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
  10.10-14.10.05, No. 84  
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Foreign Policy

Chinese, Iranian FMs hold talks
2005-10-14 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki Thursday that China will continue to play a "constructive" role in properly settling Iran's nuclear issue. In their talks on Thursday afternoon, Li spoke positively of Sino-Iranian relations. He said he believes bilateral friendly cooperative ties will continue to move forward through joint efforts. Li said China always holds that Iran's nuclear issue should be settled through diplomatic means within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). "We support Iran and the European Union (EU) to continue negotiations to seek a long-term solution, and hope the negotiation will resume as early as possible," he said. Mottaki said Iran and China have conducted "fruitful" mutual-beneficial cooperation in various fields. Iran appreciates China's constructive role in the proper settlement of Iran's nuclear issue. He reiterated Iran's rights to peacefully use nuclear energy, saying his country is ready to resume negotiations with the EU and continue its cooperation with the IAEA.

China, Japan hold third round of talks
2005-10-14 China Daily
China and Japan hold a third round of strategic talks in Beijing today, the latest step in improving strained bilateral ties. Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi head the talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said yesterday that the three-day talks would cover a wide range of topics. Regional issues of major concern to both countries, such as the development of Northeast Asia, are believed to be on the agenda. Kong said relations between China and Japan have made considerable progress in recent years but difficulties remain, requiring the two sides to approach talks in a serious manner. () Observers say the holding of three rounds of talks over less than six months is a demonstration of the high priority both sides have given to easing tensions through dialogue and consultation. Relations have been rocked by a series of incidents such as Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, the printing of a history textbook failing to acknowledge Japanese army atrocities during World War II and a dispute over gas fields in the East China Sea. Liu Jiangyong, an analyst on international relations, said the development of relations with neighbouring countries was key to the foreign policy of Koizumi's new cabinet, which will be reshuffled next month. Liu said Koizumi needs to contact Japan's neighbours, including China and South Korea, before drafting his policy. ()

Hopes Rumsfeld's trip will improve Sino-US ties
2005-10-12 SCMP
Beijing hopes US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's first official visit to China next week will improve Sino-US relations, the government said. Mr Rumsfeld has called Beijing a threat to Asian security and challenged its double-digit annual military budget increases. "We believe this visit will help enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust between China and the US," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said. "It will be important and helpful in this regard." Mr Kong said Mr Rumsfeld would meet Chinese government and military leaders during the October 18-20 trip. "They will have an extensive, in-depth exchange of views," Mr Kong said.

China expresses strong opposition to critical US Congressional report
2005-10-13 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan Wednesday expressed resolute opposition to comments on China's internal affairs contained in the annual report of the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China, released Tuesday. The spokesman said this year's report by the commission, created in 2000 to monitor developments in China, distorted facts and continued to attack China on the issues of human rights, religion, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and women's rights, disregarding China's achievements in human rights protection and legislation. "The report wantonly interferes in China's internal affairs and we express resolute opposition to it," Kong said. He said China has undergone great changes over the past 56 years, especially since the reform and opening-up drive began 26 years ago. China has maintained sustained, fast and healthy economic development and people of all ethnic groups enjoyed their full legal rights and basic freedoms, the spokesman said. Hong Kong continues to enjoy stability and prosperity with the full implementation of the policy of "one country two systems" and the Basic Law, Kong said. Kong suggested the US Congress and relevant organs focus more on the affairs of their own country and contribute more to mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the United States. He also urged the US to stop interfering in China's internal affairs and take effective measures to eliminate the negative impact of the report.

Beijing opposes Lee Teng-hui's US tour
2005-10-13 Xinhuanet
China Thursday expressed strong opposition to former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui's visit to the United States and has lodged solemn representations to the US. "We are strongly opposed to that the United States is allowing Lee Teng-hui to tour it," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan at a regular press conference. Kong urged the US to adhere to the one-China policy, observe the three Sino-US joint communiques and follow its commitment to discourage "Taiwan independence." He demanded that the US should not send any wrong signals suggesting it supports "Taiwan independence." Lee Teng-hui, former Taiwan leader and Kuomintang Chairman, has long been engaged in activities of "Taiwan independence." According to a schedule, Lee will deliver a speech on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. "The separatist activities of Lee Teng-hui and those like him go against the aspirations of the whole Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, and is condemned and doomed to failure," Kong said. The spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council today also voiced indignations over US approval of Lee's visit. "We oppose Lee's visit in the United States in whatever form orname," said the Spokesman Li Weiyi. "We oppose him using the opportunity of the visit in continuing to spread destructive views on cross-Straits relations advocating the independence of Taiwan."

