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
  18.8-24.8.07, No. 179  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

Beijing Olympics

North Korea- Six-Party Talks

Mongolia

^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

FM: Hu's visit to Central Asia, Russia fruitful (Xinhua)
2007-08-19
Chinese President Hu Jintao's just-concluded tour, a major diplomatic move by China in the Eurasian region, is fruitful with far-reaching influence, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Saturday. During the five-day tour, which started on August 14, Hu paid state visit to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, participated in a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek and observed an anti-terror drill in Russia. His visit has promoted cooperation among neighboring countries and the common development of SCO member states and helped to improve China's relations with Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia, to safeguard security and stability of the region, and to stimulate the long-term, healthy and stable development of the SCO, Yang said on the way back to Beijing. (…). ^ top ^

China, Laos sign six deals for closer ties (Xinhua)
2007-08-23
China and Laos on Thursday signed six deals on cooperation in various fields in a bid to further boost their traditional friendship. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Laotian Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh witnessed the signing ceremony following their one-hour talks at the Great Hall of People in Beijing. The six deals involve cooperation in such fields as food safety, loans and aeroplane programs. (…). ^ top ^

Beijing, Kazakhstan reach agreements on oil and gas pipelines (SCMP)
2007-08-20
The mainland and Kazakhstan agreed at the weekend to expand an oil pipeline that will link the mainland to the Caspian Sea, giving Beijing direct access to an energy-rich region controlled by Kazakhstan. (…) President Hu Jintao, in Kazakhstan on a state visit, agreed with counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev to expand the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline by 700km westward, linking it to the Caspian Sea, home to many Kazakh oil and gas deposits. (…) Mr Hu and Mr Nazarbayev also agreed to route a proposed new gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to the mainland through Kazakh territory, establishing Kazakhstan as a transit nation after months of talks. The pipeline is due to be built by 2009. (…). ^ top ^

China sets up engineer brigade for peacekeeping force in Darfur (Xinhua)
2007-08-17
The engineer corps brigade, the first batch of Chinese peacekeepers to Sudan's Darfur region, was established on Friday. The brigade, composed of 315 engineer corps personnel of Beijing and east China's Jinan military commands of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, will be charged with bridge construction, water source exploring and road maintenance. (…). ^ top ^

US doubts over arms expansion seen easing - Navy chief claims better understanding after visit (SCMP)
2007-08-22
Washington and Beijing have begun to ease suspicion over their military intentions but uncertainties persist over Beijing's long-term goals, a US military official said yesterday. United States Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen said after meetings with top People's Liberation Army commanders and a visit to a naval training base that he now had a better grasp of Beijing's military modernisation. "There's a long way to go, but I'm reassured," he said during a visit to meet mainland defence and foreign policy officials. (…). ^ top ^

Abe excludes China from 'arc of freedom' (SCMP)
2007-08-23
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday urged India to join his country in creating a four-nation Asian "arc of freedom" that would exclude China. Mr Abe laid out his vision for an "arc of freedom and prosperity", bringing together Australia, India, Japan and the United States, in an address to a joint session of India's parliament during a high-profile three-day visit. Accompanied by 200 top Japanese executives, Mr Abe is aiming to boost trade between Asia's largest and third-largest economies and counter China's growing strength. "This partnership is an association in which we share fundamental values such as freedom, democracy and respect for basic human rights as well as strategic interests," Mr Abe told lawmakers and diplomats in a speech that did not name China.[…]. ^ top ^

23 Chinese workers released in the Philippines (China Daily)
2007-08-24
The Philippines immigration officials released 28 Chinese workers on Tuesday, but are still detaining 63 for not having permits to work in that country, the Chinese embassy in Manila said Wednesday.(…) The 91 Chinese laborers were detained on August 16 after some Filipinos working in the Clark special zone complained that Fontana Company had hired the Chinese to replace them, a Chinese Commercial News report said Wednesday. ^ top ^

Iran frees mainlanders held for taking photos of sensitive sites (SCMP)
2007-08-21
Two mainlanders arrested in Iran for allegedly taking pictures of military installations have been released, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. "In early July, two Chinese company staff were helping property owners carry out surveying work. While taking pictures, they were misunderstood as photographing sensitive buildings," the ministry said. "They were detained by Iranian police, but are now released." The statement said the incident was a misunderstanding. […]. ^ top ^

