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
  13.6-17.6.05, No. 67  
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Foreign Policy

China welcomes Rumsfeld's visit: FM spokesman
2005-06-17 People's Daily
China welcomes US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to visit China, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular press conference Thursday. He made this comment in reply to a question on whether Rumsfeld will visit China this Autumn. Liu said China attaches great importance to conducting exchanges in military field with the United States and deepening mutual understanding and mutual trust. "China welcomes officials from the US Department of Defense, including Rumsfeld himself, to visit China, and expects exchanges between the two sides can facilitate bilateral cooperation in military field, together with all other fields," Liu said.

China condemns arms embargo interference
2005-06-16 Xinhua News
China yesterday criticized US and Japanese opposition to the lifting of the European Union (EU)'s arms embargo as "unreasonable and unnecessary," saying it hoped the ban would soon be removed. "We believe that on the question of lifting the arms embargo, the Chinese side, and especially the EU side, have indeed been (recipients) of unreasonable and unnecessary disturbances," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. On the question of the dispute between the US and Israel over the Middle East state's sale of arms to China, Liu stressed that China attaches importance to ties with Israel.( ) "The arrangement between the EU and China to lift the embargo is not directed against any third country, or aimed at undermining the interests of any third party. France and Germany have been leading calls to end the ban, but the EU has scrapped its end-of-June target date for ending the embargo, and did not set any new deadline at a meeting of the 25-nation bloc's foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn admitted on Wednesday that the EU is under pressure from the US and Japan not to lift the embargo( ) Two months ago, Washington imposed a series of sanctions on Israel's defence industry following a weapons deal in which Israel was reported to have agreed to upgrade a consignment of drones it had sold to China. Nearly 18 months ago, China-Israel relations deteriorated after Israel had backtracked on a deal to sell the Phalcon advanced airborne radar system to China. A deal for a sophisticated surveillance system was aborted in 2001 because of pressure from the US, which was concerned the aircraft could be used against Taiwan.

Immature plans on UN reform opposed
2005-06-15 China Daily
China has made it clear that while fully supporting reform of the United Nations with enhanced representation for developing countries, it firmly opposes the forcing through of immature proposals. ( ) State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan said if too much energy is spent discussing reform of the Security Council, just one part of the UN reforms, September's summit meeting may not devote enough attention to the issue of development. "This would be a big loss for the majority of member countries and we will not allow such situation to occur," he said. ( ) Tang told his Arabic guests that China advocates expansion of the Security Council in favour of developing countries, including Arabic nations. "To increase the representation of developing countries in the UN Security Council is the foundation as well as the direction of the reform, a principle that we should all abide by," he said. Last week, Beijing criticized efforts by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, known as G4 nations, to expand the permanent membership of the council as "immature" and a threat to UN reform.

China opposes Dalai Lama's visit to Sweden
2005-06-14 Xinhua News
China always opposes Dalai Lama's political activities under any name and in any country, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Liu Jianchao's comment was made at a regular conference in reply to a reporter's question on Dalai Lama's recent visit to Sweden. "We hope the relevant country can adhere to the promises of upholding one-China policy and opposing Tibet independence to prevent the bilateral relations from being endangered," said Liu. "The Dalai Lama is a politician in exile disguised as a religious figure, and engages in separatist activities against China, and Chinese government has expressed the concerns over the issue to the Swedish government," Liu said. However, Liu noted that the dialogue between China and Dalai Lama is always open so long as the Dalai Lama "truly gives up advocating Tibet independence" and declares in public that he recognizes Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China. "Then we shall contact him for negotiations," Liu said.

 

Innenpolitik

 

China to draft counterterrorism law
2005-06-16 Xinhua News
A senior counterterrorism official said Thursday China will draft a counterterrorism law to strengthen its fight against terrorist activities. "The law will define what kind of activities are terrorist activities and measures to be taken in fighting terrorist activities," said Zhao Yongchen, deputy director of the counterterrorism bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. "Preparations for formulation of the law are underway." Zhao said at the China-ASEAN workshop for senior police officers, hosted by the ministry, that although China is a stable country, it still faces threats from terrorism. He called the "East Turkistan" terrorist forces the number one terrorist threat to China, saying they have carried out more than 200 terrorist activities in China's Xinjiang in the 1990s. He said China also faces a threat from international terrorist forces, mainly to China's interests abroad. Last year projects undertaken by Chinese technicians were sabotaged by terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. To crack down on terrorism, he said, it is important to cut the financial links that fund them, a tactic that requires close international cooperation. China has actively participated in international counterterrorism activities and has so far joined 11 of the 13 existing international counterterrorism treaties.

