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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
  07.06-11.06.04, No. 22  
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Foreign Policy

China strongly condemns terrorist attack in Afghanistan
2004-06-04 People's Daily
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular press conference Thursday in Beijing that upon hearing the news, Chinese leaders strongly condemned the terrorist activities. They instructed the foreign ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan and other relevant departments to put all their strength into rescuing the injured workers, properly deal with the incident and assist the Afghan side in ensuring the safety of other Chinese people in Afghanistan. Chinese President HU Jintao who is in Krakow for a state visit, on Thursday strongly condemned a terrorist attack that killed 11 Chinese construction workers in northern Afghanistan. ( ) The attack happened at around 01:00 a.m. local time (2030 GMT Wednesday) on a construction site 36 km south of the city of Kunduz as some 20 gunmen opened fire at Chinese workers and security guards, leaving 11 Chinese workers dead and five others injured. One local Afghan was also injured in the attack. These were major casualties China has encountered in Afghanistan in the past two years.

Pakistan und China vertiefen Kooperation
2004-06-10 Xinwen Wang (Übersetzung)
Am Dienstag wurde der Vize-Vorsitzende des Ständigen Ausschusses des Chinesischen Nationalen Volkskongresses, Li Tieying, vom pakistanischen Ministerpräsidenten Jamali in Pakistan empfangen. Jamali forderte eine vertiefte Zusammenarbeit beider Länder. Dabei erwähnte er insbesondere im Bereich der Wirtschaft einen regeren Austausch. Li Tieying würdigte die Freundschaft und Kooperation beider Staaten seit der Aufnahme diplomatischer Beziehungen vor 53 Jahren ( )

China expects progress in each round of six-party talks
2004-06-10 People's Daily
China expects progress, even if small, in each round of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao in Beijing Thursday at a regular press conference. Liu said it was difficult to make progress in solving the nuclear issue due to the complexity of the issue, and all concerned parties should remain patient and not expect too much from the six-party talks. At the first working group meeting of the six-party talks in Beijing last month, negotiators from China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the USA the Republic of Korea, Russia and Japan agreed the third round of six-party talks will beheld in Beijing before the end of June after one more working-level discussion. Liu said all concerned parties now had put forward their proposals on the date of the next round of talks, and China will continue to consult with the other five parties on this issue, so as to reach consensus soon. ( ) Now that there were still comparatively big differences among the parties concerned, China hopes the related parties would continue to take a constructive attitude, show flexibility to the full, seek and expand common ground, narrow differences, and work actively to find solutions, the spokesman said. Liu said the most important thing for all concerned parties was to continue the process of resolving the nuclear issue in a peaceful way, and to implement all consensus which had been reached. ( )

DPRK warns S.Korea against military confrontation in Yellow Sea
2004-06-09 PLA Daily
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday urged South Korea to stop military confrontation in the Yellow Sea, or it will pay "a very dear price." "If the South Korean army keeps pursuing provocation against the agreement adopted at the north-south general-level military talks, we can only deal merciless blows to those who try to intrude into our territorial waters," the DPRK Navy Command of the Korean People's Army (KPA) said in a statement. ( ) At their general-level talks last week, the DPRK and South Korea agreed to avoid accidental armed clashes in the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea. The DPRK, however, does not accept the concept of the NLL, drawn by US-led United Nations forces after the 1950-1953 Korean War. The statement condemned the South Korean military activities as being instigated by US political purpose, saying "such reckless military provocation by the South Korean army is seriously getting on the nerves of the KPA seamen".( )
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea agreed on Monday to hold the 10th round of reunions for family members separated by the Korean War half a century ago, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)said. During a four-day visit to the DPRK, Lee Yoon-gu, president of the S. Korean Red Cross, and Jang Jae-on, chairman of the Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society, agreed to hold the reunions from July 11 to July 16, at Mt. Kumgang. The two sides also agreed to discuss business matters through contact between Red Cross liaison representatives at Panmunjom, according to the KCNA. ( )

Chinese president meets SCO officials
2004-06-08 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao met Tuesday in Beijing with Zhang Deguang, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and other officials from the SCO secretariat. Hu said he was glad to meet with the SCO officials before the Tashkent SCO summit meeting, noting that the SCO secretariat, as a permanent administrative institute, played an important role in the effective operation of the SCO. Hu spoke highly of the fruitful work the secretariat had done in promoting cooperation in various fields and expanding diplomatic exchanges since it was set up in January. The SCO should focus on developing concrete cooperation in various fields, and the major task of the Tashkent summit was to set clear projects and put forward concrete measures for the concrete cooperation in fields of organizational security and economy, he said.

