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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
  16.02-20.02.04, No. 07  
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Foreign Policy

China denies donation to US Senator Kerry
2004-02-19 China Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue denied here Thursday that China had ever made a donation to US Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry. At a regular press conference here Thursday afternoon, a reporter cited a US media report as alleging Kerry accepted a political donation from Chinese military information department in1996. Kerry has denied the allegation and the reporter asked for China's position. Zhang said that "this is utterly out of thin air and is not worth refuting".

Heads of delegations to six-party talks fixed
2004-02-19 Xinhua News
China on Thursday said that the heads of the delegations to the upcoming second round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue have been fixed. The talks, to begin on Feb. 25, involve China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said here Thursday that Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi will head the Chinese delegation to the talks. According to information provided by related parties, the heads of the other five delegations are Kim Kye-gwan, deputy foreign minister of the DPRK, Mitoji Yabunaka, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Lee Soo-Hyuck, the ROK's deputy minister of foreign affairs and trade, Alexander Losiukov, Russian deputy foreign minister, and James Kelly, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the United States, Zhang said.

New round six-party talks to have substantial discussions
2004-02-16 PLA Daily
The second round six-party talks will have "substantial" discussions over the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said a visiting Chinese diplomat here on Saturday.Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, Vice Foreign Minister Choi Young-jin, Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck as well as National Security Advisor Kwon Chin-ho on Saturday over the six-nation nuclear talks, said a press release of the Chinese delegation on Sunday. Wang said the second round multilateral nuclear talks will start up discussions with "substantial content", "which is an important symbol that the process of the talks will go deeply," said the press release." After intensified coordination of the involving parties, it is ready to talk about tangible matters for conditions and foundation were possessed," Wang was quoted as saying. "China hopes the concerning parties will display flexibility in the coming new round nuclear talks, narrow differences and increase consensus, and try to fix concrete goal and direction of solving the DPRK nuclear issue, then make a tangible step," the release said.While, South Korean officials highly praised what China did for the peaceful talks over the DPRK nuclear issue. And South Korea is willing to cooperate with China to produce "visible" result in the multilateral talks to be held from Feb. 25 in Beijing, according to the release.The two countries called on all parties involved to take more active, realistic and constructive attitude to prepare the second round nuclear talks. The two countries also hoped that parties involved not to take any actions to excite the others, thus to create amicable atmosphere for the nuclear talks, said the release.

Japan wegen Giftgasunglück in Qiqihaer verklagt
2004-02-17 Guangming Daily (Übersetzung)
Im August 2003 war es in der nordostchinesischen Stadt Qiqihaer durch ausströmendes Kampfgas aus alten Beständen der japanischen Armee aus dem 2. Weltkrieg zur Vergiftung von zahlreichen Menschen und zu einem Todesfall gekommen. Die Anwälte der Opfer haben nun eine Klage gegen die japanische Regierung erhoben. Sie verlangen von der japanischen Regierung, ihrer historischen Verantwortung bewusst zu werden. Ausserdem fordern sie eine Entschuldigung und weitere Entschädigungsleistungen. Die Metallbehälter mit dem hochgiftigen chemischen Kampfstoff waren von der japanischen Armee während des 2. Weltkrieges zurückgelassen worden. Nach Verhandlungen mit der chinesischen Regierung zahlte Japan 300 Millionen japanische Yen Entschädigung für die Opfer des Senfgas-Unglücks. Die Zahlung war jedoch als Kompensation für die schweren physischen Schäden der Opfer nicht ausreichend. Viele der Betroffenen sind seit dem Ereignis schwer körperlich behindert. Sie müssen sich um die Finanzierung ihrer medizinischen Behandlung sorgen und um die Absicherung ihres Lebens mit einer körperlichen Behinderung.

China, US discuss security, disarmament and non-proliferation
2004-02-17 Xinhua News
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met here Tuesday with John Bolton, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. Li said Sino-US relations had made new progress since last year.In-depth exchanges of views and coordinated cooperation on major international security issues were conducive to global and regional peace and stability, he said. Bolton was here to attend the third round of Sino-US consultations on strategic security, multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation at vice-foreign ministerial level. Bolton commended the smooth growth of relations and agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation on issues related to international peace and security. Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Bolton exchanged views on the Korean nuclear issue on Monday. Also on Monday, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui held the third round of consultations with Bolton. The two sides believed the consultations were helpful to enhance mutual understanding, and agreed to further dialogue and cooperation.

