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
  16.6-20.6.08, No. 222  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

Japan, China, S Korea agree to strengthen co-op (People's Daily)
2008-06-15
Foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea agreed in Tokyo on Saturday to strengthen trilateral cooperation for better political, economic and cultural relations. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung Hwan reached the agreement at the second trilateral meeting of foreign ministers from the three countries. Yang said the meeting was held when the trilateral cooperation is showing bright prospect. "The trilateral cooperation is facing new opportunities and is standing at a threshold," Yang told his counterparts during the meeting held later in the afternoon. "Further development of the trilateral cooperation is in line with the expectation of the three peoples and is conducive to peaceful development of the three countries and the region," Yang said. He called for cherishing of the opportunities to actively push forward the trilateral cooperation toward the direction of peaceful coexistence, comprehensive cooperation, mutual benefit and common development. Yang called on the three sides to keep their respective political promises, improve understanding and trust in each others, expand logistical and financial cooperation as well as social and cultural exchanges and deepen communications on regional cooperation and significant international and local issues so as to further improve the mechanism of trilateral cooperation. The three ministers agreed that the trilateral cooperation is very important for peace, stability and prosperity of Asia. They agreed to carry out new cooperation on disaster relief. The three ministers agreed to keep regular communications between leaders and foreign ministers of the three countries and scheduled a meeting of heads of government of the three countries in Japan in September. The three ministers also agreed to strengthen cooperation on promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, combating climate change, environment protection, food and energy safety, assistance to African development and the United Nations' reform. Komura and Yu wished the Beijing Olympics a great success. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier to attend economic dialogue (China Daily)
2008-06-16
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan left here Sunday for the United States to attend the fourth round of China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue.The dialogue is scheduled to be held from June 17 to 18 in Annapolis, Maryland. Vice Premier Wang Qishan, as special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao, and US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, as special representative of US President George W. Bush, will co-chair the meeting.Wang's entourage included ministers and other senior officials from related departments of the State Council. ^ top ^

Deal on gas exploration ducks bigger question of sovereignty (SCMP)
2008-06-17
Despite the long-awaited "breakthrough" in resolving the dispute between China and Japan over gas exploration in the East China Sea, both sides avoided the more complex issue of territorial control over the area. Widely regarded as a compromise, the agreement as disclosed by Kyodo yesterday said only that Beijing had agreed to allow Japan to invest in - and claim proportional profits from - gas exploration projects. It did not touch on the demarcation issue or the respective proportions of investment. But experts said China's willingness to let Japan invest in the Chunxiao gas project was of particular significance. President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda failed to reach an agreement on the disputed area during Mr Hu's visit to Japan last month, although Mr Fukuda said the two sides were close to a resolution. […] Li Guangmin, an expert on Sino-Japanese relations at Qingdao University's Politics and International Studies Institute, said that in addition to China's hunger for new sources of energy, Beijing was eager to "herald in a new era" of ties with Tokyo.The central government was also under additional pressure because of the possibility that Mr Fukuda, who is facing mounting calls to quit because of his growing unpopularity, may step down as early as next month after the Group of Eight summit ends. "China wants to extend the bilateral friendly relationship to the next prime minister, and the compromise it made is a kind of a gift to Japan," Professor Li said. He pointed out that the agreement would probably be implemented in stages when the new prime minister took office. But he added: "I believe it's only a temporary agreement. Both sides would first develop the resources before handling other thorny issues.". ^ top ^

Vice premier arrives in Washington to attend SED (Xinhua)
2008-06-17
Washington - Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan arrived here Monday afternoon to attend the upcoming fourth round of China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue, or SED. The SED will be held from June 17 to 18 at U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, about 30-minute drive from Washington. The meeting will be co-chaired by Wang as special representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, as special representative of U.S. President George W. Bush. Wang's entourage includes ministers and other senior officials from related departments of China's State Council. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese vice president kicks off visit to DPRK (Xinhua)
2008-06-17
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived here Tuesday morning on an official good-will visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). During his three-day visit to the DPRK, Xi will meet with leaders of the country to exchanges views on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. […] In a statement released at the airport, Xi said under the care of top leaders of both countries and by joint efforts of the two sides, relations between China and the DPRK, the friendly neighbors connected by land and rivers, have been moving forward. […] China is willing to join hands with the DPRK to further bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all fields so as to benefit the two peoples and make greater contribution to the lasting peace and common prosperity of the region, he said. ^ top ^

