SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT 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
  22.03-26.03.04, No. 12  
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Foreign Policy

Mass protest in Taiwan over election results continues
2004-03-25 Xinhua News
The mass rally in central Taipei City on the island of Taiwan has so far continued for 100 hours in protest over the alleged unfair election, and some protesters have begun a hunger strike. Shortly after the poll results of the election were announced on March 20, the opposition coalition of the Kuomintang and People First Party questioned the legitimacy of the election, which was won by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the leadership of Chen Shui-bian. The coalition also said the shooting was suspicious, and demanded an investigation. The protesters demanded a recount and the truth about the shooting of Taiwanese leaders Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu on theeve of the election on March 19. Chen Shui-bian said Wednesday he was willing to meet Lien Chan and James Soong, on condition that the protesters disperse.( ) Chen Shui-bian reportedly won only 29,000 more votes than the opposition coalition, while rejected votes total 330,000. Opposition leaders have said the shooting incident resulted in sympathy votes for Chen.

Extensive consensus reached during Chinese FM's DPRK visit
2004-03-25 Xinhua News
China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) reached extensive consensus over a wide range of issues during Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's DPRK visit, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman here Thursday. Kong Quan told a regular conference that Li held a series of important meetings and talks with the DPRK leaders, including meetings with Kim Jong-il, general secretary of the Worker's Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, DPRK foreign minister Paek Nam Sun and DPRK first vice foreign minister Kang Sok Ju. The two sides discussed a wide range of issues with focus on bilateral ties, including political exchanges and cooperation in economic and other areas, he said. The two sides also exchanges views on the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, and other regional and international issues of common concern, he said, adding that the visit was successful. In the meeting between Li and Kim Jong-il, Kong said, the two sides discussed the six-party talks and the setting up of relevant working groups. ( )

China opposes Vietnam's move on Nansha
2004-03-25 China Daily
China has lodged solemn representation with Vietnam over its attempt to open a tourist route to Nansha islands and launch tourist activities in the upcoming April, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Beijing on Thursday. Kong Quan said in response to a journalist's question that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and surrounding waters and the move taken by Vietnam has infringed on China's territorial sovereignty. It was reported that Vietnam was ready to open "a tourist route" by boat to the Nansha islands and launch the first tourist activity in the upcoming April. Kong said it is the important consensus and common responsibility of all relevant countries in the region to maintain stability in the South China Sea. ( )

7 Chinese activists land on Diaoyu Islands
2004-03-24 Xinhua News
Seven Chinese activists landed on the Diaoyu Islands early Wednesday morning despite interception from the Japan Coast Guard, a spokesman for the group said in Beijing. "Our people have landed on the isle. They are doing some scientific and environmental studies there," said Tong Zeng, chairman of the China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands.( ) It was the fourth time Chinese activists set voyage for the islands in the East China Sea in the past nine months. But they failed to land on the islands in their last three attempts. The uninhabited island is located in rich fishing waters between Taiwan Island and Japan's Okinawa islands. Tong said Wednesday that the group was blocked by four Japanese vessels when their ship was close to the islands. Seven activists, however, succeeded in getting onshore with two small boats early in the morning, he said. But the Japanese side had confiscated the two boats and is expected to take action against the activists on the island, Tong said. In Beijing, about 10 to 15 protesters stood outside the Japanese Embassy, holding up the Chinese flag and red and white banners. One read: The Diaoyu Islands are China's Territory.

Pakistani president meets Chinese defense chief
2004-03-25 People's Daily
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has met visiting Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, according to CRI report Thursday. Musharraf said Sino-Pakistani relations are based on a stable foundation and the bilateral friendship has stood the test of time. He expressed appreciation for the lasting help from the Chinese government and the Chinese army. He also hailed the effective cooperation in the field of anti-terrorism between the two countries. Cao Gangchuan said China and Pakistan are good neighbors and the relations between the two armies have remained close. He expressed the hope that the current level of cooperation between the two sides would be further strengthened. Cao Gangchuan also praised Pakistan's efforts to open a dialogue process with India and said China will keep on supporting the Pakistan-India peace process. Cao Gangchuan arrived in Pakistan on Monday on a three-nation tour that will also take him to India and Thailand.

US urged not to fingerprint Chinese
2004-03-24 China Daily
US Embassy's move to fingerprint Chinese applicants for visa to the United States from Mar. 22 aroused great dissatisfaction among Chinese people of all walks of life. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move was discrimination against Chinese citizens and lodged on Mar. 23 serious representations to the United States. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been concerned over the matter before the US move and has lodged serious representations to the United States through diplomatic means since January 2004, noting that US demand for fingerprints and photos of Chinese citizens applying to go to the United States is discrimination against Chinese.

