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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
  1.9-5.9.08, No. 232  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

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Foreign Policy

NPC delegation leaves for visits to 3 European countries (Xinhua)
2008-08-31
A delegation of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China left Beijing on Sunday for a goodwill visit to Switzerland and Denmark from Aug. 31 to Sept. 12. The delegation, headed by Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, China's top legislature, is visiting at the invitation of the parliaments of the two countries. The delegation, at the invitation of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the parliament, will also attend the fifth Baikal Economic Forum (BEF), which will be held in Russia from Sept. 8-11. ^ top ^

300 Chinese tourists stranded in Phuket (China Daily)
2008-09-01
More than 300 Chinese tourists have been stranded in Phuket since Friday because anti-government protesters have forced the suspension of services at the Thai island's airport.

Demonstrators demanding the ouster of the Samak Sundaravej government have disrupted services at other Thai airports, too. A Chinese embassy official in Bangkok said Sunday that efforts were being made to help the Chinese nationals return home. "Some of the Chinese tourists have already left Phuket by bus, and they will fly home from Bangkok," he said. […]. ^ top ^

40 foreigners held for theft (SCMP)
2008-09-01
Forty foreigners were arrested for stealing during the Olympic Games, the Beijing Morning Post reports. Police recorded 930 theft cases on the streets, and more than 1,000 people were arrested overall between July 1 and August 24. A senior officer said the foreigners usually worked in groups, but were not as effective as local thieves. ^ top ^

Two Chinese engineers missing in northwestern Pakistan (China Daily)
2008-09-01
Two Chinese engineers had been missing since Friday in northwestern Pakistan and search and rescue work was under way, an official from the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad said on Sunday. The two Chinese engineers from Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Company (ZTE) in Pakistan were found missing on Friday when they went to check the company's equipment in Lower Dir district of North West Frontier Province. […]. ^ top ^

Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda decides to resign (China Daily)
2008-09-02
Unpopular Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned on Monday in an effort to break a political deadlock, becoming the second Japanese leader to resign abruptly in less than a year. Fukuda has been struggling to cope with a divided parliament where the opposition parties control the upper house and can delay legislation, even as the world's No.2 economy slips towards recession. "If we are to prioritise the people's livelihoods, there cannot be a political vacuum from political bargaining, or a lapse in policies. We need a new team to carry out policies," Fukuda said. "Taking into consideration that the extraordinary session of parliament should go smoothly, I thought it would be better for someone else to do the job than me," Fukuda said. […]. ^ top ^

State media criticises US-India nuclear deal (SCMP)
2008-09-02
The Communist Party's mouthpiece yesterday described a nuclear agreement between India and the United States as a "major blow" to non-proliferation, raising pressure as the deal faces opposition in an international atomic cartel. The commentary in the People's Daily was a rare public response from Beijing on the controversial US proposal to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India. Diplomats in Vienna said on Sunday a revised US proposal to lift the ban did not sufficiently ease fears the move could compromise efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Washington needs an unprecedented exemption from the Nuclear Suppliers Group's normal rules to help seal its 2005 civilian nuclear energy deal with New Delhi. But at the group's meeting, six member nations demanded changes to ensure Indian access to nuclear markets would not indirectly help its atomic bomb programme. Chinese officials have remained silent about the deal and given no sign they would block it outright, but official media and experts have raised fears that it might be a possibility. The party's official paper was unusually forthright yesterday. "Whether it is motivated by geopolitical considerations or commercial interests, the US-India nuclear agreement has constituted a major blow to the international non-proliferation regime," said the commentary by a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading state think-tank. "Irrespective of the fate of the US-India nuclear agreement, the United States' multiple standards on non-proliferation issues have met with a sceptical world." Without Nuclear Suppliers Group approval early this month, the US Congress may run out of time for final ratification before it adjourns at the end of the month for the autumn elections. ^ top ^

