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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
  20.6-24.6.05, No. 68  
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Foreign Policy

China proposes to advance int'l nuclear disarmament process
2005-06-23 Xinhua News
China made proposals on Thursday to break the current stalemate in the international nuclear disarmament process. "Firstly, a secured international environment and strategic stability is the foundation," Hu Xiaodi, ambassador on disarmament affairs of China, told a plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament. Hu stressed that efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space and those on nuclear disarmament go hand in hand. "In this perspective, it is of crucial importance for nuclear disarmament that a missile defense system undermining strategic stability should not be developed, and that no weapons should be deployed in outer space," he said. Secondly, efforts on nuclear disarmament and those to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons are mutually complimentary, according to the Chinese ambassador. "Only if nuclear-weapon states thoroughly destroy their nuclear weapons at an early date and that non-nuclear weapon states stick to their pledge not to acquire such weapons, while both groups of countries make steady efforts in nuclear disarmament and in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, can we achieve the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons," he said. ( )

China opposes to forced voting on UN reform plan
2005-06-23 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday in London that decisions on the reform of the United Nations Security Council should be made following full discussions in line with the democratic principle in international relations and should not set a time limit or get off in a hasty manner. Shen Guofang, assistant to Chinese foreign minister, made the remarks in London when attending deputy-ministerial level consultations of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Reform on the Security Council is an issue pertaining to UN's future and the interests of its member states, he said. He said that China supports the reform and expansion of the Security Council as well as the participation of developing countries, especially small and medium-sized countries, in policy- making in the Security Council. However, China is strongly opposed to any forced voting on reform programs that are still controversial. ( )

Chinese defense minister underscores cooperation with Belgian army
2005-06-23 People's Daily
Chinese Minister of National Defense Cao Gangchuan told visiting Belgian Chief of Defense Staff August Van Daele Wednesday that the Chinese armed forces treasures its cooperation with Belgian army, and is ready to work closely with it to promote Sino-Belgian military ties up to a higher level. Daele arrived here Tuesday for an official good-will visit as guest of Liang Guanglie, chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Cao said although there is long distance between China and Belgium, the people of the two countries have long-standing friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations 30 years ago, their relations developed rapidly. ( ) Before the meeting, Liang Guanglie held talks with Daele. Liang said the armed forces of the two countries conducted fruitful exchanges in the spheres of military sports, medical care and education in recent years, which has promoted mutual understanding and army building. ( )

China, Kazakhstan vow to enhance anti-terrorism, law-enforcement cooperation
2005-06-23 People's Daily
China and Kazakhstan will further enhance cooperation on anti-terrorism and law-enforcement, in light of successful cooperation in trade, energy, communication and security. Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong told visiting Kazak Minister of Interior Affairs Zautbek Turisbekov that the two countries witnessed growing ties and cooperation. "We two countries closely cooperated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and contributed to regional peace and common development," Zeng told Turisbekov during the meeting in the Great Hall of the People Wednesday afternoon. China appreciates Kazakhstan's support of China on the Taiwan issue, Tibet, human rights and the strike of the so-called East Turkistan separatists, Zeng said. Zeng said the international situation is changing greatly and terrorism is threatening world peace and security and the situation in Central Asia is becoming increasingly complex. ( ) Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to visit Kazakhstan in July and the leaders of the two countries will institute a new blue-print for ties, Zhou said. ( )

President Hu's coming visit to Russia, Kazakhstan
2005-06-21 Xinhua News
Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Russia and Kazakhstan, and attend the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in the Kazak capital of Astana before attending the G8 plus five summit in England, liu said. The spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said Hu's trip will last from June 30 to July 7. He was invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The G8 Summit Outreach Session will be held in the United Kingdom between the G8 and leaders of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico. On Hu's state visit to Russia, Liu said Hu plans to hold talks with Putin and meet with other Russian government and parliamentary leaders. "The aim of the current visit to Russia is to improve political trust, deepen bilateral cooperation in all fields, enhance coordination on key international and regional issues and further upgrade Sino-Russian strategic partnership," Liu said. The spokesman said the two countries will also "issue a political document and sign a series of cooperative documents".

