Basketball Star
Yi Jianlian, a Chinese basketball star, is named the most influential male athlete at the Sina Micro-blogging Night held in Beijing
Diplomat Appointed
Qin Gang, former spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Deputy Director General of the ministry's Information Department, is recently appointed director general of the department
Land Reforms
China is planning new pilot programs to promote land reforms this year
Air Quality
Official statistics show that Beijing's air has seen a marked decrease in the density of PM2.5, particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less, over the past decade and the downward trend is expected to continue

"The Chinese side is willing to work together with the U.S. side to further cooperation in various fields including economy and trade, investment, finance and infrastructure, in order to spur the economy, increase jobs, and create more benefits for the people of the two nations."

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, during a talk with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in Beijing on January 10

"China's national defense modernization serves the objective requirements of its national security and development. It is a positive factor in maintaining regional peace and stability."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, at a press conference in Beijing on January 9, responding to the accusation of the U.S. Department of Defense in its latest strategic defense guidance

"It is something that we owe to ourselves. It is a duty that we owe to Italy, and it is also a duty that we owe to the Chinese people and the Chinese community."

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, in a visit on January 10 to Zheng Liyan, a Chinese victim whose husband and daughter were murdered during a recent robbery in Rome

"Today, Libya will be listened to with respect at the UN, and Libyans will be recognized as people who have courageously asserted their dignity, and in doing so have risked—or in too many cases, laid down—their lives."

UN Secretary General's Special Representative Ian Martin, after signing an agreement with Libya on the UN Mission of Support in Libya in Tripoli on January 10

Zhou Mingwei (second right), President of China International Publishing Group (CIPG), participated in the ceremony to launch iDigest magazine's apps for mobile devices in Beijing on January 10. The e-magazine brings the latest political and financial news to readers in English and Chinese (DONG FANG)
Stamps to mark the year went on sale throughout the country on January 5. Hundreds of stamp lovers scrambled for the precious souvenirs. This is the third set of dragon stamps issued by China Post since 1949 (XINHUA)
A Russian participant makes an ice sculpture at the 26th Harbin International Ice Carving Competition on January 7 (WANG JIANWEI)
A 50-meter-long and 16-meter-tall dragon-shaped lantern, composed of 4,000 smaller lanterns, is built at the square of Yongdingmen Park in Beijing in celebration of the coming Year of the Dragon according to Chinese lunar calendar (LI WENMING)
HYDROPOWER GENERATION The Three Gorges Power Plant, the country's largest hydropower project, generated 78.29 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2011, down 7.2 percent from 2010 (ZHENG JIAYU)
SMALLER FEE The minimum expressway charges in Jiangsu Province were cut down from 15-20 yuan ($2.38-3.17) to 5-10 yuan ($0.95-1.59) effective on January 10 XINHUA
Resigned CEO
Song Ke, former CEO of Taihe Rye Music Co. Ltd., has resigned from the post and was said to have opened roast duck business
Surplus Shrinks
China's trade surplus narrows 14.5 percent year on year to $155.14 billion in 2011
Lending Recovery
Newly added yuan-denominated loans stand at 640.5 billion yuan in December 2011
Stable Track
China's foreign trade stabilized in December 2011 thanks to selective easing policies
IPO Craze
China remains the world's biggest initial public offering market in 2011. Chinese firms raised a combined 286.1 billion yuan via 282 IPOs in Shanghai and Shenzhen in 2011, 41 percent less than in 2010
Dairy Suspicions
China's top dairy manufacturers—Mengniu, Yili and Sanyuan—recently announces price hikes of as much as 10 percent, as a result of costs inflation. The price increase has raised controversies given simmering worries over dairy safety in the country
    Soldiers stand guard in front a poster bearing pictures of South Africa's former presidents Nelson Mandela (left) and Thabo Mbeki (center) and incumbent President Jacob Zuma at a stadium in Bloemfontein during celebrations of the centenary of the country's ruling party, the African National Congress, on January 8 (XINHUA/AFP)
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives at Caracas on January 8 for a visit to Venezuela, the first leg of his trip to four Latin American countries (XINHUA/AFP)
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana attend the Orthodox Christmas service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on January 6. Christmas falls on January 7 for Orthodox Christians (XINHUA/AFP)
    Slovenian pilot, biologist and photographer Matevz Lenarcic prepares to take off from a Ljubljana airport on January 8 for a flight around the world in a 290-kg airplane consuming the smallest amount of fuel ever (XINHUA/AFP)
    A Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel approaches a Japanese whaling ship off Australia's coast. The anti-whaling group said on January 8 three Australian activists were being held as "prisoners" by the Japanese harpoon fleet after sneaking aboard one of their ships to protest (XINHUA/AFP)
    Thai customs officials display a smuggled tiger skin and skull in Bangkok on January 5 (XINHUA/AFP)
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