China calls for balance of nuclear nonproliferation, energy use (People's Daily)
2008-09-03
China's Foreign Ministry said in Beijing on Tuesday that the country hopes the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) can resolve the relationship between nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy in a balanced way. "China hopes the NSG finds a way to strike a balance between nuclear nonproliferation and the peaceful use of energy," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a routine press conference. Jiang's remarks came before a new round of talks in Vienna scheduled for Thursday and Friday on nuclear cooperation between India and the United States. Jiang said China has a consistent and clear stance on the issue of India-U.S. nuclear cooperation. China has taken an active part in the NSG discussions, Jiang said. "China believes that all countries have the right to peacefully use nuclear energy and conduct international cooperation in line with the nonproliferation obligation." Cooperation should be conducive to safeguarding the completeness and effectiveness of the international nonproliferation system, Jiang added. The 45-member NSG ended a two-day conference in Vienna on August 22, with no agreement on whether to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India. The NSG member countries decided to meet again on September 4-5 to try to resolve difference over whether to allow nuclear fuel and technology exports to India for civilian use. ^ top ^

Taleban says kidnapped Chinese engineers will not be killed (SCMP)
2009-09-04
The Pakistani Taleban said it would not kill two Chinese engineers and two Pakistanis it has been holding since last week, but would not release them unless unspecified demands were met. Two Chinese telecom engineers and a Pakistani driver and guard were kidnapped near the Afghan border on Friday when they were returning to a guest house after repairing a telecommunications tower. "There's no plan to kill them. If the government does not listen to us or contact us, then they'll remain detained," a Taleban spokesman said. ^ top ^

China calls for int'l efforts to resolve Russia-Georgia conflict (People's Daily)
2008-09-05
China voiced hope on Thursday the international community could "create favorable conditions" to promote a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Georgia conflict through dialogue. "If the international community as well as the United Nations gets involved in the issue, (their efforts) should represent the consensus of the major concerning parties and be helpful to the peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and consultation," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a routine press conference here. She also called on the international efforts to be conducive to the peace and stability in the South Ossetia region. […]. ^ top ^

China, Japan, ROK to share info on nuke safety (China Daily)
2008-09-05
China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will sign an agreement to establish an information sharing mechanism on nuclear safety in Tokyo today. Representatives from the nuclear regulatory bodies of the three countries have agreed to set up an inter-governmental hotline on nuclear accidents, a source from China's National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) said. Japan, with the longest history of nuclear power development among the three, will also share its experience on nuclear security and management with China and South Korea, Kyodo News reported Thursday. It said the agreement includes the exchange of information on anti-seismic technologies at nuclear-related facilities as both China and Japan face challenges from earthquakes. The deadly earthquake that hit Sichuan province in May at one time threatened the safety of more than 100 radioactive sources. All were eventually made safe. Similarly, reactors at a nuclear power plant near Niigata in northwestern Japan stopped automatically after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake last year. Nuclear power has now become an important solution to tackling the world's energy problem. According to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, a non-profit organization, there are 55 nuclear power plants operating in Japan, 20 in South Korea, and 11 in China. An additional 38 plants are either being constructed or planned in the three countries. China will accelerate development of the nuclear energy sector, particularly in the coastal regions, to ease mounting pressures on coal transportation and electricity transmission, the National Energy Bureau said earlier. By 2020, nuclear power will make up a minimum of 5 percent of China's total energy mix, from the current level of less than 2 percent. […]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Death toll hits 28 after quake in Sichuan (SCMP)
2008-09-01
Six more deaths were reported yesterday in the aftermath of Saturday's magnitude-6.1 earthquake that hit Panzhihua in southwestern Sichuan, bringing the total to 28. Another aftershock measuring 5.6 also struck the area. Officials from the Headquarters of Quake Control and Relief in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture told Xinhua 20 people were found dead and 188 injured in Huili, three were killed and 65 hurt in Panzhihua, and there were five dead and 108 wounded in Zhuxiong. Another three people were still missing in Sichuan. […] This was the most deadly quake on the mainland since the devastating tremor that jolted Wenchuan in Sichuan on May 12, leaving nearly 88,000 dead or missing and millions homeless. Reports from civil affairs departments from Sichuan and Yunnan said more than 177,000 houses had collapsed or were damaged. More than 40,000 among 800,000 people affected had been evacuated. The two provinces sent 6,200 makeshift tents, 3,500 cotton quilts and 25 tonnes of rice to the disaster areas. Dalongtan, Pingdi and Datian were the three towns hard hit in Renhe district of Panzhihua city. […]. ^ top ^

