Top Scientists Awarded
Two Chinese scientists, physicist Xie Jialin and architect Wu Liangyong, received the State Top Scientific and Technological Award, China's top science award
Labor Disputes
China will set up institutionalized arbitration offices for handling labor disputes and make them generally available in county-level regions by 2015
Cleaner Villages
The Chinese Government will invest 5.5 billion yuan this year to clean up pollution in the country's rural areas
Heritage Status Bid
Northwest China's Tianshan Mountains, with their spectacular glaciers and diverse wildlife, have been nominated for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list

China does not approve of armed intervention or forcing a so-called "regime change" in Syria, Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said in an interview in Beijing before his trip to Syria on February 17-18.

"We condemn all acts of violence against innocent civilians and urge the government and all political factions of Syria to immediately and fully end all violence, and quickly restore stability and the normal social order," Zhai said.

Zhai, as a special envoy of the Chinese Government, visited Syria to exchange views with the Syrian Government and relevant parties on the current Syrian situation and push for a peaceful and proper solution to the crisis.

China urges all parties concerned in Syria to immediately launch inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions and jointly discuss a comprehensive political reform plan, Zhai said.

China understands the concern of Arab countries and the Arab League on seeking a quick solution to the Syrian issue, and values the important role as well as the efforts of Arab countries and the Arab League in seeking a political solution to the issue, the official said.

"We hope the Syrian issue will be resolved within the framework of the Arab League through political and peaceful means," Zhai said.

"We don't believe that sanctions or the threat of sanctions is helpful to achieving an appropriate solution," Zhai said, adding that actions of the international community and the UN on the issue of Syria should be helpful to easing tensions, facilitating political dialogue and resolving differences instead of complicating the issue.

Zhai said China takes an objective, just and responsible stance on the issue of Syria and is willing to maintain communication with the government and various political factions in Syria, as well as with Arab countries and the Arab League.

"China will work together with the international community and play a positive and constructive role to appropriately resolve the issue of Syria," Zhai said.

Yang Zhichang, 104 years old, gives a rose to his wife, 101-year-old Yang Shuzhi, in Datang Village, Renshou County in Sichuan Province on February 14 (YAO YONGLIANG)
Changmao, a male sheep, and Chunzi, a female spotted deer, in the Yunnan Wild Animal Zoo in Kunming, Yunnan Province on February 11. They were found to have fallen in love with each other after living together for a long time (QIN QING)
A girl paints her dream school bus when visiting an international school bus exhibition in Beijing on February 15, 2012 (ZHAO BING)
Candidates in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, wait in long lines to sit for the independent recruitment exam held by a university league which represents some of China's top universities on February 11 (SUN CAN)
READY FOR USE Construction of the terminal of Kunming Changshui International Airport is completed. The airport, which is designed to be an air hub in southwest China to link southeast Asia, south Asia and European countries, is ready for a trial run (QIN QING)
TRAVEL RUSH ENDS Passengers arrive at the Nanjing Railway Station on January 16. It is estimated that China transported 3.158 billion passengers during the 40-day Spring Festival travel season ending on February 16 (HAN YUQING)
Smuggler Prosecuted
Lai Changxing, the alleged smuggling kingpin, is prosecuted for smuggling and bribery by the People's Procuratorate of Xiamen. Lai, born in 1958, was the former head of the Yuanhua Group and a smuggling ring
Lackluster Trade
China's exports declines 0.5 percent year on year to reach $149.94 billion in January
FDI Down
China attracts $9.997 billion of foreign direct investment in January, down 0.3 percent year on year
Further Banking Reform Needed
A debate is heating up about the windfall profits of China's banking industry
Lenovo Shines
China's PC giant Lenovo picks up steam as orders for office computers jumped. Its net profits soars 54 percent year on year to reach $153 million in the quarter ending on December 31, 2011. Its revenues totales $8.4 billion, up 44 percent
Suning Expands
Suning Appliance Co. Ltd., China's largest appliance retail chain, aims to boost its market share with extended presence, both physical and online. The Nanjing-based retailer plans to add more than 400 self-branded outlets across the nation this year
    A fire engulfs a store during clashes between protesters and riot police near the Greek parliament in Athens on February 12. Despite massive protests, lawmakers passed radical budget cuts vital to secure a rescue package (XINHUA/AFP)
    Bronze statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung (left) and Kim Jong Il are unveiled in Pyongyang on February 14 (ZHAO ZHAN)
    A security force camp in Aleppo, northern Syria, after an explosion on February 10. Deadly blasts caused by car bombs hit two government force bases in the city, leaving at least 28 people killed (QIN HAISHI)
    People rally in Damascus on February 12 to express support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and condemn the blasts in Aleppo (QIN HAISHI)
    A woman carves an elephant-shaped sculpture during a snow and ice sculpture contest in Minsk on February 11 (XINHUA/AFP)
    Michelle Paulin and Storm, a Dogue de Bordeaux, in the judging ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show in New York City on February 14 (XINHUA/AFP)
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