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Edition: CHINAASIAUSAEUROPEAFRICA

Investment, financing norms to be eased

China will greatly relax market access for private investment and encourage the use of private capital to set up equity funds.

China lowers growth target to 7 percent

China will target economic growth of approximately 7 percent in 2015, lower than the goal of around 7.5 percent in 2014.

Beijing iterates SAR support

HK & Macau "are expected to continue playing their special roles in the country's reform, opening up, and modernization".

Knife attack on US envoy to ROK

US Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a knife with a 10-inch blade.

'Basic Law must be safeguarded'

The “One Country, Two Systems” policy must be “accurately understood”.

NZ 'spying on neighbours, Indonesia'

The documents have been released by former US NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

'Stay vigilant with Taiwan separatists'

President Xi called for "firm opposition" to pro-independence forces in Taiwan on Wednesday.

HK: Majority support for reform plan

52% of the respondents want the LegCo to pass the city's electoral reform package.

Opinion

Focus of the Budget needs to be changed

The much-anticipated Budget was announced in the last week of February.

Filibustering tactics are destructive

The “pan-democrat” legislators have adopted filibustering tactics to block the government’s proposal to establish a much-needed...

Crush separatist bigotry

“Occupy” failed to achieve its goal because its organizers had deceived the public with lies about democracy in general.

Reform resolve is unshakable

Xi and his colleagues have pointed out a clear direction and path for a new round of reforms.

Long overdue appeal against discrimination

It certainly is embarrassing to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

Nation

China lowers growth forecast to 7%

China will target economic growth of approximately 7 percent in 2015, lower than the goal of around 7.5 percent in 2014.

Li vows to fight pollution, corruption

Li, speaking at the opening of the annual full session of the National People's Congress, called pollution a "blight".

Border: Myanmar asked to 'lower temperature'

Fighting broke out last month between Myanmar's army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).

Defense budget to grow 10.1%

The 10.1% rise represented the lowest expansion in China since 2010, when the defense budget was set to grow by 7.5%.

Student entrepreneurs learn harsh lessons

As the number of graduates continues to rise, many are opting to start their own companies. However, fierce competition and scant experience of the world outside college is making life hard for China's budding businesspeople.

Courting change in China's judiciary

The nation's legal eagles are assessing a series of far-reaching reforms to the legal system designed to improve the service and allow judges greater independence when hearing cases and reaching verdicts.

Two sessions: From A-Z

The plenary sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People' s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)kick off today

HK

Beijing reaffirms support to HK, Macao development

The two regions "are expected to continue playing their special roles in the country's reform, opening up, and modernization".

DAB head advocates mainland opportunities for HK youth

Tam Yiu-chung urged the mainland to offer HK youth more opportunities to participate in the country’s development.

PMI at year’s high as private sector cheers

Hong Kong’s private sector is cheering up as the city’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbs, reversing the year’s gloomy start.

HK changes ‘must move forward’

NPC says Aug 1 decision is unshakable after student activist applies for judicial review.

Focus HK

Spilling the money beans

Coffee aficionados got a rare treat when two young innovator brothers put their entrepreneurial talent to the test and came up, through a successful crowdfunding exercise, with a smart coffee maker that can even tell users’ preferences.

Thinking outside the square ring

While Zou Shiming is not too bothered about winning the Macao knockout, he would like to take the lead in helping fellow boxers turn professionals once he retires.

Life discovered in a toy box

A group of dedicated individuals have come up with a range of playthings to help children with special needs overcome learning difficulties.

Asia

Indonesia rejects Australia's prisoner swap offer

The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up tension between Australia and Indonesia.

US ambassador to ROK injured in knife attack

US Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a knife with a 10-inch blade.

Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations

Modi will make the pledges during a visit to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles.

NZ 'spying on Pacific neighbours, Indonesia'

The documents have been released by former US National Security Authority contractor Edward Snowden and date back to 2009.

