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
  12.10-16.10.09, No. 290  
Startseite / Homepage   Archiv / Archives
Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

General's trip signals improved US ties (China Daily)
2009-10-16
A planned visit to the US by one of China's top soldiers is being seen as an indication of improved ties between the nations after recent setbacks. General Xu Caihou, a vice-chairman of the People's Liberation Army's top command, will travel to the US on Oct 24, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. He will visit Washington and bases throughout the US during his eight-day trip […] The scheduled tour, which was planned during the 10th Sino-US Defense Consultative Talks held in Beijing in June, shows relations between the countries have improved, said Pan Zheng, a senior expert in US strategy at the National Defense University […] Sino-US relations were derailed last year when the Pentagon agreed to sell arms to Taiwan […] In a related development, the 12th Australia and China Defense Strategic Dialogue was held in Canberra yesterday. Visiting PLA Chief of General Staff, General Chen Bingde, was in attendance […]. ^ top ^

China-India border disputes turn sour (Global Times)
2009-10-16
Premier Wen Jiabao wants to meet with his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Thailand next week in what looks to be a sign of diplomacy amid renewed border disputes between the neighboring countries, Indian media reported. The meeting would come on the heels of a recent controversial visit by the Indian prime minister to a disputed region and India's call for China to stop offering assistance on a dam project in Kashmir. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday did not rule out the possibility that the meeting could take place at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit […] The border dispute was highlighted again Thursday when Indian Congress leader Rahul Gandhi insisted that "Arunachal Pradesh" was part of India […]. ^ top ^

U.S. says China not currency manipulator (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-16
The U.S. government said on Thursday that China did not manipulate its currency against the U.S. dollar during the first half of 2009. In its Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, the Department of Treasury said that "no major trading partner of the United States" met the standards identified by a U.S. act of manipulating their rates of exchange against the U.S. dollar to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade […] But it also alleged that the Chinese currency renminbi's exchange rate showed a "lack of flexibility" in recent period. The Treasury also claimed that it "remains of the view that the renminbi is undervalued." It said that the U.S. government will continue to work with China both in the Group of 20 (G20) and the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue to pursue policies that permit greater flexibility of the exchange rate and lead to more sustainable and balanced trade and growth. ^ top ^

Beijing urged to do more to help with terror fight (China Daily)
2009-10-16
Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday appealed for more help from China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to support their ongoing struggle against terrorism. Capacity building, reconstruction, poverty-relief and intelligence exchange are the areas in which China and the SCO can help, Afghan Second Vice-President Mohammad Karim Khalili and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told China Daily. Experts agreed that China should offer more support in those areas but urged Beijing to keep away from military engagement, because dispatching more troops will not resolve the problem […] China is engaged in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, but has no military involvement. ^ top ^

China's top legislator vows to increase int'l anticorruption cooperation (Global Times)
2009-10-16
China's top legislator said on Thursday the country would work with the international community to increase anticorruption cooperation. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remarks when meeting with heads of delegations to an anticorruption forum of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) […] China would work with other nations to enrich the cooperation content within the APEC framework, and push forward regional prosperity and stability, he noted. Robert Cusick, Director of the US Office of Government Ethics, expressed appreciation for China's efforts in anticorruption area, saying that all attendees to the forum had reached agreement to expand anticorruption cooperation […]. ^ top ^

Premier: China to maintain high-level exchanges with Iran (Xinhua)
2009-10-16
China would maintain high-level exchanges with Iran, said Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday in a meeting with visiting Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi in Beijing after the eighth prime ministers' meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). "The Sino-Iran relationship has witnessed rapid development, as the two countries' leaders have had frequent exchanges, and cooperation in trade and energy has widened and deepened" […] China would continue playing a constructive role in seeking a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, Wen said […] Iran hoped to further deepen the cooperation in trade and energy, strengthen coordination with China in international affairs and promote healthy and steady bilateral relations […]. ^ top ^

SCO pledges to increase economic co-op to tackle financial crisis (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-15
The eighth prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states achieved fruitful results in working out joint measures to increase economic cooperation […] Wen Jiabao […] raised a seven-point proposal to enhance regional cooperation at the meeting. The proposal includes deepening fiscal and financial cooperation, enhancing exchanges on financial and monetary policies, improving the trade settlement payment system and promoting international financial system reform […] The prime ministers of the member states agreed to establish a monitoring mechanism for the SCO economy to study the situation of all SCO member states' economic and trade cooperation, service market, and mutual investment […] The joint communique reiterated that financial cooperation should be deepened. The financial sectors of the member states should enhance the information exchange to tackle the global financial crisis. The next prime ministers' meeting of the SCO member states is to be held in Kyrgyzstan in 2010. ^ top ^

