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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
  14.11-18.11.05, No. 89  
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Foreign Policy

Hu Jintao expounds China's stance on win-win cooperation
2005-11-18 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday expounded China's stance on win-win cooperation by urging the APEC member economies to increase mutual understanding through communications and to strengthen cooperation while seeking greater mutual understanding. Delivering a speech entitled "An Open Mind for Win-Win Cooperation" at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan, the Chinese president said that building a harmonious world with an open mind is a basic prerequisite to win-win cooperation. Hu arrived on Thursday in Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, to attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting scheduled on Friday and Saturday with the main theme of this year--"Toward One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change." Meanwhile, the three-day APEC CEO summit was kicked off here on Thursday morning. The summit is an annual event that gives business leaders from the Asia-Pacific region to participate in highly interactive discussions on regional and global economic and trade issues with APEC Economic Leaders, economists, policy makers and fellow business leaders. The theme of this year's APEC CEO Summit is: "Entrepreneurship and Prosperity: Building a Successful Partnership in the Asia-Pacific Region." Hu also termed "deepening mutual trust and expanding trade and economic exchanges" as a solid foundation for win-win cooperation. China encourages well-established Chinese businesses to go global and, within the framework of market rules and laws and in the principle of reciprocity, mutual benefit and complementarity, participate in international economic and technological cooperation and competition, Hu added. "Setting store by dialogue and consultation, and seeking a proper settlement of disputes is also an important avenue to win-win cooperation," the Chinese president said. He also described strengthening solidarity and coordination, and maintaining security and stability as an effective guarantee for win-win cooperation. Non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism, financial risks and natural disasters, are posing a threat to the very existence and development of mankind, Hu said. The Chinese president pledged to strengthen energy dialogue and cooperation with all countries, to jointly maintain world energy security and stability. ()

No Sino-Japanese contact during APEC meeting: FM
2005-11-15 China Daily
Leaders of China and Japan will not have any contact during the imminent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this week, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular news conference that there was no plan for such a bilateral meeting. "We believe the conditions for such a meeting are not in place now," he said. () In Seoul, Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing and his South Korean counterpart Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to realize how visits to the Yasukuni Shrine a symbol of the country's past militarism rekindle painful memories. "Japan's leaders should stop doing things that hurt the feelings of the people of China and numerous Asian countries," Li Zhaoxing told reporters after meeting his ROK counterpart Ban Ki-moon at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Busan. "Go ask Europeans how they would feel if a German leader paid homage to the Nazis," said Li, who has declined to have bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart at the event. A senior ROK Foreign Ministry official told reporters Ban agreed with Li that the shrine visits should stop. Ban told Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso in a meeting on Monday that Japanese politicians should halt their visits to Yasukuni. Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi said Koizumi's repeated visits to the shrine are a "knotty issue" in Sino-Japanese relations. "Only if Japan unties this knot can it expect Sino-Japanese relations to improve, and exchanges of official visits by state leaders be possible," he wrote in a signed article published on Monday in Japan Business News.

President wraps up fruitful Europe trip
2005-11-16 China Daily/Xinhuanet
President Hu Jintao yesterday wrapped up a week-long visit to Europe which took him to Britain, Germany and Spain. He was due to leave for Seoul late yesterday to start a state visit to the Republic of Korea and then attend the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) in Busan on November 18-19. His European trip was dominated by trade and economic issues, but the Chinese leader also achieved new progress in strengthening ties with the major European Union members. On Monday, Spain became the fourth nation in the EU to establish a strategic partnership with China, which already has similar partnerships with Britain, Germany and France. () The Chinese Government will facilitate broader and closer co-operation between enterprises of the two countries and support their joint exploration of markets in third countries, he told the event attended by more than 1,000 Chinese and Spanish business leaders. Carlos spoke highly of the Spanish-Chinese friendship, saying that increased co-operation is conducive to economic and social development in both nations. He saluted China's "spectacular economic dynamism" which had led Madrid to seek a "new qualitative dimension" with Beijing. That dynamism, underpinned by spectacular growth, has seen Europe's biggest states signing a slew of trade accords during Hu's tour. On Monday, China and Spain inked a series of agreements worth a total of US$1.1 billion, adding to US$3 billion worth of deals signed in Britain and Germany. China and Spain agreed on Tuesday to cement cooperation in economic and cultural fields as part of their efforts to push Sino-Spanish relations forward greatly. The two countries will fully exploit the functions of the Sino-Spanish Mixed Committee of Commerce and Trade and try to enlarge two-way investment, said a joint communique released during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Spain. ()