China demands Japan properly handle disputes with Taiwan fishermen
2005-06-22 People's Daily
China said on June 21 that it strongly resents to Japan's driving away of Taiwan fishing boats in waters near China's Diaoyu islands, and demands Japan handle and handle the fishing disputes prudently and properly. Taiwanese fishermen said they have been repeatedly driven away by Japanese patrol boats in waters near the Diaoyu Islands, traditional fishing grounds for them. Some have even flown China's five-star national flag. "The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the protection of the legitimate fishing rights of China's fishermen, including those from Taiwan," Liu Jianchao said at a press conference. " Their legitimate rights should not be infringed upon." China and Japan have signed a fishing agreement which contains stipulations on issues of fishing in relevant waters, and the two sides should follow the agreement, said the spokesman. The Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent waters are Chinese territories from ancient times and the waters are traditional fishing grounds for Chinese fishermen, China claims. ( )

Vice FM to leave for Japan for 2nd round strategic talks
2005-06-21 Xinhua News
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo is expected to leave for Japan Thursday at the head of a delegation for the second round of Sino-Japanese strategic talks, according to sources with the Foreign Ministry here Tuesday. Dai will confer with Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi on Sino-Japanese relations and issues of mutual concern. The first round of talks was conducted in Beijing on May 13 and14. At the end of the talks, the two sides agreed to maintain the dialogue process, and held that the two-day dialogue was positive and helpful.

China regrets EU decision on arms sales ban
2005-06-21 Xinhua News
China on Tuesday expressed its regret over the EU's recent failure to foot its pledge of lifting its arms sales ban to China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao made the remarks at a routine press conference when commenting on the EU's decision at a summit in Brussels earlier this month. The European Union (EU) summit pledged to develop a strategic partnership with China. "It reiterates its resolve to develop a strategic partnership with China by intensifying dialogue in all areas, whether of an economic or political nature, and by working towards a rapid solution to its trade dispute," said a conclusion document issued by the summit. Liu said China still hopes that the EU will materialize its pledge to lift the ban as soon as possible. ( )

 

Innenpolitik

Floods have claimed 536 lives in China
2005-06-24 China Daily
Floods that swept 22 provinces and regions across China since late last week have claimed 536 lives and caused 137 people missing in the country by 16:00 p.m. Thursday, the Office of State Floods Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said. ( ) More than 44.3761 million people in the country were affected by floods, and more than 31 million hectares of crops were damaged. The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangdong Province and Fujian Province suffered the severe losses in the floods, according to the office.( )

30,000 people evacuated after a reservoir collapse in SW China
2005-06-22 China Daily
About 30,000 had been evacuated by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday after a reservoir collapse blocked a river in Wuxi County in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Tuesday. The water level in Xixi River, a major tributary of Daning River, rose to 536 meters in altitude inside the reservoir, about two meters below the dam's top and 26 meters from the river bed, according to the local government. The water is still rising, posing a great threat to about 30,000 residents in eight townships at the lower reaches. The residents have all been evacuated, the local government said. ( )

Hu Jintao urges armed police to contribute to social stability
2005-06-23 People's Daily
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hu Jintao urged Wednesday the armed police force to make further contributions to social stability. Hu stressed that China's development and reform needs a harmonious and stable environment. "China needs a peaceful and sound international environment and a harmonious and stable domestic environment to realize its lofty goals in building a well-off society in an all-round way," Hu said in Beijing when he met with delegates to the first congress of CPC members of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force. Hu, Chinese President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, said China's reform and development has entered a crucial stage. "We should seize and make good use of the major strategic opportunity to develop fast and make us stronger," Hu said. ( )

Nepotism threatens safety at coal mines
2005-06-23 Xinhua News
Corruption among local officials and even the industry's safety watchdog must be tackled if the country is to improve its grim coal mine safety record, a cabinet minister has said. "Corruption is one major reason why accidents happen again and again," said Li Yizhong, minister of the State Administration of Work Safety. "Nepotism has allowed lax safety supervision." Li demanded his administration take iron-handed measures to stop corruption and misconduct among safety inspectors and local officials. ( )

Drug addicts to face criminal charges in China
2005-06-23 Xinhua Daily
A new narcotic control law is being mapped out as part of China's efforts to combat drug use, production and trafficking. A draft of the law, listing drug taking as a crime, is currently being scrutinized by experts, according to the China National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC).( ). At the moment China has no laws specifically aimed at tackling narcotics. Although existing laws acknowledge the illegal possession of drugs, they fail to classify drug taking as a crime. Legal experts have welcomed the new legislative efforts. ( ) Statistics from the Ministry of Public Security indicate the number of registered drug addicts in China reached 791,000 by the end of last year. More than 2,200 of the nation's 2,863 counties were found to have drug users. China's anti-narcotics measures are facing a serious challenge as production and sale of drugs such as ice and ecstasy rise, experts say. Han Shannong, a police officer from Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, said many drug addicts cannot be prosecuted because there is no legal basis for criminal charges. ( ) While the country is poised to lay out a comprehensive set of laws to curb the drug problem, Yunnan Province -- China's anti-drug frontier -- has taken a step further. In March, the province revised its local drug regulation, which was first issued in 1991, adding a number of revolutionary clauses. Under the new rules the province's drug rehabilitation and detention centres must include special zones for those with AIDS, in which the number of beds must account for 20 to 30 per cent of the total. "Official statistics show about 41 per cent of current HIV/AIDS carriers in China are drug abusers," Sun said. Also as part of the revised rules, the province plans to provide 36,000 more beds in its compulsory drug rehab centres, with about 7,000 to be reserved for HIV/AIDS patients. The revised regulation also requires an annual survey of the number of drug abusers in the province to enforce a sound registration system. ( )

