SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine

Press review, if not selected: all SinOptic
  6-12.9.14, No. 541  
    Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

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Foreign Policy

China voices appreciation after South Africa refuses Dalai Lama visa (Xinhua)
2014-09-05
China's Foreign Ministry on Friday expressed appreciation toward South Africa after the country refused the Dalai Lama entry into the country. "Dalai is a political exile who has been engaged, under the cloak of religion, in impairing China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the unity of the Chinese nation," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing. China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama's secessionist activities in any name, Qin said, adding China "highly appreciates" South Africa for its respect and support for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "(We) believe that South Africa will continue to support China on sovereignty and territorial integrity," Qin added. Media reports said that South Africa has denied the Dalai Lama a visa to the country where he was going to attend a meeting. ^ top ^

Chinese president calls on China, EU to deepen people-to-people exchange (Global Times)
2014-09-07
In a congratulatory letter to a China-EU high-level meeting held on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the two sides to deepen people-to-people exchange to consolidate the foundation for bilateral ties. The second meeting of China-EU High Level People-to-People Dialogue, co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, was held in Beijing. Xi said in the letter that China-EU people-to-people exchange is crucial for enhancing mutual understanding, promoting social prosperity and strengthening comprehensive strategic partnership for mutual benefit. He called on the two sides to deepen mutual trust through pushing forward people-to-people exchange so as to lay a broad social foundation for the long-term healthy development of China-EU relationship. Bilateral exchanges in fields of education, science, technology, culture, media, youth and the newly added women area, are becoming luminous points of China-EU cooperation, according to Xi. China-EU relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world, the president said, stressing that the High Level People-to-People Dialogue is significant for China and the European Union to build partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso sent a joint letter of congratulation to the dialogue. Liu and Vassiliou signed a joint communique after the meeting. They attended a forum of students and scholars of the two sides ahead of the meeting. The first China-EU High Level People-to-People Dialogue was held in Brussels in April, 2012. ^ top ^

Chinese, Australian FMs hold new round diplomatic, strategic dialogue (Xinhua)
2014-09-08
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday co-hosted with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop the 2nd Round of China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Sydney. Wang Yi said Australia is a regional power with international influence and it is a key cooperation partner for China in its extended neighborhood. The current bilateral relations have maintained an optimistic momentum. To further enhance the bilateral ties, Wang said, both sides need to promote mutual trust and mutual benefit as well as to enrich the connotations of the bilateral strategic partnership. In response, Bishop pointed out that the bilateral relations between Australia and China are strong, mature and progressive. The two countries share frequent high-level exchanges, flourishing economy and trade cooperation, thriving cultural exchanges and good coordination and cooperation in the international and regional affairs. She said Australia is willing to deepen and expand the strategic cooperative relationship with China based on mutual respect and benefit so as to bring the Sino-Australian relations to a new level. During the Dialogue, Wang also put forward "Four Respects" in regard to the issue of the South China Sea. The first is to respect the historical facts, second to respect the international regulations, third to respect the direct dialogue and consultation between the countries involved, last to respect the joint efforts made by China and ASEAN on safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the two foreign ministers conducted in-depth discussions and reached a broad consensus on new goal of the bilateral strategic partnership, new blueprint of the trade and investment cooperation and new plan of the non-governmental exchanges. Before the dialogue, Wang told the media that China may not be Australia's closest friend at the moment but China can surely become the most sincere friend of Australia. He added that China likes Australia to play an active role as a bridge and as a link between the East and the West. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Murray McCully of New Zealand and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia, Wang paid official visits to New Zealand and Australia from Sept. 4 to 8. ^ top ^

US national security adviser Rice in Beijing to pave way for Obama's 'milestone' visit (SCMP)
2014-09-08
The significance for cooperation between China and the United States is growing, China's top diplomat said, as officials from the two nations pave the way for their presidents to meet. State Councillor and former foreign minister Yang Jiechi told visiting US National Security Adviser Susan Rice that the two nations have to “constructively manage our differences on sensitive issues to ensure that the US-China relationship will continue to move forward”, Agence France-Presse reported. “The current international environment has further highlighted the strategic significance for China and the United States to jointly build a new model of major country relations,” Xinhua quoted him as saying. Rice, who came to China at Yang's invitation, is believed to be trying to mend fences before President Barack Obama comes to China in November for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. President Xi Jinping and Obama will meet after the summit. Rice may also take the opportunity to restate Washington's support for universal suffrage for chief executive of Hong Kong. Relations between China and the United States are tender over a wide range of issues that triggered their mutual distrust. Two weeks ago, Washington accused a Chinese fighter jet of flying as close as nine metres to a US surveillance aircraft near Hainan province. Beijing dismissed the US' allegations. In her opening remarks at meeting with Yang, Rice said Obama regards the November visit as an “important milestone in the development of our important relationship”. “The president asked me to travel here – even as there are many other issues on our shared global agenda – because of the priority he attaches to US-China relations,” she said. Rice is scheduled to meet with Xi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and officials from the Defence Ministry before wrapping up her three-day tour on Wednesday. Their talks will probably focus on areas of contention between Washington and Beijing, including China's maritime disputes with US allies in the region, nuclear issues in the Korean Peninsula and Iran, and the security in Middle East. ^ top ^

Don't make trouble over S. China Sea, Wang warns (China Daily)
2014-09-09
Countries outside the South China Sea are expected to play a constructive role in the regional issue and not "create trouble", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday in a message analysts said was aimed at Washington. Speaking to the second round of the China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Sydney on Sunday, Wang said China understands why countries that are far from the actual areas of tension would express concern, but hopefully, those countries will "play a constructive role rather than create trouble". China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are able to maintain peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, Wang said, according to a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website. Wang did not mention any country by name in the statement. His comments came less than a month after Beijing accused the United States at an ASEAN regional forum of deliberately stoking tensions in the area. The comments also coincided with US national security adviser Susan Rice's visit to China, her first trip to the country in that post. She is expected to meet President Xi Jinping and Wang in Beijing. Zhang Jiuhuan, a former Chinese ambassador to Thailand and Singapore, said Wang's remarks were primarily directed at the US. Washington's Asia pivot and stance over territorial issues in the region have emboldened some countries to challenge China's legal rights and ratchet up tensions, Zhang said. The US has stepped up its tone on the South China Sea since US President Barack Obama's Asian trip in April, especially regarding the Beijing-Hanoi row over a Chinese oil rig in the sea, which sparked fatal anti-China riots in Vietnam in May. The US also has been active in strengthening its military ties with countries such as the Philippines, which have competing territorial claims with China in the South China Sea. Manila is seeking international arbitration in its disputes with China. A senior US State Department official who declined to be named said in August that Washington "will also be monitoring the actual situation around the rocks, reefs, and shoals in the South China Sea". Wang called on Sunday for respect for the combined efforts of China and ASEAN to resolve the issues, adding that direct dialogue and consultation between the countries involved has proved in the past to be the most effective way to resolve areas of concern. Gong Yingchun, an associate professor of international law at China Foreign Affairs University, said Beijing is urging Washington not to meddle with the South China Sea issue again as tension has somewhat eased recently. China and some Southeast Asian countries have seen progress in diminishing the tension, and discussions on a code of conduct between countries in the sea are continuing, even though it is a long-running process, Gong said. ^ top ^

Over 80% respondents in Japan, China unfavor the other: poll (Xinhua)
2014-09-09
A joint poll has showed that 93 percent of Japanese have a negative impression of China, hitting its worst level since the survey began in 2005, while 86.8 percent Chinese view Japan unfavorably, improving a little from last year. Released Tuesday here, the Public Opinion on China-Japan Relations 2014 survey, sponsored by China Daily and the Japanese non-profit think tank Genron NPO, reveals insightful new developments into how people in each country view one another. This year's poll showed that though sentiment towards the other continues to be unfavorable, the public in both countries are very conscious of the issues between them. Approximately 80 percent of Japanese and 70 percent of Chinese see a current situation of worsening national emotion as " undesirable and concerned" or "problem and needs to be resolved." Asked why they held an unfavorable view of Japan, 64 percent Chinese respondents chose Japan's "purchase" of China-owned Diaoyu Islands as the main reason. Tensions between Tokyo and Beijing soiled after the Japanese government officially decided to "buy" the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets, which is a serious violation of China's territorial sovereignty. Another reason, cited by 59.6 percent, was Japan's wartime conduct and its perceived lack of remorse and failure to properly apologize for its occupation of China. It is worth noting that there is an increase in people who chose "Some Japanese politicians' careless remarks," which came to 31.3 percent, compared with 25.2 percent last year. This indicates more Chinese people have unfavorable impression due to Japanese politicians' inappropriate words and actions, such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and some Japanese Cabinet members' visits to the war-time Yasukuni Shrine, a move also triggered strong opposition in Japan. Despite the various issues facing the two Asian economies, the survey also found that 70.6 percent of Japanese and 65.0 percent of Chinese view bilateral ties as important. Further more, more than 60 percent of Japanese and 50 percent of Chinese endorsed the cooperation of the two countries in the face of important issues in Asia. Asked about the summit meeting between the twocountries' leaders which have not been held since Abe took office in late 2012, more than half of the Japanese and Chinese public thought it is necessary. The joint poll, conducted in Japan and China from July through August, covered 1,000 Japanese and 1,539 Chinese. ^ top ^

