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Morning Wrap: Top Stories in the Chinese Press - July 31

July 31, 2013
Translated by Tian Shaohui and Pang Lei

Dominating headlines today are reports about yesterday's meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC's Central Committee. Party leaders discussed the outlook for the economy in the second half of the year, pledging to
maintain steady growth despite "extremely complicated domestic and international conditions" (Xinhua). The Wall Street Journal helps parse the officialese.

The Politburo also held a meeting with non-party members to seek advice regarding economic policy in the latter half of the year. (Xinhua)

Reports of the promotion of 6 military officers to the rank of general are also appearing in prominent positions on major news websites. (Xinhua)

Many websites are also linking to a reports about the hot weather in many parts of the country, with Shanghai reported to be enduring its hottest July in 140 years. (BBC)

Major web portals have also linked to a story about a statement that is said to have been authored by Betsy Li Heng, the daughter of former Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang. The statement, which was posted to a Weibo account, refutes rumours about her private life and clarifies her association with GlaxoSmithKline. (SCMP)

Keep reading below for a translated digests of some of the other stories being reported by mainland Chinese media outlets today.

Air Quality in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Falls Short of Standards
China National Radio
The quality of the air in Beijing, Tianjin and Heibei exceeded official environmental standards on nearly 70 percent of days during the first half of the year, according to data published by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Over the first six months of the year, only on 31 percent of days did the air in the region surrounding the capital meet the official standards. This compares poorly with the Pearl River Delta region in southern China where air quality met the standards on almost 80 percent of days in the first half of the year.
Original article: [Chinese]

Eight Airports Introduce Measures to Address Flight Delays
Beijing News
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has introduced a policy of "No Take-off Limits" (不限起飞) in an effort to deal with the serious flight delays at major Chinese airports. Except in the case of bad weather or military exercises, departures from eight of the country's major airports will not be permitted to be delayed due to the air control situation at destination airports. The move is being made in a bid to improve the situation in relation to flight delays at Chinese airports. Earlier this month, a report published by revealed that less than 20 percent of flights departing from Beijing's Capital airport leave on time. Beijing's Capital airport, Shanghai's Hongqiao and Pudong airports, Guangzhou's Baiyun airport and four other busy air hubs have already introduced the "No Take-off Limits" measure. Earlier this month, the director of CAAC, was reported to have said that the agency plans to introduce heavy penalties for a variety of infractions related to flight delays.
Original article: [Chinese]

Despite Selling Assets China Cosco Still Posts First Half Loss
China Business News
Despite offloading two major assets this year, the Shanghai and Hong Kong listed China COSCO Holdings Co. Ltd. (China Cosco), a subsidiary of the state-owned China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), is still making a loss according to a financial report submitted by the company to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. According to the company's estimates of profits made in the first half of 2013, the company is still losing money, but losses are down by between 70 to 85 percent compared to how much the company was shedding in the first half of 2012. Given that the shipping company registered a loss of over 4.8 billion yuan in the first half of last year, this equates to losses of somewhere between 731 million and 1.5 billion yuan in the first six months of 2012. In the first three months of the year, China Cosco's revenue reached 15.23 billion yuan, but the company still registered losses of almost 2 billion yuan, though this was a 27 percent drop on the amount of money the company lost in the first quarter of 2012. In 2009, China Cosco registered losses of 7.54 billion yuan, in 2011 it lost 10.45 billion yuan and in 2012 the company was 9.56 billion yuan in the red, which resulted in it being downgraded to "special treatment" or *ST stock on the Chinese stock market, meaning that the company could be delisted if it continues to lose money. China Cosco has seen its share price fall by more than 95 percent over the past 6 years, from a peak of 68.4 yuan a share in 2007 to today's 3 yuan. A management decision made in 2008 that has led to COSCO's dismal performance over recent years. China Cosco Shipping (Group) signed long-term contracts to rent many ships in 2008 when the shipping market was booming and prices were at a historic high, but ship rental costs then fell and the company found itself locked into expensive ship-rental contracts. For more details about the challenges facing the state-owned shipping company, see this recent profile of the company's outgoing chairman.
Original article: [Chinese]

Profits at Listed Banks May Grow by Only 8% in 2013
China Securities Journal
Net profits of Chinese banks listed on the stock market might grew by only 8 percent this year, according to a report authored by the China Banking Association. Last year listed banks saw net profits grew by over 20 percent year-on-year. Analysts are urging banks to change the way they operate in order to prepare for a further liberalization of interest rates in the future.
Original article: [Chinese]

NDRC to Introduce Basket of Measures to Address Climate Change
China Securities Journal
A series of measures will be adopted to stimulate low-carbon industries and respond to climate change, said Xie Zhenhua (解振华), vice chairman of National Development and Reform Commission at a environmental summit held yesterday. Emphasis will be placed on encouraging energy conservation in industry, construction, transportation and public institutions. Xie stressed that China had already pledged to the world that by 2020 it would decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 50 percent per unit of GDP from 2005 levels, increase non-fossil energy share to 15 percent in primary energy and add 40 million hectares of forest land.
Original article: [Chinese]

Problems Discovered in Allocation of Over 60,000 Social Housing Units
Xinhua News Agency
Last year, over 60,000 units of social housing were distributed to households that didn't qualify for the subsidised apartments, according to a report published by the National Audit Office last month. This follows earlier reports that 23,000 units of public housing in Yunnan, 11,000 in Guangdong and 9,000 in Hainan stand vacant.
Original article: [Chinese]


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