Road closes until March
Due to urban construction, part of Century Avenue in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial Zone will be off limits to vehicles and pedestrians from December 3 to March, 2010.
The restriction section is from Yincheng Road M. to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, according to the Pudong New Area Public Security Bureau. --(11/30)
Shanghai to elect new mayor in January
Shanghai's legislature will elect a mayor and vice mayors at the first standing committee meeting of the 13th Shanghai People's Congress on January 24, a high-ranking meeting of the congress decided this morning.
The committee will also elect directors of the Shanghai Higher People's Court and the Shanghai Prosecutors' Office.
Also to be elected at the meeting ¨C a director, a secretary and members of the standing committee of Shanghai People's Congress. --(11/29)
Old city in focus
More than 150 historic photos covering events from 150 years ago in the city went on show at the Shanghai Library yesterday to mark the publication of the book "Shanghai Library Historic Photo." The free exhibition will run till December 10. --(11/28)
City's top businesses selected
The city's 100 leading businesses for the past year have been chosen by the Shanghai Private Enterprise Association.
The chosen businesses show the top profits, pay the most tax and employ the most people.
Some of the best known city businesses in manufacturing, commerce and the service industry - like the Spring International Travel Service and the JuneYao Group - are in the list.
Commercial and service industry businesses make up two thirds of the top 100 companies which shows the accent of the city on these fields and the needs of the citizens, the association said.
The top 100 private enterprises have an average registered balance of more than 69 million yuan (US$9.3 million) and there are 12 of these companies with a registered balance of more than 200 million yuan. --(11/27)
Chilly winds bring winter
Bring out the winter clothes this week as temperatures are set to drop six to eight degrees Celsius after yesterday's high of 20 degrees.
A strong cold front from the north is expected to hit this afternoon, with rain and a chilly 14 degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Cloudy skies will see the night temperature drop below 10 degrees on Wednesday and plummet to six degrees on Thursday. Daytime highs will range between 11 and 14 degrees. --(11/26)
The Shanghai Education Commission will launch a citywide series of sports for local primary, secondary and university students this year.
The annual sporting event, which is expected to attract more than 500,000 students, will include altogether games like soccer, basketball, swimming and traditional Chinese folk games. --(11/25)
Enjoy the sun before the cold sneaks in
Enjoy the current warm and sunny weather - a strong cold front from North is expected to bring winter closer to the city at the beginning of the week.
Rain is predicted to lash the city from late Monday to Tuesday morning and temperatures will drop to 17 degrees Celsius on Monday and 13 degrees on Tuesday.
Overcast and cloudy skies are expected from Wednesday as the temperatures plummet even further. The daily lows will also drop below 10 degrees according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Morning low temperatures in the city will range between five and seven degrees and in the suburbs between one and three degrees. --(11/24)
Just the ticket for travelers
Coach travelers in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu Province can now plan their trips more easily with the introduction of cross-locality ticket selling.
Travelers can now buy bus tickets from local offices for long-distance trips starting from stations in six localities in Jiangsu - Changshu, Shengze, Zhenze, Pingwang, Qidu and Taoyuan - in a service launched yesterday.
Travelers from Shanghai will also benefit.
An increased number of visitors are expected to come to town around the 2010 World Expo, and the transport authorities said they were planning to improve ticket selling to prepare for the surge of coach travelers.
The transport authority said they were also introducing cross-town ticket selling to help to shrink business for ticket scalpers.
About 21.7 million people made long-haul bus trips from Shanghai to 700 cities and towns in the first nine months of this year. --(11/23)
Shanghai will spend two billion yuan (US$269 million) buying 8,000 low-rent homes for needy families, Jiefang Daily reported yesterday. About 32,000 families are expected to move into low-rent homes across the city by the end of this year.
The homes will be about 50 square meters each, the report said, quoting a high-level meeting of the Shanghai People's Congress. The plan will be financed from public housing funds. --(11/22)
Twenty French translation works were awarded prizes at the Essilor Cup National French Literature Works Translation Contest this year, the Shanghai International Studies University announced yesterday.
