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
  30.8-3.9.10, No. 335  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

US carrier in Yellow Sea soon, S Korean envoys say (SCMP)
2010-09-03
US aircraft carrier the USS George Washington will take part in joint military drills with South Korea in the highly charged Yellow Sea soon, South Korean diplomats say. The United States and South Korea have sent conflicting signals over the participation of the vessel. […] The diplomats said Washington had reiterated to Seoul its long-term commitment to maintaining stability and security in East Asia and had reassured its ally about its regional military policy, which involved mobilising the carrier for the "routine" drills. […] "Senior officials from the Pentagon and State Department have made it clear to us that they will send the George Washington to participate in the upcoming joint military exercises in the Yellow Sea as a response to the sinking of the South Korean navy ship," one of two South Korean diplomats with knowledge of arrangements for the drill said. Late last month, the Pentagon announced that the nuclear-powered George Washington would not take part in a joint drill scheduled to begin in the Yellow Sea on Sunday. […] "If it doesn't show up in weeks, it will in a few months," one diplomat said. "More such military drills are under planning in the next few months until the end of this year, aimed at deterring North Korea from launching similar attacks in the future." […] The People's Liberation Army launched a new round of live-fire naval exercises in the Yellow Sea on Wednesday that will conclude tomorrow. It says they are part of routine annual training and have nothing to do with the US-South Korean drill due to start on Sunday. […] Analysts warn of a further deterioration in military ties in the absence of a crisis-management mechanism between the two military powers. The PLA suspended military exchanges with the US after Washington sold arms to Taiwan in January. Some PLA officers have expressed security concerns for Beijing if the Pentagon sends the George Washington to the Yellow Sea since the drill will be only 500 kilometres from Beijing and the carrier's planes and missiles have a reach of 1,000 kilometres. "Given that the aircraft it carries can reach a speed of 1,000km/h, the joint drill will be dangerously pressurising the security threshold of the country's political heart," said Gong Shaopeng, from the Foreign Affairs University. Liu Ming, director of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Korean Peninsula Research Centre, said: "Many Chinese officials, particular those from the PLA, will see it as a challenge to the national interest, and even a humiliation of Chinese people's feelings." The South Korean diplomats dismissed the Chinese concerns, saying some Chinese officials were intentionally playing up tensions for nationalistic ends. "The US and South Korea have done similar exercises in the past, without getting any response from Beijing," one said. "It is an exaggeration to say the exercises would threaten Chinese security because these drills are clearly designed to send a message to North Korea rather than targeting a third country.". ^ top ^

Myanmese leader to visit China (SCMP)
2010-09-03
The head of Myanmar's military junta, Senior General Than Shwe, will visit key ally China next week for talks with President Hu Jintao and other leaders, Beijing announced yesterday.

While Myanmar is the subject of tough Western sanctions, China is the junta's main trading partner and an eager investor in the isolated state's sizeable natural resources. "During the visit both sides will take the opportunity to review the history of bilateral affairs and brief each other on domestic developments," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in Beijing. Besides meeting Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, the general will travel to Shanghai to see the World Expo and visit Shenzhen during the visit, from Tuesday to September 11, Jiang said. Reports last week said the 77-year-old general, who has run Myanmar since 1992, had stepped down from his military post ahead of the country's first election in 20 years. This was later denied by Myanmese officials. But they said more than 70 positions had changed in the biggest military reshuffle in decades. Two Chinese warships made a rare visit to Myanmar this week to promote military ties. ^ top ^

China pushes six-way talks (Global Times)
2010-09-02
Discussions about the resumption of international talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program have gathered pace as China's top envoy for Korean Peninsula affairs arrived in Washington Wednesday to meet with senior US officials over the stalled negotiations. Wu Dawei was to meet with Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth and other US officials, State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley said Tuesday. […] Wu said Beijing plans to put forth fresh measures to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks, after his meeting with Okada. But he did not elaborate on what measures China would propose to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiations. […] Wu's trip comes on the heels of last week's meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Northeastern China, during which Kim expressed his wish to push for an early resumption of the nuclear talks to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Cui Zhiying, a professor specializing in Korean issues at Tongji University, told the Global Times that the resumption would only be possible if the US and the South stop cornering the North. […] Though more important in symbolic terms than its practical significance, the resumption of negotiations would be a good sign for the Korean Peninsula. The effectiveness of the talks has yet to be tested after it actually resumes," Ni Feng, a researcher of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said. […] Seoul has signaled a softening of its stance. South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said last week that a North Korean apology for the warship incident wouldn't be a precondition for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, the Yonhap News Agency reported. […]. ^ top ^

China urges "balanced understanding" during strategic dialogue with EU (People's Daily Online)
2010-09-02
[…] State Councilor Dai Bingguo told the EU side that despite rapid economic growth, China has no possibility to be arrogant, nor is it pretending to be a richer or poorer country than it actually is, with unfathomable strategic intentions, according to Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying. "China expects the EU to treat itself as an equal," Dai was quoted by Fu as telling EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. […] China has a clear understanding of its position in the international arena and its current level of development, Dai said, adding it will focus on economic development in the long run. […] Ashton echoed Dai, saying that the European Union should have a comprehensive understanding of China. […] "It is one major aim of this strategic dialogue to enhance mutual understanding between China and the European Union. Both sides have a strong will to better understand each other and promote political mutual trust, so as to promote bilateral cooperation," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying in an interview with Xinhua. […] On China-EU relations, China said it supports EU integration. The two sides should strengthen political dialogue, enhance strategic mutual trust, expand cooperation, properly handle sensitive issues and have more people-to-people exchanges, so as to promote a strategic partnership of cooperation. Ashton said the European Union will strengthen political and economic dialogue with China and seek out more areas for cooperation. […] On Tuesday, Ashton and her entourage paid a visit to a poor village of the Miao ethnic group in the suburbs of Guiyang, capital city of Guizhou. […] Prior to the Guizhou visit, Ashton had a two-day tour in Shanghai Municipality, one of China's most developed cities. "We hoped such an arrangement would give her a comprehensive understanding of China and help the EU side view China and its development in a balanced and objective manner," Fu, the vice foreign minister, said. The travel arrangements have been viewed as a response to the suggestion China is no longer a developing country and that it should take on more international responsibilities. Qu Xing, a research fellow at the foreign ministry, said the arrangement helped China and the EU reach consensus about China's development, with which the two sides can have a more comprehensive and balanced view about the China-EU relationship. […] China-EU relations have endured some twists and turns in recent years. Nevertheless, facing the changing international situation and global challenges, the European Union adjusted its China policy and now seeks coordination and cooperation with China in some international affairs, Qu said. The EU wants to have a larger voice in international affairs. China wants to keep a multilateral situation. These elements impelled the two sides to further develop their relationship. The two sides do not have fundamental conflicts in interests. This dialogue will help them deepen understanding and further promote the development of China-EU relations, Qu said. After her stay in Guizhou, Ashton flew to Beijing Wednesday evening, where she will meet Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and have talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. ^ top ^