Democracy activist returns to US after five years in prison (SCMP)
2007-08-21
Boston-based democracy campaigner Yang Jianli has returned home after serving five years in a mainland prison on charges of sneaking into the country and spying for Taiwan, his brother and a website said yesterday. Dr Yang, 44, was released in April, but mainland authorities had refused to issue him a passport, grant him residency status or allow his Chinese-American wife, Christina Fu, to visit him in Beijing (…). ^ top ^

Chinese defense minister to visit Japan, Philippines (Xinhua)
2007-08-23
Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan will pay official good-will visits to Japan and the Philippines from Aug. 29 to Sept. 6, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry. He will visit the two countries at the invitations of Japanese Defense Minister Koike Yuriko and Philippine Secretary of Defense Gilbert Teodoro. Cao's upcoming visits aim to fulfill the consensus reached between leaders of China and the two countries and strengthen exchanges and trust in defense and security areas, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. ^ top ^

Chinese Vice President meets Afghan FM (China Daily)
2007-08-23
Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong met in Beijing Wednesday with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and proposed stepping up the bilateral partnership. The Chinese government and people valued the traditional friendship with Afghanistan, Zeng told Spanta, according to a press release from Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Zeng also pledged that China would continue to offer support and assistance for Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction. In Beijing as a guest of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Spanta began his first-ever China visit as foreign minister on August 17. (…). ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China announces provincial leadership reshuffle next year (Xinhua)
2007-08-21
The Communist Party of China (CPC) announced on Tuesday a reshuffle of leadership of provincial-level authorities in the early half of 2008, which will cut the number of posts. The twice-a-decade reshuffle will involve positions in legislatures, governments and political advisory bodies of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities and some major cities, according to a statement from the CPC Central Committee. (…). ^ top ^

China appoints new ambassadors (Xinhua)
2007-08-23
Chinese President Hu Jintao has appointed and dismissed ambassadors to nine countries in accordance with a decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature. Zhang Keyuan is appointed as ambassador to Iceland to replace Wang Xinshi. Yu Hongyao replaces Gao Shumao as new ambassador to Mongolia. Wang Xiaodu replaces Shen Jiangkuan as new ambassador to Djibouti. Huang Changqing replaces Wang Sifa as new ambassador to Cameroon. Zhou Yuxiao replaces Lin Songtian as new ambassador to Liberia. Ma Zhixue replaces Sun Rongmin as new ambassador to Luxembourg. Sun Rongmin replaces Yuan Guisen as new ambassador to Poland. Cheng Shuping replaces Bao Shusheng as new ambassador to Vanuatu. Wang Xiaoyuan is appointed as ambassador to Costa Rica and he is dismissed from ambassador to Uruguay. ^ top ^

China's cabinet appoints new officials (People's Daily)
2007-08-23
China's State Council, or the cabinet, has recently appointed three high-ranking officials. Jiang Weixin was appointed vice minister of construction, Gao Hongbin was appointed vice minister of agriculture and Li Bin, female, was appointed vice minister in charge of the State Population and Family Planning Commission. At the same time, Jiang Weixin was removed from the post of vice minister in charge of of the State Development and Reform Commission and Zhao Xizi was removed from the post of chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Key Large-Sized State-Owned Enterprises. ^ top ^

Legislation urged on police investigations (China Daily)
2007-08-24
A senior prosecutor has proposed tougher legislation against the use of surveillance and "special investigation techniques" to better protect human rights. Zhu Xiaoqing, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, raised the proposals this week during a seminar sponsored by the Ministry of Public Security and Chinese People's Public Security University. With the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, the top legislature, set to finalize the 7th amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law in October, the seminar discussed ways to improve the investigation process. (…) Although it is against the law, some cases of torture during interrogation have been widely reported by the media. ^ top ^

Ban on gender-based abortions (SCMP)
2007-08-24
The vice-director of the State Council's legal department, Wang Yongqing, says the central government plans to ban gender-selection abortions by the end of the year, the Legal Daily reports. The official said an existing rule banning such abortions was ineffective because local officials did not manage migrants. ^ top ^