The contest received a total of 202 translations from 53 universities from all over the world. --(11/21)
1m-yuan green scholarship for Tongji
Klaus Toepfer, former under secretary general of the United Nations, donated one million yuan (US$134,689) to set up an environment studies scholarship at Tongji University yesterday.
It's the first nationwide scholarship for students of environment-related majors in China, Tongji officials said.
From next year, five elite students studying environmental management, environmental sciences and environmental engineering at domestic universities will be awarded the Toepfer Environment Scholarship every year.
Scholarship winners will be granted up to 20,000 yuan for their academic research, experiments or social practice achievements, according to Li Fengting, vice dean of Tongji's school of environment engineering.
Toepfer, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said that the scholarship was set up to cultivate young Chinese environmental protection professionals and boost the country's environmental protection development.
"I'm very glad to see work that Shanghai and Tongji made in anti-pollution and environmental protection. But don't forget that Shanghai is a mega-city that faces high pressure," Toepfer said yesterday.
Last May, the German native who devoted his life to studying global warming was employed as chief professor at Tongji's school of environment and sustainable development.
He will spend at least two months each year conducting research and lecturing.
Toepfer is also chief environmental adviser to the city government. --(11/20)
Shopping centers blossom
Shanghai will be home to 50 shopping malls by the end of this year, compared with 47 at the end of last year, and that figure is expected to double by 2010.
Nearly 40 centers are under construction or in planning now, which equals the number of the city's shopping centers that were erected over the past 15 years, city officials said.
The 50 malls will cover six million square meters and are estimated to generate total sales of 40 billion yuan(US$5.39 billion), an increase of eight billion yuan from a year earlier, said an official from the Shanghai Association of Shopping Centers.
By 2010, sales are expected to account for 15 to 20 percent of the total annual retail sales in Shanghai from the current figure of eight percent. --(11/19)
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is working to promote tracking of the entire food chain in China, officials said at a two-day Food Safety and Public Policy International Seminar, which ended Friday.
During the seminar, DSM China introduced an optimum vitamin nutrition project to the nation, allowing feeding animal with balanced nutrition and enhancing tracking of every food product. --(11/18)
Shanghai gets the write stuff
Shanghai will invite five to 10 renowned overseas writers to live in Shanghai and explore the city for one to two months as part of the city's first International Writing Project next August.
They will cooperate with local writers to teach creative writing during their stay in Shanghai, Zang Jianmin, the secretary of Shanghai Writers' Association, said today.
The project will be launched during the first Shanghai Literature Week, which aims to facilitate culture exchanges between foreigners and locals, Zang said.
The keynote speaker has not been revealed yet, but creative writing, including advertising copy and blogging, will play an important role.
Creative writing is still a vague concept for domestic writers and many locals only regard fiction and poetry as creative writing, Zang said, as do many foreigners. --(11/17)
Creativity on display
The 2007 Shanghai International Creative Industry Week kicked off at 1933 Old Millfun in Hongkou district last night. The event was marked by a red carpet ceremony for the first time in the event's history.
The third creative industry week, themed "Creativity & Brand," will wrap up on Wednesday. It covers a display area of 35,000 square meters with the participation of more than 500 creative corporations from 30-plus countries and regions and is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors, making it the largest in the event's history.
Four exhibition sections such as brand exhibition showing off creative products from enterprises from both home and abroad and six festivals are included in the creative industry week's plans for the first time. --(11/16)
Auction for massacre book
A rare historic book about the Japanese atrocities in Nanjing in 1937 will be auctioned in Beijing at the end of the month.
The manuscript of "Witnessing Zhenjiang's Massacre" written by Chinese businessman Zhang Yibo (1884-1964) was previewed at the Shanghai Grand Theater yesterday.
"The manuscripts and the book are of both historical and political value," said Jin Xiaoyuan, marketing manager with the Beijing Council International Auction Co Ltd.
