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
  8.12-12.12.08, No. 246  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

China says SED "insightful", "productive" (Xinhua)
2008-12-05
Beijing - China said here on Friday that its Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) with the United States was "insightful" and "productive", calling on the two sides to promote the dialogue mechanism and step up cooperation. "40 agreements reached during the fifth dialogue have once again proved the insightfulness and productiveness of this mechanism," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in his meeting with the U.S. delegation to the SED headed by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. China and the United States started their fifth SED in Beijing Thursday. The two sides discussed strategies for managing macro-economic risks and promoting balanced growth, on open investment and trade policies, including strengthening products, food and drug safety, on respected roles in international institutions and to strengthen cooperation in energy and the environment. […] "It is highly necessary for China and the United States to strengthen dialogue and join hands to manage risks and address the challenges," Wen said, promising that China would continue to, along with the members of the international community including the United States, play an active and constructive role to cope with the financial turmoil. […]. ^ top ^

China fastener makers weigh price controls to avoid EU dumping duties (Xinhua)
2008-12-07
Beijing - China's screw and fastener exporters are concerned that they face anti-dumping duties of up to 87 percent in the markets of the European Union (EU) and might set internal price controls to avert European action, an industry expert said on Sunday. Anti-dumping moves in the EU would aggregate the plight of the Chinese exporters, whose orders have fallen amid the world financial crisis, Sheng Rui, an export department official with Shanghai Prime Machinery Co. Ltd., told Xinhua. On Wednesday, the European Commission (EC) voted to adopt anti-dumping duties of 63 to 87 percent on China-made fasteners over the next five years. The vote must be approved by trade ministers of the 27-nation bloc within a month before it comes into force. […]. ^ top ^

Tokyo protests over two Chinese survey ships found near Diaoyus (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Tokyo lodged a protest with Beijing after the Japanese coastguard found two Chinese survey ships in waters near the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea yesterday. The maritime survey ships had entered waters surrounding the group of islands known as Senkaku in Japan earlier in the day, the Japan Coast Guard said. "Despite repeated warnings issued by radio from our patrol boat, the Chinese ships are still within our waters," spokesman Kazuya Ono said. Japan also lodged a protest with China over the entry, but Beijing responded by saying it was checking facts, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. The eight uninhabitable islands are claimed by Tokyo, Beijing and Taipei, and the territorial dispute is one of many that have strained ties between Japan and the mainland. It was unclear what the Chinese ships were doing in the waters, which Japan watches closely for intrusions by outside ships. […]. ^ top ^

China acknowledges human rights problems, but confident of prospect (Xinhua)
2008-12-09
Beijing - China's human rights development still had "quite a few things less than satisfactory", but would see progress as the modernization drive went on, a top official said here on Tuesday. "Due to natural, historical, cultural and economic and social factors, there are still many problems and difficulties in the development of human rights," said Wang Chen, minister in charge of the State Council Information Office. […] Problems and difficulties were quite outstanding in areas such as employment, social security, income distribution, education, medical service, housing and production safety. […]. ^ top ^

China calls for dialogue, cooperation in human rights (Xinhua)
2008-12-09
Beijing - The international community should deal with human rights issues through dialogues and cooperation, a senior Chinese official said here on Tuesday. […] Wang said some countries and regional groups had "politicized and ideologized human rights by practicing double standards, flying the 'human rights' flag to negate the sovereignty of other countries and carry out power politics." […] The minister said people in different countries have different understandings and demands with regard to human rights and their human rights problems that need priority solution also vary. "Under the precondition of recognizing the universality of human rights, all governments and people have the right to adopt different policy measures according to their respective national conditions to seek human rights development best suited to their country," he said. […]. ^ top ^

Minister urges US to drop planned arms sale to Taipei (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Defence minister Liang Guanglie has called on the United States to drop a planned sale of weapons to Taiwan, saying it threatened Sino-US defence co-operation. General Liang also called on Washington to cease all military ties with Taiwan, during a meeting in Beijing with the visiting former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, Xinhua said. "The US arms sale to Taiwan has poisoned the sound atmosphere of bilateral military relations and endangered China's national security," he was quoted as telling General Myers. ^ top ^

