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
  29.8-2.9.05, No. 78  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Foreign Policy

Nuke talks to resume in week of Sep. 12
2005-08-31 China Daily
The fourth round of six-party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will be resumed in the week of Sept. 12, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. "Through efforts by parties concerned, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has agreed to return to the six-party talks," said He Yafei, director of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry. He made the remarks when briefing a press conference on President Hu's upcoming state visits to the United States, Canada, Mexico from Sept. 5 to 17. "During Chinese President Hu's visit to the United States, the two leaders will touch upon this nuclear issue," said He. However, he gave no specific time for the resumption of the talks, saying China is working with other parties on the timetable. The talks, which went into recess on August 7 after two weeks of inconclusive discussions, had been due to resume this week. But a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday Pyongyang thought it would be best to wait until after joint U.S.-South Korean military drills were over to resume the talks. He said his government favored a resumption of negotiations in the week of September 12. The Chinese hosts have now confirmed that timetable. Pyongyang said on Saturday Washington's decision to appoint a special envoy to monitor human rights in North Korea had also cast a shadow over the six-party process, which brings together the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan. ()

Itinerary for President Hu Jintao's US visit
2005-08-31 Xinhuanet
Explaining China's peaceful growth to the American politicians and public will top President Hu Jintao's agenda when he visits the United States from September 5 to 8. "This will be conducive to the development of Sino-US relations and China's relationships with the rest of the world," He Yafei, director of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs, said at a news briefing yesterday. It will be Hu's first State visit to the US after he became president in 2003. He will meet US President George W. Bush and legislators in Washington DC and business people in Seattle, and deliver a speech at Yale University in New Haven. Also on the list of areas of concern for Hu and Bush may be trade, Taiwan, energy and nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. China's favourable balance of trade with the US derives from different economic structures in the two countries. The two economies supplement and benefit each other instead of competing, and the US should loosen its grip over its exports, especially high-tech products, to China, He said. After his US trip, President Hu will travel to Canada and Mexico from September 8 to 13, and back to New York on September 14 to attend the World Summit and other activities in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. ()

China, US to discuss Taiwan issue: FM spokesman
2005-09-02 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao will discuss the Taiwan issue with U.S. President George W. Bush during Hu's upcoming visit to the United States, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing Thursday. "President Hu's meeting with president Bush will cover a wide range of topics, including the Taiwan issue, the most sensitive and important problem in China-US relations," Qin told a regular press gathering. He noted that China hopes the US will honor their promise to stick to the One-China policy, follow the three joint commnuniques and oppose Taiwan independence. ()

Numerous pacts for EU-China summit
2005-09-02 China Daily/People's Daily
A wealth of agreements concerning maritime transportation, environmental protection and biological diversity will be reached at the upcoming annual EU-China Summit in Beijing next week. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced the news yesterday at a regular press briefing, the first after the summer break. President Hu Jintao will meet with the European delegation to the summit next Monday before leaving for the United States for his three-nation tour. Among the dignitaries to attend the Eighth EU-China Summit in Beijing this year will be Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Britain currently holds the EU presidency. Qin said the summit would cover a wide range of topics in a bid to further promote the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. He said the Second EU-China Business Summit would also be held next week, hoping to increase the level of practical co-operation. Reports said the two sides would also announce the beginning of formal talks on a new EU-China framework agreement. Observers believed the summit is another strong signal of mutual commitment to deepen bilateral relations. () In addition, British Prime Minister Tony Blair will pay a visit to China on Sept. 6 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the announcement Thursday.

China, Kazakhstan sign protocol for Kazakhstan's WTO accession
2005-09-01 People's Daily
China and Kazakhstan on Wednesday signed a protocol of bilateral negotiations between the two governments for Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi and visiting Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Akhmetzhan Esimov attended the signing ceremony of the protocol and other two bilateral documents, including a memorandum of understanding between Chinese and Kazakh petroleum companies and an agreement on the feasibility research of the China-Kazakhstan natural gas pipeline. Wu said China support the early WTO accession of Kazakhstan, which is an important consensus reached by President Hu Jintao and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev during Hu's Kazakhstan visit in July this year. Wu said she hoped that under the joint efforts of both sides, China and Kazakhstan would further promote their strategic partnership and enhance their cooperation in various fields. Esimov said Kazakhstan attaches great importance to the negotiation of WTO accession, expressing appreciation for China to give support and help during the process. Kazakhstan applied to join in the WTO in 1996. China, as a member of the working group on Kazakhstan's WTO entry, concluded its bilateral negotiation with Kazakhstan after four rounds of negotiations. China and Kazakhstan acknowledged each other as a country with status of full market economy.

