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
  18.6-22.6.07, No. 170  
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Table of contents

Avian flu

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Foreign Policy

Nation set to substantially forgive Iraq debt (China Daily)
2007-06-22
China will substantially forgive debt owed by Iraq and also help with the reconstruction of the war-torn country. That was the pledge made by President Hu Jintao when he met his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani in Beijing yesterday. No specific figure was available but Talabani was quoted as saying ahead of the trip that he would like to have $8 billion in debt cancelled. (…). ^ top ^

China invited to explore Iraqi oil (China Daily)
2007-06-19
China is welcome to explore oil resources in Iraq as a new law is set to open its oilfields to international companies, the Iraqi ambassador to China said yesterday. (…) The oil and gas law faces a parliamentary vote next month after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki endorsed it in February and the Cabinet approved it the following month. If ratified, it will open the country's oil resources to foreign companies; and a frozen Sino-Iraqi oil contract could be reactivated, he said.(…) Under the terms of the new law, all energy contracts signed by foreign producers during the Saddam era must be renegotiated. (…). ^ top ^

Envoy: China may send peacekeepers to Darfur (China Daily)
2007-06-22
China's special envoy on Darfur said Thursday his country will seriously consider sending troops for a peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Sudanese region and insisted Beijing is doing its best to help solve the conflict. Liu Guijin lashed out at critics who accuse China of backing Sudan's government because of Chinese oil interests there. "To link the Chinese corporations' involvement in the oil sector with loss of life in Darfur is baseless," Liu said. "That link is really ridiculous. The Olympics are a non-political event." Liu defended Beijing's efforts to bring calm to Darfur. "Even the United States has to admit that we've played a positive role," he said. (…). ^ top ^

Russia likely to help build two more nuclear power units in China: official (People’s Daily Online)
2007-06-20
Russia is likely to play a role in the construction of the second phase project of the Tianwan nuclear power station in China, Ivan Kamenskikh, deputy director of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said on Tuesday. (…) Construction of the first two 1.06-gigawatt power units supplied by Russia at Tianwan, near the eastern city of Lianyungang, has been completed. (…) China is expected to build two more power units in Tianwan in the second phase project. (…). ^ top ^

Ministry slams new US controls on technology exports (SCMP)
2007-06-20
The mainland's Ministry of Commerce has criticised new US controls on exports to the mainland of technology with possible military uses, rejecting them as a threat to co-operative relations and efforts to tackle the bilateral trade imbalance. The new rules, announced in Washington on Friday, are meant to deny the People's Liberation Army access to technology that might aid its modernisation. They impose end-use controls on goods including lasers, telecommunications equipment and navigation systems. "The Chinese side believes the US side's insistence on issuing these rules without fully hearing China's opinions is inappropriate, and violates the co-operative spirit," the ministry statement said(…). ^ top ^

Beijing envoy seals new ties with Costa Rica (SCMP)
2007-06-20
Beijing's first envoy to Costa Rica in six decades has taken up his post, sealing the Central American nation's switch in allegiance. The mainland sent Wang Xiaoyuan to Costa Rica as its business attaché and is likely to install him as ambassador following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on June 1. (…) Mr Wang said the mainland would be patient over restoring ties with other nations that currently side with Taiwan. (…) Costa Rica's change of sides left Taiwan with just 24 allies, most of them small, poor nations in Central America, the South Pacific and Africa. In comparison, more than 170 countries have diplomatic ties with Beijing(…). ^ top ^

Rape of Nanking exaggerated, say lawmakers (SCMP)
2007-06-20
A group of about 100 lawmakers from Japan's ruling party say that after a month-long review they have determined the number of people killed by Japanese troops during the infamous Rape of Nanking has been grossly inflated. Nariaki Nakayama, head of the group created to study wartime historical issues and education, said yesterday that documents from the Japanese government archives indicated 20,000 people were killed in the 1937 attack - about a tenth of the more commonly cited figure of 150,000 to 200,000. Beijing said that as many as 300,000 people were killed. (…) Mr Nakayama accused Beijing of subsequently inflating the numbers for propaganda purposes. (…). ^ top ^