PLA starts naval exercises in Yellow Sea (SCMP)
2010-09-02
China launched live-fire naval exercises in the Yellow Sea yesterday after voicing opposition to similar war games to be staged there this month by the United States and South Korea. The Beihai fleet of the navy of the People's Liberation Army would conduct a "live ammunition drill" through to Saturday in waters off the east coast near the city of Qingdao, Xinhua reported. […] The United States and South Korea are set to carry out a new round of joint drills in the Yellow Sea from Sunday in another show of force against North Korea following the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. […] The central government has bristled at the idea of a US aircraft carrier group patrolling waters near its coast, although the US military has said that this month's planned anti-submarine exercise would not involve a carrier. As China launched its war games, PLA commander Zhang Youxia met North Korea's No2 leader Kim Yong-nam in Pyongyang and pledged to step up military exchanges, Xinhua said. Comments from Kim highlighted the recent efforts of Pyongyang and Beijing to shore up their relationship in the face of regional tensions and possible succession moves in the North. […] "In the future, North Korea will consolidate and develop exchanges and co-operation with China in every sphere, and make increasing efforts to strengthen friendly co-operation between our two militaries," he told Zhang, according to Xinhua. ^ top ^

Trade, security on agenda for EU talks (SCMP)
2010-09-01
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was in China yesterday ahead of talks with top leaders on trade, climate change and security issues such as the nuclear stand-off on Iran and North Korea. Ashton, who visited the World Expo in Shanghai on Monday, will take part in the inaugural EU-China strategic dialogue in the southwestern city of Guiyang today. During the dialogue - a forum intended to keep the two sides in contact on key issues - she will hold wide-ranging talks with State Councillor Dai Bingguo, China's senior official on foreign policy issues. She travels to Beijing tomorrow for meetings with Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. "The EU and China face common challenges and share similar goals," Ashton said. "I look forward to working together with State Councillor Dai Bingguo in order to advance a constructive and co-operative relationship with China - a key strategic partner for Europe." Trade ties are flourishing, with China now Europe's second-biggest trading partner after the United States. China is also Europe's fastest-growing export market. However, ties also have been marked by tension over a number of trade disputes and EU complaints that China was backtracking on pledges to ensure a level playing field for European firms. China also said it opposed tough new sanctions imposed by the EU on Iran over its contested nuclear programme, calling for more talks to resolve the stand-off. ^ top ^

China, Japan '"joining hands" in economic cooperation (Global Times)
2010-08-31
Many Chinese city and provincial officials expressed their wishes to share experience in government and crisis management with their Japanese counterparts at the sixth annual Beijing-Tokyo Forum on Monday. […] Members of the Chinese delegation also stressed the importance of economic cooperation with Japan, hoping to further invest in mutually beneficial projects. […] More than 4,000 Japanese enterprises are registered in Dalian, comprising about 29.5 percent of the city's overseas-funded enterprises, Xia said. "Dalian should deepen its relationship with Japan," said Xia Deren, Party secretary of Dalian. Chen Haosu, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said at the forum that the number of sister city pairs in China and Japan now is about 250, and that number will continue to increase in the future. "We will also join hands to push ahead projects in international city exchanges and city diplomacy," said Chen. ^ top ^

Wen rebukes Japanese firms over low wages (SCMP)
2010-08-30
Premier Wen Jiabao told a visiting delegation from Tokyo yesterday that Japanese companies operating in China should address workers' unhappiness over low wages that he says led to labour disputes this year. Wen made the comment after Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada called for "transparent policies" governing workers in China, saying the labour disputes that halted work at dozens of factories were troubling to Japanese companies. Okada brought up the issue at a high-level economic meeting between China and Japan - the world's second and third largest economies - held in Beijing to discuss ways to recover from the economic crisis and foster regional co-operation. "Labour disputes are occurring at some foreign companies where there is a problem of relatively low wages. We would like [Japan] to address this issue," Wen told Japanese officials, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said. Okada said on Saturday that the sides discussed ensuring transparent policies during talks on how to improve the business environment in China. "As to the recent frequent labour dispute issue, the Japanese side expressed willingness to further strengthen discussion," he said. The widespread strikes were rare for China but Beijing permitted them, apparently trying to put more money in workers' pockets as part of efforts to boost consumer spending. […] Wen urged both sides to face the global financial crisis together and create a new era in bilateral trade. The two countries should further focus on the "green economy", he said, including recycling and environmental protection. […] The meeting came after government statistics released this month showed that China had surpassed Japan as the world's second-biggest economy after three decades of blistering growth that puts overtaking the US in reach within 10 years. Japan is still far richer per person, but the news was more proof of the rise of China - with 10 times Japan's population - as a force that is altering the global balance of commercial, political and military power. This was the third high-level economic dialogue between the two sides following talks in June last year in Tokyo and a first round in December 2007 in Beijing. ^ top ^

China takes lead in int'l relief in flood-hit Pakistani province: rescue team head (People's Daily Online)
2010-08-30
[…] Huang Jianfa told Xinhua that the 55-member Chinese team, which arrived in the southern city of Thatta on Friday night, would do their best to provide medical help for those affected by Pakistan's worst floods in decades. Huang said Thatta, about 100 km northeast of the provincial capital of Karachi, was one of the worst-hit regions and was in dire need of help, as acute diarrhoea, and skin and respiratory diseases were quite common there. The Chinese team is setting up field hospitals to provide timely and adequate treatment for patients, he said. "The team members' morale is high. They are eager to get down to work as soon as possible, in total disregard of the foul conditions here," Huang told Xinhua. […] According to Chinese diplomats in Pakistan, about 1.3 million people were left homeless, 100,000 were evacuated, 10,000 still stranded and 130 villages submerged in Thatta. […] Most members of the Chinese team have emergency relief experience and some had just returned from rescue missions in Zhouqu. The Chinese team, made up of 36 doctors and 19 experts and engineers arrived in Rawalpindi near Islamabad on Thursday along with 25 tons of high-tech medical equipment and medicines. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Landslides kill 10 in Yunnan (SCMP)
2010-09-03
At least 10 people died and 38 were missing after rain-triggered landslides struck a community in the mainland's southwest. The landslides swept through a mountain village near the city of Baoshan in a rugged region of Yunnan province, Xinhua reported. State television said the landslides hit Wama village late on Wednesday after heavy rain. Up to 71 people from 20 families had been trapped in the debris, while 23 people had been rescued, the report said. State media showed pictures of police, firemen and soldiers digging through collapsed buildings covered with mounds of rocks and mud on a mountainside. Floods and related natural disasters triggered by torrential rains have affected 230 million people nationwide this year and resulted in the evacuation of more than 15 million people, the government has said. It said 3,185 people had been killed across the country in this year's flood-related disasters, with 1,050 listed as missing at the end of last month. […]. ^ top ^

Tainted cooking oil recalled (Global Times)
2010-09-03
A well-known cooking oil manufacturing company based in Central China's Hunan Province was forced to admit Wednesday that several batches of its camellia oil contain excessive amounts of a cancer-causing substance, and about nine tons of the product are still available on the market. The company Jinhao had reportedly been aware of its problematic oil products for five months but tried to cover it up until recently, when a number of media reports appeared exposing the scandal. Jinhao reportedly issued a statement on its website last month assuring the public that their oil was safe and that questions over their products' quality were rumors, Beijing News reported. The statement was later removed. A statement published on Jinhao's website Wednesday said that the company had produced nine batches of camellia oil totaling 42.458 tons from December 2009 to March this year containing excessive amounts of benzo (a) pyrene (BaP), a kind of chemical that can pose great risks to people's health if used excessively. The BaP level in the recalled oil was five to six times higher than the standard level. […] Jinhao did not specify the whereabouts of the nine tons of tainted oil in the statement. […] Local authorities have also been accused of keeping the public in the dark. Beijing News quoted one unnamed official as saying that the reason for this was to maintain social stability. Hunan Province's quality watchdog never informed the public of its recall decision. […] All products made by Jinhao have been removed from the shelves in Beijing's major su-permarkets, such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Wumart. ^ top ^

