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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
  02.02-06.02.04, No. 05  
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Foreign Policy

Vice FM on upcoming second round of six-party talks
2004-02-04 Xinhua News
China expects and believes that all parties concerned will continue their efforts to create a better atmosphere and conditions for the upcoming second round of six-party talks, said Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo here Wednesday. ( ) As reflected in consultations between China and other parties, all parties attach great importance to the second six-party talks and are willing to make efforts for the talks, said Dai. Dai said all parties are open to topics for talks, including how to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free and how to address the security concerns of relevant countries. All parties concerned have set about studying the possible questions that will crop up in the talks, and set forth some proposals. Dai said all parties agree that the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula is a complicated issue and a long-term process is needed to resolve the issue. Thus the process of peace talks should be continued, Dai added. China has been working to maintain the process of peace talks and has conducted many beneficial consultations with the DPRK and the United States on various levels in order to reopen the six-party talks, said Dai, noting that the other parties concerned have also kept close contacts to coordinate their stances. The international community unanimously hope that the peace talks will be continued, said Dai, adding that the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and some other countries have also played an active role in pushing forward the talks. China hopes the parties concerned will show adequate sincerity and carry out discussions in a productive way during the second six-party talks, said Dai. The parties concerned should also address other parties' concerns while raising their own propositions, Dai added. China expects new consensus and arrangements will be achieved in the fresh round of talks, said Dai. All parties concerned hope to fix the consensus reached in the talks in the form of a joint document, and have made consultations in this regard and reached initial consensus, according to Dai. China aims to have a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, maintain peace and stability on the peninsula, resolve questions peacefully through dialogue and address reasonable concerns of parties concerned, said Dai. China will pursue this stance, he said.

Aufhebung des EU-Waffenembargos gegen China eine Frage der Zeit
2004-01-04 Renmin Ribao
In Brüssel fand am 26. Januar die erste EU-Außenministersitzung in diesem Jahr statt. Dabei erregte insbesondere ein Thema die Aufmerksamkeit: die EU-Außenminister erörterten die Aufhebung des Waffenembargos gegen die VR China. Dazu waren sie vom EU-Gipfel im Dezember vergangenen Jahres aufgefordert worden. Zum Abschluss der Sitzung verwiesen die Außenminister die Frage an eine Kommission der ständigen Mitglieder sowie die Kommission für Politik und Sicherheit, die das Waffenembargo gegenüber China überprüfen sollen. Politische Beobachter betonten angesichts der Stellungnahme der betreffenden Länder und Vertreter, dass die Aufhebung des EU-Waffenembargos gegen China im Trend der Zeit liegen würde. Laut den politischen Beobachtern sprechen folgende Beweggründe für eine erneute Überprüfung der EU-Waffenverkaufspolitik: Zum einen ist das Ansehen von China als verantwortungsbewusstem Land gestiegen. In den letzten Jahren hat sich Chinas Wirtschaft schnell entwickelt, und die inländische Lage war kontinuierlich stabil. In seiner Außenpolitik hält China stets an den 5 Prinzipien der friedlichen Koexistenz fest. Zudem spielt das Land bei der Wahrung von Frieden und Stabilität in der Region eine wichtige Rolle. Die internationale Position von China hat sich ständig erhöht. Dies ist wiederum eine wichtige Voraussetzung für die erneute Überprüfung der EU-Waffenverkaufspolitik gegenüber China. Zum anderen haben sich die Beziehungen zwischen China und Europa in den letzten Jahren reibungslos entwickelt. Gegenwärtig befinden sich die chinesisch-europäischen Beziehungen in der besten Periode ihrer Geschichte. Immer wieder kommt es zu gegenseitigen Besuchen von Spitzenpolitikern beider Seiten, darüber hinaus wurde bereits ein Mechanismus von jährlichen Gipfeltreffen zwischen China und Europa etabliert. Beide Seiten stimmen in verschiedenen Bereichen überein, so bei Fragen des Multilateralismus, der Forderung nach einer stärkeren Rolle der UNO in der Weltpolitik sowie bei der Bekämpfung des Terrorismus, der Armutsbeseitigung und dem Umweltschutz. China und die EU führen seit Jahren einen Dialog um Politik und Menschenrechten. Auch haben sich die bilateralen Handels- und Wirtschaftsbeziehungen rasch weiterentwickelt. China und Europa sind wichtige Handelspartner. Länder wie Deutschland und Frankreich meinen, dass China bereits ein besonderer und verantwortungsvoller Partner von Europa sei. Im Zuge der ständigen Entwicklung der chinesisch-europäischen Beziehungen bezeichnen Beobachter das vor 15 Jahren verhängte EU-Waffenembargo gegen China als veraltet und der gegenwärtigen Weltlage zuwiderlaufend. Einige EU-Vertreter haben klar dargelegt, dass die Aufhebung des EU-Waffenembargos gegen China ein besseres Klima für die weitere Entwicklung der Beziehungen zum fernöstlichen Land schaffen werde. Letztendlich würden die europäischen Länder von der Aufhebung des Verbots in großem Maße profitieren, so die EU-Vertreter weiter. Politische Beobachter sehen jedoch noch einige Hindernisse auf dem Weg zu einer endgültigen Aufhebung des EU-Waffenembargos gegen China. Zum einen lehnen einige nordeuropäische Länder und Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments weiterhin eine Aufhebung des Verbots auf Grund der Menschenrechtsfrage ab. Zweitens, befürchten einige, dass China die von der EU gekauften Waffen zur Lösung der Taiwan-Frage einsetzen könnte. Die Gegner einer Aufhebung des Waffenembargos betonten, dass Waffenverkäufe an China den "Aktionsnormen" der EU widersprechen würden. Überdies sprechen sich die USA gegen Waffenverkäufe an China aus und fordern in diesem Zusammenhang die EU zur Beibehaltung des Waffenembargos gegen China auf. Die EU wird diesem Druck der USA Beachtung beimessen. Aufgrund dieser Widerstände lässt sich derzeit nur schwer abschätzen, ob die EU das Waffenembargo gegen China offiziell aufheben wird.

