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
  25.4-29.4.05, No. 60  
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Foreign Policy

Pentagon proposes China-US military hotline
2005-04-29 China Daily
The Pentagon has proposed that the United States and China set up a crisis hotline between their military establishments in high-level defense talks being held in Washington, US defense officials said. A senior Pentagon official said on Thursday the Chinese in the past have set aside the idea of a direct, permanently manned telephone link between the defense ministers, but appeared to be giving it close consideration now. "It seemed to us given our experiences with the EP-3, the tensions over Taiwan and a whole variety of other issues that it made common sense to establish a direct link of this nature," said the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. "We talked about it. We are going to be talking about that tomorrow, and pressing the issue, and hoping we can put something like this into place," the official said. US and Chinese heads of state have been able to communicate over a similar hotline since the late 1990s. Last year, a direct telephone link was set up between the US secretary of state and the Chinese foreign minister. Ties between the two militaries were severed for nearly two years after the April 1, 2001 collision between a US EP-3 surveillance plane and a Chinese fighter. "We have routine communications and channels of communications. But in a crisis situation, or on a weekend or something like that, you simply can't activate on five minutes notice," the senior defense official said. Thursday's defense consultative talks were the third since December 2002, and the seventh since the talks were first held in 1996. The Chinese delegation was led General Xiong Guangkai, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Peoples Liberation Army. Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, led the US delegations, which included representatives from the National Security Council, the State Department and the Joint Staff.

China initiates five proposals on ties with Japan
2005-04-25 China Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Japan should seriously reflect over its wartime history and properly handle the current difficult situation in the Sino-Japanese relations. During talks with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sideline of the Asian-African summit in Jakarta, Hu said some deeds by the Japanese side recently has breached its commitment to its attitude toward its wartime history and to the Taiwan questionin addition to visits to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, thus falling away from the political basis for the Sino-Japanese relations. ( ) The president said both China and Japan are countries with huge influence in Asia and across the world, adding that soured ties are not only detrimental to the two countries but also affect stability and development of Asia and the world at large. Hu said the Chinese side will not change the guidelines of developing friendly cooperative relations with Japan. He urged Japan to properly handle the current difficult situation and take concrete measures to push Sino-Japanese relations back to the track of healthy and stable development. Hu initiated five proposals on developing the Sino-Japanese relations. First, the Japanese government should strictly abide by the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, take specific actions to forge a friendly and cooperative relationship with China facing the 21st century. Secondly, the Japanese government should regard history as a mirror to reflecting on its wartime past. The aggression by the Japanese militarists against China in the 1930s and 40s brought tremendous loss and suffering to the Chinese people. Remorse expressed for Japan's aggression against China and other Asian countries should be translated into action and no moveshould be made to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and the people of other Asian countries again. The Japanese side should take a serious and conscientious attitude toward the history, and deal with historic problems in a serious and sincere manner. Thirdly, the Taiwan question should be correctly handled. The issue lies in the core of China's interest, involves the national sentiment of 1.3 billion Chinese people. China hopes the Japanese side fulfill its commitments by demonstrating through concrete actions its adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to Taiwan independence. Fourthly, differences between the two nations need to be resolved through dialogues and peaceful negotiations. The two governments should actively work together to protect the relations from being hurt again. Fifthly, the two countries should further strengthen communication and cooperation in various areas, encourage friendly contacts and activities between the two peoples, so as to further increase understanding and broaden mutual benefits, pushing the Sino-Japanese relations forward in a healthy and stable pace. For his part, Koizumi stressed the importance of the development of Sino-Japanese friendship, saying it is not only beneficial to China and Japan, but also has great influence in Asia and the international community. The rapid development of China is a chance rather than a threat to Japan and this has gradually been accepted by more and more Japanese people, he said. The prime minister said Japan will take vigorous actions to promote the friendly cooperative relationship between China and Japan in the spirit of president Hu's five proposals. ( )

China, Germany set up regular parliamentary exchange mechanism
2005-04-29 PLA Daily
Top Chinese and German legislators signed here Wednesday a joint statement on formally setting up an exchange mechanism between parliaments of the two countries. The statement was signed after one hour of talks between Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) and Wolfgang Thierse, president of Germany's Federal Assembly. Wu extended a warm welcome to Thierse, the first German Federal Assembly president to visit China. "Your visit to China and the joint statement signed between us are landmark events...They will upgrade our relations to a new level and instill new vitality for the development of China-Germany strategic cooperative partnership," Wu told Thierse. Wu hailed China-Germany relations, saying that the bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, culture, science and technology, education and environmental protection are producing significant results. According to reports from German statistic bureau, China has become Germany's largest trade partner in Asia with annual bilateral trade volume topping 53.5 billion euros in 2004. The Chinese top legislator said China appreciates Germany's long-term adherence to the one-China policy and its support to China's efforts of realizing peaceful reunification. "China attaches great importance to Germany's role and influence in regional and international affairs and supports Germany to play a bigger role in the United Nations and other international or regional organizations," he said. Wu said that he was also delighted with the development of China-EU relations, and that China is ready to expand consensus with the European Union through dialogue and cooperation. "We hope Germany would play a constructive role in promoting China-EU relations," said Wu. Thierse said the frequent exchange of high-level visits between the two countries greatly boosted the bilateral cooperative relations. He said Germany adheres to the one-China policy and this position will not change. Thierse is in China for an official goodwill visit from April 23 to May 1. He and his delegation arrived in Beijing Wednesday evening after visiting the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.

French PM concludes China visit
2005-04-25 People's Daily
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin left here Saturday evening, wrapping up his three-day official visit to China. Raffarin started his tour on Thursday at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao. During his stay in Beijing, the prime minister held talks with Wen Jiabao and met with Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong. They discussed bilateral cooperation in politics, economy and culture, as well as the Sino-European relationship. Raffarin and Wen Jiabao also witnessed the signing ceremony of 20 cooperative agreements, which deal with aviation, nuclear energy and agriculture. As part of the agreements, China and France reached a three-billion-Euro deal, with China promising to buy 30 Airbus planes, including five Airbus A380 and 25 A320 planes. In addition to Beijing, Raffarin visited Shenyang in northeast China and Shanghai in the east, symbol of Chinese booming economy, and met businesspeople of both countries there. The French prime minister visited China in April 2003 amid SARS outbreak in the country.