Firm accused of recycling tainted milk powder (SCMP)
2010-09-02
[…] In a village in Ying county, Shanxi, in February last year, Yashily, based in Guangdong, changed the packaging of a truckload of milk powder contaminated with melamine that should have been destroyed, the Legal Weekly, an affiliate of the Legal Daily, said yesterday. […] "They came in a trailer truck 12 metres long and the milk powder would have been more than 30 tonnes," a warehouse owner who rented the warehouse to a Yashily executive, told the weekly. "After several days Yashily sent several workers with new packaging and labels. They worked a whole day and changed all the old packaging before leaving the warehouse... The workers took away the old packaging and burned all the old labels." Another source told the weekly the relabelled milk powder would be sold somewhere else. A worker who used to mix milk powder in Yashily's Shanxi branch after the melamine scandal told the weekly they recycled recalled milk powder tainted with melamine. […] Yashily yesterday issued a statement calling the Legal Weekly report "fictional". It said the company had never contacted the warehouse owner or repackaged recalled milk powder for sale. The company had reported the matter to police and would seek legal redress against the warehouse owner for spreading fake news. […]. ^ top ^

Appeals are ensured for death cases (China Daily)
2010-09-02
China has taken a new move to prevent wrongful convictions in death sentence cases and limit the number of death sentences by ensuring the appeals process for the condemned. According to a judicial interpretation published by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) and Supreme People's Procuratorate on Tuesday, once an appeal has been accepted by a higher court, those sentenced to death are not allowed to stop it. "In some cases, defendants are threatened by police officers and judges involved in the case, who might be punished for their mistakes if it's reversed," Beijing-based lawyer Che Xingyi told China Daily on Wednesday. […] "As there was no standard regulation for such a situation, some courts have allowed the revocation but some haven't," the SPC said. "This interpretation just aims to address the divergence." […] Each time a death penalty is delivered by a lower court, the sentence has to be reviewed by the top court before the execution can take place. If a city-level court delivers the death penalty, it has to be reviewed by a provincial court before going to the top court. "The latest interpretation will help improve the authority of the judicial system," said Fan Chongyi, a procedural law expert with China University of Political Science and Law said. […] Fifteen percent of death sentences were overturned in 2007 and 10 percent were overturned in 2008, insiders told China Daily. On Monday, China's top legislature moved to drop the death penalty for 13 nonviolent economic crimes, the latest amendment to the Criminal Law. The amendment, if passed, will be the first time the number of crimes subject to the death penalty has been reduced since the Criminal Law was enacted in 1979. ^ top ^

Farmers turning to illegal firearm trade for easy profits (Global Times)
2010-09-02
For some farmers in Songtao county, Guizhou Province and Hualong county in Qinghai Province, the standard of life is much higher than what you might usually expect for residents of such poverty-stricken areas. These farmers are making bank, and it is not from good quality crops that are sold for high prices in the market. Their source of income is a much more lucrative, but illicit business - gun making. The Oriental Outlook magazine under the Xinhua News Agency reported earlier that police in Qinghai had uncovered 118 cases of illegal gun making and selling since 2005. […] Decades ago, residents of the county had a tradition of hunting, and some of them also carried guns for personal protection. It is these traditions that have given the county a reputation for gun making. Even the label "Made in Hualong" has become a popular euphemism for the black market in guns. […] The story of Long Anyin, a 43-year-old native of Songtao, another well-known gun making hub, tells of how this business can completely change the life of a poor farmer. […] It was then that he realized that making guns, and not farming, was where his fortune lay. As a farmer, Long used to earn about 400 yuan ($59) a month. Making a gun, which took him half a month, would bring in three to four times that amount, the Beijing News reported. […] Authorities launched a crackdown on illegal gun trading in March 2008, and arrested 558 suspects from the provinces of Hunan, Guizhou, Guangdong and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Gun possession is illegal in China under a temporary firearms regulation issued in 1951. The country issued its first firearm management ordinance in 1981, and amended it in 1996. […] Beijing News reported that the number of illegal gun cases dropped from 4,000 a year to fewer than 100 after the 1996 amendment. Since that year, authorities have seized more than 5 million illegal guns. […] Zhao Yan, from the public security department of Qinghai, told Xinhua that limited police resources and financial support have hindered the local government's efforts to curb the illegal gun trade. […] Wang Xinjian, a professor at the Chinese People's Public Security University, told the Global Times Wednesday that the fundamental solution to the problem lies in developing the local economy, and for police to improve their intelligence gathering methods. […]. ^ top ^

National registration aims to foil phone scammers (SCMP)
2010-09-01
A new nationwide policy will require mobile phone users who buy prepaid SIM cards to use their official identity cards and register with their real names from today. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has been pushing for the move for five years. It said the new move would curb fraud. However, activists and online users are worried the new move, which coincided with the tightening of control over the internet - including a ban on individuals owning website domains and the closure of popular online communities - is aimed at curbing the flow of information and dissident views. Mobile users who already have prepaid SIM cards won't have to register immediately, but they will have to provide their real names and ID card numbers within the next three years, according to the new policy effective today. […] However, unregistered SIM cards reportedly won't be revoked. […] The mainland had 800 million cellphone users by the end of July, according to ministry figures, meaning roughly 60.5 mobile phones per 100 people. About 70 per cent of those users use prepaid SIM cards without having to register using their real names, according to statistics reported by Xinhua. […] The authorities were also anxious that the spread of information, such as dissenting views, through telephone text messages would lead to social instability, activists said. Experts in the industry gave the new policy mixed reviews. "Real-name registration will be effective in clamping down on illegal mobile phone use," said Bruce Tang, a Beijing-based internet and mobile analyst. "It will serve as a deterrent and rein in text messages that deal in rumours and scams. At least it will narrow crime suspects in police investigations. But [consumers'] privacy should be protected by the new regulations," he added. […] Hao Jinsong, a Beijing-based legal scholar, said it was naive to pin hopes of tackling fraud and scams on real-name registration. "Law-breakers are crafty enough to get around it easily," he said. "The move is a violation of the freedom of communication authorised by law, like removing the envelopes of letters. It will lower the cost of surveillance on conversations and text content. "Before they implemented this, authorities should have solicited opinions by holding a public hearing among consumers, TSPs and law experts." He said the prerequisite of such a policy should be to protect personal information. Otherwise, no one could be held accountable for releasing any information. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese premier reiterates necessity for improving education (People's Daily Online)
2010-09-01
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said that better education is essential to a powerful China, repeating the central authorities' call to prioritize education reform and development. […] Wen made the remarks in a speech at a high-profile meeting of the central authorities on education last month, according to the text of the speech Xinhua received on Tuesday. […] In the speech, Wen elaborated on the thinking of the central authorities in making the National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development. Firstly, educational development must equally meet the needs of the present and the future, fostering both talents that could solve prominent problems in current social and economic development and those that can guide development in the future. Secondly, improving education was indispensable to fulfilling China's drive to transform its economic growth on the basis of the advance of science and technology and enhanced quality of the work force, because the transformation demanded social progress and development in every way. Thirdly, it was the duty of the government to provide more educational opportunities that were of better quality and more equally accessible. Fourthly, educational development must be predicated on improving education quality, for the development is not merely the expansion of education. In improving education quality, reform and innovation were fundamental, Wen said. China had found a way to develop socialist education with Chinese characteristics and established the world's largest education system, providing opportunities for millions of Chinese, he said. ^ top ^

