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  • Homegrown regional jet takes shape
    THE main body of China's first domestically designed and manufactured commercial aircraft was completed in Shanghai yesterday.
    The Advanced Regional Jet 21 - a small feeder plane - is estimated to cost its maker, China Aviation Industry Corporation I, five billion yuan (US$657 million) and will be finished by the end of the year, officials said yesterday.
    The jet stands 8.4 meters tall and is 33.5 meters long. It can seat up to 90 passengers.
    At yesterday's ceremony, the front, middle and tail sections of the plane were put together, marking the completion of the plane's exterior design.
    Engineers at the Baoshan District workshop of the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, where the aircraft is being assembled, still need to complete the plane's interior. The factory is affiliated with AVIC 1.
    The first test flight has been scheduled for March next year, and AVIC 1 plans to deliver the planes to customers by September 2009. It has received 71 domestic orders for the ARJ21-700 series so far but hopes to secure international orders by the end of the year.
    A prototype of the ARJ21 is on show at the Shanghai International Aerospace Technology and Equipment Exhibition, from July 5 to 7 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. --(6/29)

  • City life expectancy rises to 80.97
    The average life span of local residents last year hit 80.97 years, up from 80.13 in 2005, according to figures released yesterday by Shanghai Health Bureau.
    The death rate for infants was 4.01 in every 1,000 live births, and 8.31 in every 100,000 for women pregnant or in labor - meeting the standard for developed countries, officials said.
    City medical staff treated 115 million outpatient and emergency cases and performed 569,500 inpatient surgeries last year, both setting new records.
    In 2006, there were 2,519 health facilities with 138,000 medical professionals working in the city.
    "Authorities have spent a lot of effort in controlling diseases. The incidence of serious infectious diseases last year was 204.07 in every 100,000 people - a low level," said health bureau official Song Guofan. "Moreover, 99.31 percent of children were able to receive free vaccinations against diseases."
    The top 10 causes of death were cardiovascular diseases, tumors, respiratory diseases, injury and poisoning, endocrine and nutritional-metabolic disorders, digestive system diseases, infectious diseases and parasitic diseases, mental diseases, genito-urinary disease, and diseases of the nervous system.
    In addition, local health officials detected 9,929 cases of irregular and illegal medical practice, confiscating goods and issuing 12.9 million yuan (US$1.69 million) in fines. Officials closed 2,493 underground medical clinics and withdrew the licenses of three hospitals. Illegal medical advertisements also dropped from 60.63 percent in the previous year to 1.41 percent after tightening administration to avoid advertisements misleading patients.
    Officials said the bureau will soon release statistics on different levels of hospitals' practice, patients' medical costs and patients' satisfaction with medical services for 2006. --(6/28)

  • Hangzhou Bay Bridge captures a world title
    The final link in the world's longest sea bridge was put in place on the Hangzhou Bay yesterday.
    The span is expected to promote regional economic integration between Shanghai and Zhejiang Province, two of the most prosperous regions in the country, and across the entire Yangtze River Delta.
    Built to withstand typhoons that hit the eastern seaboard, as well as shifting soil conditions, the concrete-and-steel bridge took three years to complete and was one of China's most challenging construction projects. Firecrackers and traditional dancers greeted more than a thousand guests at a ceremony in the middle of the bridge as engineers finished work on the final construction block yesterday.
    The 36-kilometer Hangzhou Bay Bridge starts at Jiaxing, near Shanghai, and ends at Cixi, about 70 kilometers from Ningbo in Zhejiang Province.
    It will reduce the present 400-kilometer drive between the two major port cities by 120 kilometers and shave about an hour off the trip.
    In the next few months, workers will begin surfacing work and expect to finish that part of the project by the end of November. The bridge is scheduled to go into service before the Beijing Summer Olympics begins in August 2008, said Jin Jianming, the project's deputy chief.
    Bridge managers have proposed to Zhejiang government that vehicles pay a toll of 80 yuan, according to a previous Oriental Morning Post report. Daily traffic volume has been estimated at 45,000 vehicles during the bridge's first year of operation. The speed limit will be set at 100 kilometers per hour.
    The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is a cable-stayed structure that cost 11.8 billion yuan (US$1.55 billion). About 30 percent of the funds for the project came from China's private sector - the first such investment in China.
    The Hangzhou Bay span beats Shanghai's Donghai Bridge - the previous world record holder when it was completed in May 2005 - by 3.5 kilometers. Its length also exceeds the 25.23-kilometer Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the United States. --(6/27)