China, Africa satisfied with China's forum follow-up actions
2005-08-29 People's Daily
China and Africa are satisfied with the follow-up actions of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, a senior Chinese diplomat said in Beijing Sunday. Xu Jinghu, secretary-general of the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee and director of the African Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry made the remarks after the Fourth Senior Officials Meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, which was held in Beijing Aug. 22-23. "Delegates to the meeting appreciated China's efforts on implementing the follow-up actions after the second ministerial conference," Xu said. China has carried out a series of effective measures within the forum framework, such as reducing or exempting some African countries' debts, granting duty-free for some African products and training 10,000 talented people for African countries. At the forum, the two sides agreed that China would host a summit meeting involving leaders of China and African countries next year in Beijing, accompanied by the third ministerial meeting of the forum. ()

China, Sri Lanka to enhance parliamentary exchanges
2005-08-31 Xinhuanet
China and Sri Lanka pledged here Wednesday to enhance parliamentary exchanges during a meeting between Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo and Sri Lankan President Bandaranalke Kumaratunga. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said the NPC would like to promote exchanges with the Sri Lankan parliament to improve understanding between the two peoples and to contribute to bilateral relations. Wu said China and Sri Lanka have enjoyed long-term friendship, and bilateral ties have developed rapidly and cooperation in all fields has been fruitful. The two countries have also maintained coordination in the international arena, he added. Kumaratunga said her China visit ended with the signing of various cooperative documents which are important to Sri Lanka's economic development. The Sri Lankan government will makea joint efforts with China to realize the agreements made in the documents to benefit the two peoples. She also said Sri Lanka supports the parliaments of the two countries to enhance cooperation.

WHO praises China signing anti-tobacco pact
2005-08-31 China Daily
The World Health Organization praised China for ratifying a global treaty aimed at lowering tobacco deaths, saying the move reflected the will of the world's largest cigarette consumer to curb the habit, AFP reported. "This is perhaps the clearest indication yet that the world is increasingly committed to addressing the global tobacco epidemic," said Shigeru Omi, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific. "We know that implementing the convention will not be easy, as smoking is an ingrained habit in China, but the government has made clear its commitment to take action." China's legislature ratified the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on Sunday, announcing immediately afterwards a ban on tobacco vending machines and a phase-out of tobacco advertising. Beijing estimates there are 350 million smokers in the country. About 60 percent of Chinese men and three percent of women smoke. It also appears that the number of children and young female smokers may be increasing significantly, the WHO said. Tobacco kills 1.2 million Chinese each year. ()

Human rights deal signals progress
2005-09-01 Xinhuanet
A deal was signed yesterday that promises to help China's efforts to raise its level of human rights. The memorandum of understanding is aimed at helping China implement recommendations on economic, social and cultural rights. Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang and visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour attended the signing ceremony. According to the agreement, the co-operation programme between the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) and China will include projects to assist the nation find alternative penalty measures to imprisonment; help the country revise its Criminal Procedure Law, Lawyers Law and other related laws and regulations, officials said. It should also assist the incorporation of human rights education into the curricula of primary and secondary schools, universities and the education of public servants. On Monday, Arbour appeared at the opening ceremony of the 13th Workshop on Regional Co-operation for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Beijing. "There are major opportunities for the human rights cause in the Asia-Pacific region, which stands at a historic juncture of development," said State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan in the inaugural speech. Tang called on all member states in the region to follow the principles of mutual respect and equality, to prioritize the development of economic, social, cultural rights and to keep their cultural tradition and values, while learning from other region's good experiences. Co-sponsored by the Chinese Government and the OHCHR, the four-day event, which will conclude on September 2, attracts representatives from 37 countries in the region and other international organizations.