China: Bush visit helpful to relations
2005-11-18 China Daily
China expressed hope that US President George W. Bush's three-day visit to Beijing which starts tomorrow will enhance mutual trust, expand exchanges and co-operation between the two countries. Bush made a speech in Kyoto, Japan on Wednesday, touching upon Sino-US relations, human rights and religion. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao also reiterated in a regular news briefing yesterday that the nation is seeking a peaceful path to achieve development. Noting that China has made remarkable progress in the field of human rights, Liu said: "Chinese people, in accordance with laws, enjoy all forms of democracy and freedom, including freedom of religious belief." He said that all countries should hold dialogues on human rights on the principle of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs. When asked to comment on Bush's remarks about Taiwan, Liu said Taiwan is not a country but an inalienable part of China and thus cannot be treated as a sovereign nation. "Taiwan has its own circumstances and the Chinese mainland has its own circumstances. We hope that in this area, the United States will have the right understanding," he said. Bush will arrive in the Chinese capital late tomorrow and is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders on Sunday. He will stay until Monday, when he is scheduled to depart for Mongolia, the last destination of his three-nation Asian tour. "We expect that Bush's visit will increase consensus, step up mutual trust, expand exchange and co-operation, and promote Sino-US constructive and co-operative relations in the 21st century in a comprehensive way," Liu said. ()

 

Domestic Policy

Human bird flu cases confirmed
2005-11-16 Xinhuanet
China's Ministry of Health on Wednesday confirmed two human cases and one suspected case of H5N1 bird flu. The two confirmed cases involve a nine-year-old boy in Xiangtan County of Hunan Province, central China, and a 24-year-old woman farmer in Zongyang County of Anhui Province in the east. Earlier Wednesday, the ministry said three human cases had been confirmed. The boy surnamed He had fever and showed pneumonia-like symptoms on Oct. 10. There was an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu occurred in his village. Lab tests on the boy's blood serum samples show his H5 antibodies rose by more than four times, which indicates that he was infected by the H5N1 bird flu virus. Based on clinical and lab tests, experts from the ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the boy as a human case of H5N1 bird flu. He was discharged from hospital on Nov. 12 after recovery. The woman farmer in Anhui developed fever and pneumonia-like symptoms on Nov. 1 and died of prostration of breathing on Nov. 10. Chickens and ducks at her home died one to two weeks before she fell ill and she had contacts with sick and dead chickens and ducks, the ministry said. Meanwhile, the boy's 12-year-old sister, who had similar symptoms as her brother and died on Oct. 17, was reported as a suspected human case according to WHO standards, said the ministry. The experts from the ministry suspected the girl of being a human case of H5N1 bird flu, but cannot confirm it by WHO standards due to insufficient evidence from laboratory tests, according to the ministry. Roy Wadia, WHO spokesman in Beijing, said that by WHO strict definition, the girl in Hunan is could not be confirmed as a human case as the samples collected from her were too limited. "It is not surprising to see human case of bird flu reported in China," he said. However, "while any 'first' is, of course, symbolic, in purely medical and scientific terms this particular instance is more of a reiteration and continuation of the existing bird flu scenario in this part of the world than something that is completely 'new'", he said. It also indicates the ongoing challenge countries face in raising public awareness -- especially at the rural, backyard farmers' level -- of the dangers posed by avian flu, Wadia said. As for the third pneumonia case in Hunan reported previously, a school teacher, Wadia said, WHO experts have not ruled him out of bird flu infection. "More tests need to be done." Apart from the WHO, the ministry has also reported the two confirmed human cases and one suspected case to related authorities in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as some countries.

Two new outbreaks
2005-11-18 China Daily
Two new bird-flu outbreaks were reported yesterday in Central and Northwest China, prompting the culling of 90,000 fowls. The deadly H5N1 strain of the virus is believed to have killed 662 birds in poultry farms at Xiaonan District, Xiaogan City of Hubei Province on November 5, and 32 chickens in Hotan of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on November 10, the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement last night. In the Xinjiang case the region's third outbreak following two in two other counties reported on Tuesday quarantine workers detected sick chickens at a local market and traced the source, only to find dozens of poultry had already been infected, according to the ministry. Both Xinjiang and Hubei have started work on contingency measures, including culling 86,215 and 2,722 birds, respectively, in regions within a 3-kilometre radius of the outbreak sites. In a related development, the country's quarantine authorities issued an urgent circular ordering inspectors at ports of entry and exit to step up efforts to prevent human infection of bird flu. The circular said temperature- screening machines must be used at border crossings and passengers must fill out health-declaration cards.