President Hu leaves for four-nation tour
2004-06-08 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao left Beijing on Tuesday, June 08, to pay a state visit toPoland, Hungary, Romania and Uzbekistan. The entourage included his wife Liu Yongqing, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, Director of the Policy Research Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Wang Huning, and Deputy Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Ling Jihua. Hu is to visit the four nations at the invitation of Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Hungarian President Madl Ferenc, Romanian President Ion Iliescu, and Uzbekistani President Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov. During his visit, Hu will also attend the Tashkent summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. ( )

Chinese vice premier leaves for three European countries
2004-06-07 People's Daily
Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyuan left Beijing Monday on official visits to France, Swiss and Croatia respectively. Zeng paid the visits at the invitation of French and Swiss governments and Croatian Vice-Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.

China to send anti-riot peacekeepers for Haiti
2004-06-04 Xinhua News
China kicked off a three-month training for 148 anti-riot policemen on Friday, and will select 125 to compose its first team of anti-riot peacekeepers for missions in Haiti, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Vice Minister Meng Hongwei said Friday at the training's opening ceremony that the anti-riot peacekeeping team would help maintain local public security order and handle possible social turbulence, which would require rigid and higher standards in skills and disciplines than a common peacekeeping police. The team will head for Haiti in early September this year and stay there for about six months. "China's active involvement in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations, especially in Haiti which has not set up a diplomatic relationship with China, fully exhibits a peace-loving and responsible image of the country," Meng said. ( )

 

Taiwan

Official: Cross-Straits situation remains severe
2004-06-09 Xinhua News
Chen Shui-bian, who attempted to cheat the public through his "inauguration speech" on May 20, still sticks to his "Taiwan independence" stance, and so the cross-Straits situation remains severe. Zhang Kehui, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and president of the China Council for Promotion of Peaceful Reunification, made the remark here Wednesday when meeting with a delegation composed of scholars in Macao. Zhang expressed his hope that compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese will take joint actions with the mainland compatriots to oppose Chen's "Taiwan independence" separatism. ( )

Arms purchases spark waves of protests
2004-06-08 Xinhua News
Recently, Taiwan departments concerned adopted "a special budgetary program for major military purchases", deciding to buy three items of arms from the United States, namely 388 "Patriot" fly-bombs, eight submarines, 12 P3C anti-submarine aircraft decommissioned by US troops, involving a total amount well over 610.8 billion new Taiwan dollars, and to raise funds through the issuance of stocks, the selling of land and the issuance of public bonds. This move has triggered off a wave of vehement criticisms, People's Daily Online said on Monday. Some public opinions noted that at a time when foreign capital is flowing out gradually and attempts are made to revive the economic market but lacking in strength, and yet the authorities are issuing public bonds in return for conditions provided by the United States in defense of Taiwan, this is the same as killing the hen to get eggs and drinking poison to quench thirsts, what is bought at a cost of 600 billion new Taiwan dollars is not an "insurance policy", but "disaster of war". According to the island's media reports, the present arms purchase program is the largest arms purchase budget over the years, furthermore, the 410 billion worth of submarine budget is the highest in all US previous quoted prices, people in all Taiwan social sectors have doubts about this. ( ) Could this act justifiable?

 

Tibet

Tibeter bestimmen über ihre eigene Politik
2004-06-09 Xinwen Wang (Übersetzung)
Die in Tibet lebenden nationalen Minderheiten halten die führenden Positionen in der Administration der chinesischen Autonomen Provinz. 78 % der leitenden Angestellten sind Tibeter oder alle administrativen Ebenen Tibeter oder Angehörige anderer in Tibet ansässiger nationaler Minderheiten. Die bisherigen sieben Vorsitzenden der Gebietsregierung gehören alle der tibetischen Minderheit an.