According to her, the book was finished in 1938 by Zhang Yibo when he fled Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, with his family. Zhang printed 1,000 copies and gave them away. In 1948, Zhang transcribed his 300-page book with brush strokes and hid the manuscript in Yangzhou.
"Zhang was really a patriot," Jin said. "No Chinese could be unmoved after reading the book."
The manuscripts were sold in 1988 for 120,000 yuan (US$16,000) to a Chinese film director. --(11/15)
High-tech park eyes Chongming
Shanghai Zhangjiang High-tech Park is expected to set foot into suburban Chongming County by developing a branch on the island, which is undergoing a new round of massive construction, city officials revealed yesterday.
Zhangjiang, one of the city's largest scientific innovation entities, is planning to set up independent zones in Chongming as branches of either its software development or biochemical research park.
Zhangjiang, in Pudong New Area, will invest by purchasing shares of existing industrial zones in Chongming, Zhangjiang officials said.
The upcoming Chongming branch will mainly focus on developing industries such as optoelectronics, ecological sciences, biological technologies and pharmaceutical research.
Animation and TV production companies are also ready to take advantage of Chongming's natural scenery and will set up workshops and even film-making bases, said Wang Rongfang, cultural development specialist with the Zhangjiang High-tech Group.
"After 15 years of rapid development, Zhangjiang is eager to extend its booming business in areas outside Pudong," said Wang. --(11/14)
Traffic on the move
Traffic flow in the city sped up last month compared to the previous month, traffic police said yesterday in their monthly report on road conditions.
Police said they found traffic flow around four busy downtown spots - the Shanghai Railway Station, the Yuyuan Garden, the Jing'an Temple and the Xujiahui area - improved 20 percent from an average of only 12.87kph in September.
There were 2,507 breakdowns on the elevated roads, across-river tunnels and bridges last month, a drop of 17.5 percent from a month earlier.
The average speed during rush hours on downtown elevated roads reached about 25.8kph, a slight improvement from the average 24kph in September.
As well rush-hour congestion on the Yang'an Elevated Road was considerably reduced.
Police warned that some city roads are facing growing pressures because of the Metro construction program. --(11/13)
A total of 4.88 billion yuan (US$651 million) worth of products, technologies and corporate asset and equity were traded at the China International Industry Fair, which concluded in Shanghai on Saturday, according to the fair organizer. About 90,000 visitors attended the fair. --(11/12)
Building begins on green center
Construction began on Friday on an environmentally sound commercial center in Zhenru area of Putuo District with the intention of creating a second downtown for the city.
The commercial zone, which will include a pedestrian mall, an environmentally sound park and entertainment facilities, will cover 6.21 square kilometers.
The center will start from Langao Road in the east and Zhenbei Road in the west, adjoining Wuning Road and Zhongshan Road N. in the south and running up to the Huning Railway Line in the north.
According to the plans, the center of the new downtown will spread over 2.43 square kilometers with a construction area of 4.61 million square meters.
Officials of the Putuo District government yesterday said the project will be a harmonious blend between walkways, commercial outlets, vehicles and the Metro. Sidewalks in the commercial areas on Caoyang Road will link shopping malls and offices. --(11/11)
City spreads fire control awareness
Fire departments held various activities throughout the city to mark the 17th Shanghai Fire Control Day yesterday.
Yesterday morning, the Huangpu District fire authority organized an entertainment show in Yuyuan Garden. It attracted hundreds of visitors and residents. Professional actors were invited to perform cross talks, sing and dance. Some students who created fire control nursery rhymes, folk rhymes and jingles were given prizes.
In the afternoon, the city's fire authority honored 10 residents for outstanding achievement and devotion to fire control.
So far a total of 30 common people have been awarded the prizes including neighborhood committee members and community fire security assistants.
