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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
  19.04-23.04.04, No. 16  
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Foreign Policy

Report: N. Korea train crash kills thousands
2004-04-22 Xinhua News
Two fuel trains collided at a North Korean railroad station near the Chinese border Thursday, igniting a deafening explosion that rained debris in a wide area around, South Korean media reported. One television channel said as many as 3,000 people might have been killed or injured. Pyongyang declared an emergency in the area, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. The North's official KCNA news agency did not mention the disaster. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, had quietly passed by rail through the station as he returned from China before dawn some nine hours earlier. It was not clear what caused the crash. But a South Korean official, quoted on condition of anonymity by South Korea's all-news cable channel, YTN, said it appeared to be an accident. The collision reportedly took place about 1 p.m. in Ryongchon, a town 12 miles from China's northeastern Liaoning Province. One train was carrying oil and the second had liquefied petroleum gas, media reported. "The area around Ryongchon station has turned into ruins as if it were bombarded," Yonhap quoted witnesses as saying. ( ) Some of the injured were evacuated to hospitals in Dandong, it said. North Korea's state-run news agency on Thursday confirmed that Kim made an unofficial trip to China on Monday through Wednesday, but carried no comments on the reported explosion. ( )

China to offer assistance to DPRK
2004-04-22 Xinhua News
China decided to offer assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during DPRK leader Kim Jong Il's visit to China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said here Thursday at a regular press conference. Kong said China has repeated several times that DPRK people arefacing difficulties while making great achievements in domestic construction. China decided to offer assistance to the DPRK in a view to strengthening the traditional friendship between the two peoples. The amount of the assistance is limited and the two countries are still discussing the details, Kong stressed. Kim Jong Il, general-secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, paid an unofficial visit to China from April 19 to 21, at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China(CPC).

China hopes Canada offers no platform for Dalai Lama
2004-04-20 Xinhua News
China on Tuesday restated its hopes that Canada will give careful thought to the Chinese position on the Dalai Lama's visit and not provide a platform for him. Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a regular press conference that the Dalai Lama is not purely a religious figure but a political activist engaging in splitting China. In the context of the smooth development of Sino-Canadian relations, Canada should not provide a platform for the Dalai Lama. China has noticed some statements from the Canadian side, Kong said, noting that nevertheless, China hopes the Canadian government will reconsider the issue and correct its mistake.

China confident in Sino-Russian ties
2004-04-20 Xinhua News
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said here Tuesday that China is fully confident in the prospect of China-Russia bilateral relations. Kong said at the ministry's regular press briefing that the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia has been developing well in recent years and the bilateral cooperation and exchanges in all areas including in the political affairs were also improving continuously. Kong said Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will visit Russia later in April and attend the regular meeting for foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Moscow on April 23. ( ) Military cooperation between Russia and China is not targeted at a third country but is aimed to guarantee regional peace and security, stressed Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov here Wednesday at a press conference after talks with his Chinese counterpart. Cao Gangchuan. Ivanov said that during the talks with Chinese Minister of National Defense Cao Gangchuan, the two sides discussed the framework of cooperation in military technology, but details of this cooperation need further consultation. The military cooperation between the two sides are large in scale and rapid in speed, including exchanges of visits, personnel training and sending military observers to the other to watch military exercises, Ivanov said. Ivanov said he also exchanged views with Cao on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula. "We believe that there are no other channels to solve the issue than political and peaceful means," he said. "We call upon the parties concerned to start the third round of six-party talks early." On the fight against terrorism, Ivanov said the fight is a popular topic today, but Russia opposes a double standard on the issue. Cooperation between Russia and China in this area has concrete content, he said. The two sides have conducted joint military exercises against terrorism under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said, adding similar exercises will be held in the future.

Chinese military delegation visits Syria
2004-04-21 PLA Daily
A PLA delegation headed by Lt. Gen.Liu Dongdong, political commissar of the Jinan Military Area Command, arrived in Damascus, the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic on the evening of April 19 for a five-day friendly visit. General Mustafa Tlass, deputy commander of the Syrian Armed Forces and minister of national defense, met with the PLA delegation and the two sides held talks on furthering military cooperations and exchanges between the two armed forces.

