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
  17.11-23.11.07, No. 192  
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Table of contents

Hongkong

Beijing Olympics

DPRK and South Korea

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Foreign Policy

China, Russia report major progress in gas negotiations (China Daily)
2007-11-19
China's largest oil and gas company China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russian gas giant Gazprom have reported a major progress in their natural gas negotiations, Gazpom's deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said in Beijing Saturday. The negotiation, which touched on rising prices of crude oil and gas pipes on the international market, was constructive but the two sides hadn't agreed on specific prices, said Medvedev. […]Under the deal [done in march 2006], Russia will pipe 68 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year by 2020. ^ top ^

OPEC to strengthen China collaboration (China Daily)
2007-11-19
Oil exporting countries have expressed strong interest in trade and exploration with China even as they voiced concern that rising prices could weaken demand from the fast-paced economy. Nigerian Energy Minister Odein Ajumogobia said his country plans to invest $5 billion next year for energy development and production, with $4 billion of that amount open to third-party investors. "China and Nigeria can deepen cooperation as huge business opportunities exist," Ajumogobia told China Daily over the weekend at the Third OPEC Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer and largest source of imports for China. […] Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, agreed: "We have seen slackening of demand in the US and China." But he said he believes oil prices would remain at current levels until the end of the first quarter next year and were unlikely to go over $100 a barrel. […]. ^ top ^

13th ASEAN Summit opens in Singapore (Xinhua)
2007-11-20
[…] This year's summit coincides with a significant milestone in ASEAN's development, its 40th Anniversary. In the spotlight at this summit is the event that the ASEAN leaders will sign the ASEAN Charter, which will transform ASEAN into a more effective and rules-based organization, as well as pave the way for ASEAN's closer integration.^ top ^

China to play constructive role on Myanmar issue (China Daily)
2007-11-20
[…] China always supported the mediation efforts by the UN secretary general and his special envoy and would sincerely like to see a peaceful, stable, democratic and developing Myanmar, [Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao] said. […] On the upcoming 11th meeting among leaders from the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Liu said China would respect the views of related countries on whether to discuss the Myanmar issue at the meeting, stressing that the issue was essentially the internal affairs of Myanmar itself. […] "China has no self-interest on the issue", Liu said. ^ top ^

China to further co-op with Singapore in trade, investment (Xinhua)
2007-11-20
[…] The bilateral cooperation is of long-term, full of creativity and with effectiveness, said Wen [Jiabao] while meeting with Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. […] Goh also expressed hope to further develop the cooperation in the project of the Suzhou Industrial Park and do well in building the Eco-City in Tianjin. The Suzhou Industrial Park is a good example of China-Singapore business cooperation. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing to pressure EU to revoke arms embargo (SCMP)
2007-11-20
Beijing will push the European Union to repeal its arms embargo when the two sides meet later this month, a Foreign Ministry official said. […] Beijing regarded the embargo as a form of political discrimination, the official said. Beijing hoped the EU would provide "concrete action" on the embargo at the meeting, he said. The issue has been a continuing ongoing source of tension between the two sides. […]. ^ top ^

Joint carbon project launched (China Daily)
2007-11-21
[…] The Near Zero Emission Coal project aims to capture the carbon dioxide generated by coal combustion and then pump it deep underground, where it cannot contribute to climate change. Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the British government, the project should pave the way for the construction of a demonstration near-zero-emissions plant in China by 2014. […] The second phase will involve research on capture and storage options, and plants will be built in the third phase. "The technology for capturing and storing carbon safely and effectively is developing fast and will eventually become the standard for fossil fuels," Li Gao, director of the Center for China's Agenda 21, which is part of a UN program for sustainable development, said. […]. ^ top ^

China's advance troop of engineering to head for Darfur (China Daily)
2007-11-21
[…] China has been committed to sending a 315-men multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur, which would be the first batch of UN-AU peacekeepers in place in Darfur, according to China's Special Representative on African Affairs Liu Guijin. ^ top ^