Gift exchange seems to show rift in party, but look again: Xi's interaction with Merkel carries a specific message (SCMP)
2009-10-15
Xi Jinping, the heir apparent to become China's next president, raised more than a few eyebrows during his current trip to five European countries with what was perceived to be an unusual diplomatic act. The vice-president handed two books to German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel as a gift […] Along with the books - noticeably both written by former president Jiang Zemin - Xi passed the latter's "greetings and good wishes" to Merkel […] President Hu Jintao […] was conspicuously left out of the context […] It did not require too much imagination to interpret Xi's gift presentation as a hidden rift within the Communist Party leadership bursting to the surface […] But some China watchers said Xi was unlikely to act in such an impromptu manner during important bilateral talks with a big Western country such as Germany. Ong Yew-kim, senior research fellow at Chinese University of Hong Kong, said it was unlikely Xi would take the opportunity to show off his closeness with Jiang to upset Hu […] "At this diplomatic level, all exchanges would have to be approved by the Politburo Standing Committee." […] the books - one on energy, the other on information technology - were actually the central leadership's choice, he said. ^ top ^

China, Russia sign 12 agreements during Putin's visit (Xinhua)
2009-10-14
China and Russia signed 12 agreements, including agreements on natural gas and oil, as the premiers of the two countries held their 14th regular meeting in Beijing on Tuesday […] Prior to their talks, Wen hosted a red-carpet welcome ceremony for Putin, who is on his first official visit to China since taking office in May 2008. The agreements include a framework agreement on Russia's export of natural gas to China, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on high-speed train and an agreement on mutual notification of ballistic missiles and launch of carrier rockets […] They agreed to deepen trade on machinery and electronic products and oppose trade protectionism. With regard to energy cooperation, they agreed to work together to make sure the oil pipeline, running from Skovorodino, Russia, to China's northeastern city of Daqing, could be completed by the end of 2010 and start stable oil supply in 2011 […] They agreed to enhance cooperation between localities by implementing an outline of regional cooperation between Northeast China and the Russian Far East Area and Eastern Siberia […]. ^ top ^

China honoured guest as German book fair opens (SCMP)
2009-10-14
The Frankfurt Book Fair's 61st edition opened yesterday with the welcome mat laid out for the guest of honour, China, but it was clear that the hosts saw freedom of expression more as an opportunity than a threat for their guests […] Fair director Juergen Boos said the trade show had to "make sure we can present many voices". He looked forward to a "controversial and not always convenient book fair". Dissident Chinese poet Bei Ling said he and others wanted visitors to the fair to hear not only the "official writers' voice" […] German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel has said she would not avoid thorny topics in her meetings with Vice-President Xi Jinping, tipped as a possible successor to President Hu Jintao […]. ^ top ^

Missile pact a potential breakthrough (China Daily)
2009-10-13
A missile pact expected to be signed between China and Russia today, in which both sides will notify each other of ballistic missile launch plans, represents a major breakthrough in bilateral ties, experts said yesterday. The agreement, however, will have little impact on China's national security, experts noted. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is slated to sign the contract during his visit this week […] The deal, if signed, will be the first of its kind for China and Russia. Li Daguang, a military expert at Beijing-based National Defense University, said only "very friendly countries" would notify each other on ballistic missile launch plans, which is "a core national secret". Establishing a notification system represents a stronger basis of political and military trust between both countries, Li said […]. ^ top ^

Chinese vice president holds talks with Merkel on China-Germany ties (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-13
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held talks in Berlin on Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel […] Xi tabled a five-point proposal on boosting the sustained, steady and healthy development of the Chinese-German relationship: - Maintain close contacts and deepen mutual political trust […] - Deepen bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and jointly tackle the international financial crisis […] - Enhance cooperation on climate change, new energy and environment protection. - Strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas including culture, education, press and tourism […] - Enhance international cooperation to promote world peace and development […] Merkel, who hosted a grand welcoming ceremony in honor of Xi, agreed to Xi's five-point proposal […] Xi arrived in Germany on Saturday morning for the second leg of his five-nation Europe tour […]. ^ top ^

Rwandan president backs China in Africa (Global Times)
2009-10-13
In defiance of the West's long-standing accusation about China's investment in Africa, Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday praised the way China does business in Africa and criticized the West for polluting the continent. "The Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies, and Chinese investment in African companies and infrastructure is helping Africa develop" […] He urged the Western world to invest in Africa rather than handing out development aid. "There is a need for help, but it should be implemented in such a way as to enable trade and build up companies." Tang Xiaoyang, a researcher with New York's New School for Social Research, said China's business model, which is based on mutual benefits, is gaining recognition in Africa […]. ^ top ^

