Master Receives Award
Buddhist master Hsing Yun is awarded a 'person of the year in spreading Chinese culture' award at a ceremony hosted by China Central Television
Senior Official Sacked
Li Chongxi, former Chairman of the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is removed from his post for suspected violations of Party discipline and law

"Although New Year's concerts should help create a happy atmosphere, we wanted to bring something new to the audience. For example, Strauss' An der Schonen Blauen Donau can be heard at almost every New Year's concert, but the chorus version of the classic piece may be refreshing to audiences."

Liao Changyong, Vice President of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, talking about a concert staged by the conservatory's symphony orchestra and choir in Shanghai on December 28, 2013

"The Shanghai market is more in line with international markets, and has a broader perspective. It has a large number of collectors from diverse backgrounds who are dedicated, and they prefer themed collections."

Wu Shaohua, Director of Shanghai Collectors Association, commenting on Shanghai's art collection market

"Given that hepatitis B is still around, it's important for babies to get vaccinated. It's difficult to establish a causal link between the vaccines and the babies' deaths since nearly all infants in China receive the vaccine as part of a successful vaccination program."

Bernhard Schwartlander, the WHO representative in China, commenting on December 26, 2013, on the latest developments surrounding the deaths of 11 newborns after being inoculated against hepatitis B

"We believe that the Russian side can ensure security and make the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics a great success."

Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, at a news briefing on December 31, 2013

Train Ticket Rush
December 30

On December 28, China's railway system began selling train tickets for the upcoming Chinese New Year. The holiday season brings on an annual peak travel season that lasts 40 days, which will last from January 16 to February 24 this year. The official website for ordering tickets online,, once again became bombarded by traffic from millions of passengers across the country. As expected, the website's system failed to cope after tickets sales began, with the sudden burst in activity causing it to go down for a short period of time on December 28.

No Smoking for Officials

Beijing Times
December 30

The Central Government recently issued a mandate stipulating that officials are not allowed to smoke in public places. The government demands its own officials set an example for society through abiding by the smoking ban themselves.

In actuality, the ban on smoking in public was brought into action a few years back, though it has failed to have much of an impact. The latest measures look to enhance the effectiveness of the no smoking rule.

Arable Land According to the results of the second national land survey released on December 30, 2013, China’s arable land totaled 135 million hectares at the end of 2012 (WANG JIANWEI)
Gaming Gaining Popularity Game subscriptions in China hit 490 million in 2013, with sales topping 83.17 billion yuan, according to the 2013 China Game Industry Annual Conference (DING TING)
Spearhead of Reform
The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee makes a decision to appoint President Xi Jinping to head a leading group for overall reform
Xinjiang Attack
Eight terrorists died and one more was arrested during a bust on a group responsible for an 'organized and premeditated terrorist attack' in Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Asset Supervision
China orders strict enforcement of a regulation that requires officials to report their assets and their family members' earnings
Bridge Opens Cars run on the newly opened Yangtze River Bridge in Maanshan, Anhui Province (JIN TAIHE)
Railway Car Construction Workers from CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd. assemble subway vehicle components in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province (ZHANG NAN)
Government Debt
The governments at various levels in China had been liable for a total direct debt of 20.7 trillion yuan as of the end of June 2013
PMI Drop
China's purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector dropped to 51 percent in December 2013
Economic Census
China's third national economic census enters its registration phase, after months of preparation, according to the NBS
How to Tackle Local Government Debt?
China tries to curb the rising debt risks through deleverage
Yuan Strong
The Chinese yuan hit a record high against the U.S. dollar
Land Transfers Booming
In 2013, the property market propelled Beijing's land transfer fees to a record high of 182.18 billion yuan, 2.8 times more than in 2012
    A supporter of the governing Bangladesh Awami League is injured after a clash with supporters from the opposing Bangladesh Nationalist Party during a protest in Dhaka on December 29, 2013. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has called on the government to step down (XINHUA/AFP)
    A security officer pats down a visitor to Moscow’s Red Square on December 31, 2013. Security measures were tightened in the Russian capital after terrorists set off two bombs in Volgorad (XINHUA/AFP)
    Two women wade through a flooded street in Vila Velha on December 28, 2013. At least 44 people have died and more than 60,000 have been left homeless following torrential rains in southeast Brazil (XINHUA/AFP)
    A group of Ivorian nationals arrive at Abidjan, the nation’s capital, on December 30, 2013 after fleeing fighting in the Central African Republic (XINHUA/AFP)
    Revelers, dressed in mock military dress, take part in a flour fight in the town of Ibi, southeastern Spain, on December 28, 2013 (XINHUA/AFP)
    A mahout gives his elephant a morning bath in Chitwan on December 28, 2013, during the elephant festival. The festival featured elephant soccer games and an elephant beauty pageant (XINHUA/AFP)
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