China opposes setting timeframe for Security Council reform
2005-04-28 Xinhuanet
China opposes setting an artificial timeframe for the Security Council reform and rejects forcing through a reform proposal still lacking broad consensus by means of a vote, Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya said Wednesday. Wang made the remarks while addressing the 191-nation General Assembly, which was meeting to discuss the comprehensive report presented by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in late March on reforming the United Nations. After reiterating China's principles on UN reform, Wang said the proposals for the Security Council reform are both a focus of intense interest and a cause of deep divisions, and bridging the differences and setting reform on an even course require careful reflections by all sides. He then put forward six purposes on the Security Council reform. "First, the profound changes that have taken place in the international balance of power call for an appropriate increase in the membership of the Security Council and improvement of its methods of work," he noted. "This is needed to bring the Council into stage with the times and enhance its ability to counter threats and challenges to international peace and security." "Council expansion does not constitute the whole of Security Council reform. Reform must not only make the Council more representative but also contribute to its increased authority and efficiency and enhance its accountability and transparency," he added. "Second, the reform involves huge stakes; it is a sensitive and complex matter that affects the vital interests of all States," Wang said. "Instead of addressing only the concerns of a small number of countries, the reform should take maximum account of the interests of all countries and regional groups," he said. "Priority should be given to an increase in the representation of the developing countries in the Council and to afford small and medium-sized countries more opportunities of participating in decision-making in the Council." He pointed out that only when the interests of all sides are accommodated will reform win general trust and support. "Third, as long as a reform proposal meets the above-mentioned criteria, China will be open to its consideration," Wang declared. The report offered two models for the Council's enlargement. However, members are motivated by different considerations and are deeply divided over the issue. "Under this circumstance, we believe that the exploration of new alternatives should be contemplated," Wang said, adding "China welcomes any reasonable new options in this regard and believes that common interests should inspire all countries to accommodate each other's concerns, demonstrate flexibility and strive for compromise." "Fourth, the reform should be characterized by democracy, in-depth consideration, patient consultation and the achievement of the broadest possible consensus," Wang said. "Consensus certainly does not mean unanimity among all 191 member states," he said. "On the other hand, when some countries favor one option while others oppose it or support another option, there is evidently no consensus to speak of," he made it clear, stressing that "consensus gives an indicative measure of support; more important, it calls for the search of compromise and common understanding." "Any reform proposal shy of 90 percent or greater support and endorsement can hardly qualify as a consensus proposal," Wang said. "Fifth, the reform should proceed with deliberation and be allowed to come to unhurried fruition," he said, admitting it is natural that differences exist over issues of Security Council reform. "What's important is for all sides to seek common ground through consultation and dialogue," he noted. "Difficulties and major differences of views should not make the reform bogged down or shelved. Imposing any reform proposal on which members are deeply divided is equally unacceptable." "For this reason, China is opposed to setting an artificial timeframe for reform and rejects forcing through a reform proposal still lacking broad consensus by means of a vote," he stressed. At last, Wang suggested the reform of the Security Council serve the long-term interests of the United Nations as a whole. "More and more countries are now becoming worried by the prospect that debate and controversy over Security Council reform could not only lead to a rift among the member states but also marginalize or even harm the consultations on other important questions, particularly those concerning development," he said. "Should the United Nations be dragged into divisive fight over the reform of the Security Council, the original purpose of this reform would be totally defeated; such an outcome would neither bode well for the upholding of the authority of the Security Council nor for the reform of the United Nations as a whole," Wang stressed.

Indonesia now a strategic partner
2005-04-26 China Daily
JAKARTA: China and Indonesia - the largest country in Southeast Asia - signed a joint declaration for a "strategic partnership" yesterday, signalling a new determination on both sides to further consolidate bilateral ties. At a meeting in the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, visiting President Hu Jintao and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also witnessed the signing of another eight accords aimed at advancing Sino-Indonesian partnership. Visa exemption for diplomatic and service visits, maritime co-operation, infrastructure and natural resources, economic and technological assistance, finance, preferential buyer's credit, and earthquake and tsunami-relief are the main contents of the eight agreements. ( ) "This is a fruitful meeting," he said later in a joint press briefing, "the joint declaration not only marks a new stage in the China-Indonesia relationship, but also will exert a positive influence on the development of China-ASEAN ties and the solidarity and co-operation among Asian and African countries." The two sides agreed to expand trade co-operation, aimed at increasing the annual bilateral trade volume to US$20 billion within three years, said Hu. Last year bilateral trade reached US$13.48 billion, up 31 per cent on the previous year. Co-operation in areas of infrastructure construction, energy and resource exploitation, agriculture and fishing are also to be enhanced, he added. China, said Hu, will provide 30 million yuan (US$3.63 million) worth of assistance to Indonesia, and another US$300 million in preferential loans for infrastructure construction and the reconstruction of its disaster-hit areas. Previously it had pledged US$400 million worth of preferential loans to Indonesia. In addition, the Chinese Government has decided to provide another US$2 million worth of rescue relief, including US$1.5 million in cash, to the earthquake-hit areas. The relief aid was carried to Indonesia aboard Hu's special plane. Shortly after last month's massive earthquake hit Indonesia, the Chinese Government offered US$500,000 cash and the Red Cross Society of China provided US$300,000 in cash to the relief effort. President Hu also suggested developing the Sino-Indonesian strategic partnership by focusing on seven aspects: Strategic consultation, economic co-operation, security consultation mechanism, anti-disaster co-operation, social exchanges, China-ASEAN ties and solidarity and co-operation among developing countries. ( ) Susilo also accepted Hu's invitation to visit China in the latter half of the year and the two sides agreed to establish a vice-premier level dialogue mechanism as a way to strengthen strategic consultations. The two sides also decided to open consulate-general offices in Shanghai and Surabaya respectively. Mulia Nasution, director general of the Treasury of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, said the preferential loan from the Chinese Government was "a concrete step in terms of financial co-operation." ( )