China welcomes Merkel's chancellorship
2005-10-11 Xinhuanet
China welcomes and congratulates Germany's Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel, who is set to be the next German chancellor, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kong Quan said here Tuesday. Kong made the remarks in response to a question about Merkel's success as German chancellor and the announcement made on Oct. 10 by the German Social Democratic Party and Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) on holding talks on the formation of a grand coalition government. Kong expressed the hope that the talks will advance smoothly. China attaches great importance to developing relations with Germany and is willing to make a joint effort with Germany to further develop bilateral ties in an all-round and comprehensive way, the spokesman said. ()

Hu Jintao vows to promote co-op with DPRK
2005-10-10 Xinhuanet
The Communist Party of China (CPC) will make continued efforts to promote the friendly relations and cooperation between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to a new high, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee said on Monday. In a congratulatory message to Kim Jong-il, Hu's DPRK counterpart, on the occasion of the 60th founding anniversary of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK), Hu said that to carry forward and further develop the traditional China-DPRK friendship embodies the common will of and serves the fundamental interests of the two parties, two countries and two peoples and is also conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the region. Hu congratulated Kim and the WPK on the achievements made by the WPK and the DPRK people in economic development, promoting foreign relations and its endeavor to achieve peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula. The CPC always cherishes the traditional friendship between China and the DPRK and has set it as a consistent policy to continuously strengthen and develop the China-DPRK friendship, Hu said.

Kim Yong-nam meets Chinese vice premier
2005-10-13/11 People's Daily
Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) met with Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on Monday. Kim said the DPRK-China traditional friendship has a strong vitality and the bilateral relationship between the two countries is developing in an all-round way under the guidance of the important consensus reached between top leaders of the two countries. It is the DPRK's unwavering resolve to make continued efforts to consolidate and strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries, Kim said. Wu said China is happy to see the sound development of bilateral ties in the new century and will seek new areas and modalities in trade and economic cooperation with the DPRK under the new circumstances. () Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan also met in Beijing Wednesday with a delegation from the Korean Council on Foreign Relations of the Republic of Korea (ROK) led by its chairman Lee chang-bum. Tang had high praise for the communication and cooperation between the Association of Former Diplomats of China and the Korean Council on Foreign Relations, adding that the two organizations are hoping to carry out various exchanges so as to offer advice or suggestions to promote China-ROK relations. The delegation is here at the invitation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China donates more to Pakistan
2005-10-13 Xinhuanet
The Chinese government on Thursday donated 1 million US dollars in cash to the Government of Pakistan for earthquake relief. At a signing ceremony held here for the handing over of the cheque, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Zhang Chunxiang said China is willing to make utmost efforts to help Pakistan overcome the difficulties. Signing the cheque on behalf of the Chinese Government, Zhang expressed confidence that the people of Pakistan, under the leadership of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and with the help from the international community, are sure to win this battle over the natural disaster and rebuild their homes soon. Zhang said the leaders, the government and the people of China have been gravely concerned over this severe disaster ever since the massive earthquake hit Pakistan last Saturday. The Chinese Government has pledged immediately after the earthquake 6.2 million US dollars of humanitarian aid to Pakistan, including cash and aid supplies, said Zhang. The Chinese Government has also dispatched a 49-member rescue team to quake-hit areas and four batches of aid supplies have reached on chartered flights to Pakistan with more to come, he added. Zhang and Ejaz Rahim, secretary of the Cabinet Division, signed on behalf of their respective Governments. ()

2005 Asia-Pacific Cities Summit concludes in Chongqing
2005-10-14 People's Daily
The two-day 2005 Asia-Pacific Cities Summit concluded Thursday night in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. The delegates fully communicated and exchanged ideas on the relations among cities, people and the nature during the summit meeting, through keynote speeches, roundtable conferences and symposiums, and passed the Chongqing Declaration, said Chongqing Vice Mayor Zhao Gongqing. Campbell Newman, mayor of Brisbane, Australia, expressed his congratulations on the successful summit. Many cities have found a lot in common during the summit and all the cities will seek to achieve harmony among the city, people and the nature as what the summit calls for, said Newman. About 124 cities from 41 countries and regions attended the summit, including 16 capitals.