 

Domestic Policy

Rules to regulate Sino-foreign schools
2004-01-06 Xinhua News
Detailed rules for Sino-foreign joint schools on the Chinese mainland will be drawn up by the end of next month, to help guide schools or teaching programmes jointly run by Chinese and foreign educational institutions. The rules will further elaborate on the Regulation for Sino-Foreign Joint Schools which was introduced last September, China Daily learned from the Ministry of Education. According to the regulation, the Chinese Government encourages excellent foreign educational institutions to jointly run schools with their Chinese counterparts, including the introduction of advanced curricula to Chinese schools, Minister of Education Zhou Ji said recently. Both the regulation and the detailed rules are designed to create more opportunities for high-level study, so that Chinese students do not have to go abroad, but can enjoy advanced courses and teaching methods in the country, according to the ministry. China has seen a rising number of students going abroad to study in the last few years. The ministry's latest statistics indicate that China has sent 580,000 self-supporting and government-funded students to study abroad since the country started to implement its reform and opening-up policies in 1978. More than 160,000 of them have returned and the remaining 420,000 are still studying or working abroad. The number of self-supporting students has increased in the last few years. In 2001, 91 per cent of students going abroad were self-supporting, rising to 93 per cent in 2002, according to Cen Jianjun, an official at the ministry's Department for International Co-operation and Exchange. Cen said last spring's SARS outbreak discouraged foreign countries from receiving Chinese students in 2003. ( )

China confirms more bird flu outbreaks
2004-01-05 Xinhua News
China's Ministry of Agriculture Thursday received a report from the National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory confirming the previously suspected outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in east China's Anhui Province and Jiangxi Province. The confirmed bird flu cases were found in Guangde County, Yushan District of Ma'anshan City, Jieshou City and Yingzhou District of Fuyang City in Anhui Province and Guixi City in Jiangxi Province. Also reported were new suspected bird flu cases -- in Dongxiang County in Jiangxi Province, Shilin County in Yunnan Province, Luoding City and Haifeng County in south China's Guangdong Province. The local governments of the above-mentioned areas immediately took quarantine measures and submitted samples to the National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory. The epidemic has been brought underc ontrol in these areas and no human infections have been found so far, according to ministry sources.

