SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
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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
  15.03-19.03.04, No. 11  
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Foreign Policy

EU senior official hails EU-China ties
2004-03-18 PLA Daily
The European Union (EU) and China have never had a better opportunity to develop a profound and meaningful relationship, the EU Council secretary-general Javier Solana said here Wednesday. Solana, also the EU foreign policy and security chief, made the remark in a speech in China's prestigious Qinghua University on the second day of his China visit. "Trade and economic cooperation will remain a fundamental part of our overall relationship," Solana said. In 2002, trade between the EU and China exceeded 115 billion euros (about 141 billion US dollars), making China the EU's third largest trading partner. If the 10 new members of the EU who will join on May 1 2004 are added, the EU is already China's largest trading partner." Our relationship is much more than simple trade in goods," Solana said. "The EU also wants a trade in ideas and culture, and to work alongside China in addressing key international problems." "The EU has endorsed at head of state and government level my call for China to be identified publicly as one of the EU's six global partners," the EU official said. "China and EU are both global powers...and we are both looking to make constructive and meaningful contributions to the stability of our regions and of the wider international community," said Solana, adding that the high-level interactions have been frequent. European Commission President Romano Prodi and seven commissioners will visit China in 2004 after the Sixth EU-China Summit in Beijing in October. Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit the EU Headquarters in Brussels in May and attend the Seventh EU-China Summit to be held later this year. Solana praised China's efforts to solve cross-border tensions in the South China Sea and South Asia, and enhance relations and practical cooperation with Russia and Central Asia through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).He also spoke highly of China's engagement in solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsular and peacekeeping operations." The EU and China put their trust in the UN and strengthening of the multinational world order," Solana said, adding the EU will match China's efforts to "actively engage in multilateral diplomacy and play a constructive role in the UN." Invited by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Solana arrived in Beijing Tuesday morning on a two-day official visit to China.On the first day of the visit, he met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, and held talks with Li Zhaoxing. He also visited the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing.

Establishment of working group "indispensable" for six-party talks: FM
2004-03-18 Xinhua News
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan said here Thursday that establishing a workinggroup as soon as possible is "indispensable" for the third round of six-party talks to make substantial progress. Kong said the working group could hold comprehensive discussions on the topics, agenda, discussion approach and other possible issues at a lower level under the six-party talks in order to ensure the third round talks continue to make progress. "I hope the six parties can closely work together to accomplishthe mission", Kong added. According to Kong, China maintains contacts with relevant parties after the second six-party talks in February and has delivered documents on a possible working arena and discussion topics for the working group to the other five countries concerned. The discussions and exchange of views achieved positive outcomes and China hopes the working group could be set up as soon as possible so as to build a solid foundation for the third round of six-party talks, Kong noted. Kong said China also hopes the parties concerned would continue to uphold firm political commitments while show flexibility on specific issues to enlarge consensus and narrow differences for progress in peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

China's sovereignty over Nansha islands, surrounding waters "indisputable"
2004-03-18 Xinhua News
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said here Thursday at a regular press conference that China's sovereignty over the Nansha islands and the surrounding waters is "indisputable". Kong made the remark in a reply to claims that certain countries, which he would not name, had unilaterally invited international bidding on oil and natural gas exploration in the South China Sea.. He said China is willing to consult with the relevant parties on ways of handling the dispute and jointly exploiting the resources. Kong noted that China was gravely concerned over the unilateral oil and natural gas bidding in a disputed area in the South China Sea, and urged the related countries to correct the wrongdoing to avoid further complication of the situation there. Kong also expressed hope that involved international oil companies would respect China's sovereignty and not take any actions that may infringe China's sovereignty and its marine rights and interests. Meanwhile, the Chinese Government is seriously concerned about the recent moves by some countries to unilaterally invite bidding on the exploration of oil and gas in a disputed area in the South China Sea, Kong said, declining to give more details. He also did not identify the countries involved. Some international oil companies have reportedly said they will take part in bidding. The Chinese Government hopes that countries involved will avoid making the situation in the South China Sea further complicated, Kong said. He said the China has inarguable sovereignty rights over the Nansha archipelago and nearby sea areas. The Chinese Government, based on the principle of "putting aside disputes and developing together,'' is willing to hold discussions with countries related to issues over the South China Sea, and ways to solve issues properly.

