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
  10.1-14.1.05, No. 47  
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Foreign Policy

UK sees China arms embargo lifted in July
2005-01-13 China Daily
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Wednesday he thought the European Union's arms embargo on China could well be lifted by July. "I think it is more likely than not that it will be decided under this (Luxembourg) presidency of the EU," he told a parliamentary committee. Luxembourg holds the rotating EU presidency until mid-year when Britain takes over. The 25-member bloc is now drawing up a code of conduct on arms exports to guarantee greater transparency. Straw argued the code of conduct would prove just as, if not more, effective in limiting the trading of weapons with China as well as with other countries. France has led moves to scrap the embargo which could open up trade with the world's fastest-growing major economy. "Our position is that, subject to satisfaction of the issues laid out by the EU, we will support a lifting of the arms embargo," said Straw. He said he would aim to provide explanations and reassurances to Washington which adamantly opposes ending it. US officials say they are not satisfied the mechanisms in the new code of conduct will provide sufficiently solid blocks on transfers. US Undersecretary of State John Bolton, a hardliner on arms control, is meeting British officials this week to press the case for keeping the embargo.

China positive about military ties with US
2005-01-13 Xinhuanet
China is optimistic about further expanding Sino-US military ties and hopes for healthier and more stable progress in army-to-army relations, Minister of National Defense Cao Gangchuan said here Wednesday. During his meeting with a delegation from the Armed Services Committee of House of Representatives of America, Cao said that army-to-army ties constitute an important part of the bilateral relations between the two countries. ( ) Noting that the Taiwan issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation, Cao said the people in China will "show its greatest sincerity and do its utmost" to accomplish the peaceful reunification of the motherland. "We Chinese are in firm opposition to all secessionist activities aimed at 'Taiwan independence,'" Cao said, "We will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China through whatever means." Co-heading the delegation, Randy Forbes and Ike Skelton both voiced their hope to step up US-China military-to-military exchanges and reaffirmed the stance of the United States on resolving the Taiwan issue by peaceful means. The delegation arrived here Tuesday for a five-day visit to China as guest of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress.

Wang Yi calls for better Sino-Japanese ties
2005-01-10 China Daily
Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi expressed the hope in Tokyo Friday that China and Japan will make joint efforts to advance their relationship in 2005. At a New Year reception held by Japanese economic bodies on Friday, Wang said that the bilateral relations were fluctuating last year, with the two sides achieving fresh development in terms of substantial cooperation in all sectors on the one hand, and on the other hand,political relationship still encountering difficulties and obstacles. He said Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao had elaborated China's principles in dealing with the current bilateral ties at separate meetings with Japanese leaders. They had confirmed the basic line for Sino-Japanese relationship and reiterated that the current problems should be handled in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future", which will play an important role in improving and advancing the ties between the two countries. The reception was joined by about 500 Japanese political and economic dignitaries, including Speaker of the House of Councillors Yohei Kono, President of the House of Representatives Chikage Oogi, and Masahiko Komura, president of the Association of Dietmen League for Japan and China. ( ) He said the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and two other documents stand as the guidelines in the development of the bilateral relations. Therefore, they should be abided by unswervingly at any time. Secondly, the two sides need to enhance mutual understanding under the new circumstance. ( ) Thirdly, as close neighbors, it is crucial to respect each other, especially not to conduct actions which damage the interest of the other one and hurt the feeling of its people. ( ) To solve the problems at present, it needs not only the efforts from the governments, but also from the people and friendship organizations. Wang pointed out that the current complicated situation of bilateral ties reflects that the relationship is experiencing a transitional period. ( )

China hails successful election in Palestine
2005-01-11 People's Daily
China is glad with the successful election in Palestine, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan in Beijing Monday. Kong made the remarks while asked to comment on the election for the chairmanship of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) held on Jan. 9, in which Fatah movement candidate Mahmoud Abbas claimed victory. China respects the Palestinian's choice and sincerely hopes that the newly elected leadership will lead the Palestinian people to reach the goal of founding their country, Kong said. China will, as before, support the Palestinian people's efforts in resuming legal national rights, the spokesman said. China:

"Iraqi people governing Iraq" be realized
2005-01-14 Xinhuanet
China says it hopes Iraq will hold general elections on schedule, and thereby the goal of "Iraqi people governing Iraq" as early as possible. China says it hopes Iraq will hold general elections on schedule, and thereby the goal of "Iraqi people governing Iraq" as early as possible. Asked to comment on the United States announcement that it ended its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said the Chinese government hopes the Iraqi issue can be resolved within the United Nations framework. Kong Quan added that it is China's greatest wish that the Iraqi people should elect a representative and authoritative government and resume sovereignty and territorial integrity as soon as possible.