The day was highlighted with the opening of the Shanghai Fire Control Museum. Spread out over more than 2,400 square meters, the museum can be found inside the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau headquarters on Zhongshan Road W, Changning District. --(11/10)
Progress on black fumes
More than 95 percent of public buses in Shanghai no longer have emissions problems, the Urban Transport Management Bureau said yesterday as it continues a crackdown on eliminating black fumes.
Alarming black-fume emissions from buses pushed authorities to announce a quality improvement program in June.
The efforts are paying off, said the Urban Transport Management Bureau.
The bureau said its investigation found 4.3 percent of the city's 18,000-plus buses were still belching out black fumes. The number was 19.3 percent in August.
The bureau's plan calls to eliminate black fumes from all transit buses before the end of this year.
The bureau said black fume emissions are a major air pollutant and blamed it on old buses that are poorly maintained and improper operation by drivers.
To meet its goal, transport planners were ordering bus companies to replace old buses with new models that meet National III Standards - the highest - or repair and upgrade buses in service that meet National II Standards.
Buses that do not meet National II Standards or above have to be taken out of service.
The government will offer subsidies to bus companies for discarding old buses before the legal disposal deadline.
Up to 2,150 old buses have been replaced so far this year and more than 1,000 new buses have been ordered. --(11/9)
Museum to sound the fire alarm
The Shanghai Fire Control Museum will be opened tomorrow, the city's 17th Fire Control Day.
Spread out over more than 2,400 square meters, the museum can be found inside the headquarters of the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau on Zhongshan Road W, Changning District.
In the lobby, visitors first see a replica of one of Shanghai's old wood and iron fire engines. The first floor of the museum comprises fire education halls with games and displays.
One of the more popular games is expected to be one in which visitors will become the heroes of simulated fires. --(11/8)
Panda lands in Shanghai
The American-born panda Mei Sheng safely arrived in the city from the United States at 6:15pm yesterday and is expected to leave for the Wolong Panda Research Center in Sichuan Province at noon today.
Mei Sheng comes back to find himself a bride and is expected to "get married" - or at least engaged - between March and May next year.
After a 20-hour journey from Los Angeles, the panda is in good condition, according to Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co Ltd, which handled the panda's traveling arrangements.
This is the first time Mei Sheng has flown, and the company and the San Diego Zoo where the panda was born spent some time preparing for the journey.
Shanghai Customs officials escorted him to the Shanghai Wildlife Park where he stayed last night after a brief welcoming ceremony.
Born at San Diego Zoo on August 19, 2003, Mei Sheng has been a hit with zoo visitors since he made his public debut. --(11/7)
Fudan drops exam for bright foreign entrants
Some foreign students will be able to enroll at Fudan University next year by interviews, without sitting the school's annual academic exams.
Until now, applicants to Fudan and Jiao Tong universities had to take the schools' written examinations to gain admission, while those to other local universities don't have the examination or interview requirements.
Fudan University announced yesterday it would introduce the exam-free admission model into its foreign student enrollment program next year.
The new policy will mainly be implemented in about 30 high schools, such as Shanghai Middle School and a couple of schools in Japan and South Korea.
Principals of the listed schools can recommend their top students for exam-free admission, Fudan officials said.
But they will still need to take a comprehensive ability test as well as a face-to-face interview next March before receiving an admission letter.
About 40 foreigners will benefit from the new policy, accounting for about 10 percent of Fudan's overseas intake next year.
"Our biggest wish is to encourage high schools to send more top and elite foreign students to Fudan," said Wu Huizhen, director of Fudan's foreign students' office.
In 2005, Fudan launched its first foreign student admission exam to test applicants on their Chinese language ability, maths and professional skills.
Foreigners need to apply between March 31 and April 11 next year for the annual academic admission exam scheduled for May 10 and 11.
Fudan now has more than 2,800 foreign students studying for more than six months. --(11/6)
Faster tests for lung disease
Two city hospitals are trying a new diagnostic test for respiratory diseases that can detect the cause within four hours rather than the current three or four days, a medical conference was told at the weekend.
Over 1,350 experts from home and abroad took part in the five-day International Symposium on Respiratory Diseases.