China, Russia to increase reciprocal investment (Xinhua)
2014-09-09
China and Russia agreed on Tuesday to increase reciprocal investment and jointly develop energy, high-speed rail, telecommunications, mining, housing and infrastructure projects. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov co-chaired the first meeting of the China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. During the talks, Zhang said the two sides should create a more convenient environment for reciprocal investment. Shuvalov said Russia is ready to open up more areas of investment to Chinese investors and provide them with more favorable conditions and convenient financial services. The China-Russia partnership has entered a new stage of development, according to Zhang. He said the launch of the committee is aimed at further implementing the consensus reached by the presidents of the two countries and to prepare for the 19th regular meeting between the two countries' heads of government. The Chinese vice premier said the development of China-Russia relations has injected fresh impetus to their financial cooperation. Since the beginning of this year, Chinese direct investment in Russia has grown rapidly. The country has become the fourth-largest source of investment for Russia, pumping in a total of 32 billion U.S. dollars. As more and more Chinese and Russian companies are ready to invest in each other's country, bilateral investment faces new growth opportunities, Zhang noted. He expressed hope that the two sides can make the most of the new committee to tap the potential and complementary nature of their specific advantages. The vice premier told the meeting that the two sides should focus on cooperative projects in the areas of energy, high-speed rail, telecommunications, mining, housing and infrastructure development. Meanwhile, he said, the two sides should expand financial cooperation so as to benefit the people of the two countries. Shuvalov said strengthening bilateral investment is crucial to expanding and deepening the cooperation between the two countries. Russia will let the committee play its full role in advancing and guiding investment, he vowed. The China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee was launched following agreement between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin as they met in Beijing earlier this year. ^ top ^

China, Denmark pledge closer cooperation (Xinhua)
2014-09-10
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt here on Tuesday and both pledged to boost bilateral cooperation. During their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, Xi welcomed Thorning-Schmidt to China to attend the 2014 New Leaders Meeting of World Economic Forum, also known as Summer Davos forum. Denmark was one of the first countries that established diplomatic ties with China, Xi said, adding that the two countries should look at the bilateral relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, support each other on issues involving core interests and major concerns, enhance mutual trust and boost practical cooperation to further elevate the bilateral relationship. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1950. As China is moving ahead on a new path of industrialization, IT technology, urbanization and modern agriculture, Denmark can use its expertise and technical advantages to expand the areas of cooperation with China, Xi said, calling on the two sides to increase people-to-people exchange as well to enhance understanding and cement friendship between the two nations. Recalling his visit to Europe in March, Xi said he and European leaders have agreed to build partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization. "I'm glad to see that the China-Europe cooperation is pushing ahead in this direction," said the Chinese leader. Xi said that the cooperation between China and Nordic countries is promising, and that he hopes Denmark will play a leading role in promoting the cooperation. Thorning-Schmidt said the Denmark-China relationship is better than ever and she hopes her visit will help step up exchange and cooperation between the two countries. Queen Margrethe II paid a state visit to China in April and a total of ten ministers have visited China this year, which indicates how extensive, close and fruitful the bilateral cooperation is, said Thorning-Schmidt. The prime minister said that Denmark will continue to take part in China's economic and social development and boost cooperation with China on trade, new energy, water resources, technical innovation, social management and sustainable development. Hailing their cooperation on the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons, Thorning-Schmidt also said Denmark stands ready to increase coordination with China on global and regional affairs and make contributions to the cooperation between China and the European Union as well as between China and other Nordic countries. ^ top ^

China vows Ebola help in W Africa (Global Times)
2014-09-10
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that China is prepared to "fight side by side" with West African countries to combat the Ebola epidemic. Li made the remarks while meeting President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who is in north China's Tianjin Municipality for the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the Summer Davos forum. He described China and Africa as "friends and partners that share weal and woe with each other," and said that China is gravely concerned for the fate of people in areas hit by Ebola. China has sent three teams of experts and a chartered plane carrying supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in spite of a high risk of infection. The supplies, worth 30 million yuan ($4.9 million), included medical protective clothes, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicine. The Chinese government will also help Sierra Leone set up an Ebola laboratory and an Ebola holding center. Keita thanked China for its assistance. Li also conveyed a greeting from President Xi Jinping to Keita. Li said China supports Mali's efforts at national reconciliation and economic development, and will strengthen high-level engagement and cultural exchanges, expanding bilateral cooperation in areas including agriculture, mining and infrastructure construction.China will also continue participating in the peacekeeping action in Mali, the premier said. Keita asked Li to convey his greeting to Xi and vowed to work with China to promote the development of Mali-China and Africa-China relations. ^ top ^

China set to launch second space lab in 2016: official (Global Times)
2014-09-10
China will launch its second orbiting space laboratory in two years' time, and finish construction of space station around 2022, a top space official said Wednesday.[…]This is the first time China has hosted the annual ASE meeting, which has drawn nearly 100 astronauts from 18 countries to Beijing, a marker of the country's scientific progress. Yang added that Beijing plans to launch an experimental core space station module in 2018 and finish construction of a Chinese space station around 2022. Around the same time, the International Space Station, operated by the US, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe, is due to be retired. "We believe humans will continue carrying out further space and moon exploration activities," Yang said. China has sent 10 astronauts - eight men and two women - into space on five separate missions, and has launched an orbiting space module, Tiangong-1. It also launched the Chang'e-3 lunar mission with a lunar rover late last year. More women may be among the ranks of future Chinese astronauts, Yang said Wednesday.[…]The slowing down of space programs in the US and the EU means a chance for China's space development, Jiao said. But he added that China's space technology is still a long way behind that of the US - China's latest carrier rocket, the Long March-5, has a load capacity less than the rocket the US used in the 1969 Apollo program. Several countries have already reportedly been in contact with Beijing about the possibility of collaborating in space. Yang said China is willing to cooperate with other countries in space missions, as it has designed interfaces that would allow Chinese space modules to dock with those from other countries. […]."Developing a space station reflects a country's comprehensive capability, though it takes a long time to see the return of benefits," she told the Global Times, adding that scientific experiments in the space lab may focus on medicine, agriculture and physics, which will help improve lives. China's top universities have also participated in the space program. Peking University was asked several years ago to propose plausible space experiment projects involving space science and biology, Jiao noted. ^ top ^

Xi pledges to boost China-Tajikistan ties, SCO development (Xinhua)
2014-09-11
Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to further enhance China-Tajikistan relations as well as the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).Xi made the pledge in an article published Wednesday in Tajikistan's People's Gazette newspaper on the eve of his trip to Tajikistan for an SCO summit and a state visit to the country. Tajikistan is an important neighbor of China and China attaches great importance to its ties with Tajikistan and regards the country as an important cooperation partner, Xi wrote..[…]. Xi said. China is committed to boosting exchanges in policy formulation with an aim to work toward the coordination and possible integration of national development strategies, he said. He also proposed providing policy support to the implementation of large cooperation projects, and to work together to create a favorable environment for trade and investment. China will also work for trade facilitation, develop road links, push for the use of each other's currencies in trade, and strengthen people-to-people contacts, Xi said.[…].On his attendance at the SCO summit in Tajikistan, the Chinese president said that the SCO is an important platform for cooperation between China and Tajikistan in the international and regional arena. Within the framework of the SCO, he said, China and other member countries have allowed the "Shanghai Spirit" of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for the diversity of cultures and pursuit of common development. SCO member countries have established long-term cooperative relations of good-neighborliness and friendliness, and created a new model of international relations - partnership instead of alliance, he said. Since its establishment 13 years ago, the SCO, based on security cooperation, with economic and trade cooperation as the guarantee and people-to-people and cultural exchanges as the driving force, has made substantial progress in dealing with security threats and challenges, Xi said. The SCO has created regional anti-terror agencies, signed a convention on the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, and held more than 10 joint anti-terror drills, which effectively deterred terrorists and extremist forces in the region, Xi said. Currently, the three main tasks of maintaining security, promoting development and improving the well-being of the peoples have become even more urgent, Xi said. […] ^ top ^

The West should not criticize Sino-Russia energy cooperation (People's Daily Online)
2014-09-11
China and Russia have started to build a joint natural gas pipeline in accordance with the terms of a natural gas supply contract signed between the two countries in May. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony. The two countries signed a series of 30-year agreements on natural gas projects such as a USD 400 billion contract for Russia to supply 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China from 2018. China will start to build the Chinese sector of the pipeline in the first half of 2015. China and Russia are working to promote bilateral cooperation. However, both the Financial Times and The International New York Times have offered the view that China has emerged as a "winner" from the Ukraine crisis. According to The International New York Times, Bobo Lo, a specialist in Chinese and Russian foreign policy, is claiming that while the United States and European Union have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its interventions in eastern Ukraine, China has stood apart and sought to gain concrete advantages. Such complaints from western countries are groundless. Fundamentally, cooperation between China and Russia is not a matter of expediency but of mutual benefit. Russia is abundant with energy, especially in East Siberia and the Far East. Meanwhile, China is a big energy consumer. Natural gas imports are increasing year by year. China is increasingly reliant on foreign countries for energy. Therefore, China and Russia are complementary in respect of energy cooperation. Cooperation between China and Russia is beneficial to the development of East Siberia and the Far East and can promote infrastructure in Russia including roads, substations and power stations. Furthermore, Russia can diversify its energy exports. Therefore, Russia will not sacrifice its economic interests for support in the Ukraine conflict. This round of cooperation is based on a long period of negotiations. China and Russia have signed numerous agreements including bilateral cooperation, routes, and pricing of natural gas. Western countries have no grounds to criticize China. China has long been opposed to solving disputes via sanctions. “It is imperative for all to cease fire, stay calm and promote political settlement of the Ukraine crisis by making use of current communication and coordination mechanisms,” says Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang. ^ top ^