Friendship delegation arrives in Beijing (China Daily)
2007-06-18
After visits to Shanghai and Northwest China's Gansu Province, the Japan-China friendship delegation will today arrive in Beijing for the final leg of a weeklong friendship tour . The 220-member group, led by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, mostly comprises people, or their delegates, who took part in the largest-ever Japan-China youth gathering in 1984, as well as representatives from several Japanese friendship organizations. (…). ^ top ^

Turkish, Chinese ministers vow to enhance bilateral economic ties (People’s Daily Online)
2007-06-18
Visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen vowed here Sunday to enhance bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries. (…) The two ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on launching a China-Turkey Economic and trade Cooperation Website. Moreover, the two sides also signed a MoU on construction services and another on business contracts. According to official statistics, trade relations between the two countries have been developing smoothly in recent years. Sino- Turkish trade, which was 1.2 billion dollars in 2000, reached 8.1 billion dollars last year(…). ^ top ^

India refuses to give ground in border dispute (SCMP)
2007-06-18
India cannot part with populated areas to settle a decades-old border row with the mainland, its external affairs minister said yesterday. The two countries have held several rounds of talks over their border dispute but have been unable to report progress, even though ties have grown warmer as a result of strong business links. (…) Beijing has differences with New Delhi over three main stretches of the Himalayan frontier in the east, central and western parts, with Beijing not recognising the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh on the eastern stretch as Indian territory. (…). ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Crackdown on slave labour nationwide - State Council vows to end enslavement (SCMP)
2007-06-21
Beijing will launch a nationwide crackdown on enslavement and child labour after this month's shocking revelations of slave labour in brick kilns in Shanxi province. (…) By Sunday night, about 45,000 policemen had raided more than 8,000 kilns and small coal mines in the two provinces and freed 591 workers, including 51 children. Meanwhile, 13 job agencies at Xian's railway station have been closed for tricking people into working as slaves, Xinhua reported. (…) Yesterday, lawyers said they were preparing to fight for the victims, saying redress given by the government so far was not enough. "The government has given some compensation, but it's hardly enough for the work, physical suffering and mental trauma," said Zhang Lisheng, a lawyer in Xian. (…). ^ top ^

New plea to save 'lost' kids (China Daily)
2007-06-22
The parents of more than 400 missing children have posted a second joint letter online, urging authorities to step up their efforts to rescue slave workers across the country. "The slavery case in Hongtong County that caused a great stir in the country is only the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of laborers are still suffering and in pain. Please save our children!" the letter said. (…). ^ top ^

Some human traffickers may walk away in 'slave' case (China Daily)
2007-06-15
While many are shocked by the news of a slave trafficking ring in Shanxi Province, some of the victims will not be able to prosecute their traffickers because they are not covered by the criminal law code. "Those traffickers who lure migrant workers, mainly adult males, to do forced labor will not be convicted as the criminal code only covers those who traffic women and children," Guan Zhongzhi, a lawyer with Zhonghuan Law Firm told chinadaily.com.cn. The legal loophole has put male victims in an awkward position when fighting against their traffickers in the court of law. (…). ^ top ^

China's former drug registration chief on trial (Xinhua)
2007-06-21
Former drug registration official Cao Wenzhuang went on trial on Thursday for charges of bribery and dereliction of duty. Cao is the third senior official with China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to stand trial, after former SFDA head Zheng Xiaoyu and former director of the SFDA department of medical devices Hao Heping. (…) The Beijing Evening News said Cao was charged with taking 2.34 million yuan (304,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes. He was also accused of lowering the drug registration standards, which put the health of the public at risk and undermined government credibility. (…). ^ top ^

China to launch 2nd national land survey in July (China Daily)
2007-06-21
China will start its second national land survey on July 1st to obtain up-to-date and accurate land data for policy making, according to the State Council, or cabinet. (…) A circular said China will use advanced remote imaging technologies to survey all the land used for different functions including farmland, forests, land used by industry and infrastructure and development parks. Acreages and their distributions will be mapped and recorded nationwide. The country will survey every plot of land to get information on ownership and on how the land is used, and gather information on land owned by the state and by collectives in the countryside. (…). ^ top ^

