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
  17.10-21.10.05, No. 85  
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Foreign Policy

Bush to visit China in November
2005-10-18 China Daily
US President George W. Bush will visit China and Japan in November as part of a trip to a region of increasing economic significance and strategic concern to the United States. The White House said that before attending the November 18-19 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in South Korea, Bush would visit Kyoto, Japan, on November 15 and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on November 16. After the APEC meetings, Bush will go to Beijing on November 19, followed by Mongolia on November 21. Bush, who previously visited Beijing in 2001 and 2002, is going to China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who has worked with the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia to persuade North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons programs. The trip coincides with simmering US concern over the rise of China on the global diplomatic stage and China's growing economic and military clout. Senior U.S. officials have expressed deep concern about China's drive to lock up oil and raw material supplies from around the world, including from countries, like Iran, with which the United States is in conflict. Booming China is the third-largest importer of oil. ()

President Hu meets US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
2005-10-20 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with visiting US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Wednesday in Beijing, calling for the two sides to make a concerted effort to further promote the relations between the two nations and two armies. Hu, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that China-US relations have seen good growth on the whole, and that the leaders of the two nations maintain close connections and communication. Hu described bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, anti-terrorism, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and United Nations reform as "fruitful". "When we met in New York not long ago, President George W. Bush and I reached an important consensus on pushing forward comprehensive Sino-US relations in the 21st century, which is of great significance in futhering bilateral ties", Hu said. He pointed out that China and the United States are both very influential nations in the world with commensurate responsibilities that share common interests in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. ()

China, Australia to boost bilateral ties
2005-10-17 Xinhuanet
China pledges to work with Australia to further enhance bilateral ties and cooperation in all fields, said Chinese President Hu Jintao here Monday. During a meeting with Australian Governor-General Michael Jeffery, President Hu spoke highly of present Sino-Australian relations, saying that the two heads of state reached common ground on developing bilateral relations and political trust and economic cooperation have been promoted. Hu indicated that the bilateral trade volume exceeded 20 billion US dollars last year, free trade agreement negotiations were launched, and cooperation on energy resources, public health, and tourism have been fruitful. He expressed his appreciation to Australia for its adherence tothe one-China policy, and its opposition to Taiwan independence. Hu noted that both the important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia have a common interest in safeguarding regional peace and stability and promoting prosperity. () Besides Beijing and Xi'an, Australian Govennor-General Jeffery also travelled to Shanghai, which is the first stop of his current China tour.

Meeting boosts Sino-Russian ties
2005-10-21 China Daily
Senior Chinese and Russian officials met in Beijing yesterday for a second round of strategic security talks, moving to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries. State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov conducted the talks, and the two parties discussed bilateral ties and the interaction on the international scene. During the 3-hour meeting, Tang called on the two sides to enhance co-ordination on major strategic security issues and to support each other in the important areas of sovereignty and national security. Ivanov said Sino-Russian relations have reached their highest level in a changing international situation, saying the two countries have given high priority to each other's major interests and concerns. They have also attained effective co-operation in their struggle against new threats and challenges, a testament to a stronger strategic partnership. China and Russia decided to hold regular strategic security consultations in February when Tang visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin. The first round of the talks in Moscow between Tang and Ivanov began in the same month. This is the first time China has established a mechanism to consult with another country about national security strategies. Ivanov will meet with President Hu Jintao today, concluding his three-day China visit, and leave Beijing for India. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan also revealed that Premier Wen Jiabao will fly to Moscow on Wednesday to attend the Fourth Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization. The two also pledged to make efforts to guarantee the success of next year's top leader meeting and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization Summit Meeting.

Chinese, Equatorial Guinean presidents vow to enhance economic cooperation
2005-10-21 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea in Beijing Thursday. The two sides hailed bilateral relations and vowed to enhance economic cooperation. Sino-Equatorial Guinean relations have witnessed sound progress in the past 35 years since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1970, along with fruitful cooperation in culture, education and health-care sectors, Hu said. "We appreciate that the government of Equatorial Guinea adheres to the the one-China stance and supports China's peaceful reunification," said Hu. The Chinese president suggested the two countries maintain high-level exchanges of visits, strengthen cooperation between parties and the two parliaments, and promote trade and economic cooperation, especially in infrastructure development, oil and gas exploration, agriculture, forestry and fishery. Hu Jintao also opined that the two sides can further expand cooperation in culture, education, sanitation, human resources and on the UN reform, development issues and poverty relief. ()