Innenpolitik

Hu offers systematic cure to corruption
2005-01-12 China Daily
Top leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hu Jintao yesterday stressed the importance of anti-corruption and urged to prevent corruption by introducing both a temporary solution and a permanent cure. Hu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at the fifth plenary session of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Hu stressed the vital importance of fighting against corruption for keeping CPC's ruling status and vowed to take the anti-corruption work as one of CPC's major tasks for ever. ( ) Hu said corruption is the most dangerous factor to weaken the CPC's ruling basis, lower its governance capability and shake its ruling status. While pledging to continue cracking down on corrupt officials, Hu called for a system to regulate the use of power to "gradually remove the soil that generates corruption." The system should punish and prevent corruption through promoting education, in strict compliance with regulations and supervision. ( ) The leader urged that the anti-corruption work should continue focusing on leading officials who gained illegal individual interests by misusing their power and vowed to punished any officials involved in corruption cases. He also called that the discipline inspection departments should improve their capability of fighting against corruption and the institutional construction on anti-corruption work should be strengthened. All nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee attended the meeting, which opened on January 10.

Senior official explains China's major health challenges
2005-01-12 People's Daily
China now faces three major challenges in building its health systems, Gao Qiang, executive vice health minister, said Monday at an annual meeting of the Ministry of Public Health. "Its response network to possible health emergencies is still not very tight," Gao acknowledged China is frequented by epidemic outbreaks, mass food poisoning incidents and serious traffic and natural disasters on vast territory with a huge population. ( ) Noting that the second challenge lies in the threat of the spread of killer diseases, Gao said "HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis and hepatitis are far from being contained in his country with high prevalent rate and huge number of patients." Meanwhile, he said chronic non-communicable diseases including sarcomata, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are posing risks to the health of people. The Chinese vice health minister referred the third challenge to lower accessibility to health services. "Nearly 48.9 percent of Chinese people cannot afford to see doctors when they fall ill and 29.6 percent are not hospitalized whenever they should be," Gao said, quoting a survey outcome released last month by the Ministry of Health. He ascribed the problems to five reasons, including China's lack of medical resources, imbalance distribution of the resources, low coverage of Medicare system, fast rise of medical costs, and inadequate government input. ( ) In addition, Gao said approximately 44.8 percent of the urban population and nearly 80 percent of rural population in China don't have any type of medical insurance. "Most of them are paying medical bills by themselves, bearing from physical, mental and economic burdens." To make the situation even worse, China's medical fees has risen drastically over recent years. ( ) To improve the situation, Gao promised his ministry will target at the rural areas in 2005 and expand Medicare system to cover more rural residents. Meanwhile, he said, the ministry will reform the present medical services in cities and explore for an appropriate service and management system in line with the country's socialist market economy, so as to "provide quality, convenient basic medical services at reasonable prices".

China to revamp disaster warning system
2005-01-10 China Daily
China is poised to upgrade its early warning natural disaster system following the devastation in southern Asia. Government ministries have been "mulling" over modernizing their early warning system by seeking international co-operation. "The tsunami disaster has caused unprecedented losses and shows it can happen when there is a lack of an efficient early warning and reporting system," said Zou Ming, deputy director of Disaster and Social Relief Department under the Ministry of Civil Affairs. An upgrade may also cut back on the financial costs of natural disasters. ( ) Since the 1990s, natural disasters cost 150 billion yuan (US$18 billion) annually, statistics show. ( ) Current system Like many of its Asian neighbours, China has an established "central government-oriented" disaster warning and relief system which has been expanded to local government level. The current system "guarantees that major disaster information" would reach the central government within 24 hours, and the first batch of relief materials would reach victims within the same time frame. The country has 10 relief materials storehouses in risk areas. More than 56 per cent of local county governments have established their own emergency storehouses across China, Zou said. ( ) Different types of disasters are monitored and supervised by different departments and institutions. Earthquakes are monitored by earthquake bureaux, floods are supervised by water resource and meteorological departments and mud slides are supervised by land and resource departments. Each type of disaster has its own warning and information processing system which is not compatible to others. Integrated alert "To better share information and improve efficiency, an integrated platform should be established to coordinate all disaster warning and information," Zou said. ( ) "There is no integrated law covering disasters, and this leads to low working efficiency and overlapping," Zou said. Disaster prevention law and policy is one of the most urgent tasks the ministry needs to tackle this year, along with public disaster prevention awareness education in schools and communities, he said.

