Briefs, March 3, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 5:35am


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China seeks slice of satellite business

China is looking to increase its share of the global commercial satellite launching business, targeting a 15 per cent share by 2020, a leading space programme official said yesterday. China hopes to establish strategic alliances with major launch service providers and satellite manufacturers, along with developing its own technology, the deputy head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Liang Xiaohong, said. China has 3 per cent of the market, but the goal laid out by Liang points to its ambitions to become a major player, just one decade after becoming the third country after the US and Russia to launch a man into space. Liang also said China's first solid-fuel rocket that could be launched on short notice would be ready to make its first flight by 2016. China has a well-developed range of Long March rockets for use in commercial launches, all of which mainly burn liquid fuel that must be pumped in just before the launch. Solid fuel rockets can be kept in storage, then fired when needed. AP


Minister begs media to avoid property queries

Housing minister Jiang Weixin, chased by a crowd of reporters in Beijing, reportedly asked them to spare him from questions on the State Council's latest property price curb measures, the Shanghai Securities News reported. The measures include income taxes to be levied on home owners who sell their homes to second-hand buyers, and increasing down payment rates and loan interest rates for buyers who purchase a second unit. Staff Reporter


3 killed in Liaoning sulphuric acid leak

A massive sulphuric acid leak at a warehouse in northeast China has killed at least three people. Xinhua said yesterday that the leak spread into areas surrounding Fangshen village in Liaoning province, preventing rescuers from approaching the area. It wasn't exactly clear when the leak occurred, and authorities were still trying to verify the number of dead. Xinhua said the 2,000 cubic metres of sulphuric acid leaked from a storehouse used by a family business. It did not give a cause for the accident, and local government officials reached by phone said they had no information. AP