 

Domestic Policy

China showing model progress in meeting MDGs: UN official
2004-03-25 Xinhua News
China is making model progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) drastically cutting poverty and ensuring children's enrollment in primary schools, said a senior UN official here Thursday. Rubens Ricupero, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said the report on China's progress in meeting the MDGs is very "impressive". " China's population is such an important percentage of the world that the achievement of goals by China will help the achievement of the overall goals," he said.( ) Ricupero comes to China as representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to attend a three-day international conference on the MDGs. The MDGs include eight major goals, namely eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.

Finanzielle Hilfe für Familien mit Töchtern
2004-03-25 Zhongguo Ribao
In Guangzhou, werden Familien mit einer oder zwei Töchtern Unterstützung im Bildungs- und Medizinbereich erhalten. Damit will man eine grössere Gleichberechtigung zwischen den Geschlechter erreichen Die neue Verordnung wolle die Diskriminierung der eigenen Töchter durch viele chinesische Eltern entgegen wirken. Die letzte Volkszählung zeigte, dass eine derartige Diskriminierung zu einem Ungleichgewicht in der Geschlechterstruktur der Bevölkerung führt. Das im September vergangenen Jahres in China geförderte Projekt "Schutz für Mädchen" will die Entwicklung von Mädchen in einer sicheren Umgebung und den Schutz der Interessen von Frauen allgemein fördern. Offizielle Statistiken belegen, dass die derzeitige Geburtenrate von Jungen und Mädchen im Verhältnis bei 116,9 zu 100 liegt und damit 14 Prozent über einer "normalen" Geburtenrate. Einschätzungen der Kommission zufolge, wird es bei einem weiteren Anhalten des aktuellen Trends bis zum Jahr 2020 in China 40 Millionen mehr Männer als Frauen geben. Rund 50% der 50 Millionen von Armut betroffenen Menschen in China sind Frauen auf dem Land. Von den 85 Millionen erwachsenen Analphabeten sind 70% Frauen. ( ). Vor allem auf dem Land halte die Bevölkerung an der traditionellen Denkweise fest, dass nur Jungen die Ahnenlinie der Familie fortsetzen können und Frauen Männern unterlegen seien. Folge ist eine unausgeglichene Geburtenrate. Die Regierung solle zum Zweck der Beseitigung der traditionellen Diskriminierung die öffentlichen Zuwendungen für Frauen verbessern. Andernfalls müsse man mit erheblichen Problemen durch das wachsende Ungleichgewicht bei der Geburtenrate rechnen.

Former vice governor of SW province on trial for corruption
2004-03-25 Xinhua News
Liu Changgui, former vice governor of the southwestern China province of Guizhou, was put on trial Wednesday for suspected corruption and owning a huge amount of property he could not account for. Liu is accused of having accepted bribes totaling 160,000 US dollars between 1995 and 2000 and having another 200,000 US dollars of personal property he could not account for, said a source with the Intermediate People's Court of Zunyi city, where the hearing was held. A court ruling would be made on a separate occasion, the source said. Liu, 58, was a technical school graduate and had not received higher education. He served as acting mayor and mayor of Guiyang city, the provincial capital between 1994 and 1997, and was elected vice governor of Guizhou in 1997. He was arrested in April 2003 on charges of bribery.

Internet cafes banned around schools, residential areas
Internet cafes are a great harm to the mental health of teenagers
2004-03-24 People's Daily
Local governments across China have been ordered not to approve any Internet cafe operations in residential areas or within 200 meters of primary and high schools. The General Administration for Industry and Commerce (GAIC), China's market watchdog, said in Beijing Wednesday that currently in China, many Internet cafes, especially those without licenses, admit juveniles in violation of relevant regulations and spread unhealthy online information." They have brought great harm to the mental health of teenagers and interfered with the school teaching, which has aroused strong reactions from the public," said the GAIC. The Chinese government has, therefore, launched a nationwide check on all Internet cafes from February to August so as to halt the entry of minors as well as to prevent access to detrimental information through the Internet, according to a circular released in February jointly by the Ministry of Culture, the GAIC, the Ministry of Public Security and other relevant government departments.During the period, the government departments will take resolute, unyielding measures to enhance supervision over Internet cafe business and shut down those with no licenses. ( )