China considers sending emergency aid to Zimbabwe (People's Daily)
2008-12-09
Beijing - China on Tuesday said it is considering providing emergency humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a press conference here that the aid would include grain. Liu said China, like other countries in the world, is deeply concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe. "China is convinced that dialogue and negotiation is the only correct solution to solve the problem." […] "We sincerely hope the parties concerned will put the interest of the nation and Zimbabwe's people first and forge a unity government soon to lead the country out of difficulties," Liu said. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese State Councilor starts working visit to U.S. (People's Daily)
2008-12-10
Beijing - Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo left here for a working visit to the United States on Wednesday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry. Dai, at the invitation of the U.S. government, will co-chair the sixth strategic dialogue with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte during his tour. The fifth Sino-U.S. strategic dialogue was held in China in January 2008. The two sides agreed to hold the sixth dialogue within this year in the United States. […]. ^ top ^

China, Russia vow to deepen military ties (People's Daily)
2008-12-11
Beijing - China wants a closer military relationship with Russia because it is in the fundamental interests of both sides, a senior Chinese officer said here Thursday. In light of the complicated and volatile international situation, enhancing China- Russia military ties would also serve regional and world peace and stability, Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when he met visiting Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese president underscores int'l co-op on human rights (People's Daily)
2008-12-12
Beijing - Chinese President Hu Jintao has vowed the Chinese people will, as always, work together with the international community to promote healthy development of the human rights cause in the world. […] China, however, will base its human rights development on the basic situation of the country while acknowledging the universal value of human rights, Hu said in the letter. […]. ^ top ^

China takes UN climate convention, Kyoto Protocol as basic framework in fighting climate change (People's Daily)
2008-12-12
Poznan, Poland - A Chinese minister said here on Thursday that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol should be taken as the basic legal framework for the world to cope with climate change. […] "Only by sticking to the principles of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, working toward their full, effective and sustained implementation... can we expect to reach a fair and effective agreed outcome in Copenhagen," said Xie, head of the Chinese delegation to the climate talks. "Any attempt to deviate from, breach or re-define the Convention, or to deny the Kyoto Protocol, or to merge the Convention process with the Kyoto Protocol process, will be detrimental, and will ultimately lead to a fruitless Copenhagen Conference," he warned. […]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Hubei to build mainland's first inland nuclear plant (SCMP)
2008-12-08
Hubei province is to build the mainland's first inland nuclear plant, a local planning official said. yesterday. People living near the site in Xianning had been relocated and roads for the project had been completed, the official from the city's planning commission said. The cost of the first two phases of the project is estimated at 50 billion yuan (HK$56 billion). The third phase could cost 45 billion yuan. Construction would start once the environmental assessment report was approved, Xinhua said. The mainland has 11 nuclear plants, all on the east coast. ^ top ^

Percentage of young people with stomach cancer doubles (SCMP)
2008-12-08
The percentage of young mainlanders with stomach cancer has nearly doubled in the past 30 years, up from 1.7 per cent in the 1970s to about 3.3 per cent this year, Xinhua quoted a medical expert as saying. Only one in 10 were diagnosed in the early stages, Ji Jiafu of the Beijing Oncology Hospital told a forum. Early diagnosis improved the survival rate by 95 per cent, he said. Dr Ji also said 400,000 new cancer patients were diagnosed on the mainland every year, accounting for 42 per cent of new cases worldwide. He said the main reasons for the high number of cancer patients among young people were work stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy diet and pollution. ^ top ^

Beijing mulls how to find jobs for workers laid off in fuel-tax reform (SCMP)
2008-12-08
The central government is mulling how to re-employ 150,000 transport workers likely to lose their jobs as a result of a fuel-tax reform. The redundancies, which some analysts estimate could reach as high as 300,000, are expected to mainly affect fee collectors and penalty ticket writers at toll gates and check points along highways, roads, waterways and at traffic depots. […] The system, effective from January 1, was expected to slightly boost revenues without increasing costs at the pumps because fuel prices would remain at their current levels, the commission said. […] Those 50 and older who have worked for more than 30 years could apply for early retirement. The remainder could be employed in taxation departments or sent to other posts in the transport sector, the newspaper said, without elaborating. […]. ^ top ^