Taiwan link to naval drills dismissed
2004-03-18 Xinhua News
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao dismissed any connection between the joint naval exercises held by China and France and Taiwan's election.At a press conference Tuesday, Liu praised the exercises as a further sign of strong ties between Beijing and Paris, coming after Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent high-profile trip to France."These drills will further enhance the relationship between the two nations," Liu said.French and Chinese ships held joint naval exercises Tuesday, a cooperative effort hailed as the largest-ever military drills between China and a foreign nation.The exercises, held off the Chinese Yellow Sea port of Qingdao, involved two ships from each nation and included maneuvering, communications and helicopter exercises. Xinhua earlier quoted the commander of a Chinese guided missile destroyer, Capt. Ju Xinchun, as saying the exercises were the "most comprehensive military exercises between China and foreign countries so far. "Taiwan authorities have complained that Tuesday's joint naval exercises were intended to intimidate the island just days before this weekend's election. ( )

FM to pay official visit to DPRK
2004-03-19 China Daily
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will pay an official visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from March 23 to 25 at the invitation of DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. It is the first official visit in five years paid by a Chinese Foreign Minister to the DPRK and it will be an important contact between the two countries, ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Thursday at a regular briefing. The two sides will exchange views on Sino-DPRK relations and regional and international issues that are a concern to both, including the six-party talks on the nuclear issue in the Korean Peninsula, he added. ( )

 

Domestic Policy

China issues rules to control communications between judges, lawyers
2004-03-18 People's Daily
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the Ministry of Justice jointly issued a regulation to curb the dealings between judges and lawyers during litigation Thursday. Judges are banned from meeting one party of a lawsuit and his lawyer in private and lawyers are forbidden to meet the judge of his case in private either, according to the regulation. A practical regulation was needed to control the communications between judges and lawyers though there are related items in the Law on Judges and Law on Lawyers, the spokesman of the SPC said Thursday. Illegal interrelations between judges and lawyers have been a problem in the country's judicial sector and that made the two organs decide to join hands, the source said. Some lawyers bribed judges so as to win the case and some judges took sides for private interests, which has severely harmed the justice of the court and the law, the SPC source said. Some judges suggested parties hire lawyers they had close personal relations with and then received rake-offs from the lawyers. A judge is banned from accepting money, gifts and securities from one party of the lawsuit and his lawyer as well as their invitation for dinner and entertainment and also not allowed to borrow things, including vehicles, from them, according to the regulation. A lawyer can report a judge, who violates the regulation, to the court by himself or through the judiciary or lawyers' associations and vice versa, the regulation said. Parties and other people also can report lawyers and judges who violate the regulation to the court, the judiciary and lawyers association, it said. ( )

Bird flu fight achieves initial success
2004-03-16 Xinhua News
The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has announced that China has stamped out all the 49 bird flu outbreaks in the mainland as the isolation in thelast two bird flu-hit areas was lifted Tuesday. "The fight against the bird flu has achieved initial success," said Jia Youling, a ministry spokesman for highly pathogenic avianinfluenza (HPAI) control, at a press conference here Tuesday. The last two bird-flu-affected areas were in Nanning City of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Lhasa City of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The first bird-flu outbreak in the Chinese mainland was reported in Dingdang Town, Guangxi's Long'an County on Jan. 27. China controled the bird flu epidemic in a short period thanks to the rigorous measures in the battle against the epidemic, said Jia. Statistics show that in the campaign, China culled 9 million poultries. While mass culling was strictly conducted, compulsory vaccination was also introduced in the bird flu-hit areas, Jia added. "So the epidemic did not spread to other areas outside the birdflu-hit spots," the spokesman said. However, Jia said the situation in bird flu prevention and control is still grave.( ) China raises 13.2 billion poultry a year, only 40 percent of which are bred in large scale. "Therefore, the possibility of HPAI coming again is great, andno effort should be spared in its prevention and control," Jia stressed. In light of the current situation, the Ministry of Agriculture calls on the competent animal husbandry and veterinary authoritiesto follow up with the plans of the National HPAI Prevention and Control Headquarters and sum up the experience they have obtained in the past few weeks so as to further intensify the work of combating the epidemic. In addition, China will build an effective and long-term epizootic prevention mechanism to enhance the overall control capacity of the country, Jia concluded.

