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
  8.9-12.9.08, No. 233  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Chinese president meets German counterpart, Japanese guest (Xinhua)
2008-09-07
Chinese President Hu Jintao met separately with German President Horst Koehler and Japan-China Friendship Association Chairman Koichi Kato in Beijing on Sunday. […] "The Sino-German relations have shown a sound momentum of development, thanks to concerted efforts by both sides," Hu said. […] "China is ready to work with Germany to push for a long-term, stable and sound development of bilateral ties, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and through enhancing dialogue, promoting mutual trust, deepening cooperation and properly handling differences," said the president. […] He called Kato "a senior Japanese statesman" and also "an old friend of the Chinese people." China highly appreciates Kato's contribution to the development of Sino-Japanese relations, said Hu, […] He pointed out that China and Japan are both important countries in Asia and the world, thus shouldering the grave responsibility of maintaining regional and world peace and promoting common development. […]. ^ top ^

China's Wen meets ROK counterpart on sidelines of Paralympics (Xinhua)
2008-09-07
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday met with his counterpart from the Republic of Korea (ROK), Han Seung Soo, to discuss the Beijing Paralympic Games and bilateral ties. […] On the subject of bilateral ties, Wen said China-ROK high-level visits enhanced mutual trust and cemented the political foundation for a long-term, stable relationship. Han echoed Wen's view, saying the ROK would like to work more closely with China to carry out any consensus reached by leaders of both nations. On the economic front, Wen said China would like to step up cooperation on the environment, telecommunications, finance, logistics and energy with the ROK. Wen also pledged to accelerate the process of establishing a China-ROK Free Trade Area and share experience on industrial restructuring. In response, Han said the ROK will expand comprehensive cooperation with China. He also hailed China's important role in promoting the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. ^ top ^

Chinese FM meets Iranian, Micronesian counterparts (People's daily)
2008-09-07
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki in Beijing on Saturday. […] Mottaki, who came to accompany Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics, congratulated Yang on the successful Beijing Olympic Games […] The two sides also exchanged views on China-Iran relations and other international and regional issues of common concern. Yang also met with his Micronesian counterpart Lorin Robert earlier on Saturday […] Yang and Robert discussed China-Micronesia relations and other issues of common concern. ^ top ^

China seeks to enhance defense ties with Switzerland (Xinhua)
2008-09-09
Senior Chinese military official Guo Boxiong said on Monday that China would like to enhance defense and military cooperation with Switzerland. Guo, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, was speaking in a meeting with Swiss minister of defense, civil protection and sports Samuel Schmid, who attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics on Sept. 6. Guo said cooperation between the two nations on economic, cultural and science issues had been fruitful, as had consultation on international affairs. He said relations between the two armed forces have developed well, with frequent high-level visits and an annual defense dialogue, as well as substantial exchanges on defense mobilization and civil protection. "We hope the two sides can expand consensus and deepen cooperation so to push forward bilateral ties." […] He said the Swiss armed forces would endeavor to strengthen ties with China, which would benefit both sides and peace and stability. ^ top ^

Chinese FM arrives in Sri Lanka for official visit (Xinhua)
2008-09-10
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday evening for a two-day official visit to the South Asian island, […] This will be Yang's first visit to Sri Lanka since taking office in April 2007, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said […]. Jiang said China and Sri Lanka were traditional and friendly neighbors. Bilateral ties had continually progressed since the forging of diplomatic ties, featuring with the frequent high-level visits. China is ready to work with Sri Lanka to continue pushing forward the neighborly cooperation, in a bid to further promote the bilateral comprehensive and cooperative partnership, Jiang said. The Chinese foreign minister arrived in Colombo after visiting India from Sept. 7 to 9. ^ top ^

Chinese FM: China-India relationship stands at a new starting point (Poeple's daily)
2008-09-10
China-India relationship stands at a new starting point, the two should view and approach relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and keep moving forward their partnership to benefit the two countries and peoples, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here Tuesday. He made the remarks in his speech titled "For Peace and Friendship, Win-Win Cooperation and Common Development" at a meeting held by the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Institute of Chinese Studies. Yang said China and India are the two biggest developing countries in the world. He quoted Chinese President Hu Jintao as saying that China-India friendship not only serves the interest of both countries but also benefits Asia and the world at large. He said there is no conflict of fundamental interests between China and India. […] he proposed that efforts are needed to be step up in the five areas between the two countries: increase exchanges and enhance strategic mutual trust, boost economic cooperation and trade for win-win progress, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, strengthen cooperation in multilateral for a to uphold common interests, address each other's concerns and properly handle differences. "Today, our relations stand at a new starting point. […] Yang arrived in India last Sunday. He attended the inauguration ceremony of China's consulate-general in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, […] He called upon Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and held talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi Monday. […]. ^ top ^