Crackdown on fake media (SCMP)
2007-08-24
The region's press and publishing bureau has cracked down on fake media, news agencies and reporters in response to a central government directive, the Guangxi News Net reports. The national campaign was triggered by a fake report aired on Beijing Television that said chopped cardboard had been used as an ingredient in some steamed buns sold in the capital. ^ top ^

Catholic bishop arrested again, says US rights group (SCMP)
2007-08-24
An underground Catholic bishop who has been repeatedly harassed by authorities in recent years was arrested again yesterday in Hebei, a US-based rights group said. Police and religious bureau officials arrested Jia Zhiguo, the underground bishop of the province's Zhengding diocese, said the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation. It did not know the reason for the 73-year-old's arrest or where he was being held. The foundation said the bishop had been under heavy surveillance over the past five days. It was the 11th time he had been arrested since 2004. It was not clear whether the arrest was connected to Pope Benedict's letter to mainland Catholics last month, which religious authorities had warned the bishop not to publicly support. ^ top ^

Drug traffickers executed (SCMP)
2007-08-20
Two drug traffickers were executed in Yunnan province, Xinhua reported. Wang Zuguang and Xu Lianke were sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court of Puer for trafficking 433.95kg of heroin. Hu Yuguang received the death penalty suspended for two years. Wang sent Hu to collect 77 kg of heroin from Thailand in 2001. Xu was caught in 2002 when he transported 356.95 kg of heroin from Myanmar to Guangdong and Hong Kong. ^ top ^

Suicide remains shadowy subject (People's Daily)
2007-08-24
According to official statistics, 280,000 people end their own lives every year in China, but experts believe the situation is far worse. "The official figure is unrealistically low," said Michael Phillips, an associate professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School and the head of research at Beijing Hui Long Guan Hospital, which specializes in psychological intervention and suicide prevention. Phillips attributed the discrepancy to the lack of a death registry system like that in many developed countries (…). For example, the suicide rate among rural women is about 30 per every 100,000, which is among the highest in the world. Left behind by migrant worker husbands, they must contend with labor-intensive farm work, as well as the pressure of raising the young and tending to the old. (…). ^ top ^

Returnees offered incentives (People's Daily)
2007-08-22
A new plan to make it easier and more appealing for overseas Chinese to return to Beijing was announced yesterday. Liu Jiangping, deputy director of the Beijing human resources bureau unveiled a slew of preferential policies to facilitate the return of elite Chinese currently living overseas. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese migrant workers need training on Mandarin (China Daily)
2007-08-20
Migrant workers in China are eager to learn Mandarin Chinese, or Putonghua, as required by most urban employers, but a report has revealed that no more than 2.4 percent of rural workers in cities had access to language training. The report on 2006 language situation, made by the Ministry of Education, said migrant workers preferred to speak local dialects, and about 70 percent of them found it hard to speak Mandarin. Nearly 80 percent of migrant workers, especially those who wish to work as restaurant waiters, were required to speak Mandarin by their employers. (…). ^ top ^

China deals with 24,879 commercial bribery cases in first half (Xinhua)
2007-08-20
China investigated and dealt with 24,879 commercial bribery cases in first half 2007, with 6.156 billion yuan of illicit money involved. About 5,523 commercial bribery cases involved government officials, accounting for 22.2 percent of the total. (…). ^ top ^

Rescue work on trapped miners in E China continues (Xinhua)
2007-08-24
Hundreds of rescuers are make utmost efforts to free the 181 trapped people at two flooded pits in the eastern province of Shandong, local work safety official said on Thursday. Rescuers began their sixth day at the collieries on Thursday after flood water swept through a 65-meter wide breach in the Wenhe River levee, inundating the Huayuan and Minggong mines, about 150 km south of Shandong's provincial capital Jinan, last Friday afternoon. (…). ^ top ^

Angry relatives clash with security forces (SCMP)
2007-08-20
Scuffles broke out between miners' relatives and security forces yesterday as hopes faded for the rescue of the miners trapped underground by flash floods. Angry at the lack of information, a crowd of 200 people toppled an iron fence at the south gate of the mine early yesterday as rumours swirled that rescue efforts had been called off. Several relatives broke into the mine's compound and clashed with security personnel. " (…). ^ top ^