Drive to give trade unions stronger role (Global Times)
2010-08-31
Authorities are taking steps to strengthen the role that trade unions play and address criticism they're a "rubber-stamp," amid concerns that mounting labor disputes could snowball into a major social crisis. "By 2012, more than 90 percent of enterprises in China should have established trade unions," Wang Yupu, vice-chairperson of the All-China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU), said at a meeting Monday, adding that 55.8 percent of all enterprises had unions in 2009. Problems were found mainly in privately owned companies, which accounted for 80 percent of all enterprises, Wang noted. […] "Amid the series of suicides at Foxconn Technology Group and the constant strikes at Honda Motor from May to July, workers did not resort to the trade unions as they are believed to represent the interests of employers, instead of employees," Su added. ACFTU, led by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, is now trying to confront the credibility issue. A regulation proposed by the organization in July stipulated that by next year, trade union staffers at industries across the country must be paid by senior trade unions, instead of by the employers. […] "The chairmen of trade unions at the primary level are paid by enterprises. If you are not obedient, the enterprise could break the contract with you," a chief at BFTU told the Global Times Monday, adding that this conflict of interest makes it difficult for them to help workers, especially at private firms. Su said other issues must be addressed. "It is very likely that enterprises could bribe the trade union chief to speak for the company's interest." He suggested that the leader of a trade union should be paid through fees collected from workers in order to foster a stronger sense of independence. […]. ^ top ^

Anhui reports 30 cholera cases (Global Times)
2010-08-30
Authorities have shut down almost all food related businesses in one county in East China's Anhui Province after 30 cases of cholera were reported over the last two weeks. "Almost all restaurants have been closed for inspection," a staff member surnamed Zheng at the center for disease control in Mengcheng county told the Global Times Sunday. The Xinhua News Agency also reported earlier that the county has prohibited the sale of raw or cold foods such as cold dishes and pre-stewed meat. Drinking water is now also being checked every two hours, while a large-scale cleaning up and sterilization program has been implemented locally at garbage disposal sites, public toilets and other public areas. […] Health experts believe that eating unsanitary food was the major cause of the cholera outbreak in Mengcheng. […] A government worker in Mengcheng who asked not to be named told the Global Times Sunday that the disease is currently under control and has not resulted in any deaths. […] "Currently, no new cholera cases have been confirmed," Zheng said. Zheng added that restaurants could resume operations once no new cases of cholera are reported. […] Some 750,000 cases of infectious disease were registered last month, including 10 cholera infections, the Ministry of Health said in a statement, according to Xinhua. ^ top ^

Police apologise to journalists detained after fatal plane crash (SCMP)
2010-08-30
Police have apologised to four journalists who were detained and mistreated by officers as they attempted to cover the plane crash in Heilongjiang that killed 42 people last week. At a hastily called press conference, Cui Hua, deputy chief of the Public Security Bureau, bowed to the journalists who had been mistreated by him and his colleagues for three hours earlier on Saturday. "I make my personal apology," Cui was quoted by the Beijing News as saying. "I am trained to deal with criminals. I am a brute, and I hope journalists, who have a higher education, can understand this." The journalists were subjected to kicking and pushing, arm-twisting, throttling, handcuffing and insults and were denied access to the toilet. […] The incident was a misunderstanding, according to Hua Jingwei, the city's Communist Party propaganda chief. The crash investigation team said it did not want journalists interviewing survivors at the crematorium, and the police were carrying out the order, he said. The journalists were apparently not told. The team also pledged to find out who or what caused the crash and establish what could be done to prevent similar incidents. By yesterday, the families of each victim had received 10,000 yuan (HK$11,420) compensation from the airline. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

3 accused of selling shoddy materials in CCTV fire trial (Global Times)
2010-09-02
Another three defendants stood trial Tuesday on charges of selling fake or low-quality materials for the construction of the now-burnt China Central Television tower. The defendants were originally arrested on charges of causing a major accident during a project, but the charges were adjusted to the current ones when the case was sent to the Beijing No.2 Intermediate Court, the Beijing Times reported. The change of charges may mean that the defendants will receive more severe punishments. People convicted of causing major safety accidents could face up to 10 years in prison, but if convicted of selling counterfeit or low-quality products, the defendants could face life imprisonment, according to Chinese criminal law. […] The prosecutor said Zhongshan Shengxing Company purchased over 4,000 square meters of insulation materials that failed the flame resistance tests of the Beijing Quality and Technology Supervision Bureau in 2007. However, the company hid those test results and still used the materials in the walls. […] Tang Zhuchuang, vice president of Zhongshan Shengxing, and Gu Xianshu, executive manager of the wall project, as well as quality specialist Li Shuzhi, should be charged with selling low-quality products, the prosecutor said. The defense lawyers argued that their clients were not the sellers of the low-quality materials and that they should not be held responsible. ^ top ^

Scammer tried to have me killed - fraud-buster (SCMP)
2010-08-31
Anti-fraud crusader Dr Fang Shimin, who was ambushed by two men in Beijing on Sunday night on his way home from a television interview, suspects that one of the fraudsters he exposed wants him dead. […] Better known to mainland internet users as Fang Zhouzi, the "science cop", he said a man sprayed something into his face that made him dizzy and nearly faint. Fang, a biochemist, said it smelled like diethyl ether, a chemical once used as a general anaesthetic. The second attacker swung a hammer at his head but missed and struck him on the waist. […] Fang told police he ran a few hundred metres to an area near his home. The attackers did not follow him. […] Fang said he believed the attack was linked to an assault on Fang Xuanchang, an editor of Caijing magazine and veteran technology reporter, in June. The journalist was beaten on the back and head by two men with steel bars in Beijing. His attackers are still at large. […] The two Fangs had teamed up to investigate a specialist touting a new surgical procedure at a hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan. Fang Shimin has argued since September 2005 that Xiao Chuanguo, professor of urology at Wuhan's Huazhong University of Science and Technology, lied about winning an American Urological Association award and has questioned the success rate of a new surgical procedure Xiao has promoted. Peng and Fang Shimin, representing the victims of Xiao's operations, are taking the hospital to court, with the first hearing scheduled for next month. More recently, Fang Shimin has been in the news for questioning the credentials and health-promotion claims of celebrity Taoist priest Li Yi. He accused Li last month of falsifying his credentials and was interviewed about those allegations by a provincial television network just before he was attacked on Sunday. […]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Expo empties out in recent days (Global Times)
2010-09-02
While the number of visitors at the Expo Park dropping to the lowest in three months at 181,700 Wednesday, the poor turnout hardly made a dent on the lengthy queues that kept people waiting hours to get into pavilions. […] Although Expo organizers previously predicted September and October, the last two months of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai to be the busiest, crowds have dwindled from 500,000-plus visitors to some 200,000 visitors since the weekend - when the onset of the new school semester and typhoon forecasts were on the horizon. […] Vendors inside the park Wednesday, meanwhile, were keeping their fingers crossed for more visitors the next day, as less crowds and rainy weather have been hurting business. […] As of Wednesday, the park had received some 47.5 million visitors since opening. Organizers are hoping to exceed the record-high of 64.2 million visitors set by the Expo held in Osaka, Japan some 40 years ago. Meanwhile, 18 million sold Expo tickets remain unused. If all previous purchasers go through with the trip, the city would see a historic 65 million-plus visitors at its Expo. […]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibetan protesting against mine was 'hit by stray warning rounds' (SCMP)
2010-08-31
Police fatally shot a Tibetan protester during a demonstration last week, state media reported yesterday, saying the man had been hit by stray warning rounds. The incident is apparently the one reported by American-funded Radio Free Asia over the weekend when it said at least four Tibetans were killed and 30 others wounded when police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against the expansion of a gold mine they blamed for causing environmental damage. Xinhua reported yesterday that a 47-year-old Tibetan named Babo died after being hit "by a stray bullet when police fired warning shots with an anti-riot shotgun". It said the protest in Baiyu county in Sichuan province near the Tibetan border happened about two weeks ago when Babo led about 30 villagers to protest after the arrest of a businessman, Fu Liang, for illegally exploiting gold mines in the area. The area is a deeply Buddhist region filled with monasteries and nunneries and is known for its strong Tibetan identity. It has been at the centre of dissent for years. It saw some of the most violent protests in the spring of 2008 after anti-government riots. Radio Free Asia said that the shooting happened when a group of Tibetans was protesting outside the Baiyu county offices. It said its information came from Tibetans living outside China who follow events inside the country. It quoted them as saying the protesters were upset because heavy equipment brought in for the increased mining operations had damaged nearby farmland. Xinhua quoted a local government spokesman as saying the villagers "attacked the police with knives, clubs and stones during the dispute", wounding 17, four seriously. It said police fired warning shots and later found Babo dead. A pro-Tibetan-independence website, Phayul.com, meanwhile, said three Tibetans had been killed and 30 others wounded when they were fired upon. The different death tolls could not be reconciled. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