All 3.4 mln students in May 12 quake zone to return to school (Xinhua)
2008-09-01
All the 3.4 million students in the May 12 quake zone in southwest China's Sichuan Province will return to school on Monday, a provincial education official told a news briefing on Sunday. […]. ^ top ^

Death toll rises to 40 in SW China earthquake (People's Daily)
2008-09-02
Two more deaths were reported Monday afternoon in Huili County, bringing the death toll from the 6.1-magnitude quake that struck southwest China's Sichuanand Yunnan provinces on Saturday to 40, according to local authorities. The county in Sichuan reported 25 deaths as 8 a.m. Monday. […] More than 392,000 houses collapsed or were destroyed and about 181,000 people were evacuated. A total of 941,000 people were affected, said the ministry. […]. ^ top ^

'Early' blast-off tipped for spacewalk mission (China Daily)
2008-09-03
The planned launch date of Shenzhou VII, China's third manned spacecraft, may be brought forward from next month to sometime this month, Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper said. A source reportedly told the paper the launch date will be between Sept 17, the closing day of the Beijing Paralympics, and Oct 1, China's National Day. "Now it is fairly certain it will be before National Day, because the best launch window for Shenzhou VII will be before Oct 1," the newspaper quoted the source as saying. But an officer with the General Armament Department of the People's Liberation Army, which oversees the Shenzhou program, told China Daily the report was "not reliable". The spacecraft will lift off from the Jiuquan rocket launch site in northwestern Gansu province with three astronauts. Two of them will enter the orbital module, with one expected to become the first Chinese spacewalker. Shenzhou VII has already been assembled and transferred to Jiuquan for final tests, the paper said. It will be launched on a Long March 2F rocket. On its return, the spacecraft is expected to land within the jurisdiction of Wulanchabu, a city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the paper said. […] Last year, Chang'e I, China's first lunar probe, was sent into orbit, drawing a close to the first stage of its lunar exploration project, which too involves three phases. The last aims to collect soil samples from the moon, also before 2020. ^ top ^

China allocates 27 mln yuan in relief fund to SW quake zone (Xinhua)
2008-09-03
China allocated 27 million yuan (about 3.95 million U.S. dollars) from its central emergency relief fund to the southwestern Sichuan and Yunnan provinces ravaged by Saturday's 6.1-magnitude quake, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Tuesday. […]. ^ top ^

Quake panel links shoddy schools to high death toll (SCMP)
2008-09-05
Substandard construction materials and bad designs of school buildings were partly to blame for the heavy death toll of students in the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan, the official expert committee on the quake has concluded.

The finding gives weight to claims by parents and activists that many schools in the disaster zone collapsed because of shoddy construction and corruption. The finding gives weight to claims by parents and activists that many schools in the disaster zone collapsed because of shoddy construction and corruption. Committee head Ma Zongjin admitted that shoddy materials and fatal design flaws could have contributed to the collapse of more than 1,000 schools in the disaster. "In recent years we have built schools at a fast pace, and there could be construction [quality] problems," Mr Ma, a geologist with the China Earthquake Administration (CEA), said yesterday at a briefing. "Structures of those schools may not be sound, and the materials used may not be strong enough." […]. ^ top ^

