China

China morning round-up: Tackling smoking

An investor smokes in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu, 9 May 2012
Image caption China has at least 300 million smokers

A national report on smoking hazards gets widespread coverage as newspapers mark World No Tobacco Day.

The report is the first official document from China's health ministry on the dangers of nicotine, say the China Daily and People's Daily .

According to the report China accounts for about 40% of global production and consumption of tobacco, making it the world's biggest producer and consumer of such products.

With 300m smokers across the country, China also sees at least 1m deaths each year from smoking-related diseases, said the Ministry of Health in its report.

Beijing Times says Health Minister Chen Zhu has accused tobacco firms of hindering China's anti-smoking efforts with "pseudo-scientific measures", insufficient warning messages on cigarette packages and covert marketing.

Beijing News says tobacco control in the Chinese capital also faces the problem of there being no specific law enforcement organ dedicated to enforcing the smoking ban in public places.

China Daily and Shanghai Morning Post also report on the latest developments in an ongoing row in which Xie Jianping, a top researcher for a Chinese tobacco firm, was admitted as a fellow of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering in December 2011.

About 100 fellows of the academy wrote to the administration appealing for a rethink of Mr Xie's admission. Signatories of the petition include Dr Zhong Nanshan, Guangzhou's renowned respiratory disease expert.

"No to tobacco fellow, yes to anti-tobacco fellow," said Beijing Times' editorial , while China Daily's editorial says, "it is time for our government to quit 'smoking'".

Also on Thursday, People's Daily and Shanghai Daily report Premier Wen Jiabao's latest cabinet meeting, during which the government decided to promote seven emerging industries.

The industries include renewable energy such as wind and solar power, and information technology such as fibre optic communications, said the reports.

An editorial in Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Daily says it is important for the government to create a suitable environment for these industries to thrive, including measures to prevent firms from obtaining state subsidies fraudulently.

People's Daily also reports on its front page on a national conference on supporting development in the restive Xinjiang region.

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang told the delegates that Xinjiang was an important link from the Central Asian market to China.

The Global Times covers Beijing's renewed opposition to military intervention in Syria, as well as its support for mediation efforts by the UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

A front page commentary in the People's Daily Overseas Edition says the international community should be vigilant in "preventing 'humanitarian intervention' from creating an even bigger humanitarian disaster".

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