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
  12.07-16.07.04, No. 25  
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Foreign Policy

Singapore could ruin bilateral ties: China
2004-07-14 People's Daily
China said Singapore should bear full responsibility for damaged bilateral ties caused by the country's deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's visit to Taiwan. A foreign ministry spokesperson said Lee Hsien Loong's visit to Taiwan seriously violates the commitments the Singaporean government has made to the One China policy and damaged the political base for China-Singapore relations. The spokesperson pointed out that the Taiwan issue is related to the fundamental interests of China and the stance of the Chinese government on this issue has always been consistent and clear. She adds that as the deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong's move, no matter what the excuse, would inevitably have serious consequences in relations and cooperation between the two countries.

China strongly opposes US report on Tibet issue
2004-07-14 People's Daily
China on Monday strongly opposed the second US presidential report on the so-called Tibet issue, urging the US to stop making use of the issue to interfere in China's internal affairs, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue. Tibet is part of China and the Tibet issue is an internal affair of China. The US report, based on its domestic legislature and regardless of facts, made irresponsible remarks on China's Tibet affairs and rendered help to the Dalai Lama's separatist activities, Zhang said. ( ) "Only when the Dalai Lama really gives up his pursuit for 'Tibet independence,' stops separatist activities against China, declares in public that he recognizes Tibet is an inalienable part of China and so it Taiwan, will we contact him for negotiations," she said. "We demand the US side honor its commitment by visible actions that the United States recognizes Tibet is part of China and will not support 'Tibet independence,' which the US side has repeated for several times," Zhang said. ( )

Japan urged to carry out ruling on compensation
2004-07-13 Xinhua News
China hopes the Japanese government will seriously carry out the ruling made by a Japanese court on the compensation for Chinese laborers, and properly handle issues left over by history, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue here Tuesday. Zhang told a regular press conference that the abduction of Chinese laborers was a severe crime committed by Japanese militarists during World War II. China hopes the Japanese government will treat the ruling seriously and resolve the issue with an attitude of being responsible for history, she said. The High Court of west Japan's Hiroshima Prefecture awarded damages in full last Friday to a group of Chinese who were forced to work in harsh conditions at a construction site in the prefecture during World War II. The high court overturned a July 2002 lower court ruling that rejected Chinese plaintiffs' lawsuit against Nishimatsu Construction Co., a construction firm based in Tokyo. It was the first favorable judgment made by a Japanese court on a lawsuit concerning Chinese forced laborers during World War II.

Agreements linked with Myanmar
2004-07-13 China Daily
China and Myanmar Monday signed 11 documents on economic and technological co-operation, witnessed by Premier Wen Jiabao and Myanmar Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt. The agreements are mostly concerned with trade, energy, mineral exploration, telecommunications and other industrial fields, according to Foreign Ministry officials.( ) Wen highly praised co-operation along the border against narcotics traffickers and expressed hopes that both sides will enhance their efforts and build up border control co-ordination mechanisms to further check cross-border crime. ( ) Wen also stressed what occurs in Myanmar is internal affairs of Myanmar and should be settled by the Myanmar Government and people. But he said China hopes Myanmar can make efforts in speeding up political settlements of existing disputes and move toward democratic progress so as to enhance stability and peaceful development. Nyunt said his government will continue to promote the road map for democratic progress and to achieve national unity and political stability.

Wu stresses military links with DPRK
2004-07-13 Xinhua News
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC),said here Tuesday that relations between the armies of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) constitute an important part of bilateral relations. During his meeting with Kim Il Chol, visiting Minister of the People's Armed Forces of the DPRK, Wu expressed the wish that the two sides should continue to step up exchanges and cooperation so as to push forward the all-round development of bilateral relations. Kim is heading a military delegation to Beijing at the invitation of Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, who is also vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission. Cao held talks with Kim on Monday. Liao Xilong, director-general of the General Logistic Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), met with Kim Tuesday morning.( ) Kim thanked Wu for the meeting and highly praised China's achievements in economic and social development. He expressed the hope that through this visit, the two sides will further deepen relations between their countries and their military forces. He said the DPRK is willing to work with China to devote active efforts to maintain regional and world peace and stability. Chinese State Councilor, Defense Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Cao Gangchuan attended the meeting.

China sucht nach Partner im Nahen Osten
2004-07-13 Guangming Wang
Eine enge Zusammenarbeit sucht China mit den sechs Golfstaaten und dem Golfkooperationsrat. Dies bekräftigte Ministerpräsident Wen Jiabao in Beijing beim Empfang einer Delegation der Golfländer und des Rates in Beijing. Die Förderung einer engen Beziehung mit den betreffenden Ländern sei ein Ziel der Aussenpolitik Chinas. ( ) Eine Vereinbarung bez. der Zusammenarbeit Chinas mit Kuwait sowie mit den Mitgliedern des Rates in Wirtschaft, Technologie und Investitionen wurde gemeinsam unterzeichnet. Auch die Sprecherin des Aussenministeriums. Zhang Qiyue, betonte ebenfalls, dass China seine Beziehungen mit den Mitgliedsstaaten des 1981 gegründeten Rates in Wirtschaft und Handel ausbauen wolle. ( )

 