27 miners killed in Fuxin gas explosion (SCMP)
2008-09-05
Twenty-seven people were killed and six injured yesterday in an explosion at a coal mine in Liaoning province, the latest disaster to hit the mainland's notoriously dangerous mining industry. The gas blast occurred at a mine in Fuxin, one of the main coal producing areas, an official at the Fuxin work safety bureau said. […]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

20,000 Beijingers will benefit from refurb plan (China Daily)
2008-09-05
Twenty thousand of Beijing's poorest families with at least one severely disabled member will benefit from a housing renovation program that will continue until 2010, the city's vice-mayor Ding Xiangyang said Thursday. "Many disabled people spend most of their time at home, yet so much public money is spent on improving facilities and services outside the home," Ding said. "It is therefore of great significance to help create a better home environment for people." The housing project was launched in 2006 with the intention of helping those Beijing residents with the most severe physical disabilities, although anyone with a disability can apply, Ding said. Five thousand homes will be renovated by the end of the year, he said. Each family will receive an assistance package worth about 4,000 yuan ($585), he said. […]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Culture on show for Confucius in Shanghai (Xinhua)
2008-09-01
Two culture exhibitions will be held at the newly renovated Shanghai Confucian Temple near Yuyuan Garden on September 27 to commemorate the birthday of Confucius. Confucius, one of China's greatest thinkers and the founder of Confucian culture, was born 2,559 years ago. "A feast of Confucian culture will be open to the public," said official Wang Aizhen. […]. ^ top ^

Man gets death penalty for killing 6 police in Shanghai (China Daily)
2008-09-02
An unemployed Beijing man who killed six policemen and injured another four in a knife attack in Shanghai was sentenced to death at the Shanghai No.2 People's Intermediate Court on Monday.

Yang Jia, 28, stabbed a security guard at the police branch in Zhabei District and started a fire at its gate at about 9:40 a.m. on July 1. […]. ^ top ^

12-year-old commits suicide; parents watch in horror (China Daily)
2008-09-05
Everything seemed brand new in the bright autumn morning at a quiet residential district in Shanghai. But it was not for 12-year-old Xiao Fan (not his real name). Dressed in his new school uniform, his parents waiting downstairs to accompany him to school, he decided to kill himself, which he did by jumping from a window six stories up. The scene was not nice. With blood shooting everywhere, the screams of his sorrowful parents ripped apart the tranquillity of the morning. His two grandparents were left paralyzed at the blood-inked spot for hours and refused to leave. This was the fourth attempted suicide by a middle school student in Shanghai since the new semester began on Sept 1. While the other three kids survived, Xiao Fan, unfortunately, did not. His parents and teachers were left heartbroken. He was just a very lovely and docile boy, good at his studies and friendly to everyone, local newspapers quoted his teachers and neighbors as saying. The reason for Xiao Fan's death is still unknown. Most attempted suicides are usually a result of something almost trivial, such as a child being scolded by a parent or teacher. […] In Shanghai, with the help of municipal education authorities, Xu's team, in collaboration with a Hong Kong young development foundation, is promoting a new mechanism that will help single out students who need psychological help through questionnaires. ^ top ^

 

Macau

Population boom putting pressure on land resources - Number of residents seen growing 4.6pc a year to 2011 (SCMP)
2008-09-03
Macau. Already the most densely populated place on Earth, Macau faces the challenge of sustaining a rapidly rising population in the next two decades. A surge in residents, driven by its casino boom, is putting increasing pressure on Macau's infrastructure and land resources, analysts say. The city has 551,900 residents, according to the latest census data. The population is forecast to hit 705,000 in 2016 and 829,000 in 2031, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau. Economist and gaming analyst Zeng Zhonglu said the city would need to improve its transport network and reclaim more land. "It would be hard for Macau to sustain a much bigger population with its current infrastructure and land resources," said Professor Zeng, of the Macau Polytechnic Institute. […] Monaco is the world's most crowded country, with a population density of 16,818 per sq km. The tiny gambling hub in Europe has 32,796 residents and an area of 1.95 sq km, according to the CIA's World Factbook. Macau is not a country, but steals the crown of most densely populated place from Monaco, with a population density of 18,900 per sq km. […]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan to let mainlanders visit island via mini-links (SCMP)
2008-09-03
Taiwan will allow mainlanders to visit the island proper through Quemoy and Matsu as soon as next month in yet another measure to liberalise cross-strait exchanges.