  • Bus line proves a public winner
    The Shanghai Urban Transport Bureau opened a BBS on its Website this month seeking feedback over bus travel.
    The move certainly worked, with 2,420 suggestions and complaints logged up until yesterday. Traffic planners said they will establish 20 high-speed public bus routes between the city's central areas and six suburban districts. The bureau will make adjustments on seven bus routes based on opinions gathered online. --(6/26)

  • Museum on schedule
    The construction of China's first national maritime museum in Shanghai is on schedule, project officials announced on Saturday.
    It will be open to the public in July, 2009.
    The officials said they had begun collecting maritime cultural relics from the public.
    "The museum will play a key role in promoting the country's maritime history and development," An Chengyao, an organizer of the China Maritime Museum, said at the meeting.
    The museum is at Lingang New City on the eastern coast of Nanhui District. The city government has invested 500 million yuan (US$65.8 million) to build the museum, which will cover a ground area of 24,830 square meters. It was designed by the German-based GMP company and will include five exhibition halls.
    People who believe they have something that may be of value for the museum can contact its operational work office at Room 1501, 15th Floor, 321 Sichuan Road M. The contact number is 021-63213969. --(6/25)

  • Just the word in Shanghainese
    The first Shanghai-dialect dictionary will be published in August, laying the foundation for software versions next year.
    The dictionary, a project led by former Shanghai University professor Qian Nairong, has compiled 15,000 words and phrases in local dialect, Youth Daily reported on Friday.
    The dictionary uses a combination of pinyin and the English alphabet to indicate Shanghainese pronunciations as some sounds don't have pinyin counterparts.
    All phrases are clear and easy to browse, the report cited Qian, 63, as saying.
    "As Mandarin is now widely accepted, preserving genuine Shanghai dialect is a concern," Qian said, adding that he applied to the city's social sciences research fund to make the project possible.
    The Shanghai dialect is a language derived from Wu dialects spoken by about 80 million people throughout China's mainland.
    The new dictionary will be a major source for new language-input software that will allow users to use a phonetic scheme to produce Chinese characters from words spoken in the Shanghai dialect.
    Software designers will input all the dictionary's phrases into a computer program in September. It will be publicly available within a year. --(6/24)

  • Massive tumor removed from baby's brain
    The Shanghai Children's Medical Center yesterday announced a pediatric breakthrough - and a national record - after removing a huge tumor from a one-month-old baby's brain.
    The infant boy became the youngest patient to undergo such surgery in China.
    Doctors said the boy, an Anhui Province native, is recovering very well and is expected to develop into a healthy child.
    The boy, born on April 30, was much smaller and weaker than other babies. He suddenly started to vomit and sleep for long periods in May.
    When he arrived at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center, he was in a coma and his condition was critical. He had irregular respiration and an enlarged pupil.
    "If we did not conduct proper measure immediately, the boy could have died at any time," said Dr Bao Nan, director of the hospital's neurosurgery department and the infant's leading surgeon.
    Ultrasonic examination found that there was a tumor almost covering the right side of the boy's right brain. Its tissues were pressing on the left side, causing high intracranial pressure and his comatose condition.
    "High intracranial pressure is just like a bomb in the brain, threatening the boy's safety," Bao said.
    Since the patient is so young, doctors performed the operation in two stages. They penetrated the brain to release tumor fluid in a bid to decrease the intracranial pressure. They then removed the tumor on May 29. --(6/22)

  • Central bank evaluates Shanghai's financial sector
    Shanghai's financial sector was found to have improved its ability to handle risks, said a report released by China¡¯s central bank.
    "The central government's financial reforms have achieved dramatic effect in Shanghai,"said the report, which was issued by the Shanghai headquarters of the People's Bank of China on Monday.
    According to the report, Shanghai's financial sector is making steady progress and its ability to hedge against risks has improved dramatically.
    Shanghai's banks, stock exchange and insurance agencies are growing rapidly, said the report. In 2006, total assets of local financial institutions grew 19.1 percent and combined profits grew 14.4 percent.
    Meanwhile, the risk-resistant ability of local banks has improved. The average bad-debt rate of local banks dropped 0.55 percentage points to 2.51 percent last year. Chinese banks in Shanghai have seen a decrease of bad debt for five consecutive years and bad-loans disposal has increased.
    Shanghai's stock market made breakthroughs last year as the split-share reform of listed companies took effect. The profit of local brokerages has increased dramatically after years of treading water, said the report. --(6/21)

