The US Food and Drug Administration opened its first overseas office in Beijing to better ensure the safety of Chinese food imports.
The FDA opened two more offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Eight staff will be stationed in China, including inspectors and senior technical experts on regulation, policy, food, medicines and medical services.
Health Minister Chen Zhu said China will send food and quality control officials to the US in the future.
Four students die in Shanghai dorm fire
Four young women leapt to their deaths from a sixth-floor balcony last Friday after their university dormitory room caught fire in Shanghai.
They were all students at the Shanghai Business School.
Shanghai police said the fire was started by an electric water heater, which was banned at the school and at most Chinese universities.
US automakers ask for bailout
GM, Ford and Chrysler lobbied the US Congress for a $25-billion bailout package amid the biggest plunge in car sales in North America in over 20 years.
But after four hours of testimony at Capitol Hill, US Senate Democratic leaders said they weren’t able to muster the support for legislation that would provide taxpayers' money to the troubled Big Three from the $700 billion economic rescue fund.
The automakers claimed the reason wasn’t because of management mistakes, but the faltering American economy and consumers unable to obtain credit to buy cars.
G20 financial summit
The Group of 20 or G20 leaders have pledged rapid action to rescue a weakening global economy from the worst financial crisis in 70 years.
They have set out plans to tighten oversight for major global banks, study limits on banker pay and try for a breakthrough by year end in global trade talks.
They vowed to make progress before a second summit by the end of April.
President Hu Jintao called for a reform of the international financial system as well as global efforts to help developing countries cope with the ongoing financial crisis.
Hu Jintao goes to Costa Rica, Cuba, visits Castro
President Hu Jintao said China and Costa Rica will launch free trade talks in January and hope to set a deal by 2010.
Hu met with his counterpart Oscar Arias during His first visit to the Central American country earlier this week.
The president later went to Cuba where he told President Raul Castro that China will defer some of Cuba’s loan repayments, and made an $80-million donation towards its hospital modernization program.
During the visit President Hu also met with ailing 82-year-old Cuban leader Fidel Castro and had a long conversation with him.
Hangzhou subway tunnel collapse
The State Administration of Work Safety has found fault with the contractor involved in the subway tunnel collapse in Hangzhou last Saturday.
Nine people died and 12 others are still missing when a section of road over a subway construction site caved in and was flooded with water from a nearby lake.
According to the State safety watchdog, the China Railway Construction Co. Ltd did not implement proper safety measures, did not attend to hidden problems decisively, properly and on time, poor safety training, substandard labor management, messy on-site control and the local government’s lax supervision were to blame.
Surviving workers claim they were not treated well by CRCC, saying they only received 200 yuan or $30 each as post-accident arrangements.
The 69-km project, begun in March last year, is due to be completed in 2011.
Somali pirates overtake supertanker
A Saudi supertanker carrying $100 million of oil cargo was hijacked by Somali pirates earlier this week.
All 25 crew members are believed to be safe.
The Sirius Star is the largest vessel ever hijacked. It was seized in the Indian Ocean off east Africa on Sunday in the boldest attack by pirates operating from lawless Somalia.
The seizure was carried out despite an international naval response, including from the NATO alliance and the European Union, US, French and Russian warships.
The Sirius holds as much as 2 million barrels of oil, more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily exports. It had been heading for the US.
Djokovic wins Shanghai Masters
Novak Dokovic won the Shanghai Masters Cup on the weekend, with a convincing victory over Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
His fellow compatriot Nenad Zimonjic teamed up with Canadian Daniel Nestor to win the men’s doubles title, defeating the Bryan twins of the United States.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.