weekend for the annual family pilgrimage during the coming Qingming tomb sweeping festival period.
The large number of travelers is expected to stretch resources along rail lines and expressways.
The tombs of many local residents' deceased relatives are in the two provinces, where cemetery space is much cheaper.
No rain is in sight and the mercury is on the rise as the city is under the control of a weak high-pressure system.
The daily high today should hit 21 degrees, 3 degrees higher than yesterday, and the low will be 9 degrees.
Temperatures tomorrow should hover between 10 and 20 degrees.
The Shanghai Railway Station will add two trains to Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, and Ningbo, Zhejiang Province starting today as it is expected to handle 150,000 passengers, of which 25,000 will be on their way to their family graveyards, during morning rush hours this weekend.
To ensure order on the platform, the station will stop selling platform ticket between 6am and 9am, and will limit the number of passengers entering the station.
The expressways connecting the city with the two provinces, such as Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou expressways, should be more crowded than usual, as 100,000 cars and buses will be travelling on the roads.
About 400,000 people will visit cemeteries this weekend. --(3/26)
Yueju Opera is 100 years old
A hundred Yueju Opera performances will be staged at the Yifu Theater this year to celebrate the theatrical art's 100th anniversary on March 27.
The highlight will be three big concerts performed by renowned, young Yueju Opera artists from Shanghai and neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.
The first two shows will be held on March 28 and 29, in which performers will sing classical arias in the style used in the early years of Yueju Opera.
More concerts will be staged in May and July, in which classical songs by representative artists of the important liupai (artistic schools with distinct singing and performing styles) during the 1950s and 1980s will be performed.
Several new plays will also be staged.
Originating in rural parts of Zhejiang Province with only narration and singing but no accompaniment, Yueju (first called changshu, songs and narratives) didn't arrive in Shanghai until 1917.
It was in Shanghai, however, the theatrical art was officially named "Yueju," matured and saw the formation of 13 different liupai. It has grown to become the second most popular form of traditional Chinese theater, behind Peking Opera. --(3/24)
Peach blossom fair opens this Sunday
Due to the warm weather, pink peach blossoms are expected to bloom for the opening of the Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival this year, officials of the Nanhui District government said yesterday.
The festival will run from March 26 to April 16. Nearly 3,000 hectares of peach blossoms will be on display during the festival. --(3/23)
New World eyes top brands
Shanghai New World Department Store, one of the major traditional stores in the city, will introduce more top-grade and fashionable brands to raise its profile.
A Lacoste specialty store is expected to open there on March 25 and by May 1, the famous Madame Tussauds waxworks museum will also open in the store, the first of its kind on the Chinese Mainland and the world's sixth. Such famous brands as Montblanc and Chow Tai Fook have also been introduced in the store.
At present, New World boasts a total of over 1,700 domestic and foreign brands, with 10 percent being renowned international brands, 20 percent less-well known international brands, 30 percent from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, with 40 percent being famous domestic brands. --(3/22)
Knife fish prices drop
Knife fish, an expensive but popular delicacy in the city, arrived on the market late this year due to cold weather.
The good news is the fish is expected to cost half as much this year as last year.
Knife fish, or coilia ectenes, is a migrating fish shaped like a short knife. The fish swims back from the sea to the river at the beginning of spring, and is considered a special product of the Yangtze River.
The fish is especially savory before the Clear and Bright Festival on April 5 because its bones are as soft as cotton at the time and the fish meat will melt in your mouth quickly.
The fish finally went on the market two weeks ago, a week later than usual years because of the low temperature in the early spring.
The price of the fish has remained high in recent years as stocks are depleting due to over fishing.
The fish was priced around 2,000 yuan (US$247) per kilogram when it first went on the market this year, but the price has decreased to 1,200 yuan per kilogram for fish weighing more than 150 grams each.
The market is selling about 50 kilograms a day of the fish this year, down 10 percent from last year, and the lowest sales reported in five years. --(3/21)
Construction began on Saturday on Shanghai Xinjia Garden, the city's first residential community built for relocated residents.
The community in Baoshan District will cover 151.6 hectares. About 40,000 relocated people will move in the community over the next three or four years. --(3/20)
Peace Park to be renovated
Historic landmark Peace Park in Hongkou District will be renovated beginning this summer and turned into a traditional Chinese-style garden.
Built in 1958, Peace Park is one of Shanghai's largest parks, but it is not a magnet.
It has been overshadowed by skyscrapers around it and office buildings are scattered throughout the site.
After the planned renovation, it will be turned into a classical Chinese-style garden with ponds and water courses, a tree-lined grand avenue and many pedestrian walkways.