Naval missile defense system unveiled (Global Times)
2014-09-11
China revealed its HongQi-10 surface-to-air missile system for the first time on Wednesday. The advanced system, which can mitigate the threat from low-altitude anti-ship missiles, was unveiled during a China Central Television (CCTV) report. As a naval point-defense missile system, HongQi-10 boasts a particularly quick response to low-altitude missiles that area-defense systems fail to intercept. It has a high success rate in intercepting them, Lan Yun, deputy chief editor of Modern Ships, told the Global Times. The point-defense missile system defends a warship against rockets over a limited area. It is in contrast to an area-defense system that targets medium- and long-range objects with slower response and lower success rate.HongQi-10 can be prepared to launch missiles in about 10 seconds and aims at missiles only 1.5 to 10 meters above the sea level, Lan said. The advanced system, equipped with both infrared and microwave seekers, can secure naval ships against anti-ship missiles outfitted with either infrared or microwave radiation, Lin Yuchen, a missile expert of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, told CCTV. The dual seeker missiles can combat interference from jamming, since an infrared seeker is always combined with a radar seeker that often detects waves whose wavelengths are longer than microwaves, said naval expert Li Jie.In addition to maritime defense, the low- to medium-level air defense system is also designed to protect ground forces from air attacks by jets, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, said Lin.Such small missile system can be widely deployed due to its agility, he added. The system was adopted by the Liaoning aircraft carrier and the type 056 corvette in 2011, said Lan. ^ top ^

Xi proposes to build China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor (Xinhua)
2014-09-11
Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed here Thursday to construct an economic corridor linking China, Mongolia and Russia. Xi put forward the proposal at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on the sidelines of the 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Highlighting that the development strategies of the three neighboring countries are highly compatible, Xi noted that both Russia and Mongolia have positively responded to China's vision on building an economic belt along the Silk Road. The Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, proposed by Xi during his visit to Central Asia last year, eyes a revival of the ancient trade route linking China with Central Asia and Europe. The three countries, Xi pointed out, can dovetail the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative with Russia's transcontinental rail plan and Mongolia's Prairie Road program, and jointly build a China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor. On building the corridor, Xi called on the three sides to strengthen traffic interconnectivity, facilitate cargo clearance and transportation, and study the feasibility of building a transnational power grid. As part of the initiative, Xi also suggested that the three countries beef up cooperation in such areas as tourism, think tank, media, environmental protection, and disaster prevention and relief. The three countries should deepen cooperation within the framework of the SCO, jointly safeguard regional security, and achieve common development, said the Chinese leader. Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. On international cooperation, Xi noted that the three countries need to jointly safeguard the basic norms governing international relations, advocate the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and collaboration, and jointly promote the political resolution of international disputes and hot issues. China supports Mongolia's participation in regional affairs, said Xi, inviting Mongolia to participate in the activities China and Russia plan to hold next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victories of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, as well as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Noting that the three countries are good neighbors and partners, Xi said the trilateral summit is of great significance to deepening mutual trust, promoting win-win cooperation among the three parties, and pushing forward regional cooperation in Northeast Asia. He also voiced the belief that the trilateral summit will lay a firm foundation for the development of a closer trilateral relationship. ^ top ^

Xi Jinping repeats call for political solution in Ukraine (SCMP)
2014-09-12
President Xi Jinping has repeated a call for the crisis in Ukraine to be resolved politically via an inclusive dialogue, during talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, China's Foreign Ministry said. “China stands for resolving the Ukraine crisis through political means, and calls on all parties in Ukraine to open an inclusive dialogue as early as possible,” the ministry cited Xi as saying in a statement issued late on Thursday. “Relevant parties need to get to the bottom of the matter and fundamentally sort out and resolve the problem,” Xi told Putin during a meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. The ministry said that Putin briefed Xi on Russia's view and stance on the crisis, adding that Russia attaches importance to and appreciates China's position and proposals on the issue and is willing to keep in touch with China. China has adopted a cautious, low-key response to the crisis, not wanting either to alienate key ally Russia or comment directly on the referendum in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, lest it set a precedent for its own restive regions, like Tibet. Beijing, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly called for a political solution to the crisis. But China has also said it would like to continue to develop “friendly cooperation” with Ukraine and that it respects Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. ^ top ^

China pledges to assist in fight on terror (China Daily)
2014-09-12
China pledged stronger cooperation with the international community to combat terrorism, as US President Barack Obama announced a "systematic campaign of airstrikes" against Islamic State militants "wherever they exist". "America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," Obama said in a Wednesday primetime address to the nation. The Obama administration has been blamed for its slow reaction to Islamic State's activities. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that "the lasting turbulence in some areas has given transnational terrorists a chance", posing new security threats and challenges for antiterrorist cooperation. China expects that "the countries concerned will regain stability and orderliness at an early date", which will help eliminate the breeding ground of terrorism there, Hua said. Hu Shisheng, a South Asia studies scholar at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that since the 9/11 attacks, the effects of the global anti-terror battle have rippled like a huge rock thrown into a swamp. "Homeland security in the United States has been overhauled close to perfection, but some other countries, which have been home to terrorists, have suffered greater chaos and dysfunction of governance," Hu warned, adding that the mission against terrorism is now faced with unprecedented difficulties. Li Shaoxian, an expert on Middle East affairs and vice-president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said Obama's declaration of such a campaign aims to impress on the public that "the US is returning to the fight against terror". "Since Obama took office, the priority of the US global anti-terror campaign has diminished on the White House agenda, and the pressure on the extremist organizations has been partly relieved, which gave rise to the violent Islamic State," Li said. Obama aims to "restore eroding US public confidence in his leadership and ability to safeguard national security", Xinhua commented. Obama also said the US will not hesitate to take action against Islamic State in Syria as well as Iraq, indicating an expanded scale of attack. Li questioned the effectiveness of using only airstrikes without ground forces. "A chain reaction will be prompted if the US army enters Syria," he said. China called upon the global anti-terror fight to respect international law, national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Hua noted. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Xi stresses adherence to China's political path ahead of legislature anniversary (Xinhua)
2014-09-06
President Xi Jinping on Friday said China must promote socialist democracy through the improvement of the system of people's congresses, as the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, celebrates its 60th anniversary. While hailing the system of people's congresses as China's fundamental political system, Xi said "In new situations, we should hold high the banner of people's democracy, while adhering to and improving the system of people's congresses as required by the times." "We should keep to the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics and continue to promote socialist democracy," he said at a conference to mark the aniversary, which falls on Sept. 15. China's socialist political system has proved itself feasible, efficient and has vitality because it was developed in the country's social soil, Xi said, adding that any system should be designed and developed according to a country's actual conditions and situations. "China needs to draw lessons from the achievements of foreign politics, but the foundations of our system should absolutely not be given up," Xi said. Copying another country's political system is not feasible and will even ruin the future and fate of China, he said.
ADVANCING SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY
The development of socialist democracy is a must for modernizing the country's "governance system" and "governance capability," he said. "The key to developing socialist democracy is expanding rather than weakening our advantages and characteristics." […] All power of the country must belong to the people, ensuring their power of voting as well as democratic decision-making, management and supervision in accordance to law, he said. Politicians making boundless promises during elections with no responses to people's demands after the elections should be avoided, he added. "We must stick to and improve the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation led by the CPC so as to prevent parties being at strife and jostling each other (for positions)," he said. Regional autonomy of ethnic minorities should also be followed and improved to consolidate socialist ethnic relations that feature equality, solidarity, mutual aid and harmony rather than estrangement and conflicts. China must strengthen self-governance at the grass-roots level to prevent phenomenon that the people seem to have power but are actually powerless, he said. He also noted the system of "democratic centralism" which helps forge united forces to administer and govern the country and avoids impeding of each other and internal conflicts. People should unswervingly stick to the CPC's leadership, ensure people's master status and promote the rule of law in their efforts to enhance the system of people's congresses, Xi said. The President called for efforts to improve legislative work to provide legal support to China's development and major reform measures. The country should deepen reform on its judicial system, expand channels for the public to supervise the use of power, and establish an effective system to curb corruption, Xi said. Chinese leaders Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli were also present at Friday's conference, which was presided over by top legislator Zhang Dejiang. ^ top ^

