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  • Social services win in funding shake-up
    Sub-district governments in Pudong New Area will be concentrating on providing social services and public amenities, after a shakeup of government financing.
    The sub-district governments of Pudong had been financed from tax imposed on companies in the area. Now the governments no longer have to spend time and energy pursuing companies to raise revenue.
    Instead funding will come from the new area government and six economic zones, as well as tax revenue.
    "The reform aims to make Pudong's 12 sub-districts put the emphasis on social services," said Zhang Xuebing, governor of the new area.
    Zhang said the new area government will increase the budget for the sub-districts by 200 million yuan (US$26.32 million) every year.
    "The most important responsibility for the sub-districts governments is to help more people find employment," he said.
    The new policy is part of a comprehensive reform approved by the State Council for Pudong.
    Finances for the sub-district governments were mainly financed from taxes raised from companies registered in the sub-districts.
    Sub-district governments had to allocate staff and time in their efforts to attract more companies to the districts and this hampered their role as social service providers.
    "When our sub-district was first formed in 1999, we worked very hard to attract companies," said Wu Anqiao, Party secretary of the Dongming Road sub-district government. --(7/27)

  • Subway taxies toward airport
    Construction began yesterday on a Shanghai Metro line extension that will provide a new link to Pudong International Airport and perhaps pose a competitive challenge to the magnetic-levitation train system.
    The extension is part of a project that will eventually connect the city's two airports.
    The new link, running between the Longyang Road Station of Metro Line 2 and the Pudong airport, will have 12 stops along its 30.8-kilometer route.
    The Longyang station is also the starting point for the high-speed Maglev link to the airport.
    "The extension of Metro Line 2 and the Maglev line will play complementary roles as transport options to the airport," Qiu Zhaoming of the Shanghai Rail Transport Headquarters said yesterday.
    Officials didn't say whether plans to extend the Maglev to the Shanghai World Expo site or to Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province were still on the drawing board.
    Maglev officials were not available to comment yesterday on their business plans or on whether the Metro extension will pose a major challenge.
    Nine stations of the Line 2 extension will be built underground, two will be elevated and one will be at street level.
    The extension was originally planned to be mostly elevated. But the blueprint was changed as a result of environmental concerns and complaints from residents living along the planned route.
    The present elevated stretch between the Longyang station and Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, now the terminus of Line 2, will be placed underground.
    Trial operation of the extension will begin in time for the World Expo in May 2010.
    Construction designers also plan to extend Metro Line 2 west to Hongqiao International Airport.
    When completed, Line 2 will span 60 kilometers, and the journey between the city's two international airports will take one hour and 20 minutes.
    Metro Line 2 stretched 19 kilometers from Zhangjiang High-Tech Park to Zhongshan Park when it opened in December 1995. Another four stations had opened by the end of last year.
    Metro Line 2 now serves more than 700,000 commuters daily. It operates 18 hours and 11 minutes a day with a minimum interval of 3.2 minutes between trains.
    Shanghai plans to build 10 new Metro lines between 2005 and 2012, stretching 389 kilometers. The city Metro system is expected to span 510 kilometers by 2012. --(7/26)

  • Women's World Cup tickets go on sale
    Soccer fans now can start buying tickets for the FIFA Women's World Cup in five cities across China.
    Tickets went on sale at 10am yesterday in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu, reported.
    In Shanghai, the main site for the event, sports fans can check or call 6426-5678 for tickets, the Website said. Both the Website and hotline have English service.
    Twelve branches of Eastern Asia Ticket Services Co in Shanghai are also selling tickets, the report said.
    It also said that the lowest price for a ticket was 30 yuan (US$3.97) so that more people can enjoy the event.
    The 2007 Women's World Cup is scheduled to run from September 10 to 30 in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.
    Shanghai will host the opening game of the tournament, matches from the group stages, as well as the final. --(7/25)

  • Liver pills get the nod after US drug trial
    A traditional Chinese medicine has passed the United States Food and Drug Administration's primary examination and will now begin clinical tests.
    The medicine, the Fuzhenghuayu pill, is expected to become the first traditional medicine used to treat patients with liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis.
    The US has no effective medication in the field, and experts say about 16 percent of chronic hepatitis B patients and 20 percent of hepatitis C patients can develop liver cirrhosis.
    "There are 25 million people with liver diseases in the US, and 20,000 die every year. About 300,000 people are hospitalized for liver cirrhosis annually," said Dr Tarek Hassanein from the medical center of University of California at San Diego (UCSD).
    US experts will launch a two-year second phase clinical test on 120 patients in the UCSD medical center later this year. The third phase with a bigger number of patients will run over another three years. --(7/24)