Beijing plans global media push to showcase power to the world (SCMP)
2009-10-12
The mainland wants to expand its global media presence to reflect its burgeoning influence on the international stage, and has tapped a few major groups with massive financial backing for the job. Marking this new ambition, President Hu Jintao personally opened last week's inaugural World Media Summit, organised by Xinhua, which brought together executives from 170 media outlets […] Murdoch's News Corp, the Associated Press, Reuters, the BBC, Russia's ITAR-TASS, Japan's Kyodo agency, the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and Google agreed to co-host the "Media Olympics" - organised at great expense by Beijing. Stung by several high-profile public relations disasters last year, including the chaotic Olympic torch relay, Beijing has contracted two or three signature media groups to project the image of a powerful China abroad. It has earmarked 45 billion yuan (HK$51.2 billion) to fund the expansion of groups such as Xinhua, China Central Television and China Radio International at a time when the industry is facing a major money crunch elsewhere […]. ^ top ^

China, Japan and ROK businessmen urged to jointly cope with financial crisis (Global Times)
2009-10-12
Business people from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) were urged to jointly cope with the financial crisis at a business summit held Saturday. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, ROK President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama attended the summit along with some 100 businesspeople from the three countries. Wen offered his congratulations to the summit and said he appreciated the achievements of economic and trade cooperation among the three countries […] Lee and Hatoyama encouraged business communities in the three countries to enhance cooperation to jointly fight the global financial crisis and overcome various challenges to achieve greater development. The summit was jointly held by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Japan Federation of Employers' Associations and Federation of the Korean Industries. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

6 more sentenced to death for July riots in Xinjiang: Twelve now facing execution over bloody ethnic violence in Urumqi (SCMP)
2009-10-16
Six people were sentenced to death yesterday for murders committed during ethnic rioting in Xinjiang in July, bringing the number of people facing the death penalty for the violence in the western region to 12. Nearly 200 people were killed when riots erupted in the regional capital, Urumqi, with Uygurs attacking members of China's dominant ethnic group, the Han. It was the country's worst communal violence in decades. Xinhua said the death sentences the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court passed on three of the six were suspended for two years. After that, such sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment. One of the condemned men appeared to be Han, based on his name, Han Junbo. He was convicted of beating a Uygur man to death during vigilante attacks two days after the initial riots, Xinhua said […] Three other defendants were given life sentences and five were given lesser prison terms, Xinhua said […]. ^ top ^

Chinese senior official urges efforts to promote construction of clean government (Xinhua)
2009-10-16
Chinese senior official He Guoqiang has called for strengthened efforts to promote the building of a clean government and address prominent problems complained by the people […] During his visit to the Shanghai Futures Exchange, he asked authorities to press ahead with the construction of a financial market system and beef up financial monitoring measures and safeguard financial security […] Efforts should also be made to develop economy in a steady and relatively fast manner, optimize economic structure, upgrade capacity for independent innovation, promote the coordinated development of urban and rural areas and safeguard social harmony and stability, he stressed. ^ top ^

China's power consumption continues to rise in Sept. (Xinhua)
2009-10-16
China's power consumption in September continued to rise with a faster increasing rate, according to China's National Energy Administration (NEA) on Thursday. Power consumption in September rose 10.24 percent from the same month last year to 322.41 billion kilowatt hours last month. The increasing rate was 2 percentage points up from that of August. Accumulative power consumption in the first nine months topped 2.66 trillion kilowatt hours, an increase of 1.4 percent over the same period last year […]. ^ top ^

China dismantling aquafarms in Three Gorges, affecting more than 600 people (Global Times)
2009-10-15
China began to demolish aquafarms adjacent to the Three Gorges Dam on Wednesday, affecting more than 600 culturists raising some 3,000 tonnes of fish. Workers are dismantling aquafarm facilities in Zigui County in the upper reaches of the dam in an effort to ensure navigation safety and water quality […] About 181 households will have to sell out some 3,000 tonnes of live fish worth about 60 million yuan (8.79 million U.S. dollars) by the end of the month, the deadline of the demolition. Those who comply with the campaign will get up to 3,000 yuan in compensation for each of the submerged case […] Those who refuse to cooperate will get nothing in return […] China issued an order in December last year to ban aquafarms around the dam area after finding out that the business posed threats to navigation safety and contaminated part of the river. […]. ^ top ^

China punishes officials for violating disciplines in economic stimulus projects (Global Times)
2009-10-15
China reported 135 officials who violated the Party disciplines in the country's economic stimulus projects by Aug. 15, said the Party discipline watchdog here Wednesday. Among them, six broke the laws and were handed over to the prosecutors, said a statement issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The others received administrative or discipline punishment, it said […] Last year, China announced economic stimulus measures with a government investment of 4 trillion yuan (585.96 billion dollars). ^ top ^

Caijing Magazine rocked by resignations (China Daily)
2009-10-14
The general manager of China's most influential and profitable financial magazine has resigned along with dozens of her staff after a scuffle over editorial control with the publication's powerful owner. Zhang Xianghui, public relations director at Caijing Magazine, told China Daily Tuesday that the journal's Daphne Wu Chuanhui and nearly 70 employees, or more than two-thirds of the business department, had resigned. Dai Xiaojing, manager of media operations at the Stock Exchange Executive Council (SEEC), Caijing's owner, has been appointed the new general manager, Zhang said.