Chasing riches led China down the path of corruption, say party elders' children (SCMP)
2014-09-07
The all-out pursuit of wealth and economic growth, and empty moral slogans, are to blame for rampant corruption in the Communist Party, children of several party elders have said. It was "unthinkable" that some officials took advantage of their political power to become the first to "get rich" after the country embraced economic reforms, they said on the sidelines of a conference in Hong Kong commemorating the founding of the prestigious Huangpu Military Academy 90 years ago. "One of the major reasons [for corruption] is that our party has adopted a problematic guiding ideology," Dong Lianghui said. She is the daughter of Dong Biwu, a key member of the first-generation party leadership and who served as a vice-president. "There is nothing wrong with letting Chinese people get rich, but the officials should never have treated themselves as the group of people who should get rich first," Dong said, referring to Deng Xiaoping's famous remark in the mid-1980s that China should reform its planned economy and "let some people get rich first". Ye Xiangzhen, the second daughter of the late marshal Ye Jianying, shared Dong's sentiments. "Rampant corruption does not happen overnight," she said. "The reason that there are corrupt officials was that China neglected moral and ethical education during the economic development over the past few decades. We were only thinking about how to enrich people's material life and help the country get richer." They called on the leadership to return to the country's traditional values to find solutions for the moral degradation among party cadres. Lieutenant General Xu Xiaoyan, the son of marshal Xu Xiangqian, said the Communist Party's ideological campaigns were merely empty slogans. The rapid decay of moral values, not only in the party but Chinese society in general, had turned the campaigns into 'slogan-chanting' events, Xu said. "What [the party cadres] did was totally different from the slogans they were chanting," he said. Xu said China should improve its political system and the rule of law to prevent corruption, and that the leadership needed to introduce better policies instead of carrying out more revolutionary campaigns. "The party has not transformed very well from a revolutionary party to a ruling party," he added. Xu and Dong called for greater transparency at both central and local government levels to allow public monitoring. The forum is held once a year to commemorate the founding of the Huangpu academy. The academy is known as the cradle of China's modern revolutions, and its alumni include senior military officers of both the Communist and Kuomintang armies. ^ top ^

Ranking order change reflects solidarity (Global Times)
2014-09-09
At a recent event, retired top leader Hu Jintao was given a lower position in the official rankings of Party and State leaders, which analysts believed could signal a desire for a strong core leadership under President Xi Jinping within the Party. In a Friday report in the Nanjing-based Xinhua Daily about the funeral of Cao Keming, former secretary of the Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Jiangsu Provincial Committee, Hu's name was listed behind those of the incumbent members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Xi's name and his mourning for Cao was noted in a separate sentence at the beginning of the report, while other members of the Political Bureau, the highest body within the Party, were listed as a group in the following sentence. During the CPC's leadership transition in 2012, Xi became the CPC Central Committee general secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Following the transition, Xi said Hu voluntarily gave up the military commission post. Since then, Hu had been listed after members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau at public appearances and news reports. In China, the ranking of officials is considered a serious matter, and is closely watched for clues to happenings in China's politics. "There is no written rule on the ranking of officials and it varies from time to time, reflecting the changing power structure," said Wang Zhanyang, a professor with the Central Institute of Socialism. Wang told the Global Times that the new ranking indicated an obvious decline in the influence of retired top officials and strong support for Xi's core role in the new central leadership. "Xi has proven himself to be a mature leader who can play a pivotal role. The nation may still encounter many difficulties in deepening reforms, but the new generation of leadership is expected to eventually overcome them. Given that, the best thing retired officials can offer is their support for Xi's independent leadership," Wang noted. Yin Yungong, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, echoed Wang. "The lowered position sends a positive signal that retired top officials will not interfere with current leadership," Yin said, adding that Hu has demonstrated "exemplary conduct and nobility of character." Similar comments have been bestowed on another retired top leader, Jiang Zemin, following his request that the CPC Central Committee place his name alongside those of other retired senior officials, and below those of serving Party and State leaders in November 2012. "The new ranking order is a new outlook, indicating a more scientific, rational and regulated political system in the future," Yin noted. ^ top ^

China's poverty cut off too low: expert (China Daily)
2014-09-09
China may have more poor people than it realizes. Taking into consideration the economic vulnerability resulting from natural disasters, illness and unemployment, about 30 percent of the Chinese are under the poverty line, said Wei Shangjin, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank. He suggested China's government focus more on promoting social insurance programs to reduce the risk among the group. Wei unveiled the main findings of a report on Monday at Stanford University. Rapid economic growth, reform and an opening up policy have led to a dramatic improvement in living standards in China, the report found. "China's achievement in poverty alleviation is the largest in the world," said Wei. But, the study shows that the traditional $1.25 per day measurement for poverty does not fully capture the extent of extreme poverty in Asia, Wei explained. The "poverty level is defined in terms of the minimal requirements necessary to afford minimal standards of food, clothing, health care and shelter", he said. "Three additional elements should be considered in the poverty picture: the cost of consumption specific to the poor in Asia; food costs that rise faster than the general price level; and vulnerability to illness, natural disasters, climate change, economic crisis and other shocks," said Wei. He told China Daily that the poverty threshold in China should be increased to $2 per day due to the vulnerabilities the poor are exposed to. A vulnerability-adjusted poverty line adds more points to China's poverty rate, which rises to about 30 percent of the population. Wei urged the Chinese government to foster the development of social insurance and subsistence security systems that are accessible to the poor. ^ top ^

Charity group sees six libraries shut down by Chinese authorities in mystery crackdown (SCMP)
2014-09-09
A Chinese pro-literacy non-profit has seen its sixth library shut down by authorities this year without any explanation given – sending a chilling message following reports of raids on its centres. China Rural Library (CRL), a government-sanctioned grass-roots group that seeks to boost literacy and education in the country's impoverished rural areas, said its Shanxi library was shut down last Thursday. CRL said that around 10 days before the closure, “CRL's 11 libraries across the country have [experienced] raids more than once” from local education and culture authorities. That would mean five libraries – one in Shanxi province and the remaining four in Sichuan – had suspended operations since late August, according to its official Weibo account. Adding the shutdown of the Lu Zuofu library in Xiaojia town, Chongqing, on May 30 brings the total to six. CRL's management did not explain the reasons behind the shutdowns, but in a hint that it was forced said “none of its libraries are voluntarily closed for mismanagement reasons”, according to its Weibo. CRL's account on e-commerce site Taobao.com, in which people were able to purchase books and donate to the libraries, were also suspended. Separately, Tang Shuangfei, manager of the Lu Zuofu centre, said in a lengthy post that the Xiaojia library was accused by local authorities of “circulating religious books” and that among those officials confiscated during an inspection was a book on Christianity written by German political economist Max Weber. Tang denied the library owned any religious litreature. The abrupt closures have raised concerns that more of CRL's libraries would face a similar fate. “Will the list [of closed libraries] be expanded?” Li Yingqiang, the founder of CRL, wrote on his microblog. Li said in another post that five of the closed libraries this year had a “stable cooperation relationship” with local schools before the abrupt closure, and he received no formal explanations from the authorities yet. […] ^ top ^

China upholds Mao's tenets on governance (Global Times)
2014-09-10
Grass-roots commemorations prevailed on the 38th anniversary of the death of former Chairman Mao Zedong Tuesday when few official ceremonies were held, although analysts believe that the Party still upholds his thoughts on governance. Many news portals on Tuesday posted an article entitled "Philosophical thoughts last forever, although the great man has long gone," which was originally printed Tuesday in the People's Daily. Media outlets also posted famous sayings and photographs of Mao on their Sina Weibo accounts. In contrast with the grand commemoration for late leader Deng Xiaoping in August, some found this year's commemoration of Mao was on a smaller scale. This reignited public discussions as to whether the Communist Party of China (CPC) prefers Deng, the chief architect of China's reform and opening-up, over Mao as the nation deepens reform. However, analysts pointed out that major official commemorative events are traditionally held every five years and Party and State leaders have never strayed from upholding Mao Zedong Thought, often attaching more significance to it instead. Qi Xingfa, an associate professor with the School of Humanities and Social Science at East China Normal University, told the Global Times that the legitimacy of the CPC's leadership mostly relies on economic progress, whereas any downplaying of former leaders will jeopardize its governance. President Xi Jinping visited Mao's mausoleum in Beijing along with six other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, China's top decision-making body, on December 26 last year, the 120th anniversary of Mao's birth. They bowed to Mao's statue at the mausoleum, but this act was not repeated at the 110th anniversary of Deng's birth this August, which indicated the "unshakeable significance of Mao as the founding father of China," according to Maoist scholar Sima Nan. "Neither Deng nor Mao's great accomplishments can be denied. I believe that the current central leadership is finding a balance between Mao and Deng," Ma Yong, a research fellow with the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times Tuesday. "From anti-graft to the mass line campaign, Xi is promoting what Mao had also done. This shows the current leadership is not only preaching the words of Mao Zedong Thought but has put them into action," Sima noted. Meanwhile, analysts agreed that the nation's widening wealth gap as well as the corrupt and bureaucratic system make some people feel nostalgic for Mao's leadership when egalitarianism and political purity prevailed. "Such reflections are mere complaints about reality under the guise of history. The nation should be more open to Mao's profile to carry out research about Mao as a human instead of either deifying or demonizing him," Ma noted. ^ top ^