Joint investigation launched in China to find illegal additives in foods (Xinhua)
2008-12-08
Beijing - Nine Chinese departments will cooperate in a four-month, nationwide investigation to find illegal additives in food. […] "We plan this action in the wake of the melamine-tainted baby formula," announced Chen Xiaohong, vice minister of health, on Monday. […] The investigation will target protein rich foods, such as processed meat, dairy products and sauces, according to Pu Changcheng, deputy director of GAQSIQ. Products will be taken from supermarkets and tested to identify any illegal or overused additives. […] The result of the investigation will be released to the public after it is completed in March. ^ top ^

Safety officials seize EU food imports after tainting scare (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Product safety authorities on the mainland have seized several batches of contaminated European food imports, and are also recalling all Irish pork products following a tainting scare there. Officials in Shanghai and the southwestern province of Sichuan had discovered problems with some food imported from Europe, the quality watchdog said on its website. The goods included Italian brandy, Spanish dairy products, Belgian chocolate and seasoning from Britain, all of which had been tainted with chemicals, it said. ^ top ^

Court refuses to accept first joint Sanlu lawsuit - Major setback for families of victims in tainted milk scandal (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Families of victims in the scandal over melamine-tainted milk powder suffered a major setback yesterday. Hebei Higher People's Court refused to accept the first collective compensation lawsuit brought against dairy firm Sanlu since the scandal broke in September. A group of lawyers, acting without payment, lodged a joint civil lawsuit on behalf of 63 victims yesterday in Hebei, the home province of Sanlu, seeking nearly 7 million yuan (HK$7.9 million) in compensation for costs incurred and another 7 million yuan for psychological damage. But they were told by a court chief that the case could not be accepted because the authorities were still investigating. […]. ^ top ^

China blacklists 74 websites for selling fake traditional Chinese medicine (People's Daily)
2008-12-09
Beijing - China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) on Tuesday blacklisted 74 websites for selling fake Chinese herbal medicine. Names of those sites have been made public on SATCM's website at www.satcm.gov.cn. Consumers are warned of buying any type of medicine from organizations such as the International Diabetes Institute of Genetic Engineering (www.010gbw.com), the China Research Center for Chinese Medicine (www.gxykf8.cn) and the China Cardiovascular Research Institute at (www.gxy007.cn). Drugs sold on those websites claimed to be able to cure high blood pressure, skin diseases, diabetes and tumors. SATCM has reported the 74 websites to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for further investigation. Those sites could be shut down. […]. ^ top ^

Petitioners detained in mental hospitals - Villagers forcibly drugged, says newspaper (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Petitioners who complained to higher authorities about injustices have been forcibly detained in mental hospitals by authorities in the city of Xintai, Shandong province, a newspaper reported. Human rights lawyers and other petitioners said the practice was not uncommon. Sun Fawu, 57, a retired worker from Quangou township in Xintai, was abducted by the township's petition officials and taken to Xintai's mental hospital while on his way to petition in Beijing on October 19, The Beijing News reported. During more than 20 days in detention, Mr Sun said he was forcibly given drugs orally and via injections, and locked in a room with iron doors and bars on the window. "My head was heavy like a hammer and my legs were weak," Mr Sun told the newspaper. He said when he yelled to a doctor, telling him he was a petitioner and not mentally ill, he was told: "I don't care if you are mentally ill or not. Your township government sent you so I will treat you like a mentally ill patient." He was released only after he signed a document declaring he suffered from mental illness and promising not to petition again. […] Wu Yuzhu , president of Xintai Mental Hospital told the newspaper that many patients at the hospital were petitioners and their fees were paid by township governments. He said some patients did not appear mentally ill, but "we could not say anything as most times the township officials bring with them a mental state evaluation and accompanied by police officers". […]. ^ top ^

