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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
  15.12-19.12.03, No. 01  
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Foreign Policy

Construction of National Stadium for Olympic Games to start
2003-12-13 Xinhua News
Preparations for the construction of four venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been completed and work is scheduled to start before the end of this month, which marks the beginning of the three-year Olympic venue construction project. The first group of venues to be built include the National Stadium, the National Swimming Center, the Beijing Shooting Range and the Laoshan Velodrome, Saturday's China Daily reported, quoting sources with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the 26th Olympiad. As the main stadium for the 2008 Games, the 360-million-US dollar National Stadium will no doubt attract the most attention among the four venues.

FM spokesman on Saddam capture
2003-12-15 Xinhua News
Asked about the capture of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said here Sunday that China hopes the incident can be conducive to peace and stability in Iraq. "We hope that the latest development of situation in Iraq is conducive to the Iraqi people taking their destiny into their own hands, and to realizing peace and stability in Iraq," Liu said.
When Saddam was in power, the Iraqi people had suffered from several wars and sanctions for many years, the spokesman said.

Chinese FM denies helping Iraq military planning
2003-12-16 Xinhua News
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesmanLiu Jianchao denied Tuesday that China had helped the Iraqi army make military plans to combat the US and Britain forces, saying such reports are totally "groundless". Liu was asked to comment on a report that Chinese anti-aircraftexperts helped the Iraqi army to plan combat air raid operations by the coalition forces of the United States and Britain in 2002-2003 in violation of related UN resolutions on sanctions against Iraq. Liu said such reports were totally "groundless and irresponsible." "China has always strictly abided by all UN resolutions on Iraq," said Liu. "China never had military contact and exchanges of anykind with the regime of Saddam Hussein after the Gulf war crisis in 1990."

Chinese official: Middle East peace needs UN
2003-12-18 People's Daily
Long-term peace and stability in the Middle East is unattainable without the United Nations (UN), a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said in Beijing Wednesday. Chen Weixiong, counselor in charge of the ministry's international affairs, was speaking at the UN Meeting for Asia and the Pacific Region on the Question of Palestine held in Beijing. As the world's most representative and universal inter-governmental organization, the United Nations had accumulated a great deal of experience in dealing with international and regional hot spots in the last 58 years, Chen said. UN resolutions were the basis of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The principles and relevant resolutions approved by the UN Security Council must be implemented to uphold UN authority and guarantee a lasting solution, he said. He said the central role of the Security Council in maintaining peace in the Middle East should be given full play. UN work in humanitarian and development fields should be strengthened, he said, in particular by enhancing the role of the secretary-general's special coordinator, mobilizing the resources of the international community, and making full use of the potential of civil society in promoting peace and development.

Ernennung eines Sonderbeauftragten für die nordkoreanische Nuklearproblematik
2003-12-19 Renmin Ribao
Die Regierung der VR China hat Ning Fukui zum Sonderbeauftragten der nordkoreanischen Nuklearfrage ernannt. Er war im chin. Aussenministerium für die Ostasiatischen Länder zuständig und auch an den Vier-Parteien-Gesprächen in Beijing beteiligt. Ning werde sich auf eine neue Runde der Sechs-Parteien- Gespräche vorbereiten.

 

Domestic Policy

Expert: China's social affairs falling behind economic development
2003-12-14, People's Daily
China's social affairs have fallen far behind its quick economic development, said an expert at the annual meeting of the China Private Economy Research Society held Sunday in Hangzhou.
Lu Xueyi, president of the China Sociology Society, said that social problems in the country are increasing because of an imbalance in social and economic development. Social structure has lagged behind economic structure and urbanization of the country is trailing industrialization, he said. He said there are about 900 million farmers in China, despite the urbanization rate reaches 39.1 percent. Meanwhile, Lu said, social services, especially education and sanitation, have not developed in line with economic growth. About 85 percent of investment in sanitation flows into the urban area while only 15 percent is invested in the rural area where three quarters of the population live, he said. Social administration in China remains at low level due to the legacy of planned economy. More than 200 billion yuan (24 billion US dollars) is spent annually on the construction of highways but little money is spent on highway administration. Each year, about 100,000 people die in traffic accidents. Lu said the private economy needs to move into the social services, including hospitals, schools and scientific research institutions.