Wushu to be part of Beijing Olympic Games
2005-10-14 China Daily
Wushu competitors at the 10th National Games yesterday had more than a medal to look forward to the martial arts genre will for the first time be included in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sprung the pleasant surprise on wushu aficionados who had been pushing for the sport to be made an official event. There will be a wushu competition during the Olympic Games. It's not going to be one of the official 28 sports but we will organize with BOCOG (the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad) a wushu competition," said Rogge at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Art Exhibition of Sports in China in Nanjing yesterday morning. When Beijing won the right to host the 2008 Games, proponents wanted wushu, one of the traditional sports in China to be listed as an Olympic sport for the home Games. The IOC turned down the proposal but kept the door open for it to be a representation sport. But Rogge did not clarify if wushu will be regarded as a demonstration sport like taekwondo and tennis, which were earlier demonstration sports and have now become official events at Olympic Games. While medals will be awarded for demonstration sports, they will not count towards the official tally of nations. In 2002, the IOC decided to cap the number of Olympic sports at 28.

 

Domestic Policy

Second manned spacecraft successfully takes off
2005-10-12 China Daily
China's piecemeal but ambitious space program took another giant step today, as two Chinese taikonauts blasted into orbit on a state-of the-art Long March rocket on the country's second manned space mission ever. The Shenzhou VI manned spacecraft blasted off with a loud launch noise for a multi-day orbital stay from its satellite launch center in Jiuquan in northwest China. China's state-owned Central Television Station is carrying out a live coverage of the spacecraft flight, with images of the two taikonauts clearly shown to tens of millions of Chinese viewers. Shenzhou VI was lifted into the space by a Long March carrier rocket at 9:00 am Beijing Time. It entered its orbit 21 minutes later. Fei Junlong, 40, and Nie Haisheng, 41, will make a great deal of experiments during their space journey. ()

Beijing accused of playing politics with pandas
2005-10-14 SCMP
Beijing insisted yesterday that its plan to send two pandas to Taiwan was purely a "goodwill" gesture, but the island's government accused the mainland of seeking to use the animals for political gain. In a briefing organised by the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office to introduce the shortlisted pandas, Zhang Hemin , the director of the Wolong Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Sichuan , said the gift was merely a friendly gesture by the mainland towards Taiwan. "The pair will represent the goodwill of the mainland's 1.3 billion people, so we should choose the best," Mr Zhang said. "Beijing hopes to send a compatible male and female that will eventually breed in Taiwan." The director said the final couple would be chosen by observing how those on the shortlist interacted in the next 10 days or so. In Taiwan, the government offered a lukewarm response. The Mainland Affairs Council said the panda diplomacy was purely for political gain. "By manoeuvring the issue of sending the pandas to Taiwan, China is attempting to make political gains. But what it is trying to do not only complicates the issue, but in no way helps [improve] overall cross-strait relations," the council said. It said the island's government had already made it clear that the arrival of the pandas must be handled in a professional and legal manner, including applying for import papers according to international wildlife conservation regulations. ()

Persecuted underground bishop dies
2005-10-14 SCMP
An underground Catholic bishop who served 24 years in jail for his loyalty to the Pope had died, a US-based religious monitoring group said yesterday. Zhang Bairen, the Catholic bishop of Hanyang, Hubei, died on Wednesday from heart disease, the Cardinal Kung Foundation said. He was 90. Zhang, also known as Peter Chang, earned a PhD in theology from the Pontificio Collegio Urbano in Rome and was ordained a priest on December 19, 1942. In 1997, he wrote that he told Chinese authorities in 1955 that he would rather be shot dead than renounce the Pope, the foundation said. He was imprisoned from 1955 until 1979. "I was not shot but spent 24 hard years in prison and a slave labour camp," he wrote. China cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, soon after the Communist Party took power. Worship is allowed only in government-controlled churches, which do not recognise the power of the Pope to appoint priests and bishops. Chinese Catholics who meet outside sanctioned churches are frequently harassed, fined and sometimes sent to labour camps. The government's Catholic church claims 4 million believers. The Cardinal Kung Foundation says the unofficial church of Chinese loyal to Rome has 12 million followers.