Petitioners held for being obsessive, says official (SCMP)
2008-12-10
A Shandong official yesterday said petitioners seeking redress for various injustices were held in mental hospitals because they were too "obsessive". […] The Beijing News reported on Monday that authorities in Xintai city had sent at least 18 people to mental hospitals to prevent them from complaining about local injustices and that they had been force-fed drugs. The report shocked the nation. But an official from the Xintai petition office criticised the report during a television interview yesterday. "We send people to mental hospital only because they have mental problems in the first place," the official said. "Those people [petitioners] are all obsessive characters. They petition repeatedly throughout the year. "We have tried to explain this to the newspaper but they just refuse to listen ... The story is biased and out of touch with reality." […]. ^ top ^

IPR cases in China increase sharply (People's Daily)
2008-12-10
From January to October this year, local courts in China have accepted 20,806 intellectual property rights (IPR) cases at first instance trials, an increase of 36.9% year-on-year, 3,251 IPR cases at second instance trials, an increase of 49.51% year-on-year, and 92 retrial cases, an increase of 162.86% year-on-year. Xi Xiaoming, vice president of the Supreme People's Court said the sharp increase in the number of cases accepted is a reflection that verdicts in IPR trials have drawn wide attention and trust. It also demonstrated the increased efforts in strengthening the judicial protection of IPR in China. ^ top ^

Dissidents held for collecting 300 signatures - Prominent duo taken in Beijing raids (SCMP)
2008-12-10
Authorities took away two prominent dissidents in Beijing on Monday night after they helped collect signatures on a human rights declaration endorsed by more than 300 leading liberal intellectuals and dissidents ahead of world Human Rights Day. Dozens of officers from the Beijing public security bureau and the Ministry of State Security raided the homes of Liu Xiaobo and Zhang Zuhua at about 11pm on Monday and searched the flats, confiscating property and cutting telephone lines. Mr Liu and Mr Zhang were the main drafters of a joint declaration titled Charter 08, released yesterday morning on the internet calling for bold political reforms and the realisation of basic values such as freedom of speech and religion, human rights and democracy in China. The release was timed to coincide with Human Rights Day today. […] Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said he was not aware of the dissidents' detention. "I don't know about the reports you mentioned, and I am sceptical. ^ top ^

Protest of 1,000 migrant workers turns violent, says rights group (SCMP)
2008-12-10
About 1,000 disgruntled migrant workers clashed with police in a suburb of Shanghai on Monday, a rights group said yesterday. More than 300 police were involved in the incident, which resulted in 10 of the protesters being injured and at least one police vehicle being damaged, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement. The centre said it had been told by witnesses that the clashes took place when migrant workers at Shanghai Yixin Factory in Minhang district in the southwest of the city protested against job cuts. […] "By 8pm, more than 1,000 migrant workers were gathered at the scene, and the [Public Security Bureau] sent in a force of over 300 police officers, including more than 100 special police officers, to prevent them entering the factory. "Ten migrant workers were injured and one police vehicle was damaged by the migrant workers' stones," the statement said. […]. ^ top ^

Satellite 'ready to go' (SCMP)
2008-12-10
The Chinese-built Venesat-1 communications satellite is in good condition and will be handed over to Venezuela on time, according to a mainland satellite exporter. Mainland space industry sources said last week the 3 billion yuan (HK$3.4 billion) satellite had encountered some serious operational glitches and that engineers were striving to fix them. […]. ^ top ^

Aids fight being lost to prejudice and ignorance (SCMP)
2008-12-10
China's leaders were out in force on World Aids Day last week. President Hu Jintao visited a Beijing hospital, along with likely future premier Li Keqiang, to meet HIV-positive patients. Two days earlier, Premier Wen Jiabao was in Anhui, returning to some of the Aids-affected villages he had previously visited. There was blanket coverage of both trips in the media; a sign of how far the battle against Aids on the mainland has progressed. Unfortunately, though, it is a fight that the authorities are losing. The number of new cases continues to rise at an alarming rate, a 45 per cent jump in 2007 alone, despite the government having spent 3.9 billion yuan (HK$5.52 billion) on Aids- prevention programmes between 2005 and 2007. And, for all the photos of Mr Hu and Mr Wen shaking hands with Aids sufferers, there is little sign that their worthy efforts are doing anything to break down the stigma associated with the disease. […] If the authorities are serious about tackling the Aids crisis - and the number of people who are HIV positive is certainly far higher than the current estimate of 700,000 - then they need to fundamentally change their attitude to those most at risk. […]. ^ top ^