Railways carry 101 million people in spring travel season
2004-01-05 Xinhua News
China's railways carried 101.37 million people in the 29 days ending Feb. 4 during the Spring Festival travel season, up 4.4 percent year on year, sources with the Ministry of Railways said Thursday. ( )

PLA to strengthen professional training for military system reform
2004-02-04 China Daily
The enrollment in military schools is to be increased, and short-term training is to be instituted for newly appointed non commissioned officers, to meet the needs of the ongoing military system reform, sources at the Headquarters of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said here Wednesday. According to the reform, tens of thousands of posts in dozens of professions will be taken by non commissioned officers, who should be equipped with specific professional skills. Some of the posts will be taken by non commissioned officers who have received relevant professional training. But there are still some posts which have no suitable candidates because there are no similar majors in the current non commissioned officer education system, like quartermasters and military club directors. In order to meet the new demand, a plan for extra training has been adopted to increase the professional skills of non commissioned officers. Military schools will enroll the first 4,000 non commissioned officers of this kind this spring. They will spend one year in schools and one year training in their specific positions. In addition, short-term training for several thousand non commissioned officers who have received professional education will be carried out, according to the plan. The current enrollment in military schools next autumn will not be affected by the special enrollment, the sources said.

63 Millionen neue Mobiltelefonnutzer in China
2004-01-04 Jiefang Junbao (Übersetzung)
China hat im vergangenen Jahr 63 Millionen Mobilfunknutzer hinzugewonnen. Dies gab die chinesische Regulierungsbehörde für Mobilfunk bekannt. Damit liegt die Zahl der chinesischen Bürger, die ein Handy besitzen, inzwischen bei rund 270 Millionen. Dies lag leicht über den Erwartungen der Branchenanalysten. Im Festnetzbereich kamen 49 Millionen neue Anschlüsse hinzu. 2004 werden die Neuzulassungen nicht mehr ganz so stark wachsen. Die Behörden rechnen bei den Mobilfunknutzern mit einem Zuwachs von 52 Millionen.

Beijing hospital in tainted blood suit
2004-02-03 People's Daily
Parents of an eight-year-old AIDS patient in Central China's Henan Province have filed a lawsuit against a Beijing hospital, claiming blood transfused there was infected with the HIV virus. In what's believed to be the first such case in the Chinese capital, the Beijing Haidian District People's Court accepted the lawsuit. The boy's father Sun Ya, claims more than 860,000 yuan (US$104,000) in compensation for medical fees and psychological damages. The court session is expected to open in about a month, sources said. The hospital is the famous Stomatological Hospital affiliated with Peking University. The eight-year-old boy Xiao Fei (not his real name) tested positive for HIV last November at the Henan Provincial Health and Epidemic Prevention Station after suffering from a serious case of pneumonia, his father claims. Both Sun Ya and his wife, Yuan Wenli, have tested negative for the virus. ( )Xu Kexin, director of the AIDS medical research centre at the Beijing Ditan Hospital, a well-known AIDS treatment centre, said there are only three ways to be infected by the HIV virus. The virus can be transmitted by fluids exchanged between mother and children, in blood transfusion or through sexual contact. Most children infected by the HIV virus, usually contract it through one of the first two ways, said Xu. Lawsuits over HIV-tainted blood have surfaced in recent years in many regions including Henan, North China's Hebei Province and East China's Jiangsu Province. ( )

China's policy-making needs revamping
2004-02-02 Xinhua News
Policy-making plays an important role in a country's political life. It is closely connected with administrative and economic efficiency, determines the level of the public's political participation and affects political stability. The biggest problem in China's current policy-making lies in its wilfulness. Policies and personnel change frequently, with no accompanying continuity. Shortcomings in policy-making have caused enormous damage to the country. Besides the poor quality of some policy-decisions, lack of solid institutional foundations, including policy-making consulting, hearings, assessments and a system of responsibility is the major reason for the flaws. In a modern society in which labour is increasingly apportioned according to specialization, the job of policy-makers should be selecting strategies mapped out by experts, rather than formulating policy themselves. Establishment of a brain trust, or policy-making consulting system composed of experts in various fields, would be a good start. Such a system would serve as a bridge between policy-making bodies and professionals, and as a conduit for experts and scholars to better serve the government. Currently there are about a million high-level intellectuals in China, including scientists, engineers and professors. Many of them not only have professional expertise but are also anxious to participate in the discussion and management of governmental affairs. An independent consulting system composed of these experts would greatly facilitate official policy-making.The policy hearings should be attended by experts and those the policies may affect before and after their issuance. A system based on that principle would first ensure the rationality of the policies and avoid major loopholes. The hearings would also be a democratic process, making policies that represent the interests of the majority of the people they affect. Last but not least, rooting out problems and adjusting policies to resolve them in a timely manner would be a huge benefit to the nation. Some government departments and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress have adopted such practices and achieved good results in recent years. Laws and regulations should be drafted to legalize the hearing process of law-making, policy-making and supervision. Rational assessment of policies is important in scientific and democratic policy-making too. Objective assessment according to certain standards could help quantify experiences and lessons. Assessment by a third party is equally essential. Policy-makers have their own interest preferences and partialities, so independent evaluation of their strategies is crucial. The absence of a non-governmental policy-assessing system undermines scientific and democratic policy-making in this country. ( )A responsibility system is also needed to ensure scientific and democratic policy-making. Policy-makers should be accountable for what they implement, and such responsibilities should be guaranteed by law. Serious faults in policy-making should be punishable by fines, demotion, or even criminal prosecution. Some current responsibility systems in China either go without punishment for faults or become vetoes of the top leaders - practices which are neither scientific nor democratic. In sum, institutional foundations are vital for formulating scientific and democratic policy-making. Efforts should be made to build up complete systems of consulting, hearings, assessments and responsibility to facilitate the strengthening of China's political infrastructure.