China trains Afghan diplomats, economic professionals
2005-04-26 Xinhuanet
Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong said here Monday that the Chinese government will help the Afghan government train professional personnel for fields suchas diplomacy and economy. Zeng said China is ready to push forward bilateral relations with Afghanistan as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Zeng made the remarks during a talk with visiting Afghan Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday afternoon. Khalili said Afghanistan and China have maintained sound momentum in the development of cooperation in such fields as politics, economy and culture. He express the wish to learn from China's experience in economic development. He said that the two countries should take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of forging diplomatic ties to further promote cooperation in all fronts, including economy, trade, security, agriculture and education. Zeng said China supports Afghanistan's efforts to maintain internal stability and perfect its political system. He said Chinawill continue to actively take part in the economic reconstructionof Afghanistan and step up trade and economic cooperation with theneighbor country. After the talks, Zeng and Khalili attended the signing ceremonyof a number of bilateral documents, including the Sino-Afghan Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement. They also unveiled a silk-made stamp to commemorate the diplomatic anniversary. Afghan Vice President Abdul Karim Khalili arrived in Beijing atnoon Monday after attending the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, China's southernmost province. This is his first visit to China, as a guest of Chinese Vice President Zeng.

 

Innenpolitik

China submits rights report to UN committee
2005-04-28 Xinhuanet
China presented its initial report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to a UN committee on Wednesday. "The report focuses on the laws, plans and measures adopted, and organs established by the Chinese government to promote various rights under the covenant, including our achievements as well as our difficulties and problems," Ambassador Sha Zukang, head of the Chinese delegation, told a session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The report, which was drafted by 15 ministries in no less than one year, also contains a large amount of data in an effort to comprehensively reflect China's situation, he said. "We have taken appropriate steps within our capacity to seek full realization of the rights as enshrined in the covenant in a gradual manner," said the Chinese ambassador. Those steps have provided better protection of economic, social and cultural rights, including improved livelihood and narrowed gaps between urban and rural areas. Employment has been expanded, with focus on safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of migrant workers, he added. Under the covenant, China has also made great efforts to develop medical and health services, improve education, strengthen protection of rights and interests of women and children, offer better care for the disabled and invest more in the development of ethnic minority regions, said Sha in his presentation. In two days, the UN committee will review China's report before making its final comments and recommendations. China signed the covenant in 1997 and ratified it in 2001.

Jurors to help decide court verdicts
2005-04-25 China Daily
Around 27,000 jurors across the country will officially start work on May 1, helping decide both criminal and civil cases, yesterday's People's Daily reported. The jurors, who will be appointed for a five-year period, will sit on a panel of three with judges to decide individual cases. Jurors have in the past been involved in the legal system in China, although their role and functions were not clearly defined. One major change includes the right of people accused of crimes, and those involved in civil cases, to request a juror to be involved in deciding verdicts. The new jurors' current role was outlined by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) last August. "This is an important move to upgrade and strengthen the system of people's jurors," Xiao Long, vice-president of Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, told China Daily yesterday. "The implementation of the NPC's decision will add more transparency and justness to the country's judicial system," he said. China included people's jurors into the Constitution as early as 1954, but before this new law there were no rules to stipulate the details of the jury system. The new directive sets out who can be jurors. Candidates must be over 23, have no criminal record, be healthy and have a minimum level of education. The directive forbids members of people's congresses, judicial and security department staff and lawyers from acting as jurors to ensure justice. After being appointed by people's congresses at district and county levels, jurors are entitled to hear cases "with considerable social repercussions" or cases where litigants request them for their initial trials. Appeals will be heard solely by judges. On cases where they can sit, jurors will take up one or two places on a three-member bench. Commenting on the new move, Hong Yan, a people's juror at Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, said yesterday, "Quality, fairness and judgement in trials are the most important aspects of the job for us jurors." Meanwhile, in Shanghai, more than 700 well-trained people's jurors will take up their posts in the city's courts from May 1, announced Shanghai High People's Court on Friday. The move will help build a more "democratic, open, just and authoritative judiciary," said Jin Changrong, deputy director of the Shanghai High People's Court. More than 3,000 people applied or were recommended by their work units for local district people's courts, according to Jin. The courts then picked 795 names from the applicants.

Former NPC deputy sentenced to death for embezzlement
2005-04-27 People's Daily
Sang Yuechun, 43, a former deputy to the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, was sentenced to death at the first trial for misappropriating huge public funds and property and defrauding banks by a local court in Jilin, northeast China's Jilin Province, on Tuesday. The Jilin City Intermediate People's Court also convicted Sang on charges of illegal possession of guns and ammunition, organizing and leading criminal organizations and rape. The court deprived Sang of his political rights for life and confiscated all his personal property. The court ruled that while sheltering himself with his NPC deputy status, Sang misappropriated 130 million yuan (15.71 million US dollars) of public funds and property and colluded with others in defrauding banks of loans, totaling more than 34 million yuan (4.11 million US dollars) from 1993 to 2002 when serving as the general manager of the Changchun Jigang Industrial and Trade Corp. and president of the Changchun Jigang Group Company. Sang was arrested at the end of 2002. The court also sentenced 16 others involved to jail terms ranging from one year to 15 years. Sang's elder sister Sang Yueping was sentenced to 13 years in jail for participating in criminal organizations and committing related crimes, and his elder brother Sang Yuedong was sentenced to 15 years in jail for contract fraud and participating in criminal organization activities. Sang Yuechun and his sister and brother said they would appeal the decisions to a higher court.