China to vaccinate entire poultry stock
2005-11-16 Xinhuanet
Two of the countries hardest hit by bird flu announced extreme measures to fight the disease Tuesday, with China promising to vaccinate its entire poultry stock of 14 billion birds and Vietnam launching a campaign to purge its two largest cities of poultry. Jia Youling, chief veterinary officer in China's Agriculture Ministry, said China is in the process of vaccinating all poultry in the country. He said the government will pay all fees involved, but he did not provide any details of how officials would carry out the vaccinations. It was unclear if the birds were being vaccinated against the virulent H5N1 bird flu strain that has ravaged poultry stocks across Asia and killed at least 64 people since 2003. China has more than 14 billion farm poultry, accounting for nearly 21 percent of the world's total. Millions of birds have already been vaccinated in the country because of previous outbreaks. The announcement came as China confirmed two new outbreaks of the bird flu. More than 6,500 chickens were found infected in Urumqi and Zepu counties in the northwest Xinjiang region on Nov. 9, and more than 2,700 died, said Roy Wadia, a World Health Organization spokesman in Beijing, citing the Agriculture Ministry. While China has not reported a human case of the disease, experts warn that it is inevitable if the government cannot stop repeated outbreaks in poultry. Eleven poultry outbreaks have been reported in the country in the past month. China "still faces some problems in bird flu prevention and control system, especially at the grassroots level," Jia said, according to the Xinhua News Agency. "China has a lot of backyard-bred poultry. Some farmers pay no attention to the disease." ()

SMS crime comes under the scanner
2005-11-18 China Daily
About 46,000 cases of illegal mobile-phone messages have been handled since early this month, when a nationwide crackdown was launched on this rapidly-growing phenomenon. More than 5,000 illegal phone numbers were cancelled and 50 bank accounts frozen in two weeks, Wu Heping, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), told a press conference yesterday. The campaign is jointly conducted by the MPS, the Ministry of Information Industry, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Messages that dupe people into turning over personal or financial information, or involve prostitution, gambling, underground lotteries or offer criminal services are illegal. "Illegal messages have greatly affected people's lives," Wu said, disclosing that 43 per cent of the cases involve financial fraud. "It's a people's war, because all the cases were reported by the public." Ministry figures show that the number of mobile phone users in China would surpass 400 million by the year's end, and that about 500 million messages are sent every day. The campaign is an extension of a crackdown started last year by the MPS on pornographic and subversive content and spam sent by mobile phones or through the Internet. Text messaging (SMS) is extremely popular among Chinese mobile phone users, and generates huge profits for phone companies. Wu also said the number of serious criminal cases, such as murder, explosions, arson and rape, is decreasing nationwide. But cases involving adolescents and migrant workers are on the rise. The spokesman also briefed the press on security arrangements for US President George W. Bush's visit to China which begins tomorrow. "We've taken all-round measures to make sure that every corner that Bush goes is safe," he said. The United States, in a notice posted on Sunday on its Beijing Embassy's website, said it had received "credible information that a terrorist threat may exist against official US Government facilities in Guangzhou," capital of South China's Guangdong Province. "We are aware of the notice from the US side," Wu said, but he declined to elaborate. "China is a safe place to live and travel," he said. Hotels in Beijing have tightened security measures ahead of Bush's visit. Security directors of hotels graded above three stars gathered at Beijing Friendship Hotel on Wednesday to be briefed on how to handle terrorism or violent incidents. A recent notice issued by the Bureau of Public Security urged all big hotels to improve their monitoring and control systems.

