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I watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on tv and have to say became bored after a while. Athens was still fresh and had more of a grip at the time.
For the past five years, rural issues have been at the core of China's No 1 central documents - the name given to the first document issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council each year.
Increasing farmers' incomes was the keynote of the 2004 No 1 central document, while consolidating the nation's agricultural foundations is the theme of this year's.
Having several overcome socioeconomic barriers and natural adversities, the country's early rice harvest "is here to stay" and autumn crops are "doing well", Sun said.
However, he said the foundations of wage increases are thin, and long-term mechanisms to ensure the sustainable growth of rural incomes are still not fully in place, especially in the face of further uncertainties expected later in the year.
The urban-rural income gap, for example, has risen sharply, he said.
With the urban per capita net income at 13,786 yuan, against 4,140 yuan in the countryside, the ratio was 3.3:1 last year, the highest since China launched its reform and opening-up policies, Sun said.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials defended their decision to pass off the voice of a 7-year-old songbird as that of another girl at the Olympic opening ceremony, calling it a simple casting choice. Critics said it was a step too far in China's obsession with the perfect Olympic Games.
DUJIANGYAN, CHINA -- China has begun rolling back many of the media and online freedoms that were permitted in the immediate aftermath of last month's earthquake.
The propaganda ministry and the State Council, China's Cabinet, have issued directives to state-run news media outlining forbidden topics. Among them: questions about school construction, whether government rescue efforts lagged and whether Beijing knew in advance that the earthquake would happen but failed to warn people.
Jiangyou, China - Standing at a dusty crossroads surrounded by thousands of homeless earthquake victims, Chen Shoujun had almost lost his voice. He had shouted himself hoarse that morning, he said, trying to organize crowds of enthusiastic young volunteers who had flocked here. "It's not so chaotic now," he said, wiping his brow. "We've got a team of 200 people cleaning the place up and spraying disinfectant."
They are unknown people being quickly cremated or buried in unmarked graves, and there are thousands or tens of thousands of them across quake-ravaged Sichuan Province. It may be months or years before family members discover their fate, if they ever do. They are very likely to be among the nearly 25,000 people the Chinese government classifies as missing in the aftermath of the May 12 earthquake.
SHANGHAI—Thin plastic bags are used for everything in China and the Chinese use up to three billion of them a day--an environmentally costly habit picked up by shopkeepers and consumers in the late 1980s for convenience over traditional cloth bags.
The death toll from the massive quake rose to 32,476 nationwide as of 2 p.m. Sunday, while the injured numbered 220,109, according to the emergency response office under the State Council.
Among the dead, 31,978 were in Sichuan alone with the rest in six other provinces and a municipality.
The quake hit Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, at 2:28 p.m. of May 12. Many other areas were also affected.
BEIJING — A wail of grief sounded across China on Monday to remember the tens of thousands killed in the earthquake exactly one week ago to the minute. The observance came on the first of three days of national mourning.
People across the country stood silently for three minutes at 2:28 p.m. — the exact time of the magnitude-7.9 earthquake — while air raid sirens blared, along with horns from cars, ships and trains.
For the three days, flags will be at half-staff, public entertainment is canceled and the Olympic torch relay for the Summer Games in Beijing will pause, resuming its journey around China on Thursday.
The widespread devastation and recovery effort, carried live all week by China's state-run news media with unprecedented openness, has moved millions of Chinese to donate their time, money, blood and clothes.
To treat trauma victims, the Red Cross announced a program to send two dozen psychologists to the quake zone.
"I hope some of the money reaches us here and can help us recover," Li said. "My greatest hope is to go home and rebuild our house, but I don't know when I can do that."
BEIJING — Mothers wailing over the bodies of their children. Emergency workers scrambling across pancaked buildings. And a grim-faced political leader comforting the stricken and reassuring an anguished nation.
While such scenes are a staple of catastrophes in much of the world, the rescue effort playing nonstop on Chinese television is remarkable for a country that has a history of concealing the scope of natural calamities and then bungling its response.
Numerous photos from various sources about the earthquake centered in Sichuan province.
BEIJING - Cheering mountaineers raised the Olympic torch at the summit of the world's highest peak Thursday, producing the triumphant image that China has longed for in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.
The final ascent along Mount Everest's icy ridge was broadcast live and provided organizers with a dramatic counterpoint to the pro-Tibet protests that marked parts of the torch's international relay.
"One World, One Dream," team captain Nyima Cering, a Tibetan, yelled in English as his torch was lit a few yards from the summit — the slogan for the Beijing Olympics in August.
The flame was passed up a line of five torchbearers to a Tibetan woman named Cering Wangmo on the summit. The other team members unfurled Chinese and Olympic flags as a Tibetan prayer flag lined the path and fluttered in the wind.
On Friday, the email boxes of major news organisations in Beijing, including AFP, were flooded with emails furious over "vicious distortions" in Tibet coverage.
Some Western media in China have also reported receiving threatening phone calls.
The wave of anger and patriotism generated by CNN's recent offensive coverage of China has produced a smash hit song and stirred millions of Internet users into an online show of solidarity.
On Aprl 16, a dozen people showed up to protest in front of the Carrefour store in the city of Kunming, Yunnan province. A citizen named Zhu said aloud, "Why are you boycotting Carrefour? The majority of the products in Carrefour are Chinese products ... this is irrational."
In an opinion piece published in the same paper, China's ambassador to London, Fu Ying, complained of "the media's attempt to demonize China" and warned that "we all know that demonization feeds a counter-reaction."
"I am concerned that mutual perceptions between the people of China and the West are quickly drifting in opposite directions," she wrote.
IN THE DEBATE over Tibet and the Olympic torch, a great deal has been said and written about what the Chinese people believe. Pundits inform us that the Chinese people want their government to crack down harder on Tibetan protesters.
Demonstrators held signs alleging media bias and protesting the violence from rioting by Tibetan monks.
Some echoed Beijing's stand that the Dalai Lama is behind the recent uprising against five decades of Chinese rule. Signs called the Dalai Lama a liar and a "CIA-funded militant." Many people waved large Chinese flags.
"I think that people are misinformed. They have media discrimination," demonstrator Jiange Li said. "Tibet was freed — 50 years ago."