Vice Premier asks for mechanism guaranteeing migrant workers get paid on time
2005-01-10 People's Daily
Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan Thursday advocated building and improving a long-term work mechanism to guarantee migrant workers are paid on time and pledged to intensify efforts of retrieving defaulted construction funds for construction companies from local governments. In his speech at a forum held here by the State Council, or the central Chinese government, Zeng said a total of 33.1 billion yuan (about 4 billion US dollars) of salary in arrears has been retrieved and given back to migrant workers so far, 98.4 percent of the total defaulted amount. Zeng said that construction companies could not default workers' salaries in the future, and governments at all levels should intensify supervision of the construction market. ( ) Zeng said after the goal of helping migrant workers get back pay was achieved, the government should help construction companies get construction funds owed to them by local governments. The budgets for local governments will be adjusted to help them pay back defaulted construction funds. He said fixed assets investment will be cooled down in 2005, which will help prevent future salary defaults. China has 140 million migrant workers. A large proportion of them are working in the construction sector. ( )

Beijing builds first library for migrant workers
2005-01-14 Xinhuanet
The Beijing Capital Library Jiangong Group branch is opening its first library for migrant workers. Three quarters of the Beijing Jiangong Group Company's workforce is migrant workers, many left school after completing junior high. Reading is not a popular hobby amongst the workers, but the company says they need to read more to increase their knowledge. This new library has about 1.150 books, including novels and non-fiction.

RMB 900m earmarked to build schools
2005-01-10 China Daily
China will invest more than 900 million yuan (about US$108.4 million) to improve compulsory education in the southwestern province of Guizhou in the coming four years, said the local education department. The program plans to build 1,044 boarding middle schools in 83 poverty-stricken counties in the mountainous province. Officials in charge of the program said it will provide 366,800 school-age children with access to junior middle school education. ( ) According to an educational guideline issued by the Ministry of Education on March 3, 2004, China has set a goal of ensuring the nine-year compulsory educational system covers at least 85 percent of the western area and reducing the youth illiteracy rate in the area to less than five percent by the end of 2007. China has poured 10 billion yuan (about US$1.21 billion) into nine-year compulsory education in rural areas in 2004, a year-on-year surge of 72 percent. China has provided education opportunities to 650,000 children across the country as the government invested 1.5 billion yuan (US$180.7 million) to build boarding schools in 2004.

China to make sex-selective abortions a crime
2005-01-10 Xinhuanet
China is to outlaw the selective abortion of female fetuses to correct an imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls that has grown since the one-child policy was introduced more than 20 years ago. Government figures show 119 boys are born in the world's most populous country for every 100 girls, but Beijing has set the goal of reversing the imbalance by 2010, state media reported. ( ) "As a new measure, the commission will start drafting revisions to the Criminal Law in order to effectively ban fetus gender detection and selective abortion other than legitimate medical purposes," Zhang said. Sex-selective abortion is already banned but technologies such as ultrasound have made it easier to know a baby's gender in advance, increasing the chances for aborting girls. Xinhua quoted experts as saying criminalising the ban would be a more effective deterrent, but it gave no details on what possible punishments might be. ( )

Former CPC leader Song passes away
2005-01-10 China Daily
Song Renqiong, a former leading official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), died of illness in Beijing Saturday morning at the age of 96. Song had been a member of the Political Bureau of the 12th CPC Central Committee, deputy head of former CPC Central Advisory Commission, and vice-chairman of the 4th and 5th National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Previously, he was an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the 8th CPC Central Committee, and secretary of the Secretariat of the 11th CPC Central Committee. Song was an outstanding member of the CPC, a great Communist solider, a remarkable proletarian revolutionary and a prominent leader of the Party's political work, sources with the CPC said.