China to promote legal cooperation with ASEAN
2005-09-02 People's Daily
China will strengthen its legal cooperation with ASEAN members in forum operation, academic exchanges, personnel training and international exchanges, said Han Zhubin, president of the China Law Society (CLS), at a top forum on legal cooperation and development in Nanning, capital city of south China¡¯s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Thursday. The China-ASEAN Top Forum on Legal Cooperation and Development, the first of its kind, is sponsored by CLS. During the three-day session, participants from China and nine ASEAN members will hold in-depth discussion on topics concerning the legal problems about the China-ASEAN free trade area (FTA). Addressing at the opening ceremony, Han suggested the forum be built into a regional mechanism of exchanges between legal experts and law operators of China and ASEAN and a platform of legal cooperation. ()

UNICEF official stresses AIDS education on TV
2005-09-02 Xinhuanet
Using television to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS can be a powerful medium to reach young people in an attempt to stave off the spread of the disease in China, said a senior UN official. "TV programmes can be tailored to help people get the right kind of education on HIV/AIDS," said Ann Veneman, executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in an interview with China Daily earlier this week. Veneman's comments came after she was deeply impressed by her first visit last week to Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, one of the least developed areas of the nation. Last Friday, Veneman visited a mosque in the regional capital Yinchuan, where mullahs at a service told Muslim followers to preserve moral integrity and not to discriminate against HIV/AIDS patients. She also attended an HIV/AIDS prevention class at a middle school. She said she was moved by a junior high girl student who spoke about the HIV/AIDS issue after watching television programmes. ()

 

Domestic Policy

Foreign missile umbrella on Taiwan opposed
2005-09-02 China Daily
No country should include Taiwan in its missile defence system because the question of Taiwan involves China's core interests. Also, such a system will impact on international stability and state-to-state relations, and trigger proliferation of missile technology, said Zhang Yan, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the Foreign Ministry. "China opposes any attempt to provide support or help to Taiwan with missile defence systems," said Zhang yesterday at a press conference hosted by the State Council's Information Office. The office yesterday released a white paper entitled "China's Endeavours for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation," which elaborates on China's policy in this field. Zhang said China always stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. "The Chinese Government has solemnly declared that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and in any circumstance," said Zhang, citing the policy paper. He said that China has committed unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon countries or nuclear-weapon-free zones.() China has signed bilateral agreements with a dozen of countries on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, according to Zhang, noting that such co-operation aims to serve China's increasing energy demand.()

90% of China's land boundaries demarcated
2005-08-31 Xinhuanet
China has signed border treaties or agreements with 12 neighbouring countries, demarcating 90 percent its land boundaries, according to an article posted on the Foreign Ministry's official Website on Wednesday. With 14 neighbouring countries and a total of 22,000 kilometers of land boundaries, China is a country with the longest land border lines and the largest number of neighbours in the world, said Liu Zhenmin, general director of the ministry's department of treaty and law, in an interview with the Oriental Outlook magazine. Liu said China signed border treaties and agreements with Myanmar, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1960s and has resolved the boundary issues with Russia, the Laos, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan since the 1990s. ()

President Hu accepts credentials from 4 new ambassadors
2005-08-29 Xinhuanet
Chinese President Hu Jintao accepted the credentials presented by new ambassadors to China from the Republic of Vanuatu, the Russian Federation, the Hellenic Republic and Canada here on Monday. The new ambassadors include Lo Chi Wai, ambassador of the Republic of Vanuatu, who arrived here on Aug. 14, 2005; Sergey Razov, ambassador of the Russian Federation, who arrived here on Aug. 20, 2005; Michael Kambanis, ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, who arrived here on Aug. 23, 2005, and Robert Wright, ambassador of Canada, who arrived here on Aug. 23, 2005.

Mass evacuation on the mainland
2005-09-02 SCMP
Authorities evacuated more than 790,000 people from the mainland provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang before powerful Typhoon Talim slammed into the east coast yesterday after barrelling across Taiwan. Talim was forecast to be the strongest storm to hit the mainland this season and the observatory in Fujian issued its highest-level alert, warning of potential landslides, flooding and widespread damage. The China Meteorological Association said the storm made landfall at Putian city in Fujian late yesterday, bringing torrential rain and strong winds. State television showed rising seas off the coast as rains hammered coastal roads, but winds did not appear as strong as they were in Taiwan. ()