Food worries spur plan for recall systems (SCMP)
2007-08-21
Beijing is considering setting up recall systems in response to growing concerns at home and abroad about the quality of its products. General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine head Li Changjiang said the authorities had been deliberating on the establishment of a food recall mechanism. Without elaborating on what the mechanism would involve, Xinhua's Economic Reference News quoted Mr Li as saying that measures would be introduced soon. […]. ^ top ^

Pig disease now under control, says official (SCMP)
2007-08-24
The mainland has reported a sharp decline in cases of blue-ear pig disease last month as well as an easing of pork prices. In July, 47,000 pigs were affected by the disease and 13,000 pigs had died, down 51.5 per cent and 35.9 per cent respectively from the previous month, Ministry of Agriculture spokesman Xue Liang told a news conference yesterday. The average pork price last week was 1.4 per cent down on the previous week, according to the Ministry of Commerce. It was the second consecutive week of easing pork prices, which had almost doubled in the past seven months, according to Xinhua. ^ top ^

Beijing denies playing down pig disease cases - Local authorities blamed for hiding blue-ear outbreaks (SCMP)
2007-08-21
The mainland has rejected criticism it played down outbreaks of a deadly pig disease, but conceded local authorities may have covered up cases. The highly infectious blue-ear disease affected 26 provinces, killing 68,000 pigs, and led to a further 175,000 being slaughtered, Ministry of Agriculture Chief Veterinary Officer Jia Youling said yesterday. The disease is one of the main reasons for the surge in mainland pork prices, which helped push inflation to 5.6 per cent last month, the highest in a decade. The mainland has also faced criticism that playing down the outbreak might have led to the disease spreading to Vietnam. Mr Jia stressed that the disease was under control, 100 million pigs had been vaccinated and authorities had been "open and transparent" in sharing information with other countries. "Although there may have been some cover-ups [by local authorities], it is absolutely impossible the [pig deaths] could be as much as several hundred thousand, millions or 10 million, as reported by the media," Mr Jia said. (…). ^ top ^

China to apply death penalty to destroyers of power facilities (People's Daily)
2007-08-21
China will apply death penalty to those who damaged electric power facilities, resulting in serious consequences, according to a new judicial interpretation which takes effect on Tuesday. Anyone who damaged electric power facilities and caused following four types of serious consequences will be sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years, life imprisonment and even death penalty, according to the judicial interpretation issued by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of China on Monday. (…). ^ top ^

Sex is prime cause of China's HIV (BBC News)
2007-08-20
China's state media says unsafe sex has, for the first time, become the main means of transmission of HIV/Aids, overtaking intravenous drug use. Infected blood transfusions also caused many of the early cases. The news raises fresh concerns that HIV infections are moving from high risk groups to the mainstream population. China estimates that about 650,000 people are HIV positive - but it is thought that widespread under-reporting makes accurate figures hard to come by. An official report says China saw 70,000 new cases of HIV in 2005 - and almost half were contracted from sexual intercourse. This has profound implications for China's approach to HIV prevention. (…). ^ top ^

China introduces migrant police to combat rising migrant crime (People's Daily)
2007-08-21
China's Ministry of Public Security has begun to transfer police from the hometowns of migrant workers to big cities to assist urban police in fighting the rising migrant crim rate. Several provinces are already piloting the project, the ministry said. (…) The police would help fight crime in Zhuji and provide other services for migrant workers. Prof. Mao Shoulou of the School of Public Administration of Beijing-based Remin University, said police from migrant source towns could better understand and communicate with migrants. (…). ^ top ^

4,000 Shenzhen workers protest for wage increases (SCMP)
2007-08-22
Thousands of Shenzhen workers marched through the city's streets yesterday, demanding modest wage increases to compensate for soaring consumer prices. According to several witnesses, about 4,000 workers employed by German power supply and battery charger maker Friwo marched on Baoan Road in Baoan district, shouting slogans.(…) Yau Zi-wei, from the Hong Kong-based non-government organisation Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, said skyrocketing inflation was behind the rising number of migrant worker protests. (…). ^ top ^