China urges Iran to further cooperate with IAEA (China Daily)
2007-11-21
China on Tuesday encouraged Iran to abide by UN resolutions and strengthen cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to achieve early solution of its nuclear issue. […] Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao told a routine press conference [:] "According to the report, some progress has been achieved by Iran and the IAEA. However, Iran has not abided by the demands of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and suspended its uranium enrichment activities," Liu said. […] ElBaradei released a report last week saying that Iran had made progress in revealing the extent of its nuclear program while refusing to halt enrichment activities. […]. ^ top ^

China, Ecuador pledge to further all-round co-op (People's Daily)
2007-11-21
[…] During the talks, Hu [Jintao …] voiced the hope to enhance cooperation on agriculture, energy resources and finance, as well as the personnel exchanges. Hu said China would like to maintain consultation with Ecuador in the multilateral arenas including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and Andean Community to promote a just and reasonable international order. […]. ^ top ^

Why Asean failed to stand up to the bully in its ranks (SCMP)
2007-11-21
[…] "Prime Minister Thein Sein made clear that the situation in Myanmar was a domestic ... affair and that Myanmar was fully capable of handling the situation by itself," the summit statement read out yesterday by chairman and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said. […] The US, meanwhile, expressed deep concerns. Hours before the dinner, senior US officials warned that future trade pacts between Asean and the US could be at risk due to the involvement of Myanmar. ^ top ^

China, India plan joint military exercise (China Daily)
2007-11-22
[…] As Premier Wen Jiabao met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit, Indian Defense Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said about 100 troops each from both the countries will take part in the military drill. "The joint exercise, to be held in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, will focus on counter-terrorism measures," […]. At their meeting, Wen and Singh agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy security and fighting climate change, and vowed to resolve the boundary issue through "mutually acceptable" means. […]. ^ top ^

Climate agreement, but no targets - Asia summit avoids numbers as China pledges to cut energy use (SCMP)
2007-11-22
[…] The summit […] was dominated by closed-door discussions on sensitive environmental and energy security issues. Intense debate involving developed and the developing nations resulted in a watered-down declaration that avoided numerical emission reduction targets included in earlier drafts. There was also no provision to even limit their growth by a specific date. […]China, the world's second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after the US, and India have refused to agree to fixed targets and want rich nations to take the lead in cutting emissions and pay for cleaner energy technology. […]. ^ top ^

Sarkozy to call for 'fairer' yuan rate (SCMP)
2007-11-23
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will call on Beijing leaders during his coming visit for a "more equitable, fairer" balance between the yuan and the US dollar, the euro and the yen, according to a French official. "There is a real problem," and other European nations shared that assessment, the official said yesterday of the currency issue. Mr Sarkozy would "very frankly" tell the leaders that "a more equitable, fairer relationship must be built between these four principal currencies", said the official. Mr Sarkozy's trip to China, his first since becoming president, starts on Sunday. The French official listed five priority issues for Mr Sarkozy on the visit - the environment, commercial ties, Africa, China's international role and bilateral concerns. Human rights was notably missing from the list, although the official said Mr Sarkozy would raise the issue. The French leader has talks scheduled with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Government pumps 6b yuan into conservation (China Daily)
2007-11-19
The government has earmarked 6 billion yuan ($774 million) to pay for energy conservation projects to be launched before the end of this year, a senior official from the top economic planner said Monday. […] Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said at the China Energy Saving and Emission Reduction Forum 2007 [:] "Incentives have been devised to encourage enterprises to save energy. Enterprises will receive financial aid according to the energy they can save while reducing emissions". Xie said the central government has also set aside an additional 2 billion yuan to compensate local governments and enterprises for eliminating excess production capacity in the latter half of this year. ^ top ^

President Hu promises more pension for retired (Xinhua)
2007-11-20
Chinese President Hu Jintao said the government will continue to raise pension for the country's retired workers and further improve their lives. "We have to improve the welfare of the public and let them enjoy the fruits of reforms," Hu said. […]. ^ top ^

