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
  18.4-22.4.05, No. 59  
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Foreign Policy

Chinese president offers proposals on strengthening Asian-African cooperation
2005-04-22 People’s Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao made a three-point proposal in Jakarta Thursday on strengthening cooperation between Asia and Africa. Arrived in Jakarta Thursday afternoon for the Asia-Africa Summit, Hu said in a speech at the official dinner reception of the Asian-African Business Summit 2005 in Jakarta that Asian and African countries must seize opportunities, strengthen cooperation to cope with challenges in a globalized world and seek common development. "In the world today, economic globalization is further developing, which presents Asian and African countries with rare opportunities as well as severe challenges," he said. Hu proposed that Asian and African countries proceed from national conditions while mapping out plans for development. "We should have full exchange and share of our respective experiences, draw upon achievements of modern civilization, better grasp and apply the objective laws on developing economy in the context of deepening economic globalization and improve the capacity of self-improvement," he said. The Chinese president also proposed that Asian and African countries should carry out mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields on an equal footing. "We should open up our markets to one another, actively work for free trade arrangements, and coordinate our economic and trade policies. We should work together to raise fund for development, deepen industrial cooperation and guard against financial risks," he said. It is likewise important to increase contacts and exchanges between regional organizations in Asia and Africa with a view to improving South-South cooperation, said Hu. He stressed that Asian and African nations should work together to create an international development environment featuring win-win cooperation. "A fair and rational new international economic order featuring mutual benefit is not only the common aspiration of all developing countries, but a prerequisite for sustainable development," said he. He proposed developing countries to strengthen coordination to urge developed countries to show more concern for the interests of developing countries and take concrete steps such as debt alleviation and development assistance with no strings attached. The Chinese president proposed to promote North-South dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, support the coordinating role of the United Nations on development issues and bring about an equitable and win-win economic globalization.

Top Chinese legislator meets Austrian Federal Chancellor
2005-04-22 People’s Daily
China will work with Austria to push forward bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, said top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo in Beijing Thursday. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remarks at a meeting with Austrian Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel who is here on a week-long official visit as guest of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Referring to the sound development of bilateral relations and cooperation, Wu said the two countries boast great potentials for cooperation as their economies are highly complementary. ( ) Schuessel will also head to south China's island province Hainan for the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia and visit Shanghai and east China's Jiangsu Province.

China's education system not to blame for anti-Japan fervor
2005-04-22 People’s Daily
China's education system does not generate the sort of anti-Japan fervor that led to public demonstrations this month, Chinese officials say. Despite criticism from Japan and China observers overseas, officials from the Foreign Ministry said in Beijing Tuesday and Wednesday that Chinese students learn in their history lessons to love their country but not to hate Japan. Media are also not to blame, the officials said. "Recently I read an argument that (anti-Japan sentiment) is a consequence of incorrect conveyance of information about Japan in textbooks and the media," one official said. "This is purely baseless and groundless to say that China is engaged in anti-Japan education." A spotlight is turning on Chinese textbooks as outsiders look for causes behind a string of anti-Japan demonstrations that began April 9. Demonstrators criticized Japan for approving revisions to school textbooks that whitewash Japan's aggression of China between 1931 and 1945. More than 58 million Chinese teens study the Japanese occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s, as part of regular Chinese history courses. ( ) But it does not nurture hate for other countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "Patriotic education is not anti-Japan education," Qin said. "We do not want young people to hate Japan." Mou Jianmin, a Chinese media consultant and former education magazine editor in Beijing, said media are more to blame than textbooks for anti-Japan sentiment. Young Chinese do not understand the subtleties of Japanese politics or society, the left-right political spectrum or the separation between government and people, he said. "They need to be told Japan and the Japanese people are not the same," he said.

People urged to shun unauthorized marches
2005-04-21 Xinhua News
A spokesman for China's Ministry of Public Security Thursday asked the public not to attend unauthorized marches and protests or spread messages that instigate such events. The spokesman said the ministry fully understands the patriotic sentiments of the masses of people, including students, that participated in the recent spontaneous protest demonstrations in Beijing and Shanghai over Japan's offensive attitude toward its own aggressive history and behavior that has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. We hope Japan will seriously respond to the concern of the Chinese people, properly handle relevant issues and stop doing things hurting the feelings of the Chinese people," he said. The public security departments and other relevant units have done a great deal to maintain social order and ensure the safety of Japanese agencies and nationals in China, and that the masses of people and students in general marched rationally, the spokesman said. "But a very few idlers, including some vandals, took the chanceto destroy public and private property and disrupt social order. Such acts have impaired China's image and violated the law," he said. In accordance with Chinese laws and rules on holding parades and marches, all demonstrations have to be approved by the public security departments before they are held."Marches held without approval from public security departments, including those held not in compliance with the approved plans, and acts in marches that disrupt public security or seriously sabotage social order all constitute violations of the law," he said. It is also illegal to sponsor marches and protests through spreading messages from the Internet and short message service (SMS) of mobile phones without approval of the public security departments, the spokesman said, adding that public security departments would mete out tough blows at people who conduct vandalism in marches. Enditem