Domestic Policy

Registration of new Internet bars halted
2004-06-04 Xinhua News
The General Administration for Industry and Commerce recently issued a circular to suspend registration of new Internet bars and profit-seeking song and dance halls, so as to create good environment for minors. The circular called for a crackdown on unregistered Internet bars, forbidding the establishment of Internet bars and song and dance halls within 200 meters around primary and middle schools. As China has seen some tragic accidents related to youngsters and Internet bars recently, the central government has imposed a rigid watch on Internet bars. Meanwhile, China has shut down nearly 16,000 unlicensed Internet cafes across the country since March this year. ( ) Forty-seven percent of Beijing's homes have access to the Internet by the end of March this year, a survey has found. According to a report by CCW Research, a survey institution, 62 percent of the families in eight downtown districts in Beijing were connected to the Internet, about three times of the 21.9 percent in the rural part of Beijing. ( )

Webseite gegen "ungesunden" Inhalt
2004-06-04 Xinwen Wang (Übersetzung)
Die Internet Webseite (http://net.china.cn) wurde heute in Beijing aufgeschaltet. Sie dient als Platform und zur Anzeige von gesetzwidrigen und "ungesunden" Inhalten im Weltweiten Netz. Diese Seite wird vom Arbeitskomitee für Nachrichten und Informationen des Chinesischen Internetverbandes geleitet und unterhalten. Es geht darum, dass Chinesen gesetzwidrige Inhalte anzeigen und so das öffentliche Meinung schützen.( ) Die Anonymität der Anzeigenden wird geschützt.

9 officials in fake milk powder scandal punished
BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Nine officials have been sacked or received disciplinary penalties for failing to prevent a fake milk powder scandal which led to 13 deaths and malnutrition of 189 babies in Fuyang City, east China's Anhui Province, according to related supervision departments. Three top city officials have received warnings for dereliction of duty, including Fuyang's mayor Liu Qingqiang and two vice mayors, Ma Mingye and Du Changping, who took charge of market supervision work and health work respectively. Zhou Yunlian, the city government's deputy secretary-general, also got severe disciplinary punishment and was dismissed. Five other officials, all top cadres with the city's industrial and commercial bureau or health bureau, were either dismissed from their posts or given disciplinary penalties. Some are likely to face legal punishment depending on further investigation in corruption. The punishments came after a probe by the State Council, which found that Fuyang officials failed to thoroughly investigate the widespread sales of fake milk powder after an initial complaint in May 2003. The scandal did not break until April this year.The cases sparked a national outcry and rang alarms for consumers on the rampant problem of counterfeit and inferior goods in China.

 

Social

Aging population poses tough challenges for China
2004-0608 Xinhua News
China is well anticipated to become the second nation immediately after Japan that will suffer a rapid aging of its population in the coming decades, according to the Green Book of Population and Labor published Monday here in Beijing. ( ) Statistics show that, from 2000 to 2007, the number of Chinese people aged 65 or older will increase from the current less than 100 million to more than 200 million, up over 4 million per year and the aged will make up 14 percent of the total population. But from 2028 to 2036, the number of the same group will surge from 200 million to over 300 million, indicating that the aged Chinese's total will increase by some 10 million each year and make up 20 percent of the nation's total population in the end. So, China, like some other countries, is set to handle many tough challenges regarding aging-related issues like finance, society and productivity. ( ) There is no doubt that during the ongoing mechanism transitional process, the lack of a huge amount of pension, or only 44.9 percent of the urban employees and 85.4 percent of the retirees covered, remains a tough issue that more governmental efforts must focus on. Because of the relatively high ratio of those aged from 15 to 59, or 67 percent of the total population, the burden on their shoulders to support the aged has begun to mount. According to the book, it is a dire need to tighten management of the taxation and funds and the reform of both the urban and rural support system is pressing. Experts said that with the downsizing of rural families and the decrease of farming income, issues should be put on the agenda to explore a rural support system of the aged that matches China's concrete situation. ( )

China inefficient in using water resources
2004-06-08 Xinhua News
China consumed an average of 465 cubic meters of water for each 10,000 yuan (1,205 US dollars) of gross domestic product (GDP) it achieved last year, about four times the world average level, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Water Resources. China used five to ten times more water than developed countries to achieve the 10,000-yuan industrial output, and only 50 percent of water was recycled in China, the figures show. In developed countries, 85 percent of water is used again. ( ) According to a proposed scheme, the price for tap water in Beijing will be raised by 28 percent, or 0.8 yuan (nearly 10 US cents) from today's 2.9 yuan per ton to 3.7 yuan this year. ( )

