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
  27.3-31.3.06, No. 108  
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Foreign Policy

Nuke energy pacts to be signed with Australia
2006-03-28 China Daily
China is expected to sign agreements on nuclear energy and uranium exploration with Australia during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the country starting this weekend, a senior Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. China and Australia are focused on peaceful nuclear goals, said Liu Jieyi, director general of the ministry's North American and Oceanian Affairs, at a news briefing in Beijing. The two countries have been working on two agreements one a general agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy and the other a more specific deal on uranium mining exploitation, Liu said. "The texts of the agreements have been finalized after bilateral consultations," he said. "The deals are likely to be signed during Premier Wen's visit to Australia from April 1-4." Australia has more than 40 per cent of the world's known uranium reserves, and has three working uranium mines. Wen will start an official visit to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Cambodia from April 1 with Canberra his first stop. He will hold talks with his Australian counterpart John Howard and a series of pacts on science, culture and energy are expected to be signed. "The nuclear energy co-operation between China and Australia is for peaceful purposes and will follow International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards," Liu said. "The partnership is based on equality and mutual benefit; and will help the nation build an environment-friendly society." Referring to concerns in some countries about a perceived energy shortage in China, Liu said more than 90 per cent of the nation's energy demand has been met by domestic supplies since the 1990s. "China is trying to explore domestic resources while pursuing an energy-savvy and efficient approach to ensure supplies," Liu said. () "The official visit to Australia and New Zealand will also help promote negotiations on the establishment of free trade areas (FTAs) between China and the two countries," Liu said.

China vows to strengthen bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia
2006-03-29 Xinhuanet
China is ready to strengthen exchanges with Saudi Arabia at all levels and raise bilateral relationship to a higher level, said Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing here on Wednesday. Li made the remarks when meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, secretary-general of Saudi National Security Council. Li said that the friendly cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia has scored considerable achievements since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of relations with Saudi Arabia and is ready to make joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to further strengthen exchanges at all levels and promote political mutual trust, said Li. He said China will continue to develop economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, expand cultural exchanges and consolidate friendship between the two peoples, in a bid to raise bilateral relationship to a higher level. Bandar said Saudi Arabia regards China as a good friend and good partner and is willing to work with China to continuously enhance the friendly cooperation in various fields. Bandar arrived here on Tuesday for a visit to China at the invitation of Li.

Still room for solution to Iran issue: FM
2006-03-31 Xinhuanet
A diplomatic solution is the best way to address the Iran nuclear issue, Beijing said Thursday after the UN Security Council issued a statement on Wednesday demanding that Teheran suspend uranium enrichment work within 30 days. "There's still room for resolving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations and the international community should not abandon these efforts," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "We hope relevant parties will remain calm and patient to create a sound atmosphere for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue," he said. Qin added that China is open to any suggestions or methods conducive to the settlement of the issue through negotiations. He expressed hope that the UN statement would help strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In New York, China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said the statement sends a strong message in support of the authority of the IAEA and diplomatic solutions. He said the resolution, adopted after long discussion, demonstrates a common approach by all the UN Security Council member countries. The statement is the first time the powerful UN body has directly urged Teheran to clear suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons. Diplomats portrayed the statement, which is not legally binding, as a first, modest, step towards compelling Iran to make clear that its programme is peaceful. The Security Council could eventually impose economic sanctions, though Russia and China say they oppose such tough measures. Iran Thursday rejected the UN Security Council demand. "We will not, definitely, suspend again the enrichment," Iran's ambassador to the Vienna-based IAEA, Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, said. Earlier, Iran's UN Ambassador Javad Zarif said that "pressure and threats do not work with Iran. Iran is a country that is allergic to pressure and to threats and intimidation." He added that "Iran insists on its right to have access to nuclear technology for explicitly peaceful purposes. We will not abandon that claim to our legitimate right." ()

