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
  11.8-17.8.07, No. 178  
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Table of contents

Beijing Olympics

North Korea- Six-Party Talks

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

SCO states begin phase II of joint drill (China Daily)
2007-08-13
About 2,000 troops from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries held a joint anti-terrorism exercise on Saturday, kicking off the second phase of Peace Mission 2007. (…)The commanders of the six countries said the SCO has abided by the "Shanghai Spirit", which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and a desire for common development. The organization has established a new model of defense and security cooperation under the principles of openness, transparency and non-targeting of a third party, they said.(…) The nine-day exercise began in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Thursday. The second phase is being held in Russia's Ural Mountains. (…). ^ top ^

SCO friendship treaty a milestone, says President Hu (People's Daily)
2007-08-17
President Hu Jintao said yesterday that the signing of the treaty on long-term friendship among Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states is a milestone and put forward four proposals for the organization's development. (…) Hu's four proposals for SCO's development are: Strengthening the political base by implementing sincerely the treaty on long-term good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation, signed by the heads of state of six SCO members yesterday. Consolidating the economic foundation by insisting on common development and promoting regional economic cooperation; Strengthening the social foundation by increasing exchanges on an equal footing with other countries; and Creating a sound external environment by deepening cooperation with other countries and international organizations. (…). ^ top ^

Afghan FM to visit China (Xinhua)
2007-08-14
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta will pay an official visit to China from August 17 to 22 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu announced here Tuesday. ^ top ^

SCO to suspend admitting new members (Xinhua)
2007-08-14
Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have agreed that it would be expedient to suspend the organization's expansion, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said on Monday ahead of the upcoming SCO summit in Bishkek on Aug. 16. "The SCO Charter allows new admissions, but the organization has yet to work out criteria and algorithm of such procedure," Alexander Losyukov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.(…). ^ top ^

Chinese, Iranian presidents discuss nuclear issue (People's Daily)
2007-08-16
President Hu Jintao discussed the Iranian nuclear issue and bilateral ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday before the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit today. Hu said China is keen on resolving the nuclear issue through peaceful negotiations. He said China understands Iran's concerns but hopes the country shows flexibility for the peaceful settlement of the issue. Ahmadinejad said that Iran will not go beyond international laws and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in using nuclear energy. "Iran will continue to work closely with the IAEA. (…). ^ top ^

Analysts play down spying claims by Iran (SCMP)
2007-08-17
Reports that two Chinese nationals were arrested in Iran for taking pictures of military and nuclear facilities were a "mild surprise", analysts say, given the praise the two countries' leaders have heaped on friendly bilateral relations at a summit meeting in Kyrgyzstan. The detained Chinese citizens would probably have their camera confiscated but be released soon considering the solid ties between the mainland and Iran, said Tao Wenzhao, a foreign relations expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The timing was uncanny but it's not going to escalate into any diplomatic event," Mr Tao said. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese defense minister to visit Japan later this month (China Daily)
2007-08-11
China's defense minister is set to visit Japan later this month, a news report said Saturday, the first such visit in nine years. The two countries are arranging a five-day official visit by Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan to Japan starting August 29, the Mainichi newspaper reported, citing unidentified officials. The trip, a sign of thawing relations between the regional powers, would be the first to Japan by China's top defense official since former defense chief Chi Haotian visited Tokyo in February 1998. Cao and his Japanese counterpart, the newly installed Yuriko Koike, are expected to discuss reciprocal naval port calls and bolstering communication between the countries' militaries, the Mainichi said. (..). ^ top ^

Brazil reiterates support for one-China policy (Xinhua)
2007-08-15
Brazil reiterated Tuesday its adherence to the one-China policy and its opposition to Taiwan's attempts to hold a referendum on its entry to the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan." "The Brazilian government is aware of (Taiwan's) initiative to hold a referendum on its entry into the United Nations as a member state," said Brazil's Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement. "Brazil restates its support for the one-China policy and the peaceful efforts to reunite all Chinese territory. (…). ^ top ^