SPC to hear appeals by video link (Global Times)
2014-09-10
Beginning October 1, petitioners who are unsatisfied with a local court decision and who wish to file their complaints a second time or more will be required to use an online video conference service instead of traveling to Beijing to speak to with a judge from the Supreme People's Court (SPC), China's highest judicial body. According to the SPC, the decision, news of which was released on Friday, is meant to boost efficiency and simplify the procedures for people seeking redress from court decisions. According to Qian Xiaochen, a judge from the SPC, repeat petitioners can apply for a video conference session with a SPC judge at a local court once they have provided a full set of petitioning materials. The application will first be reviewed by the court where the application is filed to make sure the case falls under SPC's jurisdiction before further processing. The SPC will also contact the petitioner directly and ask the person to apply for a video conference session if the court believes such sessions are necessary. As of Tuesday, the SPC has opened video conference lines with 3,435 courts at various levels across the nation. Petitioners will be required to present their cases in front of a camera, while a SPC judge will question both parties via video. "The 'three-way meeting' in the video conference will allow both parties to express their opinions … The interview will be recorded from the beginning to the end. It helps the local judges to be aware of their behavior and allows the SPC to better supervise lower-level courts by correcting mistakes in their court decisions," Qian told the Xinhua News Agency. Lawyers and petitioners have expressed complicated feelings toward the new requirement. A petitioner surnamed Wang from Anhui Province told the Global Times that he welcomes the video conference session in general but is worried about what are the actual chances he can speak with the SPC if his application is "pre-screened by a local court." However, Sui Muqing, a lawyer from the Guangdong Yaohui Law Firm, told the Global Times that the new move will help conserve the legal system's limited resources. "People believe traveling to Beijing might put more pressure on the authorities. Truth is, there is only a very small chance that they will see their problems solved [by petitioning in Beijing] in comparison to the price they have to pay," Sui said. Wang Fu, a lawyer from Beijing Zhenbang Law Firm, told the Global Times that the fact that a local judge is sitting side-by-side with a petitioner in a video conference with the SPC might damage the authority of all local judges as well as the law. "Video conference is only a technology; it doesn't do much to change the big picture. What China really needs is a healthy environment for the rule of the law," Sui said. ^ top ^

Over 16,000 investigated for dereliction of duty (Xinhua)
2014-09-10
More than 16,000 people have been investigated in the past 18 months for breaches of duty, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) on Wednesday. About two thirds of them, more than 8,000, were administrative functionaries. The cases involved a total of 2,752 deaths and caused direct economic loss of 17.8 billion yuan (275 million US dollars). A total of 414 officials at or above county level were investigated, including two at ministerial level. For example, Chen Bohuai, vice chairman of the Hunan political consultative body, was investigated for taking bribes, abuse of power and bending the law for personal gain. The SPP launched a two-year campaign against breaches of duty in Jan. 2013. By the end of June, 6,659 people had been prosecuted with 4,917 convicted. ^ top ^

China sees big drop in carbon emissions: Li (Xinhua)
2014-09-11
China's carbon emissions saw the largest drop in years as the nation furthers structural readjustment to improve growth quality, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday. The country's carbon intensity was cut by about 5 percent in the first half of the year, the largest drop in many years, the premier said in an address to the Summer Davos forum, currently being held in Tianjin. Meanwhile, energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 4.2 percent year-on-year during the period, the premier said. "In the first half of the year, the growth of investment and production of industries with high energy consumption and emissions noticeably slowed down," Li said. Through reform and innovation, the country has moved to reduce overcapacity and foster new growth areas. China has been promoting business mergers and reorganization while redoubling efforts to conserve energy and cut emissions, Li said. China has consumed less coal, electricity and oil and eased pressures on transport capacity in achieving the same GDP growth, he said. Tackling climate change is not only China's binding international obligation as a major responsible country, but also a pressing need for the country's own development. "We have declared war on pollution and earnestly fulfilled international responsibilities," he said. The country is studying action targets on greenhouse gas emissions control, including the peak of carbon dioxide emissions, carbon emissions intensity reduction and increases in the share of non-fossil energy by 2030 and beyond. Meanwhile, China will also work with other countries to tackle global climate change, he said. The Chinese government has pledged a 40 to 45 percent reduction of carbon dioxide intensity by 2020 from the levels in 2005 and is committed to making every effort to achieve the target. Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP had dropped 28.56 percent by 2013 from the levels of 2005, or a reduction of 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's key economic planning body. ^ top ^

Chinese mainland finds food made with tainted Taiwanese oil (Xinhua)
2014-09-11
The Chinese coastal city of Xiamen has found 4.9 tonnes of food connected to tainted lard produced in Taiwan, inspection and quarantine authorities said Thursday. An official with the entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau of Xiamen said the port did not import tainted lard from Taiwan oil suppler Chang Guann Co., but found 3.2 tonnes of pork products, such as meat sauce, and 1.7 tonnes of snacks, including butter biscuits, that allegedly contained the company's tainted lard. The bureau requested that importers recall and seize the related products. Inspection and quarantine authorities in Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province also seized 60 kg of food on Wednesday, allegedly in connection with the tainted lard, including noodles, beef and sunflower seeds, which were returned to the exporters or destroyed. Police in Taiwan busted a ring selling hundreds of tonnes of recycled cooking oil made from kitchen waste and grease from leather processing plants last week. Chang Guann Co., a well-established cooking oil supplier in Taiwan, purchased the recycled oil to produce 782 tonnes of lard, with most of it sold to food companies and restaurants, including a number of leading brands, such as Wei Chuan Corp. and 85'C Bakery Cafe. ^ top ^

Chinese court postpones Yang Maodong trial after no show by rights activist's lawyers (SCMP)
2014-09-12
A Chinese court on Friday postponed the trial against human rights activist Yang Maodong after his lawyers did not to show up to protest a denial of their right to copy court files. Quoting family members of fellow defendant Sun Desheng, lawyer Lin Qilei said both Yang and Sun told the court that they would remain silent without their lawyers and that the court then decided to reschedule the trial. “The court had no choice but to announce the postponement,” Lin said. Yang, better known by his pen name of Guo Feixiong, is a veteran activist pushing for greater political freedom and more civic engagement in China. He was detained in August last year after he organised public rallies calling for press freedom outside a media company that complained of government censorship, but the authorities have charged him with gathering crowds to disrupt public order. On Thursday, his lawyers Chen Guangwu and Zhang Xuezhong said they would not attend the court proceedings because they could not mount an effective defence after the authorities did not let them copy court files crucial to the case, including videos and photos related to Yang's alleged offences. The court did not provide a reason for the ban, Chen said. Through a statement released by his lawyers late on Thursday, Yang said the court had unlawfully deprived him and his legal team of a proper defence. He had vowed to remain silent if the trial went ahead. Calls to the court after the postponement rang unanswered. New York-based Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Chinese authorities to release both Yang and Sun. “Much of Guo's and Sun's work echoed authorities' stated policy goals, such as fighting corruption, so where's the evidence they violated any Chinese law?” Sophie Richardson, China director at the human rights group, said. In January last year, Yang helped organise demonstrations and gave a speech in support of the editorial staff of the newspaper Southern Weekly in Guangzhou after the journalists said that a New Year's message that called for rule by the constitution was altered because of censorship. The authorities have accused Yang of disturbing public order, but his supporters say the rallies were orderly. ^ top ^

 

 

Shanghai

Media industry conditions open door to unlawful acts (Global Times)
2014-09-10
Last week, several editorial staff members with the website of the 21st Century Business Herald, a well-known business media group based in Shanghai, were arrested by police in the city on suspicion of extortion, according to media reports published last week. Members of two public relations firms were also reportedly under investigation for the same matter. Specifically, the group's staff members were said to be colluding with PR firms in Shanghai and Shenzhen to target companies that were preparing to list on the country's stock exchanges, the People's Daily reported. Businesses that did not pay the fees demanded by this cabal were threatened with negative publicity, while those that inked advertising or business cooperation deals were spared. Some reports suggest that this scheme was meant to benefit the group's bottom line while also enriching the individual editors who were nabbed. Unfortunately, such stories have been heard before in China. Over the past year, several high-ranking staff members at CCTV (China Central Television) have either been arrested or placed under investigation by authorities for similar extortion schemes. Last October as well, a reporter from the New Express, a tabloid published in Guangzhou, was also arrested after he confessed to taking bribes to make up stories about Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co Ltd. Most media organizations draw a clear line between their editorial and business departments to prevent just this sort of thing from happening. Ideally, editors and journalists should not let business matters factor into their reporting. For decades, this has been the norm at most Western media organizations. In fact, even Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times needed to get approval from the paper's editors before he could publish opinion pieces in the newspaper he owned. In China though, things are different. This difference is largely a product of current political and economic realities in the country, as well as the local media industry's struggle to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. For several decades starting in 1949, all of China's media outlets were owned by the State. During the 1990s, a series of reforms gave some local groups a newfound degree of independence. With this independence though, some organizations were cut off from State financial support and allowed to sink or swim on their own. Like their peers elsewhere in the world, most commercial Chinese media organizations depend on advertisement money to stay afloat. But without a tradition of separating editorial and business functions, reporters and editors sometimes find themselves selling ads. […].Compared to many other countries, China's commercial media industry has a short history. Many outlets still lack mature, professional and principled staff members. But despite their shortcomings, they have to make money. Scandals involving the media are now becoming more common and getting more attention. Yet I fear that extortion and other practices will never be fully eradicated unless conditions within the industry change. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Strike ends at two Dongguan companies (China Daily)
2014-09-11
Production at two strike-hit companies in Dongguan, Guangdong province, resumed on Sept 11 after senior executives from the two Taiwan-funded firms promised to cut their own bonuses, according to the city government. The strike began on Sept 9 when about 16,000 workers from Dongguan Masstop Liquid Crystal Display Co Ltd and Wintek (China) Technology Ltd stopped work after their employers didn't give mooncake coupons to the workers for Mid-Autumn Festival, and the workers' festival bonus was cut to 100 yuan ($16) from the previous 600 yuan. The strikers blocked roads outside their factories, snarling traffic. Police and government officials were immediately sent to the scenes to help maintain social order and mediate the strikes, the city said. The two strike-hit companies are subsidiaries of a Taiwanese Apple Inc supplier in Dongguan, a Pearl River Delta city and a major production base of Guangdong. Wintek, a Taiwan-listed company, began operating in Dongguan in September 1995. The company now produces liquid crystal display front boards for Apple. Covering an area of more than 80,000 square meters in the city's Sangyuan Industrial Zone, Wintek has about 20,000 employees in Dongguan. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Dalai Lama urged again to respect reincarnation (China Daily)
2014-09-11
China repeated a call on the Dalai Lama on Wednesday to respect the historic practice of reincarnation, after he implied in a newspaper interview he may be the last to hold the position. The Dalai Lama, in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, said the tradition of the post could end with him, adding the Tibetan Buddhism was not dependent on a single person. The Dalai Lama, 79, has stated previously that he may not be reborn in China. China has previously warned the Dalai Lama he has no right to abandon the tradition of reincarnation. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that when it came to the reincarnation of living Buddhas, including the Dalai Lama, China had a "set religious procedure and historic custom"." China follows a policy of freedom of religion and belief, and this naturally includes having to respect and protect the ways of passing on Tibetan Buddhism," Hua said. "The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history. The (present) 14th Dalai Lama has ulterior motives, and is seeking to distort and negate history, which is damaging to the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.". ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Urumqi offers rewards to terror informants (Xinhua)
2014-09-09
Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has announced rewards for people who offer anti-terror tipoffs and fight terrorism. People can report crimes including organizing, leading or participating in terrorist groups, orchestrating or carrying out terrorist activities, raising funds or purchasing items for that purpose, as well as transporting, hiding or aiding terrorists, etc. The maximum reward is one million yuan (about 160,000 U.S. dollars), calculated on how much damage would have been caused and how important a role the person plays. Identities of informants and those who receive rewards will be kept confidential. In August, Xinjiang announced that more than 300 million yuan would be offered in cash rewards to those who helped hunt suspected terrorists. ^ top ^

