Monday, October 13, 2008

State-owned companies still biggest taxpayers in China

A list of Chinese companies paying the highest taxes in the nation shows that the state-owned companies are still the biggest taxpayers in China.

It also reveals an imbalance between different geographical regions.

According to a ranking released Saturday by the State Administration of Taxation and China Taxation Magazine, companies in eastern China pay the most taxes.

Of 2007's top 500 tax-paying companies, 359 are located in the highly developed east.

Only 83 are headquartered in central China and 58 come from thewest. These areas have fewer companies and are less developed.

Analysis of the list showed state-owned enterprises paid the most taxes in China. Three hundred and five state-owned companies made the list. They paid 89.75 percent of the total taxes collected by the top ranked 500 companies.

By industry, manufacturing enterprises contributed the most taxes, specifically chemical companies. China National Petroleum Corporation and China Petrochemical Corporation took the top two positions on the list.

"Major taxation contributors still concentrated in heavy chemical industries such as oil and coal, which suggested that China's economic development relies too much on manufacturing and resource consumption," said Zhang Musheng, head of the China Taxation Magazine.

Despite rapid growth of the national economy, China is still weak in service and technology-oriented industries, said Zhang.

Source: Xinhua

Barroso says ties with China top priority of EU foreign policy

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday that relations with China is a top priority of the European Union 's foreign policy.

In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to the EU Song Zhe, Barroso said the EU is willing to take the opportunity of the forthcoming 7th Asia-Europe Meeting and the 11th EU-China Summit to strengthen the EU-China cooperation in bilateral and international affairs, thus to give a new impetus to the development of the EU-China relations.

Barroso and the Chinese ambassador discussed matters concerning ASEM to be held in Beijing on Oct. 24-25 and the EU-China Summit scheduled for the end of the year in France.

They also exchanged views on such issues as the current financial crisis and globalization.

Barroso said he was looking forward to attending ASEM and wished it a great success.

The EU chief also congratulated China on the success of the Beijing Olympics.

Source: Xinhua

Pakistani president expects to learn from China during maiden visit

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that he would learn from China and further develop bilateral relation during his first visit to China.

While speaking to Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui, Zardari said he is expecting the visit to China and wants to get to know the Chinese leaders.

Zardari will pay a state visit to China from Oct. 14 to 17, his first trip abroad since assuming office in September.

Pakistan, as a friendly neighbor, hopes it could benefit from China's rapid development, said Zardari, adding that his visit will focus on such fields as economy, trade, finance and energy.

Zardari said the new Pakistani government is committed to consolidating friendly relations with China, deepening mutually-beneficial cooperation and pursuing common development.

During his four-day visit to China, Zardari is expected to hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and meet with other Chinese leaders, including top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and top political advisor Jia Qinglin.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese official calls for int'l co-op to restore financial stability

Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang called for international cooperation on Saturday to restore global financial stability.

"Our current priority is to enhance international cooperation to prevent further deterioration and spillover of the crisis and restore global economic and financial stability," Yi said.

The deepening and widening of the U.S. financial crisis have triggered a major global slowdown and escalating uncertainty, Yi Gang said in a statement at the 18th meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee held here Saturday.

While the advanced economies have slowed significantly since the U.S. sub-prime crisis, the emerging market economies have maintained robust growth but the deteriorating external environment is putting the resilience of their macroeconomic policies to the test, he said.

The crisis has underscored shortcomings in the financial markets, Yi said. He expressed his hope that the stabilizing measures of the advanced economies will have the positive effect of calming the markets and restoring confidence.

"China is willing to strengthen its cooperation with other countries and, through such joint efforts, we hope global financial stability can be safeguarded," he said.

In line with their status, Yi said, the major reserve currency issuing countries should shoulder the responsibility for preventing further spillovers and minimizing shocks to other economies -- especially to the emerging markets.

To promote balanced and steady global growth over the longer term, efforts should be made to advance structural reforms and increase savings, he pointed out.

The International Monetary Fund -- at the core of the international monetary system -- should carry out its mandate to safeguard global economic and financial stability, he said. The IMFC is the steering committee of the 185-nation lending institution.