China-Europe Forum to ponder cooperation opportunities (Xinhua)
2008-09-11
The third meeting of the China-Europe Forum, which opened here Wednesday evening, is expected to debate how to explore the opportunities of cooperation between China and Europe. During the three-day forum, keynote speakers are expected to dwell on a number of hot issues like bilateral trade between China and the European Union (EU), climate change and environment protection, and the prospects of China's development. […] Addressing the opening ceremony, Zhang said the Sino-European relations pose a huge potential and boast magnificent prospects. It is in the interest of both sides to develop the all-around strategic partnership on the basis of equality between China and Europe, Zhang said, adding that it is also beneficial to world peace. Steinmeier told the opening ceremony that he was relieved and pleased that the German-Chinese relations have been "back on track" after both sides tried to overcome various "difficulties." He noted that the visits at and above the ministerial level have been resumed recently and Zhang's current visit itself symbolized the progress of bilateral relations. […]. ^ top ^

Georgia crisis leaves Beijing struggling to find a balance (SCMP)
2008-09-12
The Olympic Games kicked off on the auspicious date of August 8 and, as far as Beijing was concerned, the first day's proceedings could not have gone better. But, beyond China's borders, the news was not so good. A war was breaking out between friend and rival Russia and Georgia - the culmination of a crisis over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - which would push China into an awkward diplomatic corner. Amid what seemed to have all the hallmarks of a cold-war-style tussle between a resurgent Russia and the west, China had little reason to be complacent. Indeed, […] China was torn between, on the one hand, supporting a friend and neighbour's move to counter a perceived attempt by the west to expand influence along Russia's borders or, on the other, opposing Russia's use of force to undermine another country's territorial integrity - Beijing's absolute diplomatic no-go zone. In this dilemma, China's response was discretion: the leadership in Beijing has remained publicly silent on the war. […] The strongest sign of China's rejection of Russia's call for support was when Mr Hu and other SCO member states expressed "grave concern" about the issue and urged all sides concerned to "solve problems peacefully". […] The response was in line with China's long-running policy of non-interference. But Beijing had more than enough reasons to be cautious in this case. For a start, Beijing is opposed to any form of division of sovereignty. Indeed, the issue came to the fore in the run-up to the Olympics, when preparations were hampered by pro-independence protests in Tibet in March and suspected attacks by separatist groups in Muslim-populated Xinjiang . […] "The Georgia conflict breaks one of the unbreakable rules that China has stuck to in the post-cold-war world. That is, territorial sovereignty should not be broken for any reason, including humanitarian intervention." But silence was not golden in this case. Being perceived as siding with Moscow would taint China's reputation as a responsible, rising nation that it has been trying to build up. Central to that was the hosting of the Olympic Games. "It damages China's reputation as the kind of responsible and honest broker in the world community by being associated with Russia in this case," Professor Mitter said. […] "It would be nice if they [China] would speak against it, because obviously Russia stepped over the line. But they are not going to; it's not a big enough issue for them to get in trouble," he said. But siding with the west was not a desirable option either, […]. "China doesn't want to be perceived as too close to the US and Europe. One area [on which] China would disagree with the US is the expansion of Nato." Over the past decade, the US and Europe have been trying to expand Nato eastwards. Recent US and German backing for Georgia and Ukraine to join the security alliance was seen as a trigger for the South Ossetia conflict, even though Nato denied membership to the former Soviet republics in April. But, in a brief trip to war-torn Georgia, US Vice-President Dick Cheney warned Moscow last week that Washington would not stop pushing for Georgian membership of Nato. While struggling to find a balance between Russia and the west, Beijing is also facing possible unsteadiness in its relationship with Moscow, which it bills as a strategic partner. Relations between the neighbours have improved significantly in recent years as both governments have moved to expand economic ties and rebuilt mutual trust. But, at the same time, the two neighbours are competing for regional influence and natural resources, such as gas and oil in Central Asia. Their presence at the SCO, which some regard as a counterweight to Nato, has been competitive. […] But the conflict is also an opportunity for Beijing to foster closer relations with Central Asian countries, according to Professor Cabestan. "Maybe China can take advantage of some countries in Central Asia having become wary of Russia," he said. "But, at the same time, these countries are dependent on Russia, so they are not going to jump into China's arms. They will keep some kind of balance.". ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier arrives in Sarajevo on Bosnia visit (Xinhua)
2008-09-12
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang arrived in Sarajevo on Thursday on his second leg of three European tours. His visit is at the invitation of the Coucil of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his stay in Sarajevo, Zhang will hold talks with Nikola Spiric, the Chair of the Council of Ministers, and the three members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[…]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China to launch manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 between Sept. 25-30 (Xinhua)
2008-09-06
China's manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 will be launched at an appropriate time between Sept. 25 and 30 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province, a spokesman said here on Saturday. […] While the last mission of Shenzhou-6, with a crew of two, was aimed at multiple days of manned flight, this time the task might be more stringent as one of its main goals is the space walk, he said. […]. ^ top ^