Vandals smash up local court
2005-06-16 China Daily
A group of people, who were possibly incited by others, invaded a district court in suburban Beijing on Monday. "They rushed into the reception hall on Monday afternoon, breaking equipment and beating up court staff," an official at Huairou District People's Court said yesterday. The Beijing News reported that 14 court staff members, including several police officers, were slightly injured by the invaders. Fortunately, their injuries were not serious so they did not have to be sent to hospital, the newspaper reported. It is reported that local police arrested 12 people after the incident as part of their investigations. "They did not say why they came into the court to smash things up," the court official added. But he confirmed that the invaders were not litigants in any of the court's cases, as had been reported. "They were possibly sent by others," he said.

State Council sets nine steps to fight AIDS
2005-06-16 People's Daily
Chinese State Council underscored the importance of fighting HIV/AIDS by setting forth nine steps for prevention and control at its executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on June 15. The meeting noted that China's AIDS prevention and treatment is in a crucial period. Governments at all levels must fully realize the importance and urgency of the AIDS crisis and further define working guidelines. The whole society should actively participate in the AIDS prevention and control, it said. The meeting called on the governments at all levels and social organizations to formulate action plans, define working objectives, tasks and policies and list the AIDS prevention and treatment work as a key task of public health in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010). Funding must be allocated in government's budget. HIV/AIDS education must be strengthened to improve public awareness. Monitoring network should be improved for overall control of the epidemic, it said. Meanwhile, intervention on high-risk groups and crackdown on drug trafficking, drug use and prostitution must be continued. Blood collection and the operation of blood centers must be legalized. The local governments must continue to provide free treatment to HIV carriers, including free anti-virus medicine, free anonymous testing and free medicine for HIV pregnant women. Free services must also include education for orphans of AIDS victims and care and aid for HIV/AIDS families. The meeting also urged localities to protect legal rights of HIV carriers, fight against social discrimination and strengthen moral and legal education of HIV carriers. HIV/AID prevention and control of the rural and migrant population must be strengthened. Governments at all levels must give more support to rural areas and formulate preventive measures specially for rural and migrant population. Scientific research on HIV/AIDS, which includes vaccine and treatment drugs must speed up. Research institutes must explore effective means for treating HIV/AIDS with combination of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine. Professional medical teams' training must also be strengthened. Finally, the meeting called for the improvement of legal construction of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and required all work to be regularized according to law. Besides, the meeting discussed regulations on non-military cadres serving in the People's Liberation Army and a draft law on quality safety of agricultural products.

Mobile subscribers to hit 535 million in China
2005-06-16 China Daily
The number of mobile phone subscribers in China is expected to reach 535 million by 2009, predicted the American telecom research company International Data Corporation (IDC). The number is to hit over 901 million in 2009 in the Asia-Pacific Region (with Japan excluded), said IDC in a report released recently. The sales revenue of mobile communications in the region (with Japan excluded) will reach 109.3 billion US dollars in 2009 with the compound annual growth rate being 9.4 percent, said IDC. ( )

Officials sacked for land dispute
2005-06-15 Xinhua News
The party chief and the mayor of Dingzhou in Hebei Province were removed from their posts, after 10 people in a village were reported killed in clashes over a land dispute, local television media reported Monday night. With the permission of local police villagers took the bodies of four residents back to Shenyou Village from a hospital where they died, but villagers refused to hand over the hostage identified as Zhu Xiaorui, who was captured by the villagers during the clashes. Zhu admitted he was hired in Beijing and paid 100 yuan (US$12) to beat villagers up. Zhu was under custody in the village committee, but was not maltreated by residents, The Beijing News reported. ( ) Nearly 100 were also injured when several hundred allegedly hired thugs descended on the village, which is under jurisdiction of Dingzhou City, and clashed with local residents Saturday. Five busloads of men arrived at Shengyou Village with hunting rifles, clubs, sharpened pipes and other weapons in the small hours of Saturday morning, and attacked villagers, the report said. The attackers, wearing construction helmets, were mostly young men in their 20s allegedly hired by a local electricity company, the report said. Among the dead was a 60-year-old villager who was killed by gunfire several hundred meters from where the clashes took place. The village has refused to accept land compensation from the Hebei Guohua Power Co. since 2003, which hopes to build a power plant on 26 hectares of village land, the paper said. Parts of the battle, which lasted for about an hour, were videotaped by some villagers, it said. ( )