Lawmaker in China's Anhui gets suspended death penalty for bribes (Xinhua)
2008-12-10
Hefei - A local official was sentenced to death with a two-year stay for taking 6 million yuan (about 875,000 U.S. dollars) worth of bribes, under the first verdict of the Fuyang Intermediate Court of east China's Anhui Province on Wednesday. Chen Shili, the former top legislator of Huainan City, was convicted of abusing his power in exchange for personal gains, said the court. Chen has denied the allegations and appealed to the local higher court. […] When arrested in May 2008, he was chairman of the standing committee of Huainan Municipal People's Congress. […]. ^ top ^

Firms may have to pay for compensation plan (SCMP)
2008-12-11
Some mainland dairy companies will probably have to pay for a compensation plan being prepared by the government for families of hundreds of thousands of children made ill by tainted milk powder, the health ministry said yesterday. The ministry said last week that six babies died, probably as a result of drinking milk powder tainted with the industrial chemical melamine, and 294,000 infants suffered urinary problems. […]. ^ top ^

Police detain more scholars and activists (SCMP)
2008-12-12
More liberal scholars and rights activists have either been taken away or put under house arrest by the authorities after two prominent dissidents were detained by Beijing police for collecting signatures on a human rights declaration. Shanghai-based human rights lawyer Zheng Enchong was put under house arrest yesterday, his relatives told the South China Morning Post. The lawyer, well-known for helping disadvantaged people fight against government-sponsored eviction, was taken to a police station near his home and questioned for four hours on Wednesday afternoon. One relative, who asked for anonymity for fear of political persecution, said: "Fortunately they did not beat him this time. They released him at eight on Wednesday evening. But he's not allowed to use phone or internet, nor is he allowed to go out. We believe this was related to the signature campaign because they asked him things about the human rights charter." Mr Zheng was previously jailed for three years on a charge of leaking state secrets. He was released in 2006 but remains under 24-hour surveillance and has been placed under house arrest from time to time. Also on Wednesday night, Guangzhou police took custody of outspoken academic Ai Xiaoming and raided her home, sources said. Professor Ai, who teaches Chinese studies at Sun Yat-sen University in the city, makes documentaries about the plight of the poor and disadvantaged groups. […]. ^ top ^

Internet presents opportunities, potential dilemmas for Beijing (SCMP)
2008-12-12
Li Zhuoheng got hooked on the internet in 1997, when he started university at Tsinghua. He joined the IT industry after graduation, and last year founded Jiwai, the Chinese version of Twitter, a popular internet platform in the United States that allows users to post instant mini-blogs through various mediums from mobile phones to MSN and Facebook. "I was amazed the first time I used the internet at how quick it was to gain access to such a wealth of information," Mr Li said. "From sex to government policies, it also provides a platform for open discussions. The more people know, the wiser they can be." Meanwhile, Zhou Shuguang, the son of a Hunan coal miner, quit school after middle school and became a self-taught internet technician. He began blogging in 2005, and his coverage entered the mainstream media last year when he reported daily on the Chongqing "nail house", a lone household holding out against government eviction. Mr Zhou's subsequent reporting on several high-profile riots around the country earned him the title of "China's only citizen reporter". […] These online mechanisms enable netizens to use group efforts to dig up "wanted" information on others. Most of the targets are people accused of having affairs or "stealing" someone's wife or husband. The moral blame is immediate, and online verbal assaults have translated into real life assaults, job losses, relationship breakdowns and even mental instability for the wanted. But legal procedures offer little redress since it is almost impossible to pinpoint someone to sue. The destructive force and mob-like behaviour fostered by the internet's anonymity have also fed swelling nationalist sentiment among netizens. Boycotts of Japanese goods in 2005 and French goods this year were both initiated online. […] Like most other areas of publication, the mainland censors internet content, using a rumoured 30,000 internet police. Anything violent and pornographic is supposedly forbidden by "The Great Firewall", which blocks out the most sensitive foreign media and human rights websites. […]. ^ top ^