30,000 protest against forced demolition (SCMP)
2007-06-21
Armed police arrested two protesters and beat up dozens more when more than 30,000 people demonstrated against the forced demolition of a house in Shaoqing, Zhejiang province, witnesses and officials said yesterday. The demonstration on Monday also persuaded the local government to give up demolishing a "nail house" - a four-storey building in downtown Shengzhou owned by 18 householders, said a spokeswoman for the Shengzhou Reconstruction Bureau. (…) "As armed police kept kicking two people who fell down to the ground, it provoked more people to join the confrontation." (…)Forced demolition has increasingly become a source of conflict on the mainland. (…). ^ top ^

Homeowners' voices are heard (SCMP)
2007-06-22
In a rare move, a Shenzhen district government yesterday appealed to property owners in an upmarket community not to block the construction of a high-voltage transformer station near their homes, Xinhua reported. The appeal followed repeated protests by residents of an affluent community in the Luohu district against a plan to build a power transformer station near their homes. (…) Zou Shubin, a Shenzhen professor, said such incidents would become increasingly commonplace as the middle class in rich coastal mainland cities grew. "They are aware of their rights and are willing to take actions to protect their interests. This is a show of democratic awareness and social progress," he said(…). ^ top ^

Senior party official expects Reuters to depict China fairly (China Daily)
2007-06-21
Senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Li Changchun on Thursday called on Reuters to report China as it is. "Reuters should be a bridge in helping the world obtain a better understanding of China and report China as it is," (…) The meeting came after Xinhua and Reuters on Thursday afternoon held celebrations in the Great Hall of the People to mark their five decades of cooperation. Reuters was the first Western news agency to forge cooperation with Xinhua. (…). ^ top ^

Television channels punished for airing banned advertising (SCMP)
2007-06-22
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) has ordered two provincial-level television channels in the northwest of the country to suspend all advertising as punishment for repeatedly airing banned medical commercials, according to a statement on the administration's website. (…) It is the toughest punishment handed down by Sarft in relation to commercials for banned medicines, medical equipment, weight-loss products, breast enlargement goods and other outlawed beauty products in TV shopping programmes. (…). ^ top ^

Crackdown on bribes given to TV censors - Spotlight falls on 'fees' paid to get shows aired (SCMP)
2007-06-22
The mainland's media watchdog has vowed to fight corruption in television drama approvals after a prominent writer blew the whistle on censors taking bribes. "TV production companies can report to the administration if censors collected unwarranted fees. If proved true, we will strictly deal with it," Li Jingsheng, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's (Sarft) director of TV drama, said in an online forum last week. (…). ^ top ^

NE China suffers worst drought in 30 years (China Daily)
2007-06-19
While torrential rains batter southern China, northeast China's Liaoning Province is suffering its worst summer drought in 30 years that has left more than one million people short of drinking water, the provincial government said. Nearly all 14 cities in Liaoning Province have been affected by the drought, though the situation is more serious in the northwestern and central-southern parts of the province where 88 small and medium-sized reservoirs have dried up, the provincial flood prevention and drought control headquarters told Xinhua on Tuesday. The drought has affected 1.27 million people, 473,800 cattle and 1.4 million hectares of cropland, it said. (…). ^ top ^

China to dust off food safety standards (China Daily)
2007-06-19
China will update food safety standards and strengthen enforcement in order to improve food safety, Liu Pingjun, chief of the National Standardization Management Commission, said on Tuesday. Liu told reporters that China had 1,965 national food safety standards at the end of 2006, 634 of which were mandatory. China will speed up revisions to national and industry standards on farm produce and processed food products, Liu said, adding that these standards were on average 12 years old. (…). ^ top ^

China plans new generation of rockets (China Daily)
2007-06-19
China plans to develop a new generation of carrier rockets with an increased payload capacity in order to advance its lunar exploration program, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The payload capacity of China's Long March series of carrier rockets will be increased from its current weight of 9.5 tons to 25 tons, an official with the corporation said. "The development will greatly increase China's ability of peaceful uses of outer space," the official said, without specifying when the rockets will be ready for launch (…). ^ top ^