HK records 815 mln HKD surplus in July (Xinhua)
2010-09-01
An 815 million HK dollars surplus was recorded in the Hong Kong government's financial results for July, but a 9.5 billion HK dollars deficit was still recorded for the financial year's first four months. The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong Tuesday said 28.7 billion HK dollars in revenue was collected in July, while the government spent 27.89 billion HK dollars. Spending for the four-month period ended July 31 was 99 billion HK dollars and revenue was 89.5 billion HK dollars. The deficit for the period was mainly because some major types of revenue, including salaries and profits taxes, were mostly received towards the end of a financial year. Fiscal reserves stood at 510.8 billion HK dollars at the end of July. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.78 HK dollars). ^ top ^

26,000 gather for memorial in HK (Global Times)
2010-08-30
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents participated in a massive rally Sunday afternoon to mourn the eight victims of last Monday's hostage crisis, demanding the Philippine authorities apologize for the tragedy. They also want a thorough probe done quickly. Initiated by several political organizations, Hong Kong residents started to pour into the city's landmark Victoria Park around 1 pm local time, despite sweltering hot weather. "We hope to express our anger to the incompetent Philippine government in a peaceful way via the parade, and urge the Philippine authorities to investigate the case thoroughly to give the victims justice," said a 50-year-old woman surnamed Wong during the march. Eight Hong Kong people were killed and another seven were injured, with one in serious condition, in the 11-hour hostage crisis in the Philippine capital Manila, on Aug 23. […] In a brief ceremony before the march started, the President of Hong Kong's Legislative Council, Jasper Tsang, and other marchers observed three minutes of silence to mourn those killed in the tragedy. Hong Kong police estimated that some 26,000 people gathered in Victoria Park and even more people joined in the march. The organizers said earlier that they expected more than 50,000 people to participate in the march. At around 3 pm, demonstrators, including the city's lawmakers, began to leave Victoria Park and marched toward Charter Garden in Central District on Hong Kong Island. […] Most of the marchers were in black or white shirts. The march was peaceful and never turned violent. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Tropical storm lashes Taiwan (SCMP)
2010-09-02
A strong tropical storm lashed Taiwan yesterday on its way to the mainland, bringing heavy rains and howling winds to areas battered by a deadly typhoon just over a year ago as a stronger front churned towards the Korean peninsula. Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said tropical storm Lionrock, the island's first of the year, had dumped more than 300mm of rain in the south as it made landfall before dawn with wind gusts up to 108km/h and sustained winds of up to 83km/h. Officials warned of mudslides and infrastructure damage as the storm gained strength by mixing with the outer layers of typhoon Kompasu that is making its way through the Pacific Ocean east of Taiwan. Kompasu is expected to reach North Korea early tomorrow with South Korean media saying it would be the worst storm to hit the country in about a decade. Forecasting service Tropical Storm Risk projects a Category 2 typhoon, meaning wind speeds of around 150 km/h. It will hit an area of impoverished North Korea that was devastated by flooding in July with damage to the rice crop. In Taiwan, nervous authorities have cancelled classes, called off work and set up evacuation space for 19,000 people to avoid any repeat of a typhoon in August last year that triggered mudslides and killed about 700 people. […] Lionrock, Kompasu and a third tropical storm, Namtheun, are also on track to affect the mainland, where authorities have started evacuating thousands. ^ top ^

Policies stay stable despite slowdown (Global Times)
2010-08-31
China will maintain stable policies in the next half of this year to avoid fluctuations in the economy, said the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, in a front page editorial Monday. In the first half of the year, China's GDP grew at 11.1 percent year-on-year. However, in the second quarter, due to a series of tightening policies, the economy began to gradually slow down. "If there is no further stimulus for the economy, it is quite possible that growth will fall to 8 percent at the end of the year," said Ba Shusong, deputy director general of the Institute of Financial Studies, Development Research Center of the State Council. With the slowing economy, many analysts are saying that the Chinese development model has lost its momentum. Wang Xiaoguang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Governance, does not agree. "A growth rate around 8 percent is already good enough. The double-digit growth last year is a result of stimulus packages released during the financial crisis, which is not usual. Now that the crisis is almost over, growth rate of the economy should come back to normal." Wang said. "I'm perfectly confident in China's economy." One important concern with the economy is how to balance growth and cool down the overheating real estate sector. Wang told the Global Times that the slowing real estate sector is not a bad thing for the economy. "The real estate bubble is the major reason for China's quick rebound from the financial crisis. Now it is time for the economy to reduce its over reliance on the real estate sector," said Wang. […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China to create blacklist to enhance quality of "made in China" (People's Daily Online)
2010-09-03
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Thursday it would urge industrial enterprises to produce high-quality products as part of the effort to enhance the image of "made in China." The Ministry would also draw up a blacklist displaying the names of those firms breaching quality-related regulations, said Li Yizhong, Minister of the MIIT. The MIIT would reward those companies that have good records for producing quality products with increased policy and funding support, and punish those with poor quality-control records, said Li at a forum held in Beijing which focused on how to improve the quality and reputation of Chinese industrial products. The MIIT would also move forward on a campaign to allow enterprises to make promises on producing quality products, and work together with quality supervision authorities to incorporate the quality-based credit system of enterprises into the whole social credit system, Li said. During the forum, 156 Chinese firms signed a written proposal "promising to make quality products for the world," and called upon their peers in China to raise the quality of industrial products. ^ top ^

