China morning round-up: Tightening air monitoring

A man walks over the Second Ring Road in Beijing, 22 November 2011
Image caption Residents in several Chinese cities have raised serious concerns about air quality

Many newspapers lead with the government's announcement that it will add PM2.5 readings to national air monitoring standards.

Readings for ozone and concentrations of PM2.5 - particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter - will be included in the standards, say theChina Dailyand People's Daily.

The move follows public pressure on this issue, with many people arguing the previous standards - which measured larger PM10 particles - did not reveal the full picture on air pollution in major cities.

Beijing Newssays PM2.5 monitoring will begin this year in the four municipalities and provincial capitals, including Beijing itself and neighbouring Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province.

Shanghai Dailysays the municipality's Environmental Protection Bureau has promised to release PM2.5 figures from June.

Another national headline is the approval of Macau's proposal for political reform by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

People's Dailyreports that according to the Chinese parliament resolution, measures regarding the selection of the chief executive and the formation of its Legislative Assembly can be "appropriately modified" in accordance with the Macau Basic Law.

However, the current method for selecting chief executives by an electoral committee and appointing some members of the legislature by the local government "must be maintained".

The Standing Committee passed the reform proposal by an overwhelming 153 to 1 vote, says theMacau Daily Times, whileJornal Cheng Poureports that a democratic legislator expressed disappointment.

Antonio Ng, one of the three democrats in the Legislative Assembly, criticised the proposal by Chief Executive Fernando Chui for failing to represent people's true views, and he called for universal suffrage in electing the city's top post by 2019.

China Dailyand many others also report on thelatest legal battlebetween US technology giant Apple with China's Proview over the ownership of the iPad trademark.

Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Dailyreports that the appeal hearing which took place in the city ran all day as lawyers from both sides engaged in tense debate.

Its sister paper -the 21st Century Business Herald- examined the arguments from the initial trial in Shenzhen, and said it was still possible for Apple and Proview to settle the matter through reconciliation.

The court was adjourned, with the final appeal verdict to be delivered in a later date.

Shanghai Morning Postpoints out that the adjournment comes at a time when Apple is widely expectedto roll out its iPad 3, hence leaving some uncertainty.

The Global Times' English editionand others also reportNorth Korea's pledgeto suspend uranium enrichment and missile tests.

The paper's English editorialsays "the breakthrough this time obviously came thanks to talks between the US and North Korea last week in Beijing".

"As the country that has the most influence on North Korea, China also played its role in this negotiation."

Meanwhile, as the diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoulover repatriating North Korean refugeesrumbles on,The Global Times' Chinese editionsays South Korea has supplied "fresh bullets" for the US and Europe to attack China with.

On the other hand,the paper's Chinese editorialof the day tackles the announcement by US President Barack Obama ofin creating a new trade bodyto crack down on unfair practices by its trading partners, including China.

It says that the US does not have the power "to carry out 'law enforcement' around the world", and says "nationalism is becoming mental opium for the US in 2012".

And in Hong Kong, papers includingThe Standardconfirm that the chief executive election will now be a three-way battle between Henry Tang and Leung Chun-ying from the pro-Beijing camp, and Albert Ho from the Pan-Democrats camp.

This has now become the most contested election since the first one in 1996, but also a scandal-hit one.

Some 1,200 Election Committee members will cast their votes on 25 March,and as the free newspaper AM730 reports, electors from the business sector are considering if they will cast blank votes as a block.

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