Federation vows to protect migrants (China Daily)
2007-06-19
(…)The All-China Federation of Trade Unions said it requires grassroots trade unions across the country to immediately carry out a thorough examination to stop the violation of migrant workers' rights. It instructed trade unions at all levels to unearth the hidden problems and cooperate with the government in cracking down on offenders. (…) The announcement of the campaign follows media reports of hundreds of slave laborers being used in small brick klins and mines in Shanxi and Henan provinces(…) Zhang said the campaign would target industries that employ large numbers of migrant workers, such as manufacturing, construction, mining and restaurants. He admitted the trade unions had failed to play a significant enough role in rural areas, which have produced more than 200 million migrant workers (…). ^ top ^

Housing vote in Beijing 'not supported' (China Daily)
2007-06-19
The first-ever referendum on the demolition of old houses has not been met with favor by a majority of the general public. About 62.7 percent of 1,506 people in a week-long survey starting on June 10, were not happy with the way the referendum was conducted. Respondents disagreed with the method of voting to decide the future of the capital city's largest-ever urban renewal project. (…) "Real democracy means not neglecting the minority," most respondents said. (…) The referendum on June 9 showed that 2,451 families accepted the compensation on offer, while 1,228 families disagreed. However, the referendum only covered 67 per cent of 5,473 households in the sub-district. The survey showed 54 per cent believed the referendum was a democratic framework only in name. (…). ^ top ^

Group says news of Sichuan riot concealed (SCMP)
2007-06-19
More than 1,000 protesters clashed with police last month over the controversial death of a high school student in the home town of late leader Deng Xiaoping, a human rights body reported yesterday. Ten were injured in the riot, which took place on May 17 in a village in Guangan, Sichuan province, said the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. Residents in Jiulong village were protesting over the death of 15-year-old Wang Qiang, who was allegedly murdered by two gang members - one of whom was the nephew of the area's police chief - who went unpunished. In an effort to prevent news of the riot from spreading, and hampering their political careers, government chiefs ordered a media ban on coverage and cut the village's telephone services, the group said. (…). ^ top ^

Many still have faith in flawed petition system (SCMP)
2007-06-18
Despite its imperfections, many people believe that they can petition Beijing when they are wronged and justice will be served as long as they have the ears of top national leaders. The petition system - essentially a channel allowing citizens to make complaints to higher authorities on any matter - has been in use for decades. Petitioners such as Liu Guiqin believe the central leadership is honest and fair - just like the ancient icon Judge Bao Zheng who has been worshipped for centuries for his impartiality and integrity. (…) But in many cases, the petitioners never get justice. (…). ^ top ^

Li Peng defends Three Gorges (SCMP)
2007-06-18
Former premier Li Peng has spoken out in defence of the Three Gorges Dam project amid widespread criticism over its environmental and social impact. In comments published by a paper run by the Communist Party, Mr Li, 78, said the decision to begin creating the world's largest hydroelectric project in 1997 could only have been the right one. Mr Li praised the contributions made by those displaced by the project to the economic fortunes of Chongqing municipality(…). ^ top ^

Report on mainland's No 1 emissions status 'flawed' - Beijing official rejects new carbon dioxide ranking (SCMP)
2007-06-21
A central government official yesterday dismissed a report stating that the mainland had for the first time overtaken the US as the world's top producer of carbon dioxide, a year ahead of previous predictions. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said on its website on Tuesday that the mainland's carbon dioxide emissions, which topped 6.2 billion tonnes last year, had surpassed those of the United States by 8 per cent. […]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet official rejects call to allow Dalai Lama to return from exile (SCMP)
2007-06-21
Tibet's top government official has defended Beijing's rule in the Himalayan region and dismissed calls by a veteran Tibetan communist to allow the Dalai Lama to return home. The letters reveal a debate in the mainland's high political circles on the possible return of the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959. Asked to comment on Mr Phuntso Wangye's letters, Qiangba Puncog, chairman of Tibet's regional government, told a Beijing news conference yesterday: "I feel his views do not represent that of the Tibetan people ... but represent the thinking of very few people." (…)The 84-year-old former National People's Congress deputy also condemned hard-liners for thriving on their opposition to the spiritual leader of the predominantly Buddhist region (…). ^ top ^