U.S. Commerce Department refuses to initiate investigation on China's currency allegations (People's Daily Online)
2010-09-01
U.S. Commerce Department announced on Tuesday its decision not to initiate investigation on allegations that China's currency practices constitute an unfair subsidy. The currency allegations under review were made in the context of countervailing duties (CVD) investigations of two Chinese products -- aluminum extrusions and coated paper. […] "In these two cases, the Department has determined not to investigate whether the alleged undervaluation of China's currency, the RMB or yuan, is a countervailable subsidy," Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration Ronald K. Lorentzen said. […] However, in a preliminary determination, the Commerce Department ruled that 514 million dollars of aluminum products imported from China in 2009 were unfairly subsidized. As a result, importers of Chinese aluminum extrusions will be required to post cash deposits or bonds at rates determined by the department. […] The preliminary determination found that Chinese producers or exporters have received countervailable subsidies ranging from 6. 18 to 137.65 percent. If the Commerce Department makes a final determination that Chinese exporters or producers received an unfair subsidy under international law, and the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that domestic industry was harmed, those imports would be subject to countervailing duties. The Commerce Department is currently scheduled to make its final determination in this case in November. The move came days after the Commerce Department announced a package of 14 proposals to strengthen trade remedy measures. These steps aim to support President Barrack Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double exports in the next five years and support the creation of several million new jobs. Analysts said those measures were not in line with the U.S. leaders' promises to fight various forms of protectionism, and might trigger more trade disputes with its trade partners. ^ top ^

Iran to sign US $20 billion railway construction contract with China (People's Daily Online)
2010-09-01
China and Iran will sign the final agreement to build a railway network in the western part of Iran on Sept. 12, Iranian Minister of Road and Transportation Hamid Behbahani said on Aug. 29. Iran's Fars News Agency quoted Behbahani as saying that the planned railway network, which is expected to be finished in two and a half years, will connect Tehran to the central cities of Arak, Malayer, Hamedan, the western city of Kermanshah and the bordering town of Khosravi. Iranian officials said that the railway lines will be expanded to Iraq and connect Syria and Mediterranean countries. Analysts believe that the expanded railway network will bring significant economic, social and political benefits. […] China's Minister of Railways will visit Iran on Sept. 12 and witness the signature of this 2-billion-U.S.-dollar contract," Behbahani said. He also disclosed that the funding source for the project has not been determined. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested in a summit conference with leaders of Afghanistan and Tajikistan that a railway network connecting with China, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran should be built. ^ top ^

Policies stay stable despite slowdown (Global Times)
2010-08-31
China will maintain stable policies in the next half of this year to avoid fluctuations in the economy, said the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, in a front page editorial Monday. In the first half of the year, China's GDP grew at 11.1 percent year-on-year. However, in the second quarter, due to a series of tightening policies, the economy began to gradually slow down. "If there is no further stimulus for the economy, it is quite possible that growth will fall to 8 percent at the end of the year," said Ba Shusong, deputy director general of the Institute of Financial Studies, Development Research Center of the State Council. With the slowing economy, many analysts are saying that the Chinese development model has lost its momentum. Wang Xiaoguang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Governance, does not agree. "A growth rate around 8 percent is already good enough. The double-digit growth last year is a result of stimulus packages released during the financial crisis, which is not usual. Now that the crisis is almost over, growth rate of the economy should come back to normal." Wang said. "I'm perfectly confident in China's economy." One important concern with the economy is how to balance growth and cool down the overheating real estate sector. Wang told the Global Times that the slowing real estate sector is not a bad thing for the economy. "The real estate bubble is the major reason for China's quick rebound from the financial crisis. Now it is time for the economy to reduce its over reliance on the real estate sector," said Wang. […]. ^ top ^

Ningxia looks to Arab links to strengthen its economy (SCMP)
2010-08-30
[…] Ningxia, located in the northwest with a healthy Islamic culture, will hold the first China-Arab states trade forum late next month. Local authorities said it aimed to deepen business co-operation between China and Muslim states, which have a population of 1.5 billion and a consumer market of US$2 trillion. "After China became the world's biggest exporter, many developed countries began imposing trading sanctions on China... So, exploring new markets has become strategically important," Chen Zhiwei, director of the region's commerce department, said. […] So far, 260 guests from seven Arab countries had signed up for the forum, and more than 20 Chinese government officials, including two top leaders, would be attending, Chen said. To attract Islamic money, the Bank of Ningxia started three financial services in December, becoming the first bank on the mainland to work with Islamic finances. "These services have attracted more than 70 million yuan (HK$80 million) so far," said Yang Ruijun, deputy chief of the Ningxia Development and Reform Commission's comprehensive affairs section. "It's not a bad performance, given that these services are still restricted to local clients." […] Other regions have shared the same vision in trying to attract Islamic money. In 2007, Hong Kong announced plans to become a hub of Islamic investment, but Moody's Investors Service predicted it would not exceed US$1 trillion this year. Ningxia, the mainland's smallest jurisdiction in terms of area and third-smallest in terms of gross domestic product, hopes to do better in attracting more overseas investment. In the first seven months this year, actual use of foreign capital in the region was 36.4 million yuan, less than one-thousandth of the whole country's. Wang Jianqing, deputy director of the region's Investment Promotion Bureau, said about 80 per cent of that investment came from Hong Kong. "We have a small amount of usable land, and that has always been a problem when it comes to aggregate economic output," he said. Deserts and mountains cover about 60 per cent of Ningxia. From May, the region has chartered cargo flights to Dubai via Shenzhen, its first international cargo flights. "It connected Ningxia with the Middle East and helped boost the trade of halal products," Wang said. […]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

'Meet halfway' plea from Beijing as it bids to revive North Korea talks (SCMP)
2010-09-03
China wants all parties to the six-nation North Korean nuclear talks to "meet halfway" as it continues to try to rally support for a resumption of the stalled negotiations. […] "The current situation on the Korean peninsula is complicated and sensitive," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. […] China's top North Korean nuclear envoy, Wu Dawei, recently visited the two Koreas, Japan and the United States in an effort to restart the negotiations. Jiang said Wu would next visit Russia, the sixth nation involved in the stop-start discussions, which were first convened back in 2003. "We hope that parties can make joint efforts so that the issue of northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula can be brought back to the track of dialogue, consultation and political settlement," Jiang said. […] On Wednesday, the US said it planned more consultations with its other partners after hearing Beijing's perspective on a way forward in reviving the talks. The US wants to see unspecified actions from North Korea that would make renewed talks worthwhile, and it is also calling for an end to North Korean provocations, a US diplomat said. Amid the diplomatic flurry, Beijing's state media quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il as telling President Hu Jintao during a secretive visit to China last week that he was willing to return to the negotiating table. ^ top ^