China says Japanese PM's shrine visit causes grave consequence
2005-10-21 People's Daily
China on Thursday said that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should bear full responsibility for the fallout from his war shrine visit. "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has resulted in very grave consequences, for which he should bear full responsibility," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan. Koizumi made his fifth visit to the shrine Monday since he took office in 2001, angering China and the Republic of Korea. Chinese President Hu Jintao set forth proposals on developing Sino-Japanese relationship in Jakarta in April during his meeting with Koizumi, to which Koizumi expressed his agreement, said Kong. "However, facts prove that Koizumi went back on his words," Kong said. The Japanese must take actions to meet their promise to treat history properly, and never do anything more to hurt the feelings of the victimized countries," said Kong. "This is the premise and basis of improving and developing Sino-Japanese relations." Despite the strong opposition from China and other Asian countries, Prime Minister Koizumi broke his promise not to visit the shrine honoring 14 Class-A war criminals. "We express our strong indignation and opposition," Kong said. The indignation and opposition have been echoed by the international community, even in Japan, Kong said. "We noticed that many Japanese people also hold misgivings about Koizumi's shrine visit."

Chinese Vice FM meets Japanese chief delegate to six-party talks
2005-10-17 People's Daily
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in Beijing Sunday met with Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese chief negotiator to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue. According to sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the two sides exchanged views on the next round of six-party talks slated for earlier November. The six-party talks, which also involves the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States, has already held four rounds of talks in Beijing.

China firmly opposes all US-Taiwan military exchanges
2005-10-19 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing Tuesday that China is firmly opposed to all kinds of military exchanges between the United State and Taiwan. The Chinese government is also firmly opposed to any form of US-Taiwan military cooperation including US arms sales to Taiwan, Kong said. Replying to questions concerning the visit of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Kong said that the Taiwan issue is the core in the overall Sino-US relations. China has expressed on many occasions that proper handling of relations with Taiwan by the United States is the most important basis for the healthy, stable and sustained development of Sino-US relations, the spokesman said. The Chinese side values the commitment made by US President George W. Bush and other US leaders to sticking to the "one-China" policy, abiding by the three Sino-US joint communiques and opposing the independence of Taiwan.

Visiting Swiss congressman calls for closer Sino-Swiss ties
2005-10-16 People's Daily
Visiting senior Swiss congressman Pierre Kohler here Saturday called for China and Switzerland to strengthen exchanges in such fields as trade, travelling and press. Kohler, chairman of the Switzerland-China committee of the Swiss parliament, is on a ten-day visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. He told Xinhua that to strengthen economic and trade ties with China is the main purpose of his current China tour. Switzerland is one of the first Western countries that recognized the People's Republic of China. Kohler said since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1950, Switzerland-China relations have been progressing rapidly. The two sides have kept frequent parliamentary exchanges and expanded cooperation in trade, educational and cultural fields. An increasing number of Swiss companies are investing in China, he said, adding the bilateral trade contacts will help push forward overall bilateral relations. Kohler set up the Switzerland-China committee in the Swiss parliament last year, with the aim to better introduce China to the Swiss people and increase mutual understanding between the two countries. "Switzerland has very good environment for travelling and investment," Kohler said, expressing his hope more and more Chinese will travel or do business in his country.

Xinhua to further co-op with Swiss media
2005-10-15 Xinhuanet
Tian Congming, president of China's Xinhua News Agency, met here Saturday with Pierre Kohler, chairman of the Switzerland-China committee of the Swiss parliament. Tian expressed appreciation for Kohler's efforts in promoting bilateral friendly relations and the friendship between the two peoples. He said Xinhua has maintained sound cooperation with Swiss media, and he hopes Kohler's current visit will further facilitate bilateral cooperation in various fields. Kohler said he has learned a lot about China from Xinhua reports and information from the Internet. He hopes he would increase understanding about China through his ongoing China tour. He also hopes Xinhua and Swiss media could enhance cooperation and exchanges. ()

Senior CPC official meets with Swiss guest
2005-10-17 Xinhuanet
Liu Yunshan, head of the Department of Publicity of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met here Monday with Pierre Kohler, chairman ofthe Switzerland-China committee of the Swiss parliament. Liu said the China-Switzerland ties have grown rapidly in recent years, noting the two countries have kept fruitful exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as economy, trade, culture and journalism. China attaches importance to developing its relations with Switzerland and is expecting to see further improvement of bilateral cooperation, Liu said. Liu expressed the hope that Kohler would continue to play an active role in promoting bilateral ties.

