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China raises minimum wage in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The monthly minimum wage in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin will go up by between 11.4 percent and 12.3 percent from Tuesday, the semi-official China News Service reported, as the government continues efforts to boost domestic demand. The central government has repeatedly pledged to increase workers' share of national income, pushing up wages steadily for more than a decade. It accelerated hikes in 2010 as an economic boom spread to the hinterland and fuelled competition for labor.

China's underground resistance

TIANJIN, China, April 1, Reuters - "Come in and have a look." The welcoming sign on the gates of a ramshackle building with metal walls off a highway near this industrial city in northern China masks a grim reality: this is an underground Catholic church barely tolerated by Communist Party authorities.

China's Hangzhou latest city to restrict car sales

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's eastern city of Hangzhou will start restricting car sales from Wednesday, joining major cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, in the fight against snarling traffic and heavy smog in the world's largest automobile market. The Hangzhou government said on Tuesday the curbs would take effect while it canvassed public opinion on details of the move.

Britain seeks to boost yuan trading role

Britain is holding talks with China to designate a London clearing bank for the yuan as it tries to become the world's leading centre for trading the currency, Chancellor George Osborne said Thursday. China's currency, also called the renminbi (RMB), is not freely convertible. But the Chinese government is gradually moving towards full convertibility so that the unit might one day rival the US dollar. Speaking to the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the British finance minister said London had become the centre of yuan trading in the West.

Britain seeks to boost yuan trading role

Britain is holding talks with China to designate a London clearing bank for the yuan as it tries to become the world's leading centre for trading the currency, Chancellor George Osborne said Thursday. China's currency, also called the renminbi (RMB), is not freely convertible. But the Chinese government is gradually moving towards full convertibility so that the unit might one day rival the US dollar. Speaking to the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the British finance minister said London had become the centre of yuan trading in the West.

China smog makes capital 'barely suitable' for life: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Severe pollution in Beijing has made the Chinese capital "barely suitable" for living, according to an official Chinese report, as the world's second-largest economy tries to reduce often hazardous levels of smog caused by decades of rapid growth. Pollution is a rising concern for China's stability-obsessed leaders, keen to douse potential unrest as affluent city dwellers turn against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has tainted much of the country's air, water and soil.

China approves 12 new free trade zones: state media

China has approved a dozen new free trade zones months after opening its first one in Shanghai, state media said Wednesday, furthering efforts to test economic reforms and bolster growth. Beijing "has given the nod to 12 free trade zones ... amid a spurt of nationwide enthusiasm for such schemes," the official news agency Xinhua reported. The sites will include the megacities of Tianjin near the capital and Guangdong in the south close to Hong Kong, the report said, citing an unnamed source -- who declined to name the remaining 10 locations.

Chinese official seeks Hong Kong cooperation over Shanghai FTZ

Shanghai's vice mayor on Monday urged cooperation from Hong Kong over China's ambitious new free-trade zone, saying its potential to boost growth will offset any competitive threat to the former British colony. The FTZ in Shanghai, launched in September, will allow unfettered exchange of China's yuan currency as part of a bold push to reform the world's second largest economy.

China city caps car-buying to curb pollution

Another Chinese city has capped the total number of car licence plates it will issue annually, state media said Sunday, following moves by Beijing and other metropolises to curb pollution and congestion. The world's most populous nation is also the world's largest car-buyer. But it is trying to curb poor air quality and other environmental damages caused by rapid development. Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing with 14 million people and 2.36 million registered motor vehicles last year, will cap new car plates to 100,000 a year, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Hebei section of China's water diversion project completed

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- A key section of China's water diversion project across arid Hebei Province has been completed, according to the construction committee. The project is one of China's largest infrastructure schemes and will take water from the wet south to dry areas in the north, including Beijing. The new section of almost 600 km attracted investment of 42 billion yuan (6.85 billion U.S. dollars), connects Beijing with Hebei provincial capital Shijiazhuang and includes a section near the port of Tianjin.
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