42 arrested for property damage in anti-Japanese demonstrations
2005-04-27 Xinhuanet
Forty-two protesters were arrested for damaging property in anti-Japanese demonstrations in Shanghai on April 16, the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau revealed on Monday. Sixteen will be prosecuted and the other 26 remain in detention. The 42 suspects were said to have attacked Japanese shops and restaurants during the protest, which was attended by up to 20,000 people angry at Japan's passing of a controversial history textbook. The Ministry of Public Security appealed for calm earlier this month after anti-Japanese demonstrations broke out in Beijing and Shanghai, in hopes the public could express their patriotism in a more restrained and sensible manner. The ministry asked people not to attend any unauthorized demonstrations or protests, nor spread messages that might instigate such events. Yin Xiufeng, a physical education teacher from a Shanghai university, was accused of damaging signposts and a Japanese restaurant on Xianxia Road, not far from the Japanese Consulate-General, and instigating others into breaking a police line. Ma Lanjing, an official from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, said his office was further investigating the violence and hunting suspects, and asked those that were involved to come forward. Ma revealed that the city is preparing measures to prevent such protests in the future, but refused to release any details. In another development on Monday, a netizen in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, was detained by local police for attempting to instigate an anti-Japanese demonstration and bombings in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, during the upcoming May Day holiday. Sources from the Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Bureau said the suspect, surnamed Xia, was caught by Yangzhou police last Thursday and will be detained for about a month. "Xia is suspected to have compiled and spread false and horrible information via the Internet," said Shen Gongxuan, spokesman for the bureau. According to the spokesman, on the evening of April 20, Xia tried to encourage fellow netizens to hold a demonstration on May 1, as well as bomb a number of cars in Yangzhou.

Epilepsy sufferers reach 9 million in China
2005-04-28 People's Daily
In order to raise treatment rate for epilepsy sufferers and reduce the burden of epilepsy on the sufferers, their families and the society the Ministry of Health will set up epilepsy prevention and cure centers in 10 provinces and regions including Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia. Each province or region will select three counties (cities) for the implementation of epilepsy prevention and cure plan. According to sources the China's Epilepsy Prevention and Cure Management Program in Rural Areas implemented by the Ministry of Health will set up provincial, municipal and county level epilepsy prevention and cure teams in the 10 areas, and conduct screening on convulsive epilepsy sufferers. According to the plan there should be about 500 to 600 convulsive epilepsy sufferers receiving treatment in each county with a population of 500,000. According to latest statistics on epidemiology China has about 9 million epilepsy sufferers and the number increases by 400,000 each year. Clinical researches indicate that about 70 percent of the sufferers can have their seizures controlled once they receive regular anti-epilepsy medication. Among them 50 to 60 percent sufferers can recover after 2 to 5 years of treatment.

New rules to tackle construction deaths
2005-04-29 China Daily
Lack of safety awareness among migrant construction workers and inferior equipment are the two biggest safety threats to China's booming construction sector, officials said yesterday at a seminar in Beijing. Last year there were 1,144 construction-related accidents nationwide, resulting in a total of 1,324 deaths, down 11.46 per cent and 13.12 per cent respectively from 2003. Of the construction site accidents in 2004, 42 resulted in the deaths of three or more workers and were classed as major accidents, a fall of 12.5 per cent from the previous year. The 42 major accidents claimed 175 lives, an 18.6 per cent decrease. However, the number of construction related accidents is still considered to be too high. From January to March this year, there were 150 accidents on construction sites across China, resulting in 184 deaths. "Lack of safety awareness among construction workers, especially migrants, is a major factor behind the high number of accidents," said Lin Yisheng, deputy director of the Department of International Co-operation under the State Administration of Work Safety. He made the remarks at a seminar jointly organized by the administration, the Ministry of Construction and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which falls on April 28 every year. China has nearly 40 million construction workers, more than 80 per cent of which are migrants, most of whom have had no safety training. "Inferior safety equipment is another major factor in construction-accidents," said Sha Xiaolin, a board director of the Shanghai-based Linzheng Safety Equipment Co. To reduce costs and pursue maximum profits, many construction employers arm their workers with cheap poor-quality safety equipment, he said. Currently the construction sector is the third biggest industrial killer in China, behind the transport and mining industries. But with construction booming, authorities now face a tough task to enforce regulations and reduce accidents in the sector. The government has taken some concrete measures, such as promulgation of a law on work safety, a law on prevention and control of occupational disease, and the regulation of work safety management. It is promoting innovation in the safety supervision system and has set up a transparent system to hold those responsible for accidents to account.

Preservation of ethnic minority languages urged
2005-04-29 Xinhuanet
Scholars from some famous universities in the mailand and Hong Kong have called for measures to preserve China's ethnic minority languages, at a seminar held in Guangzhou on the language and culture of ethnic minority groups. Experts say many of China's 120 minority languages face extinction due to under-use as society is dominated by the Mandarin language. They say it's the nation's obligation to record and preserve them as cultural treasures. Their suggestions included the use audio and video equipments as means of preservation.

Monks attend ceremony
2005-04-25 Xinhuanet
A total of 108 eminent monks from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan Province, Hong Kong and Macao, sang in unison during the enshrining ceremony of a statue of Guanyin, or Bodhisattva, in Sanya, Hainan Province yesterday. The 108-metre-high statue is located on a small man-made island just off the coast of Sanya. Thousands of Buddhists attended the ceremony and sang Buddhist doctrines with the monks in devotion to Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, wisdom and harmony. It was the first time since 1949 that reputed monks from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao had gathered for such a ceremony, said Zhou Xiong, director of the Information Office of the local government of Sanya. Yesterday afternoon, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, met the representatives from Buddhist circles. Jia said he hoped Buddhists could aid the drive towards the reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

 

Tibet

US report on Tibet issue slammed
2005-04-25 China Daily
China's foreign ministry spokesman Sunday said China expressed strong opposition to the third United States presidential report on the "Tibet issue" and told the United States to stop "interfering in China's internal affairs." Qin Gang, responding to a question about the report, said that Tibet is a part of China and Tibet affairs is an internal affair of China. Qin said that the report made irresponsible remarks on the Tibet affairs based on the US legislature and "ignored the facts." He said the report violated the basic principles of international relations and the three Sino-US joint communiques and "constituted interference in China's internal affairs." He said the Chinese government's policy towards the Dalai Lama was clear. Qin said so long as the Dalai Lama really gives up his advocacy of "Tibet independence," stops separatist activities, declares in public that he recognizes Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China, "we shall contact him for negotiations." Qin said China demands the US side honor its repeated commitment that the United States recognizes Tibet is a part of China and does not support "Tibet independence" and stop interfering in China's internal affairs by using the "Tibet issue." The US government submitted to Congress the first presidential report on the "Tibet issue" in May 2003. The second was submitted in last July.