  • Heat and thunder
    Heat will still reign in the city today and tomorrow, though thunderstorms may strike in the afternoons, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
    Highs will range between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius, with lows about 27 to 28. The temperature is likely to top 36 degrees on Wednesday when it is expected to be cloudy to sunny. --(7/23)

  • E-supervision to counter counterfeits
    Local quality control authorities have developed an e-supervision system to help consumers buy original products instead of counterfeits.
    So far more than 130 local companies have agreed to join the system. Protected products have a 16-digit bar code label stuck on the package, so that consumers can find company information and production date at the Website, or through a hotline or with cell phone short messages by typing in the 16 digits. Consumers can also call 9500-1111, said the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision.
    "To alleviate the burden on companies, the government will take on most of their expenses of joining the system," said Huang Xiaoqiang, a bureau official. --(7/22)

  • Green light for roads as expo fever hits
    As far as roads go, Shanghai is in the fast lane.
    Construction of the second Dapu Road tunnel across the Huangpu River and an extension of two expressways to the Yangtze Delta Region will begin this year, city officials announced yesterday. They said downtown will enter its busiest period late this year as most construction sites for the World Expo 2010 will begin.
    "We will pay attention to both the safety and speed of the projects," Xiong Jianping, director of the Shanghai Construction and Transport Management Commission, said at a government meeting yesterday.
    The new Dapu Road Tunnel will run parallel with the existing tunnel to ease traffic congestion between the two banks of the Huangpu River.
    The old Dapu Road tunnel opened in 1971 and was the city's earliest vehicle tunnel.
    In addition to the second Dapu Road tunnel, six new tunnels, both for vehicles and subways, are already under construction. Among them are the Xinjian Road, the Renmin Road and the Shangzhong Road tunnels.
    By 2020, Shanghai will have 17 connections across the Huangpu River for vehicles, an increase of seven.
    Xiong also announced that Shanghai will extend the A4 Expressway (Hongqiao Airport to Qingpu District and westwards) and A9 Expressway (Minhang District to Jinshan District). The two expressways will reach the neighboring cities of Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.
    Officials said by 2010, the city will be linked by six expressways to Jiangsu Province and four expressways to Zhejiang Province. --(7/20)

  • Heat wave replaces rainy spell
    Shanghai sweltered through the hottest day so far this year yesterday as the annual rainy season came to an end.
    Electricity use driven by high air-conditioning demand crested at a record level as the mercury reached 38.6 degrees Celsius, tying the high for all of last year. The low was a balmy 28.6 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau reported.
    The heat will continue for five to seven days, although thunderstorms may strike in the afternoons. Highs will range between 36 and 38 degrees, with lows around 29 degrees.
    The peak load on the power grid topped 20 million kilowatts at 1:35pm yesterday, 500,000 kw higher than last summer's high.
    The heavy load forced system controllers to seek additional supplies of electricity. They also went shopping for natural gas, which was used to fuel power plants, including four backup generators that went online yesterday.
    Out-of-town electricity capacity topped out at eight million kw, accounting for 40 percent of total peak use.
    The Shanghai Electric Power Co estimated earlier that the peak grid load would be 21.5 million kw this summer.
    The annual Plum Rains - named after the period when the fruit matures - were declared at an end after the weather bureau determined that the rain belt had drifted to the south.
    Any wet weather that hits the city in the near term will be associated with a separate, sub-tropical high-pressure systems, the weather bureau said.
    "Thunderstorms that strike the city now will not be because of the Plum Rain belt," forecaster Man Liping said.
    The Plum Rains began on June 21 and lasted for 27 days, one day less than they did last year. There were more thunderstorms than normal this year and more days when high temperatures exceeded 35 degrees.
    Half of the season's rainfall came from three thunderstorms, on June 23 and 28 and July 7. In typical years rainfall is more continuous. --(7/19)