Sectors scrutinized in wage wrangle
2003-12-15 China Daily
Local governments in China have launched a special inspection of the country's building, services, catering and manufacturing industries in a bid to ensure that millions of migrant workers get their overdue wages before they go home to celebrate the lunar New Year. The Beijing municipal construction committee has ordered all construction companies in the city to pay migrant workers their 2003 defaulted salaries before Spring Festival, or the traditional Chinese New Year, which falls on January 22. "The wages must be paid 100 per cent by January 15, otherwise I, as representative of all 850,000 migrant workers in Beijing, will not give up fighting," said Liu Yongfu, director of the construction committee. ( ) Migrant workers from all over the country are often used in construction projects, with the promise of payment by the end of the year. But it has been a common practice for the promises to go unfulfilled or to only be partially honoured. In Beijing, for example, about 3 billion yuan for such cases is still unpaid, as a result of delayed payment to the construction contractors, accounting for 20 per cent of the total payment ( ) According to statistics from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, China has 94 million migrant rural laborers, whose employers are in arrears up to 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion). Over 70 per cent of payment default comes from construction enterprises, and the next biggest defaulter is catering companies

China tackles 206,394 serious criminal cases in 1st 11 months
2003-12-15, Xinhua News
Courts across China adjudicated 206,394 serious criminal cases during the first 11 months this year, which involved manslaughter, robbery, bombing and kidnapping, China's top judge said Monday. Addressing a national conference attended by the heads of province-level courts, Xiao Yang, president of China's Supreme People's Court, said 45.38 percent of the convicted criminals involved in the cases had been given sentences of at least five years in prison, life imprisonment, and death. He said Chinese courts settled a total of 681,074 criminal cases during the 11 months, up 2.47 percent year-on-year. Social law and order had improved a lot thanks to the country's campaign to crack down hard on crimes, said the president. But he said the incidence of serious crimes endangering law andorder remained high, and the crimes of bombing, empoisoning, arson,manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping and other violence remained outstanding in some areas.

Criteria set for identifying terrorists, terrorist groups
2003-12-15 Xinhua News
China's Ministry of Public Security Monday issued the criteria for identifying terrorists andterrorist groups after publishing a namelist of four identified "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations and 11 members of the groups.
Zhao Yongchen, vice-chief of the ministry's Counter-Terrorism Bureau, disclosed the criteria for identifying a terrorist or a terrorist organization.
The criteria for identifying a terrorist organization are as follows:
(I) an organization or organizations that engage in terrorist activities endangering national security or social stability, and harm the life and property through violence and terror (regardlessof whether it is based in or outside of China);
(II) some form of division for organization and leadership work,or system of division;
(III) meeting the aforementioned criteria and having involved in any of the following activities:
(a) Organizing, masterminding, instigating, staging or taking part in terrorist activities; (b) offering funding assistance or support for terrorist activities; (c) having a base or bases for terrorist activities, or recruiting and training terrorists in an organized way; (d) collaborating with other international terrorist organizations, accepting funding, training of other international terrorist groups, or taking part in their activities.
The criteria for a terrorist is as follows:
(I) having contact with a terrorist organization and engaging in terrorist activities at home or abroad that endanger national security and life and property of people (regardless of whether ornot the terrorist has been naturalized as a citizen of another nation);
(II) meeting the aforementioned criteria and being involved in any of the following activities:
(a) organizing, heading or taking part in a terrorist organization; (b) organizing, plotting, instigating and inciting terrorist activities; (c) providing funding and assistance for terrorist organizations or terrorists for terrorist activities; (d)accepting funding support or training from aforementioned organizations and other international organizations or pitching intheir activities.
The four identified "East Turkistan" terrorist organizations are the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the East TurkistanLiberation Organization (ETLO), the World Uygur Youth Congress (WUYC) and the East Turkistan Information Center (ETIC).
The 11 identified "Eastern Turkistan" terrorists are: Hasan Mahsum, Muhanmetemin Hazret, Dolqun Isa, Abudujelili Kalakash, Abudukadir Yapuquan, Abudumijit Muhammatkelim, Abudula Kariaji, Abulimit Turxun, Huadaberdi Haxerbik, Yasen Muhammat, and Atahan Abuduhani.
All those terrorist groups were founded outside China and have plotted, organized and staged terrorist activities and violence, including bombings, assassinations, arson, poisonings, attacks in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and other areas, and some other countries.

