China's police hugely underestimate road deaths: research
Geneva (AFP) Jan 4, 2011
Chinese and US health researchers have challenged commonly used police road accident statistics in China, after finding that the number of deaths was less than half those recorded by doctors.
In research published in the World Health Organisation's monthly Bulletin on Tuesday, they also said that "unlike police-reported data, death registration data fail to show any recent decline" in road accident death rates in China.
"These inconsistencies strongly suggest that the decreasing trend in road traffic mortality shown by police-reported data may not be genuine," they wrote.
The researchers from China's Central South University and the John Hopkins School of Public Health in the United States said the death rate documented in a WHO global report, based on police data, began to fall after 2002, following an official road safety drive in China.
However, while 81,649 people were killed in 2007 according to the police, 221,135 died in road accidents based on death registrations compiled by China's Health Ministry.
"For 2002-2007, the rate of death from road traffic injuries based on death registration data was about twice as high as the rate reported by the police," the researchers added.
A graph comparing the two data sets showed that while the police supplied road accident death rate continued to decline after 2005, it grew sharply according to health statistics.
Almost 70,000 people died in road accidents in 2009 in China, or around 190 fatalities a day, according to police statistics. Even under existing data supplied to the WHO, China accounts for 13.5 percent of the global toll.
earlier related report
Its manufacturing joint ventures and major brands all set new annual sales marks, the company said in a statement.
"GM kept pace with the needs of our customers by introducing 11 new and upgraded models that are leaders in their segments in design, technology and fuel economy," Kevin Wale, president of GM China Group, said in the statement.
"At the same time, we continued to expand our local presence to position GM for long-term growth in China."
China has become increasingly important to GM due to strong domestic demand -- in November, the company became the first international carmaker to sell two million vehicles in a year in the country.
The Asian nation -- now the base of GM's international operations -- overtook the United States in 2009 to become the world's biggest auto market.
The largest US automaker was left reeling by an industry slump when the global economic crisis hit. It received 49.5 billion dollars from the US Treasury and emerged from a bankruptcy restructuring in July 2009.
The company successfully returned to public trading in November by raising 23.1 billion dollars in an initial stock offering -- the largest in history.
GM has established a few joint ventures in China, including Shanghai General Motors, a partnership with SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd., and runs several brands such as Buick and Chevrolet, according to its website.
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