Agree to have one child? Get a nice cash reward
2004-06-08 China Daily
Rural couples in Southwest China's Yunnan Province can receive a 1,000 yuan ($US120) reward beginning this month if they sign an agreement to have just one child. The move is a preferential policy recently adopted by the province in an attempt to bring the ever-swelling population in farming areas under control. Besides the reward money given to parents who promise to have only a single baby, other privileges will be granted. They include an exemption of education fees, additions to their child's scores in college entrance exams and advantages towards additional education. In addition, couples with single children are given some other benefits, including an annual pension of up to 750 yuan (US$91) from the government when they retire. ( )

Confucius reenters mainstream culture
2004-06-07 Xinhua News
Students of the Experimental Primary School of Qufu city, east China's Shandong Province, do one thing together every day before morning classes -- they read in chorus the Analects of Confucius (551-479 B.C.).( ) Its value has been recognized again and Confucian teachings have been readmitted as valuable cultural heritage. Dissemination of Confucian instructions has restarted in numerous schools, colleges and universities and statues of Confucius are found in more than 1,000 Chinese schools and colleges. "Confucius has left us a wealth of valuable heritage. ( ) To policy makers and entrepreneurs alike, many instructions of Confucius are still applicable today. Government officials see certain Confucius instructions as guidelines for their work and important components of Chinese traditional culture the youngsters should inherit. Confucius remarks, such as "if you wish to fulfill the task well, it's advisable to have handy tools first", and his emphasis on honesty are held as golden rules of business. Currently, numerous research groups and periodicals in the world focus on Confucius and Confucianism and more than 100 Internet websites have been opened to publicize Confucius and his teachings. Every year, around 3 million people from across the world visit the temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius in Qufu, which remain well preserved. ( )

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"Stop selling Arms, we'll reduce missiles"
2004-06-08 South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Beijing's offer to the US of a mutual reduction of weaponry could help ease hostilities with Taiwan Beijing will consider reducing the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan along the eastern coast of the mainland if the US stops selling advanced weaponry to the island, it was reported yesterday. Quoting a high-level military source in Beijing, the Hong Kong based Ta Kung Pao newspaper said removing the missiles was a possibility. "If the US doesn't sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, we con consider removing the missiles, "the source was quoted as saying. It is not the first time the mainland has offered to strike such a deal with the US. Former president Jiang Zemin was reported to have made a similar offer during his visit to the US in October 02 but Washington did not respond to the proposed deal, analysts said. The proposal for a mutual reduction of weaponry was also broached when US Vice-President Cheney visited Beijing in April. Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have risen since Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian was elected for a second Term. Despite his public denials, the mainland believes Mr. Chen is steering Taiwan steadily towards independence. Beijing has reiterated that as long as Taiwan recognizes the one-China principle. Anything can be discussed. Last month, the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office -while lashing out at Mr. Chen for promoting independence - suggested the two sides could even talk about a mechanism to end military hostilities across the strait if Taipei accepted the principle. The mainland's latest offer comes after the Taiwanese cabinet put forward a proposal for an NT$610 billion (HK$141.5 billion) special budget. The budget - if approved. would allow the island's military to buy anti-missile systems, submarines and anti-submarine aircraft from the US. The central government has repeatedly protested against US arms sales to Taiwan, saying they violated the communiqué of August 17, 1982 in which Washington pledged to reduce weapons sales. The pact has never been strictly implemented. Mainland military analysts believe that arming Taiwan is part of the US strategy of encircling and containing the mainland, as embodied the ballistic missile defense system it plans to sell to the island. Analysts in Taiwan say the cross-strait arms race is actually a vicious circle in which Beijing increases its weapons deployment for fear of Taiwanese independence, while Taipei buys more US arms because of the mainland's threats. "Because the mainland thinks the Chen government has strayed from the middle-road policy, it feels the need to build up its weapons system to prepare to check Taiwan from becoming independent," former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi said. He Said this was also why the Chen government felt the need to buy the NT$610 billion worth of arms, hoping that by strengthening its military ties with the US, Washington wold intervene should the mainland attack the island. "It's what someone called an NT$610 billion insurance premium, or protection fee, to pay to the US," he said. But he added the mainland's claims that the US had not abided by the 1982 joint communiqué were unjustified. "There is a precondition in the communiqué, that is, the mainland must maintain a peace principal in dealing with cross-strait ties," Mr. Su 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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