China to fast-track prosecution of terrorists, extremists (Xinhua)
2014-09-12
Chinese prosecutors, especially those in Xinjiang, are asked to fast-track cases involving terrorists, religious extremists and manufacturers of firearms and explosives, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Thursday. Counterterrorism is to be a priority of prosecutors as part of tough measures against the "three evil forces" -- terrorism, separatism and extremism. Human trafficking cases will also be fast-tracked, said a statement issued after a meeting on Xinjiang issues. The statement emphasized that these cases must be handled without discrimination and under the principle of tempering justice with mercy. The SPP encouraged cooperation between prosecutors in Xinjiang and the rest of the country for a coordinated offensive against terrorists. They are also urged to work with police and communities to root up supporters of terrorism. Besides fighting terrorism, prosecutors are instructed to protect legitimate rights and interests of people from all ethnic groups and help implement the country's religious policies. Also on Thursday, the Supreme People's Court instructed courts in Xinjiang to speed up trials of terror cases and deliver exemplary penalties. The number of terror cells busted in Xinjiang increased from about 140 in 2010 to more than 200 last year. A series of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang shocked the country this year, with the latest in early August when 37 civilians were killed and another 13 injured in Shache County of Kashgar Prefecture. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Moody's warns Hong Kong electoral reform could lead to 'credit negative' outlook (SCMP)
2014-09-08
International credit rating agency Moody's warned that Beijing's stringent ruling on electoral reform could lead to prolonged political discord, eroding Hong Kong's status as a global financial centre and potentially leading to a negative credit outlook. It was the first such warning from a major credit rating agency and appeared to place responsibility on Beijing's decision-makers for the city's negative economic outlook. "A significant portion of Hong Kong's population favours a less restrictive nominating process than set out by the NPC Standing Committee, and further demonstrations against it appear likely," Moody's said yesterday. "A prolonged period of demonstrations would likely negatively affect economic growth, indirectly affecting government finance, and confidence and, therefore, capital flows." Last month the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress laid down a tougher-than-expected framework for the chief executive race in 2017 - allowing only two or three candidates to contest the top job. Aspirants would be required to obtain majority support from a 1,200-strong nominating committee to get on the ballot paper. The decision triggered an angry response from pan-democrats, with the camp's 27 lawmakers vowing to veto the government's electoral reform proposal. Occupy Central leaders have vowed to block roads in the city's business hub in an effort to force Beijing to change its mind. A Moody's spokeswoman said it had yet to imply any future downgrading action from the agency, but warned: "Over the longer period... if the discord persists, diminished confidence could start to erode Hong Kong's standing as a global financial centre, which would be clearly credit negative." The city's rating currently stands at Aa1 with a stable prospect. The top rating is Aaa. An HSBC report in July downgraded the city's stock market prospects due to possible protests by Occupy Central that "could sour relations with China and may hurt the economy". Moody's said Hong Kong still had a "very high level" of fiscal reserves, so some reversal of capital flows would be manageable. "As a result of these strong financial buffers, we believe that the credit implications of the current political situation, while negative, are not yet significant." ANZ Bank's chief Greater China economist Liu Li-Gang said it showed Hong Kong had been put on a watch-list. Occupy co-founder Chan Kin-man said Beijing should be blamed for the stand-off because it had deprived Hongkongers of genuine universal suffrage. ^ top ^

UN committee to look into universal suffrage in Hong Kong (SCMP)
2014-09-10
The United Nations Human Rights Committee is to look into universal suffrage in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post has learnt. The move by the international body - which monitors civil and political rights across the world - comes only 10 days after Beijing imposed a restrictive reform framework for the 2017 chief executive election. The open session of the UNHRC is tentatively scheduled for October 23. Members will discuss whether a select group of regions - including Hong Kong - have complied with previous recommendations. Law Yuk-kai, director of Human Rights Monitor, says he will write to the Human Rights Committee in Geneva to explain why the recent universal suffrage model laid down by the national legislature is unacceptable. "The model is a gross violation of our political rights," he said. "It flies in the face of the committee's earlier recommendations." Referring to a statement released by the UK Foreign Office last week that "welcomed" China's objective in the elections, he added: "The British government has given a shameful response on the issue. I hope the committee will pay attention." The UN meeting next month comes after the National People's Congress Standing Committee voted on August 31 to cap the number of candidates at two or three in the city's first popular election to choose its leader. It also required would-be candidates to secure the support of more than half of a 1,200-strong nominating committee before going to the public ballot in 2017. The UN body, with 18 independent experts, monitors the performance of states under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was ratified by Britain for Hong Kong in 1976 and remains in force under the Basic Law. The committee has the power to require states to submit reports and to make recommendations. However, it lacks an enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance. The Hong Kong government has submitted three reports since the handover. The most recent was submitted in 2011. Recommendations were received from the committee in 2013, and a follow-up report was submitted in March. Next month's meeting is to discuss the government's last response. In the 2013 recommendation, the UNHRC called for measures to implement universal suffrage to ensure the right of all people to vote and to stand for election without unreasonable limitations. Human rights law professor Michael Davis said: "One would hope that the committee... will make clear the seriousness of these commitments." He noted that both the Hong Kong and central governments have dismissed the international standards of the treaty body. ^ top ^

Beijing could rein in Hong Kong if Occupy Central goes ahead, says mainland academic (SCMP)
2014-09-12
Beijing could move to reduce Hong Kong's autonomy if actions such as Occupy Central go ahead, a mainland academic has warned. Professor Zhang Dinghuai, deputy director at Shenzhen University's Centre for Basic Laws of Hong Kong and Macau, said Beijing currently uses the Basic Law to “govern” its relationship with Hong Kong. But Occupy supporters believe that the mini-constitution is “draconian” and want to defy the rule of law, according to Zhang, and that will force Beijing to change its “legal” approach to a mainland-style “political” approach. “In a unitary state such as China, the ties between the central and local administrations are usually … regulated through politics,” Zhang said in an article submitted to the South China Morning Post on Thursday. “[Yet] Beijing uses the Basic Law to govern its relationship with Hong Kong. This is an obvious example of a relationship regulated by law. “If the Basic Law is not being recognised – as per Occupy Central's contention that it is draconian – I am afraid this relationship could only move towards political adjustment,” Zhang wrote. Occupy organisers plan to stage a mass sit-in on the streets of Central to protest Beijing's decision to rule out an open election of the chief executive in 2017. In a phone interview with the Post, Zhang cited Shenzhen as an example of an administration coming under Beijing's political approach. Beijing could cause the municipal government to gain or lose power just by introducing a new policy instead of amending any legislation. “Beijing wouldn't want to do this to Hong Kong,” Zhang said. “But if Hong Kong's rule of law is being destroyed, I am afraid it could only go that way.” In response, Occupy co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man dismissed the suggestion that Occupy organisers consider the Basic Law “draconian” and were out to defy the rule of law. He said Zhang had “completely misunderstood” the democracy movement. “We have always believed that [the Basic Law] includes international democratic standards,” he said. “We are not shrugging off the Basic Law in fighting for democracy. […] ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Cross-Strait investment surging (Xinhua)
2014-09-10
Investment between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan has surged this year, a spokesman said on Wednesday. In the first seven months of 2014, mainland authorities approved 1,284 projects featuring investment by Taiwanese businesses, a 10.2-percent increase from the same period last year, while $1.47 billion of Taiwanese investment has been put into use, said Ma Xiaoguang of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. The authorities have also approved 34 investment projects or mainland enterprises to operate in Taiwan, with the investment reaching 195 million US dollars, which exceeds the annual total of 177 million US dollars last year, Ma said at a press conference. The mainland will continue to prioritize investment in Taiwan while opening its market so the two sides can share development opportunities, according to the spokesman. The mainland has long encouraged Taiwanese enterprises to develop in the mainland, issuing a number of favorable policies. Measures have also been taken to make it more convenient for Taiwanese to travel across the Strait, find jobs as well as receive education and medical care. Ma said that mainland authorities will continue their economic reform to provide better conditions and policies for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in the mainland. ^ top ^