 

Domestic Policy

Party to punish immoral members
2004-02-19 Xinhua News
Members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) who seriously violate socialist moral ethics will be punished sternly, according to a newly amended Party regulation. According to the CPC Disciplinary Penalty Regulation, Party members who have illicit lovers will be deprived of the membership, and those participate in pornographic activities will be accordingly given punishments ranging from serious warnings and removal from Party posts to being expelled from the Party. Members organizing porn performances should also be removed from the Party. Violation of political, personnel and financial regulations and involvement in bribery, malfeasance and infringement of others' rights could also invite Party internal penalties, according to the regulation. Consisting of 178 articles, the regulation was ordered by CPC'scentral committee to spread to Party committees at different levels for observation on Dec. 31, 2003 and publicized via media on Feb. 18.

Chinese premier calls for government clean-up
2004-02-14 People's Daily
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on government at all levels to increase the fight against corruption and build a clean government. Premier Wen made the remarks Friday at a working conference held by the State Council. He said topping this year's agenda is to solve issues that harm ordinary people's interests. Premier Wen Jiabao said the State Council continues to regard anti-corruption efforts as a major and vital political task. He said marked progress has been made over the past year in the fight against corruption, but greater efforts are still needed. Premier Wen urged government at all levels to strive for effective solutions for problems and conflicts incurred from land requisition, house relocation, enterprise restructuring and bankruptcy, and delayed salaries for migrant workers. He also asked local governments, especially in towns and villages, to speed up their efforts in providing open and transparent public services. He said areas such as education, health and transport should be among the first to offer better services, since they are closely related to ordinary people's daily lives. He also said inappropriate fee collections in places such as schools, hospitals and rural areas should be eliminated. And that all government officials should stick to the law when exercising their authority.

Beijing prosecutes 386 on-the-job crimes in 2003
2004-02-19 Xinhua News
A total of 386 on-the-job crimes were prosecuted in Beijing in 2003, involving 20 senior officials and 290 million yuan (35.4 million US dollars), said the People's Procuratorate of Beijing on Thursday. The 386 people were accused of bribe-taking, embezzlement and malfeasance, which included 20 city-level officials, 63 county-level officials and nine judiciaries. The 290 million yuan of economic losses retrieved included 79 cases involving over 1 million yuan (122,000 US dollars) each, said the Procurator Xu Haifeng on the second session of the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress. Xu mentioned some major cases handled last year. An accountant named Bian Zhong in the National Committee for Natural Sciences Fund was accused of taking 12.62 million yuan (1.54 million US dollars) in bribes and embezzling 216 million yuan (26.3 million US dollars). A board chairman of a Beijing-based electrical appliance company named Liu Qichao was accused of embezzling 2.1 million yuan (256,000 US dollars) and accepting 560,000 yuan (68,300 US dollars) in bribes. Several cases appointed by the Supreme People's Procuratorate were underway, including the case of the former Party chief of Guizhou Province Liu Fangren, said Xu. The Former Party Secretary of Guizhou Province, Liu Fangren, is now under investigations by the Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate, said prosecutor general Xu Haifeng in a report to the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress Thursday Liu is suspected of having received bribes of at least 1.6 million yuan (US$190,000) and US$19,900 from local entrepreneurs between 1996-2003. Liu is suspected of having received bribes of at least 1.6 million yuan (US$190,000) and US$19,900 from local entrepreneurs between 1996-2003.( )
Peng Jinyong, former secretary of the Changde City Committee for Discipline Inspection of the CPC inHunan Province, appeared in court Wednesday on charges of corruption. Peng had also been head of the Party discipline inspection committee in the city for 15 years. Peng was brought to the No. 1 Intermediate People's Court in Yueyang City, Hunan, on charges involving taking bribes, embezzlement and failure to account for his personal wealth. Local people's procuratorates allege that from 1998 to February2003, Peng accepted various currencies and gifts on 18 occasions to a total value of 615,580 yuan (75,000 US dollars) in connectionwith public bidding programs, official recruitment investigations and investment projects. ( )