China, U.S. list electricity, transportation as focus of energy co-op (Xinhua)
2008-06-18
Annapolis, United States - China and the United States have identified power generation, transportation and three other areas as priorities under a 10-year framework of energy and environment protection cooperation, a Chinese official said Tuesday. The two sides are pushing for the formulation of action plans in the five areas, Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice minister in charge of China's National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters here on the sidelines of the ongoing fourth round of the Sino-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), in Annapolis, Maryland. The five areas are the promotion of energy efficiency during power generation, promotion of energy efficiency in transportation and green-house gas reduction, the treatment of water pollution, the treatment of air pollution and the preservation of wetlands and forest resources, he said. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese vice president makes five-point proposal to develop relations with DPRK (People's Daily)
2008-06-18
Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made a five-point proposal to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Xi, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the proposal while meeting with Yang Hyong Sop, vice president of the Presidium of DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly. Firstly, Xi proposed maintaining the trend of mutual exchange of visits by high ranking officials, and strengthening political communication and close relations between the Chinese Communist Party and the Worker's Party of Korea. […] Second, he proposed the observance of "China-DPRK Friendship Year" in 2009 -- the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The third point of his proposal is that both sides should strive to deepen cooperation in agriculture, light industry, information industry, technology, transportation and infrastructure construction in the border areas. […] Fourth, Xi proposed the promotion of bilateral cultural exchanges. […] Finally, the Chinese vice president also proposed to strengthen bilateral coordination and cooperation in the six-party talks on the DPRK nuclear issue, and within the framework of the United Nations, to protect the interests of both countries. ^ top ^

Japan to announce joint gas exploration (SCMP)
2008-06-18
Japan is to announce on Wednesday an accord with China to jointly develop gas fields in the East China Sea, resolving a spat that was a thorn in relations of the two major energy importers, reports said. Japan will announce the deal on the long-running spat at an evening press conference by Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari, Jiji Press news agency and other media said. No immediate confirmation was available from the government. Japanese media said Japan would make an investment in China's already existing production at the Chunxiao gas field and win the right to resources in proportion with its financial contribution. The exact level of Japanese investment is to be worked out later, they said. Chunxiao, called Shirakaba by Japan, is located just west of the Japanese-proposed median line and Japan has earlier voiced worries that China's drilling may siphon gas from its own side. China has said the gas field falls easily within its sovereign zone. The Sankei daily also reported the two countries would make a 50-50 joint development of the Longjing field, called Asunaro by Japanese, which is the northernmost of four gas fields near the the median line. […]. ^ top ^

First group of mainlanders on tourist visas heads to US (SCMP)
2008-06-18
Beijing retiree Zhang Xiaorui and 232 other mainland travellers headed to the United States yesterday - for the first time on tourist rather than business visas. They are the first allowed in on the new visas since a Sino-US memorandum ended decades-old restrictions on mainland travellers to allow entry to groups from nine major cities and provinces. Before the scheme conferred "approved destination status" on mainlanders, tourists had to take the risk of applying for business visas, which had a high rejection rate. Under the new rules, mainland travel agencies may sell package tours to US destinations. […] China Travel Service Guangzhou spokesman Wang Jian said the new scheme did not make the visa-application process easier. All applicants had to declare their assets, have an interview with the US embassy or a consulate, and pay a deposit of at least 50,000 yuan. […]. ^ top ^

China, Japan reach principled consensus on East China Sea issue (People's Daily)
2008-06-19
China and Japan, through consultations on an equal footing, reached principled consensus on the East China Sea issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the announcement in Beijing Wednesday. ^ top ^

Vital energy deal with US signed (China Daily)
2008-06-20
China and the US signed a 10-year agreement on cooperation in energy and environmental protection on the closing day of the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). As a "major achievement" of the fourth SED, the two governments have agreed to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. The agreement, signed on Wednesday, calls for cooperation on a range of issues, from energy efficiency in power generation and transportation and water treatment to reducing air pollution and the preserving the wetlands and forest resources. Leading the Chinese delegation to the SED, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said the deal will influence future bilateral economic cooperation and contribute to sustainable development across the world. […] Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, hoped the two countries would work on detailed plans soon. China and the US have to meet the challenge of rising energy costs through long-term and extensive cooperation, said Zhang, also a member of the Chinese team. Paulson said making existing or new technologies affordable is crucial. On his visit to China earlier this year, he had said: "It will require reducing market access barriers." "For instance, I hear from some government officials about the need for US technology to help clear up China's rivers and control pollution from China's smoke stacks, but technology can be expensive, in part due to tariffs and non-tariff barriers." […]. ^ top ^

