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
  05.07-09.07.04, No. 24  
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Foreign Policy

Taiwan independence will never be tolerated: Jiang
2004-07-08 Xinhua News
Jiang Zemin, chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, said here Thursday that China will adhere to the basic principle of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems", but will never tolerate Taiwan independence. Jiang told US Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Condoleezza Rice. ( ) Jiang summarized the development of Sino-US relations in recent decades, putting forward three basic principles on bilateral ties:
-- Eye on the overall situation and long-term-development-oriented. China and the United States were both big countries with world impact. The Sino-US ties should be considered in the scope of Asia and worldwide;
-- Recognize and respect differences, keep seeking and expanding common interests. The world is various. All the civilizations and social mechanisms should co-exist peacefully and pursue common development via seeking common points while differences exist;
-- Strictly adhere to the three Sino-US joint communiques and cautiously handle the Taiwan issue. With broad exchange and cooperation, it's not odd for some contradictions and differences to exist between China and the United States. The crux of the matter is to respect and treat each other on equal footing. Rice said that US President George W. Bush attaches much importance to US-China ties and hopes to expand exchange and cooperation between the two nations in many sectors.On the Taiwan question, Rice acknowledged, President George W. Bush understands China's concern on the issue and does not want to see conflict in the Taiwan Strait region, and the president's stance of supporting one-China principle, not supporting any unilateral change to the straits status quo is explicit and steadfast. ()

Free-trade zone touted for Tumen
2004-07-09 China Daily
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thursday promised to work with countries in Northeast Asia to boost development along the Tumen River. The decision to get more involved in the Tumen River Area Development Programme (TRADP) opens the door for the five member countries to devise and decide the future of the Tumen program, said UNDP senior official Khalid Malik. He made the remarks Thursday at the seventh meeting on TRADP, which was attended by vice-ministerial officials from member countries. The TRADP is an ambitious project by China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK), Mongolia and Russia to create a free-trade zone in Northeast Asia. The TRADP is being touted as the "future Rotterdam" for Northeast Asia. The countries and the UNDP envision a 20 year project, and a price tag of more than US$30 billion, to transform the Tumen River area into the transportation and trading hub for Northeast Asia. () Wen said that international co-operation along the Tumen River will involve three basic steps. From 2005 to 2010, the international co-operation should focus on such infrastructure projects as railways, ports and roads to better link member countries. Tourism and trade should receive priority in this period of development, he added. From 2010 to 2015, China, Russia and the DPRK should build a sub-regional economic, technological and trade zone, said Wei. Meanwhile, China and Mongolia, DPRK and ROK, Russia and DPRK and Japan and DPRK, should be expand bilateral co-operation. From 2015 onwards, all member countries should work towards building a free trade zone in Northeast Asia, said Wei. ( )

Tourist groups greenlighted to visit 27 Euro nations
2004-07-04 China Daily
Chinese travel agencies will be allowed to organize tourist groups to 27 European nations as of September 1, sources with China National Tourism Administration said in Beijing Saturday. The 27 nations are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Romania. Experts said the new move will enhance friendship and understanding between China and Europe as well as promote bilateral exchanges in economy, trade, science and culture. To date, travel agencies can only organize Chinese tourists to visit 26 nations. The number will rise to 53 on September 1. In 2003, China's average GDP per capita surpassed US$1,000 for the first time, and the total foreign currency savings of Chinese residents topped US$90 billion. These conditions stimulated overseas travels by Chinese. According to the World Tourism Organization, China is among the top 10 nations in terms of outbound tourism consumption. From 1994 to 2003, the total number of outbound Chinese tourists reached nearly 100 million, up 13.87 percent year-on-year. Last year, outbound Chinese tourists numbered 20.2 million, surpassing Japanese counterparts for the first time.

Commenting on HK's affairs improper for foreign officials
2004-07-03 Xinhua News
It is inappropriate for the officials of foreign consulates in Hong Kong to comment on the political affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said a spokesman of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in HKSAR on Saturday. The spokesman made the remarks in response to comments made by some foreign consulate officials in Hong Kong on Hong Kong's political affairs. Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, it is improper for consulate officials, as the representatives of foreign governments in Hong Kong, to make comments on the political affairs of the HKSAR, said the spokesman in a press release.