From niche to mainstream

Islamic banking sees growing non-Muslim clientele who are increasingly aware of the benefits of sharia-based financing.

HK banks on Islamic finance

Sharia-compliant services with exposure to Chinese mainland are proving popular with investors.

Asia Weekly

Business

Investment, financing systems reform soon

China will take substantial measures to reform the investment and financing systems, as well as other key areas of the economic system.

Breakthrough on rate reform in 2015: PBOC advisor

Monetary policy for the year will be shaped by economic data during the first two quarters of the year, Chen Yulu said.

China stocks lead Asia lower after target cut

Chinese stocks led Asian markets lower on Thursday after the country's leaders cut the annual growth target for the world's No. 2 economy.

Eye on Asia

Sunken warship found off Philippines

US aircraft sank the Musashi on Oct 24, 1944, killing more than 1,000 Japanese, or about half the vessel's crew.

DPRK easing controls to revive economy

The goal of the reform is to prod DPRK managers and farmers to do business creatively, on their own initiative.

German 'terminator' to head Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines chose a German turnaround specialist known as "The Terminator" to lead it restructuring.

Sport

Chen, Lin advance after early trouble

No. 1-ranked Chen Long and five-time champion Lin Dan shrugged off early trouble Wednesday to reach the second round of the All England Open.

Chelsea maintain 5-point lead as top 5 all win in EPL

Chelsea eked out a 1-0 victory at West Ham to stay five points clear in the Premier League on Wednesday, with the top five winning on a night English football held its breath after another player collapsed at White Hart Lane.

India aim to clinch quarterfinal spot

Defending champion India can clinch a quarterfinal place at the Cricket World Cup on Friday with a win over a West Indies lineup that is having the kind of run that poses as many questions as it answers when the team steps onto the field.

On a mission

Bangladeshi think tank chief is a leading light in regional efforts to eradicate poverty and set up a ‘southern silk route’.

Credit to the nation

After decades of conflict, Pung Kheav Se created a bank that enabled the people of Cambodia to save and borrow safely.

The accidental archaeologist

Finding a prehistoric ax head in a farmar's field leads to a career uncovering China's ancient past.

Life Style

Blanchett on being evil in 'Cinderella'

After playing both real and mythical queens, a golden age screen idol and Bob Dylan, Cate Blanchett is taking on another iconic, complex character - Cinderella's evil stepmother.

Popular TV show not so funny business

The annual CCTV New Year Gala experienced a small drop in ratings this year, amid growing criticism some skits were highly offensive to disabled people, women and the southern Chinese.

Quirky News

A nod to Lewinsky's dress

A Philadelphia artist has disclosed that his museum portrait of former President Bill Clinton contains a shadow reference to Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress.

Debate rages over color of dress

It's the dress that's beating the Internet black and blue. Or should that be gold and white?

2 llamas lassoed after running amok in US

Television footage showed a large white llama and a smaller black llama darting through the streets of Sun City, Arizona.

Video

Without limits

Award-winning Chinese artist, Li-Zi, is never in a hurry. She customarily spends more than a month perfecting a piece of art. Chinadailyasia.com chats up this post-80s artist to find out why.

Expert calls for protection for retirees

Nelson Chow, who wrote the latest retirement protection report, believes the introduction of a universal pension scheme will improve the government’s popularity, Joseph Li writes

Strike a balance in standard working hours

It is too early to talk about standard working hour legislation, said chairman of the Standard Working Hours Committee Leong Che-hung.

Special

X’mas Memory

Christmas day is always filled with happiness and surprise. The December round of China Daily College Photo Contest themed ‘Merry Christmas’ has concluded.

Roundtable

‘New normal’ needs efficiency overhaul

Hong Kong forum hears how overcapacity and debt must be tackled in rebalancing of mainland financial system.

Older order gets shake-up from Internet finance

Growing success of online firms reflects demand from customers not served by traditional banks.