Zambia reaffirms one-China policy (Xinhua)
2007-08-14
Zambia on Monday reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy and opposes Taiwan's attempts to hold a referendum on its entry to the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan." In a meeting with He Ping, vice president of Xinhua News Agency in Lusaka, Zambian Vice President Ruphiah Banda said the Zambian government and Zambian people "fully supports" resolution 2758 of the UN general assembly and the great cause of Chinese people to fulfill a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, saying the island's moves towards independence will bear no fruit.(…) He Ping, who is also Executive Deputy Editor-in-Chief, expressed his appreciation for the stance of the Zambian's government and said Xinhua is ready to provide the whole world with objective and impartial reportage of the world events, including the achievements by the Zambian people. (…). ^ top ^

US files trade case on China's IP protection (China Daily)
2007-08-14
The United States on Monday requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a dispute settlement panel regarding so-called China's deficiencies in intellectual property protection. "The United States and China have tried, through formal consultations over the last three months, to resolve differences arising from U.S. concerns about inadequate protection of intellectual property rights in China," said USTR Spokesman Sean Spicer. "That dialogue has not generated solutions to the issues we have raised, so we are asking the WTO to form a panel to settle this dispute," he added. (…). ^ top ^

Top leaders stay away from war shrine (SCMP)
2007-08-16
Japan expressed remorse for past atrocities on the anniversary of its second world war surrender yesterday as top leaders steered clear of a shrine at the heart of friction with neighbouring countries. Sixty-two years after Japan capitulated in the deadliest conflict in history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged that his country would never return to war. […] Mr Abe, the grandson of a second world war cabinet minister, speaks sparingly about Japan's past wrongdoing but cited improved relations with China and South Korea as a key achievement of his nearly year-old government. But he stayed away from the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours both war dead and war criminals. (…). ^ top ^

Humanitarian aid from China leaves for Darfur (China Daily)
2007-08-16
The fourth batch of materials for humanitarian aid worth 20 million yuan (US$2.6 million) from the Chinese government left for Sudan on Thursday from north China's port of Tianjin. The pumps, tents and blankets will arrive in Port Sudan late next month and help residents in the Darfur region improve their living conditions. The fifth batch of aid worth 40 million yuan, including board-houses for at least 120 schools, generators, vehicles and pumps, will be shipped on August 25 from the same Chinese port. The Chinese government pledged to offer five batches of humanitarian aid to Darfur to ease the humanitarian problems caused by conflicts in the area in western Sudan. (…). ^ top ^

US military sees threats to its satellites (SCMP)
2007-08-16
The People's Liberation Army may be just three years away from being able to disrupt US military satellites in a regional conflict, a senior US military leader says, citing a recent anti-satellite test and other advances. The warning came on Tuesday amid calls at a conference in Huntsville, Alabama, for intensified efforts to ensure US "space superiority" in the wake of the PLA's shooting down of a mainland satellite with a ballistic missile on January 11. "It is not inconceivable that within about three years we can be challenged at a near peer level in a region," the head of the US Army's Space and Missile Defence Command, Lieutenant-General Kevin Campbell, told defence contractors. (…). ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Minor participants in "mass incidents" to avoid China's courts (Xinhua)
2007-08-17
People who commit some minor offences, including participating in "mass incidents", are to be exempted from prosecution in China's courts. Under new standards set by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), five categories of minor offender have been exempted from prosecution, including the "common participants" in crimes triggered by "mass incidents". The list of offenders whose crimes cause "little social impact" also encompasses: juvenile or elderly criminal suspects who act without malice; criminal suspects who have confessed, made compensation and have been forgiven by victims; and those whose crimes stem from quarrels between neighbors, colleagues or classmates. First offenders and those who "occasionally" commit theft because of poverty and do not cause injuries could also face exemption, according to the new standards. (…). ^ top ^