 

Domestic Policy

China steps up efforts in bird flu fight
2005-10-21 People's Daily
As fears of a global pandemic rise, China is stepping up efforts to increase surveillance and improve responses to animal and human infections of bird flu. It is also pondering measures such as stockpiling emergency materials, including anti-flu drug Tamiflu, in case the bird-flu virus mutates into a strain which is transmitted from human to human. The latest alarm was in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, where about 2,600 birds died following a recent outbreak caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. At a State Council meeting, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu called for intensified efforts to prevent, monitor and control the spread of bird flu. He ordered government departments to focus on prevention and improve the emergency mechanism to face up to a possible outbreak. "It's peak time for the bird flu outbreak. The situation is stark," he admitted. He underscored the need for effective medical treatment plans if human cases of infection are spotted Also Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a regular press briefing that China is concerned about the epidemic and has set up a nationwide monitoring network and pre-schemes for emergency. He said China has strengthened the quarantine of imports and exports to prevent the epidemic from spreading. After the case near Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, was detected, China has culled more than 91,000 birds within a 3-kilometre radius of the farm, and imposed a 21-day quarantine on poultry in the areas, said Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, Communications Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO) Beijing Office. () Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals Ltd - maker of Tamiflu - said Thursday that it already collaborates, and is seeking further tie-ups, with companies worldwide to speed up production of Tamiflu. But Xu Chao, a Roche media officer in Shanghai, said: "It is highly unlikely that we can fulfil large Tamiflu orders at short notice." China, which does not currently produce any Tamiflu, needs to import the drug, she said. While current flu vaccines offer no protection against bird flu, lab and animal experiments have shown that Tamiflu appears effective. But the Swiss drug-maker has repeatedly said it would not give up its exclusive patent on the drug to ease the worldwide shortage. ()

Chinese people proud of successful re-entry of Shenzhou-6
2005-10-18 People's Daily
Successful re-entry of the Shenzhou-6 spacecraft Monday morning further boosted Chinese people's pride in the country's scientific innovation and space science.. The re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-6 spacecraft, carrying taikonauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, landed safely on Earth at 4:33 a.m. on October 17, marking the success of China's second manned space mission. They landed in the grasslands of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Shenzhou-6 spaceflight ran for 115 hours and 32 minutes, more than five times that of the Shenzhou-5 mission two years ago, which put the first Chinese taikonaut in space. More than 2,000 residents of Longquan Community in east China's Metropolis Shanghai gathered in the early morning Monday, "We are so happy that they landed safely," residents shouted. () More than 2,000 people assembled at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing to watch the routine national flag-raising in the Monday morning. Qin Xiaohui, on the tour in Beijing with her husband, said she was very proud to attend the ceremony on this special occasion. "May China achieve better results in manned spaceflight and other scientific fields," she said.

China issues 1st white paper on democracy
2005-10-19 China Daily
The Information Office of China's State Council issued Wednesday a white paper on China's political democracy (full text) , vowing to actively push forward the reforms of its political system although, it said, tremendous achievements had been scored in this regard. The white paper, issued by the Information Office of China's State Council, or the cabinet, is the first of its kind in China, giving a detailed account of the inception, development and contents of the socialist political democracy and the principles the country will abide by. The document, titled Building of Political Democracy in China, also points out the problems the country has to overcome and major steps to be taken in the reforms of its political system. The socialist political democracy "is the apt choice suited to China's conditions and meeting the requirement of social progress," said the white paper. Such democracy has enabled the Chinese people, who account for one fifth of the world's population, "to become masters of their own country and society, and enjoy extensive democratic rights," the white paper says. In building socialist political democracy, China has always adhered to the basic principle that the Marxist theory of democracy be combined with the reality of China, it says. In the process, China has also borrowed from the useful achievements of the political civilization of mankind, including Western democracy, and assimilated the democratic elements of from China's traditional culture and institutional civilization. () The white paper says the CPC's leading status was established gradually in the protracted struggle and practice of the Chinese people in pursuing national independence, prosperity and a happy life. () The white paper consists of 12 parts, including the people's congress system, the system of ethnic regional autonomy, grassroots democracy in urban and rural areas, and respecting and safeguarding human rights.