China displeased with Berlusconi baby remarks
2006-03-31 China Daily
China Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over groundless remarks by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who said in a recent campaign rally that China "boiled babies for fertilizer in Mao's (Zedong) era." Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang asked the Italian leader, who is running in an April 9-10 election, to pay attention to his words and actions during a regular news conference in Beijing. Italian opposition politicians accused Berlusconi of damaging the country's international standing, saying Berlusconi's comments proved he was unsuitable to represent Italy at the highest levels. "This sort of thing does terrible damage. It displays an absolute lack of care and an incomprehensible inability to understand the way the world is today," said opposition leader Romano Prod, who is widely expected to win the April election. "This policy of carelessness only damages Italy." But Berlusconi refused to apologize or retract his statement, although on Wednesday he told reporters he had used "debatable irony" when referring to the babies. During his five years in power, Berlusconi has regularly sparked diplomatic storms with other allies because of his highly unconventional style. The Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea have been Chinese territory since ancient times based on "indisputable legal basis," the Foreign Ministry reiterated yesterday. "This is China's solemn position," spokesman Qin Gang said. () "The visit signifies the positive attitude China has on promoting Sino-Japanese friendly exchanges and co-operation," Qin said.

Japan-China groups in Beijing to boost friendship
2006-03-31 Xinhuanet
Heads of seven Japan-China friendship organizations from Japan arrived in Beijing yesterday for their first joint visit to China. "Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet with heads of seven Japan-China friendship organizations on Friday (today)," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told the regular briefing yesterday afternoon. "This visit signifies the positive attitude China takes on promoting Sino-Japanese friendly exchange and cooperation," said Qin. During their three-day visit, Japanese guests will exchange views with people in charge of relevant organizations from the Chinese side on how to increase non-governmental exchanges and promote the growth of bilateral relations. The seven organizations are the Japanese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Association of Dietmen League for Japan-China Friendship, the Japan-China Friendship Association, Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association, Japan-China Association on Economy and Trade, Japan-China Society and Japan-China Friendship Center. The Japanese visitors include former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and former Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura. The visitors are guests of the China-Japan Friendship Association. Sino-Japanese ties were soured by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a shrine honoring convicted World War II war criminals. The heads of the two neighboring countries have not exchanged visits for over four years, ever since Koizumi began paying homage at the controversial war shrine after he took office in 2001. Non-governmental ties, a crucial aspect of Sino-Japanese relations, are considered very important by the Chinese leadership. "We should strengthen people-to-people exchanges and enhance mutual understanding and trust," Premier Wen Jiabao told a press conference after the National People's Congress. In the past, China and Japan succeeded in promoting bilateral relations through non-governmental exchanges, recalled Feng Zhaokui, a researcher with the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Now it is imperative to boost people-to-people exchanges to mend the Sino-Japanese ties beset with great difficulties."

FM spokesman urges Vatican to take actions to improve relations with China
2006-03-30 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Thursday urged the Vatican to take actions to create a sound atmosphere and favorable conditions to improve relations with China. Qin made the remark at a routine press conference in reply to a reporter's question about the Pope's wish to visit China in 2008. "China has noticed the report and is always positive and sincere about developing ties with the Vatican. However, it should be based on the two basic principles," Qin said. He stressed that the Vatican should, first of all, sever its "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and secondly promise not to interfere in China's internal affairs, including any intervention on the pretext of religious activities.

 

Domestic Policy

China bans human organ trade
2006-03-28 Xinhuanet
China's Ministry of Health on Monday issued a temporary regulation on human organ transplants, explicitly banning the sale of organs and introducing a set of medical standards for organ transplants in an effort to guarantee medical safety and the health of patients. Mao Qun'an, the ministry's spokesman, said that the temporary regulations ban any kind of organ dealing, require the medical institutions to obtain a written agreement from the donors before the transplant and donors are entitled to refuse the donation at the last minute. The regulation, effective from July 1, requires medical institutions to register at provincial level health departments. Class Three A hospitals, China's top ranking comprehensive hospitals, can apply for registration if they have doctors with clinical organ transplant qualifications, the related transplant equipment, a good management system and a medical ethics committee. Unregistered medical institutions must not practice organ transplants and qualified doctors with clinical organ transplant training must not practice in unregistered hospitals. Mao said that registration will be canceled if the patients who receive the transplant do not survive a certain number of years. If the ministry finds any registered medical institutions to be unqualified, the ministry will cancel the registration and punish the people responsible. The regulation also requires organ transplant cases to be discussed by the ethics committee and the legitimacy of the organ confirmed by the committee. The operations must take place after the committee's approval. It is estimated that at least 2 million patients in China need organ transplants each year but only up to 20,000 transplants can be conducted because of a shortage of donated organs.