Going West campaign helps 700,000 poor residents out of poverty
2005-06-22 Xinhua News
The Going West campaign has helped 700,000 poor residents in west China bid farewell to poverty by relocating them from remote areas with bad natural conditions to new areas with environments better for subsistence. This was announced by Du Ping, chief of the general affairs division with the Office for the Going West Campaign of the State Council, at an ongoing annual meeting of the United Body for Study of Going West in China held in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The program participants are now living a better life in newly built residential centers in newly found areas where there is easier access to social services such as education and health, in addition to an improved environment for human habitation, said Du. China decided to launch the campaign at the economic work conference of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in November 1999. The campaign covers Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou provinces, Chongqing Municipality, Ningxia Hui, Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions, an area amounting to 5.38 million square meters or 56 percent of China's total territory. Basins and valleys make up less than 10 percent of the area of the vast western regions, while deserts, grassless mountains, and highly cold regions averaging 3,000 meters above sea level, account for 48 percent. ( )

Income gap in China widens in first quarter
2005-06-20 People's Daily
China's income gap widened in the first quarter of the year, with 10 percent of the nation's richest people enjoying 45 percent of the country's wealth, reports said. China's poorest 10 percent had only 1.4 percent of the nation's wealth, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics. The income gap has become increasingly worrisome for the government of once-egalitarian China, especially as low- and middle-income earners are increasingly quick to accuse officials of pilfering state assets in the country's dash toward market capitalism. "There are two gaps that need to be addressed," Li Xiaoxi, head of the economic and resource management institute of Beijing Normal University, was quoted as saying. "The first is the very wide gap between different social groups. The other is the astonishing economic development gap between regions." Li added. ( )

 

North Korea

S.Korea, DPRK issue joint statement on enhancing ties
2005-06-23 Xinhua News
South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) reached 12-point joint statementon measures to enhance bilateral exchanges at the end of the 15th Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting, announced chief delegates of thetwo delegations to the talks in a joint press conference here. South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young and Kwon Ho Ung, a senior cabinet councilor of the DPRK, respectively led their delegations to the inter-Korean meeting which concluded its two-day official sessions on Thursday evening. "South Korea and the DPRK agreed to take substantial steps to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue through means of dialogue," said the statement. ( ) The two sides will hold working-level meeting to discuss details in July in DPRK's border city of Kaesong, said the statement. The two sides also agreed to hold a new round of reunions of separated family members at the DPRK's Mount Geumgang on Aug. 25. Also in the same day, a ceremony will be held at Geumgang Mountain to mark the start of construction of a permanent place for the separated family members' reunions. ( )

Chinese premier urges early resumption of six-party talks
2005-06-23 People's Daily
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged in Beijing on June 21 all parties concerned to take the opportunity and show more flexibility and sincerity to create an atmosphere and conditions for the early resumption of the six-party talks. The Chinese side will go on with its efforts and maintain close coordination and cooperation with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to this end, said Wen during his talks with ROK Prime Minister Lee Hae-Chan, who arrived here earlier Tuesday on a three-day official visit to China as Wen's guest. ( )

 

Economy

UBS in partnership talks with Bank of China
2005-06-23 China Daily
UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, said that it was in talks with Bank of China about a possible 500-million-dollar (412-million-euro) partnership in investment banking. "It is envisaged that such a partnership would include commercial co-operation in certain areas of investment banking yet to be agreed, and the possibility that UBS could invest approximately 500 million dollars to become a strategic investor in BOC," UBS said in a statement. "The talks continue and further details are confidential," it added. ( ) The Swiss bank's chief executive Peter Wuffli said last week that UBS had reached its "critical mass" but was mulling over possible "targeted acquisitions". "We're always ready to look at the opportunities that arise and talk," Wuffli said. ( )

 

Mongolia

Chinese presidential envoy leaves to attend inauguration of Mongolian president-elect
2005-06-23 People's Daily
Uyunqimg, special envoy of Chinese President Hu Jintao, left Beijing Thursday to attend the inauguration ceremony of Mongolian President-elect Nambaryn Enkhbayar. Uyunqimg, vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, will visit Mongolia from Thursday to Saturday.

 

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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