Bill Zhang

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Google launches China search site

Google Inc. launched a local-search service in China on Sept. 4, marking the Web search giant's latest move to expand its presence in the vast country's fast-growing online marketplace.

Google Local, which has up to now been available only in the United States, Britain, Canada and Japan, allows Web users to use keyword searches to find businesses in particular cities and see their locations plotted on a map. Many Internet companies are pursuing local initiatives in efforts to tap into huge offline yellow-page advertising markets.

The new service, Google Bendi, provides local information for more than 100 Chinese cities, according to a Google spokesman. Maps are available for searches related to more than 70 of those cities through a partnership with Mapabc.com Ltd., a Beijing-based Web-based mapping service.

The site appears to be an effort by Google to stretch its lead in searches for shopping and business information.

An August survey of Internet users in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou by the State-owned China Internet Network Information Center ranked Google as the second-largest search engine overall after Baidu.com Inc. But the nonprofit group’s survey showed that Google is the preferred tool for finding Web pages and shopping, business and other information.

Six-party talks to resume Sept. 13

The representatives from the six countries involved in six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program hold hands as the meeting officially begins in Beijing July 26, 2005. (Reuters)
BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The second phase of the fourth-round six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is to resume on Sept. 13 in Beijing, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang here Thursday.

The talks will be open-ended since all the parties concerned need to make full consultations on issues concerning how to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Qin said at a regular press conference.

"The ending date of the talks will be decided by all concerned parties according to the results of their consultations," Qin said.

The process of denuclearization is difficult and complicated, Qin said. "We can not expect to solve all the problems in just several rounds of talks, but we are not pessimistic because of that."

As long as the six parties could proceed from the overall situation of denuclearization and the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, show flexibility and take a pragmatic attitude in discussing related related issues, progress would be achieved step by step during the denuclearization process, the spokesman said.

As the negotiation is drawing near, Qin said hoped that three dialogue and consultations and in the spirit of mutual respects, equal consultations, mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, all the parties concerned could take the opportunity to find a solution that gives consideration to the concerns and interests of the parties and is acceptable for all parties.

"China, as one of the six parties and host for the talks, wouldmake unswerving efforts for the talks to achieve positive results," Qin said, noting that all the parties concerned need to show a pragmatic attitude flexibility and make joint efforts to make progress in the talks.

The fourth round of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue talks started from July 26 and recessed on Aug. 7 for resumption originally scheduled in the week beginning Aug. 29.

Int'l co-op in anti-terrorism needs to be fortified

The international community is still facing the challenge and threat of terrorism, and thus needs to strengthen cooperation, Qin Gang said.

Terrorism is public hazard of the mankind. The international community should make concerted efforts to combat terrorism, he said.

Terrorist incidents have happened in succession in Turkey, the United Kingdom and Kenya, and China is also the victim of terrorism," Qin said.

He stressed that China's stance on anti-terrorism is persistent, opposing terrorism in all forms.

However, the spokesman noted, there should not be double standards in anti-terrorism. Anti-terrorism should benefit world peace and security and promote the progress and prosperity of the mankind.

He said anti-terrorism should comply with the United Nations Charter and basic norms of international laws, highlighting that China opposes connection of the issue with certain religion and nationality.

"In order to eliminate terrorism, we should eradicate its source", Qin said.

Chinese FM to attend general debate of 60th UN General Assembly session

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will head a delegation to attend the general debate of the 60th UN General Assembly session, Qin Gang announced at the press conference.

Qin said that Li will speak to the general debate, explaining Chinese government's stance on development, UN reform and the African issues.

Li will also participant in the bilateral and multi-lateral activities. They include the meetings with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson, and foreign ministers of some countries, as well as the consultations with the Rio Group, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and the European Troika foreign ministers.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's stupid to be afraid of China's development: Lee Kuan Yew

A shift of the world's economic center of gravity from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific is inevitable but it's stupid to be afraid of China's development, Singaporean political mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said.

"Economically, there will be a shift to the Pacific from the Atlantic Ocean and you can already see that in the shipping volumes of Chinese ports," Lee said in a recent exclusive interview with German-language weekly Der Spiegel.

"Every shipping line is trying to get into association with a Chinese container port," he noted.

China is learning very fast from the developed world, but it's not the reason for other countries to be afraid, said the first-ever prime minister of Singapore.

"In 50 years I see China, (South) Korea and Japan at the high-tech end of the value chain," he said.

"Look at the numbers and quality of the engineers and scientists they produce and you know that this is where the R&D will be done. The Chinese have a space program, they are going to put a man on the moon and nobody sold them that technology," said Lee.

When asked about how afraid the West should be of China's rise, Lee said:"It's stupid to be afraid."

He noted that the developed world is leading in many fields which the Chinese cannot catch up with for many years, if not decades.

"In pharmaceuticals, I don't see them catching up with the Germans for a long time."

Lee Kuan Yew believed that China doesn't intend to enhance its influence through military means but economic competition.

"They will trade, they will not demand, 'This is my sphere of influence, you keep out.'" said Lee.

"I think they have calculated that they need 30 to 40 -- maybe 50 years of peace and quiet to catch up (with the developed world)," he said.

Monday, September 05, 2005

China, EU reach agreement on textile dispute

All the China-made textile products blocked in the ports of EU countries will be freed up, according to an agreement reached here on Monday night by China and the European Union (EU).

The document was signed by China's Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson following lengthy negotiations.

Bo said at a press conference after the signing ceremony that China neither made any mistakes nor bears any responsibility for the textile product dispute.

"But considering the interests of EU importers and retailers, (we) decided to offer a helping hand to reduce the losses of both sides."

China and the EU as strategic cooperative partners reached the agreement after earnest negotiations on an equal footing, Bo told the press.

The two sides bore the responsibility that they should bear, which reflects the principle of equality. The final agreement embodies a "cooperative, win-win" spirit, he said.