Report: China basically Y2K ready

China is basically year 2000 ready, according to a report published yesterday in the official China Daily newspaper quoting Zhang Qi, the head of the year 2000 Office of the Ministry of Information Industry.

But Zhang admitted that problems are inevitable in a country the size of China and progress in some sectors still leaves much to be desired, the newspaper reported.

Zhang also told the newspaper that the ministry plans to open a national year 2000 monitoring center 24 hours a day from December 30 to January 2, 2000. The government centre will coordinate with additional year 2000 centres that are being established within major industries.

In the banking sector, cash reserves are being increased to guard against a possible run on savings, whether caused by year 2000 problems or panic, the newspaper said in its Thursday edition.

The newspaper also reported that Chinese airlines plan to ground their aircraft on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to guard against possible problems and maintain public confidence. China had previously announced plans to force airline bosses into the sky as the clock rolls over to 2000 to focus their attention on bringing aircraft up to readiness.

The country's telecommunications networks were declared free of year 2000 problems earlier this week after a final test over the previous weekend.

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