Monday, October 13, 2008

Dairy giants apologize for scandal

Top managers of the country's three leading dairy companies - Mengniu, Yili and Bright Dairy - issued their first public apology yesterday for their companies' involvement in the ongoing contaminated milk scandal.

During a talk show program, Dialogue, broadcast last night on the economic channel of China Central Television, executives of the three companies admitted to "the problems and mistakes" of their firms.

Their apology came one month after the surfacing of the scandal involving tainted milk products from dairy giant Sanlu Group, in which melamine-contaminated baby formula had sickened thousands of infants nationwide with kidney-related illnesses.

Products from three dairy brands were also tested and found to be contaminated with melamine, a chemical that was added to the dairy products to raise protein levels.

Guo Benheng, CEO of Shanghai-based Bright Dairy, confessed that the scandal shocked the industry and exposed problems such as loose quality supervision and lack of business ethics, which seriously affected consumer confidence in the industry.

"All companies should guarantee quality and safety, and build market confidence from scratch," said Zhao Yuanhua, Mengniu's marketing chief. The company is based in Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Responding to an estimate that the three enterprises may have suffered a loss of 200 million yuan in the scandal, all three executives believed the final figure could be much higher.

The scandal broke out early last month, when 14 infants from Gansu province, all of whom had been drinking formula produced by Sanlu, were found afflicted with kidney stones.

So far, more than 53,000 children across the country have been diagnosed with similar problems.

After the scandal spread to include more dairy brands and products, enterprises reportedly strengthened self-monitoring and other measures, to ensure milk products on the market are safe for consumption.

The latest tests by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine showed that samples of 855 batches from 77 brands of liquid milk produced after Sept 14 did not contain melamine.

Source: China Daily

African museum opens in Shanghai

A museum meant to help Chinese learn more about life and culture in African has been built in Shanghai.

The Museum for An Experience of African Lifestyle, which is now in open to the public, is Located on Xianggang Road near the Bund.

An opening ceremony will be held in November, according to Cheng Hui, chairman of the board of Into Africa Cultural Development Co. and also one of the museum's investors. He was unable to provide an exact date.

"African art is quite different to our taste, it takes time for ordinary people to accept it," said Cheng.

Refurbished from an old warehouse, the museum has 400 square meters of floor space and a budget of one million yuan . It houses artwork from more than 20 African nations, including wood and stone carvings, an Egyptian water pipe and tea from South Africa.

"Africa is definitely a potential rising overseas tourist destination for Chinese people as Sino-African ties continue to warm up," Cheng said. "Chinese tourists may come and visit our museum to learn more about Africa and get well prepared before they travel to the African continent."

Mfana July Gininda, political consul of South Africa's consulate in Shanghai, said the museum reminded him of his hometown.

Source: Xinhua

Man-Chung Tang: all my bridges are my Children

"All the bridges I have built are my children and I love them all", Man-Chung Tang, foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said that recently in an exclusive interview with People's Daily Online. Tang was one of the fifty winners of the Friendship Award of 2008.

The Friendship Award, set up in 1991, is China's highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress.

In June 2000, Dr. Tang was elected as a Foreign Member to the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The Chinese Academy of Engineering is the highest honorary and advisory organization for engineering and technology in China-an election to the Academy is considered the highest title and life-long honor an engineer can receive in China.

China should have stricter regulation and supervision to ensure the quality of bridges.

When asked about China's technology on bridge engineering compared to the western world, Dr. Tang said that whatever the American or the European can do, China can do. And China can produce the same construction material. The main difference is about quality. China has built a lot of bridges in the last 20 years. In China, some people don’t have the strive for quality. One problem is the lacking of regulation to enforce the quality. The second problem Tang said was the inspection or supervision on bridge construction: both in design, and construction.

Chinese students lacking creativity and flexibility

As Tang said Chinese engineer are very good engineers. They learn a lot in the universities, and can do a lot analyses. The thing Chinese students lack are creativity and flexibility.