Government plays down ecological impact of dam after landslide (SCMP)
2007-11-22
The central government sought on Thursday to head off rising concern about the environmental impact of the massive Three Gorges Dam, playing down a deadly landslide and saying that any damage had been foreseen by planners. […] Beijing has gone into damage control since accounts emerged of a September meeting by officials and experts that raised surprisingly critical questions about the dam, once a pet project of the communist leadership. Those accounts warned of increasing landslides and pollution, perhaps requiring that millions more people in the reservoir area be relocated – issues raised by critics during the dam's planning and construction but quashed by Beijing. […]. ^ top ^

Journalist wins international honour for exposing scam (SCMP)
2007-11-22
A whistle-blower who spent eight years in jail was awarded a top journalism prize in New York yesterday. Gao Qinrong , a former investigative reporter for Xinhua's Shanxi branch, was one of four journalists awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists. ^ top ^

Human rights and civil society's role in China (China Daily)
2007-11-23
Nobody can become an expert on UN human rights treaties in a week. But a seven-day workshop held in Geneva, Switzerland, last month could prompt civil society to play a more active part in China to honor the treaties' principles. That the Chinese government is serious to get civil society more involved is evident from the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the Foreign Ministry signed with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) in 2005. […] The Geneva workshop was the first project under the MoU, says Dong Yunhu, vice-president and secretary-general of CSHRS, the country's leading NGO that specializes in research and disseminates knowledge about human rights. Sponsored by the Office of the UNHCHR, 23 social workers, lawyers and advocates from eight NGOs in China, including Dong's, attended the workshop. […] The committee's recommendation to the Chinese government says: "Public consultation is a requirement in the reporting process." The objective of the consultation "is to inform the general public and to generate interest and debate on the steps the state party has undertaken in fulfilling its treaty obligations under the covenant". […] Liu says there's no need for too many treaties and bureaucratic bodies. UN human rights guarantees are more of a promotion, and less of arbitration or about challenging violations in a court. But after attending the workshop, he and his fellow participants have begun to think more about their own work and contribution. […] Several participants were struck by some to-the-point comments made in the treaty bodies' review of the state party reports and by special rapporteurs during their inspection tours in China, which are open to the public. […]. ^ top ^

Immigrants drawn to 'stability, economy' (People's Daily)
2007-11-23
China's political stability and fast economic development have made it a desirable destination for illegal immigrants, officials with the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection said yesterday. "Between October 1 and yesterday, we seized 83 illegal immigrants, which is a record for us since our department was set up in 1998," Li Junzhou, the vice section chief of the station's repatriation department, told China Daily. […] Li said the illegal immigrants seized between October 1 and yesterday were from Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia and South America. Some 92 percent of them were from Africa and had had entered China aboard Ethiopian Airlines or China Southern Airplanes flights. The two airlines started operating between Africa and China last year. […] To ease the entry process for legitimate foreign visitors while making it less easy for people to sneak into the country using fake documents, frontier officials last month adopted a Swiss immigration system called DOCU Expert. It allows immigration officials to check the validity of e-passports, which are equipped with microchips containing information about the passport-holder. […] "To ease entries into China for foreign guests, a group of frontier inspectors working for the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection have been trained to double check suspicious passports in just 10 minutes," he said. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Plan to move 200,000 from central Beijing (SCMP)
2007-11-22
About 200,000 residents of central Beijing will be moved out as part of a five-year plan to preserve the capital's heritage. The relocations were spelled out in the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning's long-awaited 11th Five-Year Plan for the Preservation of Beijing as a Cultural and Historical City. Under the blueprint, authorities will try to ease population pressure in the central districts by moving out within five years residents who are crowded into the old city's courtyards and narrow streets, with "full play of legal, economic and administrative procedures". […]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Job-creation efforts bearing fruit in Shanghai (China Daily)
2007-11-20
[…] Shi Juemin, a vice-director of the Shanghai municipal labor and social security bureau, said the city is on target to offer jobs to people who are of legal working age and are able to work. […] According to a labor bureau report released earlier this year, Shanghai's government had "bought" - or created and paid for - 240,000 jobs by the end of last year. Hiring people as nurses or home care providers for the aged will have the additional benefit of helping the government deal with the city's rapidly aging population. […] "Companies will have to clearly state the salary when hiring people," Shi said. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong winds up 3rd-term District Council election (Xinhua)
2007-11-19
The Hong Kong Electoral Affairs Commission announced at predawn hours here Monday that the counting of ballots in the third-term District Council election was completed as 364 candidates won in their contested constituencies. […] Candidates in 41 of the 405 constituencies have been elected unopposed while the remaining 364 seats in the 18 District Councils were contested by 866 candidates. […] "The polling for our third-term District Council has come to a successful ending," said HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang after the voting ended, "it is a fair, open and just election under the full-scale coverage by the press and the observation by the public. […]. ^ top ^