  • City to inspect law enforcement departments
    Shanghai is to launch a government-initiated campaign to inspect law enforcement at all-levels in the second half of this year, Jiao Yang, spokesperson for the municipal government, said yesterday.
    The campaign aims to spot and solve major problems in law implementation and to ensure a good legal system for the city.
    The legal affairs office of the municipal government will organize supervision of city-level departments and the Shanghai People¡¯s Congress and People¡¯s Political Consultative Conference. Districts and county level governments will follow suit.
    The inspection will focus on the implementation of six local regulations such as compensation for student injuries at primary and middle schools, management of medical institutions and rules to control and prevent dust pollution.
    Government departments at district and county level will conduct inspections on the implementation of other regulations and rules according to their needs.
    The inspection will be conducted from July through November. --(6/20)

  • Travel for the rich on show
    The first Asia-Pacific tourism market exclusively for the luxury travel industry will open in Shanghai today.
    Organized like a private club, the three-day Asia Luxury Travel Market, an invitation-only event, opens at the Shanghai Exhibition Center and brings together the world's top buyers and sellers of luxury travel.
    About 300 exhibitors and 300 buyers will attend the show, said Reed Travel Exhibitions, the event organizer.
    The ALTM is the new sister event to the International Luxury Travel Market staged every December in Cannes, France.
    "There is no other region in the world with such an exciting growth potential for luxury travel than the Asia-Pacific," said Serge Dive, founder of ALTM.
    China has at least 300,000 individuals with a net worth of more than US$5 million, according to a report by Rupert Hoogewerf. The World Trade Organization predicts that the current 35 million visitors a year from China will rise to at least 100 million by 2020. --(6/19)

  • River parks prepare for floods
    Shanghai's two riverside forest parks have prepared flood warning signs and may close when water exceeds four meters deep, officials said yesterday.
    This year's flood season opened last week, prompting officials to review typhoon plans. The Binjiang Forest Park in Pudong New Area has installed eight probes along the bank to monitor floods in the Huangpu River.
    "As far as we are concerned, this is the first time local parks have been concerned with possible flooding dangers," said Zhuang Jinghua, deputy director of the park.
    Officials at the other riverside park, in Baoshan District near where the Wusong River flows into the Yangtze, said they have also been preparing for the flood season.
    The park may be closed once weather authorities issue strong typhoon alerts, said the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau's Baoshan District branch. Visitors told to leave will have their entry ticket refunded, officials said. --(6/18)

  • Shanghai International Film Festival opens
    More than 270 movie stars from around the world, including Sharon Stone and Maggie Cheung, walked on the red carpet in Shanghai Grand Theatre last night, marking the opening of the 10th Shanghai International Film Festival.
    The film gala will entertain local audience with 800 film shows, organizers said.
    Sixteen films, selected from 895 candidates submitted by 73 countries and regions, will compete for the Jin Jue Award under eight categories at the nine-day festival.
    During the Festival, a number of other activities, including one aimed at promoting foreign investment in Chinese film industry, and a Japanese film week designed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations, will also be staged.
    The Shanghai International Film Festival, initiated in 1993, is the only of its kind in China and one of the two Category A international film festivals in Asia.
    The festival will close on June 24. --(6/17)

  • Fudan to research TV ratings
    Fudan University will team up with CSM Media Research, China's leading television audience measurement service provider, to study changes in TV ratings across the country over the past decade.
    Conducted by Fudan's journalism school, the research will be based on existing ratings, as well as an analysis of audiences, programs and advertisements in 35 major cities since 1997. Lu Ye, vice director of Fudan's information and communication studies center, said the research is part of a shift in journalism education.
    "Most journalism education mainly focuses on teaching students hands-on skills, such as interviewing, news writing, and editing," Lu said yesterday. "But modern media development has pushed us from the news production process to pay more attention to market feedback."
    Fudan opened the country's first rating analysis course in 2005, but until it signed a deal with CSM yesterday it didn't have any access to actual TV ratings.
    "We've noticed a change in Chinese people's TV watching habits... as new TV channels have grabbed audiences from CCTV's monopoly in the 1980s," said Zhou Baohua of the school's public opinion survey center. "But we need statistics to back up our judgment." --(6/15)