China denies Zhao Ziyang has died
2005-01-12 Japan Today
The Chinese government denied Tuesday a report in a Hong Kong newspaper that former Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang had died. The Oriental Daily, in a report Tuesday, quoted sources as saying Zhao, who is 85 and in frail health, died in Beijing on Saturday of multi-organ failure. It said his health had suddenly deteriorated last month and he had fallen into a coma at a Beijing hospital.

 

Tibet

Tibetan language website opened
2005-01-10 People's Daily
A Tibetan language website on Tibetan culture and progress in areas inhabited by Tibetan people opened recently in Qinghai Province, a multi-ethnic area in northwest China. The website, www.qh-tibetan.com, was launched by the Qinghai News Network, a key media organ in Qinghai, where 842,000 Tibetan people, or 19.6 percent of Qinghai's total population, live for generations. It provides access to more than 100 columns in nine categories including environment protection, tourism, Tibetan literature, Tibetan medicine and Tibetan Buddhism. The website will focus on spreading Tibetan culture, eco-environmental protection and achievements made in speeding up development of western China in both Qinghai and other Tibetan-inhabited regions.

World-class observatory planned in Tibet
2005-01-12 China Daily
A top astronomer says China may build a world-class observatory in the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region, better known as the "spine of the world." A preliminary survey has found the Sengge Zangbo town in Ngari Prefecture, western Tibet, may be the ideal place to launch the world's largest and most advanced telescope with a calibre of up to 100 metres, said Ai Guoxiang, who heads the National Astronomical Observatories. ( ) An alternative location for the new observatory could be Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Northwest China, he added. Chinese astronomers will carry out observations from fixed positions in these two places for a year or two before the final decision is made, Ai said. ( ) The astronomer said China is also considering building a new generation telescope with a calibre between 30 and 100 metres with international co-operation. ( ) Such a large telescope will make furthest parts of the universe visible to the human eye and help unravel some of the mysteries of the origins of celestial bodies and the entire universe, said He Jinxin, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The researcher said the Tibetan town of Sengge Zangbo is an ideal location because it is on the "roof of the world" and surrounded by mountains 4,800 metres above sea level. It is quiet, dry and usually has clear night skies.

 

Taiwan

Beijing reject call for official talks on charter flights
2005-01-13 China Daily
Beijing yesterday rejected Taipei's call for official talks on details of direct cross-Straits charter flights for the upcoming Spring Festival. He Shizhong, director of the Economic Bureau with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the involvement of mainland and Taiwanese airlines and airline associations should be sufficient. ( ) So it would be "inappropriate, impractical and a demonstration of insincerity" for Taipei to expect its officials to take part in the negotiations. The senior official made the comments in response to Taipei's demands for government talks to pave the way for the participation of mainland carriers in direct charter flights for the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on February 9 this year. The island wants members of its "mainland affairs council" and semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation to act as advisers for Taiwanese negotiators. Beijing, however, has refused any contact with the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party administration headed by Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian. He said this year's direct charter flight programme can be handled as a special arrangement, which does not have to involve an official aviation agreement. Letting airline associations across the Straits work out technical and business details is the "most convenient, practical and feasible" model for negotiations, he stressed. Meanwhile, excluding government officials from the talks can help avoid unnecessary political interference and facilitate a smooth discussion between airline associations from both sides. ( )

US congress urged not to encourage Taiwan independence
2005-01-12 Xinhuanet
China hopes the congress of the United States will properly handle the "Taiwan independence" issue and not encourage any separatist activity of the island, said Chinese state councilor Tang Jiaxuan here Tuesday. Tang made the remark when meeting Tom Lantos, senior Democrat on the International Relations Committee in the House of Representatives. Tang said this is a critical period for the China-US relationship. ( ) Tang said the Taiwan issue is still the biggest problem for bilateral relations. China will strive for peaceful reunification with utmost efforts and sincerity, but will never allow "Taiwan independence" and any attempt by any one to separate the island from China. China's top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress started to review a draft of anti-secession law at the end of last month. ( ) Lantos said he hopes the China-US relations could develop positively and smoothly. The two sides also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the six-party talks.

