SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
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Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  6-8.10.10, No. 340  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

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Foreign Policy

US, China defence ministers to meet (SCMP)
2010-10-06
Beijing on Wednesday confirmed that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and his Chinese counterpart will meet next week at a security conference in Vietnam, in a sign military ties are back on track.Relations between the two countries have repeatedly stalled, with Beijing cancelling scheduled visits or exchanges as a way of protesting at Washington's policies, notably US arms sales to Taiwan. Beijing agreed to resume military-to-military relations after a 10-month break following talks with a senior US defence official last week in Beijing. Defence Minister Liang Guanglie “is scheduled” to meet with Gates on the fringes of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting in Hanoi, Xinhua news agency quoted ministry official Guan Youfei as saying. The Pentagon had earlier said the meeting was likely, but had not been officially confirmed. […] In addition to the possible meeting in Hanoi, US and Chinese officials are also hopeful that Gates will visit Beijing in the coming months, possibly early next year, he said.[…] US and Chinese military officials plan to meet about safety and communications issues at sea at an October 14-15 meeting in Hawaii, followed by defence talks later in the year in Washington. Beijing had suspended military exchanges in January after the US administration unveiled plans to sell US$6.4 billion (HK$50 billion) in military hardware to Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China claims as part of its territory.[…] Gates and other top US officials say expanding a dialogue between both countries' armed forces is crucial to avoiding misunderstandings and reducing tensions. Gates has criticised China for suspending ties over the US approach to Taiwan, saying a permanent dialogue was too important to be “held hostage” to Washington's weapons sales to Taipei. The resumption of defence ties also comes as smaller nations in the region have sought support from the United States in response to Beijing's assertive stance over disputed waters. US officials are anxious about China's growing military reach, including its arsenal of anti-ship missiles and fleet of submarines, and have pressed Beijing to be more transparent about its defence spending. In an annual report to Congress released in August, the Pentagon described China as building up a force with power to strike as far afield as the US territory of Guam. China's military doctrine has traditionally emphasised the ability to strike within an area extending to Japan's Okinawa island chain and throughout the South China Sea east of Vietnam, the report said. But Chinese strategists are now looking to expand their reach further to be able to hit targets such as much of mainland Japan and the Philippines, it said. The United States has about 100,000 troops in Asia excluding Afghanistan, the vast majority of them in Japan and South Korea. ^ top ^

Chinese patrol boats withdraw from disputed waters (SCMP)
2010-10-06
Japan on Wednesday said two Chinese fisheries patrol boats withdrew from waters near a disputed island chain that is at the centre of the worst diplomatic row in years between the Asian giants. […] Beijing had sent the boats on September 23 to protect Chinese fishing vessels operating near the disputed islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. […] A brief meeting between Kan and Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe summit in Brussels on Monday broke the ice after the almost month-long territorial row. An official said that after each stated their position on ownership of the islands – with each side claiming sovereignty – the pair “shared the view that the actual situation in the Japanese-Sino relationship is not desirable.” However, officials in Tokyo took a cautious stance over Wednesday's developments and refused to be drawn on whether it was a sign of easing tensions. “We must not prejudge the future activities of the Chinese fisheries patrol vessels,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku at a regular press conference. “We should spend more time to look at this case, as to whether the situation has eased or become more serious or whether we can say they are related [to the Brussels summit],” he said. “We will continue our careful surveillance and remain vigilant.” […] China on Friday allowed three Japanese construction workers to return home after detaining them for 11 days for filming at a restricted military site, but it retained one of their colleagues for further questioning. Nationalist groups demonstrated in Tokyo on Saturday against what they saw as a diplomatic defeat for Japan while recent opinion polls have showed support for the prime minister has fallen among the Japanese public over the spat. ^ top ^