The mass resignations followed escalating pressure in recent months by the SEEC to rid the outspoken magazine of its widely reputable editorial independence […]. ^ top ^

China to develop low-carbon cities (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-14
[…] From 2008, the launch of low-carbon city pilots, an energy-saving and emission-reducing project was initiated in China's major cities. Only one year later many cities have put forward the concept of building low-carbon cities, creating the new layout of coordinated development between energy consumption and economic growth […] At the beginning of 2008, Shanghai and Baoding became the first cities joining a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative to explore ways for low carbon development in China's urban areas […] Nowadays, "low-carbon cities" are favorable across China. Many cities, such as Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Jilin, Nanchang, Guangyuan, Ganzhou, Wuxi, have put forward the concept of low-carbon cities […]. ^ top ^

Tropical storm Parma affects 1.63 mln people in island province (Global Times)
2009-10-14
Tropical storm Parma has affected about 1.63 million people in the southernmost province of Hainan and caused heavy economic losses since it landed Monday, the provincial emergency response office said Tuesday. Three people were killed and one was missing in the storm. A total of 36,294 people were relocated. Ninety-three houses collapsed and 228 were damaged. More than 45,000 hectares of farmland and about 1.63 million people in 158 towns in 15 cities and counties were affected, a spokesman with the Hainan Provincial Emergency Response Office said […]. ^ top ^

China to build first national online TV station (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-13
China is currently building the first national online TV station which not only accepts programs from CCTV, provincial and municipal TV stations, but also welcomes original video works made by netizens […] The station aims to realize live web casting of all programs from CCTV's 20 channels, or rather, 750 hours of mass programs per day. Besides, it will endeavor to collect 400 thousand hours of programs made by CCTV over previous years, so as to establish an "online museum of moving image". Meanwhile, it will have the functions of program request, search, download and comment […] the online TV station will provide programs of 8 languages by 2012, including English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Arabic […]. ^ top ^

Gang bosses on trial after Chongqing crackdown (SCMP)
2009-10-13
Yang Tianqing, one of Chongqing's most notorious underworld figures, went on trial yesterday on seven charges ranging from murder and blackmail to illegal possession of firearms. Yang's appearance marks the beginning of the trials of many Chongqing underworld figures following a massive crackdown which began in June. Yang is among the municipality's 14 main gang bosses. More than 2,000 gang members and their "protective umbrella" in the government and police departments have been detained. They range from foot soldiers to the vice-chief of police, a veteran of 16 years in law enforcement […]. ^ top ^

Chinese scientists leave for 26th Antarctica expedition (Xinhua)
2009-10-12
[…] Chen Lianzeng, deputy director of the National Bureau of Oceanography (NBO), declared at 10:10 a.m. the start of China's 26th expedition to the Antarctica. A group of 251 scientists, workers and logistics staff from China, Australia and Russia began the half-year-long research expedition in the icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon." During the trip, two exploration teams would be sent to the inner land of Antarctica. One would head to China's Kunlun Station located at Dome A, the highest point on the continent at 4,093 meters above sea level, where more research equipment would be installed for astronomical observation. The other to the Grove Mountains some 400 kilometers away from the Zhongshan Station to collect meteorolites and conduct other scientific research […] According to the Polar Research Institute of China, the Chinese have made nearly 4,000 visits to the South Pole during the past 25 years. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Shanghai to reform hated residency registration (SCMP)
2009-10-14
Shanghai will separate social welfare benefits from the household registration system in another step to reform the notorious hukou policy. The proposals are intended to sharply increase access to public services such as child care, education and health and elderly care for the city's six million non-permanent residents. The municipal government had discussed ways to extend the provision of services to residents regardless of their hukou status […] The proposals are part of an ongoing review of population policy in a city that is expected to top the 20 million mark within the next few years despite a low-birth rate […] If implemented, the measures would be a major step towards removing one of the key barriers to social mobility. The hukou system has been much criticised for effectively requiring citizens to receive their public services at their birthplaces […]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Tries hard, but then he could do better: Tsang's report card finds that many of his key pledges have fallen by the wayside (SCMP)
2009-10-15
[…] In his policy address yesterday, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen admitted that, midway through his five-year term, not everything had gone as planned. But he had fulfilled most of his election promises, he insisted. After being elected for a second term in 2007, Tsang vowed to "get the job done" in building Hong Kong as an international financial centre with a harmonious, family-based society. The economy, he has said repeatedly, has always been the issue closest to the public's heart. Many in the pan-democratic camp, however, feel the biggest cheque he has bounced was his 2007 election promise to "go all out" and resolve once and for all how the chief executive and all lawmakers would be elected under universal suffrage […] Another unfulfilled promise […] saw the deferral of the final round of public consultations on health-care-financing reform, which should have started early this year […] However, Donald Tsang can congratulate himself on economic, finance and major infrastructural projects - stimulant policies he relied on to create jobs. The launch of 10 large-scale infrastructure projects that he announced in 2007-08 have been promised within his term […]. ^ top ^