Beijing 'ignored' by local cadres
2005-11-18 SCMP
Steps must be taken to strengthen central government power because Beijing's policies and decrees are increasingly being ignored by local authorities, a state-run newspaper warned yesterday. In a signed article headlined "Why the central government's decrees cannot reach outside Zhongnanhai", the China Youth Daily said action had to be taken to promote the central government's legal authority and to stop widespread disregard for its policies. Zhongnanhai is the official residence of the ruling Central Committee of the Communist Party and State Council, or the cabinet. The China Youth Daily is run by the Communist Youth League, a power base of President Hu Jintao. In theory, the mainland is one of few highly centralised places in the world. But in practice, regionalism has run wild following two decades of market-oriented reform, analysts say. The article quoted Zhang Bao-qing , a recently retired vice-education minister, as saying that "policies made by Zhongnanhai sometimes cannot reach outside Zhongnanhai", with one example being the refusal of many regional governments to implement a recent central government order to provide financial aid to poor students. The newspaper said another example was local-level distortion or dismissal of the central government's macroeconomic policies. But it said the most obvious example was the widespread failure of local governments to follow central government orders to improve safety in coal mines and to close unsafe operations. Analysts have suggested that economic growth and its accompanying disparities among mainland regions - along with diversification of political, cultural, and social life - have driven the country's political decentralisation. ()

 

Tibet

People may act if no autonomy, Dalai Lama warns
2005-11-15 SCMP
Tibet should remain within China for the sake of its economic development, the region's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said. But the 70-year-old leader said the Tibetan people themselves would have to determine their future if China continued to deny them "meaningful" autonomy. "If the Chinese government provides us meaningful autonomy, self law, then it is in our own interest to remain within the People's Republic of China," the Dalai Lama said in Washington. "As far as economic development is concerned, we'll get immense benefit [by remaining part of China]. Tibet is economically backward although spiritually advanced. But spiritual [strength] alone cannot fill our stomachs. So we need economic development. "If this approach should fail, then of course it is up to the Tibetan people - I'm going to ask the Tibetan people what to do." The Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing Chinese troops in 1959, said that "ultimately the Tibetan people - not me - would decide". A random survey in Tibet several years ago showed the people wanted to remain within China but with genuine autonomy, he said. His speech in Washington on Sunday was delivered to an audience of 16,000, including hundreds of Himalayan, Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhists.

 

Taiwan

Don't hinder official's trip, Taipei told
2005-11-17 Xinuanet
Beijing yesterday urged Taipei to be pragmatic about a planned visit to the island by the mainland's top official in charge of cross-Straits affairs. Chen Yunlin, minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, is scheduled to visit Taiwan in mid-December for a high-level forum between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the island's opposition Kuomintang (KMT). The KMT has filed an application for the visit with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the island's decision-making body on mainland policy. If approved, Chen would be the highest-level mainland official to visit the island since 1949. "We hope the Taiwan authorities deal with the visit in a pragmatic way and facilitate it," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office. He told a regular press conference that the Forum on Cross-Straits Economy and Culture will discuss agricultural and financial co-operation and the establishment of the three direct links in business, transport and postal services. The event, made possible following a historic trip to the mainland by then KMT Chairman Lien Chan in April, aims to push for peace and stability in bilateral relations, Li said. He emphasized that Chen's visit, in his capacity as director of the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee, is for party-to-party exchanges. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has tried to politicize the issue. Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian said on November 5 that Chen Yunlin will never be allowed to visit the island because "Taiwan is not part of China." Later, the DPP administration warned that Taipei will not permit the trip unless either Chen Yunlin agrees to talk to MAC Chairman Joseph Wu during his trip or Wu is allowed to visit the mainland. However, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) on Monday sent a letter to its mainland counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), asking for talks on Chen Yunlin's trip. The SEF and ARATS are semi-official negotiating bodies for the two sides in the absence of official links. You Ying-lung, vice-chairman of the SEF, said due to Chen Yunlin's status, the two sides must first start consultations on security and other arrangements before the island would allow him in. Li, however, said Taipei has been "self-contradictory and inconsistent" on the issue, and is attempting to politicize the visit. "We hope the Taiwan side will not hinder the visit (of Chen Yunlin)," he said. The spokesman went on to hint that Beijing would not enter talks with Taipei due to "the reason known to all." He was referring to the pro-independence DPP administration's refusal to accept the one-China principle that both the mainland and Taiwan are part of China. Li also called for early non-government negotiations between mainland and Taiwanese airline associations on chartered flights for the upcoming Spring Festival holidays. ()