US takes aim at Kim's slush fund (SCMP)
2010-09-01
The latest target for the United States, as it tries to tighten the screws on North Korea, is a shadowy party organisation, known as Office 39, which raises hard currency to buy fine liquor, exotic food and luxury cars for cronies of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il. […] Under a new executive order, the United States will try to choke off the flow of luxury goods into North Korea, which officials say Kim uses to buy the loyalty of the political elite, as well as the sale of conventional weapons by the North. The Treasury Department also designated entities suspected of trafficking in nuclear technology, using existing authority. "We need to send a signal to the North that provocative behaviour will not go unpunished," said Robert Einhorn, the State Department's special adviser on arms control and non-proliferation issues. "They are not directed at the people of North Korea, but at their leaders." The US administration finds itself at something of a crossroads in its North Korea policy: determined to keep up the pressure on the North, while starting to question whether and when to engage the government. A wide range of outside experts have counselled Clinton to restore some contact, contending that the sanctions have done little to change North Korea's behaviour and that the impasse is becoming increasingly dangerous. […] On Monday, the Treasury designated five entities and three individuals linked to weapons of mass destruction. Some of these entities, like Korea Taesong Trading, have already been sanctioned, either by the State Department or the United Nation's Security Council. […] While some of Office 39's dealings are believed to be legitimate - it exports exotic mushrooms, ginseng and seaweed for example - the organisation is suspected of being involved in the counterfeiting of American currency and drug trafficking. The Treasury Department said Office 39 had been involved in methamphetamine distribution and the production of heroin and opium. Critics say that most of North Korea's luxury goods flow through China, which is sceptical of sanctions and has yet to impose them. Einhorn said that he would travel to Beijing soon to encourage the government to enforce the measures rigorously. ^ top ^

Kim points the way to 'rising generation' (SCMP)
2010-09-01
Kim Jong-il's visit to China made it clearer than ever that the ageing North Korean leader is preparing an eventual power transfer to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, analysts say. The two nations were also staging a show of unity as Pyongyang faces tougher sanctions for its alleged torpedo attack on a South Korean warship, they said yesterday. Kim, 68, stressed the need to prepare for the "rising generation" and visited sites linked to his own late father and founding-president Kim Il-sung during a five-day trip. Analysts saw the site visits as a bid to confer legitimacy on another dynastic succession in the communist state. The Swiss-educated Jong-un, believed aged about 27, could be named to a senior post when the North next month holds its first meeting for decades of key ruling party delegates. […] Paik Hak-soon, of Seoul's Sejong Institute, said: "Depending on Kim Jong-il's health, the son will possibly be appointed as party organisation secretary or as organisation department head just below the [secretary] position." […] Cheong Seong-chang, also from the Sejong Institute, said Kim must have notified key-ally China of upcoming leadership changes, but did not seek consent. "North Korea, as a proud sovereign state, needs no approval for its leadership changes from any country," Cheong said. "After being informed in advance of the upcoming changes, China must have felt satisfied. "Jong-un has already been in charge of personnel appointments in the party. Since the second half of last year, all reports to the leader have been made through Jong-un." Cheong said the son would probably be appointed party-organisation secretary in charge of filling party posts, making policy decisions and managing reports presented to the leader. Kim's visit to China - his second since May - was also designed to underscore their traditional alliance amid rising regional tensions, analysts said. […] Paik said: "China was sending a strong message to the United States, Japan and South Korea: `Don't shake the North'." […]. ^ top ^

South Korean Red Cross proposes to help North with HK$65m in aid after deadly floods (SCMP)
2010-09-01
South Korea's Red Cross has offered North Korea aid worth 10 billion won (HK$65.1 million) following severe floods that washed away homes, roads, railways and farmland, officials say. The Red Cross offered the aid last Thursday and repeated its message on Monday but had received no response so far, Seoul's Unification Ministry said yesterday. The offer is to be the first large-scale aid from Seoul after the May sinking of its warship that it blames on a Pyongyang submarine attack. The Red Cross offered food, medicine and other supplies in a message delivered through officials at a jointly run industrial estate at Kaesong in the North, a ministry spokesman said. […] South Korean President Lee Myung-bak reflected positively on Kim's surprise visit, echoing calls for the North to embrace Chinese-style economic reforms. "There will be many opportunities to see the Chinese way of development, which will give a positive influence on the North Korean economy," Lee said. ^ top ^

President Hu holds talks with DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il (Xinhua)
2010-08-30
Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks last Friday with top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il in Changchun, capital city of northeast China' s Jilin Province. Kim, general secretary of the Worker' s Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, paid an unofficial visit to China from August 26 to 30 at the invitation of Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Hu said that at present, China and the DPRK are increasing vigorous exchange and cooperation in various fields, among various departments and between provinces along the borders. The two sides have maintained close communication and coordination on issues of the Korean Peninsula and the region. Hu said China is ready to work with the DPRK to carefully safeguard and develop friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

During the talks, Hu put forward three proposals for further strengthening relations between the CPC and the WPK and between the two countries. Firstly, the two sides should maintain high-level contact, which is of great significance to continuously pushing forward the development of the China-DPRK links. Leaders of the two sides should continue to maintain regular communication in various forms. Secondly, the two sides should advance trade and economic cooperation. Expanding and deepening mutually beneficial and win-win trade and economic cooperation is in the basic interests of the two peoples. China is ready to grow trade and economic cooperation on the principles of government guidance with enterprises playing a major role, market operation, and mutual benefits for win-win results. Thirdly, the two sides should strengthen strategic communication. Since the regional and international situation is undergoing profound and complicated changes, prompt, thorough and in-depth communication between China and the DPRK on major issues is of critical importance to effectively maintaining peace and stability in the Northeast Asia region and to promoting common development.

Kim said he fully agrees with Hu' s comment and proposals on advancing the relations between the WPK and CPC and between the two countries. Kim said the northeastern part of China is the place where DPRK-China friendship began. He said through this visit, the DPRK side had yet another in-depth experience of the preciousness of the DPRK-China friendship created by older generations of revolutionaries from both countries. Kim said at present, the two sides should strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields, among various departments and between the provinces along the borders. He said the two sides should also attach importance to exchange and mutual learning of their young people so as to continuously push forward the development of traditional DPRK-China friendship.

During the talks, Hu and Kim briefed each other on the internal situation and development plan of their respective countries. Hu hailed the achievements the DPRK people have made in economic development. He expressed his hope that the upcoming national plenary session of the WPK will be a success. Hu emphasized that it is a basic experience of China' s reform and opening up drive in the past more than three decades to unswervingly adhere to the central task of economic development, push forward all causes of socialist modernization in an all-round way and continuously secure and improve the livelihood of the people. Hu said economic development calls for self-dependence but cannot be achieved without cooperating with the outside world. This is the inevitable path of the times that accelerates the development of a country. Hu said the Chinese side respects and supports the active measures the DPRK side has taken to maintain stability, develop its economy and improve the livelihood of its people.

Kim said China has rapidly developed with strong vitality in all fields since it began to reform and open up to the outside world. Kim said, as a witness of this historic process, he believes it proves the correctness of the guidelines and policies the CPC and the Chinese government adopted to reinvigorate China's traditional industrial zones, such as the northeastern area, develop its western areas, realize balanced growth of different parts of the country and build a harmonious socialist society. Kim expressed belief that under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people will complete the goals of the 11th five-year plan (2006-2010), smoothly embark on implementing the 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) and celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC with great achievements. Kim said the DPRK is now focusing on developing its economy and improving its people' s livelihood. He expressed his wish to strengthen exchange and cooperation with China.

