Briefs, March 7, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 4:43am

Beijing ponders reform for railways ministry

China is considering reforming the Ministry of Railways, possibly spinning off some operations related to financing and construction to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, Wang Mengshu, deputy chief engineer of China Railway Group and a leading industry expert, said. Wang ruled out the possibility of merging the agency into the Ministry of Transport, but said a final decision had yet to be reached. He said scrapping the century-old railways ministry would cause turmoil. Victoria Ruan

Official urges Japan to open talks on hotline

Qian Lihua, former director of the defence ministry's Foreign Affairs Office, urged Tokyo to take the initiative to resume talks on military communication amid a bitter territorial dispute over East China Sea islets. Japan said last month it would press Beijing to set up hotlines to guard against accidental clashes after accusations that PLA warships beamed fire-control radars on a Japanese destroyer and helicopter, which the PLA denied. Qian also said: "Although bilateral military exchanges are suspended for now, the door of exchange has not closed." Staff Reporters

Taiwan policy to focus on relations: director

Taiwan Affairs Office director Wang Yi said Taiwan policy this year would focus on developing relations "in a steady and comprehensive manner", China News Service reported. "Years of [unresolved] politically sensitive issues are now acknowledged by more and more people across the strait," Wang said. Staff Reporters