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Only 1% Chinese Want to Be Blue-Collars
A recent survey in eastern China's Shanghai municipality showed only 1% of the interviewed would like to be blue-collars.

Xinhua News Agency reported the survey covered 4,000 local households. Most people preferred to seek posts in the government or at government-run institutions, monopolies, banks and insurance companies.

"The figure shows that Chinese people are still greatly affected by traditional values in job hunting. It also indicates there are problems in the government's work in human resources development," said Lin Zeyan, an official with the human resources department under the development research center of the State Council.

Lin Zeyan made the remarks at an awards ceremony for the China Human Resources Management Grand Awards on Saturday.

He said the universal shortage of talents at present affects a great amount of domestic enterprises that are also deficient in framing a rational structure of talent allocation and establishing an efficient mechanism to absorb talents.

The problems were discovered in an investigation recently carried out by Lin's department on the current status and policies of human resources development in China.

The investigation covered more than 10,000 domestic enterprises and 60,000 talents across the country.

They are the results of current institutional imperfections and are natural as the country's human resources development undergoes a transition period, he added.

"In developed countries such as the United States, 80% of the talented work for ordinary companies. However, in China, only 30% do," Lin Zeyan said. In China, the tertiary industry, government departments and finance businesses absorb the most talents, while mining and simple manufacturing industries the least.

Lin Zeyan suggested the government make it a strategic priority to help attract more talents to work for common enterprises.

China's rich spend big for V-Day

SHANGHAI - Once considered a symbol of the decadent West, Valentine's Day is becoming big business in newly affluent China.

Nowhere more so than in Shanghai, China's showcase city for the economic reforms of the last three decades, a financial hub which is once more rediscovering its glory pre-World War II days when it was known as the Paris of the East.
File photo shows Hong Kong singer Stephy Tang posing during a promotion for upcoming Valentine's Day in Hong Kong, February 8, 2007. [Reuters]
This Valentine's Day, Shanghai banker Richard Fan will be buying his wife a 40,000 yuan (US$5,100) Cartier wrist watch.

"I think it's a better gift than some 10,000 or 20,000 yuan meal," said Fan, 37.

"A gift you can use daily looks much more concrete," he added, blithely.

The watch's price tag is 12 times more than the average Chinese farmer earns in a year.

Among Valentine's Day gift ideas on offer in Shanghai is a $1,000 wine-and-dine package that includes limousine transfers, personal butlers and candle-lit dinners at private concerts.

"People who earn more in Shanghai require something different for their special days," said Joan Pan, a manager at the JW Marriott Hotel, situated on the city's fashionable Nanjing Road, home to outlets of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel.

This year for Valentine's Day, the hotel is offering a 28,888 yuan package, including an overnight stay in either its Chairman's Suite or the Presidential Suite.

Expensive? Not nearly as much as one hotel which last year offered a Valentine package for a staggering 188,888 yuan ($24,000). The night included a romantic cruise on a luxury yacht along the waters of the HuangpuRiver.

Even some in the industry were shocked by that extravagance.

"It attracted attention for sure, but I'm not sure it gave people a positive impression," said one Shanghai-based hotel manager, who declined to be identified.


Street cleaner, Xiao Hu, earns about 800 yuan a month, a sum barely enough to cover the cost of a Valentine's Day dinner at an exclusive Shanghai restaurant.

She, like a majority of Chinese left behind by the economic boom that has brought wealth to a lucky few, is too busy struggling to make ends meet to celebrate a Western love festival.

High priority on corruption cases

EFFORTS will be fast-tracked this year to deal with corruption cases over the social insurance fund and the bribery case involving Zhou Zhengyi, a former local real estate tycoon, the Shanghai Higher People's Court said yesterday.
The court stressed the judges should treat each defendant equally and make fair verdicts. Local courts heard nearly 20,000 criminal cases last year, up 13 percent year-on-year.

Crimes that threaten state security, serious crimes like murder, robbery, kidnapping and drug trafficking, and corruption will become the focus this year, judges said.


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