China's medical insurance to cover all urban residents by 2010 (People's Daily)
2007-08-15
China will launch a pilot project of medical insurance to cover 240 million urban residents outside the workforce this year, and all urban residents will become beneficiary of medical insurance by 2010, said a senior official with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) here Wednesday. The medical insurance project would cover those not included in the system for the urban employees, including school students, children and adults who are not employed, Hu Xiaoyi, vice minister of MLSS, said at a press conference. (…). ^ top ^

Online author jailed for subversion (SCMP)
2007-08-17
A Zhejiang court jailed a dissident internet writer for four years on subversion charges for posting anti-government articles online, his disbarred lawyer said in the latest case in a crackdown on dissent. The Intermediate People's Court in Hangzhou convicted Chen Shuqing of "inciting to subvert state power", lawyer Li Jianqiang said. "It's totally wrong to convict him. He was only expressing his political views. He should enjoy free speech," said Mr Li, whose licence was not renewed by the authorities in his province of Shandong . (…). ^ top ^

Green website forced to remove reports about jailed activist (SCMP)
2007-08-15
A Jiangsu environmental protection website has been told to ditch reports about jailed Tai Lake pollution campaigner Wu Lihong following his sentencing on Friday, a friend said. Hangzhou eco-activist Chen Faqing said his personal website was shut down by internet provider Hangzhou Top Star Internet Technology Company on Friday, the day Wu received a three-year sentence for fraud and extortion. Mr Chen said his website went back online on Monday after he agreed to co-operate with authorities and delete a series of reports from various media. (…). ^ top ^

SW China municipality organizes another "cotton exodus" to Xinjiang (People's Daily)
2007-08-13
Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality is making preparations for another "cotton exodus" to organize its farmers to harvest the crop in the border region of Xinjiang, local agricultural authorities said Sunday. Gong Tianrong, deputy chief of the Municipal Agricultural Bureau, said they have earmarked 20 million yuan (about 2.6 million U.S. dollars) to arrange 43 trains for round trips between Chongqing and Xinjiang. (…) The plan was initiated to divert manpower from Chongqing which saw large swathes of croplands destroyed by the worst drought in 50 years last year to help farmers in scarcely-populated Xinjiang pick cotton. (…) More than 90,000 farmers have signed up for the trip, and they will head for Shihezi, Aksu City and Korla City in the region, Gong added. ^ top ^

Supreme People's Court launches judicial assistance program for Xinjiang (Xinhua)
2007-08-14
China's Supreme People's Court on Monday held a forum on launching a judicial assistance program for the overburdened courts of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.(…) The Supreme People's Court agreed to launch an assistance program, in which judges from other provinces will be dispatched to Xinjiang, and judiciary staff from Xinjiang Courts will go to other provinces for training. (…). ^ top ^

Crackdown to fuel resentment, analysts say (SCMP)
2007-08-17
Authorities have stepped up censorship of the media and expelled petitioners from Beijing ahead of the Communist Party's 17th National Congress, but political analysts say the outdated measures will only spark more resentment. In one sign of the renewed clampdown, Guangzhou internet users complained about being unable to access overseas sites, even with software for bypassing censorship. The People's Daily had said the party central committee's publicity department, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the State Press and Publication Administration had cracked down on "false news reports, unauthorised publication and bogus journalists". Beijing's television watchdog has also set its censorship sights in the past month on blocking all "illegal transmissions" of non-mainland television channels, including Hong Kong's popular Phoenix TV. (…). ^ top ^

TV watchdog pulls 'vulgar' talent show (SCMP)
2007-08-17
The mainland's television watchdog has ordered a "vulgar" talent show off air, saying the programme had a negative social impact. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) ordered Chongqing TV to immediately pull The First Time I was Impressed for serious mistakes in the choice and behaviour of judges, contest procedures, song content and overall design. It said the regional network had been irresponsible in its supervision of the show, and had not taken effective action to correct the "chaotic live situation" that allowed the judging panels and participants to express themselves freely. Sarft said the programme was coarse and short of artistic taste, and "damaged the reputation of television and had a negative social influence". Chongqing TV and the Chongqing Broadcasting Administration were told to review their procedures and punish staff responsible for the show. (…). ^ top ^