HK earmarks $0.51 mln for quake relief in Indonesia (Xinhua)
2009-10-13
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Monday it had earmarked 4 million HK dollars (0.51 million U.S. dollars) for an earthquake relief project in Indonesia. The grant from Hong Kong's Disaster Relief Fund will be given World Vision Hong Kong to help quake victims in Indonesia, the HKSAR government said. Devastating earthquakes measuring 7.3 or more on the Richter scale hit Indonesia on Sept. 2 and Sept. 30, respectively, killing hundreds and leaving many others missing. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Mainland, Taiwan negotiators plan meeting in December (Global Times)
2009-10-16
Chen Yunlin and Chiang Pin-kung, top negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, are planning their fourth meeting in middle to late December on the island to further boost trade, Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on its Web site Oct. 14. Both sides have agreed to focus on four areas, including cross-Strait quality inspection and double taxation. Chen and Chiang will further discuss the free trade deal called the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement […] Taiwanese enterprises hope to seize business opportunities generated by the mainland's economic stimulus package to boost domestic demand. The Taiwan trade authority has received invitations to hold trade fairs of Taiwanese products from provincial governments on the mainland. ^ top ^

Taiwan carries out largest missile test yet (SCMP)
2009-10-15
Taiwan has carried out its largest missile exercise to date, less than a fortnight after Beijing showed off advanced ballistic weaponry in the National Day parade, Taiwanese media said yesterday. The missiles, which are capable of reaching major mainland cities, were launched on Tuesday from the Chiupeng base in southern Taiwan, the United Daily News reported. President Ma Ying-jeou, who has been criticised for being too friendly with Beijing, was among the observers of the exercise, the paper said […] In a speech last week marking the founding of the Republic of China in 1911, Ma said Taiwan would "never ignore the other side's military threat despite significant improvements in cross-strait ties". Calls are growing on both sides for military dialogue and exchanges and gradually building up a trust mechanism. But Taiwan says Beijing must first withdraw its missiles targeting the island […]. ^ top ^

Island of Quemoy mulls Taiwan's first casinos (SCMP)
2009-10-13
Quemoy is considering building Taiwan's first casinos, which could draw millions of gamblers from the mainland and transform the island county that has long been the frontline in cross-strait tensions.

Last weekend, the county's government held the first meeting of an evaluation committee to consider a petition by 460 people, collected by the head of Quemoy's Democratic Progressive Party, calling for a referendum on the issue […] On September 26, residents of Penghu, another Taiwanese island, unexpectedly rejected by 17,359 votes to 13,397 a proposal to allow gambling. A law passed by Taiwan's legislature in January allows gambling offshore, but not on the main island […] If Quemoy residents voted for gambling, the decision would go to the Taipei government. Ye Chin-chou, a political consultant in Taipei, said the government was divided over the issue […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Iron ore dispute backfires, with prices up 80pc (SCMP)
2009-10-16
China's acrimonious dispute with big iron ore producers has backfired, with the country's steel mills having to pay prices at times almost 80 per cent higher than those on offer earlier this year. Negotiations between China and the world's top three iron ore producers - Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton - ended after failure to agree on a benchmark price that steel mills on the mainland would pay producers. As a result, Chinese mills have had to pay millions of dollars more buying on the spot or open market instead of at a long-term contract price […] The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), which led the talks for the first time this year, was seeking a 45 per cent reduction on 2008-09 prices, even after a 33 per cent cut in benchmark iron ore prices had already been set with steel mills in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan […]. ^ top ^

China to redress production overcapacity in six sectors (Xinhua)
2009-10-16
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will mainly redress production overcapacity in six sectors, said Chen Bin, director of the Department of Industry of the NDRC, Thursday. The six sectors include steel, cement, plate glass, coal-chemical industry, polycrystalline silicon and wind power equipment. The NDRC also warns of obvious production overcapacity in sectors like electrolytic aluminum, ship manufacturing and soybean oil extraction, said Chen […] China has achieved preliminary progresses in fighting the global economic downturn, but the foundation for economic recovery is not stable yet and overcapacity might lead to bankruptcy, unemployment and bad bank loans if it was not checked in time, he said. ^ top ^