Die Zunahme der seelischen Gewalt in Familien
2004-03-15 China Daily
Chinesische Familien haben in vermehrtem Masse mit dem Problem seelischer Gewalt zu kämpfen, so das Ergebnis einer in der Stadt Chongqing durchgeführten Studie. Die von der Frauenvereinigung der Stadt Chongqing durchgeführte Untersuchung bestätigt, dass 60% der Klagen Ehe und Familienleben betreffen. Bei der Hälfte der Fälle handelte es sich um seelische Gewalt. Unter dem Begriff der seelische Gewalt fallen Verhaltensweisen, wie Absenz der Ehemänner am Abend, die Verweigerung von Unterhaltszahlungen für Kinder, ständiges Schweigen oder verbale Attacken gegen den Partner. Seelische Gewalt tritt zwischen Eheleuten oder zwischen Eltern und Kindern auf. Oftmals seien ungebildete oder arbeitslose Frauen oder gesundheitlich angeschlagene ältere Menschen die Opfer. ( ) Man vermutet, dass die Zunahme der seelischen Gewalt auf einen Mangel an Gesetzen oder Vorschriften im Umgang mit derartigen Verhaltensweisen zurück geht. Ausserdem ist eine apathische und gleichgültige Haltung von Seiten der zuständigen Beamten gegenüber diesem Problem zu erkennen. ( )

Taking actions to protect human rights
2004-03-16 China Daily
Human rights experts and scholars Monday urged for more efforts to turn constitutional principles into action after the Sunday amendment which adds human rights protection into the Chinese Constitution. Hailing the amendment as "a milestone" in China's human rights development, they suggested institutional, legislative and educational endeavours for further improvement in human rights conditions in the world's populous country. "The State has a special role to play in respecting and protecting human rights... because it has the legislative, administrative and judicial rights," said Liu Hainian, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Liu, speaking at a seminar on the constitutional amendment, stressed the State should enhance supervision and guard its subordinate institutions, including legislative, judicial and administrative departments against any human rights violations. The State should also make sure that victims of human rights violation must be compensated, Liu added. ( )

NGOs airing louder voice
2004-03-13 Xinhua News
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China have begun airing louder voice in public affairs like environmental programs and poverty-alleviation activities over two decades after the country's market-oriented reform and opening up drive. From the fight against SARS, to the claim for war compensation from the Japanese government, to the campaign against foreign anti-dumping charges, Chinese NGOs have played an increasingly important role that both the government and the public want to see. ( )"There must be a law on NGOs, otherwise some of the loosely organized NGOs would make adverse contribution to social stability," said Dai Zhongchuan, an associate professor of the Overseas Chinese University based in Quanzhou City of Fujian Province, east China. Observers are encouraged by the government attitude toward NGOs when Premier Wen Jiabao said in his government work report to the national legislature last week that the government would "accelerate the separation of government functions from enterprise operations, turn over responsibility for more activities the government should not be engaged in to enterprises, non-governmental organizations and intermediary agencies". "It is a clear signal that the government has recognized the positive role of NGOs," Dai commented. ( )

Oberstes Volksgericht soll die Todesurteile verifizieren
2004-03-14 Renmin Ribao (Übersetzung)
Der Leiter des Forschungsinstituts für Strafrecht, Zhao Bingzhi, hat am Donnerstag in Beijing gefordert, jedes Todesurteil durch das Oberste Chinesische Volksgericht zu bestätigen. Damit unterstützte er eine Motion, die Abgeordnete bei der letzten Jahrestagung des Nationalen Volkskongresses in Beijing einbrachten. Laut Zhao Bingzhi würde eine Bestätigung von Todesurteilen durch das Oberste Gericht die Qualität der Behandlung von Rechtsfällen erhöhen. Zudem werde damit dem Schutz der Menschenrechte gedient. Der Leiter des Obersten Volksgerichts, Xiao Yang, plädierte in einer Stellungnahme ebenfalls für eine Bestätigung von Todesurteilen von höchster Instanz.. Wann eine solche Regelung in Kraft treten wird, sei aber noch unklar. Gegenwärtig haben Volksgerichte auf Provinzebene die Befugnis zur Verhängung und Bestätigung von Todesstrafen. Die Rate der Todesstrafen, die später durch das Oberste Volksgericht abgemildert wurden, sei laut Zhao Bingzhi sehr hoch.

 

Switzerland

Swiss stage demonstrations to mourn Madrid bombings victims
2004-03-13 Xinhua News
Silent demonstrations were held Saturday in Switzerland to mourn the victims of Thursday's terrorist bombings in Madrid, capital of Spain. Several hundred people gathered outside the Swiss parliament and at the Spanish embassy in the Swiss capital of Bern to observea minute's silence, according to reports reaching here. Similar events are planned in other cities and towns, including special church services, over the weekend. Swiss officials said it is not clear if Swiss citizens were among the victims of the blasts, which are believed to have been carried out by Islamic militants or members of the Basque separatist group, ETA. Spanish regional authorities said Saturday that the death toll from the deadly train bombings in Madrid has risen to 200. Nearly 1,500 people were wounded in the attacks, among them more than 280remain in hospital with some in critical conditions.

 

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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