Visiting Tibet could become easier (People’s Daily Online)
2007-06-22
The Autonomous Region (TAR) could become easier for foreigners because the local government is considering doing away with the laissez-passer system, a senior Tibet official said yesterday. (…) Another project that would attract more overseas visitors is a highway on Mount Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, Qiangba said. The road to the world's highest peak will be completed before August 2008, in time for the Beijing Olympic Games. (…) The central government will invest 77.8 billion yuan ($10.23 billion) on 180 projects and in implementing a range of preferential policies. Qiangba welcomed the central government's help and dismissed allegations that the Tibetan people would lose their culture to the Han way of life. (…). ^ top ^

Tibet sees record influx of tourists in first five months (China Daily)
2007-06-19
Southwest China's Tibet received a record 672,000 tourists in the first five months, a rise of 82 percent from the same period last year due to the Qinghai-Tibet Railway which began operation last July. From January to May, the region hosted 627,000 domestic tourists and 45,000 from overseas, reaping a revenue of 636 million yuan (83.6 million U.S. dollars), up 78 percent, the regional tourism bureau said. Zha'nor, deputy director of the bureau, said the Qinghai-Tibet Railway had unblocked the transport bottleneck that had hindered tourism development of the region. (…). ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taipei ignores US on referendum in bid to join United Nations (SCMP)
2007-06-21
Taiwan has chosen to ignore the US and push ahead with plans for a referendum on joining the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan". Government spokesman Shieh Jhy-wei said the island would not bow to any "threat" and "intimidation" over its UN bid because it was the wish of most people in Taiwan and a democratic way for Taiwanese to express their opinions on the issue. (…) Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said on Monday that he planned to hold the referendum alongside the presidential election in March. Washington, an informal ally and Taipei's biggest arms supplier, said Mr Chen's plan would escalate cross-strait tension. Lawrence Chung(…). ^ top ^

Arms deal on track as Taiwan passes budget (SCMP)
2007-06-17
Taiwan's legislature has approved the government's budget, including parts of an arms deal with the US, amid mounting public complaints about funding shortages due to a long delay in the approval process. The 2007 budget includes NT$6.3 billion (HK$1.5 billion) for the acquisition of 12 US-made P-3C Orion submarine-hunting aircraft and the financing of a feasibility study as a first step towards purchasing diesel submarines. (…) The weapons funds are part of a US$16 billion arms package that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's administration wants to acquire from the United States.(…) In delaying funding for the weapons package, opposition lawmakers had said that parts of it were overpriced, and that spending billions of US dollars would propel Taiwan into a no-win arms race with the mainland(…). ^ top ^

 

Economy

Foreign investment boosts port industry (China Daily)
2007-06-22
Companies in China are foregoing investment opportunities in overseas shipping ports in favor of a commercially lucrative domestic industry, significantly boosted by foreign capital.(…) "The government wants domestic companies to develop into something bigger and stronger, and investing abroad is a way of achieving that goal," Peng Cuihong, counsel to the ministry's water transport department, said. (…) The challenges ahead for China's ports include the need to expand fairways to accommodate the ever-increasing size of cargo vessels, and improving logistics for smoother distribution and transportation of goods(…). ^ top ^

China opposes IMF rule (People’s Daily Online)
2007-06-22
China has expressed "reservations" about a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) ruling on exchange rate policy, saying drastic exchange rate fluctuations in a country will damage its economic stability. The IMF's Executive Board decided on Friday on a new framework for IMF bilateral surveillance, or the way the Fund monitors and assesses its member's economies. (…)The revised decision adds the new principle that a member should avoid exchange rate policies that result in external instability. The ruling has been widely interpreted as a move to increase pressure on China to allow a faster revaluation of the yuan. (…). ^ top ^