China congratulates Ratzinger as new pope
2005-04-20 Xinhua News
China congratulated Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany for his being elected the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Wednesday. Qin said he learned that two Chinese Catholic groups -- the Catholic Patriotic Association of China and the Chinese Catholic Bishops College -- had sent congratulatory messages and told churches across China to pray for the new pope as congratulations. While answering questions from the press on the election, Qin said China is ready to improve relations with the Vatican on the basis of the two principles for China-Vatican relations. The first is that the Vatican must terminate its so-called "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and recognize the fact that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing whole China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. The second is that Vatican should not interfere in China's internal affairs, including any intervention under the pretext of religious affairs. We hope that under the leadership of the new pope, the Vaticancan create favorable conditions for the improvement of China-Vatican relations," the spokesman said. It is reported that Ratzinger, who was born on April 16, 1927, in the Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn in southern Germany, took the name Pope Benedict XVI as successor to Pope John Paul II who died on April 2 at the age of 84.

1st group of peacekeepers wrap up mission in Haiti
2005-04-18 PLA Daily
The first group of Chinese riot police has successfully finished its six-month peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The 95-member police detachment departed Port-au-Prince for Beijing on Saturday. UN special envoy in Haiti, Juan Gabriel Valdes, spoke highly of Chinese officers' performance in peacekeeping operations led by the world body. The force assisted and trained local police in law enforcement, as well as dealing with mass public security emergencies. They were awarded a UN peace medal for their outstanding work in the crisis-torn country in January. A second detachment of Chinese riot police are expected to arrive in Haiti soon.

EU failed to lift arms ban on China
2005-04-18 PLA Daily
The European Union nations on Friday failed to agree on lifting their 15-year-old ban on arms sales to China. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said foreign ministers at their meeting in Luxembourg failed to generate "a consensus" on the issue. He said the 25-nation EU would keep the issue under study and step up discussions with the United States. The proposal to lift the arms embargo has put trans-Atlantic ties under renewed strain, with the United States voicing strong opposition to the action. Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden want to retain the arms ban, while Germany and France have long urged fellow EU members to lift the embargo. Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang says the EU arms embargo on China is obsolete. He notes the key to lifting the ban is to eradicate political discrimination against China, which won't lead to China's large-scale weapons procurement. ( )

 

Innenpolitik

Blast leaves 19 workers missing in Chongqing
2005-04- 20 Xinhua News
A chemical factory in Qijiang, southwest China's Chongqing exploded after being hit by lightning Thursday night, destroying its three-storey workshop and leaving 19 workers missing and 10 injured, a local report said. A thunder rainstorm happened in Qijiang, on the outskirts of Chongqing, a major industrial city. A lightning stroke the emulsification workshop and the whole factory building exploded and collapsed consequently. Debris and pieces of equipment were found hundreds of meters away, according to a China News Service report. Environmental monitoring found no toxic gas in the air and the possibility of a second explosion is very small. Local authorities and relative experts have rushed to the accident site, directing the rescue and searching operation. Measures have already taken to get rid of the explosive product. And the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The factory, established in 1956, is an explosive producer. It employs more than 200 workers and emulsified explosive is its newly developed product.

Officials, doctors sent to villages to fight AIDS
2005-04-20 Xinhua News
Central China's Henan Province sent 114 government officials and doctors to AIDS-hit villages Wednesday in its latest move to fight the deadly disease. The team, comprising 76 officials and 38 doctors, will fan out in 38 villages in six cities across Henan and will stay there for one year, said Wang Jumei, vice governor of the province. They will replace a 76-member team sent to these villages last year to help village authorities in offering free medication to HIV/AIDS victims, free and anonymous HIV/AIDS tests of villagers and free education for children orphaned by AIDS, and will take care of the elderly who have been left childless by AIDS. Prior to their departure, they had got trainingin AIDS prevention and application of technologies to help local farmers improve living conditions. Over the past year, their predecessors offered a free checkup to each resident in the worst-hit villages, set up medical records for each patient and provided timely treatment to more than 6,700 patients, said Wang. They also helped villagers build infrastructure, including one paved road, a well, a school, a clinic, and a nursing home for the childless elderlies and orphans in each village. Henan, a largely agricultural province with a population of 93 million, saw the country's worst AIDS outbreak when a large number of needy peasants were infected by HIV virus when selling blood to illegal dealers before 1995. Official statistics show that 11,844 people have been confirmed HIV-positive in the province, and 2,026 children have been orphaned by the death of AIDS-infected parents. The province spent 232 million yuan on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention in 2004. China currently has about 840,000 HIV-positive people, and approximately 80,000 AIDS patients, according to the Ministry of Health.

 

Taiwan

Hu Jintao invites Taiwan PFP chairman to visit mainland
2005-04-18 Xinhuanet
Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), welcomed and had invited James Soong, chairman of the People First Party (PFP) in Taiwan, to head a PFP delegation to tour and visit the mainland, announced Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of CPC and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council here Monday, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

KMT official arrives in Beijing
2005-04-18 Xinhua News
Lin Feng-cheng, secretary-generalof Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) party, or the Nationalist Party, arrived in Beijing Monday afternoon to make arrangements for KMT Chairman Lien Chan's upcoming mainland trip. Lin is scheduled to hold talks with the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee to finalize details of Lien's planned trip, according to the Office.

 

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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