Press reform enforces role for supervision
2004-02-15 Xinhua News
Some 635 newspapers and magazines have been forced to cut their umbilical cords from government departments and Party organs during a media reform blitz in China since July last year. All of them no longer receive subsidies from government departments and Party organs nor are they distributed through government and Party networks since the State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP) issued a regulation on July 30 last year and started a cleanup nationwide. SAPP announced on Friday, jointly with the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, a statement to ban government and Party officials from dabbling in distributing the newspapers and magazines. Government and Party officials are forbidden to take up any part-time position in newspapers and magazines, the statement said. SAPP reiterated it would separate the personnel, distribution and financing of the newspapers and magazines from government and Party organs.

Number of laid-off SOE workers falls
2004-02-16 Xinhua News
The number of state-owned enterprise (SOE) workers registered as laid off fell by 1.5 million to 2.6 million in 2003, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security said Monday. A total of 8.5 million new jobs were created nationwide last year while 4.4 million unemployed found new jobs, the ministry said. The number of unemployed people registered in the urban areas totaled 8 million by the end of 2003, an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, up 0.3 percentage points over the previous year. The ministry has also set a target of five million new jobs this year and an urban unemployment rate of around 4.7 percent. By the end of 2003, about 103.73 million Chinese had entered unemployment insurance, up 1.91 million year on year, the ministry said.

More foreigners to work in China
2004-02-18 China Daily
China needs to import more foreign high-tech and management professionals in order to sharpen its global competitiveness, national labour officials are saying. But foreigners are not encouraged to work as ordinary employees in China since the country itself faces a stern employment situation, an official with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security said. China will stick to that policy for years to come, the official surnamed Hu told China Daily. An underground market for employing foreigners still exists in some cities in China. ( ) Yao Jing, a Chinese working in a Beijing-based Sino-American joint venture for one decade, said he and his peers were not threatened by foreign job-seekers because the job market for expatriates is continuously shrinking. "The multinationals are localizing their staff in an effort to both lower costs and capitalize on those Chinese graduates returning from studying abroad," said Yao. Yao said there are several levels of experts in China. Managers, diplomats and embassy staff and company men are either on mega-buck salaries or in very cushy jobs. Then there are drifters, students, English teachers and foreign experts scraping to make a decent living, maybe hustling for a step up their career ladder. In the years to come, China will focus its energy on hiring foreign experts and specialists in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, aviation and international trade, amongst others, said the official Hu.. The US-based Environmental Defence chief economist Daniel J. Dudek suggested that China needs to introduce more foreign environment experts during its sustainable development. "As China continues its rapid economic growth, the nation is also changing not only the size of the environmental challenges it faces, but also their nature," said Dudek, who is an environmental expert employed by the State Council. According to the State Statistics Bureau, there were 250,000 foreign experts working in China in 2001. Besides there were 190,000 other experts from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Long-term experts occupied 42 per cent of the total, while short-term ones made up the remaining 58 per cent.

State helps more students go abroad
2004-02-16 China Daily
China will send more students and scholars to study abroad starting this year and enhance joint programmes with foreign universities, the Ministry of Education announced at a press conference Monday in Beijing. Currently, the country sends about 2,700 government-funded students or scholars each year to 108 countries or regions around the world. By 2007, more than 5,000 government-supported students and scholars will be sent abroad per year, said Cao Guoxing, director of the Department for International Co-operation and Exchanges. Cao said his ministry will help finance educational departments in 12 relatively poor western regions, to select more students or scholars from those regions and send them abroad to cultivate specialized skills. ( )Last year, the number of Chinese students going abroad dropped 6.3 per cent from 2002, as the SARS outbreak made foreign countries hesitate to receive Chinese students. ( )

Cult activist jailed for libeling gov't
2004-02-19 Xinhua News
Chen Shumin, general manager of a Chongqing-based technology company and a Falun Gong cult practitioner, and four other people received sentences of 5 to 14 years in prison for vilifying the government's image through spreading fabricated stories on persecution of cult practitioners. The Chongqing No.1 Intermediate People's Court made the preliminary verdict here Thursday after a public court inquiry. Influenced by Chen's cult propaganda, Lu Zhengqi, vice general manager of Chen's company, allegedly made up a story about a jail's persecuting a female postgraduate for spreading propaganda about the banned Falun Gong, according to the verdict. The postgraduate student with the name provided by Lu does not exist, according to the court investigation. Chen, Lu, Li Jian and two women Yuan Qiuyan and Yin Yan, all cult practitioners, then spread the false information through the Internet, which later severely damaged the regular work of governmental departments and tarnished the images of the government and judicial departments, said the court. Convicted of violating law enforcement through cult organization, Chen was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment, Yuanand Lu 10 years, Li 13 years and Yin 5 years.