  • Needy students get lift
    Subsidies to needy students will rise 10-fold from this year, officials with the Shanghai Education Commission announced yesterday.
    The city government plans to allocate 500 million yuan (US$66.12 million) from its fiscal budget each year to aid needy college and polytechnic students with scholarships, tuition loans and part-time jobs.
    About 20 percent of the city's college and polytechnic students will be eligible for help, the commission said.
    "Considering a growing number of students from under-developed western regions will come to study in the city, we will keep increasing the subsidies to ensure everyone has equal education opportunities," commission Vice Director Zhang Minxuan said.
    High-school graduates need to apply for a tuition loan via the Internet.
    Applicants have to register their personal information and family economic situation at the commission's Website ( before signing a loan contract with the bank.
    On-site application confirmations will be on August 8 and 21. Last year, 290 students got tuition loans, compared with 190 in 2005 and only 54 in 2004. University graduates who volunteer to work in the western regions or teach in the city's suburban elementary schools for three years will be exempt from paying off their loans. --(7/18)

  • Nine hotels earn 'green' title in Shanghai
    Nine hotels in Shanghai have been given a "Green" award for using resources rationally and protecting the environment, the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission revealed yesterday.
    China National Tourist Office assesses "Green Hotels" at the "Gold Leaf" and "Silver-Leaflevel" in terms of its environmentally-friendly rooms, food, lighting and sanitary facilities.
    The nine hotels are Zhongyou International Hotel, Radisson Plaza Xing Guo Hotel, Shanghai Holiday Inn Vista, Jia Ding Hotel, Ying Yuan Hotel, Golden Jade Sunshine Hotel, Donghu Lingang Hotel, Jianke Hotel and Kaihao Hotel. --(7/17)

  • Website for undergrad jobs unveiled
    The Website for the Undergraduates Internship Campaign in Shanghai ( was officially launched today.
    The Undergraduates Internship Campaign in Shanghai is jointly operated by the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese Youth League and the Shanghai Students Union.
    More than 3,000 internship posts will eventually be listed on the Website. Thus far, more than 200 companies have registered on the Website, offering almost 2,000 positions.
    Insiders pointed out that undergraduates encounter difficulties seeking jobs because of improper career concepts, lack of ability, and a shortage of practical experience. The city¡¯s supply of internship posts failed to satisfy undergraduates¡¯diverse demands as well.
    The campaign aims to help undergraduates gain experience via long-term work and improve their competitiveness. --(7/16)

  • TCM exchange
    Shanghai Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital has been designated as the international academic exchange base for traditional Chinese medicine by the State TCM Administration, and a member of the Sino-French government project on TCM cooperative research and development, it announced yesterday. --(7/15)

  • A record field will line up in marathon
    About 20,000 running fans and athletes are expected to take part in this year's Torry Cup Shanghai International Marathon on November 25, the biggest number since the race was launched in 1996, officials said yesterday.
    Anyone with a valid health certificate signed by a registered hospital and aged 18 or above, may register for the race, the officials said.
    The 42.2-kilometer Torry Cup Shanghai International Marathon, organized by China Athletics Association and Shanghai Sports Federation, will be run from Huangpu District to Minhang District.
    It will start at 7am from the Century Square at Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall and finish in Minhang Stadium.
    Winner of the men's marathon will get 160,000 yuan (US$20,000) and the women's winner will get 120,000 yuan.
    A prize of 800,000 yuan, the highest in the race's history, will go to any runner who breaks the marathon world record.
    Applicants can log on to to get an entry and pay from 40 to 320 yuan according to nationality. --(7/13)

  • 3 metro lines open by year end
    Three new metro lines will start running by the year's end, extending the total subway distance from 145 kilometers to 230 kilometers, the city's subway construction headquarters announced yesterday.
    Metro Line 6 will run south to north in Pudong, Metro Line 8 links Yangpu District with many downtown stops, and Metro Line 9 links Xuhui District with rural Songjiang District. --(7/12)