US Secretary of State Rice to visit China late June (China Daily)
2008-06-20
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit South Korea and China following a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Kyoto, Japan later this month, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Thursday. Rice will visit Seoul first on June 28 before she travels to Beijing on June 29, Casey told reporters. During her east Asian tour, Rice will have, among others, "a discussion of the six-party talks" with officials of the visited countries. […]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China quake death toll rises to 69,170 (People's Daily)
2008-06-16
The death toll of China's massive May 12 earthquake increased by seven overnight to 69,170 as of Saturday noon, the State Council Information Office said. It said 374,159 people were injured and 17,428 others were still missing after the 8.0-magnitude quake hit Sichuan Province and neighboring regions. Hospitals had treated 95,654 injured people as of Saturday noon, of whom 78,433 had been discharged and 14,617 were still being treated. By Friday, more than 1.41 million quake survivors had been found and evacuated. As of Saturday noon, the government disaster relief fund had reached 53.76 billion yuan (about 7.68 billion U.S. dollars), including 49.15 billion yuan from the central budget and 4.61 billion yuan from the local budget. Relief supplies continued to pour into the quake zone. As of Saturday noon, about 1.24 million tents, 4.787 million quilts, 14 million garments, 1,009,400 tonnes of fuel oil and 2.16 million tonnes of coal had been sent. […]. ^ top ^

57 killed as rain, floods lash south (China Daily)
2008-06-16
Torrential rain and floods across southern China have claimed at least 57 lives over the past 10 days, the government said Sunday. More than 18 million people in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have been hit by the floods. And about 1.3 million people have been moved to safer places in those places, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. The economic loss because of the rain and floods has reached 10.6 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), with crops on 902,000 hectares being destroyed. More than 45,000 houses have collapsed and 140,000 houses have been damaged. Continuous rain has wreaked havoc across the south, disrupting traffic and damaging crops, and causing power outages in a few areas. Vegetable prices have soared amid tight supplies in some areas. In Guangdong, the worst hit province, vegetable prices jumped 70 percent in the cities of Guangzhou, Shantou, Chaozhou and Shaoguan on Saturday. The ministry raised the national disaster emergency response system to level-III late on Saturday and dispatched teams of officials and experts to the affected areas to help with relief work. The level-III response requires the ministry to send people to the disaster areas within 24 hours and relief fund and materials within 48 hours. Level-I is the highest natural disaster response mechanism, and level-IV the lowest. ^ top ^

Deported dissident commits suicide, says refugee advocate (SCMP)
2008-06-17
A Chinese dissident who was forcibly deported from Australia despite voicing fears of persecution if he was returned to his native country has killed himself, a refugee advocate claimed yesterday. The activist, known only as Zhang, who had complained of being tortured by authorities after being sent back to China a year ago, committed suicide after losing hope, according to Frances Milne. […] Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans said he was unaware of the case but would seek more information. ^ top ^

Floods take a toll on life, kill 171 people (Xinhua)
2008-06-17
Guangzhou - Heavy rain and floods have claimed 171 lives in China's 20 regions this year, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, with the government warning of serious flooding in the Yellow River. […] The worst storms and floods in decades have hit about 38.56 million people in 20 provinces, mostly in the south, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said yesterday. Heavy rain in the next few days could "increase the destructive force of floods and make relief and rescue work even more difficult", the CMA [China Meteorological Administration] said.[…]. ^ top ^

Continuous downpours pose threat to south China region (Xinhua)
2008-06-18
Nanning - Days of heavy rain have driven up the water level of last week's major flood, threatening thousands in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local officials said. As of Tuesday, about 7,000 people had been evacuated without casualties in Longtou Village, Yizhou City and Guangxi, said Lu Zhanhong, Yizhou municipal government deputy director of public relations. […] In east Fujian Province, rain had been predicted to fall for another three days, and 24-hour totals could reach 50-100 mm in most cities, the local meteorological station said. The rain could cause geologic disasters in southern and western Fujian in the next 24 hours, according to the report. Since June 7, there has been continuous heavy rain in 12 provinces and regions in southern China, with some areas getting the most rain in 100 years. The Ministry of Civil Affairs said rainstorms and floods had killed 63 people, with 13 others missing in nine provinces and region in south China as of Monday. A total of 1.66 million people had been evacuated. The disaster knocked down 67,000 houses, damaged crops on 1.02 million hectares of farmland and caused a direct economic loss of 14.45 billion yuan. […]. ^ top ^