Three Gorges project to begin full operation in November (Xinhua)
2008-09-09
The 26 planned power-generation turbines of the Three Gorges Dam will be completed in November as the installation of the last one nears the end, developers said on Monday. The 1,700-tonne turbine engine, a key part of the No. 15 generator, was installed on Monday, marking an important step towards the end of the project, said Ma Zhenbo, manager of the Three Gorges Hydropower Plant. "The 700,000-kw turbine will begin full operation in November, one year ahead of the original plan." The Three Gorges project has generated nearly 260 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity as of Monday since its first generator began production in July 2003. It helped reduce 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission, according to the China Three Gorges Project Corporation, the project developer. […]. ^ top ^

Sichuan lacks funds to recover (SCMP)
2008-09-10
Sichuan has about a quarter of the money it needs to rebuild after the May 12 earthquake left 90,000 people dead or missing and destroyed much of its infrastructure, China Daily reports. Provincial Vice-Governor Huang Xiaoxiang said 1.67 trillion yuan (HK$1.91 trillion) was needed for rebuilding. About 4.5 million homes, 51,000km of highways and 5,500km of railways had to be rebuilt. Thousands of other devastated buildings needed to be replaced. ^ top ^

Chinese courts urged to enhance public credibility (Xinhua)
2008-09-10
China's Supreme People's Court has urged local courts of various levels to take measures to enhance their public credibility. The courts should improve professionalism and beef up the evaluation of the judges' moral integrity, the Supreme People's Court said in a recent circular. Meanwhile, they should also strengthen anti-corruption measures, it said. The courts were also directed to improve their work style, including talking politely and behaving with manner. ^ top ^

Hu vows to press on with rural reforms (SCMP)
2008-09-11
President Hu Jintao pledged to continue pushing for rural reform during a three-day trip to Henan that ended yesterday. The move is seen as a prelude to a new wave of reforms to be unveiled when Communist Party leaders hold a plenary session next month. Hailing the success of rural reforms that were first introduced 30 years ago, Mr Hu said rural development now stood at a "historical high point" as he stressed the importance of continual reform, […] Mr Hu said accelerating changes in the way the agricultural sector operates should be the first element of rural reform. "Second, we have to develop modern agriculture to raise the comprehensive production capacity of the agriculture sector," he said. "Third, we have to develop public services in rural areas and extend the scope of public finances in rural villages." […]. The current system of collective ownership of land has long been criticised as deterring the development of the farming economy, thus affecting output. There have been repeated calls for full privatisation of farmland. […] During the contract period, farmers pay taxes to the state and give a proportion of the produce to local governments. The rest of the produce is theirs. In the light of rising inflation and rising concern over agricultural production, Mr Hu also stressed the importance of implementing state policies and making use of new technology to boost production. […]. ^ top ^