China definiert das Menschenrecht auf Entwicklung
2004-03-24 Renmin Ribao
Der UN-Botschafter Chinas in Genf, Sha Zukang, hat am Dienstag auf der 60. Konferenz der UN-Menschenrechtskommission bekräftigt, dass das Recht auf Entwicklung ein unveräusserliches Menschenrecht sei. Der Prozess der Globalisierung gefährde dieses Recht für die Menschen in den meisten Entwicklungsländern und insbesondere in den am wenigsten entwickelten Ländern. Sha Zukang forderte die internationale Gemeinschaft auf, gemeinsam Rahmenbedingungen für die Entwicklung zu schaffen und die Entwicklungsländer zu stützen. Der stellvertretende chinesische Delegationsleiter auf der 60. UN-Menschenrechtskonferenz, La Yifan, hatte am Montag in Genf erklärt, der "in neuen Formen auftretende Rassismus" bedeute eine neue Herausforderung an die Menschenrechte. Die internationale Gemeinschaft und insbesondere die westlichen Länder müssten dem Problem große Aufmerksamkeit schenken und Massnahmen treffen. Der Assistent des chinesischen Aussenministers, Shen Guofang, hat am Dienstag in Beijing den Botschafter der USA in China, Clark Randt, einbestellt und den Protest der chinesischen Regierung gegen die Entscheidung der US-Regierung, auf der diesjährigen 60. UN-Menschenrechtskonferenz einen auf China bezogenen Antrag einzubringen. Die Menschenrechte der Bürger Chinas seien garantiert. Es gebe keine sogenannten Rückschritte oder Verschlechterungen, wie dies von den USA behauptet werde.

More qualified lawyers needed
2004-03-23 Xinhua News
China now has a total 102,000 certified lawyers for its population of 1.3 billion, implying that for every 12,745 Chinese people there is one lawyer. China needs more good lawyers, said Zhang Fusen, minister of Justice, here Tuesday. The number of lawyers does not meet the growing demand for legal service in China, especially in the less-developed west China, he added. So far there are still 206 counties without lawyers in China and 363 law firms have less than three lawyers each. "We are also short of lawyers skilled and experienced in international businesses," Zhang said. The legal service on the Chinese mainland has been opening wider after the country entered the World Trade Organization (WTO)in late 2001 and the central government signed the Close Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with Hong Kong and Macao in 2003. The government has showed growing interest in developing legal service by issuing a series of regulations on lawyers and law firms. ( ) The ministry plans to set up an office on supervision and punishment of lawyers and announce to the public the punishment record of lawyers and law firms. Lawyer associations should work more on self-discipline of lawyers, Zhang said, adding the administration is to join hands with them in probing illegal operations of lawyers. "

Three Gorges Dam Project sparks new relocation
2004-03-24 China Daily
China still has to move another 350,000 people out of the Three Gorges area in the coming six years to make way for the world's most gigantic hydroelectric project, migration officials said. A total of 1.17 million people, among whom 820,000 have been resettled, have to move out of their homes in the reservoir areas in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and its neighboring Hubei Province before the Three Gorges Dam project is completed in 2009. The central government has allocated 4 billion yuan (US$482 million) in a special compensation fund earmarked to build new houses and enterprises and infrastructure facilities for the migrants in 2004 as about 114,510 people have to be resettled this year, mostly in Chongqing. To date, over 27 million square metres of housing has been set up across the country for the relocated people, according to the statistics of the Committee for the Construction of the Three Gorges Project under the State Council. Meanwhile, two cities, 11 county seats and thousands of townships, along with 1,100 industrial and mining enterprises, have been moved from the reservoir areas, said Lu Chun, an official from the committee. ( )

China committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy: Jiang
2004-03-19 Xinhua News
China has always been committed to the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy over the decades, said Jiang Zemin, chairman of China's Central Military Commission, while visiting the eighth China international nuclear industry exhibition here Friday. China has made great progress in developing its nuclear industry, which contributes a lot to the national defense and economy, Jiang said. The exhibition, attracting over 20,000 visitors, displays nuclear industrial achievements in Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia as well as China. After over 50 years of effort, China has established an integrated nuclear industry system. The Qinshan nuclear power plant has safely operated for a thousand days, and China can produce all the fuels used in nuclear power plants, official sources showed.

Earthquake in Inner Mongolia ruins 40% houses
2004-03-25 Xinhua News
Forty percent of residential houses in and around the epicenter suffered damages but no reported casualties so far after an earthquake measuring 5.9 degrees on the Richter scale hit the central-eastern part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region early Wednesday, said sources with local seismological authority. Officials with the Inner Mongolia Seismological Bureau said the earthquake jolted the area at 9:53 a.m. and 13 aftershocks were reported as of 4:00 p.m. with the biggest one of 3.5 on the Richter scale. ( )

 

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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