19 foreigners held in Xinjiang
2005-10-19 SCMP
Nineteen foreigners have been arrested on terrorism charges in Xinjiang, authorities said yesterday. Beijing has waged a relentless campaign against militants from Xinjiang's Uygur minority who have struggled for decades to make the region an independent state called East Turkestan. "This year we have arrested 19 people from abroad who were sent to Xinjiang for violent sabotage," regional Communist Party secretary Wang Lequan said. "When they entered the territory of Xinjiang, we immediately caught them." In August authorities charged Uygur dissident Rebiya Kadeer, now living in exile in the United States, with conspiring to sabotage celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on October 1. She was also charged with evading taxes, committing fraud and running up heavy debts. Mr Wang said the government had told Ms Kadeer's children they could not leave the country until the family's debts were paid. "We asked them not to leave the country before the present issue is resolved because if they settle outside China, who will return their evaded taxes?" he said. China freed Ms Kadeer, a businesswoman, in March after almost six years in jail for disseminating state secrets abroad, just ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Mr Wang also confirmed that Mutalifu Yusufu, former mayor of the Xinjiang city of Korla , killed himself late last month while under investigation for corruption. Yusufu, his wife and other relatives, skimmed millions of yuan in a chemical fertiliser scam, Mr Wang said, noting a "complete conclusion" on the case had yet to be made. "There is one thing for sure - he was involved in his wife's corruption and then committed suicide," he said.

 

Taiwan

Pet birds smuggled to Taiwan have H5N1
2005-10-21 SCMP
Bird flu sent fresh jitters across East Asia yesterday, with Taiwan reporting the island's first confirmed case of the H5N1 strain in birds and Thailand announcing another fatality. Speaking in Taipei, Shih Wen-yi, a deputy director of Taiwan's Centre for Disease Control, said the island was on high alert after samples collected from a batch of songbirds smuggled from the mainland for sale to bird fanciers tested positive for H5N1. "From the samples of 46 birds we examined, eight tested positive for H5N1," Mr Shih said. He said police had detained a mainland crewman for his alleged role in smuggling the birds. So far, the condition of the crewman and some 40 health and customs officials involved in the crackdown and inspection had been listed as stable, he said. Officials appealed for calm, saying the detection of the deadly virus did not automatically make Taiwan a bird-flu-infection area. "Taiwan is still H5N1-free," Mr Shih said, but he warned people against smuggling livestock or wildlife to Taiwan. The smuggling was uncovered on Saturday by Taiwanese coastguard officers based in the central county of Taichung. The officers inspected a Panamanian bulk carrier and found 1,037 birds of 19 species, including hill mynahs, black-naped orioles and Pekin robins. Some 276 birds, suspected of having the deadly virus, had already died during the journey, they said. The mainland crewman, a second mate, was detained because all the smuggled birds were found in his cabin. ()

Agreement reached on opening direct flights across Taiwan Straits
2005-10-21 Xinhuanet
Chinese mainland officials and a visiting Kuomintang Party (KMT) delegation from Taiwan reached an agreement on opening direct flights across the Taiwan Straits yesterday in Beijing. The two sides held that opening cross-Straits direct flights as soon as possible is the expectation of compatriots from both sides. Flexible, pragmatic and effective methods should be adopted to this end. The understanding was reached while Li Bingcai and Zheng Lizhong, deputy directors of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the State Tourism Administration held a working conference with the KMT delegation. () Estimates say opening Taiwan to mainland tourists will generate at least NT$50 billion (US$1.5 billion) in tourist revenues and business opportunities worth more than NT$100 billion (US$3 billion) at home, which, Tseng said, will help revive the dwindling local economy. ()

 

Economy

China's GDP grows 9.4% in first three quarters
2005-10-20 China Daily
The Chinese economy grew a robust 9.4 percent in the first nine months, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics announced in Beijing Thursday. Preliminary estimates show that China's gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 10.63 trillion yuan (US$1.3 trillion), a year-on-year rise of 9.4 percent, or 0.1 percentage point decline from the growth of a year earlier, said Zheng Jingping, the spokesman. Of this total, the primary industry registered a value-added of 1.35 trillion yuan (US166.5 billion), up 5 percent. The value-added of secondary industry totaled 6.04 trillion yuan (US744.8 billion), up 11.1 percent, and that of the tertiary industry rose 8.1 percent to 3.23 trillion yuan (US398.3 billion). The economy showed a steady growth momentum with GDP growth rates standing at 9.4 percent, 9.5 percent and 9.4 percent for the first, second and third quarter, respectively, Zheng said. ()