Gov't bodies sued over copyright infringement
2006-03-29 People's Daily
The nation's first copyright lawsuit against governmental bodies has been filed in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province. Beijing-based Sanmianxiang Copyright Agency is accusing two governmental organizations of infringing their copyrights. Liao Xingcheng, a prolific writer on rural development in Hebei Province, signed a copyright transfer contract with the company two years ago for several of his published articles. But Sanmianxiang found in December 2004 that Jiangsu Provincial State Taxation Bureau and the Agriculture and Forestry Bureau used two of Liao's articles on their official websites, without paying any money to the agency or even identifying Liao as the author. After initial negotiations failed, Sanmianxiang listed the two governmental bodies in a lawsuit to Nanjing Intermediate People's Court on Monday, demanding they stop publishing the articles and also deliver a public apology on their websites. The agency also wants 6,000 yuan (US$750) compensation from each bureau, which includes their notary fees and lawyer's payments. According to Zhou Jiejing, a lawyer representing Sanmianxiang, the company originally targeted 106 governmental bodies from both Jiangsu and Anhui provinces last year, accusing them of infringing their copyrights. Fifteen bureaux in Jiangsu have since agreed to pay the copyright fees and apologize publicly. But dozens of other bureaux are still insisting they have done nothing wrong. "We are using the articles for public welfare. We are not commercial websites," said a worker surnamed Wang, from Jiangsu Provincial State Taxation Bureau. Wang's view is shared by many of his colleagues. "Governmental websites usually have little funds to operate with. If they have to pay copyright fees for every article, they have no money left," said one member of staff, who asked not to be identified. But Zhan Qizhi, manager with Sanmianxiang, said this was no excuse for them to neglect copyright regulations. "Being operated by the government, they should set a good example to other commercial sites in obeying laws and regulations." According to Zhan, they targeted the governmental websites in their campaign on copyright infringements as their operators were easy to track down unlike those who run commercial websites. The case will be dealt with next month, according to a staff from Nanjing Intermediate People's Court.

China to invest 10 bln yuan to control pollution of Songhua River
2006-03-30 People's Daily
China will invest 10 billion yuan (around 1.2 billion U.S. dollars) over the next five years to curb the pollution of the northeastern Songhua River, according to a plan approved by China's State Council on Wednesday. The plan is to prevent and control pollution in the drainage area of the river, which flows into a river on the China-Russia border. While approving the plan, the executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao also ordered the launch of a batch of projects to tackle industrial sources of pollution and treat urban sewage. A senior official with the State Bureau of Environment Protection (SBEP) said the plan will include more than 200 projects, among which 100 or more will work on pollution caused by industrial production. It is expected to enhance the ability to reduce chemical oxygen depletion (COD) by 70,000 tons each year. Seventy projects will work on improving facilities for sewage processing and they are expected to handle 3 million tons of sewage every day. And the remaining 20 projects will focus on certain areas that were seriously polluted. Echoing his remarks, the executive meeting of the State Council said that "priorities shall go to treatment and protection of collective sources of drinking water in large and medium-sized cities to ensure safety of drinking water and water quality of the China-Russia border river." ()

No one will believe Falun Gong followers' lies: FM
2006-03-29 Xinhuanet
No one will believe the absurd lies concocted by the Falun Gong cult followers, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press conference. According to Falun Gong followers, more than 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were imprisoned at the Sujiatun concentration camp in Shenyang, capital city of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, and two thirds of them were cremated. When asked to make comments on this issue, Qin said Sujiatun is just a district of Shenyang city, and the so-called concentration camp does not exist at all. Falun Gong followers themselves also realized the absurdity of such a lie, and changed their wording that the concentration camp was established in a small hospital. "Can a small hospital contain 6000 people?" Qin pointed out the impossibility, noting that such an absurd lie is not worth refuting and no one will believe it. Qin said Falun Gong followers always like concocting lies. They spread a rumour not long ago that about nine million Party members quit the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the number is still increasing. "Wouldn't the CPC have collapsed if so many Party members had quit?" the spokesman noted, doubting how the Falun Gong followers justify such a barefaced lie. The spokesman said he would not list the lies fabricated by Falun Gong followers one by one.