Ministry: Bumper harvest of China's summer grain within reach (Xinhua)
2008-06-18
China could see the fifth consecutive bumper harvest of summer grain for the first time since the founding of the new China, Xinhua learnt from sources with the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday. The total summer crop output for this year will definitely surpass the 115.34 billion kilogrammes for 2007, after 85 percent of the wheat has been harvested, according to the ministry. […] However, vice minister of agriculture Wei Chao'an warned on Tuesday of a severe invasion of pests this summer, aggravated by heavy rain. […]. ^ top ^

Aftershock kills two in NW China (Xinhua)
2008-06-18
Xi'an - A 4.5-magnitude aftershock on Tuesday killed two people and injured another one in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, local authorities confirmed. […]. ^ top ^

Bird's Nest' checked for anti-quake design (SCMP)
2008-06-19
Beijing authorities are checking the earthquake resilience of the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", and 57 other major structures in the wake of the Sichuan disaster, Xinhua reported yesterday. All Beijing's buildings have to be built to resist magnitude-8 tremors, but 58 structures will now be inspected again. "Many were designed by foreign designers who came from non-quake zones and lacked anti-quake design experience," a Beijing Municipal Construction Committee official was quoted as saying. "Some architecture plans are quite abnormal and beyond the existing design criteria.”. ^ top ^

Tremors rock northwest, but no reports of damage (SCMP)
2008-06-19
A series of small to moderate earthquakes jolted the northwest of the mainland, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the Seismological Bureau said. Five tremors ranging from magnitude 3.5 to magnitude 5.4 struck the remote province of Qinghai in the space of four hours, the bureau said on its website. The first - and largest - hit at 1.23pm and was centred on a nature reserve in the southwestern part of the province, Xinhua said. The rest were in the mountainous Tanggula area, which is crossed by the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. A duty officer at the Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company said the quakes did not cause any damage. ^ top ^

Pregnant woman rescued in quake delivers baby named 'Love' (China Daily)
2008-06-20
Urumqi -- A little over a month ago, Zhang Xiaoyan lay in the rubble of her earthquake-shattered apartment building. Trapped for more than 50 hours, she prayed for the life of her unborn child".
Even if I didn't make it, I just wanted my baby to survive," she said. "I was holding out hope during the earthquake that this day would come." That day was Wednesday, when Zhang's daughter was born by Caesarean section in the Urumqi Maternal Care Hospital. Hours later, Zhang said as she reclined next to her newborn baby, a rosy-cheeked infant swaddled in a pink floral blanket. Zhang's dramatic rescue in the town of Dujiangyan, captured in photos and video footage that made their way around the globe, was a rare bright spot after the May 12 earthquake that ravaged mountainous Sichuan province and killed almost 70,000 people. […]. ^ top ^

Marksman kills knife-wielding hostage-taker (SCMP)
2008-06-20
Police in Guizhou province shot dead a knife-wielding man who took a woman hostage on a city bus and then demanded guns and 1 million yuan (HK$1.13 million) in cash, a spokesman for the Guiyang police bureau said yesterday. "The abductor was killed by one of our special assault-force officers, with just a single shot to his head, and a female hostage was slightly injured on her neck," said the spokesman, who identified himself only with the surname Huang. The shot was ordered by our three deputy directors because the man had lost his temper and injured the hostage." Mr Huang said the man had demanded two guns, 500 bullets and 1 million yuan after he took the female passenger hostage on Wednesday evening. "The identity of the abductor and his reasons are unclear so far," he said. "But we can be sure that he is not a Guiyang local. He may have come from another city in our province." […] On Wednesday last week, at least one person died and 35 others were injured in an explosion in Yiwu, a city in Zhejiang province. Last month, two explosions involving four vehicles killed 19 people and injured 41 in Wenzhou, also in Zhejiang province, and Shanghai. ^ top ^