Biggest drug smuggling case uncovered
2005-10-12 Xinhuanet
Chinese police have uncovered the largest international ketamine smuggling in China since 1949, seizing 1,010 kilograms of Ketamine, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday. The smuggling operation was uncovered on September 19 by police in the Shandong and Guangdong provinces and Hong Kong under unified coordination by the Ministry of Public Security, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the anti-narcotics bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, said at a press conference held in Beijing Wednesday. Guangdong police got information in July that an international drug trafficking gang planned to smuggle more than one ton of ketamine from India to Chinese mainland. The drug was hidden in 700 barrels of chemical material and transported from India's Bombay to Yantai, in east China's Shangdong province, via Singapore and the Republic of Korea. The smugglers planned to transport the drug to south China's Guangdong Province for sale. Plice detained six suspects in Yantai and seized 1,010 kg of ketamine and 80,000 yuan of illicit funds. Three major suspects confessed that they aimed to open a new channel for smuggling drugs via Yantai. One of the major suspects, Kung Ka Sam, a Canadian Chinese, remains at large. ()

Corrupt, inept officials abuse US$11 billion
2005-10-10 China Daily
More than US$4 billion has been illegally spent by government officials in South China's Guangdong Province while another US$7 billion has also been lost because of poor management. More than 400 officials were involved in one way or another in the scam. Details came to light after a five-year investigation between 2000-04, the same period the money was lost. "The illegal behaviour included embezzling public money, spending public funds on lavish dinners and gifts, and shifting public funds to personal accounts," Zeng Shouxi, director of the Guangdong Provincial Audit Department, said in a report released on Saturday. The Guangdong Provincial Audit Department audited the accounts of 10,772 officials between 2000 and 2004. The investigation found that the illegally used money reached 35.3 billion yuan (US$4.35 billion). Those investigated also caused a huge financial loss during the same period, of 61.2 billion yuan (US$7.54 billion), because of their improper management. After the investigation, 71 government leaders were demoted, 36 were dismissed, 105 were disciplined, and 231 were sent to justice departments for further investigation, according to the report. The report also showed 747 government officers were promoted. Zeng said these were officials who reported on corrupt officials and worked with the investigators. But Zeng refused to reveal the names of those promoted or demoted. He promised to improve the audit system to help control corruption. "In collaboration with the provincial government, we will crackdown on malpractice by government officials in the future," he said. According to provincial government and audit department plans, from next year all officials below the rank of county magistrate must be audited when due to leave their posts. ()

101 suspects arrested for internet `obscenity'
2005-10-14 SCMP
Authorities have arrested 101 suspects since police started to crack down on internet "obscenity" in August, state media said. The suspects included people who used the internet to set up illegal chat rooms recruiting others to participate in pornographic movies, Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Public Security as saying. "This behaviour has severely polluted the internet environment, done harm to a juvenile's physical and mental health and caused strong public anger," the ministry said. The special crackdown was jointly initiated by the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Information Industry and the Information Office of China's cabinet, the State Council. To date, 1,568 pieces of evidence have been obtained, from which 76 criminal cases had been filed, resulting in the arrests of 101 suspects, the ministry said.

Over 7% of Chinese aged 65 or above
2005-10-10 Xinhuanet
More than seven percent of China's total population age 65 or above, which has posed a big problem to the country's work for the aged, said a senior Chinese official Sunday."The aging problem has come around not only somewhat earlier but also developed rapidly," said Hui Liangyu, vice premier of the State Council, or the Chinese cabinet. Currently, the number of the Chinese who age 60 or above has accounted for more than 10 percent of the total Chinese population, said Hui, who made the remarks when paying a visit to a local beadhouse to mark the coming traditional Chinese "Sept. 9" festival (in lunar calendar), a special day for respecting the old which falls on Oct. 11. "The aging issue will bring about deep impact on the economy, society, culture and other fields of China," he said, citing the issue as of strategic importance which will influence the country's overall economic and social development. "We should study and introduce more policies so as to solve the problems rendered by the aging issue and form an atmosphere that stresses respecting and loving the old," he said. Noting the thousand-year-old custom as one of the key virtues left from ancient China, Hui said letting the old enjoy the fruits of China's development is an important part of the ongoing process of building a comprehensively well-off society in China.