Number of evacuated villagers jumps to 15,000
2006-03-31 Xinhuanet
The number of residents required to evacuate has risen to 15,000, as the plan to cap the leaking well at Gaoqiao Town in Kaixian County, Chongqing Municipality was suspended yesterday. Local officials are trying to cope with the crisis but appear to be in dire need of supplies for those forced out of their homes in Kaixian County. With only 790 quilts in stock, the county government has launched activities aimed at raising funds and materials for the evacuees. So far, 8,100 articles of clothing and 16,000 yuan (US$1,973) have been raised, according to Du Lianjian, chief of the Civil Affairs Bureau of Kaixian County. Meanwhile, the plan to cap the Luojia No 2 well, which was scheduled for 2 pm, did not start by press time yesterday. Rescue workers had stockpiled glutin near the well, which started leaking on Saturday. "They planned to mend the well with it," said Chen Cheng, an official with the Chongqing Armed Police Firefighters' Team. Chen, who worked some 200 metres from the leaking well, said the air smelt of bad eggs. "It is the smell of sulfureted hydrogen. But monitoring equipment shows that the content of this substance is low," he told China Daily. Yesterday morning, rescue workers ignited the leaking gas near the well in order to burn sulfureted hydrogen, a gas that killed 243 people in the December 2003 leakage in a well near Kaixian. Workers began the second attempt to control the leak at around 6 pm on Wednesday, but the operation was suspended at 10 pm because the team encountered unknown conditions from inside the well. The situation is complicated since there are leakages in the bottom of the well, in the pipeline and around the well, said experts dealing with the accident.

Hundreds left sick after Ningbo chlorine leak
2006-03-29 SCMP
Hundreds of people have been left sickened by a chlorine gas leak at a chemical plant in the eastern city of Ningbo after the company responsible failed to inform the government about the accident, according to reports. More than 200 people in a village near the plant had shown symptoms of poisoning, such as coughing, dizziness and throat irritation, since the weekend. More than 100 went to hospital, some with loss of feeling in their arms and legs, a local newspaper said. A spokesman for the Daxie Industrial Park, where the plant is located, said the authorities had shut down state-owned Ningbo Donggang Electrochemical, which makes chlorine alkali products. The company had failed to inform the government about the mishap, which occurred last Wednesday. "Some villagers told us about the accident a few days after it happened. We have reported it to the city government and will inform the State Council," the spokesman said, adding that most of the villagers treated in hospital had returned home.

United in grief, farmers lament loss of children 'stolen' by officials
2006-03-30 SCMP
Dozens of farmers in Gaoping county, Hunan province, have accused family planning officials of stealing 12 unregistered children over the past four years and demanding ransoms for their return. But county officials say the children were taken in accordance with national policy and the villagers voluntarily gave them up. About 60 residents have signed a petition insisting on the return of 11 missing children they claim were violently taken from their homes by the officials. The 12th child, an adopted boy, was reportedly released after 29 days following intervention from a congress deputy. The farmers said officials took away four natural and seven adopted girls and charged several thousand yuan each for their return. Three of the biological children were from unregistered marriages and one was in breach of family planning policies. Yang Libing , a 42-year-old man from Fengxing village, said his de facto wife gave birth to a girl in July 2004 and even though she was their first child, the county's family planning officers took the infant away on April 29 last year citing an "unregistered marriage and an illegal child". Mr Yang said the office demanded 8,000 yuan for the baby's return, a price that rose to 20,000 yuan several days later. "We are poor people and my relatives were not able to collect so much money in several days," Mr Yang said. He said officials told him the child had been sent to an orphanage. () Some said officials cheated or forced them into putting their fingerprints on documents about the children's origins. Lawyer Liu Xin, from the Guangdong E-time Law Firm, said the family planning office had committed a serious breach of the law by taking the children away. "The office can only impose fines on the parents if they are offenders," Mr Liu said. "Taking the children away represents a deprivation of personal freedoms and is illegal." Under China's one-child policy, most urban families can have only one child, but rural families are allowed to have two if the first child is female or handicapped. Ethnic groups are usually exempt from the one-child limit.