100 police snare drug dealers (SCMP)
2008-06-20
Fujian - More than 100 Fuzhou police officers hunted down two drug dealers on Wednesday, the Information Times reports. The pair were arrested outside a secondary school, and 5,100 yaa-ba tablets - a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine - were seized. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing steps up its campaign against foreign prostitutes (SCMP)
2008-06-17
With the Olympic Games less than two months away, Beijing is on high alert against international criminal groups flooding the city with foreign prostitutes, state media reports. Groups specialising in human-trafficking had seen the Olympics as a gold mine, reported the International Herald Leader, a newspaper sponsored by Xinhua. […] Viewing the Olympics as a boom time for their business, criminal groups have come up with a variety of ways to send foreign prostitutes to the mainland. […] Russia was probably the leading source country for foreign prostitution on the mainland, the paper said, quoting lawyer Liu Wenyan, who wrote the book Crime and Punishment - the Banning of Prostitution in China. The importing of prostitutes from other neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, and eastern European countries, had also been rising, he said. An operation to clear the capital and other cities hosting Olympic events, such as Shenyang and Qingdao, of prostitutes began in earnest six months ago. The main targets include pubs and nightclubs, hair salons and karaoke parlours, commonly used as fronts for prostitution. The campaign has recently been stepped up. This month, the Beijing Olympics organising committee issued a nine-page document entitled "A guide to Chinese law for foreigners coming to, leaving or staying in China during the Olympics". […]. ^ top ^

Rail station goes English (SCMP)
2008-06-20
Beijing railway station has put up its first English-language signs since it was built about 50 years ago, the Beijing Times reports. Staff installed the station's name and other English signs, such as "ticket office", under Chinese signs in preparation for the Olympic Games. […]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Shanghai reports 1st child death of HFMD disease (China Daily)
2008-06-17
Shanghai - Shanghai Health Bureau on Tuesday confirmed the city's first child death of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD). The two-year-old boy was sent to the Shanghai Public Health Clinic Center for treatment on the evening of May 14, where he was diagnosed as having HFMD. Emergency treatment failed and he died a few hours later, according to the bureau. […] Shanghai reported 10,340 HFMD cases in the first five months. The city is not on the Health Ministry's list of the regions worst hit by the epidemic. The ministry reported earlier last week that there were more than 176,000 HFMD cases reported nationwide last month. Daily reported cases declined from 11,501 at the peak on May 14 to 3,922 on June 5. […]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong poll shows 82 per cent oppose Tibetan independence (SCMP)
2008-06-20
A record 82 per cent of Hong Kong people said they opposed Tibetan independence, a survey by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme found. This was 11 percentage points up from March, and 18 points up from a year ago. Of the 1,012 people polled, 81 per cent opposed Taiwan independence, while 60 per cent said the "one country, two systems" formula could be applied to Taiwan. But 37 per cent supported the island joining the United Nations - 12 percentage points up from March. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Chinese mainland tourism delegation starts inspection tour of Taiwan (Xinhua)
2008-06-17
A delegation of 33 travel agency managers began an inspection tour of Taiwan on Tuesday, Taiwan-based media reported. The group will inspect tourism facilities following an agreement last week on mainland tourist travel to the island, Fan Guishang, head of the delegation was quoted as saying. […] The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation signed an agreement on Friday that opened the island to mainland tourists. The agreement, taking effect on June 20, will see the arrival of the first tour group to Taiwan next month. ^ top ^