Villagers protest over 'fake' news report (SCMP)
2007-08-15
More than 50 villagers protested outside Xinhua's Sichuan headquarters in Chengdu yesterday, saying the official news agency had faked a news report about job creation. The protesters, mostly women from Wenjiang and Chenghua districts, massed in front of the Xinhua building at about 2pm with a petition demanding the agency correct a news report about district government successes in creating jobs for dispossessed villagers, witness Huang Qi said. Mr Huang said a Xinhua official accepted the letter but told villagers that agency leaders and journalists who wrote the article were not in the office, and so no decision about a correction could be made any time soon. Xinhua reported that 70 per cent of landless villagers were employed, thanks to the efforts of the Wenjiang district government leadership. (…). ^ top ^

Toy company boss commits suicide after recall (China Daily)
2007-08-13
The head of a Chinese toy manufacturing company at the center of a US recall has committed suicide, a local newspaper said Monday. Zhang Shuhong, who ran the Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd., killed himself at a warehouse over the weekend, days after China announced it had temporarily banned exports by the company, the Southern Metropolis Daily said. Lee Der made 967,000 toys recalled earlier this month by Mattel Inc. because they were made with paint found to have excessive amounts of lead. (…). ^ top ^

Minister warns of potential for animal disease outbreak (SCMP)
2007-08-16
Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai warned yesterday about the "strong likelihood" of an outbreak of animal disease like bird flu or blue ear in the next few months, Xinhua reported. Poor breeding conditions, insufficient vaccine programmes and frequent exchange of livestock between different localities all contributed to the potential health hazards, he said. Twenty-six provinces had been hit by outbreaks of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome - or blue ear disease - this year, Mr Sun said. (…). ^ top ^

Hunan bridge was doomed to collapse, villagers say - Residents blame shoddy materials and bad engineering (SCMP)
2007-08-16
The stone bridge that collapsed in Hunan's Fenghuang county was doomed to fall, villagers said yesterday, accusing the developer and governments of pressing ahead with building even after problems became evident. They also blamed the Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group for using shoddy materials for the multimillion yuan project, originally scheduled to open at the end of this month. The death toll from Monday's collapse rose to 36 last night, with a further 23 people missing. A resident of Tixi village, where the 328-metre bridge spanned the Tuo River, said he saw reinforcement bars around one of the piers sink into the river bed a few months ago. […]. ^ top ^

Shenzhen eyes top overseas talent (China Daily)
2007-08-15
The government of this southern boomtown bordering Hong Kong plans to hold job fairs in North America, Europe and Australia next year to attract top professionals. Although the move has not been well received by some residents, it has gained the support of overseas returned Chinese and human resources organizations. (…). ^ top ^

Lightning kills 306 Chinese in three weeks (Xinhua)
2007-08-17
Lightning strikes killed 306 Chinese from June 25 to Aug. 16, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) announced on Thursday. So far this year, 499 Chinese have been killed by lightning, 199 more than the same period last year, said the CMA. (…) The China Association for Science and Technology and the CMA jointly launched a program on Thursday to raise awareness of weather dangers. In early July, the Ministry of Education, the State Meteorological Administration (SMA) and the emergency office of the State Council jointly started a campaign to provide free materials on how to avoid lightning strikes to more than 420,000 high schools and primary schools nationwide. (…). ^ top ^