Chinese state councilor meets US FBI director
2004-04-20 People's Daily
Chinese State Councilor Zhou Yongkang met in Beijing Tuesday with Robert S. Mueller, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the US. Zhou, who is also minister of public security (MPS), said the Chinese government attached great importance to Sino-US cooperation on law enforcement, and by doing so the two sides should push forward the cooperative relations. Zhou also talked with Mueller about such issues as Sino-US anti-terrorism cooperation and the fight against international crime. Mueller said the law enforcement organizations of the two sides have done effective work in establishing cooperation based on mutual trust and strengthening information communication. The FBI is willing to enhance cooperation with the MPS on counter-terrorism and combating international crimes and to exchange personnel in law enforcement, giving support to the Chinese side to repatriate Chinese suspects who escape to the United States.

China irritated at US hearing on Taiwan Relations Act
2004-04-22 Xinhua News
China showed serious concern and displeasure over a US congressional hearing on Taiwan Relations Act and lodged serious representation with the US side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said here Thursday. Kong made the remarks in response to a report that the House of Representative Committee on International Relations of the United States held a hearing on Taiwan Relations Act on April 21. US officials with state and defense departments were quoted as saying that the United States would continue to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan in accordance with the Act. If the Chinese mainland used force against Taiwan, the United States would inevitably get involved. "China has been firmly opposed to the enactment of the so-called Taiwan Relations Act from the very beginning and US arms sales to Taiwan based on such act," Kong said. ( ) "We expect the United States to honor words with deeds, stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan and interfering in China's internal affairs, and send no wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces so as to maintain the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and the common interests of China and the United States with concrete actions," the spokesman said.

Two Swiss abducted in Iraq released
2004-04-22 Xinhua News
Two Swiss nationals held hostage in Iraq for 48 hours have been released unharmed, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Thursday. The two, kidnapped Tuesday by an unknown group in southern Iraq, had been questioned about their work in Iraq and were freed on Thursday morning, she said. The head of the Swiss liaison office in Baghdad, Martin Aeschbacher, who had helped secure the release, said from Baghdad that the two Swiss had been well treated by their Iraqi captors and had returned to their work with an international aid organization after release. Some 20 Swiss are currently residing in Iraq, most of them are dual nationals. Calmy-Rey warned them to be fully aware of the security risk there. "We would be relieved if they came home," she said. Around 50 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq in the past few weeks, and most of them have subsequently been released unharmed.

 

Domestic Policy

Suspect SARS case puts China on alert
2004-04-22 People's Daily
The Ministry of Health held an emergent teleconference Thursday night after the announcement of one suspect SARS case in Beijing making detailed actions to prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome. The ministry asked local health authorities to enhance SARS preventative measures and spare no efforts to prevent hospital infection and protect the safety of health workers. ( ) Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) China Office suggested the public "be sensible" to the possible reoccurrence of SARS, but "do not over react". Bob Dietz, press officer of the WHO China Office, told Xinhua that his office had been informed of the suspect SARS case by the Health Ministry Thursday evening. "The ministry's investigations have started and the WHO is in close contact with the ministry," he said. From a public health standpoint, the first step is to confirm the cases, trace their contacts and make sure more people do not become infected, Dietz said. ( ) According to the Health Ministry, the 20-year-old female patient surnamed Li was currently hospitalized in isolation in Beijing's Ditan Hospital and had undergone two examinations by a medical expert team of the ministry. Some 171 people who had close contact with the patient have received medical observation and five who developed fever have been isolated for further observation.( )