The visit was the second Kim has made to China this year, after he visited Beijing in May. Hu warmly welcomed Kim on his second visit. Hu thanked the DPRK for sending a message of condolence to China after a devastating mudslide hit Zhouqu County in northwestern Gansu Province earlier this month. Hu expressed heartfelt condolences to the DPRK for the floods that hit some areas of the country. Kim thanked Hu for his invitation and warm welcome. During his China trip, Kim visited Jilin City and Changchun City in Jilin Province and Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province. Kim visited enterprises of machinery manufacturing, railway transportation, chemical industry and food processing, as well as some agricultural projects. He said Jilin was a place where he once lived, and he was greatly touched and impressed to see its many changes and development when he came back this time. Kim said China' s northeast region borders the DPRK and has a similar landscape and industrial structure to his country. The DPRK hopes to strengthen exchange and cooperation with China' s northeast and learn from China' s experience, he said. Kim was accompanied by a number of officials in his visit to China, including Kim Yong Chun, Kim Gi Nam, Kang Sok Ju, Jang Song Thaek, Hong Sok Sop, Kim Yong Il and Kim Yang Gon. ^ top ^

DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il hopes for early resumption of six-party talks (Xinhua)
2010-08-30
Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il has said he hoped for an early resumption of the six-party talks to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim expressed the hope during talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province. Kim, general secretary of the Worker's Party of Korea and chairman of the DPRK's National Defense Commission, paid an unofficial visit to China from August 26 to 30. He said the DPRK's stance on adhering to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula had remained unchanged, and the country "is not willing to see tensions on the peninsula." Kim expressed the wish to maintain close communication and coordination with China in pushing for an early resumption of the six-party talks to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula, and to maintain peace and stability of the peninsula. Leaders of the two countries also exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and other international and regional issues of common concern. Hu said there had been some new developments of the Korean Peninsula situation since the United Nations Security Council adopted a presidential statement on the Cheonan warship sinking incident. Maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula accords with common aspiration of the people, he said. Hu said China respects and supports positive efforts of the DPRK to ease the situation of the peninsula while improving the outside environment. China held that all parties concerned should continue to actively work for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula as well as the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, he said. He called on all parties concerned to make positive efforts for the ease of the current tension, early resumption of the six-party talks and gradual improvement of the situation of the Korean Peninsula. Kim highly appreciated China's positive efforts and contribution to the six-party talks and maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. ^ top ^

Kim says to further develop DPRK-China friendship (Xinhua)
2010-08-30
Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has said his country will further develop DPRK-China friendship in generations and centuries to come, the official news agency KCNA reported. Kim made this pledge at a banquet held for him on Friday in China, according to the KCNA. He said the DPRK would as ever "make every possible effort to put this friendship on a higher level." With the international situation remaining complicated, it was the important historical mission of the DPRK to hand over the baton of the traditional friendship to the next generation as a precious asset, he said. Kim said steadily developing the friendship through generations was an important issue in defending peace and security in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world. His meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao last May further deepened the political trust and strikingly displayed the invincibility of the bilateral friendship again to the world, he added. According to the KCNA, Kim visited Northeast China from Thursday to Monday. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Cabinet Meets in Gobi Desert (UB Post)
2010-08-31
All 12 members of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister S.Batbold has met last Friday in the Gashuunii Khooloi, a sandy valley in Umnugobi Province, about 670 kilometres south of Ulaanbaatar City, to draw attention to climate change. “Mongolia is feeling the impact of global climate change,” Prime Minister Batbold said at the one-hour meeting. Batbold pointed to the recent winter as an example of problems Mongolia faces. The winter was the harshest in decades and a fifth of the country's livestock died. The government blames global warming for a decrease in rainfall and says that rising average temperatures have caused many rivers and springs to dry up and snow cover to melt. It also says the frequency of natural disasters and drought has jumped. The site for the meeting was chosen because parts of it used to be arable land, said Badarch, head of social policy for Umnugobi Province. “Five years ago, there used to grow many edible plants in this valley and there were fewer sand dunes. Now look here. The valley is completely covered with sand. The sand dunes are moving and taking more space each year.” he added. Minister of Natural Environment and Tourism L.Gansukh said Mongolian herders' traditional way of life is under threat. “Global climate change accelerates the desertification process in Mongolia. Currently, 70 percent of Mongolian land is affected by desertification.” As result of the meeting, the Cabinet has approved the revised draft for national program on climate change and decided to submit the draft for parliament approval. In addition, the Government has issued a message addressing to member-states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the message, the Government said that it hopes the delegates attending global climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, in November would reach a decision that is “favorable for landlocked, developing countries... very much affected by climate change and desertification.”. ^ top ^

State head starts academic year (Montsame)
2010-09-01
On September the first, a launch of the academic new year of 2010-2011, the President Ts.Elbegdorj taught a lesson themed "Mongolian pride". The lesson has been aired nationwide through the "600" studio of Mongolia's National Public Radio and Television attended by representation of the children and by outstanding ones who have become known worldwide. The President has begun the lesson with saying that the Mongolian pride means to be the Mongolian firstly. Then he emphasized that the Mongolians must be proud of their motherland, custom and other valuables. He said the pupils must protect the Earth--our home forever. Last year, the State Head taught a lesson themed "Global warming and Mongolia". This academic year, 50.3 thousand six-year old children are entering primary schools, 523 thousand pupils are studying in 753 schools, 540 thousand children--in 814 kindergartens, and 160 thousand students--in universities, institutes and vocational training centers. ^ top ^

Japanese Foreign Minister Visit Continues (UB Post)
2010-08-31
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Katsuya Okada is currently in Ulaanbaatar for an official visit, as the guest of his counterpart G.Zandanshatar. On August 29, Foreign Minister Zandanshatar held a dialogue with Katsuya Okada to discuss bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest. After the dialogue, the Japanese minister met with Prime Minister S.Batbold, who stressed Mongolia is interested concluding a pact on comprehensive economic partnership with Japan in the nearest future. “Mongolia's big infrastructure projects programs in railroad, energy and housing are open for Japanese investors” he added. In his turn, Katsuya Okada pledged to intensively support the establishment of the comprehensive economic partnership conclusion agreement between the two countries. He informed that Japanese investors have strong interests in minerals and infrastructure, including the Tavan Tolgoi project and uranium deposits. The Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada will also meet with President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia. ^ top ^

Poultry farm in Khaan-Uul identified as source for possible eye Infection in humans (News.mn)
2010-08-31
Following a report from experts who had checked conditions in the poultry farm Nionsheli in Khan-Uul district of Ulaanbaatar on August 28, the Emergency Commission met yesterday to discuss measures needed to be taken to prevent the spread of an infection from birds to humans through eating eggs that can damage the eyes. This is the first time this particular infection has been observed in Mongolia. Experts suspect the feed used in the poultry to be responsible for the possible infection. The farm has been ordered to destroy all birds showing its symptoms, and their eggs and to carefully disinfect the whole place. M.Enkhbold, Chief of the Emergency Commission, has warned people to watch for symptoms such as inflammation and/or redness of the eyes, and has asked hospitals to be ready to treat affected people. Ulaanbaatar has about 270.000 poultry birds, of which 240.000 are in Khan- Uul district alone. The Governor there has asked other poultry farms to take quarantine measures. ^ top ^

Mining output up year on year (News.mn)
2010-09-01
The National Statistical Office has reported that coal extraction in the first seven months of 2010 was 83% more than in the same period last year. Extraction of crude oil and gas increased by 64.8%, whereas that of other minerals rose by 24.2%. Altogether 84.5% of all Mongolian export was to China and most of it was unprocessed minerals. ^ top ^

 

Corentin Büla
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
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