10b yuan in farm aid to support rural population - Subsidies aim to avert unrest as jobless migrants return home (SCMP)
2008-12-12
The central government promised yesterday to set aside 10 billion yuan (HK$11.3 billion) in subsidies for purchases of agricultural machinery next year, in addition to other policies to buttress employment in rural areas. The initiative, announced by Xinhua, comes as authorities in Beijing are increasingly wary of the potential social unrest simmering among the millions of home-bound migrant workers, most of whom are casualties of the sharp economic slowdown in export-reliant coastal provinces. […]. ^ top ^

Ban on covering reporter's arrest - Mainland media warned off investigating CCTV journalist's detention (SCMP)
2008-12-12
Propaganda authorities have ordered a blanket ban on all media investigations into and reports on the controversial arrest last week of a China Central Television legal reporter by prosecutors in the Shanxi city of Taiyuan, media sources say. The sources said the Central Publicity Department issued two orders to media organisations on Wednesday afternoon, prohibiting mainland journalists from following up on a Beijing Youth Daily report on Monday that CCTV reporter Li Min had been arrested. The newspaper reported that the arrest was carried out at her Beijing home by four officers from Taiyuan's Xinghualing district prosecutors' office on the instructions of their chief, He Shusheng , and with the authorisation of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. […]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Smog chokes Beijing despite traffic caps (SCMP)
2008-12-09
Beijing saw some of its worst air pollution in the past six months yesterday, with its skyline engulfed in a blanket of smog. This followed a brief respite during the Olympic Games, when prolonged traffic bans were put in place to clear the air. The air pollution index, which measures air quality from noon to noon, reached 169, considered "slightly polluted" by national standards. Statistics from the Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau showed 27 out of 28 monitoring stations across the capital recorded figures designated as "slightly polluted" or "polluted". It was the third highest pollution level recorded since the Beijing Olympics, and came just days after the authorities declared Beijing had reached a self-imposed target number of clear-sky days for this year, thanks to the capital's all-out effort to cut pollution ahead of the Games. […]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

3,000 rally against law (SCMP)
2008-12-08
About 3,000 Taiwanese students marched in Taipei yesterday to protest against a law they say limits people's constitutional right to demonstrate freely. […] They protested against a law that requires police approval of public gatherings, and demanded that demonstrators be allowed to stage protests as they wish. They said the current law gave police too much power to bar protests. […]. ^ top ^

KMT chairman to attend 4th cross-Strait economic, cultural forum (Xinhua)
2008-12-09
Taipei - Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman, Wu Poh-hsiung, will lead a delegation to attend the 4th Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum scheduled in Shanghai later this month. KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan would also be present at the event to be held on Dec. 20-21, the party's deputy secretary-general Chang Jung-Kung said here Tuesday. […] The forum will also focus on expanding cooperation in the finance and service sectors between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, encouraging two-way investment and promoting a regular cross-Strait economic exchange mechanism, a mainland spokesman said Tuesday in Beijing. ^ top ^