 

Taiwan

CPC, KMT reportedly to end hostilities formally
2005-04-29 Xinhuanet
The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang (KMT) Party, whose leader Lian Chan has just arrived in Beijing today in a historial visit, are reportedly to end decades of hostilities at a meeting between their leaders on Friday, Reuters reported. Lien,69, chairman of the KMT, or Nationalist Party, arrived at the Beijing Capital International Airport Thursday morning for what he has called a "journey of peace". "It is a historical mission for all of us to shoulder and represents the irresistible trend of public opinions to build a peaceful and win-win future through reconciliation and dialogue," Lien said in his brief speech at the airport. "As you all know, I myself and my delegation will exchange views with General Secretary Hu Jintao and other leaders on major issues concerning peace and economic, trade and cultural exchanges across the Straits," he said. ( ) Lien's entourage were greeted at the Beijing airport to a warm welcome, with dozens of school children raising flowers and chanting "welcome Chairman Lien Chan". Lien said at the airport that he will try to learn more about Beijing during his scheduled two-day stay, thanked swarms of well-wishers by saying it is his belief that the mainland and Taiwan should cooperate and strive for future co-prosperity. According to a Reuters report, Lien and CPC general secretary Hu Jintao may jointly announce a formal end to decades of animosity after their landmark meeting, quoting Chinese political analysts. "The civil war between the KMT and CPC has ended in reality but not formally," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Peking University. ( ) Analysts said Hu and Lien may jointly announce an end to the civil war and boost exchanges, a move Shi described as "tantamount to a peace agreement between the two parties." "But there is still tension with the government in power in Taiwan, which is for independence," he said. Beijing is playing host to a KMT chairman for the first time in 56 years in a bid to prevent Taiwan leader Chen Shuibian, who is from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, from pushing for formal secession from China. ( ) Both mainland and Taiwan media have given Lien's visit blanket coverage. TV networks broadcast his arrival live and newspapers splashed the story on front pages. Analysts said Lien's visit and another by James Soong, the chairman of Taiwan's second biggest opposition party, from May 5-12, would prod Chen to mend fences with Beijing. Meanwhile, Taiwan's mass circulation United Daily News said Hu also would offer Taiwan gifts in each of his meetings with Lien and Soong in the form of a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which would eliminate import taxes on Taiwan farm goods and other products. Chinese analysts say there could be more goodwill gestures in the pipeline from Beijing. In Washington, a White House spokesman said the United States was watching Lien's visit. "We welcome dialogue between Beijing and Taiwan, major figures in Taiwan, because we believe diplomacy is the only way to resolve the cross-Strait issue," Scott McClellan said. Improved relations between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland would be good news for the United States, which could be drawn into war to defend Taiwan if a war breaks out across the Straits. "From an American perspective, anything that reduces the chances of conflict is significant and welcome," says Kenneth Lieberthal, who was Asian affairs director in the Clinton administration's National Security Council.

 

Wirtschaft - Economy

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China to be biggest US trading partner
2005-04-26 China Daily
It is probable that China will take over Canada this year to be the largest trading partner of the United States, said former US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky at a trade negotiation recently. Continued investment from the US in factories in China over the recent years led to an explosive expansion of Sino-US trade. In 2003, China surpassed Mexico to be the second exporter to the US. Last year, the US imported from Canada US$256 billion of goods, mostly automobile, mineral ore and fuel, while its US$197-billion imports from China were mainly computer, sports goods and clothes. China is now the third-largest trader in the world, after the US and Germany.

China's economy to grow by 8.3% this year: World Bank
2005-04-28 Xinhuanet
China's economy is expected to grow by 8.3 percent this year, while its inflation rate will be 3.5 percent, well within the range set by the central government, the World Bank said Wednesday in a quarterly report. According to its quarterly report on the Chinese economy, the bank said it expects further easing of domestic demand growth, notably investment, on the back of limited credit growth and sliding profits. "Inflation is likely to remain within the government's target range, whereas China will retain its strong fiscal and external positions. We project a GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 8.3percent and inflation of 3.5 percent." Domestic demand is cooling down, but external demand keeps GDP growth high. Real fixed asset investment FAI growth was 17.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2005, which is down from 24.9 percent in the year 2004, although up from the 15.5 percent in the final quarter of last year, according to the report. It said investments are shifting away from sectors previously considered as overheated such as steel and cement. Retail sales growth is gaining momentum, although consumption growth is still likely to lag GDP growth for the year. "Tax revenues also suggest slowing in domestic demand, and trade data confirm this trend. At the same time, the rising trade surplus is boosting industrial production and kept GDP growth rate at 9.5 percent in the first quarter, the same as that in the fourth quarter of 2004." Slower money growth indicates that external surpluses pose as of yet little risk for China's monetary policy. Money growth in the first few months of 2005 is compatible with the 15 percent growth target for the year, and the record balance of payment surpluses seem as of yet to pose little complications for monetary control, according to the report. The macroeconomic outlook for 2005 remains favorable, said the bank. "Global growth is expected to slow down from its record 2004level, but still remains robust, barring sharp adjustments in the dollar, global interest rates, and oil prices." "Given the constellation of risks, prudent economic policies are appropriate. Domestically, risks are on the upside, particularly on investment. Externally, downside risks appear to dominate, largely weaker than expected world growth and complications stemming from the large trade surplus." The bank said a rebound in investment in early 2005 raised concern among analysts, but the trend remains one of a slowdown, and the changing composition should give some comfort to policy makers that the policies introduced in 2004 are working. Moreover, the number of new projects declined in January-February, with a 6.6 percent fall in new investment volume.

