Expand your vocabulary
The highlighted words have been chosen from the South China Morning Post's top news stories to help you improve your word power
A massive sandstorm has struck northern China, dumping more than 300,000 tonnes of sand dust in Beijing alone, creating the worst air pollution since 2003.
KCRC chief executive James Blake, who has spent the Easter holiday studying the technical report, said the cracks discovered in the welding of 258 train components were caused by circumstances that did not occur often in railway systems in other parts of the world.
Arrival and departure records of foreign expatriates showed the number of Americans, Britons, Canadians and Australians dropped by 14 per cent - from 93,000 to 79,190 - continuing a steady decline in recent years.
Reforms allowing China's commercial banks to raise funds from companies and individuals to invest offshore went into effect yesterday as the government presses ahead with efforts to cut its massive foreign reserves.
President Hu Jintao pledged to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates that China would honour its commitment to protect intellectual property.
As to Taiwan, President Hu said: 'We will continue to make every effort and endeavour with every sincerity to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification of the two sides.'
Greenpeace has urged the government and the two main supermarket chains to step up safety and testing after finding banned pesticides and excessive levels of other chemicals in vegetables for sale in their stores.
Asked about giving more democracy to the Chinese people, Mr Hu said: 'I believe there's no modernisation without democracy.'
sandstorm - strong winds carrying sand or dust which cover a large area
welding - the joining of metal parts together
steady decline - continuous drop
offshore - overseas
intellectual property - creations or inventions protected by trademark, copyright or patent
reunification - the act of two countries coming together again after a period of separation
banned pesticides - illegal chemical substances used in farming
modernisation - the creation of a wealthy society with high living standards through the use of advanced technology
Complete the sentences using the above words
1. The ____________ of a society requires old concepts to be abandoned.
2. The _________________ caused great damage to the city's infrastructure.
3. Some farmers used _______________ on their crops to cut costs.
4. The railway company is investigating imperfections and faulty ____________ in its carriages.
5. The _____________ of China and Taiwan is not easy to achieve because of differences in political ideology.
6. According to a latest survey, the number of smokers has seen a ____________ over the past 10 years.
7. Many companies have set up offices ______________ to boost their profile.
8. Those who violate _______________ rights could be jailed.
Answer: 1. modernisation 2. sandstorm 3. banned pesticides 4. welding 5. reunification 6. steady decline 7. offshore 8. intellectual property