China's outbound investment drops by 60% in first half (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-16
China's overseas direct investment (ODI) totaled 13.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first half year, down 60 percent from a year earlier, said a report issued by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) Thursday. Outbound investment from China's financial and non-financial sectors both fell in the first half of 2009, with ODI from the non-financial sector declining by 51 percent to 12.5 billion dollars, and financial ODI dropping by 76 percent to 2 billion dollars […] China's foreign direct investment (FDI) slipped by 40 percent year on year in the first half to 48 billion dollars, said the report. ^ top ^

China reports rise in overseas contracted projects in past three quarters (Xinhua)
2009-10-16
China reported 50.89 billion U.S. dollars of business volume in overseas-contracted projects in the past three quarters, up 34.3 percent from the same period last year, said the Ministry of Commerce Thursday. The business volume stood at 6.56 billion U.S. dollars in September, up 31.2 percent year on year. New contracts valued at 87.67 billion U.S. dollars were signed in the first nine months, up 14.8 percent over the same period last year. ^ top ^

China gives VC companies more freedom (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-15
China's securities watchdog has said venture capital (VC) companies under partnership could be allowed to become shareholders of listed companies, China Daily reported Wednesday. It is a long-awaited move to encourage VCs to bolster domestic companies' listings on the mainland, the newspaper said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said it would modify the regulations on measures for the administration of securities registration and clearing, which would enlarge the scope for investors. Under the new rule, companies under partnership could open trading accounts to sell shares on the open market. The new measures could lift the legal barriers for VC firms under partnership to invest in companies that are to be listed […] Previously, only individuals and specifically qualified companies could open trading accounts […]. ^ top ^

China reduces foreign debts (Global Times)
2009-10-15
The country's gross external debts at the end of June rose slightly from the end of March, but their rate of decline compared with the same period last year has picked up. Outstanding foreign debts amounted to $360.6 billion at the end of the second quarter, down 15.6 percent compared with the same period last year when outstanding foreign debts stood at $427.4 billion, according to the data published by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) Tuesday. In comparison, gross external debts were $336.7 billion at the end of the first quarter, shrinking 14.2 percent from the same period last year, according to SAFE. This is mainly due to the repatriation of money by multinational companies which were hit hard by the global financial crisis, economists said […] The HSBC economists expect short-term foreign debts to increase if the appreciation expectation of the yuan rises. ^ top ^

MOF to support overseas patents (Global Times)
2009-10-14
Approximately 100 million yuan ($14.65 million) will be made available to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) applying for patents abroad, according to an announcement issued by the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The new policy, the first of its kind, will award SMEs and other organizations that meet the government's standards as much as 500,000 yuan ($73,238) for each patent application abroad. The patents must first be approved by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), and State-owned enterprises are not eligible for the subsidy. The move is part of a multi-year plan to help promote SMEs' growth that has involved increasing loans and opening up a new Growth Enterprise Board to expand financing channels […]. ^ top ^

Big firms flouting rule on pollution disclosure: Greenpeace urges companies to be more open (SCMP)
2009-10-14
Top Chinese and multinational companies have failed to comply with a rule requiring enterprises on the mainland to release key pollution information, a Greenpeace report said. At least 18 companies either on last year's Fortune Global 500 or the China 100 list had failed to comply with the Ministry of Environmental Protection rule that took effect in May last year, it said. The report also blamed local officials for failing to rein in polluting enterprises using the rule, which had been hailed as a landmark step towards curbing industrial pollution […] Under the rule, firms blacklisted by local governments for exceeding emissions standards should publish their pollution data within 30 days […] Professor Wang Canfa, an environmental expert at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, said local officials had failed in enforcement. ^ top ^

Mainland economy tipped to grow 9pc: Recovery picking up pace, says think tank (SCMP)
2009-10-13
The mainland economy is likely to expand by 8.3 per cent this year and growth could hit 9 per cent next year, according to a leading government think tank. The projection in the latest quarterly report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences strengthened the belief that the world's third-largest economy would become the first to recover from the global crisis. "If the world financial crisis does not worsen next year and China avoids major natural disasters, the nation's GDP growth could reach 9 per cent in 2010," said the report […] The report also said there would not be "marked inflation", which has been a major concern given the country's expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. With demand still lagging and excess production capacity also a problem, the consumer price index was likely to rise by 3 per cent in 2010, the academy said […]. ^ top ^

China to input 468.9 bln yuan for West Development in 2009 (Xinhua)
2009-10-13
China plans to invest 468.9 billion yuan (68.65 billion U.S. dollars) in projects to boost the development of the country's western region in 2009, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Monday. The investment will go to 18 projects, including railways, express ways, hydropower stations, shipping hubs, water control projects and airports […] China has launched 102 projects for boosting western region development from 2000 to 2008, involving 1.74 trillion yuan of investment, according to the NDRC. The West Development Strategy is a policy adopted by the Chinese government to help underdeveloped western region catch up with prosperous eastern region. ^ top ^