Man arrested for posting subversive messages on Internet
2004-02-17 Xinhua News
Chinese police has arrested a man in the central province of Hubei for posting subversive messages on the Internet, said a police spokesman Tuesday. The spokesman with the Hubei Provincial Public Security Bureau said that since 2001, 39-year-old Du Daobin had written and posted28 articles on the Internet, inciting subversion of China's state power and overthrow of China's socialist system. Du, who worked with the medical insurance office of Yingcheng City before his arrest in November 2003, also accepted funds from overseas organizations and individuals, and in return helped them post articles harmful to state security on domestic websites, said the spokesman. The spokesman said facts had shown that Du had overstepped his legal rights of criticizing government work and government functionaries with good intentions, and viciously incited subversion of state power through fabrications. His acts had made him a suspect of the crime of inciting subversion of state power. Du had confessed to the major facts of his crime, and judicial inquiry into the case is still going on, said the spokesman.

108,000 to be relocated this year for Gorges dam
2004-02-15 China Daily
China plans to relocate 108,000 people this year to make way for the Three Gorges dam project, bringing to nearly a million the total number resettled because of the project. Among those to be moved from their homes this year, 23,400 peasants will be asked to settle in other parts of the country, according to a Xinhua report, citing the Chongqing municipal government in southwest China. The peasant families will join 800,000 others who have already been forced to move because of the expensive project, meant to tame the Yangtze River, China's longest. Some have been moved as far away as east China's Zhejiang province, 1,000 kilometers from the dam. To the relocated farmers, it is like being moved to a different country, as the Zhejiang dialect is as different from the one spoken in Chongqing. By the time the dam is completed in 2009, about 1.13 million people, mostly residents of the Chongqing area, will have been moved. The 2004 agenda also includes moving 130 industrial and mining enterprises from areas where the enormous dam is due to be built. Liu Fuyin, director of Chongqing municipal resettlement department, said the municipality would build about 2.75 million square meters of houses this year for the resettlement. The municipal government will concentrate on developing key projects like transport, energy and water resources in the reservoir areas to create jobs for migrants.

Farmers told to look out for fake vaccines
2004-02-17 China Daily
China is intensifying its efforts to ensure fake or inferior vaccines will not hurt its bird flu epidemic control efforts. Feng Zhongwu, deputy-director of the China Inspection Institute of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, Tuesday said effective measures must be taken to stop phony veterinary medicines from entering rural markets. "Fakes must be prohibited," he said. In Xinle city of North China's Hebei Province, chicken farmer Zhang Jianxin lost much of his flock after using a cheap vaccine bought from an unlicensed dealer in January. Police arrested Li Zhongqi, a 33-year-old farmer from Xinxiang City in central Henan Province, who graduated from an animal husbandry college and began making and marketing fake veterinary drugs in 2001. Li Kailun, chief scientist of the avian influenza prevention group in the province, said fake vaccines are likely to cause serious problems to flocks.

Beijing to spend more on public health
2004-02-18 China Daily
The SARS epidemic last spring in Beijing has prompted the municipal government to heavily invest in the public health sector this year, the city's top financial official said Tuesday. Wu Shixiong, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance, told the second session of the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress, the city's top legislative body, Tuesday that Beijing will spend 1.4 billion yuan (US$169 million) on health and medical treatment in 2004. That's 40 per cent higher than the planned health budget last year. ( )

China confirms two more bird flu outbreaks
2004-02-17 People's Daily
Two suspected cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu have been confirmed in Shaodong County and Heshan District of Yiyang City, central China's Hunan Province, bythe National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Tuesday.