A man-made disaster that embarrasses Beijing (SCMP)
2008-09-12
If the state has a legitimate role between boss and worker, it is in industrial safety. History shows this is especially the case during rapid economic development. Workplace safety tends to be a casualty of industrialisation because of disregard for the law at the local level. China is no exception, as we are reminded by the latest disaster in accident-prone Linfen , Shanxi province. At least 128 people died when a waste reservoir at an iron ore mine burst its banks, releasing a wall of mud and rocks that engulfed part of the small town of Taoshi. […] But the question of how an industrial accident could physically devastate a community calls for urgent answers. […] The mining enterprise was operating illegally and had filled the waste reservoir beyond its capacity. As a result, police have detained the mine owner and eight company officials, and county officials have sacked the Taoshi party secretary, mayor and two work-safety officials. This state of affairs could not have arisen without official indifference to the law or a blind eye to lack of compliance with it. […] That is not because of lack of emphasis on safety by the central government. It has introduced stringent regulations aimed an improving the country's safety record, […] But clearly it has not succeeded in imposing its will at the local level. Officials still collude with the operators of unsafe or poorly managed enterprises to frustrate efforts to improve safety, often for financial benefit. Some misguidedly put local development first, but others accept bribes or a silent stake in the business. Such a man-made disaster is an embarrassment to Beijing while it still basks in acclaim for staging a successful Olympic Games. Industrial accidents threaten to remain a stain on China's record long after memories of the Olympics have faded. Economic development and widening prosperity remain the prime national goals. But workplace safety is a measure of true progress in improving people's lives. […]. ^ top ^

China's environment watchdog warns leaders of penalties over pollution failures (Xinhua)
2008-09-12
China's environment watchdog has warned local government leaders that they face penalties over failures to clean up the country's major rivers and lakes. The Ministry of Environment Protection on Wednesday put the leaders of 21 provincial-level governments on notice that they would be held personally accountable for the continued pollution of seven main waterways. […] Environmental Protection Minister Zhou Shengxian told the meeting that the new measure would take effect early next year, although he did not reveal what penalties would be handed out. The 21 governments had given the ministry annual targets in their plans for pollution prevention in the basins of the Huaihe, Haihe, Liaohe, Songhua rivers, the middle and upper streams of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers as well Chaohu and Dianchi lakes. […] The Chinese government has set a target of reducing major water pollutant emissions by 10 percent from 2005 levels by 2010. Zhou told the meeting that emissions had fallen by only 2.3 percent for the past two years, meaning more reductions totaling 7.7 percent were required in less than three years. […] Zhou said on Sept. 1 that 1.6 million cases of water pollution had been reported through a government hotline since the beginning of 2003. ^ top ^

Vice premier urges maintaining low birth rate for sustainable development (Xinhua)
2008-09-12
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday said the country should continue keeping a low birth rate for its sustainable development. The country should also take comprehensive measures to address the problem of gender disproportion among the newly-born, said Li, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. He told a conference on population and family planning here that China's family planning policy had greatly promoted its economic development and social progress, and meanwhile also made significant contribution to the world's population and development cause. […]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong people go to polls for 4th term Legislative Council (Xinhua)
2008-09-07
[…] Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people went to the polls here Sunday to cast their votes for the 4th term Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive of HKSAR Donald Tsang cast his vote at the polling station at Raimondi College of the Mid Levels at 09:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) Sunday. "There are more than 200 candidates participating in the elections, setting a new record since Hong Kong's return to the Chinese motherland," Tsang told reporters after casting his vote, adding "it is a good sign for Hong Kong as many of the candidates are young people who want to work for prosperity and social development in Hong Kong." Tsang said he hoped the electors went out on the polling day and elect their ideal Legislative Councilors in the coming four years amid global financial trouble and work with the HKSAR government for a prosperous, stable and harmonious Hong Kong. […]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Beijing issues cross-strait measures to ease travel (SCMP)
2008-09-08
The mainland will adopt five new measures to facilitate exchanges with Taiwan - a move apparently aimed at paving the way for its main negotiator to visit the island next month. The measures were announced by Wang Yi, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office, at a forum in Xiamen yesterday. Top of the list was to greatly simplify travel permits for Taiwanese on the mainland - a step close to granting them identity cards. Other new measures include allowing mainlanders to travel to Taiwan proper through the so-called mini-three links - mainly ferry services between the mainland and the islands of Quemoy, Matsu and Penghu, which are controlled by Taiwan. […] According to Mr Wang, the new rule will come into force from September 25 and an additional five mainland cities will be able to handle renewal applications from October 20. […]. ^ top ^