Genetically modified rice spreads
2005-06-13 China Daily
Greenpeace China claimed yesterday that the illegal sale of genetically modified (GM) rice seed has spread to southern China. The group now fears the rice, only supposed to be planted in closely controlled scientific trials, could have spread across the country. Ministry of Agriculture officials declined to comment on the situation yesterday. Greenpeace's food and agriculture campaign manager Sze Pang Cheung said samples taken at a wholesale market in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, in April, included GM rice seed originating from Hubei Province, Central China. German testing company Genescan analysed the samples. Tests revealed samples sold by a wholesaler in the Haizhu market for food and edible oil were genetically modified. ( )

Xinjiang plans to be China's top oil producer
2005-06-13 China Daily
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans to overtake Northeast China's Daqing to become the country's largest oil production area in the next few years, said a top local government official yesterday. The region, currently China's third largest oil producing area, plans to more than double its oil production to 50 million tons in the near future from 22 million tons last year, according to Ismail Tiliwaldi, chairman of the region. In the long run, the region is expected to be pumping 100 million tons of crude oil a year, or nearly 60 per cent of China's total last year, he said in an interview with Beijing-based media, including China Daily. ( ) Xinjiang sits on 30 per cent of the nation's total oil reserves and 34 per cent of its natural gas resources, said the chairman. He vowed to further expedite oil exploration in potential areas, including Karamay, Turpan Basin and Tarim Basin. The oil and gas industry accounted for 60 per cent of the incremental industrial value of Xinjiang last year. ( ) The region's economic prosperity has underpinned its social stability. No terrorist attacks have been reported in Xinjiang in the past two years, he said. The tourism industry has not missed this recent stability. More than 300,000 foreign tourists visited Xinjiang last year, a jump of 87 per cent from 2003. And more than 12 million domestic travellers made their way to the region in 2004, bringing in revenue of 10.9 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion). The chairman said the overall situation in Xinjiang was very good and all ethnic groups in the region were benefiting from the recent prosperity.

Capital expects 5 million vehicles
2005-06-14 China Daily
Most families in Beijing will have their own car by 2020. That is more than 5 million vehicles on the capital's streets. And you think your commute now is difficult. But all is not gloom and doom because, according to a compendium issued by the Beijing municipal government, a new transport model will be operating by then. Among the features: Six north-south highways to link the ring roads. Thirteen huge parking lots along the Fifth Ring Road with connecting bus or metro service to downtown. More subways and bus lines will reach the city's suburbs. A goal for 2010 in which the closest bus stop downtown will be no more than an eight-minute walk and no bus-to-bus transfer will be longer than 300 metres. The Beijing Transport Development Compendium, a 57-page report issued by the municipal government, gave a specific blueprint for transport development in the coming 15 years. According to the compendium, the municipal government spent 140 billion yuan (US$16.8 billion) on transport infrastructure development from 1993 to 2003. That was up to 5.3 per cent of Beijing's gross domestic product. But 80 per cent of that money went for transport infrastructure inside the Second Ring Road, where congestion is the worst, both in terms of commercial construction and population. ( )

Local officials placed under investigation for negligence in flooding disaster
2005-06-12 People's Daily
The local Party and police chiefs of Shalan Township, Ning'an City of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, have been placed under legal investigation for negligence in offering timely rescue in a fatal mountain torrent Friday afternoon killing 92 people, local sources said. Huang Mingjun, secretary of Shalan Township committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and Li Zuoyu, police chief of Shalan Township, were accused of responsibility for failing to organize timely rescue, according to sources with the local government. Some local villagers complained that when the flash flood occurred, they reported to Shalan Township Government and the local police station, hoping to seek help with them, but failed to have response. The Shalan Township was hit by the mountain torrent Friday afternoon. By 6 p.m. on Sunday, 92 people, including 88 pupils, were confirmed dead. Another 17 pupils remained missing, and rescue operation is continuing tensely, said an official with the rescue headquarters.