"If everything goes smoothly, Taiwan will be ready for mainlanders to visit through the mini-link channel as soon as the beginning of next month," Mainland Affairs Council chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said. The measure is part of a programme by Ma Ying-jeou's government to expand the so-called three mini-links of limited direct trade, transport and communications between Taiwan's two former defensive outposts of Quemoy and Matsu, and the mainland coastal cities of Fuzhou and Xiamen. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan's state oil refiner wants to work with CNOOC (SCMP)
2009-09-04
Taiwan called yesterday for more co-operation on oil exploration and development with the mainland amid warming ties between the two sides. The CPC Corp, Taiwan, the island's government-run oil refiner, said it had proposed working with the mainland's China National Offshore Oil Corp to explore possible oil reserves in the East China Sea. "We have expressed the willingness to CNOOC to work together in the East China Sea," CPC vice-president Chu Shao-hua said. "CPC is waiting for CNOOC's response, hoping both sides will kick off talks on the proposal.". ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Sichuan-Tibet highway reopens to traffic (Xinhua)
2009-09-04
The Sichuan-Tibet highway in southwest China re-opened to traffic at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday after 94 hours of repairs. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Yuan falls on talk state to limit gains (People's Daily)
2008-08-31
The yuan had its first monthly loss against the United States dollar since May 2006 on speculation weaker global demand will prompt the government to limit currency gains to protect exporters. Government bonds rose. […] Slower growth worldwide will weigh on China's exports in the second half of 2008, Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said on Thursday. The yuan's 6.6-percent gain in the first half, which almost matched the advance for the whole of 2007, crimped profits at exporters and cooled sales abroad. "It's obvious that the government is adjusting the pace of yuan appreciation against the dollar to make sure it won't do more harm to exports," Liu Dongliang, a foreign-exchange analyst in Shenzhen at China Merchants Bank Co, the country's sixth-largest lender, told Bloomberg News. "Most foreign trade transactions are settled in dollars." […] China's exports may increase in the second half at the same pace as in the first six months of the year, Gao said in Beijing on Thursday. Overseas shipments rose 21.8 percent in the first half of 2008, slower than the 27.6 percent growth a year earlier. The yuan is allowed to trade by up to 0.5 percent against the greenback either side of a daily reference rate, which was set at 6.8345 per US dollar yesterday. China will start annual checks on how well domestic and foreign banks implement rules on foreign-currency controls, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the country's top currency regulator, said in a statement on its Website yesterday. […]. ^ top ^

