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China unveils anti-graft rules for urbanization drive -state media

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has unveiled plans to tackle corruption and abuse of power in the real estate sector, state media said, as it tries to smooth the way for the mass migration of millions of Chinese into cities from the countryside. The anti-graft plans are part of an urbanization program designed to underpin a restructuring of China's economy, the world's second largest, away from exports towards one based mainly on domestic consumer demand.

S. Korea, China plan joint movie on Korean independence hero

BEIJING, March 27 (Yonhap) -- Senior civilian representatives of South Korea and China plan to jointly shoot a movie about a Korean national hero who assassinated a top Japanese official more than a century ago, an official of an organization promoting Seoul-Beijing relations said Thursday. If realized, it would be the first joint movie about Ahn Jung-geun, who shot to death the Korean Peninsula's first Japanese governor-general, Hirobumi Ito, at a railway station in Harbin in 1909, according to the official at the Korea-China Friendship Association.

Health costs of China's polluted air 'up to $300 bn a year'

Premature deaths and health problems from air pollution cost China as much as $300 billion a year, an official report said Tuesday, calling for a new urbanisation model for the world's second-largest economy. "As China prepares for the next wave of urbanisation, addressing environmental and resource constraints will become increasingly more urgent because much of China's pollution is concentrated in its cities," said the joint report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's cabinet.

China: Chinese plane spots object in southern Indian Ocean search for missing Malaysian plane

BEIJING, China - China's state news agency says a Chinese plane crew has spotted a white, square-shaped object in an area identified by satellite imagery as containing possible debris from the missing Malaysian airliner. Xinhua News agency says the crew aboard the IL-76 plane spotted the object in the southern Indian Ocean search area on Monday. Satellite images from Australia and China have identified possible debris in the area that may be linked to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

Negotiations for S. Korea-China FTA close with little progress

SEJONG, March 21 (Yonhap) -- The latest round of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and China came to a close on Friday with the two countries merely confirming what officials here called "large differences" on key issues. "The two sides each requested market liberalization in areas of their own interests, but their discussions could not progress significantly as their differences remained tightly locked," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.

Taiwan protestors occupy parliament over China trade pact

Around 200 Taiwanese students and activists were locked in a tense standoff with police Wednesday after they stormed the parliament in a bid to thwart government efforts to ratify a contentious trade agreement with China. Tearing down signboards and chanting anti-government slogans, protesters unexpectedly broke through security barriers and took over the parliament's main chamber late Tuesday, in the first such occupation of the building in the island's history.

Taiwan protesters occupy parliament over China trade pact

Around 200 Taiwanese students and activists were locked in a tense standoff with police Wednesday after they stormed the parliament in a bid to thwart government efforts to ratify a contentious trade agreement with China. Tearing down signboards and chanting anti-government slogans, protesters unexpectedly broke through security barriers and took over the parliament's main chamber late Tuesday, in the first such occupation of the building in the island's history.

Taiwan MPs stage fast to protest at China trade pact

Three Taiwanese opposition legislators on Tuesday started a 70-hour hunger strike to protest at what they term illegal moves by the ruling party to ratify a contentious trade agreement with China. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers made their move after a legislator from the ruling Kuomintang party announced on Monday that the trade pact had been approved by a joint committee. The committee's approval was the first of three ratifications needed to pass the bill.

China halves TB rate in 20 years

China has more than halved its tuberculosis rate in 20 years by scaling up steps to ensure patients take their antibiotics, The Lancet reported Tuesday. The tally of new infections fell from 170 people per 100,000 of the population in 1990 to 59 per 100,000 in 2010 -- a target reached five years ahead of schedule. A study attributes the success to China broadening access to a treatment called DOTS (for directly observed therapy, short-course) which entails healthworkers meticulously supervising patients until they complete a course of antibiotics to kill the TB germ.

S. Korea, China begin new round of FTA negotiations

SEJONG, March 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and China launched a fresh round of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) Monday with both sides expected to work for much needed progress. Seoul earlier said the two countries will continue to hold discussions on all related issues, including the level of market liberalization for products, services and investment, and ways to synchronize their domestic regulations and promote cooperation.
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