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
  14.2-18.2.05, No. 51  
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Foreign Policy

Korean Peninsular's denuclearization goal acknowledged in 6-party talks
2005-02-18 People’s Daily
The denuclearization goal of the Korean Peninsula has been acknowledged during the six-party talks, and has been accepted by the international community, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan in Beijing Thursday. "China hopes to resume the six-party talks at an early date through the efforts of the all relevant parties," Kong told a regular news conference. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a statement on Feb. 10 saying that it is suspending its participation in the six-party talks on the nuclear issue for an "indefinite period." "We are analyzing and studying the statement," Kong said, adding "China has been keeping contact with the DPRK since the issue of the statement." He said it is no easy job for the six-party talks to achieve results, which should be treasured by all relevant parties. ( ) Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing talked over the phone to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutaka and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Ban Ki-moon days ago. All parties showed their willingness of settling the peninsula's nuclear issue peacefully. "China supports the Korean Peninsula to go nuclear free, and its stance is unswerving in safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula," said Kong. He also said that Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of CPC Central Committee, will visit DPRK at the invitation of the Worker's Party of Korea shortly. The two sides will have an exchange of views on the contacts between the parties in 2005, as well as other regional and international issues of common concern.
But one thing China will constantly stress during the process is that the Chinese side adheres to the principle of a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula and its position in this regard is unshakable. Beijing is expected to combine friendly and sincere but firm diplomacy with clear and strong word in private.

China hopes six-party talks continue
2005-02-11 People’s Daily
China says it has noticed the reports saying the DPRK will suspend its participation in the six-party talks for an indefinite period, expressing its hope that the nuclear talks can be continued. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan made the remarks on February 10 while asked to comment on the reports which also said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has made nuclear weapon. "China was watching the situation," Kong said, noting China persistently stands for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. "We hope the talks can be continue", Kong said.( ) A statement from the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said, "We have wanted the six-party talks but we are compelled to suspend our participation in the talks for an indefinite period."

China condemns CIA's warning on its military efforts
2005-02-18 People’s Daily
China has protested against the US Central Intelligence Agency's warning that China's military modernization is tilting the balance of power across the Taiwan Foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan told the regular Thursday press conference that China is strongly against the US's irresponsible act: "The US warning has severely violated the conventions of international relations and the three Sino-US Joint Communiques. It sings a different tune compared with the long-standing One China Policy. US has outrageously interfered with Chinese internal affairs and sent a false signal to the advocates of Taiwan independence' ". Delivering the agency's annual assessment of worldwide threats on Wednesday, Porter Goss, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency dropped any mention of the co-operative elements of the US-China relationship that characterised recent CIA statements. Instead, he warned that China was making determined military and diplomatic expansion. Kong Quan has demanded that the US not to do anything to damage Sino-US relations: "We call for the US to adhere to the One-China Policy against Taiwan independence. We hope the US will do more to promote China-US relations and maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait."

