SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

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
  23.08-27.08.04, No. 31  
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Foreign Policy

China calls for preventing outer space arms race
2004-08-26 Xinhua News
China called Thursday for international consensus and a legally-binding agreement on preventing an arms race in outer space ( ) "In our view, the priority concern is to further consolidate an international consensus on prevention of weaponization and an arms race in outer space in the form of a legal commitment or a legal instrument." Hu introduced two informal papers -- initiated jointly by China and Russia -- outlining the two countries' concerns over the lack of definition and verification of arms in outer space and concluding that verification will be highly difficult in terms of cost and technology.Hu said a verification protocol may be needed in the future. The papers also conclude that existing treaties have failed to effectively prevent the testing, deployment and use of weapons, other than those of mass destruction, in outer space."None of these instruments covers the threat or use of force from the Earth against objects in outer space," Hu said.

Tokyo urged to teach true history
2004-08-27 China Daily
China Thursday criticized education authorities in Tokyo for their decision to allow the use of school textbooks whitewashing Japan's history of aggression and invasion. ( ) It added: "The Japanese side should take concrete action to honor its commitment on the issue and educate the Japanese young people with the correct view of history." The controversial textbooks, which ignore important historical facts, will be used at a high school due to open early next year. Published by Fuso Publishing Inc, the controversial textbooks were compiled by a right-wing group called the "society for history textbook reform." The textbooks intentionally blur the truth about Japanese aggression during World War II and fail to mention atrocities committed by the Japanese invaders. ( )

China grants aid to ASEAN Summit
2004-08-26 People's Daily
China has agreed to provide Laos with 13 million yuan worth of grant aid to support the upcoming summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a source from Laos said on Thursday. ( )The grant aid comprises five vans, five ambulances, 20 police cars and some safety inspection devices. The grant aid is designed to aid Vientiane in hosting the 10th ASEAN Summit which will be held at the end of this year. It also aims to strengthen the existing ASEAN-China relations as well as the relations between China and Laos. ( )

Peacekeeping riot police to leave for Haiti
2004-08-25 China Daily
China's first batch of peacekeeping riot police forces is scheduled to leave for Haiti in September to carry out the United Nations peacekeeping missions, sources with the Ministry of Public Security said. The forces consist of 125 Chinese policemen who have undergone a three-month-long special training and passed exams held by the United Nations. ( ) According to Zhou Yongkang it is an important diplomatic move to sending peacekeeping policemen for UN peacekeeping missions as it reflects the role and influence of China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, in the international affairs. It also showcases China's devotion to maintaining world peace and stability. ( )

China hails Singaporean PM's stance on Taiwan
2004-08-25 Xinhua News
China says that new Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's reiteration against "Taiwan Independence" is conducive to regional peace and stability. ( ) "This stance is in conformity with Singapore's interest and the consensus of the international community, and is conducive to regional peace and stability," Kong said. He added that the Chinese government's stance on the Taiwan issue is clear, that is, all nations having diplomatic ties with China should observe the one-China policy by action. China is opposed to any leaders from these nations visiting Taiwan or sending the wrong signals to the "Taiwan Independence" forces, he said. ( ) Lee said that Singapore firmly opposes "Taiwan Independence" and if Taiwan provokes a conflict with China, Singapore will not support Taiwan.

Hu Jintao lobt die gute Freundschaft Chinas mit dem afrikanischen Kontinent
2004-08-24 Xinhua Wang (Übersetzung)
Für das "Chinesisch-afrikanischen Jugendfestival" hat Hu Jintao am letzten Montag durch ein Schreiben betont, dass die freundschaftliche Kooperation mit Afika ein wichtiges Anliegen für China im politischen und bes. wirtschaftlichen Bereich ist. An dieser Veranstaltung nehmen mehr als 200 Jugendliche aus über 40 Ländern teil. Vertreter aus 17 afrikanischen Ländern besuchten eine Fremdsprachenhochschule in der Provinz Sichuan. ( ) Dabei betonten sie das durch Studentenaustausch ein Aufbau im wirtschaftlichen, politischen und sozialen Bereich gefördert werden könne. Zugleich würde durch diesen Austausch ein besseres Kennenlernen und Verstehen der jeweiligen Kultur vermittelt werden. ( )

 

Domestic Policy

Zeng: Pay all owed wages to migrants
2004-08-24 People's Daily
Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyuan revealed yesterday that more than 360 billion yuan (US$43 billion) in unpaid wages remains owed to migrant workers at thousands of projects invested by the government or real estate developers. "Some have remained unpaid for up to 10 years," said Zeng, who insisted that all arrears should be paid by the end of 2006, while pointing out the government campaign to clear up back payments had been initially successful. ( )