China to continue exchanges and cooperation with WHO: president
2004-04-21 PLA Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Tuesday in a meeting with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-general Dr. Lee Jong-Wook that China is willing to continue exchanges and cooperation with the WHO. Commending the fruitful cooperation between China and the WHO, in particular the assistance given by WHO in China's fight against SARS, Hu said that the enhancement of cooperation with the WHO has been a consistent policy adopted by the Chinese government. China will push forward such cooperation for the promotion of the health of the Chinese people and people worldwide and made due contribution to the development of the international health cause, Hu said. Hu reiterated China's principled stance on the Taiwan issue. The central government showed much care to the health and well-being of the Taiwan compatriots, he said. On the basis of the one-China principle, the president said, the central government will adopt active measures to push forward medical exchanges across the Taiwan Straits and lend a hand to enable Taiwan health experts in the international health area. The WHO hopes to have more vigorous cooperation with the Chinese government in the health area, he said. ( )

Courts urged to ensure judicial justice
2004-04-22 Xinhua News
State-Councilor Zhou Yongkang has urged Chinese courts to protect the fundamental interests of the people and ensure judicial justice, in order to provide a powerful judicial guarantee for the country to achieve moderate prosperity. Zhou, who is a member of both the Political Bureau and Secretariat of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said this during a visit Thursday to the Supreme People's Court, in the company of Xiao Yang, president of the supreme court. During his visit, Zhou inspected the supreme court's departmentresponsible for receiving complaints from ordinary people. In talks with the staff of the supreme court, the official urged courts of all levels to resolve problems that have been strongly complained about by the people. Meanwhile, he has called for ensuring the implementation of the Constitution and laws and making substantial efforts to safeguard the judicial authority.

Party to recruit more members
2004-04-20 Xinhua News
A senior Communist Party of China(CPC) official said the Party will attach great importance to recruiting new members from workers, farmers, intellectual, soldiers and cadres to boost its fundamental constituency. He Guoqiang, head of the Organization Department of CPC Central Committee, said during his recent inspection tour of Fujian Province in east China that recruiting new Party members under the current social situation will constantly broaden the Party's base. The official also called for efforts to select members of other social strata who are up to the Party's requirements for membership to enhance the Party's influence and cohesive power over society. The Party decided at its 16th National Congress in 2002 to allow entrepreneurs to join the Party.

Bekämpfung der Ungeziefer mit Flugzeugen
2004-04-20 Xinhua Wang (Übersetzung)
Am Sonntag sind erstmals Insektizide von Flugzeugen zur Ungezieferbekämpfung in den Wäldern rund um Beijing aus versprüht worden. Es war eine erstmalige gemeinsame Aktion der Städte Beijing und Tianjin sowie der Provinz Hebei der Wälder ihrer Gemeinde. Besprüht wurden knapp 34.000 Hektar Waldfläche. ( ) Bis Mitte Juni werden biologischverträgliche Lösungen verspritzt, die unbedenklich für Mensch, Tier und Umwelt sind. Insgesamt gibt es in der Munizipalität Beijing rund 800.000 Hektar Wald. Das sind 47,5% der Gesamtfläche des gesamten Bezirks.

Bildung auf dem Land ist Schwergewicht der Erziehungspolitik
2004-04-21 Jiefang Junbao Wang (Übersetzung)
Die Förderung von Wissen in den ländlichen Regionen ist in der chinesischen Bildungspolitik als Priorität gesetzt worden. Dabei wurden die staatlichen Ausgaben dafür aufgestockt. Aus dem Staatsbudget würden 10 Milliarden RMB zur Verfügung gestellt, um in den ländlichen Gebieten Westchinas 6.400 Internatsschulen einzurichten. ( ) Zugleich werde man sich bemühen, den staatlichen Bildungshaushalt auf 4% des Bruttosozialprodukts zu erhöhen, sagte der Sprecher weiter.

Die Verwaltung wird transparenter
2004-04-19 Guangming Wang (Übersetzung)
Im Bereich der chinesischen Gesetzgebung von der Verwaltung von Zivilangelegenheiten werden öffentliche Anhörungen neu offiziell eingeführt. Wie das chinesische Ministerium für Zivilangelegenheiten vermeldet, sollen wichtige administrative Entscheidungen im Bereich der Zivilverwaltung zukünftig erst nach Konsultation mit Experten bestimmt werden. Weiter soll der Anhörung öffentlicher Meinungen der Entscheid getroffen werden, um so eine Teilnahme der Öffentlichkeit zu ermöglichen. ( )