Ma backs claim to Diaoyus, demands Japanese apology - US urges claimants to disputed islets to exercise restraint (SCMP)
2008-06-18
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou insisted yesterday that he backed the island's long-held claim to the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. He has also demanded a formal apology and proper compensation from Japan over the sinking of a Taiwanese boat by a Japanese coastguard vessel near the islets, which are claimed by Taiwan, the mainland and Japan. In his first direct response to the June 10 incident, Mr Ma insisted he had never changed his position on Taiwan's territorial claim over the Diaoyus. "In my four-point statement released on June 12, I already stressed that the Diaoyu Islands is a territory of the Republic of China, geologically coming under Taiwan and administratively under the jurisdiction of Ilan county," he said in Taipei. Mr Ma, who had faced mockery and criticism by opposition lawmakers for allegedly softening his stance since the sinking, said he had not spoken out right away because that was the responsibility of the island's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. […] The Ma administration initially reacted with caution, but after criticism by both government and opposition lawmakers and protests outside Japan's de facto embassy in Taipei as well as the Taiwanese foreign ministry, the administration toughened its stance. On Sunday, nine Taiwanese coastguard vessels escorted a Taiwanese boat with 12 activists and 30 journalists aboard on a "sea protest" against Japan to uphold Taiwan's sovereignty. […] The escalated tension prompted the US State Department to issue a statement. "As we have stated before, we urge all claimants to exercise restraint and to ensure that this issue is resolved by peaceful means," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said on Monday. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said yesterday Tokyo had agreed with Taiwan to handle the issue calmly. In Beijing yesterday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Jiang Yu reiterated concern over the incident and demanded that the Japanese government refrain from illegal activities around the Diaoyus, which she said were part of Chinese territory. […]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Scholars cautiously optimistic over latest 'pragmatic' offer (SCMP)
2008-06-17
The latest overture by the Dalai Lama may have raised hopes that a more favourable atmosphere for talks can be created between his envoys and Beijing when the two sides are expected to sit down again next month. Yet while describing the latest offer as a "pragmatic" move, mainland scholars are cautious about its effect, given that both sides remain at loggerheads over the thorniest issue - Beijing's contention that the Dalai Lama is seeking Tibetan independence. Tanzen Lhundup, of the Chinese Centre for Tibetan Studies in Beijing, said of particular significance in the Dalai Lama's latest gesture was his offer to send representatives to the mainland to persuade Tibetans not to protest. […] Tanzen Lhundup said the most crucial issue had not been resolved. "What did he mean by resolving the issue under the Chinese constitution? Did he recognise the Tibetan Autonomous Region as it has been running for the past 50 years?" Beijing has insisted the Dalai Lama is not honouring his promise to end calls for independence, despite statements to the contrary. Beijing is particularly suspicious of his proposal for a greater Tibet […] Tanzen Lhundup said the Dalai Lama was unclear as to whether he wanted to set up a new regime under the Chinese constitution or recognised the existing autonomous region. […] Lozang Khaskrub, associate professor at the Tibetan Studies Institute at the Central University for Nationalities, said he believed much time was still needed before the negative impact of the Lhasa protests could be "diluted". Lozang Khaskrub said Beijing had often regarded the autonomy that the Dalai Lama called for as "de facto independence". ^ top ^

Large religious festival casts serenity to Lhasa three months after riot (People's Daily)
2008-06-18
The first large religious festival is being held in Lhasa three months after the riot on March 14 in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The one-month-long Sakadwa Festival, the anniversary of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, began on June 4 and has attracted many residents onto the streets to pray. […] Hundreds of people hurried to Lhasa from other provinces like Sichuan, Gansu, Qianghai to join the prayers' march, with their family members and pets. […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Credit Suisse, Founder win approval for China securities JV (People's Daily)
2008-06-16
Credit Suisse won approval from China's securities supervisor on Sunday to form a joint venture with a domestic brokerage firm, Founder Securities Co. This was the first such approval granted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) since it halted foreign investments in domestic brokerages in late 2005. The CSRC said Founder will hold 66.7 percent of the Beijing-based joint venture, valued at 533.6 million yuan (76.2 million U.S. dollars), while Credit Suisse will invest 266.4 million yuan for a 33.3 percent stake. The new company can offer services such as underwriting domestic A shares, foreign stocks and bond issues, according to a CSRC statement. Also on Sunday, the CSRC said that before it opens the securities market further to foreign investment, it will assess current policies with an aim of improving risk prevention. ^ top ^

U.S., Chinese companies sign 71 contracts worth $13.6 bln (Xinhua)
2008-06-17
Washington - Representatives from U.S. and Chinese companies on Monday signed 71 contracts and agreements worth 13.6 billion U.S. dollars in total in Missouri and Washington D.C. The deals were made at two ceremonies in St. Louis, Mo., and here, and both were attended by visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. During his visit to St. Louis earlier in the day, Wang met with local political and business leaders and spoke highly of growing economic and trade relations between the U.S. state of Missouri and China. He noted that the China-U.S. business relationship has expanded from coastal areas of the United States to the Midwest region, which includes Missouri, since China adopted its opening-up and reform policy 30 years ago. […]. ^ top ^