  • Program brings young back to Chinese roots
    Nearly 500 overseas Chinese students from 13 countries started a four-day summer camp in the city yesterday.
    Organized by the city government's office of overseas Chinese affairs, the camp is one of the biggest activities to bring overseas Chinese youth for a cultural and history exploration in China.
    The camp started with a half-day visit to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, where rare dinosaur fossils from Sichuan Province are being displayed for the first time in Shanghai.
    Students will also be taken to the city's major scenic spots and infrastructure landmarks.
    "With its brilliant history and rapid urban development, Shanghai is a perfect place for these young people of Chinese origin to trace their cultural roots and understand modern China better," said Zheng Xudong, cultural and education director at the office.
    Steven Xi, an Australian student whose parents are both Shanghai natives, said he found the city getting cleaner and cleaner after having been to the city three times. --(7/11)

  • Ban placed on leukemia drugs
    Local hospitals have banned a group of drugs used in leukemia treatment after patients suffered adverse reactions.
    The two drugs, both forms of Methotrexate used in injections, are made by the Shanghai Pharmaceutical (Group) Co's Hualian Pharmaceutical Co. The State Food and Drug Administration ordered the halt of sales and use of the medication on Friday. Leukemia patients treated with the drugs at two Shanghai hospitals reported pain and fatigue in the legs and difficulty in walking to the Shanghai Clinical Drug Adverse Reaction Monitoring Center. An official inquiry has been launched. --(7/10)

  • City opens "Window of Shanghai" in LA
    University of California becomes a new station that displays books contributed by Shanghai Library as the two sides have signed a three-year cooperation memorandum to set up "Window of Shanghai" in its Los Angeles Campus.
    Shanghai Library has contributed recently published books of the Chinese mainland to 30 libraries in 22 countries and regions to let overseas readers learn more about China.
    The library initiated the international cooperative program "Window of Shanghai" in 2000, exchanging books with libraries in its sister cities and setting up "Window of Shanghai" there. The books would cover Chinese culture and history in every aspect.
    In April, Shanghai Library set up its 30th "Window of Shanghai" at "Dr. Juan Alvarez" in Rosari, Argentina. Many local residents visit the library to read the books, showing great interest in the Chinese culture.
    "It opens a window to know about Shanghai and China, and it passes knowledge and enhances friendship and cooperation between the two cities,"said Shanghai deputy Party secretary Liu Yungeng at the launch ceremony. --(7/9)

  • Fast bus for fruit picking tourists
    Five new bus routes have been added to suburban areas to make it easier for people to pick fresh fruit such as peaches, melons and grapes this summer.
    The routes will service the peak tourist season in the middle of July and will run until the fruits are out of season, said Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center.
    The buses will run from long-distance bus stations in Zhabei District in the north and in Minhang District in the south, and go to Jiading, Nanhui and Fengxian districts.
    "We believe tourists will enjoy both the fruits and the process of picking them," said Zhang Lantian, an official with the center.
    "At present we have two buses for the routes every day, setting out in the morning, and we'll increase the number of the buses if more people are interested," he added.
    Return tickets range from 70 yuan (US$9) to 100 yuan, according to different destinations and activities. --(7/8)

  • Big boost for needy students
    A special Shanghai government scholarship to award gifted college and polytechnic students, especially those from impoverished backgrounds, will be introduced from this fall semester.
    The Shanghai Education Commission said yesterday 1,000 local university and college students are expected to win an 8,000 yuan (US$1,053) scholarship each year.
    The polytechnics grants are forecast to benefit 10,000 people per year, accounting for about five percent of total student number. These will be awarded scholarships ranging from 500 yuan to 1,500 yuan annually.
    And needy students who volunteered to work in rural areas for more than three years will be exempted from paying off tuition loans from this year.
    Commission officials said the city had put 330 million yuan aside to aid needy college and polytechnic students this year. The figure is expected to reach 550 million yuan next year.
    Shen Xiaoming, the commission director, said that the city is also requesting schools to lend a hand to the needy.
    "Our goal is to free poor families from tuition burdens and never let anyone drop out of school due to financial difficulties," Shen said at a press conference yesterday. --(7/6)

  • Shanghai holds Expo forum
    An international forum on designs and preparations of World Expo 2010 was held recently in Songjiang District, Shanghai.
    Exhibition industry insiders and officials of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination attended the forum, which focused on strategies and techniques concerning Expo planning.
    Scheduled from May 1 to October 31, 2010, the Expo will involve nearly 10,000 events, including conferences, exhibitions, celebrations, performances and contests. Thus, Expo 2010 will require great organizing and planning. --(7/5)