Yi also noted that as the impact of the crisis on the real economy is much worse than expected and the recovery more protracted and difficult, the risks of deflation in some countries as a result of the credit crunch have increased significantly.

"It is imperative that the major advanced economies coordinate rapid implementation of bailout packages to avoid deflation and facilitate the global recovery," said Yi.

"However, we should be aware that the injection of liquidity from these emergency measures could be a potential source of inflation in the medium and long term," the deputy governor said.

Source: Xinhua

Chinese, Macedonian PMs exchange congratulations on 15th anniversary of ties

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski exchanged congratulatory messages on Sunday to mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In the messages, Wen and Gruevski spoke highly of the encouraging progress that has been achieved in the bilateral ties over the past 15 years.

The two leaders also pledged joint efforts to advance the China-Macedonia ties based on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit for the well-being of the peoples of the two countries.

On the same day, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Macedonian counterpart Antonio Milososki also exchanged congratulations.

Source: Xinhua

Tibet, Xinjiang inspect public buildings after deadly quakes

Construction authorities in west China's Tibet and Xinjiang regions are inspecting the integrity of public buildings after two strong earthquakes shook the remote areas last weekend.

Schools, hospitals, shopping malls, coach stations and railway stations in the Tibet regional capital of Lhasa and prefectures of Xigaze and Shannan will be assessed for damages and stability, said Wang Yalin, deputy director of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Construction Department.

"If an unstable building is found, construction experts will tell relevant government departments to reinforce the building or take other measures," he said.

A 6.6-magnitude quake hit Damxung County, 82 km north of Lhasa, Oct. 6. Ten people were killed and 34 others injured, mainly women, children and the elderly.

In a high school in Shannan, one teenager was killed and 15 others injured in a stampede that occurred while the students evacuated during the quake.

At least 147 houses were toppled.

A separate 6.8-magnitude quake struck Oct. 5 in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Construction authorities there have also started inspecting schools, kindergartens, hospitals and other public buildings. More than 700 houses suffered structural damage; four collapsed. No casualties were reported.

"Unstable buildings will be consolidated or stopped from being used," said Li Jianxin, director of the Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Construction Department.

Source: Xinhua

Muslim food industry in China vows to ensure food safety

Muslim food business leaders in China are pledging product safety and vowing to follow their religious teachings in food production.

200 Muslim food business leaders made that declaration while attending an ongoing international trade fair in the northwest Chinese city of Xining.

This is the latest move by the country's food industry to self-regulate after a series of safety scandals.

"The recent Sanlu baby milk powder safety incident severely endangered consumer's health and damaged the international image of Chinese food businesses," Wang Zhanhe, general manager of the restaurant chain, Little Sheep Group Ltd., said while reading out the Chinese Muslim Food Industry Declaration on Quality and Credibility on behalf of manufacturers at the fair.

"We will strictly abide by the laws and regulations of China and other countries in the world, implement the halal standard, and create a safe and reliable halal food market," the declaration said.

"The declaration reiterated the social morality that an enterprise must have," said Chawalit Na Muangtoun, representative of Thailand's Chia Tai Group and president of the company's subsidiary in north China's Hebei Province.

"At Chia Tai Group, we believe in the concept of using morality to direct production and sales," he said.

Chawalit said food enterprises should lose money rather than make it immorally.

Members of foreign business delegations voiced appreciation for the food safety declaration.

"We hope these goals can be done by all the halal companies and all the dairy companies in China," said Kamarul Arifin Ab. Gani, agriculture counselor of Malaysia Embassy. "Every company should follow the declaration."

Shahzad Hussain Rana, commercial counselor of the Pakistan Consulate General, said products made in China can be found almostevery where in his country.

"Mistakes might happen, but I think China is a very responsible country and the control of quality is good for protecting the people," Rana said.

The China International Halal Food and Product Fair is one the most important halal fairs in the world. More than 400 international business people, experts and officials from 26 countries and regions attended the fair this year.

Source: Xinhua