ASEM summit consolidates 'common ground' on key issues (Global Times)
2010-10-06
Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) leaders expressed on Tuesday their willingness to work together to strengthen cooperation between the two regions.Leaders from 46 Asian and European countries gathered in Brussels on October 4 and 5 to take part in the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting, a platform for dialogue launched in 1996 to discuss global and regional challenges."The ASEM 8 was the better in terms of free flow of discussions," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday, underlining the need for the two regions to find common ground and promote coordinate action. […]During the meeting, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme noted the countries' willingness to work together to reach agreement on global economic and financial governance, to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) more quickly, to promote sustainable development and to conclude Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with partner countries.Participants expressed their will to join efforts to promote global economic recovery and reform the economy both internally and externally. On the one hand, countries will try to strengthen investments, develop social protection and adapt to the aging population problem. On the other hand, ASEM leaders will deal with the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and financial regulation. […] According to Leterme, reconciliation between trade and environment is at the heart of the ASEM leaders concerns. In this regard, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development of 2008 as basis of work to further advance the common objectives of economic development, social cohesion and environmental protection. During this ASEM summit, leaders also discussed the need to narrow the development gap between countries, to reduce trade and investment barriers and to tackle security issues such as terrorism. President Lee underlined on Tuesday the importance of ASEM and G20 to surmount the economic crisis and improve economic governance. […] Lee Myung-Bak reaffirmed a commitment to ensure the success of the forthcoming G20 summit in Seoul, which theme is "Shared growth beyond crisis.". ^ top ^

Germany to help China gain market status from EU (SCMP)
2010-10-06
Germany will work to get the European Union to recognise China as a market economy by 2016, giving it benefits under international trade rules, according to a joint communique issued after leaders of the countries met on Tuesday. China has urged the EU to recognise it as a market economy, a status that would make it less vulnerable to anti-dumping charges under rules of the World Trade Organisation. Chancellor Angela Merkel met Premier Wen Jiabao at the Meseberg Palace north of Berlin after an EU-Asia summit in Brussels. The statement issued in Berlin added that China had agreed to hold talks with the EU on the issue. It also said China would still have to fulfil certain EU conditions. Both governments also said they want the UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico later this year to agree steps to fight climate change. ^ top ^

Beijing ups the stakes on climate change (SCMP)
2010-10-07
Mainland and overseas NGOs echoed Beijing's offensive in Tianjin, turning up the heat on the US and calling it the stumbling block to the progress desperately needed to revive the foundering talks.Analysts said China's unusual confidence in reaching out to the media and the strong support it had received from environmentalists indicated Beijing had gained the upper hand in the long-stalled negotiations.[…] Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said China had demonstrated its sincerity to move the deadlocked talks forward with its domestic emission-reduction effort, and it was time for rich nations to take action to restore trust. […] Negotiators from more than 170 nations are meeting in Tianjin to make final preparations for a climate summit to start in Cancun, Mexico, on November 29, amid widespread pessimism over the chances of reaching a binding deal on tackling global warming this year. In an apparent reference to the US, Xie said some countries had urged developing countries to increase transparency in their domestic effort to cut emissions of greenhouse gases yet had failed to make much progress at home or in helping poor nations with financing and technology. […] Although China's greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise quickly, Xie pledged his government would step up efforts to keep the growth in check. But Xie insisted China was neither seeking the leadership role in climate talks nor trying to dominate the negotiations by hosting the Tianjin meeting in the wake of Washington's setbacks on climate legislation. Green groups also expressed anger at "continued inaction" of the US by challenging Washington to match Beijing's efforts on emission cuts and energy efficiency.[…] The US said UN climate talks were making less progress than hoped for because of a rift over emission-reduction targets for developing economies. […] Beijing upped the ante in the last major negotiations ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Mexico, increasing pressure on Washington and drumming up support from developing-nation allies.