Inferior milk powder wholesale dealers detained, victims to be compensated
2004-04-21 People's Daily
Police in Fuyang City of east China's Anhui Province has detained five principal wholesale dealers who sold substandard milk powder that led to the death of 13 infants. ( ) According to a recent investigation, 171 infants suffered from malnutrition after being fed with milk powder deficient in protein and other nutrients. Thirteen infants have died and two are still being treated in hospital.
The families of babies who died of nutritional deficiencies from consuming substandard milk powder in east China's Anhui Province will be given compensation of 10,000 yuan (1,204 US dollars. ( )

Guangdong faces severe HIV situation
2004-04-20 Xinhua News
South China's Guangdong Province is facing a severe HIV situation after having spotted HIV carriers in 90 percent of its counties, experts said at the Guangdong AIDS Prevention and Treatment Symposium which opened here Tuesday. Some 110 counties among the total 122 have reported HIV carriers, said Liu Zoulu, director of Guangdong Provincial Academyof Preventive Medicine. About 5,051 HIV carriers and 190 AIDS patients were reported in the province in 2003 and Guangdong became the fourth Chinese region with a serious HIV situation after Yunnan Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Among the province's HIV carriers, 84 percent are males and 80 percent are in their youth and prime between 16 to 35. Guangdong police have registered nearly 200,000 drug addicts, who are most vulnerable to the HIV virus and a growing number of HIV infection cases were coming from the sex trade. Experts appealed for the provincial government to input more funds and step up legislation to fight AIDS and deal with the increasing number of crimes committed by HIV carriers or AIDS patients.

 

Economy

Economic reform focuses on 7 fields in 2004
2004-04-18 People's Daily
To push forward economic reform in 2004 in accordance with the decision of the Third Plenary Meeting of the 16th Party Congress, the State Development and Reform Commission recently issued the instruction for China's economic reform for 2004. According to the guideline, this year will see the economic reform to be focused on the following seven fields.
1. Improve ownership structure and push reform on SOEs forward
2. Deepen reform in rural areas
3. Deepen system reform on finance, taxation, investment and price
4. Deepen administrative system reform
5. Build a modern market-driven system
6 Deepen the reforms on employment and income distribution system.
7.Advance social system reform

China fördert regenerierbare Energiequellen
2004-04-21 Xinwen Wang (Übersetzung)
Mit der rasanten Entwicklung der Wirtschaft nimmt der Energieverbrauch in grossem Masse zu, deshalb wächst der Druck auf Ressourcen, Umwelt und Energiesicherheit. Um diesen Bedarf zu befriedigen, hat China damit begonnen, die Nutzung regenerierbarer Energien zu fördern. China ist mittlerweile der zweitgrößte Energieverbraucher der Welt von rund 10% am weltweiten Verbrauch. Kohle ist dabei in China, mit mehr als 90% Anteil, weiterhin der wichtigste Energielieferer, während der Beitrag regenerierbarer Energien zur Energieversorgung nur sehr gering ist. Dabei gibt es in China ein reiches Potential regenerierbarer Energien, sodass sich hier gute Entwicklungsperspektiven bieten: Seit über 20 Jahren werden in China diese Energien planmässig und organisiert erschlossen und genutzt. Die Gesamtkapazität kleiner Wasserkraftwerke beträgt landesweit über 30 Mio Kilowattstunden. Solarenergie, vor allem zum Erwärmen von Wasser, hat sich in den letzten Jahren ebenfalls zunehmend verbreitet. Jährlich werden Solarenergieanlagen für 20.000 Kilowatt hergestellt. Fortschritte wurden auch bei der Stromerzeugung durch Windkraft erzielt. Bei der Biogastechnik ist man bereits vom ursprünglich reinen Energiegewinn zur umfassenden Nutzung der zu entsorgenden Abfälle übergegangen. Zur künftigen Rolle der ökologischen Energien gehören die Verbesserung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit durch Projektausschreibungen, eine Erhöhung der Konkurrenzfähigkeit der regenerierbaren Energien und eine verstärkte ökonomische Entwicklung dieser Ressourcen. ( )

 

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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