Expressway planned to link Beijing, Taipei
2005-01-14 China Daily
China yesterday announced an ambitious plan to link the Chinese mainland with Taiwan and double the length of its expressway network in 30 years. "The country will invest 2 trillion yuan (US$241.9 billion) in building 34 highways with a total length of 85,000 kilometres in 30 years," said Communications Minister Zhang Chunxian, at a press conference. "The plan also includes an expressway linking the mainland with Taipei," said the minister. Taiwan island sits about 200 kilometres off the coast of the mainland. Asked how this architectural feat is to be realized, he said the two coasts could be linked by a tunnel or another means in the time frame set forth under the prerequisites of the "Three Direct Links" in mail, transport and trade across the Taiwan Straits. Zhang said the significance of the expressway to Taipei lies in logistics. "Sound logistics are of great importance in helping Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland lower costs, sharpen competitive edges and upgrade living conditions for every resident (in these places)," he said. ( ) After its completion, the expressway network will connect all provincial cities, large cities with a population over 500,000 and medium-sized cities of over 200,000 people, linking by road more than 1 billion people, according to the National Expressway Network Plan, which was recently approved by the State Council. The planned expressway network will also stretch to Hong Kong and Macao, and include the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge that the two special administrative regions (SARs) have shown great interest in, the plan said. ( ) China's expressway construction has been on the fast track since the 1990s. By the end of 2004, China had opened 34,200 kilometres of expressway, ranking it second in the world after the United States, according to the ministry. While speeding up expansion of the expressway network, the official said China had to properly handle the relationship between road construction, economic growth and environmental protection. "It has become important for us to prevent environmental damage and work better with available land resources in the process of road construction," Li said.

 

Wirtschaft

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Nation jumps to be world third largest trader
2005-01-12 China Daily
China registered a 35.7 per cent surge in foreign trade last year, accounting for US$1.15 trillion exchanged, to become the world's third largest trading power behind the United States and Germany. According to the Ministry of Commerce, exports last year ballooned to US$593.4 billion, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 35.4 per cent. Imports rose 36 per cent to US$561.4 billion. The yearly surplus came to US$32 billion, compared with US$25.5 billion in the previous year. The nation underwent a trade deficit from January to August. "China's imports rose sharply in the first half of the year," said Fan Ying, a professor with Beijing's Foreign Affairs University. "Blistering fixed-asset investments in certain sectors such as steel, real estate and construction have demand for raw materials soaring." "Prices for steel, rubber, plastics and cotton have also skyrocketed," she said. ( ) Economists cited market liberalization and brisk economic growth, as the major reasons behind the strong growth of foreign trade. ( ) And overseas firms have been allowed greater access to the nation's trading markets with shareholder requirements loosening. At present, about 60 per cent of China's foreign trade is conducted through foreign-invested and private companies. ( ) Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai last month urged Chinese exporters to enhance the quality and added value of their goods in a bid to sustain export growth. Looking forward to this year's trade scenario, market observers say the growing momentum will remain strong, with global and domestic economic climates both conducive to China. "China's opening-up of its markets to meet World Trade Organization commitments, domestic economic growth and the rallying of major world economies like the United States, Japan and the euro-zone, all bode well for Chinese imports and exports this year," Fan said.

China to become second largest auto market
2005-01-11 People's Daily
Satinet Claude, general manger of the French Citroen Automobile, said Saturday despite the fact that China's auto market in 2004 was not as good as it had been two years ago he still believed that China would become the second largest auto market in the long run. Satinet said while releasing the company's annual report Citroen produced 78,000 cars in 2004 in cooperation with China whilst the production in 2003 was 104,000. The reason of the reduction was that the China auto market experienced sharp demand decrease after "blowout" in recent years. In addition, too many newcomers joined the competition, which led to fierce price cuts. To guarantee the value of its brand Citroen voluntarily limited its production. Satinet said although China's auto market entered an adjustment period from the short-term point of view, in the long run, that is, in the foreseeable ten years, it would become the second largest auto market in the world. He believed after sometime China's auto market would complete restructuring and its growth would be steady and strong. Citroen's official in charge of China affairs said to the reporter that those who felt most pressured in China's auto market in 2004 were foreign companies that entered China long ago. He said China's new regulations on auto industry would boost the healthy competition in the auto market. He was confident of the future of China's auto market.