No pig infected with bird flu in China: ministry
2004-08-23 Xinhua News
The Ministry of Agriculture published a press release Monday, saying that China paid great importance to the prevention and control of bird flu. Since the beginning of this year after the outbreak of bird flu in the country, the ministry had launched a large-scale monitoring project across the country, carried out pathogenic and serological check on over 1.1 million samples of poultry and some samples of pigs. The result showed that there was no pig infected by bird flu virus. ( )The released said that an expert mentioned China's finding of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in pigs in 2003 and had published the research results openly at the beginning of this year. Relative international research shows that bird flu virus could not only infect poultry, but also mammal animals.

Olympics stadium redesign may save $336m
2004-08-23 Xinhua News
China could expect savings of up to 1.6 billion yuan (S$336 million) with the redesign of the Beijing Olympics stadium for the 2008 Games, reported foreign agencies, citing China Newsweek as the source. Work on the project was suspended earlier this month amid a nationwide drive to cut down on "white elephant" projects under ongoing central government efforts to prevent the economy from overheating. The stadium's new design, which has been endorsed by experts, is expected to slash the construction bill from the original 3.89 billion yuan to 2.3 billion yuan, the China Newsweek reported. Experts, however, believe costs for the Swiss-designed stadium could be scaled down further. The original design of the stadium was to feature a latticework of girders which called for up to 136,000 tonnes of steel - four times the average for a conventional building. A task force for the redesign plans to reduce the amount of steel needed to just 32,000 tonnes, mainly by scrapping the retractable roof and enlarging the size of the rooftop opening. ( )

 

Social

China faces elderly dilemma
2004-08-21Xinhua News
China, the world's most populous country, is now crowned with another title: one of the world's most rapidly aging nations, China Daily reported Saturday. According to statistics from the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), the country's top population policy-maker, residents who are 65 or older already accounted for 7.1 per cent of the overall population at the end of 2001. ( ) Declining fertility rates, partly the result of national family planning policies, and prolonged life expectancies are the two main factors behind the aging crisis. "China is now a country with a very low fertility rate with its total rate consistently below the sub-replacement level since 1990," said Yu Xuejun, director of the Policy and Regulation Department at the NPFPC. Meanwhile, the national average life expectancy grew from a mere 41 years in 1950 to 70 years in 2000. ( )

Mobile phone users hit 310mil. in China
2004-08-25 Xinhua News
Mobile phone subscribers in China increased by 40.3 million to 310 million as of the end of July. According to Ministry of Information and Industry statistics, China's fixed-line subscribers increased by 36.2 million to a total of 299 million in the same period. The growing number of mobile and fixed-line subscribers is a popular yardstick of how China's robust economic growth is filtering down to its 1.3 billion population. ( )

Über 1 Mio Privatauto in Beijing
2004-08-22 Xinhua Wang (Übersetzung)
Laut der Beijinger Tageszeitung "Beijing Daily" wurden im Juli 04 mehr als 1 Mio Privatautos registriert. Dies sind knapp 50% aller Autos in Beijing. Jeder Siebte hat somit ein Auto. Die meisten Zulassungen waren für das Jahr 04 in Beijing zu verzeichnen, mit einer Zahl von 166000 Anmeldungen. ( ) Beijing hat im Vergleich zu den anderen chinesischen Städten, wie Shanghai oder Guangzhou die meisten Privatfahrzeuge. ( ) Doch trotz den latenten Verkehrstaus wolle die Stadtbehörde keine einschränkenden Massnahmen ergreifen. ( )

 

Mongolia

Elections
3:29 a.m. August 20, 2004
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - A Harvard-educated journalist was chosen by lawmakers Friday to be Mongolia's next prime minister, ending a two-month-old feud over disputed legislative elections. Tsakhilganiin Elbegdorj, 41, will lead Mongolia's first coalition government since the end of communist rule in 1990. It will be his second term as prime minister, following an eight-month stint in 1998. The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, which led the last government, agreed to form the "Grand Coalition Government" with the former opposition after both failed to win enough seats in June 27 elections to form a government on their own. The 66 lawmakers who attended the session Friday of the 76-seat Great Hural voted unanimously to approve Elbegdorj as prime minister. The agreement followed weeks of legal wrangling over elections that were a stunning setback to the People's Revolutionary Party, which had held all but four seats in the last parliament. ( )

 

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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