Guidelines issued for overseas travel (SCMP)
2007-08-22
Mainland citizens travelling and living abroad should keep away from strangers and refrain from yelling in public to avoid standing out in the crowd. The pointers are included in the advice listed in a guidebook released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday in an attempt to better protect the increasing number of globe-trotting mainland businessmen, workers, students and tourists. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing's population exceeds 17 million (China Daily)
2007-08-21
Beijing is bulging as its population has exceeded 17 million, only 1 million to go to reach the ceiling the city government has set for 2020. The figure breaks down into 12.04 million holders of Beijing "hukou", or household registration certificates, and 5.1 million floating population, sources with the Ministry of Public Security said at Monday's workshop on the country's management of migrants. Beijing municipal government announced last year it would limit its population to 18 million by 2020. Overpopulation is putting considerable pressure on the city's natural resources and environment. (…) Migrants, especially surplus rural laborers who have taken up non-agricultural jobs in the city, have forcefully contributed to the population explosion in recent years. (…). ^ top ^

310 mln Chinese affected by natural disasters this year (People's Daily)
2007-08-22
A total of 310 million people have been affected by natural disasters of various types in China so far this year, Civil Affairs Ministry announced here Wednesday. The direct economic losses caused by natural disasters totaled 126.4 billion yuan (about 16.85 billion U.S. dollars), according to the Ministry. (…) The State Council has decided to increase disaster relief fund from 6.7 billion yuan to 11.54 billion yuan. ^ top ^

Guangzhou widens surveillance (People's Daily)
2007-08-22
A further 100,000 video cameras are to be installed in public places in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, to extend the city's surveillance system. The new units, which will cost the local government 200 million yuan ($26.4 million), will take the total in the city to 230,000 by the year's end. A quarter of the new cameras will be installed on buses, while the others will be positioned on streets, in railway stations and at other public places. (…)

China will consider applications to post resident foreign journalists in more cities, says official (People's Daily)
2007-08-22
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said on Wednesday the government will consider applications of foreign media to post resident correspondents in more Chinese cities. Liu said the government had received applications from foreign news organizations for resident branches or journalists in cities other than the five currently allowed. (…). ^ top ^

Prosecutor jailed for using state funds for Finland trip (SCMP)
2007-08-23
A prosecution official in Anhui has been jailed for three years for organising a government-funded trip to Finland with a fake invitation, the Legal Evening News reported yesterday. The Luyang District People's Court found former Anhui Procuratorate vice-director Ye Bin guilty of organising the study trip for 10 colleagues last year, supposedly at the invitation of the Finnish justice department. The group was stopped by Finnish immigration officials on November 20 because of fake documentation and deported the next day. The court also jailed Zhang Wenjuan, an employee of the China-European Union Association who helped Ye, for 18 months on bribery charges. Ye had earlier been expelled from the Communist Party. Xu Wenai, the group leader and the former deputy director of the provincial prosecutor's office, was sacked. ^ top ^

Northeast to be given development boost (SCMP)
2007-08-21
The government will build more factories, roads and infrastructure in the three northeastern most provinces to revive a flagging industrial centre with the country's highest unemployment rate, an official said. Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning would benefit from extended railways and factories to make oil-refinery equipment, machine tools and ocean- going ships, National Development and Reform Commission vice-chairman Zhang Guobao said. It was part of Beijing's plan to double the region's average annual economic output to 21,889 yuan per person between 2002 and 2010, Mr Zhang said. (…). ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

HK starts 3-year investment promotion campaign in mainland (China Daily)
2007-08-24
With Zhejiang Province taking the lead, Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) on Thursday launched a three-year campaign of business-focused activities in the Chinese mainland. The campaign, under the theme of "On Your Marks, Get Set, Go", will focus on seven key economically developed provinces in the Chinese mainland, namely Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Liaoning, Sichuan, Guangdong and Fujian. "On Your Marks" covers promotional activities aimed at raising awareness among China's growing class of privately-owned enterprises of business opportunities in Hong Kong. (…). ^ top ^