  • Innovation urged at universities
    City universities have been urged by senior academics to cultivate highly innovative professionals with a strong sense of social responsibility.
    Presidents of Fudan University, Jiao Tong University, Tongji University and East China Normal University issued their proclamation after they rounded up a forum marking the 30th anniversary since China restored the national college entrance examination. --(6/14)

  • Online Expo in spotlight at Shanghai TV Festival
    A demonstration of the online World Expo Shanghai attracted a lot of attention during a segment of the Shanghai TV Festival held yesterday.
    Zhu Yonglei, deputy director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, delivered a speech about the online Expo and international news media trends.
    Zhu said the World Expo, running for much longer than the Olympics, had many pavilions and exhibits. It is impossible to broadcast everything live via television. The best media to showcase the Expo is the Internet.
    Zhu said Expo organisers would launch the first-ever online Expo to achieve a good interaction between the "real" and "virtual" Expo.
    The online Expo will attach 3D technologies to this new media platform and display the most splendid Expo on the Web, organisers said. --(6/13)

  • Three days of rain in the cards
    It is expected to rain in the city until at least Thursday, weather experts said yesterday.
    The mercury will also drop along with the rain, from the weekend's 30 degrees Celsius, to a range between 24 to 26 degrees Celsius.
    Minimum temperatures will range between 21 and 22 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.
    The rain is expected to clear up from Friday, with cloudy conditions over the weekend and the temperature rising to 27 degrees, the bureau reported.
    However, the experts are still finding it hard to predict the exact date of the plum rain season.
    This year's plum rain season is expected to arrive during the last 10-day period of this month, and will last for more than two weeks, according to the bureau's previous forecast. --(6/12)

  • Advanced electric buses on trial in Shanghai
    A new type of electric bus is expected to roll into operation in Shanghai from next month. The buses can run for hundreds of kilometers once fully charged and are fitted with capacitors and lithium cells which don¡¯t produce emissions and needn¡¯t be charged at every bus stop, the Youth Daily reported today.
    The 12-meter-long and 2.52-meter-tall bus can run for hundreds of kilometers after getting fully charged, said Yan Yuan, an official of Ruihua Group which develops the buses.
    The bus is serving the No.825 route as a trial, and will be used on more routes from next month, Yan said.
    The city formerly used capacitor buses on the No. 11 route¨Cthe buses do not use overhead wires but need be charged at every bus stop.
    However, three days into service, two broke down within hours because of capacitor malfunctions caused by the hot weather. Four others broke down over the next few days for the same reason.
    Engineers fitted the buses with new coolant systems, redesigned the layout of the capacitors so that they are more durable and brought them back to work.
    The government plans to upgrade the city's 20,000 buses to the electric version over the next few years. --(6/11)

  • Education rules
    Educational programs jointly run by local schools and a foreign partner should include information on their enrollment plans, quotas and tuition fees in recruitment ads this year, the Shanghai Education Commission announced yesterday.
    Joint programs are also required to report their enrollment plans and register their recruitment ads with the commission before June 30. Non-degree programs should include the word "training" in the school name to prevent possible misunderstanding. --(6/9)

  • Officials inaugurate Shanghai Customs College
    Shanghai Customs College (SCC) was set up yesterday in Pudong New Area. Shanghai Party secretary Xi Jinping and director of the General Administration of Customs Mou Xinsheng attended the unveiling ceremony, and Mayor Han Zheng addressed guests at the ceremony.
    On behalf of the city government, Han praised the setting up of the SCC and thanked General Administration of Customs and the local customers for supporting Shanghai¡¯s economic development.
    Shanghai Customs College, with a long history and glorious traditions, has cultivated many professionals and talented people who have contributed to the city¡¯s social development. The city government will support customs departments in carrying out responsibilities and obligations, Han said. He also said he hoped the General Administration of Customs would pay more attention to Shanghai.
    Director Mou also sent his best wishes to the SCC teachers who should bear in mind that they are shouldering the responsibilities of cultivating high-level talents for the country. He said advanced customs research would benefit foreign exchanges and cooperation.
    Shanghai Customs College is subordinate to the Customs General Administration of the People's Republic of China, and the only institution accredited to offer professional courses of higher education in the Customs service.
    It is committed to the training high-level technical professionals and experts, to the exploration and study of Customs theories, and to the conducting of international exchanges with world organizations and foreign Customs establishments. --(6/7)