Shanghai-Taiwan flight date set (China Daily)
2008-12-10
China Eastern Airlines (CEA) will launch its first direct chartered flight from Shanghai to Taiwan on Monday. Top mainland and Taiwan negotiators signed historic agreements early last month in Taipei to establish fullfledged links in transport, postal services and trade across the Straits. Previously, six mainland carriers and five Taiwan carriers had been operating direct charter flights on the four traditional Chinese holidays and at weekends. Since July this year, there have been four flights a week. The aircraft, however, have had to fly through Hong Kong's airspace. Following the new agreement, flights will bypass Hong Kong, shortening travel time, and the frequency has been increased from four times a week to daily. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan set to ease immigration rules - Residency relaxation to pave way for reunions (SCMP)
2008-12-11
Thawed cross-strait relations took a dramatic turn yesterday, with the island announcing a plan to simplify its immigration system, with the time required for residency of mainland spouses reduced to encourage more family reunions. Under the plan, mainland spouses of Taiwanese would be allowed to work immediately after they arrived on the island legally, instead of waiting for six years, Taiwan's top mainland policy planning boss Lai Shin-yuan said. […]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Sarkozy's meeting with Dalai Lama grossly interferes in China's internal affairs (Xinhua)
2008-12-07
Beijing - China on Sunday expressed strong indignation and firm objections to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama on Saturday in Poland. The French side's wrong action grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and also severely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people," said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao in a press release. […]. ^ top ^

Dalai Lama declines Kaohsiung mayor's invite (SCMP)
2008-12-09
The Dalai Lama has declined an invitation by Taiwan's opposition party to visit the southern city of Kaohsiung for a human rights forum after recent remarks by the island's president, Ma Ying-jeou, that the timing was not appropriate for him to visit. Dawa Tsering, the Tibetan spiritual leader's representative to Taipei, told Kaohsiung's mayor, Chen Chu of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party: "The Dalai Lama has already gone to Europe, and the invitation [to him] has been issued [too late] since his schedules are already set." Ms Chen extended the invitation shortly after Mr Ma made his comments. ^ top ^

Beijing urges Paris to mend ties after Dalai Lama talks (SCMP)
2008-12-10
China urged France to "take responsibility and concrete measures" to repair strained ties stemming from a weekend meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama. Beijing did not say whether it was planning any economic sanctions against French businesses after Mr Sarkozy held talks in Poland with the Tibetan spiritual leader. "China has never done anything that undermines the interests of France," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. "We urge the French side to take responsibility and concrete measures to correct the erroneous practice.". ^ top ^

Envoy brief on meeting dismissed (China Daily)
2008-12-12
France continued to defend last week's meeting between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama, saying it did not intend to offend China, but Beijing dismissed the argument because it is not enough to "resolve the crisis". "China (has) said France should take full responsibility for the sour relations, but we can't agree with that," France's ambassador to China Herve Ladsous told reporters at the embassy Thursday. […] "France never intended to offend China, to hurt China's interests, or to disturb Sino-French or Sino-European relations," he said. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had made similar remarks on Tuesday. "We did not want to offend China, the Chinese people or the Chinese leaders," Kouchner told a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao dismissed the French argument, saying such remarks "cannot solve the current difficulties in Sino-French relations". "By meeting with the Dalai Lama, Sarkozy has interfered with China's internal affairs and infringed upon China's core interests," Liu said at a regular press briefing. […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China's top economic planners explain economic stimulus measures (Xinhua)
2008-12-09
Beijing - China will try to distribute public resources to areas directly benefiting ordinary people, when carrying out the economic stimulus package announced on Nov. 9. The statement was made Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the nation's top economic planning agency. […] The agency said priority would be given to projects improving people's livelihood, including those in rural areas, housing projects for low-income earners in urban areas, and social undertakings. […] Around 280 billion yuan will go to housing projects for low-income earners, about 370 billion yuan to rural infrastructure and projects to improve living standards of rural dwellers, some 40 billion yuan to healthcare, education and cultural undertakings, approximately 350 billion yuan to biological conservation and environmental protection, and 1 trillion yuan for post-disaster reconstruction projects. Besides, 1.8 trillion yuan will be used for building railroads, highways, airports and other transportation infrastructures. Another 160 billion yuan will pay for technical innovation and industrial restructuring. ^ top ^

China November PPI falls to 2% (Xinhua)
2008-12-10
Beijing - China's producer price index (PPI), a measure of inflation, further slowed to an annual rate of 2 percent in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Wednesday. ^ top ^