Foreign firms criticized for ignoring China's labour laws
2005-04-29 Xinhuanet
Nearly one out of three foreign-invested ventures in China have set up trade unions to protect legal rights of employees, a senior unionist has announced. While naming Wal-Mart again for its refusal to organize unions, the official criticized some foreign enterprises for not abiding by China's Trade Union Law. "Some (foreign) enterprises, with Wal-Mart being representative, turned a blind eye to China's Trade Union Law and set very negative examples during the country's unionizing effort," Guo Wencai, organization department director of All-China Federation of Trade Unions, was quoted by the People's Daily yesterday. Guo said the majority of the foreign enterprises have shown respect to the country's labour laws and rendered support for employees to join trade unions. However, statistics indicated that employees in only about 160,000 foreign firms have been unionized. There are 480,000 such enterprises registered in China. Of the 500 multinational companies, more than 300 have set up branches in China. While pointing out that it's a lawful responsibility for employees, Guo urged workers of the foreign companies to set up unions to harmonize labour relationship. "It's not only a matter of law-abiding but also a means to form harmonious labour-capital relationship," said Guo. "After being unionized, better-protected employees will be motivated for healthy development of enterprises," said Guo. Putting China's laws aside, some enterprises are finding "many excuses" to avoid unionization. For example, the world's leading retailer Wal-Mart said being unionized is not a practice for all of its branches worldwide. Guo also blamed some local governments for their action as "protection umbrellas" for foreign enterprises. He said some local officials are more interested in how much foreign capital the enterprises can bring and take a laissez-faire attitude to their refusal to be unionized.

Political chilliness begins to affect economic ties: Bo Xilai
2005-04-25 People's Daily
Chinese Minister of Commerce said that prolonged "disharmony in political relations" between China and Japan will inevitably hurt bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The current situation of Sino-Japanese relations, which is described by some as "lukewarm in political front but hot in economic front," cannot continue indefinitely, Bo Xilai said in a recent interview with Chinese media. In fact, Bo said initial signs have already emerged that the chilliness in political links does affect the warmth of economic ties. For 11 consecutive years up to 2003, Japan had remained as the top trade partner of China. However, its top position was replacedby the European Union (EU) and the United States last year. In 2004, the EU and the United States surpassed Japan in terms of bilateral trade volume with China. In terms of investment, the Republic of Korea (ROK) had already made more investment in China than Japan in 2004, Bo said. It is widely known that Japan is a big economic power and that China has maintained a rapid economic growth that releases its great market potential in recent years. In this context, Bo said it is truly regrettable that China and Japan, two close neighbors that are highly complementary in economy, have seen a slowdown in the pace of trade and economic cooperation. Improvement of Sino-Japanese relations requires joint efforts, Bo said. ( ) Bo said all generations of the Chinese leadership have placed high importance on developing good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relations with Japan. This has become a basic foreign policy of China. "The fundamental reason for the abnormal phenomenon of lukewarm political relations between China and Japan lies in the failure of the Japanese side to correctly deal with historical issues," Bo said. ( ) He said sharing the consensus of strengthening trade and economic cooperation, the economic circles of both countries cherish the hard-won state of mutually beneficial cooperation. In the same time, Bo expressed the hope that all sections of the Chinese society would proceed from the overall situation of Sino-Japanese relations and long-term interests of the two peoples and jointly safeguard and actively promote the healthy development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Boycotting Japanese goods no good for development A boycott of Japanese goods will damage the interests of both China and Japan, said Bo Xilai, Chinese minister of commerce. In a recent interview with local press, Bo said some people have advocated to boycott Japanese commodities to express dissatisfaction with Japan's denial of its "aggression history." In fact, on the sidelines of the economic globalization, the production factors have been allocated in accordance with the law of value, and nations have been interdependent in the economic development. Many famous Japanese brand goods are actually made by joint ventures, he said. He voiced the belief that the people of advocating the boycott would express their patriotism in a sensible way, safeguard the stability of society and put their patriotism in their work to push forward the economic development. ( ) He said that calculations show the Japanese enterprises in China have employed 9.2 million people, and in 2004 they paid taxes of 49 billion RMB(5.9 US dollars). Japanese businesses account for 9.1 percent of the total taxes paid by the foreign enterprises in China. The Japanese investors also benefited from China's economic development in return, he added. "We don't expect the economic and trade relations between the two countries to be infringed upon," he said. Bo said because of the attachment of the importance to Sino-Japanese economic and trade cooperation, China strongly urges the Japanese government to take measures to deal with the issue. This would create favorable environment for bilateral economic and trade relations. ( )

China pledges to enhance energy cooperation with Australia, Kazakhstan
2005-04-25 PLA Daily
A senior Chinese official said here Friday China hopes to step up energy cooperation with Australia and Kazakhstan. Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks during his meetings with the representatives attending the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2005 annual conference, an event due to open Saturday in Boao, a coastal town of South China's Hainan Province. While meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Jia said the relations between China and Australia have maintained good momentum and the two countries have deepened their cooperation in various fields. Cooperation with mutual benefits in the energy sector has kept producing new results, Jia said, noting that the Chinese and Australian economies are complementary and the two countries enjoyhuge cooperation potential. Bilateral trade hit about 20.4 billion dollars, up 50 percent from last year, Jia said. Howard expressed optimism on the launching of negotiations on the free trade agreement between the two countries, saying Australia will further bilateral friendship and hopes the country can become China's long-term partner in energy cooperation. In meeting with Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Akhmetzhan Esimov,Jia said China-Kazakhstan relations have moved smoothly with the efforts of the leaders of two nations and relevant departments. The two countries support each other in politics, expanding cooperation in various fields and carrying out coordination in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), said Jia. Jia said bilateral trade is expected to climb to five billion dollars this year. He also expressed his appreciation of the China-Kazakhstan cooperation committee's positive role in facilitating cooperation, hoping the two countries continue to enlarge and deepen cooperation in the energy field. Esimov spoke highly of the role of the BFA, which he described as an important venue to discuss issues on Asian regional cooperation. Kazakhstan and China are earnestly fulfilling the important consensus reached by the two heads of the state, said Esimov. Kazakhstan attaches importance to the cooperation between the two countries in energy and transportation, Esimov said, adding that the oil pipeline project has started and the two countries will begin a pilot study on constructing a natural gas pipeline. Kazakhstan and China have been in close relations in such regional organizations as the SCO, said Esimov, hoping the two countries could boost coordination and cooperation in international and regional issues. Both Howard and Esimov reiterated their adherence to the one-China policy. More than 1,200 representatives, including the five heads of governments and many leaders of multi-national companies, will be present at the opening ceremony of non-governmental international forum on Asian development.