7,000 coal mines to close in crackdown
2005-08-31 People's Daily
In the face of a rising death toll this year, China has ordered one-third of its coal mines to suspend production by the end of this year because they are unsafe. Industry insiders said the suspension will leave a huge number of miners jobless, but coal supply will only be slightly affected because most of the pits involved are small. The State Administration of Coal Mine Safety publicized yesterday the first group of 1,324 mines that are required to stop production and meet national safety standards. If they do not, they will be shut down permanently. "The number is not all of the mines on the suspension list; the total will reach 7,000 soon," the administration's press officer, surnamed An, told China Daily. Administration figures indicated that China has about 24,000 coal mines, which satisfy 70 per cent of the country's annual energy demand. However, because of the transient nature of mining employment, no official statistics on the number of miners are available. An said the responsibility to monitor the suspensions and supervise the safety improvement of the 7,000 mines will fall on local governments. "The central government will soon unveil regulations which require provincial and local governments to play a key role in safeguarding coal mine safety," she said. "Otherwise, they will be severely punished." An said a new central government system for monitoring coal mines will be announced today, which includes detailed measures to prevent coal mine disasters. Some local governments and officials have been protecting poorly equipped coal mines, where accidents have claimed an average of 18 miners a day in the first six months of this year. ()

Sexual harassment against women outlawed
2005-08-29 People's Daily
China's legislature Sunday passed amendments to the law on women's rights protection, which "prohibits sexual harassment of women" and empowers women to "lodge complaints" to relevant organizations. "This is the first time the issue of sexual harassment has been written into Chinese law," said Wu Changzhen, professor at the China University of Political Science and Law. "It provides the legal basis for handling such issues." For a long time, "sexual harassment" has been regarded as a moral issue rather than a legal one in China. Of the nearly 10 sexual harassment cases that entered legal proceedings since 2001, only one plaintiff wins. In a survey of more than 8,000 Chinese people, jointly conducted by two major media organizations Sina and Fortnight, 78 percent of the men said they had never experienced sexual harassment while the ratio was 21 percent for women. A survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shows nearly 40 percent of women in private businesses and foreign-funded businesses has experienced sexual harassment. Chinese law experts call the new clause an improvement in China's legal system, noting the system now strives to provide all-round protection to people, both physically and psychologically. According to the amendments passed at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the State Council, or the cabinet, will work out China Development Program for Women and local government across the country will map out development planning for women. The state should also work to gradually improve the ratio of women in the seats of the NPC and people's congresses at various levels. The amendments, to take effect from December 1, 2005, also contains a clause that states "granting men and women equal status is a basic state policy of the country. ()

Often-imprisoned bishop dies of leukaemia at 88
2005-08-29 SCMP
An elderly Chinese bishop who was jailed for 28 years because of his faith has died, according to Vatican Radio. Monsignor Xie Shiguang, the bishop of Mingdong, died of leukaemia last Thursday. Xie, 88, was first arrested in 1955 "because of his loyalty to the pope", and released a year later, the radio reported. He was arrested again in 1958 and jailed until 1980. Xie was also imprisoned from 1984-1987, and finally for two years starting in 1990. He was under surveillance by authorities until his death, the report said. The Vatican praised Xie as a "courageous witness to Christ".

600,000 Beijingers feel depressed
2005-08-30 Xinhuanet
A report released by Beijing's municipal health bureau says over 600 thousand residents over the age of 15 have suffered or are suffering from depression.The survey shows most of the depressed people come from unstable families, some have suffered from domestic violence. They are typically unemployed and short of financial ability. The survey also found that about 100 thousand university students in the city suffer from depression. The pressures of studying hard and finding a job, or even disappointment in romantic affairs have made them depressed.

 

Tibet

 

'Great achievements' in Tibet just propaganda, say activists
2005-09-02 SCMP
Beijing touted its "great achievements" in Tibet at yesterday's 40th anniversary of its formal rule over the region, but activists saw the celebrations as little more than propaganda masking calls for greater autonomy. An editorial in the Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily praised the economic performance of Tibet during the past four decades, saying such achievements could only have been possible under Chinese rule. "Only under the Chinese Communist Party's leadership, only in the embrace of the motherland's family, only firmly on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics can Tibet enjoy a prosperous today and a better tomorrow," it said. The editorial said the per capita gross domestic product of Tibet reached 7,779 yuan last year, 33 times the level in 1965 when Tibet became an autonomous region of China. But Tibetan rights activists said celebrations staged by the Chinese-controlled Tibetan government concealed the real plight of many Tibetans who wanted independence from China. The London-based Free Tibet Campaign said that despite Beijing's promise to implement new measures to enhance Tibetan autonomy and its growing investment in the region, Tibetans were still not masters of their own destiny. Overseas rights activists also say Beijing's massive investment in the region has led to the increasing marginalisation of Tibetans and an influx of workers from the mainland's majority Han ethnic group. The 1,142km Qinghai-Tibet railway line, which will link Tibet by rail to the outside world for the first time, is being built mainly by Han Chinese workers, for example. Beijing has repeatedly stressed the importance of ethnic unity and stability in the region.