Chen admits inventing fake project: reports (SCMP)
2008-09-09
Former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian has reportedly admitted making up a bogus project allowing him to claim NT$6 million (HK$1.47 million) worth of special state funds for secret diplomatic missions. Quoting unnamed judicial sources, Taiwanese media reported yesterday that Mr Chen had admitted during questioning by prosecutors on Friday that he had faked the "South Front Mission" to make a spending claim for NT$6 million from the special state fund allocated for public functions and secret diplomatic missions. Mr Chen claimed he had invented the project because he needed to cover up secret diplomatic missions involving Japan and the United States, the reports said. […]. ^ top ^

Island drops live-fire military show (SCMP)
2008-09-09
Taiwan is cancelling its biggest live-fire military demonstration of the year, the Defence Ministry said yesterday in a nod to efforts to improve relations with the mainland. The annual five-day exercise, which usually draws more than 20,000 troops and reservists, has in the past ended with a live-firing show of military prowess watched by Taiwan's political and military elite. […]. ^ top ^

Chen cleared in defamation case (SCMP)
2008-09-10
A court in Taipei had cleared former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian of defamation charges over allegations that the military had received kickbacks in a deal to buy frigates, an official said. Five retired officials sued Mr Chen, who left office in May, for alleging in a 2005 television interview that they had taken US$20 million in kickbacks in connection with the controversial deal. […] Two lawmakers from the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party were also cleared of the same charges. "This is too much. Chen can insult people because he's a former president. We will definitely appeal," co-plaintiff and retired vice-admiral Lei Hsueh-ming said. The defamation case stems from a 1991 deal struck by Taiwan to buy six French-made Lafayette-class frigates built for US$2.8 billion - a deal that strained French ties with Beijing. Allegations of kickbacks emerged after the body of a Taiwanese naval captain, who ran the acquisitions office, was found in the sea in 1993. A French judicial inquiry opened in 2001 to look into claims that much of the money Taiwan paid went towards commissions to middlemen, politicians and military officers in Taiwan, the mainland and France. An investigation in Taiwan concluded that as much as US$400 million in kickbacks might have been paid over the course of the deal. Thirteen military officers and 15 arms brokers in Taiwan were convicted of bribery and leaking military secrets in connection with the case. ^ top ^

Top cross-strait negotiator to visit Taiwan for summit talks (SCMP)
2008-09-12
Beijing's top cross-strait negotiator, Chen Yunlin, is expected to visit the island by the end of next month to attend the next round of high-level talks, a mainland official said yesterday. […] The summit, an important cross-strait negotiation platform in the absence of formal ties, resumed in Beijing three months ago after a 10-year hiatus. The talks between Mr Chen and SEF head Chiang Pin-kung resulted in the lifting of decade-old restrictions on regular charter flights across the Taiwan Strait and on mainland tourists visiting the island. But the two sides said they still needed further work before allowing flights to fly directly across the strait. All chartered flights still need to detour through Hong Kong airspace. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan's flagging economy given NT$180b fillip (SCMP)
2008-09-12
Taiwan's cabinet unveiled a NT$180 billion (HK$44 billion) stimulus package yesterday to boost the stock market, as well as the government's popularity. The legislature hopes the package can generate NT$1 trillion in investment and consumption, as it tries to hit its growth target amid slowing demand for Taiwanese goods. Officials also believe the scheme will shore up the ailing stock market and help the island achieve the government's target of 4.3 per cent economic growth this year. […] Financial experts said the stimulus package would do little to help the Taiex index, which is down about 25 per cent this year due to the global economic and financial decline. "The motive of the package is very good, but it is impossible for Taiwan stocks to escape the massive global financial downturn," said Stephen Tsui, director of Hong Kong-based Taiwan Concord Capital Securities. […]. For young people who plan to buy new homes when they marry, the government has also provided NT$200 billion in cheap housing loans, with people in Taipei enjoying up to NT$3.5 million in low-rate credit per couple. […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Chinese regulators urge banks to lend for economic growth (Xinhua)
2008-09-07
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) on Sunday urged banks to "take effective measures to ensure loans for the country's economic growth and meanwhile prevent risks, in a bid to maintain sound and fast economic development." […] The spokesman said the commission has urged commercial banks to increase lending to post-disaster reconstruction. ^ top ^