China, India forming strategic ties
2005-02-18 People’s Daily
When Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, on behalf of their respective governments, sat together for a "strategic dialogue," the two countries were pushing their bilateral relations onto a new stage. The world's two most populous nations have for a long time shown a willingness to shoulder more responsibility and play larger roles in the regional and international stages as their regional and international influence continuously surges. The two-day strategic talks, held on January 24 in New Delhi, is aimed at broadening the scope of Sino-Indian relationship while providing both countries with a platform to exchange notes on regional and global issues of common concern. Among the topics discussed were the issues of globalization, energy security, democratization of international relations, reform of the United Nations (UN), non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and the situation in Iraq and on the Korean Peninsula. The two sides also briefed each other on their respective foreign and security policies and reached common ground on a wide range of issues. The launching of the first ever "strategic dialogue" mechanism fully demonstrates that the two neighbours have already raised relations above a lingering and plaguing border dispute that once plunged their relationship into an icy period. At this meeting of historical significance, both sides did not camouflage their strong desire to look beyond bilateral disputes and develop and upgrade ties in a global perspective. Both countries stressed the importance of reforming international institutions, including the UN and its Security Council. Both sides regarded the possibility of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and sensitive technologies falling in the hands of terrorists as "a grave threat." And both recognized the importance of international co-operation instead of unilateral actions to combat penetrative global dangers. Also, both sides basically reached an agreement on the next round of talks to be held in China on mutually agreed dates and necessary preparations for a visit to India by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao set for March, which is expected to mark a new phase in bilateral ties. At the talks, the Chinese also expressed its understanding of the Indian wishes to pursue a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and supports India in playing a bigger role in the international arena. The strategic dialogue is a key step forward in developing and deepening bilateral ties under the two neighbours' unambiguous strategy for a larger engagement with each other. ( ) Since the 1962 border clash, which saw bilateral relations enter the abyss, Beijing and New Delhi had for many years made sluggish progress in the process of contacts and misgivings. However, since the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to China in June 2003, during which the two countries vowed to promote a long-term constructive and co-operative partnership, compromised bilateral ties have been back on the way of rapid restoration and improvement. The two countries have since then been engaged in discussions to resolve the lingering thorny boundary dispute, with special representatives holding several rounds of talks. In economic fields, trade and investment are also booming, with total trade volume exceeding US$12 billion by November last year, according to the China General Administration of Customs. Co-operation in other fields, such as culture, tourism and sports, is also expanding. Bilateral military relations, in particular, have been rapidly boosted in recent years. Following the then Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes' visit to China in 2003, the two countries have conducted frequent military training exchanges and contacts. Late that year, Indian naval ships paid a visit to Shanghai and held with the Chinese forces the first ever joint military exercises off the city. That year, Wu Quanshu, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, visited India. Last year, Chinese Defence Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Cao Gangchuan went to India. And late last year, Indian Chief of Army Staff General NC Vij paid a week-long visit to China. The visit to China by the highest-ranking Indian army official in a decade has added much mutual trust to bilateral military ties and injected new vitality into the overall Sino-Indian relations. China and India have good reasons to discard past enmity and join hand-in-hand for the sake of themselves and others. The world's two largest developing countries share a similar history and are both eager to rejuvenate themselves under a peaceful international and internal environment to become a more important actor in the international community. Both countries have adopted an independent foreign policy and share common or similar views and stances on numerous major international issues. Both are exploring and pursuing a development model suitable for their own national conditions. More importantly, the two neighbours are economically complementary and can benefit much from making good use of each other's advantages. Fully aware of a wide space for co-operation, the two countries have on many occasions reiterated their wishes to improve their ties at all levels and in all areas while addressing their outstanding differences, including the boundary dispute, in a negotiable, fair, reasonable and mutually satisfactory manner. "We hope that, with India's co-operation, we will be able to solve the border issue so that bilateral ties will witness faster development on a new basis," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, said following the first round of strategic dialogue. ( )

Chinese protest against Tokyo's move on islands
2005-02-15 People’s Daily
Dozens of Chinese demonstrated outside Japan's embassy in Beijing on Tuesday, protesting against Tokyo's moves to take over a lighthouse on a disputed group of islands in the East China Sea. The lighthouse was built by Japanese right-wing activists years ago on the islands, which are small and uninhabited but provide access to rich fishing ground and possible oil deposits. "I am here because I am Chinese," said 22-year-old Jiao Wei, one of the approximately 50 protesters who turned out in the heavy snow. "We are here to tell Japan that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China forever. Japan's behaviour has no justification under international law," he said. The group, which called itself the China Federation of Defending Diaoyutai Islands, wore T-shirts with "Defend Diaoyutai" written on them and shouted "Down with the Japanese imperialists." They carried banners with the single character, "Shame!". The Chinese know the islands as Diaoyu while Japan calls them the Senkakus Despite economic interdependence, relations between the two China and Japan have never fully recovered from wartime aggression, a legacy exacerbated by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's periodic visits to a Tokyo shrine honouring its war dead. Koizumi said the move by the Japan Coast Guard to take over maintenance of the lighthouse was simply because private citizens had given up their claim and were no longer maintaining it. But China's Foreign Ministry has called the action "illegal and invalid" and a "severe provocation and infringement on China's territorial sovereignty". Tuesday's protesters said in a statement Japan's moves on the lighthouse were a "naked invasion of Chinese territory". "Today also opens a new chapter in the Chinese people resisting the Japanese invaders," the statement said.