Strongest hint yet by Beijing on suffrage - Official appears to rule out 2012 (SCMP)
2007-08-23
A senior mainland official in Hong Kong yesterday gave the strongest hint yet that full democracy is unlikely to be introduced in 2012. The remarks by a deputy director of the central government's liaison office, Li Guikang, marked a rare departure from the low-profile approach adopted by the office since the government launched its consultation exercise on political reform on July 11. Mr Li said recent survey findings that more than half Hong Kong people found it "acceptable" if universal suffrage for the chief executive and the legislature could not be achieved in 2012 showed the increasingly "rational" views of the city's people towards constitutional development. (…) A spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said the government had not formed any views on the timetable for universal suffrage. (…). ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Chinese Authorities Detain Monks, Others After Tibetan-Muslim Clashes (Radio Free Asia)
2007-08-22
Authorities in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai have detained up to 20 people, including two senior monks, after violent clashes between Tibetans and Hui Muslims that ended in the siege of a local mosque, according to Tibetan sources. Nyi O, chief monk in charge of discipline at Tongkyab monastery in Gade (in Chinese, Gande), was taken into custody Aug. 15 by two Tibetan officials from the Gade county Public Security Bureau (PSB), according to a source who asked not to be named. (…) Other sources said as many as 20 Tibetans in all had been detained in recent days as part of a joint operation by PSB officers working for the province and the prefecture. (…) Tongkyab monastery is known to have resisted what Chinese officials call a “patriotic re-education” campaign in which monks are pressured to denounce the Dalai Lama(…). ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Chen pledges US$ 5m loan to Honduras for computers (SCMP)
2007-08-24
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has pledged millions of US dollars in loans to Honduras while visiting the island's Central American ally, Foreign Ministry spokesman David Wang said. Mr Chen had agreed to a US$5 million loan for a computer centre and the purchase of 40,000 school computers. The government-run Taiwan Power Company is to help build a US$300 million power plant. Mr Chen is on a week-long tour to shore up diplomatic support for Taiwan, which is recognised by 24 countries. President Manuel Zelaya Rosales assured Mr Chen that Honduras supported Taiwan's UN bid. Guatemalan President Oscar Berger Perdomo also expressed support for Taiwan's bid, and Mr Chen hopes to receive more backing at a summit of Central American leaders in Honduras. Mr Chen is to visit El Salvador and Nicaragua. ^ top ^

Taipei boosts military budget over 'rising mainland threat' (SCMP)
2007-08-23
Taipei has boosted defence spending for next year to NT$341 billion (HK$81.2 billion), an increase of 16.4 per cent, or NT$48 billion, in the face of what it called Beijing's rapid military buildup. The increase was approved by the island's cabinet yesterday and, pending review by the legislature, will be the biggest expenditure item next year, accounting for 20.1 per cent of total government spending. (…) The increase will see Taiwan's defence budget account for three per cent of its gross domestic product for the first time in many years, a result of repeated calls by Washington that Taipei must raise defence spending in the wake of Beijing's arms buildup.(…). ^ top ^

Chen refuses to leave plane after US snub (SCMP)
2007-08-22
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian refused to get off an aircraft in Alaska yesterday en route to Honduras, in protest against Washington for barring him from making an overnight transit stay in the contiguous United States. A broadcast by Taiwan's cable news channel TVBS last night showed Mr Chen shaking hands with two formally dressed US officials, who greeted him on board a China Airlines aircraft after it landed in Alaska. Mr Chen had a green patch on his shirt calling for the island to apply to join the United Nations in the name of "Taiwan". […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China raises interest rates 4th time in 2007 to curb inflation (China Daily)
2007-08-21
China's central bank raised the benchmark interest rates on Tuesday for the fourth time this year in an effort to prevent the economy from overheating and curb accelerating inflation. The one-year deposit rate will increase 27 basis points to 3.60 percent, while one-year lending rate will rise by 18 basis points to 7.02 percent, effective on Wednesday, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website. The increase is aimed at better steering bank credit and stabilizing inflation expectation, according to the statement. (…). ^ top ^

Audit agency volunteers for more public scrutiny (SCMP)
2007-08-24
The mainland's top auditing agency, the National Audit Office, has offered to open itself up to more public scrutiny to counter growing scepticism about its credibility and ability to fight financial irregularities. The agency has submitted a report to the State Council, the mainland's cabinet, asking for "external supervision" from other agencies, such as the ministries of finance and supervision, to examine its conduct, Xinhua reported yesterday, quoting vice-director Yu Xiaoming.(…). ^ top ^