Expert: New Chinese car tax unlikely to dent sales much (People's daily)
2008-09-07
A new tax on cars with large engine displacements took effect this month, but the negative impact on sales will be small, experts said. On Sept. 1, the tax on cars with engine capacities of 3 to 4 liters rose 10 percentage points to 25 percent, while the rate for those above 4 liters doubled to 40 percent. The tax is intended to favor energy-efficient models. […] State Information Center official Xu Changming said the car market was expected to grow about 14 percent in next four months. Nationwide sales would be about 9.5 million units, excluding exports. ^ top ^

China's mainland records 41.6% increase in investment inflow (Xinhua)
2008-09-10
China's mainland reported a 41.6 percent year-on-year surge in the actual use of investment from other areas in the first eight months of this year. Investment inflow reached 67.73 billion U.S. dollars from January to August, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday. Zhang Hanya, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the impressive growth indicated investors' confidence in China's sustained and rapid economic growth. "With a large population of 1.3 billion, China is a huge market for investors even if the economic expansion slows a little," Zhang said. The mainland approved the establishment of 18,797 enterprises funded with outside investment in the first eight months, down 24.35 percent from the same period last year. The figures reflected the endeavor to increase the quality of investments from the outside, said Zhang. ^ top ^

CPI drops to lowest in 14 months (China daily)
2008-09-11
Inflation eased to its lowest level in August since June last year, giving the government more policy leeway to prevent an economic slowdown. The consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 4.9 percent year-on-year, compared to 6.3 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday. The CPI has been sliding since May, but still many economists were caught by surprise by last month's drop because they had forecast it to be above 5 percent. The month-on-month fall was only 0.1 percent. But last month's producer price index (PPI), a gauge of factory gate inflation, rose a record 10.1 percent year-on-year, after jumping 10 percent in July. Nevertheless, the low CPI figure gives the government "more policy room to sustain growth," Citigroup economist Ken Peng said. He suggested the authorities consider further policy changes favoring growth, which could shift to full gear next month. Economic growth has been slowing since the second quarter of last year, when the government adopted monetary and credit measures to rein in inflation and prevent the economy from overheating further. […] spurring demand and stoking inflation again. "Unless there's an abrupt slowdown, there's no need for a major change in the marco-control measures," said Lian Ping, an economist with the Bank of Communications. "The current 10 percent GDP growth is largely seen as acceptable." The CPI rise is likely to stabilize around 5 percent during the rest of the year, he said, because food prices may continue to drop. Inflation fell last month mainly because of a drop in food prices, which make up one-third of the inflation basket. Food prices slid 0.4 percent from July. A falling inflation rate gives the government a good chance to lift its price control on products such as fuel, water, and electricity further, Lehman Brothers economist Sun Mingchun said. […]. ^ top ^

UN chief lauds China for "good examples" in economic development (Xinhua)
2008-09-12
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday spoke highly of China's "good examples" in terms of economic development, urging the world's largest developing nation to share its experience with other developing economies. […] "These examples should be shared, transferred and emulated by many developing countries," he said. […]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing Olympics

Bocog in struggle to fill empty stadiums - Paralympics fail to bring in the crowds (SCMP)
2008-09-09
Beijing Paralympics organisers are scratching their heads over how to fill empty seats in many stadiums, especially now the city's students are back at school. A source said officials were looking for channels to "borrow" spectators to fill the stands, especially in venues other than the "Bird's Nest" and "Water Cube", which had become tourist attractions. […] The Paralympics events have traditionally been troubled by a lack of interest. Previous Games failed to attract large numbers and children have dominated stadiums since the Games started on Sunday. […] Some state-run enterprises were also asked to send staff to events. The efforts have so far played well with Paralympians. "It was so amazing to have so many spectators cheering for us," said Ruta Cvirkiene of the Lithuanian women's wheelchair basketball team after her squad lost to the United States. "Our girls were shocked to see so many people because we have no fans even in my own country. Several girls cried because the spectators cheered and applauded them. Everything here is so amazing." […]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Chinese leaders send congratulatory message on 60th anniversary of founding of DPRK (Xinhua)
2008-09-08
Chinese leaders on Monday sent a jointly-signed message to their counterparts of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), congratulating them on the 60thanniversary of the founding of the DPRK. […] The founding of the DPRK marked the beginning of a brand-new era when the DPRK people became masters of their own country and started to construct a socialist country, said the message. […] Over the past 60 years, the self-reliant and hard-working DPRK people, under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung, General Secretary Kim Jong Il and the Workers' Party of Korea, have scored remarkable achievements in their socialist revolution and construction, said the message. […] China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors. Thanks to their mutual efforts, the traditional China-DPRK friendship has been continuously consolidated and developed, said the message. China is willing to push forward the friendly cooperative ties with the DPRK and to make unremitting efforts to maintain regional peace and stability, the message said. ^ top ^