However, historic architecture, such as the Jewish tombs and a former ammunition depot, will be preserved.
The 28 million yuan (US$3.48 million) renovation project, beginning in July, will demolish office buildings, adding 5,000 square meters of green space to the park.
The park has not been significantly improved since 1958. The drainage is poor, it lacks an adequate lighting system and an audio system.
Last summer the park was closed for three days because of typhoon-related flooding.
Park director Gao Hongzhi said the renovation will be completed by late 2007. The project will be carried out by Ben Wood Studio, an American design studio, which has an office in Shanghai. --(3/18)
City to have 8 metro lines in operation
Eight metro lines covering 230 kilometers will be up and running by the end of next year, according to the city's engineering information Website.
Three new lines, No. 6, No. 8, and No. 9 will be put into use next year, along with at least five new transfer hubs.
When the western extension of the No. 2 metro line (6.75 kilometers) and the northern extension of metro line No. 3 (14 kilometers) are put into use by the end of this year, the city's subway system will cover 143.75 kilometers.
Currently, the city has five metro lines covering 123 kilometers.
Most of the city's subway tunnels are being dug with a single-tube shield to prevent land subsidence during construction.
The No. 6 line will link Gangcheng Road near the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone to Jiyang Road in Pudong.
The first phase of the No. 8 line, which runs 23.2 kilometers, will link Kailu Road in northern Yangpu District to Chengshan Road in southern Pudong across the Huangpu River.
The first phase of the No. 9 line, which will cover 31.7 kilometers, is designed to link Yishan Road in Xuhui District to Songjiang District. Three stations along the No. 4 line that were delayed by a cave-in three years ago, will go into use next year, completing the city's first ring-shaped metro line.
The final four stations will link Damuqiao Road in Puxi to Lancun Road in Pudong across the Huangpu River.
Currently, more than 170 metro stations are under construction simultaneously as the city expects to build a metro network involving 11 lines, and spanning more than 400 kilometers in time for the 2010 World Expo.
Also yesterday, the Shanghai Urban Transport Bureau announced that the city will step up construction of transport infrastructure in suburban areas this year.
Plans call for more advanced buses, electronic sign boards at the stops and rain shields and benches at some stops.
Buses will work longer hours, a must as more people are moving to the suburbs and need to take the bus home from work at night. --(3/17)
Shanghai's tap water safe to drink
The quality of Shanghai's tap water has reached national health standards and is quite safe to drink, said Shanghai Municipal government spokeswoman Jiao Yang at yesterday's scheduled government press conference.
Last year, the four main elements of drinking water evaluation (levels of residual chlorine, turbidity, bacteria and coli) recorded a pass rate of 99.95 percent.
During the just-ended three-year environmental protection plan, the city laid 920-kilometers of sewage pipes and completed improvement work on 201 waterways in the city center, with the water-quality level raised by 21.5 percent on average, Jiao said, adding that the city will further improve drinking water quality over the period of the 11th Five Year Plan. --(3/16)
China Eastern 1st World Expo partner
China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's biggest carriers, has become the first partner of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, officials said in Beijing yesterday.
The partnership authorizes the Shanghai-based carrier to provide passenger flight services for the event.
The deal also marked the formal start of a marketing campaign involving sponsorships, licensing and commercial services for World Expo venues, said Yang Xiong, a Shanghai vice mayor and vice director of the event's executive committee.
The marketing campaign and partnerships are expected to help cover part of the 30 billion yuan (US$3.75 billion) cost of building and operating the World fair.
Sources at the Shanghai World Expo coordinating group said they will partner with 10 to 15 organizations in the aviation, telecommunications and hospitality industries. --(3/15)
Survey rates tourism
The city will publish the results of an annual survey on tourism service for the first time this year.
More than 10,000 locals took part in the survey this year.
The local tourism business watchdog uses the survey to improve business credibility. --(3/14)
No changes soon to ban on karaoke bars & discos
Many objections have been raised about a new restriction on the business hours of karaoke bars and discos, but the regulation won't be amended anytime soon, according to cultural administration authorities in the city.
Officials said detailed rules for the implementation of the new regulations are under discussion and would be worked out in two or three months by the Shanghai Administration of Culture, Radio and TV, and the city's Legal System Office.
The state regulations that went into force on March 1 require all karaoke bars and discos to close from 2am to 8am.
Zhang Jianxin, vice director of the Cultural Market Department under the Ministry of Culture said entertainment venues subject to the regulations referred to profit oriented entertainment businesses, such as disco halls, Karaoke bars, video arcades and billiards rooms. Public bathhouses and pubs are not included into the catalogue as there are special rules to regulate the operation of those two businesses.
Zhang explained the business hour restriction was based on two main reasons.