Bloom warning in Beijing (People's Daily)
2007-08-16
Water authorities in Beijing warned yesterday that the summer heat had put some of the capital's lakes at risk of accumulating the kind nutrients that cause algae blooms. (…) "Beijing is facing its eighth consecutive year of drought and the amount of water coming from upstream keeps decreasing. Rivers and lakes do not have enough water supplies, which makes it hard to refresh them," Jiao Zhizhong, chief of Beijing's water authority, said. (…). ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Skyscraper construction suspended after fire (Xinhua)
2007-08-16
Construction on what will be the Chinese mainland's tallest building has been suspended since a small fire on Tuesday afternoon, but the skyscraper will still be completed on schedule as the main structure was undamaged. (…) Fires were found on the 26th, 52nd and 57th floors, firemen said. (…) About 1,000 workers were inside the building when the blaze started. (…). ^ top ^

Shanghai acts to ease pork crisis, help the needy (Xinhua)
2007-08-16
The Shanghai government will increase its pork reserves and improve needy families' social-welfare benefits later this year. The initiative is to ensure a stable market supply and social equality despite rising food prices, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday. By the end of next month, the city plans to increase the pork reserve by 6,500 tons via purchasing pigs from other parts of the country, mainly from Henan Province. (…) Considering the huge food price rises this year, the city is raising its monthly grant to urban residents who live under the designated poverty line from 320 yuan (US$42) to 350 yuan per head. Minimum wages for local employees are also scheduled to rise from 750 yuan to 840 yuan per month. Part-time workers should receive an hourly payment of at least 7.5 yuan, compared with the current 6.5 yuan. Retired workers in the city will also enjoy an average pension rise of 150 yuan per month each - a larger amount than the national level. (…) Premier Wen Jiabao said earlier this month that city mayors should be directly responsible for controlling and stabilizing pork prices. (…). ^ top ^

 

Tibet

China purges Tibet gov't of ethnic Tibetans in crackdown on Dalai Lama loyalists: report (International Herald Tribune)
2007-08-10
China is cracking down on pro-Dalai Lama sentiment in Tibet by firing dozens of ethnic Tibetan officials and criticizing others who don't speak out against the exiled spiritual leader, a rights group said Friday. Since July, Communist Party secretaries from 54 of Tibet's 74 counties have been fired and replaced by cadres from elsewhere in China, Hong Kong's Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said. (…) Government promises of bonuses and generous stipends for living expenses helped attract more than 10,000 volunteers, it said. (…). ^ top ^

NPC group inspects Tibet (People's Daily)
2007-08-13
An inspection group of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) stressed the importance to unswervingly adhere to the people's congress system and the system of regional autonomy of ethnic groups in Tibet Autonomous Region. The people's congress system and the system of regional autonomy of ethnic groups have effectively guaranteed the rights of local people of all ethnic groups to be the masters of the region and to exert democratic rights, according to the NPC group. The group stressed further enhancement of the work of people's congress to better serve local people. The elections of local people's congresses at various levels will be completed from this winter to next spring. Efforts should be made to ensure smooth elections and safeguard the democratic rights of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, the group said. (…). ^ top ^

More ethnic minority students in Tibet receive higher education (Xinhua)
2007-08-13
More ethnic minority students in Tibet, mostly Tibetans, have the opportunity to receive higher education, according to the education authorities of Tibet Autonomous Region. "The number of ethnic minority students in Tibet sitting China's annual National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) reached 11,695 this year, a 49.7-percent growth on 2005," said XueLing, spokeswoman of the Education and Examination Office. (…) Statistics also show that among the students recruited by universities in Tibet, more than 70 percents are ethnic minority students. (…) To raise the enrollment of ethnic minority students in Tibet, the Chinese government has adopted preferential policies by setting different admission scores for ethnic minority students and those of the Han nationality. (…). ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Bolton backs Taiwan's UN ambitions (SCMP)
2007-08-14
Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations has won support from John Bolton, formerly the United States ambassador to the world body, contradicting a succession of US administrations. Mr Bolton, who was ambassador from August 2005 until December last year, made the comments after meeting Taiwanese Foreign Minister James Huang Chih-fang in Taipei. Mr Bolton also appeared to back Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's plan to hold a referendum in March on joining the UN under the name "Taiwan" rather than "Republic of China", saying it was Taiwan's prerogative to choose whatever name it wanted in making its UN application. (…). ^ top ^

