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Morning Wrap: Top Stories in the Chinese Press - Aug 8

August 8, 2013
Translated by Luo Shuqi and Pang Lei

International news dominates headlines this morning. There is a lot of coverage of Obama's decision to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 summit in Moscow (

Singaporean elder statesmen Lee Kwan Yew is also making headlines with reports focusing on his appraisal of Chinese president Xi Jinping as "a man of great breadth" and "in the same class as former South African president Nelson Mandela" in his newly released book (Sina).

Finally, a video showing the violent encounter between a Taiwanese fishing vessel and the Philipines coast guard that occured in May and resulted in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman is also being linked to in prominent positions on major web portals.

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

Debate of Amendments to Budget Law Postponed
Amendments to China's Budget Law will not be discussed at the fourth meeting of the 12th National People's Congress Standing Committee, which is to be held at the end of August. The draft amendments have already been considered by the NPC on two previous occasions and have also been opened up to public comment. However, controversy over what some saw as an attempt to reduce the role of the NPC and the public in supervising government budgets, means that the amendment will possibly be re-drafted. The current Budget Law was implemented in 1995 and the drafting of the amendment was launched in 2004. The draft was passed by NPC in its second review in June of 2012, after which the project enters the period of soliciting public opinions. An official told the reporter that almost 19,000 people have participated in the discussion and the process is still ongoing. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) normally meets once every couple of months in order to review and debate draft laws, listen to and deliberate on various amendments to existing laws and also to receive special reports on a variety of subjects. Outside of the annual plenary meeting of the full congress of about 3,000 delegates that is held in Beijing every March, the Standing Committee represents the authority of the NPC.
Original article: [Chinese]

Government Seeks Feedback on Draft Contract Labor Regulations
Beijing Times
From the beginning of this year the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) has expedited the drafting and revision of Regulations on Labor Dispatching (劳务派遣条例) - a term used to refer the hiring of short-term or contract labor. Yesterday, the ministry began soliciting public opinions on the draft regulations. According to the current draft, the regulations will require that the number of contractors should not exceed 10 percent of the total number of employees and that the contract should last no longer than six months. Previously, the EO had reported that the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) had proposed that this regulation should be lowered to 5 percent, while the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) had argued for the rate to be increased to 15 percent. The draft regulations also include details about how companies should deal with workplace accidents involving contract labor personnel. In the past the ACFTU has expressed its concern about the large increase in the number workers that have signed labor contracts with intermediary employment agencies instead of directly with the enterprises for whom they actually work, which in many cases are state-owned enterprises. This outsourcing of the hiring process has meant that many workers do not benefit from the stronger protections that were awarded to them when the Labor Contract Law came into effect in 2008.
Original article: [Chinese]

Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Aim to Reduce Air Pollution by 30%
Beijing News
The governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei jointly released plans that aim to deal with the region's severe air pollution and reduce small particulate matter (measured by the PM 2.5 index) by up to 30 percent. The governments plan to achieve this target by restructuring industries, increasing energy efficiency and restricting the purchase and use of private cars. For instance, Hebei endeavours to dramatically reduce coal consumption and Tianjin to improve its public transportation services. According to a recent report released by Ministry of Environmental Protection, all cities in the area of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei failed to meet official air quality standards in terms of concentration of PM 2.5. In terms of general air quality, only on 31 percent of days in the first half of 2013 did the air quality in these regions meet the basic standard.
Original article: [Chinese]

China Resources Chairman Rejects Accusations About Mine Deal
China News Agency
China Resources Holding Co. Chairman Song Lin (宋林) said that allegations about irregularities in the acquisition of three coal mines which had been directed at him were false. Last month a journalist for a newspaper that operates under the Xinhua News Agency publicly accused the executive of corruption and dereliction of duty in relation to the acquisition. The chairman published a signed statement on China Resource's official website yesterday. In the statement, Song said that the accusations against him were "pure defamation" and that the acquisition in question was carried out strictly in accordance with the law. Song also said that he reserves the right to pursue libel action.
Original article: [Chinese]


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