China's top climate official lashed out yesterday at the lack of political will among rich nations to break the impasse in climate talks, and dismissed US demands on emission caps and transparency as absurd. ^ top ^

Blame game continues in Tianjin (SCMP)
2010-10-08
China's climate envoy criticised the United States for its unwillingness to play the lead role in deadlocked climate talks amid growing concern that negotiations have regressed just weeks ahead of a United Nations climate summit in Mexico. The remarks by Dr Huang Huikang, who recently replaced Yu Qingtai as the country's ambassador on climate change negotiations, come as the rifts and finger-pointing between China and the US, the world's top two carbon emitters, that have marred previous negotiations, continue to cloud ongoing climate talks in Tianjin with only two days to go. Hopes of reaching a binding deal this year on tackling global warming have faded. Instead, negotiators from more than 170 countries, who are meeting in China for the first time in the 20-year history of international climate talks, have been urged to focus on seeking an "achievable and balanced outcome" for the Cancun meeting, which opens on November 29, in a bid to restore trust and revive the foundering talks. […] Jonathan Pershing, the US deputy special envoy for climate change, defended his government yesterday, insisting the US has moved forward with domestic efforts to cut emissions despite its failure to pass climate legislation before the Cancun meeting.[…]The US and China have wrangled for years over key issues such as carbon targets, funding shortages, technology transfer and transparency on emissions and reductions. Pershing accused China of back-pedalling on transparency pledges on domestic emission cuts that were included in the political agreement at the end of last year's Copenhagen talks. […]But many environmentalists and delegates voiced frustration over the lack of progress in the talks, saying major players, especially the US, needed to show the world that they can make a difference in avoiding a repeat of the failure in Copenhagen. […]. ^ top ^

Wen exalts China-Italy ties, opens major cultural program (Global Times)
2010-10-08
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday joined his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi in Rome in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties. On the jubilant occasion, the two leaders also formally launched the Chinese Culture Year in Italy, a project designed to promote mutual understanding and bilateral friendship between the two countries. […]Currently, the two sides maintain frequent exchanges, enjoy deepened mutual political trust and keep close coordination on major international affairs, he said, adding that bilateral trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges have also witnessed rapid growth. The relationship between Beijing and Rome provides strong impetus for the development of ties between China and the European Union (EU), while making positive contributions to the peace and development of the whole world, Wen told the massive audience. China is ready to work together with Italy to seize opportunities and bring bilateral ties to higher levels by sticking to practices of mutual respect, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation, learning from each other, and peaceful development, he said.[…] Italy is willing to seize the opportunities brought forth by China's development to deepen pragmatic cooperation and promote cultural exchanges in order to further advance bilateral ties, he added. Also on Thursday, the Chinese premier granted awards to some Italian groups and individuals for their contributions to the friendship between the two countries. Wen arrived in Italy on Wednesday after visits to Greece and Belgium and an unscheduled meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany. He will also visit Turkey before returning to China. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Chinese minister addresses int'l conference on security (People's Daily Online)
2010-10-07
Meng Jianzhu, the Chinese State Councilor and Public Security Minister, has recommended several ways, including improved dialogue, for countries to improve their international security cooperation. Meng, speaking Tuesday at a high-level international security conference here, expounded on the firm positions and measures China has adopted in tackling such global challenges as terrorism and transborder crimes. He urged the conference participants from more than 40 countries to enhance their strategic trust and actively engage in international security cooperation for the sake of global stability and prosperity.The suggestions Meng offered included reinforcing strategic dialogue via bilateral and multilateral channels and coordinating policies on anti-terrorism efforts. Meng also called for the establishment of a global monitoring and early-warning mechanism. He said he believed it necessary for countries to cooperate on intelligence exchanges, investigations, and security at major events. Participants at the two-day forum discussed, among other things, challenges to sustainable development posed by natural and technical disasters, and the interrelations between transborder crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal arms dealing. The participants all voiced willingness to reinforce global security cooperation to face new challenges and threats and reached consensus on enhancing dialogue and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. ^ top ^