 

Innenpolitik

211 confirmed dead in coal mine blast
2005-02-18 People’s Daily
Rescuers have found another corpse in Sunjiawan coal mine in Fuxin City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, where a gas explosion occurred on Monday, bringing the death toll to 211. Four miners were still missing by 16:10 Thursday, according to sources with the local rescue headquarters.

New regulations on press cards to be effective on March 1
2005-02-17 People’s Daily
China's new media regulations, concerning the press cards, will go into effect on March 1, the General Administration of Press and Publication, the country's press watchdog, said in Beijing on February 16. Nearly 150,000 journalists throughout the country have so far received the newly designed press cards. According to the relevant stipulations, Chinese reporters should change their press cards every five years. The work for current press card change began in November 2003. By January 2005, the General Administration of Press and Publication had issued 146, 541 new press cards. Taking advantage of the reissuing of the cards, the government launched a series of reforms on the making, issuance, checking and management of press cards. ( ) The cards are all registered in the administration's official website, press.gapp.gov.cn, allowing interviewees to check the authenticity of the cards. The new regulations also order reporters to carry and show press cards on their own initiative in interviews. The regulations also stipulate that government officials should not hold concurrent posts in local offices of newspapers. The law also forbids newspaper offices from engaging in commercial activities. The government used the issuing of the new cards to create update statistics about journalists working in China. Of the 150,000 journalists in China, more than 70,000 are writers for newspapers and magazines. More than 60,000 are from broadcasting and TV stations and others represent news agencies. Statistics from the General Administration of Press and Publication show that 98 percent of Chinese journalists have received higher education; 64 percent joined the occupation after undergraduate work and 13 percent earned master's degrees. According to the statistics, most of the reporters are young and middle-aged, with those aged between 20 and 30 accounting for 29 percent, those 30 to 40 making up 27 percent and reporters aged 40 to 50 accounting for 24 percent. Women have hold up the "half sky" of the press, as they account for 41 percent of total reporters. With 1,300 journalists working for magazines, 700 are women.

Beijing's per capita disposable income up in 2004
2005-02-14 People’s Daily
Beijing reported 15,638 yuan (1,884 US dollars) of per capita disposable income for urban households in 2004, up 12.6 percent from the previous year. According to Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau, the hike of disposable income in urban Beijing brought the average urban citizens' expenditure to 12,200 yuan (1,470 US dollars), up 9.7 percent. Rural Beijing residents' income topped 7,172 yuan (864 US dollars) in 2004, up 10.4 year on year, and their expenditure reached 4,886 yuan (590 US dollars), up 5 percent. The average housing area of urban residents was expanded by 0.3square meters to 19 square meters, while that of rural residents also extended by 0.3 square meters to 34 square meters.

One third of China's private businessmen are CPC members
2005-02-14 People’s Daily
One out of every three owners of private businesses in the country is a member of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), according to an official survey. The survey was jointly conducted by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the China society for the study of non-government (private) enterprises. The survey shows that the number of CPC members among private business people has risen dramatically. The percentage of CPC members among large private companies is even larger. Many of these "red capitalists" were CPC members before they opened their own businesses. A large number of officials and CPC members have quit their jobs in government or state-owned firms, experts participating in the survey 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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