In china, there are too many examinations, which test students what they learn, but don't test what they don't learn in the classes. Everybody is trying to read the book very carefully, but then they don't teach them how to create new ideas, how to be innovative. They don't teach them things other than the main course.

"Most today's bridges in China are just the copies of the bridges in the western world. Very few are Chinese made." Tang said.

Tang has established a scholarship for the poor students in Chongqing, and 32 students this year took it. He said the purpose of the scholarship was to spread a message, 'just the score is not enough, they have to think.'

By People's Daily Online

Mobile phone on Chinese learning shown to public

A type of mobile phone specifically designed for foreigner learning Chinese was recently shown to the public by Huadong Normal University.

Users can get access to the interface of Chinese learning just by tapping the mobile phone, which offers Chinese pronunciation, phrase and even mutual translation between Chinese and other languages.

Researchers said that this is the first mobile phone on Chinese learning specifically designed for foreigners in the world.

Statistics shows that there are as much as 40 million people learning Chinese across the world besides China nowadays. This type of mobile phone will make Chinese learning more convinient for foreigners.

By People’s Daily Online

Zhou's Omega Championship success hails new star

Zhou Jun, 24, became the Omega China Tour's youngest-ever champion on Sunday after a closing one-under-par 71 completed his remarkable wire-to-wire victory in the RMB1 million Omega Championship, the circuit's season-ending event.

The Tianjin-based professional finished with a six-under total of 282, a full seven strokes clear of Wu Kangchun, his former national teammate and playing partner for the fourth successive day at the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club.

Wu, 27, also shot a closing 71 for his best result on Tour since winning last year's Sofitel Golf Championship in his first event as a pro. Chinese Taipei's Chan Yih-shin, 31, finished thirdon two-over after a 77.

Zhou picked up a cheque for 187,500 yuan after winning the Tour's richest event, which also helped him leap to third on the 2008 Omega Order Merit with 263,300 yuan.

Liao Guiming was also in celebratory mood after securing his first Omega Order of Merit title, having first led the money list in early September following his third successive top-two finish.

Liao, who finished 17th in Beijing after a closing 73, won a total of RMB375,125 to finish ahead of Zhang Lianwei , the 2006 Omega Order of Merit winner.

Liao succeeds Li Chao, who could have won his third Omega Orderof Merit in four seasons if he had won in Beijing, but finished fourth on three-over after a closing 72. The Beijing-born 28-year-old also finished fourth on the money list with 243,000 yuan.

Zhou, though, was the hero of the hour at the Omega Championship, where he was embraced by his friends and former national team coach Song Qingli after his breakthrough victory, which came two weeks after his previous best finish of fourth at the Tianjin Championship.

"I can't believe this. I'm really surprised I played so well again and I've just had an amazing week. I've been playing really well since I spent the summer training with Mr Song . He's helped me so much," said Zhou, who started the week equally wide-eyed after his opening 69, his first-ever bogey-free round.

"Now I just want to spend all of Monday in bed because I'm so tired after playing tournaments for five weeks in a row. I also didn't sleep so well last night because I was playing cards with Mr Song and Wu Kangchun. Mr Song beat me at cards, but said it wasbetter I lost at night than on the final day."

The pencil-slim Zhou shared pole position after each of the first two rounds before shooting two clear of Chan on day three with a 70. Zhou the n stretched his lead to five after birdieing the first two holes, while Chan bogeyed the first.

"To be honest, I never even thought about winning at the beginning of the day. However, after two holes, the pressure was more on Chan and I knew I didn't have to play aggressively or push for birdies," said Zhou, who led by as many as eight strokes during the round.

"I also really enjoyed playing with Wu again and who knows if I would have played so well playing with anyone else. Playing with him made me so relaxed as we just enjoyed ourselves like during our national team training days."

Chan was unable to continue the recent run of success by Chinese Taipei players, who had won four of the previous five events on the Omega China Tour.

The 31-year-old secured his third top-three finish after finishing joint-runner with compatriot Hsu Mong-nan in the season-opening Guangzhou Championship and third in the Dell Championship in Xiamen, won by Li.