 

Economy

Romanian President calls for stronger trade ties with Shanghai
2006-03-28 People's Daily
Visiting Romanian President Traian Basescu on Monday called for stronger trade and economic cooperation between Romania and Shanghai. "I hope Romania and Shanghai can step up trade and economic cooperation, particularly in fields of forestry, energy and textiles," Basescu told a Romanian-Shanghai trade and economic seminar. At the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Basescu kicked off a three-day state visit to China on Monday morning, with his first leg in Shanghai. In a meeting with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng, Basescu said that the visit to Shanghai was aimed at seeking further cooperation in trade and investment. Han briefed Basescu on Shanghai's economic and social development as well as the progress in Shanghai-Romanian trade ties. Noting Shanghai has made remarkable achievements in economic development in recent years, Basescu said that Chinese entrepreneurs are welcomed to invest in Romania, especially in forestry, machinery, electric power. Basescu will head for Beijing on Tuesday for meetings with senior Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao. They will discuss how to promote all-round China-Romania friendly cooperation and exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern. Some cooperative documents are expected to be signed during Basescu's visit. Basescu will also attend a Chinese-Romanian Economic Forum before wrapping up his China tour on Wednesday.

Chinese shoemakers oppose EU anti-dumping sanctions
2006-03-30 Xinhuanet
Chinese shoemakers on Thursday reiterated their resolute opposition to European Union anti-dumping duties, pledging further efforts to protect their interests. The alliance of Chinese shoemakers against the anti-dumping move, comprising many Chinese footwear enterprises, said it is firmly against the sanctions levied upon Chinese-made leather shoes, although the decision was made when EU member states were reported to be split in a vote over the punitive duties on March 16. The European Commission (EC) announced last week that it would place anti-dumping duties on leather shoes from China and Vietnam, despite the fact that only three countries voted in favor of the tariffs, ten voted against and 11 abstained. The duties on Chinese shoes will start at about 4 percent from April 7 and rise to 19.4 percent in six months. However, children's shoes and high-tech sports shoes will be excluded from the tariffs. The alliance said it disagrees with the EC's decision to treat Chinese shoemakers as state-nurtured companies and not freely competing market players, and the conclusion that the EU's footwear industry has suffered losses due to imports of Chinese footwear. The alliance also stressed that the EC has no grounds to attribute the predicament of some EU companies to the imports of Chinese shoes, and the proposed anti-dumping sanction lacks fairness and legitimacy. The Chinese alliance said it has selected 15 member companies to form an executive committee to carry out further steps against the anti-dumping move, including inviting European lawyers, economic consultants and investigation organizations to search for evidence in favor of Chinese shoemakers.

Ministry deals with fuel price rise
2006-03-28 Xinhuanet
China's Ministry of Communications has issued an urgent circular, asking local communications authorities to adjust the mechanism of transport price formation so as to follow the fuel price rise across the country. In a circular made public on Sunday, the National Development and Reform Commission, which regulates energy prices, said the producer prices of gasoline will be raised by 300 yuan (37.5 U.S. dollars) per ton while that of diesel oil will go up by 200 yuan per ton. Considering the huge impact of the price hikes on the transport industry sensitive to higher prices, the Ministry of Communications asked local departments to quickly set up a new transport price mechanism that has closer linkage with fuel price fluctuations. Transport enterprises and passengers should share the cost brought by the fuel price hike, the ministry said in the circular. Fuel subsidies from the central government should be given to operators of rural road passenger transport, the ministry said. Local authorities should map out special quick-response schemes in advance so as to prevent unexpected incidents involving mass participation, it said.

Another firm wins Tamiflu licence
2006-03-29 China Daily
Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said yesterday that it had granted a sub-licence to a Shenzhen-based pharmaceutical company to produce Tamiflu, believed to be the most effective medicine against bird flu. The deal allows Shenzhen-based HEC Group to produce the generic form of Tamiflu known as oseltamivir for use in pandemic prevention and control. The drug will be supplied through government channels, Roche said in a statement. HEC is also allowed to extend the sub-licence to its two affiliates in Guangdong and Hubei provinces, according to the statement. HEC is the third company globally to obtain the sub-licence after Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group (SPG) and India-based Hetero Drugs. "We hope to achieve an initial annual production capacity of two tons or 2 million treatments," said Tu Lang'ou, vice-president of Sunshine Lake Pharm Co, HEC's affiliate in Hubei. The Shenzhen-based company expects to lift annual production capacity to 5 million treatments. A treatment of Tamiflu comprises 10 capsules, or 1 gram of oseltamivir. HEC applied for the patent transfer of Tamiflu in December and was granted approval on March 16 after Roche completed the evaluation of its capacity, including raw materials, facilities and processes. SPG, the nation's largest drugmaker, acquired the sub-licence in December; and estimated that it would be able to produce 200,000 treatments a month before June. Roche has been stepping up production of Tamiflu, which is said to be the only effective medicine against the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus and is in short supply as countries stockpile it for a pandemic. The Basel-based company is poised to expand its annual production capacity of Tamiflu to 400 million treatments by the year-end, 100 million more than last year's forecast. Roche said the increased capacity is being achieved by the addition of external production partners as well as expansion of its own facilities. The Swiss company has 15 external contractors in nine countries responsible for the manufacture of Tamiflu. More than 100 people have died of bird flu, mostly in Asia; and there have been at least 10 human fatalities onthe Chinese mainland.