China to adjust export rebate policy on 2,831 commodities (People’s Daily Online)
2007-06-20
China's Ministry of Finance said Tuesday that, starting July 1, the country would cut or eliminate export tax rebates for 2,831 commodities representing 37 percent of the total number of items listed on customs tax regulations. A ministry spokesman said the move was one of a basket of measures to suppress overheated export growth and ease frictions between China and its trade partners. The country will abolish export tax rebates on 553 "highly polluting products that consume heavy amounts of energy and resources" such as salt, cement, and liquefied petroleum gas, said the spokesman. (…). ^ top ^

China punishes 8 banks for slack supervision (China Daily)
2007-06-18
The Chinese banking industry regulator said Monday it has punished the branches of eight local banks for failing to prevent two clients from misappropriating loans of 4.46 billion yuan. The eight banks concerned are the Bank of Beijing, the Beijing branch of Bank of Communications and the Shanghai outlets of China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China CITIC Bank, Bank of China, China Industrial Bank and Shenzhen Development Bank. (…) The CBRC urged the whole banking industry to tighten management to prevent any new cases of illegal investment of bank loans in the stock market. (1 U.S. dollar=7.62 yuan). ^ top ^

Microsoft to buy shares in China TV giant (China Daily)
2007-06-18
Microsoft China is buying 15 million shares of China's Sichuan Changhong Electric, one of the mainland's largest television makers(…)Market speculation led to a surge in the value of Changhong shares last week, increasing 9.97 percent to 9.93 yuan on Thursday. Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding with Changhong on Friday to cooperate in products that connect televisions with computers and the Internet, according to the statement. (…). ^ top ^

 

Avian Flu

Bird flu closes market (SCMP)
2007-06-17
A deadly strain of bird flu has been found for the first time in Mong Kok's Bird Garden (Hong Kong), forcing its temporary closure. The H5N1 virus was found in a faecal swab taken from a breed of migratory bird which a customer left in one of the market's 26 pet-bird shops two weeks ago. (…)The crowded market in Yuen Po Street has been closed for thorough cleaning amid fears the virus could spread. (…). ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

Beijing won't intervene on inflated hotel rates (China Daily)
2007-06-21
Beijing will not intervene in the pricing of hotel rooms during the 2008 Olympic Games, the city's tourism chief said, amid reports of exorbitant room rates and dwindling supply more than a year before the opening ceremony. Barring an extreme situation, authorities would let the market decide hotel rates, the China Daily on Thursday quoted Du Jiang, Beijing tourism administration director, as saying. An "extreme" case would be if "a foreign visitor was being asked to pay $10,000 for a room despite a hotel having plenty of vacancies," Du said(…) Du's comments came after local media reported that some Beijing hotels were quoting rooms up to 10 times above rack rates, or the listed price of a room before any discount. (…). ^ top ^

Olympic ticket sales receive overwhelming response (China Daily)
2007-06-21
Ticket sales for the 2008 Olympic Games have received overwhelming response as many events including the opening and closing ceremonies were over-subscribed, organizers said on Wednesday. "With just 10 days until the first phase of sales ends, we have received 360,000 orders for more than 2.2 million tickets," Rong Jun, head of the Beijing Olympic Ticketing Center, told reporters. (…). ^ top ^

 

North Korea

US nuclear envoy visits N.Korea (China Daily)
2007-06-21
Chief US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill arrives in Pyongyang in the first high-level visit by a US official there in more than 4 1/2 years. Assistant US Secretary of State Christopher Hill's trip came ahead of the expected resumption of six-nation talks next month following the resolution of a key financial dispute that had blocked progress. (…) North Korea, which carried out its first nuclear test explosion in October, promised in a landmark agreement struck in February with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US that it would shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon by mid-April. Progress was stalled by the financial dispute between Pyongyang and Washington involving $25 million in alleged North Korean illicit funds. That dispute was resolved in recent days, and although North Korea still hasn't shut the reactor, it invited UN monitors next week to discuss a shutdown. (…). ^ top ^

FM to visit Pyongyang amid hopes of progress (China Daily)
2007-06-22
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) early next month amid optimism that the Six-Party Talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula will resume soon. (…) The DPRK has already invited the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the country for the first inspection since the agency's experts were expelled from the country in December 2002(…). ^ top ^

 

Joel Baumgartner
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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