 

Domestic Policy

Power shortage: 6,400 factories to go off-line
2004-07-08 China Daily
Due to summer's unquenchable power thirst, about 6,400 industrial enterprises in and around Beijing will but shut down for a week. Starting from Thursday, the plants -- mostly State-owned industries that have an eight-hour working day -- will be shut down and come back online according to a staggered programme. The policy will run until the end of next month. ( ) According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, the policy is aimed at staggering the peak times of power consumption during the capital's hottest months. At the moment, many regions in China are facing tight power supplies. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the country is facing its most severe power shortage this summer since the 1980s. There is expected to be a shortfall of 1.2 million kilowatts in Beijing this summer. To combat the worsening energy situation, the government has given energy conservation top billing in its long-term energy outlook. ( )

AIDS outbreak likely in Hebei
2004-07-06 Xinhua News
An AIDS outbreak is likely in China's northern province of Hebei in the near future as the majority of AIDS virus carriers, who contracted the disease a decade ago, become AIDS patients, experts warned.() Most victims in the province contacted the disease around 1995,accounting for about 70 percent of the total number of the infected in the past 15 years. Experts did not give the exact numbers of AIDS patients or virus carriers in the province. Most AIDS sufferers in the province were in underdeveloped areas and poor rural areas where most people and patients could not afford medical bills or beat poverty resulting from loss of work ability because of AIDS or other diseases. AIDS was spread mainly through blood in the province, involving 85.9 percent of the total infected. ( )

New bird flu case found in east China
2004-07-06 Xinhua News
The national bird flu reference laboratory confirmed on Tuesday that the latest death of chickens in east China's Anhui province was caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus. The case happened at a chicken farm of the Juchao District, Chaohu City, east Anhui Province. Officials with the Ministry of Agriculture said that the ministry received the report of chicken death on July 3 and soon dispatched a group of experts to the affected area to guide relevant works of prevention and control of the disease. ( ) The ministry has informed the case to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO), relevant authorities of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. ()

Civil servants bid good-bye to "iron-rice bowl
2004-07-05 Xinhua News
China sacked 19,374 civil servants during the period 1996 and 2003 as part of its efforts to build a clean and efficient government, according to figures released by the Ministry of Personnel. The figures also showed that a total of 32,549 civil servants have quitted their jobs in government departments to work in enterprises, including overseas-funded companies, since the provision on resignation and dismissal of civil servants was issued in 1995. According to the provision, civil servants who failed in two consecutive year of performance assessment, or who were found to be incompetent and refused to accept other job arrangement, should be dismissed. Civil servants who were absent from work for 15 consecutive days with or without justifiable reasons and who failed to perform their duty or abide by civil servant disciplines are also subject to dismissal. Previously, government officials, widely known as cadres, enjoyed life-long employment if they commit no serious mistakes or crimes. ( )

Drogen wird zu einem Problem in China
2004-07-04 Xinwen Wang
Die staatliche Kommission der Rauschgiftkontrolle hat eine Statistik herausgegeben, bei dem zufolge im Jahre 2003 in China 1,05 Mio. Drogensüchtige registriert wurden. Das sind 5% mehr als letztes Jahr. Betroffen sind zumeist junge Leute, Arbeitslose und Wanderarbeiter. 72,2% davon sind Jugendliche unter 35 Jahren. 643.000 der Drogensüchtigen sind heroinabhängig. () Ein offizieller Vertreter des Gesundheitsministeriums sagt, dass immer mehr Drogensüchtige neben Heroin auch Extacy einnehmen würden. "Hauptsächlich in Karaoke-Bars und Diskos wird Extasy konsumiert. Haschisch dagegen ist vor allem in der Provinz Xinjiang und in den Küstenstädten Chinas stark verbreitet. ( ) Viele Verbrechen wie Diebstahl und Prostitution werden durch das Drogenproblem verursacht, welche die gesellschaftliche Sicherheit gravierend beeinträchtigen. In einigen Regionen sind die Süchtigen in 60-80% der Raub- oder Diebstahldelikte verwickelt. ( ) Die chinesische Regierung kooperiert seit den 90er Jahren mit den Nachbarländern Myanmar und Laos und führt ein sogenanntes "grünes Anti-Drogen-Projekt" durch. Mit diesem Projekt erhofft China, die Bauern vom Anbau von Mohn durch den Anbau von Getreide und Industriepflanzen zu bewegen. Der Mohnanbau konnte in den letzten Jahren in Myanmar und Laos um schätzungsweise 24% bzw. 15% reduziert werden. ()

 

Taiwan

Taiwan media confirm island's plan to attack mainland
2004-07-06 People's Daily
After the Ministry of National Defence denied reports of US suggest to attack the Three Gorges dam, Taiwan military confirmed for the first time on July 2 that the island indeed had plan to attack the mainland in case of war. Quoting related military officers from the "Defense Ministry", Taiwan-based China Times said that aimed at "stopping enemy at the opposite shore and countering enemy's attacks", the Taiwan ministry had planned to use fighters, submarines and missiles to defend itself and attack enemy's transportation lines, ports and airports. ( ) Facing the "threats from PLA", the "Defense Ministry" stressed that the most urgent task is to purchase subs, anti-sub aircraft and Patriot III. After gaining eight submarines, the island navy will deploy them in important ports, navigation routs and key sea areas to carry out navigation blockade, sea attack, mine laying and combat of special personnel.

 

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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