Oil price impact on China's economy 'limited'
2005-10-20 China Daily
Surging oil price will only have limited impact on China's economy, Zheng Jingping, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said in Beijing Thursday. The oil price increase surely will have impact on China's economy as 40 percent of oil consumed in the country is imported," said Zheng at a press conference, "especially on some sectors, like agricultural means of production, oil refinery and public transport. But the impact is limited." According to International Monetary Fund, the world oil price will rise by 40 percent over last year's level. The high price has caused impact on world economy. Zheng said that China's total oil consumption is not high, accounting for eight percent of world total. Besides, China has a lot of supplanting energy sources, like coal and natural gas. China's utilization and development of natural gas has great potential, said Zheng, adding that currently, China's natural gas/crude oil consumption proportion stands at 0.24:1, compared with 1:1 in some foreign countries. Coal consumption accounts for 75 percent of total energy consumption in China. The technology of coal converting to oil has been put into manufacturing process, said Zheng. Zheng noted that though the impact is limited, China should be cautious and take measures to minimize the impact. Zheng criticized the speculation on world oil market, saying that current high oil price is abnormal. "The current oil price couldn't represents the relations between supply and demand," said Zheng." speculation has played a more important role in the increase of oil prices." ()

China's car sales grow 33% in September
2005-10-21 China Daily
China's passenger vehicle sales jumped 33 percent in September over a year earlier, as price cuts helped spur demand, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported. But the 354,000 units of passenger vehicles sold lagged behind production, which totalled 358,200 units, according to data seen Thursday on the industry group's Web site. After lagging earlier in the year, sales have rebounded in most vehicle categories, with purchases of passenger cars up 36 percent against September 2004 at 254,500 units, it said. Sales of multipurpose vehicles, such as minivans, jumped 89 percent to 13,800 units and sales of sport utility vehicles rose 56 percent to 20,700, it said. Detailed sales figures for other types were not given. Passenger vehicle sales rose 16.8 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same period a year earlier, to 2.8 million units, the report said. Buyers are tending to opt for smaller cars due to higher gasoline prices. Nissan Motor Co.'s Tiida, a new subcompact which sells as the Versa in other markets, was the best-selling model in September, at 13,700 units, just ahead of South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co.'s Elantra 1.6, which sold 13,300 units, the figures showed. Chery Automobile Co. sold 11,100 of its QQ minicar, with Shanghai Volkswagen selling 10,700 Santana sedans and General Motor Corp. selling 10,400 Excelles, the report said. In the year to date, the Xiali, a compact made by Tianjin FAW Xiali, was the best seller, with sales totaling 133,800. The Elantra was a close second at 131,200 followed by the Excelle, with sales totaling 105,000, and Santana - once the market leader - at 100,300, it said. Automakers are operating under heavy pressure to cut costs and offer discounts amid increasingly intense competition, cutbacks in government spending and tightening restrictions on bank loans for auto purchases. VW has seen its market share drop to 18 percent from over 50 percent in the 1990s. Hoping to regain lost ground, earlier this week the company announced plans to introduce up to 12 new models in China by 2009 while cutting costs and improving service.

 

North Korea

Hu to visit Pyongyang to discuss nuclear issues
2005-10-19 SCMP
President Hu Jintao is likely to visit North Korea next week and meet leader Kim Jong-il to discuss the North's nuclear weapons programme, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday. The visit, expected to take place on Monday, is part of diplomatic manoeuvring before a November round of six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programme. Mr Hu and Mr Kim would also discuss bilateral economic co-operation, Kyodo said. Reuters

Tobacco giant running factory in Pyongyang
2005-10-18 SCMP
British American Tobacco, the world's second-largest cigarette company, has secretly been operating a factory in North Korea for the past four years, a British newspaper reported yesterday. "It's a very small entity within the BAT group and, therefore, does little to justify a mention" in the company's annual accounts, a BAT spokeswoman told The Guardian, while denying that this was a "secret" factory. "If we were asked about our investment there, we respond appropriately. The investor community knows of it." BAT launched its business in North Korea in September 2001 after forming a joint venture company with a state-owned enterprise called the Korea Sogyong Trading Corporation, whose main interest had previously been exporting carpets, the paper reported. BAT made an initial investment of US$7.1 million in the enterprise and owns 60 per cent of the company they formed, which is known as Taesong-BAT, the report continued. The company employs 200 people at its factory in Pyongyang, the capital, producing up to 2 billion cigarettes a year.

 

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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