China requests WTO panel to investigate EU anti-dumping measures (Global Times)
2009-10-13
The Chinese government on Monday requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish an expert panel to investigate whether the European Union's antidumping measures on Chinese-made fasteners violate trade rules […] The expert panel, once set up, needs at least half a year to issue a final ruling on the dispute […] Pursuant to the WTO's dispute settlement procedure, China and the EU conducted consultations on the dispute in Geneva on Sept. 14, but the consultations failed to lead to a satisfactory resolution of the matter, according to the Chinese mission statement […]. ^ top ^

CNPC, BP to develop Iraqi oilfield (China Daily)
2009-10-12
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China's largest oil and gas producer, and Britain's oil giant BP signed an initial agreement on Thursday with Iraq's Oil Ministry to develop Rumaila, Iraq's largest oilfield […] The signed contract will be referred to the cabinet for approval, the newspaper said, citing Iraq's Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad […] the deal requires an investment of more than 15 billion U.S. dollars. A BP spokesman confirmed that they had signed the initial contract and were waiting approval from the Iraqi government. He said it was an important milestone and BP hoped to be able to sign the final agreement before the end of this year. CNPC said it was not ready to comment […] The contract for Rumaila aims to inject foreign cash to overhaul dilapidated facilities and outdated practices. ^ top ^

China opposes U.S. move to launch anti-dumping probe into steel pipes (People's Daily Online)
2009-10-12
China resolutely opposes U.S. move to start anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into seamless steel pipes imported from China, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said. The current hardships facing the U.S. steel industry was because consumption and demand waned after the financial crisis. "Blindly blaming Chinese imports of dumping or subsidies is lack of factual bases, which China strongly opposes," MOC announced in a statement on its website Saturday […] Resorting to trade protectionism would not solve the real problem, instead it would hurt the interests of U.S. downstream steel businesses as well as bilateral trade, it said. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Cross-border 'provocations' threaten stability in Koreas (Global Times)
2009-10-16
North Korean Navy officials accused South Korea Thursday of sending warships across their sea border and said the "reckless military provocations" could trigger armed clashes. The northern state's naval command said the "warmongers" on Monday alone had crossed the border 10 times on the grounds that North Korean fishing boats had intruded into the South's waters. "The reckless military provocations by warships of the South Korean navy have created such a serious situation that a naval clash may break out between the two sides in these waters," the command was cited by the North's official KCNA news agency as saying. "They don't want to come to the negotiating table looking weak," said Cho Myung-chul, […] an analyst at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy […] The North has dismissed as invalid a sea border called the Northern Limit Line (NLL), set unilaterally by US-led UN forces at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Also Thursday, the Seoul-based Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, quoting sources from both the US and South Korea, said Seoul began mass-producing "Hyunmu-3" missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometers early this year. "Its development and deployment had been kept confidential because Japan, China and other neighboring nations could react sensitively," the source said […]. ^ top ^

DPRK expresses regrets on dam release: YONHAP (Xinhua)
2009-10-15
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday expressed regrets on its abrupt release of dam water on Sept. 6, South Korea's Unification Ministry said. The DPRK's remarks came during a meeting held between two Koreas on river flood prevention at the DPRK's border city of Kaesong, ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. Lee said Seoul has yet to decide whether to accept the DPRK's expression as an apology […] On Sept. 6, the DPRK's abrupt discharge of its dam water led to death of six South Koreans who had been camping near the Imjin River. Although South Korea asked for an apology for the discharge, the DPRK kept saying it was forced to open the floodgates to lower the water level, which Seoul did not consider "sufficient". ^ top ^

US taps China to renew Six-Party Talks (China Daily)
2009-10-15
A high-level official from the United States is consulting with the Chinese government on the next steps to bring the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) back to the Six-Party Talks. Kurt Campbell, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs […] has already compared notes with high-level Chinese officials on Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pyongyang earlier this month. China has been for months trying to re-engage DPRK officials to resume denuclearization discussions. The news of cooperation between China and the US comes a day after reports said that the DPRK was preparing to again test-fire missiles following the launch of five short-range rockets on Monday. Chinese experts on the DPRK said Monday's launching was possibly intended to boost the country's bargaining position before expected direct talks with the US […]. ^ top ^

Beijing says North Korean missiles will not damage diplomatic thaw (SCMP)
2009-10-14
North Korea's missile launches will not damage a recent thaw in its international relations, Beijing's Foreign Ministry has said, following reports that Pyongyang is preparing to fire more short-range missiles. "We have noted the relevant reports and noted that North Korea has launched short-range missiles," spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular news conference yesterday. "I believe that this won't affect the trend towards easing on the Korean peninsula." […] South Korea accused the North of flouting a UN ban with its latest tests. The foreign ministry said the launches breached Security Council resolutions banning ballistic missile tests, and urged the North not to repeat them. Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Jung Ok-keun told South Korean lawmakers that the KN-02 missiles fired had a range estimated between 130 and 160 kilometres, greater than the 120 kilometres previously believed […] Japan's coast guard said the North had warned of "firing exercises" day and night until October 25 in the Yellow Sea […]. ^ top ^