  • Many bus routes will be adjusted
    Planned adjustments to 167 bus routes were published yesterday on the Website of the Shanghai Urban Transport Bureau.
    Residents were invited to comment on the changes and send suggestions by e-mail to The planned adjustments will mainly benefit residents in districts like Pudong, Jinshan and Nanhui. --(6/6)

  • Red card for black tail-lights
    City traffic police have a message for young drivers: Black tail lights are not "cool" - they're illegal.
    They have urged drivers to stay with regular red-and-black tail-light shells as a black refit is potentially dangerous.
    A local newspaper, Shanghai Morning Post, paid undercover visits to several car-repair shops after receiving a tip-off from a reader last week.
    The reader, a driver, said he had spotted a number of vehicles with black tail-lights.
    Car-repair workers told an SMP reporter that it's a growing trend among drivers, especially young ones, to refit their cars with the black rear lamps for a "cool effect."
    "The black lamps match up well with dark-colored cars, such as blue and black ones," a car repair-shop owner was quoted as saying.
    The General Team of Traffic Police told Shanghai Daily that they had so far not received reports from officers that there was a noticeable trend in black rear lamps.
    Officers said the refitting of non-standard car parts is forbidden under Chinese vehicle-administration laws. Violations lead to fines.
    Coloring the lamps black will make brake and tail lights less conspicuous and cause a danger to following vehicles, police said. Annual vehicle checks will stamp out the illegal practice, they added. --(6/5)

  • Taihu Lake crabs still on the menu
    There's at least one piece of good news for beleaguered Taihu Lake.
    Officials with the Management Committee of Taihu Lake said the water quality in east area, the crab zone, has not been affected by the blue-green algae invasion.
    Despite this, officials are taking no chances. About 500 kilograms of spiral shells, twice the amount of last year, and 10 million silver carp, 25 percent more than last year, have been put into the zone to purify the water.
    The silver carp cost four million yuan (US$529,481).
    Taihu Lake is divided into eastern and western parts. The west has only sparse water grass and is now suffering from the algae bloom. The east is in the lower reaches and has a rich cover of water grass, which can prevent algae.
    Even more water grass has been added to the east, with the aim of achieving 70 percent coverage.
    The annual output of Taihu Lake crabs is more than 20,000 tons. About 75 percent of these are sent to Shanghai markets.
    The warm weather this year has also helped in the growth of crabs.
    The crabs will be available in local markets by late October and for three months thereafter. --(6/4)

  • Safety expo opens doors
    The 2007 Shanghai Safety and Equipment Exhibition opened at the Shanghai Exhibition Center yesterday, marking the start of Shanghai Safe Production Month.
    Advanced safety equipment will be on display during the three-day event. Local safety authorities will conduct more inspections and try to increase awareness of safety regulations this month to avoid accidents in the work place. --(6/3)

  • 'Egg' screen gets upgrade
    A giant "egg" in Shanghai's northeastern Wujiaochang area will display cartoon images for a trial period starting yesterday.
    The "egg," actually a massive LED screen made up of thousands of diodes, lights up the Middle Ring Road over the square in Wujiaochang in Yangpu District and is a highlight of the city's newest emerging commercial and business center.
    As more shopping malls open near the screen, the Yangpu District government and the city's appearance watchdog have decided to upgrade the lights on the screen to enable it to show motion pictures. --(6/2)

  • Downtown sidewalk scheme clears clutter
    More than 60 billboards, power poles and telephone kiosks have been moved from sidewalks near major downtown crossroads since January when the city government vowed to make sidewalks more pedestrian-friendly.
    The Shanghai Engineering Administrative Bureau said it plans to remove more than 100 such facilities from 60 sidewalks near crossroads in downtown.
    Sidewalks in Zhabei, Hongkou and Yangpu districts have already been renovated and the project will be expanded to other districts later this year.
    Obstacles have been removed from Sichuan Road, Tianmu Road near the Shanghai Railway Station and sidewalks near the Wujiaochang area.
    The purpose of the project is to improve traffic on sidewalks near crossroads as residents often complain about too many billboards. --(6/1)



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