HKSAR gov't responds to U.S. Congress' report on HK (People's Daily)
2007-11-19
[…] An HKSAR government spokesman said they are pleased to note that the report recognizes that Hong Kong is favored by businesses from all parts of the globe as a center for commerce in Asia, and as a key financial center for the Asia-Pacific region. […] The spokesman said the HKSAR government will continue to enhance Hong Kong's role as a gateway between the Chinese mainland and the international business community, by exploring ways to buttress the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong, especially in regard to strengthening our advantages in the rule of law, independent judiciary, law enforcement and transparency. Regarding constitutional development, the spokesman said the third-term HKSAR government is committed to resolving the issue of universal suffrage within its five-year term. […] "Constitutional development is part of our internal affairs," noted the spokesman, adding "the HKSAR will deal with it in accordance with the Basic Law. We hope, and believe, that foreign governments and legislatures will continue to respect this principle." On freedom of the press, the spokesman said Hong Kong has developed a respect for freedom of speech and of the press. […]. ^ top ^

Involve HK in national plan, Tsang urges Beijing (SCMP)
2007-11-23
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has asked the central government to get Hong Kong involved in the nation's 12th five-year plan at an early stage. Such involvement, which would be the first of its kind, would include the special administrative region in the national development blueprint for 2011-2015. […] Hong Kong's status was mentioned in the 11th five-year plan endorsed by the National People's Congress last year, in which the central government reiterated its support for the city maintaining its position as an international financial, trade and logistics centre. The source said the progress of the proposed bridge linking Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau was discussed at the meeting. Mr Tsang had appealed for the central government to co-ordinate work by the three cities on tackling the last hurdle to its construction - who pays for it. It was agreed the bridge should be built as soon as possible, but no time frame was mentioned, the source said. […] During a meeting with General Administration of Press and Publication head Liu Binjie, Mr Tsang said he hoped more mainland media enterprises would list on the Hong Kong stock market. There are currently nine listed mainland media organisations, but only two are listed in Hong Kong. Mr Liu was quoted by the source saying that another 15 to 20 media companies were planning to go public in the next two years and that some might consider doing so in Hong Kong. ^ top ^

 

Macau

Macau axe set to fall on ex-minister's pet projects (SCMP)
2007-11-19
[…] The new minister, Lau Si-io, will unveil his plans for next year on November 30. Mr Lau has been urged to exercise caution over the choice of projects while pushing ahead with those urgently needed in Macau. Legislator Au Kam-san called for a thorough reassessment of projects left undone or unfinished by the fall of Ao, who is on trial accused of corruption. […]. ^ top ^