 

Economy

6 bln dollars in foreign trade contracts signed at China-Eurasia Expo (Xinhua)
2014-09-06
The fourth China-Eurasia Expo, which concluded Saturday in Urumqi, saw more than 6 billion U.S. dollars worth of foreign trade contracts signed with Chinese companies. The figure was a 7 percent year-on-year increase compared with that in last year, said the expo organizer. Hosted in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the expo attracted more than 1,300 different companies, business delegates and officials from 60 different countries. Between domestic companies, about 287.5 billion yuan (46.8 billion U.S. dollars) worth of contracts were signed, an increase of 3.5 percent to the year of 2013. A total of 13 forums and 120 investment and trade events were held during the six-day expo. The expo also attracted about 23,000 domestic and 5,000 foreign business people as well as an audience of more than 150,000 people. Late on Friday, 48 mayors from 25 countries including China, Australia, Iran, Malaysia, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Pakistan jointly released a declaration in Urumqi, welcoming the growing momentum in regional cooperation and integration in a bid to boost the the Silk Road Economic Belt through transport, trade, investment, employment and cultural exchange. The Silk Road economic belt, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Central Asia in September 2013, involves over 40 Asian and European countries and regions with a combined population of 3 billion. It eyes the cultural revival of the Silk Road, which historically links China with Central Asia and Europe, as a way of developing political and economic ties. The expo was upgraded from a regional trade fair, the 19-year-old China Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair, in September 2011 when the first international expo was held. ^ top ^

Super rich find creative ways to manage health as well as wealth (China Daily)
2014-09-08
The lives of the super rich are always of great interest to ordinary people. How billionaires snowball their personal wealth, what they do in their leisure time, how many days a year they spend on business trips, what kind of gifts they send to their friends and relatives-even their astrological or Chinese zodiac signs-are probed, apparently giving inspiration or setting trends. The number of rich people has been expanding in China over the past few years. According to the Hurun Report, the Shanghai-based media group that documents every aspect of the rising ranks of the Chinese rich, more than 2.9 million Chinese people had personal wealth of more than 6 million yuan ($976,100) by the end of last year-100,000 more than a year earlier. The number of rich people with personal wealth of over 100 million yuan increased by 2,500 to reach 67,000 by last year, the Hurun Report said. Although the means by which these rich people accumulated wealth varies from person to person, their preferred ways of spending money are quite often the same. Their favorite investment, despite the recent downturns, is still property. […]..Another important area of investment by rich people is their personal health. […]."As the Hurun Report has discovered, more than 80 percent of China's wealthy have a medical checkup annually, and 14 percent of them have one every six months.One-fourth of the super rich in China get a physical checkup twice a year. About 40 percent of these rich people prefer overseas hospitals or organizations. The average expenditure for such a medical checkup is 1,500 yuan, but the super wealthy are likely to spend 3,500 yuan each time. […]According to the Hurun Report, golf is one of the favorite sports among individuals with higher net worth. As a result, it is even more expensive now to be admitted into a golf club in Shanghai. The membership fee of the Sheshan International Golf Club in west Shanghai has risen from 2.3 million yuan last year to 2.7 million yuan this year. Wealthy people also are huge collectors. Artworks, especially ancient Chinese calligraphy and paintings, are gaining popularity.[…].Watches are still the cup of tea of the Chinese super rich. According to the Hurun Report, Patek Philippe remains the most preferred complex functional watch brand, while Cartier is the most preferred jewelry watch brand[…].Meanwhile, rich people generally follow tight schedules. But probably one of the keys to their success is that they never forget to give themselves a break. Therefore, travel is second only to health as a so-called spiritual investment, the Hurun Report has found.[…]. ^ top ^

China reports weaker-than-expected August import data (Global Times)
2014-09-09
China's imports unexpectedly dropped 2.4 percent year-on-year to $158.63 billion in August, while exports grew 9.4 percent, thanks to recovering demand in the US and Europe, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. Markets had expected 3 percent growth in imports. The drop comes on the heels of a 1.6 percent decline in imports for July. Experts said that the weak import data was largely due to soft domestic demand, as well as falling commodity prices in international markets. "This [soft domestic demand] is attributable to the continued property market correction and industry overcapacity, which have weighed on property and manufacturing investment, and, hence, import growth," economists from Barclays said in a research note on Monday. Experts noted that soft import growth is expected to continue in the second half of this year. "The property sector is not very likely to rebound any time soon, despite many local governments rolling out stimulus policies recently," Xu Hongcai, director of the Department of Information under the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times. Falling commodity prices also contributed to declining import figures. China imported 610 million tons of iron ore in the first eight months, up 16.9 percent year-on-year, but iron ore prices have dropped by 16 percent on a yearly basis during the period, customs data showed. "Lower commodity prices means that Chinese companies can do a lot more with lower costs," said Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce. Falling crude oil and iron ore prices could save China $5 billion per month on import bills for the rest of this year, according to a Monday research note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In August, China's export volumes totaled $208.46 billion, up 9.4 percent on a yearly basis, sending the trade surplus for the month to a record high of $49.83 billion. In the long run, a large trade surplus will affect China's ability to benefit from changing global resource allocations, Bai noted. An expanding trade surplus is also expected to increase China's exchange reserves, which will put upwards pressures on the yuan, and in turn hurt China's exports, economists noted. In the first eight months of 2014, China imported $1.28 trillion worth of goods, up 0.6 percent year-on-year, while exports for the same period totaled $1.48 trillion, up 3.8 percent. The EU is still China's largest trade partner. During the period, bilateral trade with the EU increased by 9.9 percent year-on-year, while that with the US grew by 4.4 percent. China's trade with Japan saw a moderate increase of 0.5 percent in the period. Experts noted that it would be "very difficult" for China to reach this year's 7.5 percent growth target for trade. Bai noted that decent exports and soft imports are likely to become the "new norm" for trade growth for the second-largest economy, but it is not very likely that the Chinese government will roll out any massive stimulus packages, as that would damage China's ongoing economic restructuring and generate inflationary pressures. ^ top ^

Li Keqiang downplays fears over anti-monopoly probes ahead of economic forum (SCMP)
2014-09-09
Premier Li Keqiang yesterday played down fears among multinationals that Beijing's anti-monopoly probes were targeting foreign companies, reassuring them that market access would be further eased. Meeting leaders from multinationals including Alcoa and Saudi Aramco, who will be attending the three-day World Economic Forum that opens in Tianjin today, Li said that while the mainland economy had shown more signs of slowdown, the central government would not pursue massive stimulus policies and its monetary policy would remain prudent. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China called yesterday for "a resolute implementation" of Beijing's pledged reforms in a bid to establish a fair playing field for foreign companies. Last week, the American Chamber of Commerce in China criticised the "selective and subjective enforcement" of anti-monopoly, IT security and other regulations that made foreign companies feel targeted. The complaints came after Beijing launched antitrust probes into multinational firms from Microsoft to Audi, fuelling concerns of a deteriorating foreign investment climate. Li, in response to a question, said: "I myself feel concerned why you have such worries." "We hope that foreign investors feel willing and relaxed" to enter the Chinese market, he said. "Only about 10 per cent of companies under the anti-monopoly probes are foreign." The anti-monopoly moves were aimed at creating a fairer environment for all kinds of businesses, and the authorities would continue to crack down on the theft of business secrets and the production of fake goods, he said. "I think it's very positive", Mumbai-based Sunjewels managing director Kapil Nevatia told the South China Morning Post. "It's a candid conversation with Premier Li, giving us lots of confidence to do things in China." He said his request to Li "would be to reduce the import duties into China" for new materials manufactured abroad for making jewellery. Li reiterated that developed nations should relax restrictions on exporting hi-tech products to China, saying the limits partly caused the recent decline in imports, which would ultimately also hurt Chinese exports. An economic growth rate that was "a bit higher or lower" than the annual target of "about 7.5 per cent" would be acceptable, as long as the job market remained stable, and development was efficient, Li said. M2, a gauge of money supply, expanded 12.6 per cent at the end of last month, Li said, slower than July's 13.5 per cent. ^ top ^

