The revenue includes RMB874.9 billion earned from local travelers and RMB283.9 billion from overseas tourists. The data showed that domestic tourism still held up while inbound tourism declined as the global economic slowdown cut travel demand reports Xinhua.
Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia, saw 11.06 billion U.S. dollars in foreign trade with its northern neighbor in 2008, representing a growth of 3.1 percent year-on-year, according to the provincial commerce department.
Don Oberdorfer, a leading expert on North and South Korea in an interview with nytimes, says there are no clear signs that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is too ill to run the country.
“We would know if he were in such a state that he could not function and he couldn’t give any instructions,” Oberdorfer said. “Things like that trickle out of the North. That’s not been the case.” He said he believes the Obama administration will step up diplomacy on North Korea but doubts there will be major initiatives in the short term.
“The administration has got lots of things on its plate” and this “is not an issue where you can get any early returns. I remain skeptical it’s going to be a major item.”
Agreements on expanding gas cooperation have been reached at Russian-Uzbek talks in Tashkent.”We agreed that we will do a technical feasibility study of creating a new gas transportation system with Russia in addition to the existing Central Asia-Center gas transportation corridor,” head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller told media.
Lay Catholic activists in Hanoi are expressing outrage that the government has honored two media outlets for their coverage of property disputes with the Church. The awards to the New Hanoi newspaper and VTV1 television station came after the two outlets flagrantly distorted their coverage of the December trial of several Catholic activists on charges of destroying state property.
The relationship between the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets is warming up after more than two years of frigid relations. More importantly, behind the warming ties is perhaps the elevation of the status of the Hong Kong stock market in the eyes of Beijing from the political to the strategic.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov said he feared rising tensions in Pakistan could trigger unrest in Central Asia. “Radicals may be reinvigorated by the recent events in Pakistan,” he told Reuters.
The European Central Bank (ECB), nine leading international banks that operate in central and eastern Europe have gathered together to ask for help in the region, according to the Businessweek.
The banks argue that funds to boost liquidity and restart lending should not be limited to the new EU member states however, but instead should also be offered to states beyond the bloc, such as Serbia and the Ukraine. “We fought for 50 years, many of us, to get these countries away from communism and now we have a free market economy in the region, we can’t leave them alone when there is an extremely harsh wind blowing,” Herbert Stepic, chief executive of Raiffeisen International.
The US and China have embarked on a public row over foreign exchange policy only three days after Barack Obama’s inauguration, with China denying on Friday night it was “manipulating” its currency and saying the allegation would only fan protectionist sentiment in the US, reports Financial Times.The Chinese government responded to comments made by President Obama’s Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, who told a Senate nomination hearing on Thursday that China was “manipulating” its currency.
Russia welcomes U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to review U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and is ready to cooperate on the issue, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday. “We hope the new U.S. administration will be more successful than the previous one in resolving the Afghanistan issue.”
He added: “We are ready for full-fledged and equal cooperation with all countries on security in Afghanistan, including the United States.”