Watch out for migratory birds to the north
2004-02-16 Xinhua News
The coming spring will also likelybring the fear of widespread avian influenza across north China. Beginning next month, migratory birds will begin flocking to the north, possibly carrying with them the virus that has swept across Asia, according to Monday's China Daily. Officials and experts are working on ways to reduce the possible spread of the H5N1 virus by the wild birds. "Although there is not enough evidence to confirm that the migratory birds spread the deadly virus in China, they have been highly suspected by scientists," said Lei Fumin, a bird researcher at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Science. Wild migratory birds are also regarded as a possible source of the H5N1 bird flu. ( ) Still, efforts are being made both at the beginning and end of the birds' annual migration to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible. Experts are also working to control any possible spread in areas where the birds are likely to touch down. The many measures taken include strict prohibitions of contact between poultry or people and wild birds in Poyang Lake State Natural Reserve, east China's Jiangxi Province.

China schützt sich vor der Maul- und Klauenseuche
2004-02-16 Jiefang Junbao (Übersetzung)
China hat alle direkten oder indirekten Importe von Büffeln, Rindern und Schweinen sowie entsprechenden Produkten aus Vietnam und der Mongolei per Jure gestoppt. Damit reagierte die chinesische Regierung auf den jüngsten Ausbruch der Maul- und Klauenseuche in derb Mongolei. Zuvor waren bereits aus Vietnam Fälle dieser Tierkrankheit gemeldet worden. Der Verantwortliche des Staatlichen Hauptamtes für Qualitätskontrolle und Quarantäne forderte am Freitag in Beijing die betreffenden Organe auf, Maßnahmen zu treffen, um die wirtschaftliche Sicherheit in China zu garantieren und eine Ausbreitung der Krankheit nach China zu verhindern. ( )

China discloses more evidence of "Eastern Turkistan" terrors
2004-02-13 Xinhua News
China's counter-terrorism authority refuted the defense of the "Eastern Turkistan" terrorists and disclosed more detailed evidence of their terrorist activities Friday. "We have ample, concrete evidence identifying these terrorist organizations and their members," said an official with the Counter-Terrorism Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. The official noted that from February 2001 to September 2002, the president of the East Turkistan Information Center (ETIC) Abudujelili Kalakash trained Abudumijit Enas, who was in Hotan of Xinjiang, on how to carry out terrorist activities. Abudumijit Enas confessed that he had successively received a scanner, video camera and more than 30,000 yuan of funds from Abudujelili Kalakash and the mandate to gather information, plot and carry out violent terrorist activities in China, said the official. In March 2003, ETIC President Abudujelili Kalakash directed a violent terrorist in China named Silam Eshan to do field survey along the railway between Lanzhou of Gansu province and Hami of Xinjiang in preparation for blowing up the railway. Silam Eshan confessed that during his trips to China's Hebei, Anhui and Shaanxi provinces and the national capital of Beijing, he frequently received orders from Abudujelili Kalakash to spread leaflets that preached "Jihad", to take delivery of formulas and theories on making explosives and poison sent by overseas violent terrorist Yasen Turid, and to conduct a field survey of the Lanzhou-Hami Railway together with other violent terrorists in China Adil, Muhtar Memet,Abudurexit Yisak and Kdir Mamut, and to map out the explosion scheme, the official said. Since its founding, the official said, the World Uygur Youth Congress (WUYC) had all along been actively pursuing subversive activities, conspiring to split the country with various means, inciting, organizing, abetting and supporting violent terrorist activities and financing terrorists and terrorist organizations. These activities had constituted a grave threat to China's state security and conformed to China's standards in identifying terrorist organizations, he said. In October 2000, WUYC leader Dolqun Isa directed Yulwas Tulak, Eli Mutalif and other runaway terrorists to establish a training base in Nepal. In December 2001, these terrorists were captured byNepalese police on the charge of illegal possession of guns. Dolqun Isa then sent Abudueni Rehmen to Nepal carrying a huge sum of money, bailed out the terrorists and sent them to a terrorist camp in South Asia to receive training, the official said. n July 2002, Dolqun Isa tried many ways to prevent the repatriation to China of Rahmutulla Islayil and Arken Yakuf, who murdered Wang Jianping, a diplomat of the Chinese Embassy in Kirghizstan, the official said. ( )

 

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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