North Korea has second missile launch site says analyst (SCMP)
2008-09-12
North Korea has established a second test site and launch pad for intercontinental ballistic missiles, an independent analyst who has seen imagery of the site said on Wednesday. "This facility is designed to support a significant flight test programme," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.Org, a research group that specialises in security issues. "It is significant because it indicates an intention to develop a capability of developing a reliable ICBM," he said. Mr Pike said the missile launch site was discovered on the west coast of North Korea near China by Joseph Bermudez, an analyst at Jane's Intelligence Group. […]. "It is set up to do a launch three of four times a year, rather than every decade," he said. The facility has a standard test stand, a dynamic test stand and a relatively sophisticated launch pad for intercontinental ballistic missiles or space shots, he said. Mr Pike, who said Iran has a similar missile launch site, said the main North Korean launch pad appeared still under construction and a year or two away from completion. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Chairmen of standing committees appointed (Mongol messenger)
2008-09-11
The Parliamentary Standing Committees have introduced their Chairmen at the plenary meeting of the Parliamentary session on Wednesday. New parliament has seven Standing Committees. Four of them will be chaired by lawmakers elected from the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and three will be headed by the DemParty's members. […] The elected Chairmen were approved with 100% votes of parliament members who were at the plenary meeting. The Chairmen of the Standing Committees are elected for one year office term. ^ top ^

Mongolia is lastest country to join EBRD's trade acilitation program (Mongol messenger)
2008-09-11
The EBRD's trade facilitation programme (TFP) has extended its risk cover to Mongolia according to the Trade Finance, the global magazine for export and commodity finance. The bank's first transaction under the programme in the country will facilitate imports of cars from Germany and covers 100 % of the payment risk of a letter of credit worth USD 600,000 issued by Khan Bank of Mongolia to BHF Bank in Germany. Established in 1999, the trade facilitation programme supports trade to, from within the EBRD's 29 countries of operations. […] The project provides training, know-how transfer and operational guidance in trade finance. Barry Maddams, a deputy CEO of Khan Bank, says, "The practical approach by EBRD trade advisor Vincent O'Brien is paying dividends in terms of new trade finance business which will in turn help us maximize the benefits of the trade facilitation programme." The programme is an important tool of the EBRD's early transition countries initiative which aims to stimulate market activity in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldava, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by financing smaller projects. Transactions benefiting small- and medium-sized enterprises from the majority of TFP business: More than 50 % of deals concluded since the start of the programme cover smaller transactions below 100,000 Euro. ^ top ^

Rehabilitation is not completed (Mongol messenger)
2008-09-11
A press conference was called Tuesday for the Day to Respect Memory of Political Victims that is marked annually on September 10. The Head of the State Rehabilitation Commission (SRC) N. Sampilnorov said rehabilitation activities have not been completed yet. […] Facts say that more tham 36 thousand people were victimized for political frames-up. Since its establishment, the SRC has rehabilitated about 29 thousand victims and granted one-off compensations totalling MNT 15 billion to 17,166 people and over MNT 1 billion worth apartments and gers (traditional dwelling) to about 600 people. Thousands of not inspected and partially reviewed dossiers are still being kept in special archive of the General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia. These dossiers have been classified since 2006. Of them 7,000 thousand relate to political cases. Mongolian specialists get copies of the dossiers of the Mongolian citizens, who were victimized in Russia, from the Russian archive. Every year, they bring copies of the dossiers of about six people only. The main obstacles are that the materials are have to be copied by hand and that the Russians do not respond to every request. […]. ^ top ^

 

Ken Goenawan
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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