Firstly, the number of customers sharply decreased after 2am so the management cost was much too great during that period.
Secondly, accidents are likely to occur after 2am as management staff are usually tied. --(3/13)
Free legal aid services offered
Legal aid centers offered free legal service to 5,855 people last year, up 12 percent from the previous year. Of the total, 3,899 were criminal cases. Migrant workers were major beneficiaries of free legal aid as their cases accounted for nearly half of the total, officials of the Shanghai Justice Bureau said the day before yesterday. --(3/12)
Fashion festival set to commence
The curtain will be raised next week on the 12th Shanghai International Fashion Cultural Festival, the organizer announced yesterday at a news conference attended by Vice Mayor Hu Yanzhao.
The opening ceremony will be held on the evening of March 15 at the Shanghai International Media Centre.
During the month-long annual fashion gala, fashion designers from China and overseas will showcase their latest collections at over 30 shows, while more than 1,500 apparel-makers will flock to the textile trade fair which forms part of the festival.
Seven downtown districts, including Jing'an and Luwan, will jointly-launch a fashion shopping festival at local stores. --(3/10)
Lunch boxes OK
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration announced that it has conducted check on all 28 companies that provide lunch boxes to 2,041 cafeterias in local schools, universities and kindergartens recently.
Officials said most facilities meet quality and hygiene requirements. --(3/9)
Miss World to visit
Starting this year, Miss World will pay an annul visit to Shanghai between April and May to hold charity events, said Li Bing, a major corporate sponsor of the 2006 Miss World charity event.
Shanghai will also be the first stop of the 2006 Miss World international tour. --(3/8)
Hotel's 100th anniversary
The Shanghai Peace Hotel will open a museum tomorrow to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
More than 80 artifacts will be on display, many of which were collected from hotel storage rooms, former employees and customers.
The hotel received its first artifact in January from Xu Meifeng, a former employee. She donated a hair brush, an ash tray and two silver spoons that belonged to the hotel in 1929.
The 80-year-old woman worked in the hotel's coat-check room from 1929 to 1945, before moving to Wuxi in Jiangsu Province.
The hotel opened as the Cathy Hotel in 1906. At the time it was the most luxurious hotel in Asia. After 1949, the hotel housed several government bureaus, but resumed its original function in 1956. The Cathy Hotel was renamed the Peace Hotel in the same year. --(3/7)
Highway map on offer
Shanghai's infrastructure construction authority is offering a free highway map to car owners at the local offices where auto fees are collected.
It is part of one of the city government's key tasks for this year, the improvement of local road signage and guidance.
The map carries information on local expressways, elevated roads and national highways, while incorporating such details as road names, road codes, toll stations, gas stations, public toilets, service centers and hospitals. --(3/6)
New plan to store tap water
The city will drill deep wells to store tap water and also counter land subsidence this year, the first of its kind in the country.
During normal times, the deep wells will serve as underground reservoirs in case tap water supply is endangered due to water pumped underground, according to the Shanghai Water Supply Administration.
The wells will be first tried in newly constructed residential areas, or areas within the Outer Ring Road, and later expanded to old communities and renovation projects, said administration Director Chen Yuanming.
The city has already started to pump tap water underground to balance land subsidence through deep wells. But such wells are far from residential areas and can't be used as water sources.
The new kind of wells will provide safe water supply to residents in case of emergencies such as when the tap water distribution network is hit or the city's water sources are endangered by pollution. Officials said that the feasibility study and technical preparations have been finished, and they are looking for a proper site. --(3/4)
Quick test results
Test results form of the International English Language Testing System will be available electronically and delivered instantly on test candidates' application from next month, the British Council said yesterday.
A postage fee will no longer be requested for sending the results. Meanwhile, Chinese candidates will also see the cost of submitting an enquiry on result reduced from the current 950 yuan (US$117) to 860 yuan from next month. --(3/3)
16th East China Fair opens in city
The 16th East China Fair opened at Shanghai New International Expo Center yesterday.
The fair, which covers 103,500 square meters and runs till Monday, has attracted more than 3,500 domestic and overseas exporters of clothes, home textiles, gifts and consumer goods.--(3/2)
Shanghai Art Fair aims to be interactive
People from both home and abroad are invited to help devise the program for the 2006 Shanghai Art Fair, the event organizer announced.
The proposals should cover all aspects of the event, ranging from exhibition halls to slogans. The deadline for submissions is April 1. The first prize will be 10,000 yuan, and all prize winners will receive VIP treatment at the fair.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the fair and it will run from November 16 to 20. With space totaling 22,000 square meters, the fair will host more than 400 exhibition stands. --(3/1)