China economic tone-setting conference ends with vow to maintain stable growth (Xinhua)
2008-12-10
Beijing - China concluded the three-day annual Central Economic Work Conference Wednesday in Beijing with a pledge to maintain stable, healthy growth next year through domestic demand expansion and economic restructuring. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao addressed the meeting, which is held once a year to set the tone for economic development during the next year. […] As international financial woes worsened and permeated into the real economy worldwide, instabilities and uncertainties mounted for the Chinese economy. […] However, conference attendees noted, important opportunities for China's economic and social development still existed and would not be reversed by ongoing global financial woes. As they pointed out, priority should be given to maintaining stable and relatively fast economic growth next year. This will be achieved through expanding domestic demand, restructuring the economy and transforming the growth pattern. All will ultimately target improving people's living standard. […] To achieve 2009's goals, the attendees pointed out, flexible and prudent macroeconomic policies should continue. […]. ^ top ^

China Nov. exports down 2.2% in first fall since June 2001 (Xinhua)
2008-12-10
Beijing - China's exports totaled 115 billion U.S. dollars last month, down 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first monthly decline since June 2001, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Wednesday. […] November's exports also fell 10.4 percent month-on-month. In October, exports were up 19.2 percent year-on-year. Sharp declines were recorded on the import front last month. Imports were worth 75 billion U.S. dollars, down 17.9 percent year-on-year and down 19.5 percent month-on-month. "It means the financial crisis is not only weakening the economies of the United States and European Union but also weighing on China's economy," said Zhuang Jian, senior economist with the Asian Development Bank's China Resident Mission. November's total trade volume stood at 189.89 billion U.S. dollars, down 9 percent year-on-year, GAC said. […]. ^ top ^

China November consumer inflation eases to 2.4 percent (Xinhua)
2008-12-11
Beijing - China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose at a slower annual rate of 2.4 percent in November, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said here on Thursday. Rises in the consumer price index (CPI) slowed for seven straight months due to the sharp fall of commodity prices on the world market and sluggish global demand amid the financial crisis. The figure, compared with 4 percent in October, 4.6 percent in September, 4.9 percent in August and a nearly 12-year-high of 8.7 percent in February, was broadly in line with most forecasts. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

China urges all parties to show utmost flexibility in Korean nuclear talks (Xinhua)
2008-12-11
Beijing - China on Thursday hoped all parties involved in the Korean Peninsular nuclear talks could show the utmost flexibility in order to achieve a positive result. "We hope all sides remain confident and patient, and show wisdom and the utmost flexibility as a way of achieving a positive result during the meeting," said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. […] Yang said the present round was crucial in the new process of the six-party talks, and was significant in attempts to achieve a peninsular free of nuclear weapons or production. "Some common ground has been reached, but differences still exist after a few days talks," said Yang. […] The foreign minister said the removal of nuclear weapons or production from the peninsular had taken substantial steps and made unprecedented progress, and this hard-earned result should be valued. […]. ^ top ^

Korean Peninsula nuclear talks end with chairman's statement (People's Daily)
2008-12-11
Beijing - The six parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear talks concluded their latest round of negotiations on Thursday, without registering substantive progress. "The parties evaluated progress made towards an agreement on terms for verification," said a chairman's statement issued at the end of the talks. How to verify the nuclear program of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was the sticking point in the latest round of talks, which started on Monday. After four days of intensive one-on-one meetings and plenary meetings, the six parties failed to reach an agreement on a verification draft, in which host China put together the views of all parties. Under an agreement reached at the talks in February 2007, the DPRK agreed to abandon all nuclear weapons and programs. It also promised to declare all its nuclear programs and facilities by the end of 2007. In return, DPRK would get diplomatic and economic incentives. "Through days of discussions, six parties came to some consensus, but remained apart on some issues," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a meeting with six chief negotiators earlier Thursday. […] According to the chairman's statement, a working group meeting under the Russian chairmanship will be held in Moscow in February 2009 to further discuss the principles. […]. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Teachers threaten to strike (www.news.mn)
2008-12-10
The Trade Union of Mongolian Teachers has written to both the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Education that they would go on strike from Monday if their salary is not increased before that. The teachers have been demanding higher wages for several weeks now. ^ top ^

 

Philipp Orga
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