Taiwan presidential candidate Ma acquitted (SCMP)
2007-08-14
Supporters danced and cheered Tuesday as a Taiwanese court acquitted presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou on corruption charges. Mr Ma, 57, was indicted earlier this year on charges he diverted 11 million New Taiwan dollars (HK$2.6 million) of public money into his private account while serving as mayor of Taipei between 1998 and last year. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan says 15 `allies' support its UN membership campaign (SCMP)
2007-08-16
Taiwan said yesterday 15 of its allies had recently signed an endorsement asking the UN Security Council to deal with its membership application next month. Taiwanese Foreign Minister James Huang Chih-fang said the move came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon unilaterally twice turned down an application filed by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian for UN membership under the title "Taiwan" on the grounds that the island was a part of China and had no right to apply. Mr Huang said Taiwan wanted to join the global body in the name of "Taiwan".. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Central bank: Dollar assets key part of China's reserves (China Daily)
2007-08-12
Dollar assets form an important part of its foreign exchange reserves and the US currency plays a prominent role in the global monetary system, China's central bank said Sunday. The comments, made to the Xinhua news agency by an unidentified central bank official, follow a report last week by a British newspaper suggesting that Beijing could dump its vast dollar holdings if a trade war broke out with Washington. (…) Britain's Daily Telegraph said on Wednesday that "the Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States," and was hinting that it might liquidate its holdings of US Treasuries if Washington imposed trade sanctions.(…) Asked about newspaper report, the central bank official said: "China is a responsible investor in the international capital markets." (…). ^ top ^

China posts nearly 13 percent growth in FDI (Xinhua)
2007-08-13
China actually used 36.93 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment, or FDI, in the first seven months, a growth of 12.92 percent on last year, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday. However, the establishment of 21,676 foreign-funded enterprises was approved nationwide from January to July, down 4.81 percent from the previous year, the ministry said. In July, 2,993 foreign-funded enterprises were approved, down 0.96 percent, but 5.04 billion U.S. dollars in FDI was actually used nationwide, up 17.84 percent. (…). ^ top ^

Supervisor criticises ineffective controls (SCMP)
2007-08-17
The mainland may be a trade giant but ineffective controls have kept it a quality weakling and are sapping competitiveness, says General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine head Li Changjiang. Mr Li warned officials that failure to improve quality was undermining national trade strength, yesterday's People's Daily quoted him as saying. "We may have entered the ranks of big traders but we're still far, far from being a strong trade power, and the fundamental reason is that our product quality competitiveness is not strong," he said while speaking to officials a few days ago. "Quality is a symbol of national strength," he added. (…) In Beijing, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Wang Xinpei said most mainland exports were of good quality. (…) Mr Wang said it would be unfair for overseas media to over-simplify the situation and generalise that all mainland-made products were unsafe. (…). ^ top ^

New rules likely to raise costs (SCMP)
2007-08-17
Mainland analysts expect new quality inspections of food exports to make the process more difficult and costly, but say the changes are inevitable if standards are to rise. Exporters and analysts yesterday said the new practice would increase the work and technical challenges facing customs and quality inspection officials. It would also hit businesses with higher costs, possibly forcing some out of the market. (…) Mr Lai said Zhejiang food export inspectors were this week told the new practice would take effect next month, and that they were working hard to ensure they were prepared. He said inspection bureaus would have to work closely with customs to seal each shipment, adding greatly to their workload. […]. ^ top ^

Instant noodle makers illegally fixed prices (China Daily)
2007-08-17
China's top economic planner on Thursday determined that the China branch of the International Ramen Manufacturers Association (IRMA) has illegally fixed prices for instant noodles. The IRMA branch had held three meetings of instant noodle manufacturers and related businesses early this year to discuss specific plans to raise prices, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). This constituted collusion and manipulation of the market in violation of the Price Law. The branch had published a meeting memo and caused panic buying in some cities, which seriously disrupted market order, said the NDRC. The NDRC has ordered the branch to make a public explanation and invalidate the illegal pricing agreement. (…). ^ top ^