 

Mongolia

Avian flu measures
2006-03-28 Mongol Messenger
A regular cabinet meeting was held on March 22 and discussed the following.
Avian flu measures
To prepare for the time when migratory birds come, to or pass through, Mongolia, measures were decided upon. Food and Agriculture Minister D. Terbishdagva, Health Minister L. Gundalai and Minister Responsible for Professional Inspection U. Khurelsukh were tasked with drawing up a national strategy and readiness plan to prevent or cope with any possible outbreak of avian flu, to be brought to cabinet by April 10. Imports from China and Russia of live birds and bird products are banned, border inspection will be tightened, and decontamination precautions taken. Tenders to supply and carry out vaccination, with a survey of poultry farms, are to be called. Stocks of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and decontamination substances will be created.

Shadow government lessons
2006-03-28 Mongol Messenger
Democratic Party (DP) and Civil Will Party (CWP) members, planning a shadow cabinet, have been in London learning from Tory party members Philippa Broom, Geoffrey Clifton Brown and Theresa May. The Westminster Foundation for Democracy spoke to the delegation in detail about the UK parliamentary system. CWP leader and MP S. Oyun said that there was no need for legislation for a shadow cabinet, but the body would need access to government information. "A shadow cabinet is a way to make the opposition more organized and assign specific issues and portfolios to opposition members," she said. "We saw that shadow cabinet members can get information. Information is very closely guarded in Mongolia. A bill on accessibility of state information is being discussed, but has not yet been submitted to parliament. If it takes much longer, MPs will themselves submit such a bill." The DP-CWP working group is currently in recess while the DP resolves internal issues.

Human trafficking considered
2006-03-28 Mongol Messenger
On March 21, a meeting was held in Parliament House to discuss human trafficking as it affects Mongolia, attended by government, NGO and international organisation representatives. They were told that the laws to fight human trafficking were not strong enough, and that Mongolian women have already been trafficked abroad. This, said those who had studied the issue, is increasing, and there is a need for better legislation to prevent the crime and protect the rights of women. Asia Foundation staff member D. Kherlen noted that cases of human trafficking had been dismissed by the courts because of legal loopholes, that victims had withdrawn complaints under pressure from the indicted, and no compensation had been given to victims except for the fare home. The Asia Foundation began to campaign against human trafficking in Mongolia in 2002, and resident representative Infante claimed that there were at least 300 Mongolian women who might have been sold as sex slaves in Macao alone. The meeting was told that Mongolia has at least ten pieces of legislation that include provisions on human trafficking, and a working group is looking at amending the category of, and penalties for, such criminal behaviour. Participants suggested amending the law on advertising, as advertisements offering work abroad are frequently entrapment for women. They pointed out that while a person or organisation offering false advertisement is liable for prosecution, the media carrying the ad bears no responsibility. Participants stated the importance of a national plan of action on commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. Foreign Affairs Ministry consular department head O. Ochirjav told them that evidence on some cases of human trafficking has been provided to police, and that cooperation with other countries in exchange of information and evidence, and extradition agreements, were essential in fighting the crime. He said the Foreign Ministry considers international conventions and protocols on human trafficking and international initiatives were important for this. Mongolia has a treaty with 20 countries on mutual legal assistance and plans to discuss further treaties against human trafficking. Ochirjav added that his department had information that Mongolians had been trafficked to Macao, Japan, South Korea, China and Europe

 

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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