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Olympics: Xinhua Claims China is Fully Open to Foreign Media

As foreign reporters in Beijing find reporting in China rather restrictive, on August 7 Xinhua published an article entitled “China is open with confidence and treats foreign media kindly according to the law.” The article states that China is more open during the Olympics and everything is conducted according to the law. It further states, “foreign media has been given freedom to fully report about China,” and that some foreign TV broadcasters are even allowed to broadcast live from Tiananmen Square.

Source: Xinhua, August 7, 2008 content_8999765.htm

Olympics: Internet Data Centers Ordered to Freeze

All Internet data centers throughout China were ordered to suspend work including network buildup, connection and upgrades starting from August 1, according to Nanfang Daily. Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the mandate ordering the freeze to be in effect until after August 25 when the Olympics closes. Websites closed down due to content cannot apply for re-open during the freeze.

Source: Nanfang Daily, July 30, 2008

Senior Citizen Population to Reach 250 Million by 2020

China’s population of senior citizens will reach 250 million or 17 percent of the total population by 2020 and 400 million or 30 percent of the total population by 2050. This fast growing aging population will have an impact on the country’s economic and social development. It will also pose challenges for the existing inadequacy of the country’s pension and medical care system.

Source: BBC, July 11, 2008

Hu’s online visit û a New Channel for Chinese Styled Democracy?

Hu Jintao made a surprising online visit to Qiang Guo Forum on June 20 and chatted live with Chinese cyber fans for 22 minutes. Hu’s visit was viewed as recognition from the government to take internet as a channel for people to express their voice, according to a survey conducted by China Youth Daily after Hu’s visit. Among 2874 surveyed, 71.9 percent agreed that the government has begun to seriously take on the opinions on the internet and the cyber expression has become a new avenue to realize the Chinese styled democracy. While 56.8 percent among surveyed agreed that Hu’s visit was “a historical step”, only one in two agreed that this will help to increase Chinese citizen’s participation in social affairs.

Source: China Youth Daily, June 30, 2008

Confucius Institute Opened in West Africa

On June 17, an opening ceremony of the Confucius Institute was held in Lomé, capital of Togo in West Africa. According to the statistics by the office of Chinese Language Council International, as of March 2008, 238 Confucius Institutes have opened in 69 countries and regions. The number has nearly doubled in two years from 2006 when 120 Confucius Institutes were established in 50 countries and regions.

Xinhua, June 17, 2008
The office of Chinese Language Council International

China Hosts Its Annual College Entrance Exam

China held its annual college entrance exam on June 7 and 8 in most regions. It is the largest government-organized exam in the world. This year, the number of participating high school students reached 10.5 million, the highest in history. They are competing for 5.9 million college student spots which is a 5 percent increase from last year. There were a total of 2500 test regions, 8700 centers, 360,000 test sites, and 1 million supervision staff nationwide participated.

Source:  People’s Daily, June 7, 2008

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