China's pork prices almost double in 12 months (People's Daily)
2007-08-15
China's corporate pork price rose 11.5 percent in July, making an 85.8-percent increase on the same month last year, according to figures from the People's Bank of China on Tuesday. The corporate goods price, previously known as the wholesale price, refers to prices paid by domestic companies. In a related development, July saw frozen pork rise 89.2 percent in price since July last year. The soaring prices, due largely to short supply and mounting production costs, contributed significantly to China''s 33-month-high CPI, which rose 5.6 percent from July last year. The key inflation indicator was well above the government-set alarm level of three percent. (…). ^ top ^

China sees first meat price drop in two months, other products continue to rise (People's Daily)
2007-08-15
The average meat price in China fell for the first time in two months last week, falling 1.2 percent from the previous week thanks to the government's and producers' efforts to increase supply, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday. The price of pork, which has soared relentlessly for months as a result of short supply and mounting production costs, was down 1.5 percent from the previous week. In some areas, the wholesale price of live pigs went down, the ministry said. However, the price of grain, edible oil, chickens, eggs, aquatic products and vegetables all rose (…). ^ top ^

30m tonnes of pork stored (SCMP)
2007-08-13
Nanjing has stockpiled more than 30 million tonnes of pork to offset market unrest, the Nanjing Daily reports. The pork is to be kept in freezers for three to six months and will be put on the market only during festivals or emergencies. (…). ^ top ^

Nasdaq expects to list 23 more Chinese companies by year end (People's Daily)
2007-08-12
China is very likely to become Nasdaq's biggest source of non-U.S. listings by the end of 2007, according to NASDAQ Stock Market vice chairman Michael Oxley. Although Oxley declined to give the specific number, there must be at least 23 more Chinese firms to be listed by year end for China to catch up with Israel, Nasdaq's current biggest source of non-U.S. listings, who has about 70 listed companies on the market. Forty-seven Chinese companies have been listed on Nasdaq so far, with 13listed in 2007 and nine in 2006, said Oxley, best known as a co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which tightened U.S. rules on financial reporting and governance(…) To attract more Chinese listings, Nasdaq is applying to open a representative office in Beijing. ^ top ^

 

Avian flu

Bird flu found on the China-Vietnam border (SCMP)
2007-08-15
Vietnam has detected a bird flu outbreak in the northern province of Cao Bang bordering China, the country's second infection among poultry so far this month, Vietnam's Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday. Eighty-nine chickens and ducks died at a farm last Saturday and tests in Hanoi have confirmed they were infected by the H5N1 virus, the ministry's Animal Health Department said in a report. The infected farm is in Thach An district, about 70km south of the border with China's province of Guangxi. (…). ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

China to slash domestic flights to regulate air transport (People's Daily)
2007-08-16
A total of 336 domestic flights to and from Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) will be scrapped from Aug. 15 to Oct. 27, sources with the Civil Aviation Administration of China confirmed Wednesday. (…) The campaign would prevent long delays next August when Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games, the sources said. (…). ^ top ^

Police to limit traffic into capital (People's Daily)
2007-08-16
Security officials will be limiting the number of cars entering Beijing and stepping up vehicle inspections from today until next Monday in a trial run to prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. The move, announced yesterday by the Ministry of Public Security, is aimed at improving the city's air, easing traffic congestion and ensuring security. (…). Violators will be fined 100 yuan ($13) according to law. (…)^ top ^