New contract focuses on employees' rights
2005-10-11 China Daily
Employees' rights should be better protected by a new labour contract, due to be implemented this year, sources with the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Labour and Social Security said yesterday. According to one official, the capital of Guangdong Province is set to introduce a new labour contract guaranteeing workers payments based on their regular working hours. "The specified payment system and working hours will help both employers and employees better communicate with each other when labour disputes occur," Xie Yingjian, an official with the bureau, said in an interview with China Daily. The old labour contract stipulates minimum wages instead of payment based on workers' hours. According to Xie, many workers were not paid according to their working hours. "Some of them were not even paid during the official holidays," said Xie. According to Chinese labour laws, employees should be paid during official holidays, including during marriage and maternity leave. Neither does the old contract specify details for overtime. ()

Problems remain in implementing agricultural law
2005-10-12 Xinhuanet
A law enforcement team from China's top legislature has found that there are still many problems in implementing the nation's agricultural law, which may leave many Chinese farmers without sufficient legal protection. From August to September this year, the law enforcement inspection team of the National People's Congress sent three groups to six provinces and autonomous regions and asked six provincial level governments to check the implementation situation regarding the country's agricultural law. The team held a plenary meeting here Wednesday to hear reports by the inspectors and sort out the main problems. Inadequate local investment at levels below legal requirements has proved to be the biggest problem, the team concluded. Problems also exist with reservoirs, infrastructure, science and technology promotion and rural public undertakings, it said. According to Oyunqemag, vice chairwoman of the NPC's Standing Committee, awareness of the importance of the law should be enhanced and more efforts should be devoted to establishing a stable agricultural investment mechanism, reforming the country's rural science and technology promotion system and pushing forward the construction of a rural social security system in tune with rural realities. ()

 

Taiwan

Chen appoints speaker as Taiwan's Apec envoy
2005-10-13 SCMP
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian yesterday appointed legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the opposition Kuomintang as his envoy to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Pusan, South Korea, next month. "I've already told Speaker Wang about this, and he gladly accepts" the appointment, Mr Chen told visiting South Korean presidential envoy Yun Hai-jung. Mr Wang later said Mr Chen had asked him to be his representative in August, and he would report the matter to his party. KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou said he felt slighted because he had only learned of the appointment yesterday despite being head of the party.

 

Economy

China, US fail to break impasse in textile talks
2005-10-14 China Daily
China and the United States yesterday failed to solve the long-simmering textile dispute, an impasse described by industry experts as a "loss-loss" result which could see more categories of Chinese textiles facing restrictions. The first sign of disagreement came when the two-day sixth round of talks in Beijing ended before noon previous rounds of talks continued till late into the night or were prolonged by a day. An official from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said the talks had failed, and that a statement which was not available till late last night was being drafted. US textile negotiator David Spooner said in a statement issued by the US Trade Representative's Office that the trading partners had failed to reach an agreement that meets the needs of US manufacturers and retailers. "Our overall goal ... is to reach a longer-term solution that will permit greater stability in textile and apparel trade," it said. "The US has been using its right under China's World Trade Organization accession agreement to invoke safeguards in cases of market disruption or the threat of market disruption, and we will continue to do so as appropriate." Neither the Chinese nor the US side gave any indication of whether they had made any progress or the reason for failing to reach an agreement. Nor did they say whether another round of talks was scheduled. The failure surprised both Chinese and US industries which had expected a deal yesterday since there were positive signs at the last round of talks at the end of September. "The United States is sticking to a low rate in export growth which China cannot accept," said an industry insider close to the talks. The agreement China inked with the European Union in June is the bottom line for the country, but the US stand is too rigid, he said. China and the EU reached an agreement limiting annual export growth in 10 types of textiles to 8-12.5 per cent till the end of 2007.