BOC managers, wives guilty of US$485m fraud (SCMP)
2008-09-01
Two former Bank of China managers and their wives have been convicted of conspiracy in a US court over an elaborate, 13-year scheme to embezzle US$485 million from a state-owned bank and launder the money in other countries. Former bankers Xu Chaofan and Xu Guojun, and their wives, Kuang Wanfang and Yu Yingyi, respectively, were found guilty on Friday in a US District Court in Las Vegas of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to transport stolen money. The bankers were also convicted of visa fraud, and their wives of passport fraud. The indictment also charged Kuang's brother Kwong Wa Po, who remains a fugitive. Federal prosecutors accused the five of participating in a racketeering conspiracy that began in 1991 and continued until October 2004, when the two former bank managers and their wives were arrested. The two men created a number of shell corporations in Hong Kong and funnelled money through Canada and the United States, authorities said. Yu Zhendong, another former manager who participated in the scheme, earlier pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and co-operated with the investigation. In 2004, US officials handed him over to Chinese authorities under a promise that he would not be executed. He is serving 12 years in jail on the mainland. Prosecutors said the three former bankers used their posts at a Bank of China branch in Kaiping, Guangdong, to approve phoney loans and money transfers. They said the bankers tried to launder more than US$3 million by making deposits at several Las Vegas casinos, which can operate like banks. The casinos were not accused of wrongdoing. The bankers' wives helped launder the stolen money, entered the US illegally, and received US citizenship and passports through deceit, prosecutors said. During the trial, defence lawyers Mitchell Posin, representing Xu Chaofan, and Bret Whipple, representing Xu Guojun, characterised their clients as pawns in a new era of US-Chinese legal co-operation. They challenged efforts to hold the men to US banking laws. […]. ^ top ^

Post-Olympic blues no real threat to economy (Xinhua)
2008-09-02
Days after the end of the Beijing Olympics, contentions still remain high about what kind of effects the Games will have on the Chinese economy. In fact, a sports event, in whatever scale, cannot have as much influence on the economy of a country of China's size as people expect. […] To probe into what kind of effects the Beijing Olympics will produce to the Chinese economy, we should make a thorough analysis of the proportion of the country's investment in the Games as well as the investment-led industries and employment to its economic aggregate. According to the municipal bureau of statistics, the GDP of Beijing accounts for less than 4 percent of the country's total, and its 300 billion yuan ($43.80 billion) investment over the past seven years only contributed an average 0.8 percent to the capital's DGP growth. Beijing's GDP, however, maintained an annual 10 percent growth rate in these years. As the host city, Beijing is the largest beneficiary of the Olympics. Given its relatively small scale in the country's total economic bulk, the short-term "Olympic economy" is unlikely to produce a big influence on the country's economy. We should not take seriously either the argument that the post-Olympic effect will plunge China into an economic recession or that it will still vigorously push forward its economy. Economic development of a country is always propped by its basic economic situation. […]. ^ top ^

NE Asian nations push for Greater Tumen development (China Daily)
2008-09-03
Vice Premier Wang Qishan told a forum here on Tuesday that China was willing to strengthen energy, trade and investment cooperation, and push forward regional logistics development with other countries in northeast Asia. "China will make concerted efforts with other countries in this region to further lower trade barriers and boost investment in infrastructure, high technology, agriculture and modern service industries," he added. Top officials from China and other northeast Asian countries said that they would strive for joint regional development at the Second High-Level Forum on Northeast Asia Economic and Trade Cooperation. The forum is a part of the ongoing Fourth Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo held here in the capital of northeastern Jilin Province. The expo attracted 62 global Fortune 500 companies, where high-ranking officials, leading experts and domestic and foreign business people met to exchange views and seek business opportunities. "Everyone's opinions and mutually beneficial cooperation will play an active part in promoting economic and trade cooperation in Asia," said Dorjsurenkhorloo Khurelbaatar, State Secretary of the Ministry of Industrial and Trade of Mongolia. Jilin is located in the center of northeast Asia, which includes the northeast of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, Mongolia and the east Siberian region of Russia. […]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

Paralympic athletes get red-carpet welcome in village (China Daily)
2008-09-01
The Paralympic Village was opened formally on Saturday with the Chinese squad hoisting its flag and moving in. The Paralympic Village, transformed from the Olympic Village, will play host to more than 7,000 athletes and officials from 148 countries and regions. Special accessories and facilities have been added to the village to meet the needs of physically challenged athletes, Deng Yaping, village spokeswoman, said. […] About 30 wheelchair accessible coaches will carry the athletes around the venues, and more volunteers will be present to help the participants. Athletes and officials have praised the facilities. "It's very nice. The apartments, the streets everything is good," said Rubicela Guzman, a Paralympian from Mexico. […] All athletes, officials and visitors to the village can sign their names on the wall, which will be retained as a legacy of the Beijing Paralympic Games. ^ top ^

