In today’s China news, Premier Wen Jiabao has invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel on an official visit to China, state-run CCTV announced today. Merkel will be there between August 30 and 31. In 2008 a magnitude 8 earthquake shook Sichuan province. Official figures from the initial quake say nearly 70000 died, over 10000 were missing, and over 300000 injured. Four years later, a Chinese writer by the pen name of Tie Liu, meaning “Iron Current,” visits the worst-hit areas of the earthquake. Tie Liu, whose real name is Huang Zerong, is a journalist and former editor of the Chengdu Daily. He tells NTD about the continued devestation. Manufacturing continues to slow in China this month. HSBC released its Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index figures today. It dipped below the 50 mark point to a nine month low. It’s been a tough year for the Aluminum Corp. of China. The state-owned metal giant posted a loss for the first half of the year of 3.25 billion yuan, or 510 million US dollars. China’s farm produce prices increased for the fifth consecutive week, according to a report released by the Ministry of Commerce. Rainy and hot weather conditions have affected vegetable production, pushing up wholesale prices of 18 different vegetables. The report indicated a 2.2 percent increase over the previous week.

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