"The effects (of the technology) have been confirmed in the US and Europe. The city's science and technology committee has required Zhongshan Hospital and Huashan Hospital to launch local tests," said Dr Bai Chunxue, vice director of Chinese Medical Association's respiratory disease branch and director of Zhongshan Hospital's pulmonary disease department.
"We will start research later this month and the results will be known in one year. If the effects are confirmed, the tests will be promoted among more hospitals in the city."
Respitory syndrmes affect some 70 million people in China. --(11/5)
Couples relive halcyon honeymoon days in city
Six couples from other provinces who spent their honeymoon in Shanghai have been invited back by the city''s tourism authority to relive their memories.
The lucky couples were selected by more than 210,000 Netizens from 92 pairs who sent their pictures and love stories to Guangdong-based South China TV, said Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission.
Some of the six, from Hong Kong and Guangdong, Hunan and Sichuan provinces, were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
Wan Chuanyun, 62, and his wife Li Changde, 57, who have just celebrated their 40th ruby anniversary, visited Shanghai for a late honeymoon in the early 1970s from Chengdu in Sichuan Province with their son.
"At that time we didn''t have time for a honeymoon after we got married, and we had always felt sorry about that," said Wan. "So after our son was born, we decided to make up for it, and we chose Shanghai.
"We know the city has changed a lot since then, and we''re looking forward to seeing how the city looks now," he said before starting his five-day trip that wraps up on Monday. --(11/4)
Eight Metro lines to run in city this year
Shanghai will have a total of eight Metro lines in use by the end of this year, Xinhua news agency reported today.
The northern extension of Line 1, the repaired section of Line 4, Line 6, the first phase of Line 8 and Line 9 will join the current Metro line system, which consists of Line 1 to Line 5.
The updated system will cover 236 kilometers and have 163 stations, the report said.
Tests have been conducted on nine trains for Line 6, 19 trains for Line 8 and 10 trains for Line 9, the report said.
Shanghai has six transfer hubs for Metro lines, including Zhongshan Park Station, People's Square Station and Shiji Avenue Station. --(11/3)
Shanghai to aid needy students
The Shanghai Municipal government will aid needy college and advanced vocational students with scholarships, part-time jobs and loan guarantees, said Jiao Yang, the government's spokeswoman on Wednesday.
College and advanced vocational students from other regions of the country can also enjoy the assistance packages.
Scholarships worth a combined 58.72-million-yuan (US$ 7.88 million) benefited 45,924 needy students last year.
The policy also encourages donations from enterprises, social groups and individuals. Cooperation between schools and enterprises is expected to offer some part-time posts for needy students.
The improved aid system aims to help needy students to finish their studies, develop the city¡¯s vocational education and guarantee the aid funds. --(11/2)
Bridge to straddle Yangtze in June next year
A bridge connecting mainland Shanghai and its two largest islands will open to the public in June.
Builders laid the first steel deck slab on the 730-meter-long suspension bridge on October 25. The bridge across the Yangtze River will link Pudong with Chongming and Changxing islands.
The two-part slab was raised by a barge crane to a height of 50 meters and was then installed on one of the two bridgeheads, which resembled the Chinese character ren (person), the report said.
The structure of the suspension bridge is based on a technology called separate twin-box deck segment. A beam connects the two parts of the slab, with a 10-meter-long slot between them. This makes the bridge look like two separate spans standing side by side, according to Yang Zhide, the deputy chief of the China Aviation Industrial Corporation II, which is building it.
After all the slabs are installed, the bridge will host a six-lane expressway and railway tracks, the report said.
When the entire bridge is completed, it will set many world records, such as the first bridge in the world to have a 105-meter-long composite beam and a ren-shaped bridgehead, the report said.
The bridge was part of the 12.6-million-yuan (US$1.68 million) project to shorten the distance between Shanghai and Chongming and Changxing islands. The project also calls for the construction of an 8.9-kilometer-long undersea tube for cars and subway trains. --(11/1)