|Cover Story| |FYI| |In short| |Best Bites| |Comrade| |Classifieds|
|Culture Scene| |Zhao le| |Ask Ayi| |Comics| |Back Issues| |Home|

China's best English language website and weekly newspaper


Masters of War

China compares the United States to Nazi Germany and says NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia reflects Washington's ambition to become "Lord of the Earth."

"If you ask which country wants to become 'the Lord of the Earth' as the then Nazi Germany tried to, there is only one answer," says a commentary in the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party.

It continues, "It is the hegemonism-pursuing United States." In likening the United States to Nazi Germany, the newspaper cites its massive defense budget, the bombing of Yugoslavia without UN sanction and the killing of civilians during the air campaign in Yugoslavia.

NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia "has let more and more people see more clearly the ferocious appearance of the US hegemonism and its ambition to dominate the world", it says. China's embassy was bombed by NATO planes during the US-led alliance's air campaign against Yugoslav forces. The United States called the deadly bombing a mistake and apologized to China, but an enraged Beijing has rejected this explanation.

Beijing consistently opposed NATO's air campaign, fearing it could set a precedent for "interference" in Chinese problems such as Taiwan and Tibet. China's state-run media portrayed Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic as a hero fighting NATO aggression.

The People's Daily says NATO's intervention was aimed at expanding its influence eastward and paving the way for the United States to "control all of Europe."

China's foreign ministry says it is unconvinced by reports of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, where many ethnic Albanians are said to have been massacred at the hands of Serbs.

"We must conduct an earnest and serious investigation before making any judgments," ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue says in Beijing.

Bull Market

The number of stock investors in Beijing has grown by more than 4,000 a day in the past week as a result of a recent bull market, state media reports.There were 1.52 million stock investors in Beijing by the end of June, Xinhua news agency adds.

"Some stock companies are trying to lure more investors to open trading accounts by waiving the account's opening fee," says Zhang Jinglin, vice-president of the Beijing Securities Registering Company Ltd.

His company has opened new service windows, extended service hours, and even added mobile service outlets to cope with the skyrocketing number of new investors, he says. Training schools and paging companies are also reaping fat profits from the surge in stock investors.

"We offer classes in stock investing once a week now, compared to once in two or three weeks in the past, and 80 percent of our students are new stock investors," says the president of the Superwave Securities School in Beijing.

Chin's current bull run began on May 19, boosted by government endorsements in the official news media.

Private Education

Cash-strapped China is advocating a "change of philosophy" in educational funding, demanding that universities begin responding to market demands, an editorial in an official daily says.

Top officials attending a national education conference in Beijing say a "change of philosophy in educational development" has become a dire necessity in modern China, says the opinion piece in the Beijing Daily.

"It is now clear that education must, to some extent, be responsive to market demand," the editorial continues. It adds that limited financial support for institutions has compromised the breadth of coverage of China's nine-year compulsory education program, while colleges are producing graduates "whose qualifications have not prepared them for available jobs."

Conference participants concluded the government should focus investment on elementary and secondary school education, leaving colleges and universities to "be more closely linked to institutions focused on profit."

"All sorts of education methods may be tried, as long as they are in line with relevant laws and regulations," the paper cites Premier Zhu Rongji as telling the conference. A separate commentary in the newspaper lauds a recent loan of ¥500 million (US$60 million) from the Huaxia Bank to the prestigious Beijing University.

"Outdated concepts concerning education, which were developed during the days when China followed a planned economy, must be discarded in favor of those which recognize the realities of a market economy," it says.

"Education is not a one-man show run by the government‹more diverse elements of society must be involved," the commentary adds. Although the newspaper stresses that China's education budget is increasing annually, funding as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has continued to fall for years.

Sun To Blame For Ozone Hole

The hole in the ozone layer in the south pole is due to the sun, not people according to research by a Chinese scientist, Xinhua news agency says.

Yang Xuexiang, a professor of geological sciences at Changchun University of Technology, believes the damage is caused by solar winds, a current of high-energy particles, rather than the use of freon, claims the official news agency.

Yang, who is engaged in research into the evolution of the earth and changes in the global climate, published his research in an article in the May Chinese edition of the US-based Scientific American magazine, it says. He argues the solar wind has made the atmosphere at the south pole thinner.

The eruption of volcanoes in the southern hemisphere then released large amounts of harmful gas, which damaged the ozone layer there. A third factor is that the solar high-energy particle currents consume ozone both at the south and the north poles when they enter the eart'¹s atmosphere.

British scientists discovered a huge "ozone hole" above the south pole in 1985, and most scientists worldwide believe it is the use of freon by man that has sharply reduced the ozone volume.

Yang argues the northern hemisphere is where the use of freon is concentrated and so if the freon theory was correct, the ozone hole should have appeared above the north pole instead of the south pole, Xinhua says. He says that most planets, including the earth, may lose part of their mass when they move toward the sun. This lays the foundation for the evolution of atmospheres on planets. For instance, he says, planets near the sun, such as Mercury, have very thin atmospheres, while planets far from the sun have much thicker atmospheres.

As the earth's atmosphere is protected by the geomagnetic layer, only a small amount of the solar high-energy particles can penetrate it and reach the south and north poles along the lines of magnetic force. So the ozone layers at the two poles were the first to be destroyed, he argued.

According to his calculations, 6.6 percent more particles accumulate at the south pole than the north annually, giving rise to the gradual enlargement of the ozone hole there.

The solar high-energy particles may consume 10 percent of the ozone volume of the earth each year and the ozone hole is moving from the south pole to the north pole and should reach there in about 10,000 years, he said.

China Eyes Securities Crime

China is considering raising the penalties for securities-trading offenses to include jail time and heavy fines, a state newspaper says.

The move by the Chinese legislature is part of a crackdown on economic crimes and rampant stock market abuses. Insider trading, price manipulation and other offenses that now are punished by fines or the loss of trading privileges will be given criminal status, the China Securities News says.

China's fledgling, poorly regulated securities industry is a hotbed of insider trading and other abuses that have badly damaged investor confidence.

In an unusual move to reassure investors, leading brokerages published a letter in major Chinese financial newspapers promising not to cheat customers.


  Previous Stories...

June 25 - July 1, 1999

June 18 - 24, 1999

June 11 - 17, 1999

June 4 - 10, 1999

May 28 - June 3, 1999

May 21 - 27, 1999

May 7 - 13, 1999

April 30 - May 6, 1999

cartoon FYI In Short