Macao chief promises $137m tax break (China Daily)
2007-11-23
[…] "In the coming year, the government will continue to implement various measures for the benefit of the people, further propel economic development and create a prosperous society in conjunction with all quarters of society," [Macao's Chief Executive Edmund Ho] said. A tax concession package worth more than 1.1 billion patacas ($137 million) was also announced yesterday, as Macao's economy has seen huge growth over the past year. […] He announced a 25 percent reduction in personal tax and an increase of the personal tax allowance from 95,000 patacas to 110,000 patacas. On housing, he said all non-rental units will be exempt from housing tax, while rental units will enjoy a 50 percent tax reduction. […] Addressing one of the past year's major public concerns, Ho pledged to beef up efforts to combat illegal labor and better protect local workers. […] He added that the authorities will also broaden the powers of the graft-busters. […] He said the government will also seek to amend the law to extend the scope of control to the private sector. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan blocks choice of mainland judge for WTO tribunal (SCMP)
2007-11-20
Taiwan blocked the appointment of the mainland's first judge on the World Trade Organisation's highest court in Geneva yesterday in a surprise move that is likely to further sour relations. […] The move also blocked the formation of a panel to investigate a US complaint into rules affecting the distribution of entertainment products such as films and music on the mainland. There was no immediate comment from Taiwanese or mainland diplomats in Geneva.^ top ^

No talks on unification if I'm elected, says Ma (SCMP)
2007-11-23
[…] Analysts said Mr Ma's comment was by far his clearest statement on his political stance towards the mainland. Speaking to Japanese lawmakers during a brief visit to Tokyo yesterday, the frontrunner for the Taiwanese presidential election in March said: "I would not discuss the cross-strait unification issue with the mainland during my tenure as the president ... nor would I support Taiwan independence." He said his policy would be to maintain the status quo of the Republic of China, the official title used by the island. […] Mr Ma said Taiwan needed to improve its relations with the mainland and, if elected, he planned to negotiate three issues with Beijing - normalisation of cross-strait economic relations, the signing of a peace pact and moves to increase Taiwan's international profile. He said the "three links" - direct transport, trade and postal links - were a must if the two sides were to normalise their economic ties, and a peace pact was necessary if Taiwan and the mainland were to co-exist peacefully. Mr Ma said he would ask the mainland to remove 1,000 missiles targeting the island. […] Mr Ma said he would make sure the defence budget would not fall below 3 per cent of the island's gross domestic product. He said Taiwan would not seek to develop nuclear weapons.^ top ^

 

Tibet

German leader stands by decision to meet Dalai Lama (SCMP)
2007-11-20
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands by her decision to meet Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, despite the strains it has caused in ties with Beijing, a German government spokesman said yesterday. "The chancellor has always made it clear that she will not be dictated to by anyone," spokesman Thomas Steg said. "She [Dr Merkel] will defend her right to receive whom she wants, where she wants.". ^ top ^

Merkel pulls foreign minister into line (SCMP)
2007-11-23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hit back at her Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in a row over China policy that has highlighted rising tensions in the left-right coalition. On Wednesday, the day Mr Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, took over as vice-chancellor, Dr Merkel defended her decision to meet the Dalai Lama two months ago and criticised the foreign minister for second-guessing her on the issue. […] Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, an ally of Dr Merkel, criticised Mr Steinmeier on Wednesday for his stance on the chancellor's meeting with the Dalai Lama. "It is absurd. Every other German foreign minister has hosted the Dalai Lama - only Mr Steinmeier hasn't," Mr Schaeuble told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung […].^ top ^

Global warming threatening Tibet's environment (Xinhua)
2007-11-21
[…] "The warming climate has caused more meteorological disasters than ever in Tibet. Problems like receding snow lines, shrinking glaciers, drying grasslands and desert expansion are increasingly threatening the natural eco-system in the region," said Song Shanyun, the director of the Tibet Regional Meteorological Bureau. […] Tibet just experienced its third warm winter in the last seven years between December 2006 and February 2007, with a temperature rise of nine degrees in some areas. […].^ top ^