Crude oil imports top a hundred million tons in 2004
2005-01-13 People's Daily
The latest statistics from the General Administration of Customs shows China imported 120 million tons of crude oil in 2004. That is a year-on-year leap of 34.8 percent. The statistics also finds China's imports of primary products have been spiraling up in 2004. 117.29 billion USD worth of primary products was shipped to China in 2004. The 61.2 percent surge is 13.5 percent faster than the previous year. Primary products account for 20.9 percent of the total imports in 2004, 3.3 percentage higher than the previous year. The order on 210 million tons of iron ore represented a jump of 40.5 percent, The country bought 6.76 million tons of vegetable oil and 20.23 million tons of soybean from its trade partners, a rise of 24.9 percent and a decline of 2.5 percent respectively. Last year the delivery of industrial manufactured products to China was worth nearly 441 USD which was up 30.6 percent. The growth rate was slower than the previous year by 7.7 percentage points. In 2004 imports of electrical and electronic products valued more than 142 billion USD and those of mechanic equipment 91.62 billion USD, an increase of 36.7 percent and 28.2 percent respectively. China also purchased 176,000 units of autos, up 2.1 percent, and 29.3 million tons of steel sheets, down 21.2 percent last year.

FDI jumped by 13% to US$60.6b last year
2005-01-14 China Daily
The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Chinese mainland increased by nearly 13 per cent to US$60.6 billion last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce. ( ) The ministry said the data showed that industries such as equipment manufacturing and electronic machinery are the hottest areas. Foreign companies had set up 700 research and development centres on the mainland by the end of last year, said Chong Quan, the ministry's spokesman, adding that 30 multinationals had also chosen the mainland for their regional headquarters. ( ) The number of newly approved foreign-funded companies in the steel industry fell by 53 per cent, while contracted investment dropped 9 per cent. Actual and contracted foreign investment in the cement industry sunk 67 and 74 per cent respectively. No foreign investment was made in the aluminium industry last year. Chong said Northeast China has been the driver of FDI inflow. Actual and contracted investment increased by 78 and 40 per cent respectively in the region, where the central government is currently engaged in a strategy of rejuvenation. Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, South Korea, Japan and the United States were the top FDI investors. The ministry did not release data for December, but by comparison, actual FDI that month reached about US$3.1 billion, a fall of more than 51 per cent year-on-year. Contracted investment in December rose 26.7 per cent to US$18.4 billion. But December's drop in actual foreign investment does not hint at a slowdown in FDI inflow next year, as foreign companies are usually reluctant to make investments at the end of the year, said Jin Bosheng, an expert from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economics. "Momentum remains robust," Jin said. The contracted foreign investment figures show lots of money is waiting to flow into China, he said. Total contracted FDI reached US$153.5 billion last year, up 33.4 per cent year-on-year.

Destinations abroad for Chinese tourists reach 90
2005-01-11 People's Daily
National Tourism Working Meeting 2005 was held recently in Nanchang of Jiangxi. As learned, by the end of 2004 overseas destinations for Chinese tourists as approved by the State Council have reached 90, of which 63 have already been implemented. As for now mainland areas, in which citizens make private travels to Hong Kong and Macao , have expanded to 32 cities in 6 provinces. It is estimated that tours from mainland to Hong Kong and Macao could reach 12 million and 7 million respectively last year. During last year for the first time more than 100 million entries were made into Chinese borders. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism topped $25 billion. Total revenue from tourism exceeded 600 billion yuan.

 

Nordkorea

US says no deadline set for Pyongyang on six-party talks
2005-01-10 People's Daily
The United States has not set a deadline for the resumption of six-party talks designed to solve nuclear issues on the Korean peninsular, State Department spokeswoman Darla Jordan said on Saturday. The spokesman said that Washington remained committed to a diplomatic solution, noting that the six-party process is "the best way to resolve our differences." He declined to answer further questions such as whether a deadline was under consideration, but said "there's been no such decision" to set a deadline. Jordan made the remarks after some senior US officials said they expect President George W. Bush to reappraise his approach in his second term to deal with this issue. ( )

 

Susanne Schuetz
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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