Monthly Archives: March 2011

Family policy relaxed in Beijing for more couples

China’s capital city will make fewer couples subject to the fines charged to those who violate China’s family planning policy by having a second child, according to the municipal commission of population and family planning.

Under the new guidelines, Beijing couples that are composed of two only children and that give birth to a second child will be charged fines only if both the mother is younger than 28 and the second child is born within four years after the first.

In the past, such couples had to pay a fifth of their annual income if they had a second child either when the mother was younger than 28 or did not wait at least four years after the birth of the first child.

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Many want women to work longer

Most people like the idea of making the retirement age for women the same as the one for men.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they support the idea of equalizing the retirement ages while some experts also endorsed the idea, pointing out that Chinese women currently retire at a younger age than their peers in other countries.

The nation’s current legal retirement age for men is 60 and it is 50 for regular female workers and 55 for female civil servants and professionals.

The survey, conducted by the Women’s Studies Institute of China under the All-China Women’s Federation, polled 4,188 men and women in Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Sichuan provinces.

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Chinese scientists set to lead the world

China has shot into second place in the world in terms of the number of scientific articles that are published in international magazines and the country’s scientists are set to take the top spot from the United States in the next few years, according to a new report.

“China has already overtaken the UK and is the second leading producer of research publications, but some time before 2020 it is expected to surpass the US,” said the report from the Royal Society in London.

While the top 10 is still dominated by major Western powers, their share of published research papers is falling, it noted.

Brazil and India are among countries that are quickly making their way up the list.

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Wen renews anti-corruption call

Premier Wen Jiabao renewed his call for a fight against corruption, which he believes can undermine social stability if it is not dealt with properly.

At a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, Wen listed a series of priorities set for China’s anti-graft efforts in 2011, calling on the government to strive to prevent abuses of power, dereliction of duty and other types of misconduct.

Officials, along with their families and aides, are forbidden to interfere in or manipulate bid activities, Wen said. They are required to report their assets and the employment statuses of their family members. Officials will be held accountable if they accept bribes, either in cash, securities or payment cards, he said.

Leaders in State-owned enterprises are further forbidden from seeking illicit gains through businesses dealings or through trading, Wen noted. China has made progress in responding to the complaints of citizens and reducing administrative costs over the past year. But it is still in an extremely difficult point in its development, according to Wen.

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China set for No 1 spot by 2030

The World Bank’s chief economist said on Wednesday that China’s economy will probably become the world’s biggest by 2030, when it will be twice the size of the United States, if measured in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP).

“China could maintain GDP growth of 8 percent over the next 20 years, which will make it the world’s biggest economy,” said Justin Lin, senior vice-president and chief economist at the bank. He added that by 2030 the Chinese economy may be approximately the same size as that of the US at market exchange rates in terms of nominal GDP.

Lin made the remarks at the China Economic Development Forum in Hong Kong.

In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy. It has set a target of 8 percent for GDP growth for this year. The country is also aiming to record average annual GDP growth of 7 percent in each of the next five years.

Lin said that by 2030, the country’s per capita income, measured in terms of PPP, may reach 50 percent of the per capita income in the US.

Read more at China set for No 1 spot by 2030

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Rich philanthropists acting in poor taste

Philanthropy in China is changing. Not only are more people accumulating wealth, but they’re giving away more of it. Privately run charities are moving into a sector dominated by government, and transparency and accountability are expected to improve.

Some big donors are setting clear guidelines on how their gifts should be used, while others – Chen Guangbiao is the leading example – continue to hand out money directly in a high-profile fashion.

Critics say Chen is showing off and stripping the dignity of recipients. Defenders applaud his public example of charity. Social welfare scholars wonder about the efficiency and effectiveness of such direct donations.

The diverse and often well- publicized donations of the rich have ignited debate.

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He’s honest about being honest

One zealous government official in East China was so determined to show how clean he was, in a high-profile sort of way, that he made a show of returning bribes – on a local website.

Zhang Xifei, the deputy director of the economy and information commission’s trading department in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, said he would provide a good example in how to deal with temptation.

Zhang posted three receipts of money that had been mailed back to three companies, on a website he started and used as the commission’s official one, on March 17.

Previously he posted three postal receipts of returned bribes, which he received earlier, on the website, along with an “honest declaration” letter, on Oct 17, 2010.

The returned money amounted to about 9,000 yuan ($1,370). The 42-year-old Zhang maintained he would continue to do this and that it had become a habit.

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March 2011 Update

Rolf arrived back in China safely and hit the ground running! He arrived on a Saturday the 19th of February and school started Monday, the 20th.  He has a full schedule with 4 morning classes. Two of those classes are on Tuesdays when he takes an early morning school bus to another campus of the university. He also has 4 evening classes, two of which are classes teaching the new Chinese English teachers his teaching methods. Some of his classes are 70+ students, over 400 students in all – a lot of names to remember and a lot of papers to grade! Friday evenings are spent doing English corners and Saturday mornings he teaches German to a local business woman.

“I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1)

This makes for a long week of teaching and not much free time nor has he had the energy to return to the gym to take care of himself. Other than time, there is no problem connecting with the students. In fact they are pursuing him. An example of this is this text he received from a student recently, “Good morning Professor Rolf, I am the boy who talked about Obama with you yesterday night. First, thanks for your willingness after class to help us English learners. As you can see we learn it diligently. I’d like to dialogue more with you if you are available. I wanna know more about the USA and perhaps we can be very good friends. All the best wished to you, good work and good day up.”

He is bombarded with text messages and phone calls from students who want to make friends or practice their English. With this heavy schedule please PRAY Rolf can keep his focus on his calling and that God would give him discernment with which students he should be spending time. PRAY for his energy, health and strength to do that.  He is feeling a bit weary right now.

Many of the students are also eager to help him. After one of his first introductory classes a student wrote him, “Hi Professor Rolf: I am the student who gave you a letter after class two days ago. I said I love your teaching style and want to share my food with you because you are not interest in cooking. I think it is not convenient for you to buy something you need because of language barrier. But I would love to help if you want…At last, I am glad to meet my first English professor. I could not wait to communicate with you if possible!”

Apparently some other students are also concerned with Rolf’s lack of interest in cooking because 4 of them came to his apartment last Sunday and cooked dinner for him. It was a fun evening and a good time of getting to know each other. They had earlier all gone to church with Rolf and so when they came over he was able to give them the Jesus bracelet and the “An Anchor the Soul” book.  PRAY they will get to know Him as they continue to learn more about Jesus.

We are thankful things at home are going smooth, at least right now, but it still can be tough being separated. We are very thankful and grateful for all the support Sherri has from family and friends. It relieves Rolf’s mind to know she is being cared for. YOU, our team are the reason we can do what we do and we love you, And glory to God for He is the reason we all do what we do!

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Yuan not to blame for trade gap with US

China’s rising inflation is partly rooted in the rapid monetary expansion of the United States, and the real concerns for the US economy are its lack of competitiveness and trade deficits and not of the China factor, US economists said on Wednesday.

“The reason Americans can live beyond their means is that the Chinese are living beneath their means,” said Peter Schiff, president and chief global strategist at Euro Pacific Capital, at a seminar held by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

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Top legislator warns of chaos unless correct path is taken

The country’s top legislator on Thursday warned of a possible “abyss of internal disorder” if China strays from the “correct political orientation”.

China will never adopt a multiparty revolving-door system or other Western-style political models, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said while delivering a work report.

The establishment of a socialist law system, with Chinese characteristics, institutionally and legally ensures the country stays on the right path, he told about 3,000 NPC deputies.

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