Domestic Policy

New wave of AIDS education to sweep nation
2004-07-14 Xinhua News
A wave of HIV/AIDS education posters will sweep China soon as the Chinese Government steps up its effort to raise people's AIDS awareness, Chinese Vice-Minister of Health Wang Longde said at the 15th International AIDS Conference. "We will put up the posters in every street and lane. We will make sure (our message) makes it to every village,"he told a Monday evening special session dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS in China, according to Wednesday's China Daily. Wang said the government has realized that dissemination of knowledge is crucial in preventing the spread of HIV. Educating the rural population is deemed crucial because farmers generally have less access to information than city dwellers, and 80 per cent of HIV infections in China are in the countryside. China now has an estimated 840,000 HIV carriers and 80,000 AIDS patients. Although the prevalence is still low, there has been an accelerated increase, and the high prevalence in some regions and high mortality rate among certain groups has made the government realize the magnitude of the peril.( ) However, panelists here agreed that there still some way to go in turning the policies of China's central government into actions in every province, every county and every village. Wang said the input by the government alone would not be enough. "We must unite all forces of the entire society, especially from the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), if we want victory in containing AIDS,'' he said. "Many NGOs have very rich experience and insight.'' He said foreign NGOs are also welcome in this regard. ()

Meeting challenges of a huge population
2004-07-16 China Daily
Measures are being taken to deal effectively with various population issues including an unbalanced ratio between the number of boys and girls born, a rapidly growing elderly society, and increasing demands for reproductive healthcare. And a low birth rate remains a difficult task for some time into the future in the world's most populous country, said Zhao Baige, vice-minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission. ( )The hope is to gradually change the nation's unbalanced birth ratio, which is currently 117 boys to 100 girls born. Additionally, parents who have two girls, as well as one-child parents and those with a disabled child, will be given 1,200 yuan (US$144) by the central government annually when they reached 60 years old in some rural pilot project areas. ( ) Generally, urban families can only bear one child; rural parents, whose first child is a girl, can have the another child. And mothers of minority nationalities can give birth to three children or even more. ( ) The induced abortion rate in China is 28 per cent, similar to 25 per cent in the United States. Women in the country have various options of contraception, according to their own willing. ( ) China has 840,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers and is witnessing an annual rate of increase of 32 per cent.

Lab safety management to be enhanced
2004-07-09 Xinhua News
Strengthening lab bio safety is an important and urgent task for the national health system, and all medical care institutions must take effective measures to step up lab safety management, a top health official said here Thursday. Gao Qiang, executive vice-minister of health, made the call at a national teleconference on disease prevention and control. Just a week ago, Li Liming, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, had resigned after a laboratory in the center was confirmed as the source of the country's severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak earlier this year. Four of Li's colleagues were also disciplined due to the SARS virus infection of some staff members earlier this year, and a total of nine people were declared as SARS patients during April and May. Poor management of the virus triggered the SARS outbreak in Beijing and Anhui Province in east China. ( )

Woman official gets death sentence for embezzlement
2004-07-11 Xinhua News
A female official, in Qingyuan City of south China's Guangdong Province, was sentenced to death Friday on charges of embezzlement and all her personal property was confiscated, according to the verdict of the Guanzhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court at the first trial. Bao Yufeng, 51, was former director of the city's office for economic and technological cooperation and general manger of a local state-owned materials company. Between April 1998 and Dec. 2002, Bao on a number of occasions abused her power to trade for bribes of cash or directly embezzle public funds with fraudulent finance tricks, according to the court. She was accused of grafting a total of 9.6 million yuan (1.2 million US dollars) and misappropriating 2 million yuan (241,000 US dollars).

 

Economy

Premier warns of economic pitfalls
2004-07-15 China Daily
Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday warned problems still exist in the operation of China's economy despite its overall health. He singled out areas of concern including an overabundance of fixed assets investment, an imbalanced investment structure and tight supply of coal, electricity and oil, and the country's transportation capability. "We are still challenged by the difficulty of macro economic control, which cannot be relaxed," said Wen Wednesday addressing high-ranking officials at an executive meeting of State Council, China's cabinet. The meeting was held to report achievements of efforts to cool down its heated economy and plan the government's work during the second half of this year. ( )

 

Mongolia

Reuters
Mongolia's disputed election became tangled in a web of constitutional debate Saturday after the ruling party and opposition held separate sessions of parliament, each accusing the other of voting irregularities. "Things are getting more and more complicated," a Western observer said, adding that members of parliament were unlikely to reconvene until after Naadam, a holiday celebration of horse riding, wrestling and archery that ends Wednesday. President Natsagiin Bagabandi Friday called the first session of the Great Hural parliament since the June 27 elections, prompting a boycott by the ruling Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) which held its own session, threatening to bring Bagabandi before the constitutional court. The MPRP has won 36 confirmed seats in the 76-seat parliament to the opposition Motherland Democratic Coalition's 34, the General Election Committee said this week. The coalition claims victory with the support of three independents but a court has yet to rule on whether a re-vote will take place in three polling stations in two constituencies after both sides complained of electoral irregularities. ( ) The MPRP accused the president of violating the constitution by calling a session of parliament with less than 39 of the 76 members and without taking oaths, but some analysts said it is within the president's power to call parliament after the election commission has handed in results. The opposition says if the president calls a new parliament, the old one is no longer valid. ( )

President N. Bagabandi is paying a week-long visit to the US. He will visit with President G. W. Bush and other highranking officials. He intends to sign several significant documents directed to strengthening bi-lateral relations, including on trade and economic relations.

MONGOLIAN President N. Bagabandi headed the first session of the newly elected parliament on July 9. However, only members from the Motherland Democratic Coalition (MDC) and fellow independent members of parliament attended. The Mongolian Peoples Revolutionary Party (MPRP) boycotted the inaugural session as the results from the 27. of June ballot from two electoral districts have not yet been clarified by the Court. In the meanwhile 70 members from the old parliament (in which the MPRP had 72 out of 76 seats) filed a lawsuit against the president stating his breach of constitutional law. Currently the MPRP have 36 confirmed seats, the MDC 35, and 4 seats belong to independent candidates.

 

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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