The Omega Championship was held for the first time at the 27-hole Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club after two successful editions at the Tianan Golf Club, also in the capital, when Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lianwei emerged as champions.

Liao was later crowned as the 2008 Omega Order of Merit champion along with a host of o the r award winners during Sunday evening's Omega China Tour Gala Dinner at the Sofitel Wanda Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

China's hopeful Hou reaps first chess gold at World Mind Games

China's ace chess player Hou Yifan claimed her first title at the World Mind Sports Games here on Sunday as the 14-year-old promising star paced the host's pairs toa convincing victory in the rapid finals.

Hou, combined with her teammate Ni Hua, whitewashed their Vietnamese counterpart 4-0 in the two round finals, presenting China's chess team the second gold of the 15-day Games.

Though winning the gold, Hou said it was only her start.

"It feels great to win my first gold medal. But there are stilltwo team events in the following days. They are more important than the pairs competitions." said Hou, adding that the coach's timely directions helped her back to track.

"I wanted to say 'thank you' to my coach. He helped me a lot and made me feel less pressure today. I was in good form and played better than I did in the blitz round. I hoped to win more golds in the following days." said the winner.

China's leading pairs witnessed a slump in blitz chess on last Wednesday. They failed to advance to the finals after their upset defeat to Ecuador in the preliminaries. China's head coach Ye Jiangchuan said lacking experience was the reason to their failure.

"Both of them played less blitz chess before and they were still not used to it. Take Hou for example, she lost both in the individual and pairs competitions though she played much better inthe slow chess in other world tournaments. We will do more trainings on this event after the Games," said Ye.

Hou is the highest ranking player in China's women team. In last month's world championships, the wunderkind could have become the world's youngest chess queen by a finger's breadth. In the final, Hou lost to Russian pinup player Kosteniuk, who is ten-year-older than her Chinese opponent. However, China's coach still showed his confidence to the hopeful girl.

"She is a talented player with good potentials. In the preliminaries, she collected nine straight victories, which is not common in the world's top level competitions.

"Besides, her steady performance is the key to the pairs' victory today. I hope she can learn some lessons from the Games and do better in the oncoming tournaments." said Ye.

In the third-place playoff, Iran beat Indonesia to wrap up the bronze.

The 1st World Mind Games have attracted more than 3,000 players from 143 countries and regions. Bridge, Chess, Go, Draughts and Xiangqi were on the program.

Source: Xinhua

Klitschko takes third world crown

BERLIN: Exactly 1,400 days after his last fight Vitali Klitschko beat champion Samuel Peter on Saturday to regain the WBC heavyweight belt and seal the Klitschko brothers' world domination of the division.

The 37-year-old Klitschko - elder brother of IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Vladimir - added the WBC crown to the family's collection having last fought in December 2004 before a knee injury led to his temporary retirement.

In his first fight for four years, Klitschko dethroned Nigeria's Peter who retired at the end of the eighth round to hand Klitschko a technical knock-out and crown him world champion for the third time.

"I knew there was no risk coming back to the ring," said a delighted Klitschko.

"I worked hard and made my dream a reality."

And after an emotional celebration with his brother in the Berlin ring, Vladmimir said his elder sibling had done the family name proud.

"You proved that you are the better of the Klitschkos, I am proud of you."

Vitali had won his first world title against Herbie Hide in 1999 when he won the WBO title which he then lost to Chris Byrd in 2000.

He returned to the ring to win both the WBC and IBO crowns which he lost to Lennox Lewis in 2003.

Having won back and defended the WBC title against Danny Williams in December 2004, Klitschko was forced to retire until Saturday night's spectacular return.

Peter, dubbed the "Nigerian Nightmare" with a record of 30 wins and now 2 defeats, managed just once defense of the title he won against Russia's Oleg Maskaev on March 8 and never threatened Klitschko.

The Nigerian made a good start and caught the Ukrainian on the shoulder in the first round with a heavy shot as he took advantage of Klitschko's low guard.

Source: China Daily/Agencies