Shanghai invites bids for 2010 World Expo ideas
2005-04-27 China Daily
SHANGHAI: Like the Olympics, the World Expo is a gala event for the whole world, which will be best demonstrated by both the hordes of visitors descending on Shanghai in 2010, and the business opportunities involved. The organizer of the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 yesterday launched a programme to invite plans from all over the world for the content of the exhibition and its development. Winning bidders will not only be paid by the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination (BSWEC), but earn the right to share the bureau's resources on upcoming projects. The bureau declined to comment on the exact budget to be allocated to successful bidders. Individuals, companies and organizations from home and abroad are all invited to submit bids from today until June 30. Candidates can either try for part or all of the programme, covering planning and implementation of expo content, forum organization, and other cultural and entertainment projects, according to Dai Liu, a BSWEC's deputy director. Parties can team up to form a consortium or go for a smaller share of the event, said Dai. "Global brain-storming will help us make the grand event a greater success," he added. Lasting 184 days, the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, under a banner of "better city, better life," will host national and business pavilion exhibitions from around 200 countries and regions, with 70 million visitors expected to attend the event. These activities, together with a plethora of special daily events, holiday activities and other folk programmes, are set to make the expo very complicated to plan, organize and implement. "There could be one or more winners," said Dai, adding that a panel of judges consisting of renowned experts and scholars from home and abroad will be responsible for the selection process. The bureau will form a consortium with the winners to work out a final plan before September 30. Apart from the obvious gains of a winning bid, those successful will be in a better position when gunning for further contracts in the future, which, according to Wu Yunfei, another BSWEC deputy director, will involve 30 billion yuan (US$3.62 billion) in total investment. "More participation from international players will surely make the expo more professional and transparent as it is not a only domestic event, but a global one," said T B Song, greater China chairman of Ogilvy, a world-leading marketing communications service provider. "And that will help attract more visitors," said Song, adding that his firm will "certainly" join in the bidding, backed by its expertise. But whether to work independently or join hands with other players still needs discussion, Song said. The BSWEC has also released a regulation on the management of the World Expo's logos aimed at streamlining the use of Expo symbols and cracking down on copyright infringements. The regulation, effective yesterday, allows the commercial and non-commercial use of the expo's trademarks in seven major areas, such as product production, sales, imports and exports and promotions. It also promises a seven-day yes or no from the regulatory body in response to an application to use any logos or symbols. Applicants must fill in a form and file it with the regulatory authorities, together with identification and other documents.

Chinese president makes three-point proposal on strengthening cooperation with ADB
2005-04-28 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao made a three-point proposal in Manila Wednesday on strengthening cooperation between China and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Hu met with ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda on the sidelines of his state visit to the Philippines. Hu said the ADB's loans and technical assistance have greatly supported China's economic growth and infrastructure construction. "China will firmly continue with its reform and opening up policy," Hu said. "China pays great attention to its cooperation with international financial organizations." He proposed that China and the ADB enhance cooperation in the following three areas: -- to expand the scope of credit loans from infrastructure construction currently to China's agriculture, public health, culture, education and environmental protection. -- to enhance cooperation in regional and sub-regional areas including the Greater Mekong sub-region, and the China, Japan, Republic of Korea plus ASEAN nations. -- to increase cooperation in poverty reduction and development program in the developing nations, which has been the common task for all developing countries. Kuroda described the ADB's cooperation with China as great. He thanked China for its donation of 30 million US dollars for the Asian Development Fund, and another 20 million US dollars as the fund for China's poverty reduction and regional development within the framework of the ADB. He said he agreed with Hu on the three-point proposal, adding the ADB will work with China to make the cooperation more productive.

 

Nordkorea

UNC to probe explosions in Korean Peninsula demilitarized zone
2005-04-26 PLA Daily
The US-led United Nations Command (UNC) will launch an on-site investigation into a claim by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that South Korea lobbed an artillery shell into the demilitarized zone, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Sunday. The UN military authority said it will send on Monday a special investigation team to the site, where the DPRK said Saturday South Korean soldiers had fired an artillery round at one of its guard posts, Yonhap said. According to the report, the DPRK's Central News Agency said a shell was fired at 7:30 a.m. from a South Korean military check point on the eastern sector of the military demarcation line. The shell landed just short of the DPRK's guard post and caused no casualties. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff denied the DPRK's claim, but said its guard post in the region monitored two unidentified explosions earlier in the day in Gangwon Province.

DPRK urges US to clear its nuclear weapons in and near South Korea
2005-04-25 PLA Daily
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday said if the Korean peninsula is to be nuclear-free, it is necessary to clear all the US nuclear weapons in and near South Korea, eliminating all possibilities of South Korea going nuclear. "This is a focal point and the master key to denuclearizing the peninsula," said the major newspaper Rodong Sinmun in a commentary. "The DPRK cannot remain a mere onlooker given the fact that the US is persistently pursuing its policy to stifle the DPRK with nukes," the article said, adding that "the DPRK's possession of nuclear weapons is an exercise of its legitimate right of self-defense and a measure for just defense as it aims to avert a war and protect its ideology and system, freedom and democracy from the US increasing nuclear threat and its attempt of preemptive nuclear attack." The nuclear issue between the DPRK and the US can find a smooth solution if the US stops saying empty words but takes practical measures to improve bilateral relations instead, the commentary said.