Trio's unity piles pressure on Pyongyang: Beijing summit seen as paving way for North Korea to return to nuclear talks (SCMP)
2009-10-12
The solidarity displayed by the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea at a summit in Beijing could put further pressure on Pyongyang to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, analysts say. The leaders, who met on Saturday for three-way talks, called for a quick resumption of negotiations aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear drive […] The summit brought together Japan's new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and host Premier Wen Jiabao - who last week went to Pyongyang to discuss the issue with North Korea's Kim Jong-il […] Takehiko Yamamoto, a professor of international politics at Waseda University in Tokyo, said "the way is now paved" for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table, thanks in large part to the Chinese premier. "Wen's diplomatic achievement is highly significant," Yamamoto said […] The leaders committed to expand co-operation "in the spirit of facing history squarely and advancing towards the future", a nod to past rows over Japan's wartime aggression. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

List of government priorities approved (MONTSAME)
2009-10-15
While holding a regular meeting Wednesday, the government approved of a list of the biggest projects of priority directions to be announced to public, with aims to develop the country's multi-pillar economy, make structural reform, and to attract domestic and foreign investors. The directions are to develop the mining sector by exploiting mineral deposits, to establish a basis of heavy industries, to develop intensified agriculture and realize policy on industrialization; to develop infrastructure; to ensure sustainable development by forming human development and protecting environment; to improve the governance, and to promote private sector. ^ top ^

Swine flu virus detected (MONTSAME)
2009-10-14
By 9.00 a.m October 14, 17 people with symptoms that suspiciously like a H1N1 virus infection have been registered in Ulaanbaatar city's Bayanzurkh, Bayangol, Songinokhairkhan, Sukhbaatar districts and in Ovorkhangai province's Arvaikheer soum. Laboratory tests have proved three people to be infected with the H1N1 virus. Four people have not been infected, ten are waiting for the tests being isolated in the National Center of Infectious Disease Studies, in districts' hospitals and home. Presently, measures are being taken to prevent the H1N1 virus and to stop the spread, and many controlling activities are being conducted nationwide. ^ top ^

Russia Makes Pressure on Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi Agreement (UB Post)
2009-10-13
Russian Finance Minister, Dmitry Pankin, said they would have to inform the Paris Club of creditors about Mongolia's debt if Mongolia does not promise to repay the US$180 million before Club's Next Meeting scheduled for the end of 2009. Moscow has already started to apply political pressure on Mongolia. After the official granted control of the giant Oyu Tolgoi, copper-gold deposit, to Canada's Ivanhoe Mines, that is acting on behalf of China, it was believed that the license for the world's largest copper and gold deposit would be granted to a joint venture that would involve Russian Railways (RZD). The rail monopoly still expects to get the control of the 34 percent stake in Oyu Tolgoi, held by Mongolia at the moment […] “Mongolia has no money to pay for the construction of railroads,” said a source at the monopoly […] Mongolian authorities plan to appeal for help to international financial organizations, including the World Bank. However, analysts do not think Mongolia will get the money […]. ^ top ^

MP S.Erdene finally took his Oath (News.mn)
2009-10-13
After a long wait, S. Erdene finally took his oath last Friday. He became the 75th parliament member to add one more seat for Democratic Party fraction in the parliament, making it number 27. The DP leader was elected from Bayangol District as result of the 2008 Parliamentary Elections. The oath taking by S.Erdene, got the parliament out of stagnation and lasted almost for a week. ^ top ^

Ambassador granted letter of credence (MONTSAME)
2009-10-12
On Monday, L.Orgil, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Switzerland received his letter of credence from the State Head Ts. Elbegdorj. Luvsantserengiin Orgil was born 1963. He graduated the Moscow's State Institute of International Relations (MSIIR) in 1986 and defended a master degree of the George Washington University in 1999. In 1985-1986, L.Orgil had professional practice in the Embassy of Mongolia in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In 1986-1991, he worked as an attache in the Policy and Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, in 1995-1996--as the second secretary in the Mongolian Embassy in the USA, in 1997-1998--as an official of the UN charging of civil affairs of UN observers in Tajikistan, in 1999-2003--as a general coordinator of the "Chingis Khaan" expedition, in 2003-2008--as the president of the "Skybright International" company, in 2008-2009--as an advisor to the President on foreign policy. He married, lives with his three children and speaks Russian, English and French. ^ top ^

 

Manuel Mühlebach
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