Chinese government commends model tutors
2005-06-12 People's Daily
The Chinese government commended on June 12 287 units and 1,287 people that have done well in tutoring youngsters. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and the State Council launched a nationwide campaign to enhance moral education of minors in February 2004. Liu Yunshan, head of the Publicity Department of CCCPC, acclaimed 8.5 million elderly citizens who are active on the campus, in communities and the countryside across the country at the commending ceremony. "They have won the respects and love of the minors and entire society by promoting the revolutionary and moral traditions, cultivating the Chinese national spirit and disseminating knowledge," he said.

China to ban uncensored health food ads
2005-06-12 People's Daily
China's food and drug administration departments at provincial level will be responsible for approving health food ads as of July 1, according to the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA). Interim Rules for Health Food Advertisement Reviewing, issued by SFDA, will go into effect on July 1 this year. The rules said that health food ads must be approved by provincial food and drug administrations before they are published, they are not allowed to be disguised as news reports, and advise that "this product cannot substitute any medicine" must be marked clearly in printed ads and should be kept always on screen in TV commercials. ( ) SFDA will publicize the list of health food ads that pass the examination on its official webpage after July 1 this year. Food and drug administration departments at the provincial level will monthly publicize the notification of illegal health food commercials and ads, as the SFDA requires. The problem of health food production enterprises using illegal ads to publicize themselves has become highly prominent in China, misleading consumers and harming their legal interests.

Police chiefs ordered to meet petitioners in person
2005-06-10 Xinhua News
A senior Chinese public security official Friday asked the heads of China's public security organs to meet petitioners in person and concretely address their complaints. ( ) In this campaign, police offices were ordered to receive petitioners and ensure all complaints are handled properly. The work will not be completed until the petitioners are satisfied with the results. By June 9, public security organs across the country had received 71,000 petitioners, of whom 15,000 said they would stop making petitions. The petitions range from solving long-delayed cases, requesting the redress of previous wrongs, to demanding that the rude behavior of a policemen be rectified. In recent years, the number of people making petitions has increased noticeably. ( ) As the reform reaches deeper problems, interests of some people are affected," Ou said in a recent interview with netizens of Xinhuanet.com. "The other reason is that more people have become more conscious of their legal rights and taken action to safeguard their rights. "So the phenomenon is not entirely a bad thing. It shows our efforts in promoting democracy and building a sound legal environment have yielded fruit," he said. In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, the malpractice of some policemen also contributed to the situation. ( )

 

Mongolia

PM Elbegdorj to visit EU
2005-06-09 UB Post
PRIME Minister Ts.Elbegdorj will make working visits to Belgium on June 9-12, to the Netherlands on June 12-14 and to Germany on June 14-16. Elbegdorj will meet with Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. ( ) He will alsos cheduled to pay a visit to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. In Bonn, Germany, Elbegdorj will open an exhibition entitled Genghis Khan and his Heirs, The Empire of the Mongols, together with the Federal Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder. A memorandum of bilateral cooperation between the two countries' ministries of labor and social welfare and a protocol on inter-governmental cooperation in the mining sector will be signed during the visit to Germany.

Enkhbayar to be sworn in as president on June 24
2005-06-09 UB Post
N.ENKHBAYAR was confirmed by the Parliament on June 3 as officially having the right to take office as president. This followed the official announcement to parliament by J.Yadamsuren, chairman of the General Election Committee. Yadamsuren stated that the election was deemed to have been democratic and that there were no breaches of conduct serious enough to influence the result. He mentioned that 101 foreign observers and 34 media reporters were involved in reporting the election. Enkhbayar will be sworn in on June 24 at 1pm, a time also known traditionally as horse hour and believed to bestow good fortune. The constitution allows for the government to finance a ceremonial outfit for the new president, including deel, hat, belt, boots and silk pants and shirt. The belt is a particularly important item according to Mongolian tradition, as a man's tutelary spirit is said to be held in his belt. Enkhbayar's belt will bear the state soyombo symbol. The color of his deel and the precious stones on his hat will be chosen according to his year of birth. ( )

 

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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