Audit finds US$7.7 bln misused fund
2004-02-02 Xinhua News
Audits aimed at ferreting out corruption uncovered 61.7 billion yuan (US$7.7 billion) in misused or embezzled funds and widespread irregularities that produced "serious losses" of state assets. Auditors investigated 130,000 state-owned enterprises and government offices last year, said Li Jinhua, head of China's National Audit office. As a result of the audits, 24.9 billion yuan were returned to the government. Li told officials attending a national conference Friday that 1,867 cases were forwarded to prosecution and disciplinary authorities by the audit office, including 13 major cases involving more than 1 billion yuan (US$121 million) that were directly reported to the State Council. The cases of 749 officials were referred to prosecutors for criminal investigations, the audit office said on its websites. Li said the financial malpractice fell into three main categories:
-- Units and individuals cheating on individual consumption loans, such as housing and car loans, with false documents, and local governments applying for huge city building loans beyond their repayment abilities.
-- Enterprises cheating on huge loans by writing false bank acceptance bills without any real trading.
-- Criminals colluding with bank employees in fraudulently obtaining loans involving affiliated enterprises, causing serious credit fund losses. Investigations into the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - one of the country's biggest state-owned banks - find irregular housing and auto loans granted to organizations or individuals using false documents. ( )

 

Taiwan

Bitter journey of stowaways from mainland to Taiwan
2004-02-04 People's Daily
When the ship named Strait left Matsu on Dec. 25, 2003, over 170 stowaways, being repatriated from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland, had no regrets at leaving the island. "I had never suffered so much," said Xiao Yun, a female stowaway, still living under the shadow of life in Taiwan. They threw Taiwan coins into the sky. "It is to get rid of bad luck and forget the miserable life there," one said. Xiao Yun, a former cashier in a city of west China's Guizhou Province, went to Taiwan in the hope of earning more money. But she was forced into prostitution, the fate of most female stowaways. This threat was carried out on August 26 last year, when snakeheads from Taiwan pushed 26 mainland women into the sea in order to escape arrest. Six women drowned. The skipper of the smuggling boat was sentenced to death at the Miaoli District Court in central Taiwan for murder. They believed Taiwan was a place of wealth where they could earn over ten times more than back home. They were lured by promises of a better life, but ended up in prostitution. The central government has been taking people smuggling very seriously. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have expressed concern over this issue. In Fujian, where most smuggling occurs, police authorities have listed it as a priority crime. In 2003, border police in Fujian cracked 98 cases, concerning 930 people. More than 430 people involved in people trafficking were caught from 2000 to November 2003, including 52 Taiwanese. However, high profits drive snakeheads to take risks. The net profit for a woman smuggled in was about 75,000 new Taiwan dollars (2,270 US dollars), said Li Yi, a mainland snakehead in detention in Fuzhou Municipal Bureau of Public Security, Fujian. Most of the money went to Taiwanese snakeheads who were the upper end organizers, said Li. "Sneaking into Taiwan is not a road to gold, but leads to death," said Wei Zhongci, deputy director of the office of Taiwan affairs in Fujian.

 

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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