Paralympics chief: China serious about Games (China Daily)
2008-09-03
Clear skies, golden sunshine and the cool autumn weather. The Paralympic Games could not have got a better welcome. International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven agrees. "Isn't the weather fantastic?" he said Tuesday. "We had incredible weather in Torino and brilliant weather in Athens, where the temperature was around 25-26 C. We are just moving into (excellent) weather in Beijing," the 58-year-old Briton said. […] "It's symbolic China is serious about the Paralympics and about all people," he said. […] Six years is not enough to change everything, he said, still a "lot of work has been done". More, however, needs to be done to educate the public and the media to change their perception about the physically challenged, he said. After all, in a developing country like China most of the people have never heard of the Paralympics or seen the disabled play much sport, he said. […] About 4,000 athletes from 148 countries and regions will compete in 20 events at the Beijing Paralympics. […] Once you watch the competition you will be amazed and inspired and excited." To his delight, there will be over 1.6 million spectators at the Beijing Paralympics. The attendance in Sydney was 1.2 million and in Athens, 850,000. ^ top ^

Paralympics: Beijing to adopt same security measures as Olympics (People's Daily)
2009-09-04
Beijing will adopt the same security measures during the upcoming Paralympic Games as those during the Olympics ended 10 days ago, though the scale of Paralympics is much smaller, local police and the Games organizers have said. Meanwhile, police and security check personnel will provide people-oriented services for the disabled spectators, said Cao Dongxiang, a senior police officer with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. […] About 4,500 athletes and coaches from 148 countries and regions will take part in the Games from Sept. 6 to 17, and almost 4,000 journalists will cover the event. More than 100,000 officers will be deployed across the city, and security teams will be based at 17 competition venues, 29 training bases and 16 designated hotels, Zhu Yijun, another senior police officer, told Wednesday's China Daily. […]. ^ top ^

For 83m disabled, it's still a long road to go (SCMP)
2008-09-05
As Beijing prepares to host the Paralympics, the government has been rolling out propaganda in praise of efforts to better the lot of the mainland's estimated 83 million disabled. But while there is a recognition in some quarters that there have been dramatic improvements, stigma and poor facilities for disabled mainland people remain pressing problems. Miao Qi, a 32-year-old Beijinger who had a leg amputated at 14 following bone cancer, never went to university and is unemployed. She says the perception of her disability is the thing holding her back. She has not left the apartment she shares with her parents since August last year, preferring to read Chinese history and play computer games than venture out. "Other people look at you strangely; this has a psychological impact. Perhaps they don't do it maliciously but just think 'What's wrong with that young woman? So pretty, but why is she that way?'" she said. For all the cheery publicity surrounding the Paralympics, whose 12-day schedule begins tomorrow, officials admit that it is still difficult for the disabled, even in Beijing where facilities are fairly good. "Yes, there is discrimination," said Li Caimao, director of the municipal government's disabled committee. "It's an attitude problem. Perhaps we have not worked hard enough to tackle it." […]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

N Korea to allow tour groups from mainland (SCMP)
2009-09-04
Mainland tour groups will be allowed to visit North Korea, Beijing's National Tourism Agency said yesterday. The announcement follows South Korea's decision to suspend its decade-old tour programme to the North's Diamond Mountain resort in response to the fatal shooting of a 53-year-old South Korean housewife by a North Korean guard there in July. Tours of the resort, run by South Korea's Hyundai Asan company, had been an important source of hard currency for the cash-strapped North. […] Mainland tourists have been allowed to make day trips across the Yalu River to the North Korean city of Sinuiju on the opposite bank. While the plan could make up for North Korea's loss of Southern tourists, it also reflects the traditionally close political and economic ties between the neighbours. ^ 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.
 
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