Air pollution in northern China is usually worse in the winter, but this past winter saw unprecedented improvement. Largely due to the policy decision to shift to natural gas for heating and many industrial uses, the average concentration in Beijing of the most hazardous small particulate matter, PM2.5, fell in January by 70 percent year-on-year to 34 micrograms per cubic meter, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said in a statement. It was the first time the figure was under the national standard safe level of 35, the bureau said. However, recent weeks have seen many days of high air pollution, although coming weeks are forecast to be clear.
Xiong said the key to reforming the country's English language tests is a separation between exams and enrollment, so that people will start to learn English because they like the language, not because they are required to study it.
One of her ancestors, Isaac Nathan (1790-1864), was a distinguished conductor and composer. After coming to Australia in 1841, he opened an academy of singing. Nathan went on to become the choirmaster of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and organized the largest concert of sacred music in the then British colony.
"I'm not against criticism if it is valid, but I am totally against criticism that is manufactured."
Fast Company, a US business magazine, named automaker BYD as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies for Energy. The company, also based in Shenzhen, ranked No 2 on the list.
The two countries have conducted rather effective coordination in international affairs, which has been an important contribution to handling global hot spot issues, he said.
Contacts between the two sides in recent weeks have involved US intelligence and State Department officials, according to the report.