Russia sees China role in floating nuke plant
2005-10-13 Xinhuanet
Russia plans to start building floating nuclear power stations next year, possibly with participation by China if domestic financing for the project is insufficient, a senior Russian atomic energy official said. "We signed a contract with China on terms" for a potential loan to help finance the project if needed, Alexander Polushkin, head of development at Russia's Rosenergoatom nuclear agency, was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying. The agency has plans to invest 35 million dollars next year to start building the floating nuclear power stations, around 14 million dollars of which could consist of loans from a Chinese bank, he said. Rosenergoatom has lobbied for the project, which has been on the drawing board for years, to be financed in full by the Russian government budget. If that money is allocated in next year's Russian budget, "we will drop the Chinese loan and build the floating stations ourselves," he said. If Russia does not allocate enough money to finance the project however, Chinese shipyards could build the main power plant housing, which would then be transported to Russia to be outfitted with nuclear reactors, Polushkin said. Russia wants to build the floating, mobile nuclear power stations, an unprecedented engineering undertaking, to resolve difficulties in supplying power to hard-to-reach parts of Russia's northern and Far East regions. The project was originally planned to begin in 2003 but has been on hold due to lack of funding.

CPC sets blueprint for next five years
2005-10-12 People's Daily
A development roadmap for the next five years which aims to raise the living standards of the people was proposed yesterday by the Communist Party of China (CPC) after concluding a key four-day meeting. Per capita gross domestic product (GDP) will be doubled by 2010 from US$854 in 2000, said the communiqu released by the 16th CPC Central Committee after more than 340 members ended its fifth plenary session. All top CPC leaders, including Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo and Wen Jiabao, attended the session. The target must be achieved by "optimizing structure, improving efficiency and decreasing energy consumption," said the communiqu. The plenary session set development goals for the proposed 11th Five-Year Plan for National Economy and Social Development (2006-10). The efficiency of utilizing resources must be improved and the energy use per unit of GDP also known as ratio of total energy use to GDP must be reduced by 20 per cent from 2005, said the communiqu. "This shows that economic growth in the future must be high-quality, or sustainable, with less pressure on the environment," Cao Xin, professor of the Economics Department of the Central Party School, said in an interview with China Daily. A group of enterprises with strong international competitiveness will be established in the next five years. Urban employment opportunities will be increased, the social security system improved and the number of poverty-stricken people reduced, according to the document. The income and living standards of Chinese people will be raised, while the quality of housing, communication, education, culture, public health and the environment will be improved remarkably, the communiqu said. ()

Beijing snubs demand for faster yuan reform
2005-10-14 SCMP
Finance Minister Jin Renqing yesterday snubbed US demands for faster currency reform, saying the country would liberalise the exchange rate in its own time and in line with its own interests. Mr Jin was speaking ahead of a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 wealthy and developing nations to be attended by US Treasury Secretary John Snow, who has urged Beijing to move faster to let market forces determine the yuan's exchange rate. "Using revaluation of the renminbi to resolve global imbalances, particularly the imbalances of certain countries, is impossible and also unnecessary," Mr Jin said during a briefing on G20 issues. "On the currency issue, China will move forward in a step-by-step manner in line with its goal, but we will not take direction from other people." He said Beijing, which revalued the yuan by 2.1 per cent on July 21 and scrapped its long-standing US dollar peg, was reforming its exchange rate system according to its national interests. "The Chinese government has made it clear that it will pursue a market economy and will therefore definitely let the market play a bigger role in determining the exchange rate," Mr Jin said. But he added: "Any decision will not be based on trade deficits with certain countries, but will be based on China's overall trade balance with the rest of the world." Mr Jin said Beijing did not want a rapid increase in its foreign exchange reserves, which have been building up quickly thanks to the trade surplus, foreign investment and large inflows of speculative money betting the yuan will rise in value. ()

 

North Korea

Seoul blasts Beijing for returning North Koreans
2005-10-10 SCMP
South Korea has protested at the repatriation of North Korean asylum seekers by China to their communist homeland, where attempted escapees can face harsh punishment, a Foreign Ministry statement said. Formal complaints were lodged with both the Chinese embassy in Seoul and the Foreign Ministry in Beijing after seven North Koreans who sought asylum at an international school in the city of Yentai were repatriated.

 

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.
 
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