Stock index leaps over 5000 mark (Xinhua)
2007-08-24
The Shanghai stock market jumped 1.05 percent to close at 5032.49 yesterday, breaching the 5000-point psychological barrier for the first time. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 52.41 points, with 524 out of 901 stocks closing higher. Turnover amounted to 153.37 billion yuan (20.1 billion U.S. dollars). The index has surged a total of 88 percent this year. (…). ^ top ^

Survey: Living standards drop due to price hike (China Daily)
2007-08-20
The latest jump in food prices strongly affected ordinary people's living standards. Some 94.2 percent of people surveyed viewed the price hike negatively, while 79.3 percent of them have reduced quality of food consumed, a poll conducted by China Youth Daily and News.qq.com discovered. The survey, attracting 14,267 people in less than 24 hours, showed 94.9 percent of respondents' expenses rose this summer. (…). ^ top ^

Multinationals blacklisted for pollution (China Daily)
2007-08-21
Chinese joint ventures with global corporations such as Pepsi-Cola, Samsung, 3M and GM are among 100 multinational companies on an updated blacklist of water polluters, according to a non-governmental organization. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs has compiled a list of water polluters based on government data since 2004 and publishes it at www.ipe.org.cn. The 2006 report listed 33 offenders. Appearing on the latest list are foreign brands well known to Chinese consumers, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Kao. It also reveals pollution caused by some global chemical giants, such as DuPont, Degussa and Ciba. Ma Jun, director of the institute, collated information released by environmental watchdogs during the past four years. (…). ^ top ^

Shoemakers told to pay Nike compensation (Xinhua)
2007-08-21
A court in Shanghai has ordered two Chinese shoe manufacturers and a French supermarket to pay American sporting goods giant Nike 350,000 yuan (46,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation for copyright infringement. Jinjiang Longzhibu Shoes Co Ltd and Jinjiang Kangwei Shoes Co Ltd manufactured shoes bearing a logo that was "basically the same" as one of Nike's - a silhouette of former basketball star Michael Jordan slam-dunking - the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said yesterday. And the Shanghai branch of France-based retailer Auchan was guilty of selling the products without permission from Nike, it said. (…). ^ top ^

Blankets recalled in formaldehyde scare (SCMP)
2007-08-23
Mainland blankets are being recalled in Australia and New Zealand because they contain high levels of potentially dangerous formaldehyde, the importer said yesterday. Amid rising concerns about tests showing high levels of the chemical in mainland-made clothing imported into New Zealand, consumers were warned to return the blankets. Wholesale firm Charles Parsons said the level of formaldehyde in the Superlux brand "may cause short-term skin or respiratory irritation". […]. ^ top ^

Chery to boost foreign plants (Xinhua)
2007-08-23
Chery Automobile Co, the biggest Chinese passenger car brand by unit sales, will build more plants abroad as part of its overseas sales strategy. The new partner of Chrysler and Fiat plans to have 14 overseas factories by 2010 to assemble its own-brand cars, it said yesterday at a ceremony to mark its 1 millionth car at its home base in the eastern city of Wuhu. Chery now has seven plants in six foreign countries - Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Egypt and Uruguay. The top Chinese car exporter is planning new plants in other countries like India and Argentina, it said. (…). ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

China calls for standardized use of languages for 2008 Olympics (Xinhua)
2007-08-20
China has set strict standards on the use of both Chinese and English in service industry to better meet the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, according to a report issued by Ministry of Education (MOE). The report showed that China has regulated the Chinese to English translation for such service as washing rooms, restaurants and hotels to help visitors more conveniently find their destinations. The regulation also includes ways of translation for Chinese cuisine. And a coordination work team was also established to carry out language training programs for common people. Statistics of the report showed that by the end of 2005, more than 4.1 million residents in Beijing had learned foreign languages, which accounted for 30 percent of the total residents. Up to now, nearly 200,000 people in 11 businesses such as tourism have received language training to improve service for Olympics. (…) Moreover, translation of the names of places and roads in Beijing also need to be regulated, said the official. Li stressed that standardized use of languages is of importance to the Olympic Games. Therefore, Beijing should mobilize all walks of life to learn English, especially taxi-drivers and staffs of hotel and department store service. ^ top ^