Chinese constitution amendments to be discussed
2003-12-17 Xinhua News
Chinese lawmakers will start next Monday to discuss Constitutional amendments proposed by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC). According to an agenda released yesterday, the upcoming week-long session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee will review proposals made by the CPC Central Committee on the amendments to the Constitution and deliberate draft amendments based on the proposals. According to the agenda, the NPC Standing Committee will discuss amendments to the country's 10-year-old foreign trade law in light of the new situation and demands made on China after it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) two years ago. The amendments proposed by the State Council will include "major changes" to the existing foreign trade codes. The session will also continue to examine three financial laws key to the reform of China's banking businesses, namely, the draft law on supervision and management of the banking industry, the draft amendments to the central bank law and draft amendments to the commercial bank law. A treaty with Russia on the transfer of convicts and a treaty with Thailand on criminal justice assistance are also pending ratification by the legislature. ( ) The existing Chinese Constitution, consisting of 138 articles in four chapters, was formulated in 1982. It has been amended three times, in 1988, 1993 and 1999.

Beijing must prepare to crush independence moves
2003-12-17 Xinhua News
Beijing said on Wednesday the Chinese mainland must prepare to crush independence attempts in Taiwan, one of its strongest statements in weeks against the separatist forces in the island.
In the face of outrageous Taiwan independence-splittist activities we must make necessary preparations to resolutely crush Taiwan independence-splittist plots," Li Weiyi, spokesman of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference in Beijing. "Chen Shui-bian's selfishness in seeking re-election spares no effort and gambles with the immediate interests of Taiwan compatriots," Li said. "This is very immoral. "Attempts by Chen Shui-bian and various separatist forces to split Taiwan from China are doomed to failure." Cross-Strait tensions have been boiling since November, when Taiwan's "parliament" passed a bill to permit referendums. Chen then said he would hold a referendum alongside the March election calling on the mainland to remove its missiles aimed on Taiwan. Li said some recent moves on Taiwan were "serious provocations" and called Taiwan's defensive referendum an attempt to "split the motherland." "The difference in social systems between the two sides of the straits cannot be used as an excuse to split the motherland," Li said. Nevertheless, the Chinese mainland was considering allowing Lunar New Year charter flights in January between Taiwan and four Chinese cities -- Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Xiamen, he added. On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected Taiwan's "Vice President" Annette Lu's accusations on Chinese mainland's missile deployments. Despite a blunt warning from U.S. President Bush against Taiwan separatists to change the status quo, Lu accused Tuesday that mainland's missile deployments amounted to terrorism. Lu said a referendum was necessary to defend the island.

Hu Jintao fordert eine Verbesserung der bäuerlichen Einkommen
2003-12-18, Guanming Ribao
In den Provinzen Shandong und Henan hat Hu Jintao eine Erhöhung der Einkommen für Bauern gefordert. Ausserdem forderte er die Qualität der Agrarprodukte und die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit der Landwirtschaft zu erhöhen. Überschüssige Arbeitskräfte auf dem Lande sollten ausserhalb ihrer Heimatkreise Erwerbsquellen finden. Dabei müssten sie angemessen entlöhnt werden.

Beijing takes emergency measures against spread of SARS
2003-12-18 Xinhua News
Beijing public health departments have reacted to the latest (SARS) case in Taiwan province and issued five emergency measures to prevent the spread of the disease to the mainland.
Jin Dapeng, head of the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, said all municipal entry-exit inspection and quarantine departments should strengthen temperature screening systems and send any travelers with a body temperature over 38 degrees Celsius to government-designated hospitals.
The latest SARS patient, identified in Taiwan on Dec. 17, was believed to have contracted the disease while destroying SARS samples after using them for an experiment. Beijing Municipal Health Bureau urged all labs doing research on SARS to strictly adhere to safety procedures. Hospitals are required to be vigilant when receiving fever cases, especially those that have traveled in Taiwan. From Dec. 17, the Beijing Municipal Disease Prevention and Control Center started collecting information on SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) around the clock and would pay specialattention to Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and some southeast Asian countries. Emergency task forces in the city's districts and counties are required to work in shifts night and day to help trace people who had close contact with SARS patients if any were found. Jin said that Beijing would learn from lessons in the first half year and take strict, prompt measures to guard against a possible return of the epidemic disease.

Das ländliche Kulturerbe wird von den Städten gefährdet
2003-12-16 Renmin Ribao
Der Vice-Bauminister Qiu Baoxing sagte, dass historisch und kulturell bedeutsame Dörfer durch die Urbanisierung in Gefahr seien. Die Regierung habe striktere Massnahmen zum Stop des Abrisses von historisch relevanten Baudenkmälern verordnet. Qiu erklärte weiter, dass China im Vergliech zu den Industrieländern im Denkmalschutz noch einiges nachzuholen habe. Die Regierung wolle möglichst viele Kulturstätten unter Schutz stellen. Das ausschliessliche Interesse einiger lokaler Politiker für die Wirtschaft führe zu diesem Ungleichgewicht.

 

Patrick Dreher
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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