FM spokesman on Dalai Lama's appointing successor (Xinhua)
2007-11-23
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said here Thursday that the Dalai Lama's appointing successor will violate religious rituals and historical conventions of Tibetan Buddhism. Liu made the remarks when asked to comment on the Dalai Lama's recent remarks which indicated that he might announce his successor. He said the system of reincarnation of great lamas is unique to Tibetan Buddhism which has complete religious rituals and historical conventions. The Chinese government carries out the policy of religious freedom and respects the conventions of Tibetan Buddhism which has been made clear in a recent-released regulation on reincarnation of great lamas, Liu said. […].^ top ^

 

Economy

Chinese buyers weigh on copper as prices fall - Industry expects mainland imports to grow (SCMP)
2007-11-19
Mainland buyers have been conspicuous by their absence from world copper markets but they will return because China is the world's top consumer of the metal and uses more than it produces. Over the past month, copper prices have fallen more than 15 per cent on rising inventories and worries about slowing demand from the United States. Mainland monetary tightening has also made purchases difficult to finance. […] Barclays Capital analyst Kevin Norrish said [:]"But the bottom line is that China doesn't produce enough copper, its demand is growing fast and the import gap has to be filled sooner or later." […]. ^ top ^

WB: Air pollution costs 3.8% of China's GDP (China Daily)
2007-11-20
[…] While it has put the combined health and non-health cost of outdoor air and water pollution for China's economy at around US$100 billion a year, or about 5.8 percent of the country's GDP, David Dollar, the World Bank country director for China and Mongolia, said air pollution poses higher costs than water pollution. Air pollution, especially in large cities, is leading to higher incidence of lung diseases, including cancer, respiratory system problems and therefore higher levels of work and school absenteeism, Dollar said, quoting a World Bank report issued following a joint assessment with China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). […]. ^ top ^

Premier: Economy to grow by 11.5% (China Daily)
2007-11-21
China's economy is expected to grow 11.5 percent this year, Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday. ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

World's nuclear watchdog to help Beijing Olympics (China Daily)
2007-11-21
The world's nuclear watchdog said on Monday it was helping China guard against any potential attack at next year's Olympic Games in Beijing. Tomihiro Taniguchi, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the U.N. agency was providing nuclear detection equipment and training staff in its use to help protect participants and spectators. […]. ^ top ^

New air space limits come into use (China Daily)
2007-11-23
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China has announced new vertical airspace requirements, almost doubling the number of flights the country can handle. The move aims to make better use of airspace to prepare for the increasing traffic brought on by the 2008 Olympics. The new standards came into effect on Thursday. The space between aircraft will decrease from 600 meters to 300 meters. Officials say the move aims to make better use of airspace, increase air traffic flow and reduce flight delays. […] All aircraft in the area will have two independent height measurement systems to guarantee the safety of flights. Officials say they are confident they can safely carry out the new standards. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

North Korea's Kim restores relative to power (SCMP)
2007-11-22
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has restored his brother-in-law to a powerful post, South Korean media reported on Thursday, a move analysts said could signal a major shift in domestic policy in the reclusive state. Jang Song-thaek, once considered to be among his closest aides but who later fell from grace, has been promoted to a role overseeing internal security, local media quoted unnamed South Korean sources as saying. […]. ^ top ^

S Korea, DPRK agree to operate cross-border railway cargo transport everyday (Xinhua)
2007-11-22
South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed on Thursday to operate a daily cargo train service across the border from Dec. 11, South Korean Unification Ministry said. […] The cargo train will be operated once everyday between the 19.8-km-long route from Munsan to Bongdong, which is close to the Kaesong Inter-Korean Industrial Complex, the ministry said. The operation of cargo trains is expected to cut the transportation cost for South Korean firms by nearly half and replacing hundreds of trucks used each day to move the raw materials from DPRK to South Korea, local media said. ^ top ^

S Korea, Gulf nations to launch FTA talks in 2008 (Xinhua)
2007-11-23
According to the Ministry for Trade, South Korea agreed to launch the [free trade agreement (FTA)] talks with [Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)] nations during preliminary talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The ministry said talks held in the Saudi capital touched on the need for a "high degree" of liberalization for products, services and improved investment opportunities. ^ top ^

 

Novella Bellonia
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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