Police warn of Olympic hijack threat (China Daily)
2007-08-21
Senior police officers and civil aviation officials have warned of the potential threat posed by hijackers during the upcoming Olympic Games.(…) "Some international terrorist organizations are increasing their infiltration into China and civil aviation planes could be the target of a terrorist attack," Zhang Xinfeng, vice-minister of public security said. Zhang, also a member of the State Leading Team for Dealing with Hijacking, said there have been about 600 terrorist attacks each year globally since 2004. (…) "Our efforts to prevent hijacking, as part of the security for the Olympics, face a severe test," he was quoted by Xinhua as saying. The officials made the remarks after an anti-hijacking and aviation emergency drill conducted on Sunday in Dalian, a port city in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. (…) Xinhua said the authorities have put in place an anti-hijacking system. It includes several bodies tasked with dealing with hijacking at various levels and air police. (…). ^ top ^

SCO vows to make Beijing Games a success (China Daily)
2007-08-23
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will share information, especially on security issues, and provide active support to China to ensure a smooth 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, SCO Secretary-General Bolat Nurgaliev said on Wednesday. (…) "Also, it would provide good experience for Russia when it hosts the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014." The member states will take a series of steps to expand their areas of the cooperation into education, culture and health, he said. A university program is on agenda to offer people in the SCO member states a better chance to learn each other's languages, history, literature and modern politics. Also, the SCO member states will "focus on balancing the relationship among the main energy providing, consuming and exporting countries," Nurgaliev said. (…). ^ top ^

 

North Korea

US-S Korea military drill begins despite Pyongyang's objections (SCMP)
2007-08-20
South Korea and the United States kicked off their annual joint military drill on Monday despite strong protests from North Korea ahead of a summit between the neighbouring rivals. […]. ^ top ^

N Korea opens doors to international aid (SCMP)
2007-08-22
Reclusive North Korea is opening up to widespread international aid to help recover from devastating floods, and the UN food agency said yesterday it would start sending emergency food to more than 200,000 victims. Accepting the outside aid under the World Food Programme indicates the seriousness of the floods - and the regime's desperation - given that such food distribution is strictly monitored. Tightly controlled North Korea has previously bristled at such intrusions. (…). ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia Investment Forum 2007 (UB Post)
2007-08-23
Euromoney Conferences is proud to co- host the Mongolia Investment Forum 2007 in partnership with Foreign Investment and Foreign Trade Agency (FIFTA). The event will take place on September 18, 2007 at the Central Palace of Culture in Ulaanbaatar. (…). ^ top ^

Parliament Refuses to Change Windfall Tax Law (UB Post)
2007-08-23
Parliament has decided against any changes in the windfall profits tax law. The Government had submitted a draft proposal to impose the tax only if the international price of gold at the London metal Exchange crosses US$ 650 per ounce. Last Friday, Parliament discussed the draft amendment and decided that the present cut-off rate, of US$500, should be retained. Voting figures indicate that 71.7 percent of the members refused to amend the law and reasserted that all mining companies doing business here should respect Mongolian law. Members were of the opinion that licenses of the mining companies which refused to pay the tax should be confiscated. Companies now are obliged to pay as tax 68 percent of the profit they make when prices cross this limit. This, apparently, they are not doing. The government had said it wanted the amendment as gold mining companies were not paying the tax and less and less gold was being sold to the Mongol Bank.

Enkhbayar Visits Kazakhstan (UB Post)
2007-08-23
President Enkhbayar paid a state visit to Kazakhstan from August 13- 15 at the invitation of his counterpart, N.A.Nazarbaev.He was accompanied by Foreign Minister N.Enkhbold, D.Demberel, Minister of Social Welfare and Labour, D.Terbishdagva, Minister of Food andAgriculture, and several members of Parliament. The meetings between the two presidents were devoted to improving trade relations, cooperation in telecommunication services. It was decided to give priority to projects in agriculture, banking and in the manufacturing industries.

 

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.
 
Page created and hosted by SinOptic Back to the top of the page To SinOptic - Services and Studies on the Chinese World's Homepage