Vatican envoy to meet Chen on future of ties
2005-11-17 SCMP
A top Vatican official will meet Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian and senior Taipei officials next week, in what is seen as preparation for switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing. Analysts believe the week-long trip by veteran Vatican diplomat Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran could be part of final negotiations between the two sides before the Holy See severs ties with Taipei to rebuild relations with Beijing. Cardinal Tauran, head of the Vatican Library, is a former foreign minister and well experienced in China affairs. Speculation has been rife that ties between the Vatican and Beijing could be renewed in the next few months after positive remarks by several top church officials recently. The South China Morning Post has learnt Cardinal Tauran will meet Mr Chen on Monday, when the president will confer on the cleric a medal in recognition of his promotion of Taiwan-Vatican relations. David Wang Chien-yeh, deputy spokesman for Taiwan's foreign ministry, confirmed the meeting and acknowledged that Sino-Vatican relations are expected to be discussed. A meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Ouyang Jui-hsiung will also be arranged. The high-level talks will give the two sides an opportunity to discuss the future of Taiwan-Vatican relations after a switch of recognition - as well as give Taiwan a chance to lobby against any change. On Tuesday, Cardinal Tauran will meet Joseph Wu Jau-shieh, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, the island's top mainland policy planning body. He will also visit universities to speak on papal diplomacy and the Holy See's international role. The Vatican is among a handful of diplomatic entities that recognise Taiwan. But in the period before the death of John Paul II in April, subtle talks with Beijing had begun to give hopes of an improvement in Sino-Vatican relations. Experts believe next week's meetings are significant because they come at a sensitive time in Sino-Vatican negotiations. ()

 

Economy

China uncovers 2,611 piracy cases in audio-visual market in past year
2005-11-16 People's Daily
Over the past year, Chinese police forces have uncovered 2,611 piracy cases worth 2.06 billion yuan (about 250 million US dollars) in the audio-visual market and recovered financial losses of 990 million yuan (about 123 million US dollars). A total of 5,001 suspects were arrested for involvement in these piracy cases, said a spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security Tuesday. Since November 2004, public security departments at all levels have launched a "hawk" action against audio-visual piracy across the country. Currently, the ministry is working on 130 major cases including counterfeit products in different industries. During the campaign, police have captured 12 production lines making video discs, adding the total sum of the captured production lines to 200. Some of these cases have been passed down to procuratorates for public prosecution, the spokesman said.

 

Mongolia

UN resolution recognizes 800th anniversary of statehood
2005-11-17 UB Post
On November 14, the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a non-vote resolution recognizing the 800th Anniversary of Mongolian Statehood, to be celebrated in 2006. The resolution welcomed the efforts of Mongolia and other member countries to preserve nomadic culture and traditions in modern societies. It also invited members, the UN bodies and other intergovernmental and n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organizations to actively participate in Mongolia's anniversary celebration events. O.Enkhtsetseg, a representative from Mongolia, believes this international attention and next year's festivities provide an opportunity to trigger renewed interest in nomadic civilizations and to preserve and develop their traditions. A host of activities, both within the country and internationally, are scheduled to celebrate Mongolian heritage. Enkhtsetseg addressed the meeting with the message that today's world is increasingly interdependent and rapidly changing. "Peoples, religions, cultures and civilizations are engaged in an unprecedented level of interaction and interchange of values," Enkhtsetseg said. "That openness and perceived defencelessness in the face of change created a natural reaction of rejection, distrust or even fear, which led to attempts to define and protect one's identity through exclusion and separation. Yet the course of human history showed that interaction and preservation of one's identity were not mutually exclusive. "Diversity was not a threat, but a strength, and the breakthrough in information technology provided a unique opportunity to promote it on a global scale," she added. She said that civilizations did not have clear-cut boundaries, but flowed smoothly into one another and were greatly diversified.

Official foreign trips
2005-11-16 Mongol Messenger
Early next year, President N. Enkhbayar will visit Russia for high level discussions on matters such as easing and expanding trade; joint ventures such as Erdenet, Mongolrostsvetmet and the railway; improving mutual travel; and the Russian supply of electricity and fuel. On November 27 the president will visit China to discuss, inter alia, joint border surveys and re-definition, and to sign agreements on developing scientific, technical and cultural cooperation. Because of the rapid growth in the Chinese economy and the increasing demand for raw materials, there is a need for more cooperation in the mining sector. Both sides say that they are aware of the need to avoid as far as any possible negative environmental effect. Prime Minister Ts. Elbegdorj will visit Japan in February, invited by Prime Minister Koizumi. Japan is responsible for over half of Mongolia's aid, loans and assistance, and the prime ministers will discuss increased investment and expansion of business sector cooperation.

 

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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