 

Taiwan

Ex-president of Taiwan to visit US in October
2005-08-29 SCMP
Former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui will visit New York in October, Taiwan's China Times reported yesterday. He might visit his alma mater - Cornell University - and Washington, the report said, quoting an unnamed source. "Although Mr Lee has retired, he is still influential in Taiwan and may not be seen as a civilian by the US government," the source was quoted as saying. Since retiring in 2000 after 12 years as president, Mr Lee has served as the "spiritual leader" of the radical, independence-seeking Taiwan Solidarity Union. His 1995 visit to the United States prompted Beijing to fire missiles into the Taiwan Strait.

 

Economy

Sino-US textile talks stop at red light
2005-09-02 China Daily
The unscheduled third day of textile talks between China and the United States failed to yield a long-expected agreement. "The talks failed to reach an accord because substantial differences remain on some principle issues," China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement made after the extended fourth round of talks yesterday. "But the two sides agreed to keep the consultation channel open and will fix the date and location for the next round," the statement said. This round, which was scheduled for August 30 and 31, was restarted yesterday morning in the ministry. The Special Textile Negotiator of the US Trade Representative Office David Spooner said the two sides "were not able to reach a broader agreement" despite strong efforts. However, he said: "The United States remains optimistic that we can continue to make progress on the remaining issues. We will be consulting with the Chinese side over the next few days on the date and location of the next round of negotiations." The talks, aiming to solve the two countries' four-month long textile disputes, began on Tuesday morning, with Vice-Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng as head of the Chinese delegation and Spooner as head of the US side. This fourth round of textile talks between the two countries, which was headed by higher-level officials than the previous round in San Francisco last month, had been expected to enjoy great possibilities in terms of reaching an accord. Song Hong, an analyst with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the breakdown indicated that the two sides still stood far apart in some substantial issues. Meanwhile, the US Government announced yesterday that it was re-imposing quotas on two more categories of Chinese clothing and textile imports, Xinhua reported. It said that the US would limit imports of fabric made with synthetic filament threads and also bras and other body-supporting undergarments. () Before the US-China talks, consultations between China and the European Union started on August 25 also failed to produce a mutually accepted amendment to the agreement signed by trade chiefs of both sides in Shanghai.

Low marks for WTO compliance
2005-09-02 SCMP
US companies on the mainland have given Beijing poor marks on implementing World Trade Organisation commitments, with 80 per cent saying enforcement of intellectual property is ineffective, a business group said yesterday. But most firms believe WTO- inspired reforms have helped US business on the mainland, according to an annual policy white paper issued jointly by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and AmCham Shanghai, which together have nearly 2,000 members. "China has generally complied with its WTO commitments since its accession in 2001. However, its WTO performance in some key areas has been mixed over the past year," the policy paper said. Last year, the chamber found Beijing generally in compliance with its WTO pledges. AmCham Shanghai officials said problems ranged from delays in implementation to missed deadlines, though they were upbeat on the overall business environment. Protection of intellectual property rights continued to be a sore point among US companies. ()

Top legislator meets with Nestle CEO
2005-08-29 Xinhuanet
China welcomes Nestle and other trans-national companies to build research centers in China and expand business cooperation with China, said Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo on Monday. "In promoting Sino-Swiss economic ties, trans-national companies, such as Nestle, played an active role," Wu told Peter Brabeck, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle Group. Sino-Swiss relations enjoy sound progress. Switzerland is an important economic and technological partner of China in Europe, said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. "The two sides have kept frequent high-level exchanges and strengthened cooperation in culture, science and technology, tourism, personnel training and coordination in international affairs," Wu said. Brabeck said that China's reform and opening-up policy provided ample opportunities for Nestle to expand business in China and the company will enhance cooperation with Chinese partners in research and development (R&D) and in processing of farm produce. Nestle has established 21 factories in China since 1990 with an annual sales value of 10 billion yuan (about 8 billion US dollars). Its first R&D centre in China was set up in Shanghai in 2001.

 

Julie Kong
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.
 
Page created and hosted by SinOptic Back to the top of the page To SinOptic - Services and Studies on the Chinese World's Homepage