China raises prices of oil, electricity (China Daily)
2008-06-20
China's top economic planner announced Thursday night the country will raise the prices of gasoline, diesel oil, aviation kerosene and electricity on Friday, revealing an unprecedented broad plan to raise energy prices. Beginning Friday, the benchmark gasoline and diesel oil retail prices will be marked up by 1,000 yuan ($144.9) per ton, with the price of aviation kerosene up by 1,500 yuan per ton. The prices of natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, however, would be left unchanged, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The benchmark retail prices of gasoline and diesel oil would be lifted to 6,980 yuan and 6,520 yuan per ton, up more than 16 percent and 18 percent respectively. The price rises also translate into mark-ups of 0.8 yuan and 0.92 yuan per liter, the measurement used at service stations in China, for gasoline and diesel oil respectively. […] The commission said fares for passenger travel by rail, urban and rural public transport and taxis would remain unchanged after the rise. The official did not comment on the impact of oil price rises on the inflation rate, which eased to 7.7 percent in May. In April, it rose 8.5 percent after a 12-year high of 8.7 percent in February. ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

Security tight for Urumqi torch relay (SCMP)
2008-06-18
Police officers and paramilitary personnel were out in force yesterday in Urumqi, the capital of the restive Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to ensure an incident-free torch relay through an area usually listed as one of the hottest separatist spots in China. City authorities said some agencies overseen by the Urumqi Public Security Bureau stopped work to supplement the police force deployed along the torch route. The starting point, People's Square, and all the buildings nearby, including the city branch of the central bank, were subjected to strict security checks and cordoned off from Monday night. […] Fears of a repeat in Xinjiang of the simmering anti-government sentiment in Tibetan regions prompted relay organisers and authorities to urge residents to stay home and watch the relay at home on television. […] The official Bocog website and almost all other public domestic websites were devoid of any content touching on sensitive ethnic issues. […]. ^ top ^

Shortened Tibet torch relay set for Saturday, Bocog says - Lhasa will be the sole site of the revised one-day run (SCMP)
2008-06-19
The Olympic flame will arrive in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in time for a shortened high-altitude run on Saturday, an official said yesterday. The flame was originally scheduled for a three-day Tibetan relay through Lhasa and other areas, but the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Bocog) said after the Sichuan quake that the Tibetan stage would be cut short. "It will be a one-day torch relay in Lhasa, and no other cities will be included, in order to accommodate our updated torch run schedule," Bocog spokesman Sun Weide said. Many observers said Bocog had tried to shorten the trip and keep the relay date a secret to prevent proindependence forces from disrupting the event. But Mr Sun insisted the change was due to the Sichuan earthquake and nothing else. He said the torch relay would pass through three downtown Lhasa areas, but he refused to give details. Officials in Tibet appeared to have been well informed about the decision before Bocog's announcement, with the official Tibet Daily publishing a front-page story yesterday saying Tibet was preparing to embrace the "holy flame". The newspaper said the proindependence riots in Tibet in March had not only failed to cool Tibetans' enthusiasm for the event, but had further inspired their patriotism and passion for the Olympics. […]. ^ top ^

PLA city gives torch a rousing welcome (SCMP)
2008-06-20
After two days overshadowed by ethnic tensions and fears, the Olympic torch relay was on much safer ground in Xinjiang yesterday when it passed through the Silk Road stops of Shihezi, a city built by military settlers, and Changji. The runs through the two cities were trouble-free but the toughest security challenge for organisers may still be ahead of them when the flame tours the Tibetan city of Lhasa tomorrow. […]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Kim Jong Il meets Chinese vice president (Xinhua)
2008-06-19
The top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Il, met visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday to highlight the warm ties between the two neighboring countries. At the meeting, Xi conveyed Chinese President Hu Jintao's greetings to Kim. He also congratulated the leader on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK, wishing it even more and greater achievements in the future. Kim, who is the general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defence Commission, asked Xi to convey his greetings to President Hu, general secretary of the the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). […] The DPRK is the first stop on Xi's first overseas trip since taking office earlier this year. He is also scheduled to visit Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Yemen. Kim once again expressed condolences over the loss of life in the severe earthquake in China's Sichuan province. He praised the courageous deeds of the CPC, the Chinese government, the armed forces and the people of China during the rescue mission. Their work fully demonstrated the advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. said Kim. He expressed the belief that under the strong leadership of the CPC and the Chinese government, the Chinese people will definitely be able to overcome the aftermath of the earthquake and successfully rebuild the quake-affected areas. He also wished the Beijing Olympic Games all success. […]. ^ top ^

 

Patricia Straessle
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