DPRK demands US justification for return to talks
2005-04-26 Xinhuanet
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday defied the US threat to take the nuclear issue to the United Nations, demanding justification for its return to the six-party talks. "What matters is that there are still no conditions and justification for the DPRK to participate in the six-party talks," said a spokesman of the DPRK's Foreign Ministry, clearly in response to recent remarks by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "If the US is really interested in the resumption of the talks, it should provide the DPRK with conditions and justification to return to the talks," the spokesman said. "Nevertheless, the US is not interested at all in providing the DPRK with such justification to participate in the talks, but intends to bring the issue to the UNSC in a bid to resolve it through sanctions if the latter disobeys," the spokesman said. Rice told the US FOX TV last Thursday that the United States would go to the UN Security Council and would not wait with folded arms for the DPRK to return to the six-party talks. The DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said in return: "We make one thing clear: the DPRK will regard the sanctions as a declaration of war." The DPRK have built a nuclear deterrent force despite enormous difficulties in order to effectively cope with the United States, according to the spokesman. "We know what we should do at the decisive moment and will react to the hardline action of the US with the toughest action," he said. The spokesman also slammed the US libeling of the DPRK as "an outpost of tyranny." He said: "We can never return to the talks, nor can we have any form of dealing with the US unless the ill fame of an 'outpost of tyranny' is shaken off." Meanwhile, the spokesman reiterated that the DPRK's consistent ultimate goal is to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and that there is no change in its principled stand to attain it through negotiation. The six-party talks, already held three rounds in Beijing, involved China, the DPRK, the United States, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan.

US urges DPRK to return to six-party talks
2005-04-26 Xinhuanet
The United States on Monday reiterated its call for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to return to the six-party talks "as soon as possible." "We think that the stalemate has gone on for a long time, longer than any of us would have liked, and that we want talks to resume as soon as possible, " Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said at a news briefing. "We think that the way to deal with it and the way to deal withthis impasse is to focus on and to bring North Korea back to the table. We think that's achievable, and that's what we're working on," Ereli said. ( )

DPRK defies US threat, demands justification for return to talks
2005-04-27 People's Daily
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday defied the US threat to take the nuclear issue to the United Nations, demanding justification for its return to the six-party talks. "What matters is that there are still no conditions and justification for the DPRK to participate in the six-party talks,"said a spokesman of the DPRK's Foreign Ministry, clearly in response to recent remarks by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "If the US is really interested in the resumption of the talks,it should provide the DPRK with conditions and justification to return to the talks," the spokesman said. "Nevertheless, the US is not interested at all in providing theDPRK with such justification to participate in the talks, but intends to bring the issue to the UNSC in a bid to resolve it through sanctions if the latter disobeys," the spokesman said. Rice told the US FOX TV last Thursday that the United States would go to the UN Security Council and would not wait with foldedarms for the DPRK to return to the six-party talks. The DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said in return: "We make one thing clear: the DPRK will regard the sanctions as a declaration of war." The DPRK have built a nuclear deterrent force despite enormous difficulties in order to effectively cope with the United States, according to the spokesman. "We know what we should do at the decisive moment and will react to the hardline action of the US with the toughest action," he said. The spokesman also slammed the US libeling of the DPRK as "an outpost of tyranny." He said: "We can never return to the talks, nor can we have any form of dealing with the US unless the ill fame of an 'outpost of tyranny' is shaken off." Meanwhile, the spokesman reiterated that the DPRK's consistent ultimate goal is to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and that there is no change in its principled stand to attain it through negotiation. ( )

Pyongyang warned not to carry out nuclear test
2005-04-27 PLA Daily
South Korea has warned Pyongyang against carrying out a nuclear weapons test, saying it would only push North Korea further into isolation. South Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon made the comments after the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington was concerned a North Korean nuclear test could be in the works. Ban Ki-moon told a seminar that if North Korea takes reckless measures such as a nuclear test, it will be isolated further from the outside world with no guarantee for its future. He said nuclear weapons will not guarantee North Korea's security but deepen its political and economic isolation. He also urged North Korea to resume six-party talks which are aimed at dismantling the country's nuclear program. Ban Ki-moon added that the meeting between South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and North Korea's No.2 leader Kim Yong-nam in the Asian-African Summit meeting in Jakarta will be an opportunity for resuming inter-Korean dialogue.

Japan, US agree on need to resume six-party talks
2005-04-29 Xinhuanet
Senior Japanese and US officials reaffirmed on Thursday that the six-party talks are the best way to resolve issues over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. After talks with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said that they agreed on the need to get the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) "back to the talks and really to invigorate the process," Kyodo News reported. "We're not going to walk away," Hill said. But he was reluctant to set "an artificial deadline" for the resumption of the talks, which were last held in June last year in Beijing. Hill also discussed the nuclear issue with Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda earlier on Thursday and with Kenichiro Sasae on Wednesday who heads the Japanese team to the six-party talks. ( )

ROK sends supplies to DPRK to fight against bird flu
2005-04-25 People's Daily
South Korea is sending a ship of equipment and supplies to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help the latter combat bird flu outbreak. A South Korean ship left for the DPRK Saturday with 720 million won (713,000 US dollars) worth of equipment and supplies, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. The ship left South Korea's western port of Incheon and was due to arrive in DPRK's western port of Nampo a day later, officials at South Korea's Unification Ministry was quoted as saying. The items range from diagnosis kits, antiseptics, disinfectant sprayers to antiseptic-spraying vehicles, they said. The shipment was made at the request of the DPRK, which admitted for the first time in early April that an outbreak of bird flu forced it to cull over 218,000 chickens, the report said.

 

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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