  • Mooncakes will cost 10% more
    The price of mooncakes will rise by more than 10 percent ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 25 this year, according to the Shanghai Food Association Bakery Commission.
    "This year's price rise is the biggest in the past decade, caused by a growth in the cost of all the raw materials used to make mooncakes," Gao Kemin, director of the commission, said yesterday.
    Gao said the prices of raw materials increased because of a shortage in supply. He said wholesale hazelnut prices are over 20 percent higher than a year ago because of a 30 percent drop in output this year.
    Meanwhile, the prices of cooking oil and sugar have also risen by 20 to 30 percent since last year.
    Although the Mid-Autumn Festival is still over two months away, some famous mooncake manufacturers have already put the dessert onto their shelves.
    A shop assistant at Xinghualou Food Co, which supplies half of Shanghai's mooncakes, said rising prices of pork and flour have caused the cost of a single mooncake to increase by more than 10 percent compared to the same period last year, hitting five to 12 yuan for each. But she said prices of gift-wrapped mooncakes have risen just a little. A tin box of mooncakes costs 72 yuan, a four-yuan rise from last year.
    Gao said the commission had agreed with main producers to control the cost of packaged mooncakes by reducing the cost of packaging. --(7/4)

  • Shanghai Special Olympics flame arrives in Egypt's Alexandria
    The flame of 2007 Shanghai Special Olympics arrived yesterday morning in Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, about 220 km northwest of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.
    Torch relay ceremonies were held at several spots in the northern Egyptian port city in the morning after the flame was received in front of the Library of Alexandria.
    After receiving the flame box delivered from Greece, where the flame was collected, two athletes of special Olympics, Wang Shoudong from China and Hamid Mohamed Saym from Egypt, ignited the torch at the Library of Alexandria and carried it to the dock in front of the library.
    Leading the torch relay team, the two athletes carried the torch onto an Egyptian navy warship and headed for the ancient Citadel of Qaitbay at the other side of the Alexandria bay, where a welcoming ceremony was held.
    At the ancient castle, managing director of the Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa office Ayman Aly Wahab told Xinhua that this event is a very good public activity for the disabled people and the exchange of different cultures.
    Calling Alexandria an ancient city with great cultural heritages, Chinese Consul General in Alexandria Zhan Dingbao said the arrival of the Special Olympics flame and the torch relay here is the exchange of Chinese culture and Egyptian one, wishing the flame of hope will bring bright future for the disabled people and the Special Olympics.
    After the flame was collected in Greece and the torch was first ignited there on June 29, Egypt is the first stop of the torch relay tour of the 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games, which was scheduled to be held in the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai for Oct. 2-11.
    In the afternoon, the torch will be carried to Cairo, where a welcome ceremony is to be held at the site of Giza Pyramids with participation of Egypt's First Lady Suzanne Mubarak and Egyptian policemen will attend the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
    After the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Egypt, the Special Olympics flame will be delivered to England, the next stop of the torch relay tour around the world.
    More than 10,000 athletes and coaches, 20,000 family members from more than 160 countries and regions are expected to show up at the Shanghai Games. --(7/3)

  • Shanghai mulls climate insurance
    The city's weather bureau is planning to cooperate with the Shanghai Insurance Regulatory Bureau and more than 10 insurance companies to develop climate insurance for natural disasters such as lightning strikes.
    They will study natural disasters brought on by changeable weather patterns, targeting the arrival times of dangerous weather.
    Yang Weilin, member of Chinese Meteorological Society, said that the country's economic losses caused by lightning strikes totaled 2,500 million yuan (US$328 million) in 2004. Lightning has killed 193 people so far this year.
    The city has brought in advanced lightning-proof equipment which will be put into operation next year.
    Lightning is a common phenomenon in Shanghai¡¯s summers and it can paralyze power supply equipments.
    Shanghai has 49.9 thunderstorm days a year causing 200 million yuan in economic losses. --(7/2)

  • A power play
    The Shanghai Electricity Exhibition Center, which displays the city's history of power use since the 19th century and interactive scientific educational games, is now open to the public for free.
    Interested people can dial 28925222 as the 600-square-meter center requires registration in advance so that guides can be arranged. --(7/1)



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