China on right growth track, remaining attractive: Davos founder (Xinhua)
2014-09-10
China is on the right track to transform its economy and is capable of keeping growth rate at over 7 percent in the coming years, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said on Tuesday. Although China faces challenges to move from an export-led economy to a consumption-led one, the government is embracing necessary reforms to sustain growth, Schwab told Xinhua in an interview. "It takes time to transform such a large economy, but I think China is on a good way," he said. Schwab established a solid friendship with China in 2007 when he launched Summer Davos, an annual high-level meeting of the world's political, business and social leaders. China has played host to the event alternately in the port cities of Tianjin and Dalian. This year's Summer Davos will take place from Wednesday to Friday in Tianjin with more than 1,600 participants from all over the world. The enthusiasm from the participants shows there is still strong impetus to engage into China's economy and to interact with China, Schwab said. "The big market in China will continue to be very attractive, China offers not only opportunities to sell products, but also opportunities for joint research and joint development," he said. Regarding recent complaints from some foreign investors of "unfair treatment" following a series of anti-corruption and anti-monopoly probes, Schwab said as long as those investigations are taking place in a fair and transparent way and are not targeting particularly at foreign companies, they have to accept the results. China launched a series of probes into big foreign names in recent years, with the latest episodes being anti-monopoly investigations against Microsoft and Jaguar Land Rover. These high-profile probes are rippling across the Western business circles and stirring unease among firms which perceive unfair treatment. Schwab emphasized that while operating in foreign countries, companies should respect local legislation. He advised involved firms to work and communicate with authorities to avoid misunderstandings. ^ top ^

Li Keqiang leaves world business leaders disappointed at Tianjin economic forum (SCMP)
2014-09-10
Premier Li Keqiang failed to offer global business leaders any fresh solutions to the Chinese economy's slowing growth in his opening remarks at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin yesterday. Li said the economy remained resilient despite clear signs of a slowdown in the past two months. And he disappointed his international audience by failing to offer any new ideas for dealing with a deepening property market slowdown or tackling funding bottlenecks for businesses. Many participants left the conference room halfway through the opening ceremony, something rarely seen when a top government leader representing the world's second-largest economy speaks at a high-profile forum. "This time Li failed to talk about detailed policy steps. […]. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.93 per cent yesterday, its biggest single-day drop since February, mainly on concerns that US interest rates might rise sooner than expected. Market observers said the slide was also triggered by Li's comment on Tuesday during his meeting with global entrepreneurs, when he ruled out a drastic easing of credit supply despite M2 money supply growth falling to a five-month low last month. The moribund property sector is a major risk to economic growth. Liu said he disagreed with the premier's reliance on the jobless rate to judge the health of the economy, warning that keeping the status quo might store up trouble for the future.In his opening remarks, Li again stressed that employment was a policy priority, with stability achieved so far. He said the jobless rate had remained at about 5 per cent in 31 of the large and medium-sized cities in the first eight months of the year. More than 9.7 million new urban jobs were created between January and August, close to the annual target of 10 million. However, Liu said: "The real risks are in the real economy. They come from the property sector, from the shadow banking system. "People's Bank of China research bureau chief economist Ma Jun told the Tianjin forum that investment in the property sector, a major source of downside risk for the economy, was likely to weaken further, although he said China should post "overall stable economic growth" this year. In his speech, the premier also stressed the need to boost innovation, accelerate the launch of a deposit-insurance system, and deepen financial and capital market reforms, without detailing any fresh initiatives. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia and Germany to promote the sustainable management of mineral resources (infomongolia)
2014-09-08
Intergovernmental meeting on development policy partnership between Mongolia and the Federal Republic of Germany was successfully held at the Ministry of Economic Development in Ulaanbaatar on September 05, 2014. The meeting was significant in the scope of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and at this time parties focused on three priorities sectors of partnership - to promote the sustainable management of mineral resources, to increase energy efficiency and to preserve the biological diversities. Moreover, the Federal Government resolved to allocate 36.2 million EUR financing these and other 11 projects and programs, which will be implemented in 2014-2015. In 1990-2013, Government of Germany provided with a total of 310 million EUR soft loan and aids. ^ top ^

The EU and Mongolia celebrate 25th anniversary of cooperation (infomongolia)
2014-09-08
On September 07-09, 2014, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou is paying an official visit to Mongolia and during her visit will have meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold, Minister of Education and Science L.Gantumur and Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Ts.Oyungerel respectively. The objective of these meetings is to take stock of relations between the EU and Mongolia, particularly in the areas under the Commissioner's responsibility, and to extend the scope of cooperation between the two regions, consolidated following the signature of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), to cover people-to-people exchanges. "2014 is a special year for the bilateral relations of EU with Mongolia as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our cooperation, which started back in 1989. Over the past year we have witnessed a growing interest from both sides to raise the level of our cooperation, including people-to-people exchanges", said Commissioner A.Vassiliou. During her talks with Mongolian leaders, the Commissioner is expected to underline the main objective of the PCA - to strengthen, promote and expand EU-Mongolia relations. Particular focus will be placed on the opportunities offered to Mongolian students and researchers through Erasmus+, the EU's new programme for education, training, youth and sport, and from the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, under the Horizon 2020 programme. On September 09, Commissioner A.Vassiliou will officially open the “History of Europe” exhibition in Ulaanbaatar. The exhibition, featuring illustrations by the Czech artist Renata Fucikova, depicts the history of Europe from thousands years ago to the present day. Organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the exhibition will take place at the Red Ger Art Gallery (Ulaan Ger Gallery, Seoul Street 25, Khan Bank Building 1st Floor) and runs from September 09 to 27. It consists of 20 panels of illustrations and accompanying text which take the audience on a journey through thousands of years of European history in a fun and informative way. Ahead of the opening, Commissioner A.Vassiliou said, "The way we approach art should mirror how we examine history - by asking probing questions and encouraging the exploration of subjects from a multitude of angles in order to learn as much as possible about our collective past, to avoid repeating mistakes and work towards a brighter future". ^ top ^

Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag announces to reshuffle his Cabinet (infomongolia)
2014-09-09
At 09:00 pm on September 08, 2014, Prime Minister Norov ALTANKHUYAG delivered a speech addressing to the people of Mongolia on Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB) to report the two-year works accomplished by his Cabinet mottoed the New Government for Changes. In his speech, Premier N.Altankhuyag said, “In the past 20 years, Mongolia constructed plants to produce 200 MW of electricity, so this Government created same capacity industry within two years. Besides, previous five Governments have executed a total of 2,300 km of road in 12 years, so we have accomplished 2,500 km of road just in 2 years, which is recorded in history. In one year, apartments were built for 36 thousand households and 1,200,000 sq.m flats have been fulfilled and in order to provide with opportunities, the mortgage loans were reduced from 16% to 8% a year, where residents of provincial areas can apply for 7% housing loan. With finance of Chinggis Bond, reinforcing steel and cement industries have been enlarged its capacities that help to avoid dependence from external manufacturers. It was discovered a huge resource of coal-bed methane in Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, which is similar to natural gas and from the determined 20-30 billion cubic meters of methane, we can resolve Ulaanbaatar city's heat and electricity solutions for the period of 30 years. Moreover, gasoline prices were stabilized as a result of implementing a program with Central Bank of Mongolia. In the frameworks of amending some laws, foreign and domestic investments have been obviously increased, despite of the facts that the Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi projects are temporarily frozen, which become the keys to unlock major investments into Mongolia. Therefore, we intend to resolve the dispute on Oyu Tolgoi issue within this autumn, consequently, a 4 billion USD of investment is anticipated. In order to forward Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi projects, we need to finalize the railway issue, apart from this; we have to accelerate works on Mongolian Stock Exchange. Within two weeks for the past 5-11 years, the historic visits of the heads of state of China and Russia were conducted to Mongolia and during their visits, many important intergovernmental documents were inked that are beginning of new starts between our two neighbors as the two big powers of the world leaders. In the scope of Steppe Road Project, it is a step close to organize a trilateral top-level dialogue between China, Russia and Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar on running infrastructure network through Mongolian territory and now, only active and close cooperation is required from us”. Most notably, during his address, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag made a statement that in order to accelerate the Government efforts; the Cabinet will make some changes in its members or so-called to reshuffle the Cabinet in the beginning of Autumn Plenary Session of the Parliament”. ^ top ^

Speech by President Ts.Elbegdorj at the first formal trilateral meeting between the heads of state of Mongolia, Russia and China (infomongolia)
2014-09-12
On September 11, 2014, the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj arrived in Tajikistan to attend the 14th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and on the same day the first ever trilateral meeting between the heads of state of Mongolia, Russia and China was held in Dushanbe. In the scope of the meeting, President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj addressed the State Head of People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and other officials who were present at the first formal meeting between the heads of state of Russia, China and Mongolia. In his speech, President of Mongolia Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ said, [...] Today, we have gathered to discuss on organizational issue of top-level “Ulaanbaatar Meeting” between Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, which is aimed to develop and expand our mutually beneficial trilateral cooperation. Mongolia's proposal on hosting the trilateral meeting between the heads of state in Ulaanbaatar is considered on the following factors: One. Mongolia adheres to develop the friendly neighbor policy with the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China as the top priorities. There are primarily issues exist to negotiate and solve by three parties as we bordered with long territories, particularly, concerning issues related to infrastructure and transit transportation. Two. Mongolia is the only landlocked country bordered with Russia and China in terms of its geographical position and is available to have an outlet to the sea through the territories of the neighboring countries. Three. Mongolia deems itself a shortest and key transit infrastructure for Russia by the means of exit from Europe to Asia and for China as an outlet from Asia to Europe. [...] ^ top ^

 

Mrs. Petra Salome Merki
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
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