18th Party Congress

The Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress, held in Beijing November 8-14, 2012, marked a key power transition in China. A new generation of leaders, headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, took over from the previous leadership headed by Hu Jintao. The Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee was reduced in number from nine to seven. Unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao handed over both the Party General Secretary and Chairman of the Central Military Commission positions to Xi.  


Congress Briefs, November 14, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 5:43am

Deputy mayor pushes Cantonese language

Guangzhou Deputy Mayor Gong Erzhen has called on the city's young civil servants to embrace Cantonese, the Guangzhou Daily reported. Gong said only those who truly understood the city and its culture could excel at their jobs. "Cantonese is a very unique part of Guangzhou's culture," said Gong, who was born in the city. "New civil servants must experience more and develop feelings about the city." She said there were over 16 million people in Guangzhou. Mimi Lau


Work begun on 153,000 affordable homes

Beijing has started construction on 153,000 units of affordable housing in the first 10 months of this year - nearly 96 per cent of its 2012 goal - the city's Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said yesterday. The city has since 2010 accelerated affordable housing projects using 23.9 billion yuan (HK$ 29.5 billion) in bank loans secured through an employee housing allowance scheme. The city government said that since 2007, it had either begun construction of or bought from developers more than 700,000 affordable homes. Raymond Li


Arts centre survives on state subsidies

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), the mainland's top multi-function theatre, has relied on an average of 120 million yuan in state subsidies to break even in each of its first five years of operation. NCPA deputy director Deng Yijiang said the theatre was able to generate 380 million yuan towards covering its 500 million yuan operating costs. Up to September, the centre had hosted more than 3,700 commercial performances, 2,614 non-profit shows and 2,327 educational art seminars, Deng said. Raymond Li


Two pirated discs could land you in jail

Sellers of bootleg videos and music could soon face jail time if caught selling just one or two counterfeit discs, China National Radio has reported. General Administration of Press and Publication director Liu Binjie said that lawmakers were wrapping up a revision of the mainland's Copyright Law, which would significantly increase the punishment for copyright infringement. Under the current law, violators do not face a jail sentence unless they are convicted of selling at least 600 copies of counterfeit material. Raymond Li


Xi made impression across strait

Former Taiwanese vice-president Vincent Siew Wan-chang found Xi Jinping highly impressive on the two occasions he met the incoming mainland leader, the Taipei-based China Times Daily reported. Siew, who met Xi twice in 2005 while leading the Cross-Strait Common Market Foundation, said the future top leader was not only pragmatic and open-minded, but decisive. Lawrence Chung


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