IOC urge Taiwan to accept torch relay route (China Daily)
2007-08-13
A member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged the agency's Chinese Taipei branch to accept the arrangement of the Olympic torch relay route or "get out of the committee" during an interview in Beijing. "They [Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee] should understand their special position in the IOC, so if they don't cooperate, then get out of the committee," Australian Kevan Gosper told the newspaper The Australian. (…) Taiwan authorities rejected its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay route in April 27, in which the Olympic flame is set to land in Ho Ch Minh City in Vietnam, then to Taipei before going to Hong Kong. Originally, Taiwan wanted to participate in the international route -- with the torch entering and departing the island via other nations. But Beijing insists the Taiwan leg of the route is part of the domestic route. (…). ^ top ^

 

North Korea

Koreas discuss arrangements for upcoming summit (SCMP)
2007-08-14
North and South Korean officials met on Tuesday to work out arrangements for a summit between their leaders later this month, the Unification Ministry said. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il are to meet August 28-30 in Pyongyang in the second summit between the two countries since the peninsula was divided after World War II (…). ^ top ^

S Korea to send aid to flood-stricken North - N Korea in a 'state of emergency' (SCMP)
2007-08-17
South Korea will send emergency aid worth 7.1 billion won (HK$58.6 million) to impoverished North Korea, where floods have left hundreds dead or missing and made more than 300,000 homeless, a minister said on Friday. North Korea and the United Nations said more than a week of heavy rain has ruined crops and farmland in a country that does not produce enough food to feed itself, even with a good harvest. […]North Korea's official media has said more than 11 per cent of its paddy and maize fields were submerged, buried or swept away as heavy rains have saturated the lower half of the country. (…) The secretive North has shown footage of the flooding on its official TV broadcast, with residents walking through waist-deep water in capital Pyongyang and troops being called out to repair the damage. The North has made international appeals for help before when it has been hit by natural disasters. “The North has in effect declared the state of emergency,” Lee said. (…). ^ top ^

Envoys arrive in NE China for meeting on Korean denuclearization (Xinhua)
2007-08-15
Senior officials from China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan arrived here on Wednesday for a working group meeting on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The two-day meeting to be started Thursday afternoon will focus on measures to facilitate the denuclearization process, according to China's Foreign Ministry. (…) The main goal of the meeting was to set deadlines for the disablement of the DPRK's nuclear facilities and the declaration of its nuclear programs, Chun was quoted as saying. (…). ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

First Mongolia-China entrepreneurs' forum opens in Ulan Bator (People's Daily)
2007-08-10
The first Mongolia-China entrepreneurs' forum opened Friday. Nearly 200 entrepreneurs from the two countries will talk about possibilities of cooperation at the six-day forum. (…). ^ top ^

Elbegdorj Recovers, in US (UB Post)
2007-08-16
TS.ELBEGDORJ, twice Prime Minister of Mongolia, has fully recovered from the severe injuries he suffered in a road accident just before Naadam. After more than a week under intensive care at the Ulaanbaatar Trauma Clinic, the 44-year-old head of the Democratic Party was taken to Seoul on July 19. After the doctors there had declared him fit to travel, he left for the USA on August 8. It is not clear why Elbegdorj is visiting the USA. Sh.Batbayar, a Democratic Party leader, would only reveal that Kh.Battulga, a member of Parliament, has accompanied him and they have met important US officials. He is expected back this week and will talk to media on his US visit then (…). ^ top ^

Poland opens doors to Mongolian students (Mongol Messenger)
2007-08-16
Mongolia and Poland signed the first agreement of two executive treaties to regulate Mongolian debt to the Republic of Poland, concluded between Mongolia and Polish Governments on November 9, 2006, in Warsaw on July 18. ^ top ^

Visa free travel to Turkey (Mongol Messenger)
2007-08-16
Mongolian citizens who have ordinary foreign passports have the possibility to travel the Republic of Turkey without visas from August 1, 2007. Mongolian citizens who travel to Turkey without visas should prove their financial capacity in Turkey by carrying USD30 per day during the period in Turkey and stating their travel goals. Those who wish to stay in Turkey more than 30 days still visas from the Turkish Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. ^ 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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