Yellow River Delta faces huge challenges in halting pollution (Global Times)
2010-10-08
The Yellow River, the cradle of Chinese civilisation, is now giving birth to what is claimed to be the country's first environmentally friendly economic development zone. But the main priority of local governments on the north Shandong coast is still industrial development, with dozens of industrial parks already set up and more being planned in delta cities. That has led some experts to question the practicability of the environmentally friendly development plan and characterise it as just another political manoeuvre designed to extract more financial support from the central government.The delta zone mainly covers two cities, Dongying and Binzhou, and parts of two others, Weifang and Laizhou. Four industrial bases next to ports in the four cities are designed to be at the centre of the zone and form an economic belt with hi-tech development zones, industrial parks and eco-farming pilot areas, according to the provincial government's development blueprint. While claiming that environmental concerns will outweigh economic development, the provincial government has pulled out all stops to speed up the development of the delta and turn it into an east coast growth engine. Since 2005, the provincial government has earmarked 1.5 trillion yuan (HK1.73 trillion) for its development. Last year, the value of the region's economic output was 475.6 billion yuan. It is expected to reach 930 billion yuan by 2015 and 1.5 trillion yuan by 2020, according to media reports. Dongying, home to the nation's second largest oilfield, Shengli, is the engine of the delta's economy and it spent 110 billion yuan last year on developing three pillar industries - petrochemicals, petroleum equipment manufacturing and modern fishing and stockbreeding. Some analysts have pointed out that most such industries are heavy consumers of energy and highly polluting.[…]The mainland's other two main river deltas, the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta, are its most affluent regions and global manufacturing centres. But they are running out of room. In contrast, the Yellow River carries massive amounts of sediment to its estuary every year, creating new, fertile land at a remarkable pace. The river's delta, opening into the Bohai Sea, is a land of wide open spaces. Shandong assistant governor Chen Guang, the man in charge of the Yellow River Delta's development, says it's the last virgin land on the mainland coast - and that is its competitive advantage.[…]Decades of rapid economic growth have damaged ecosystems in most coastal regions, prompting the leadership to call for a shift towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly economic model. The Yellow River Delta is the eighth region included in the central government's regional development plan, but the first to focus on environmentally friendly development. The State Council approved the plan at the end of last year and it is due to be included in the 12th five-year plan, covering 2011 to 2015. Analysts say the government has shifted strategy from a focus on speeding up economic growth in a particular area to an emphasis on regional planning for balanced and co-ordinated development. Global expectations that China, now the world's top carbon emitter, can play a leading role in efforts to build a greener world have only reinforced the change of emphasis.[…]The central and provincial governments have worked out detailed guidelines for investment in the zone, with much stricter environmental protection standards for investment projects than elsewhere in the country. The provincial and lower-level governments have also established a special office to oversee the implementation of the programme.The provincial government says it will closely monitor energy consumption and pollution emissions by industries including steel and non-ferrous metal production, power generation, oil refining, construction and printing. It is also launching a publicity campaign to promote recycling and improve energy efficiency and is developing policies to divert capital into environmentally friendly industries.Some industries will be forced to introduce water-saving technologies, while oil refineries, power plants and steel and iron plants will have to use clean energy from natural gas or alternative fuels. Incentives will also be introduced to encourage use of renewable energy in new buildings.New projects will be prohibited in environmentally sensitive areas, scenic spots, cultural heritage protection zones and near drinking water sources. Projects already operating or under construction in such areas will be gradually phased out or forced to switch to less polluting forms of production. ^ top ^

Village officials should aim high to develop countryside: senior CPC official (Global Times)
2010-10-08
A senior Chinese official has urged college graduates working as village officials to improve their work so as to provide better services for rural residents and contribute to the development of China's vast countryside.Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a discussion with college graduates serving as village officials in east China's Jiangsu Province Wednesday.Li, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, asked the officials to "aim high" but adopt a "down-to-earth attitude" towards their work.

China has encouraged college graduates to work at the grassroots in rural areas in a bid to develop the less-developed countryside. So far, about 200,000 college graduates have taken posts as village officials in China, according to the figures released by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. ^ top ^

China calls for advancing international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation process (Global Times)
2010-10-08
China on Thursday called on all states to make joint efforts to advance the international disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation process. Wang Qun, the Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, made the appeal in a speech delivered at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly.[…]He said that China welcomes the recent signing of a new bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, and wishes to see the early ratification of the treaty.[…]On issues concerning nuclear non-proliferation, Wang urged the international community to work to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and strengthen the safeguards function of the International Atomic Energy Agency.[…]The ambassador stressed that China wishes to see peaceful solution to regional nuclear issues through dialogues and negotiations, and hopes that the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula could be resumed and the dialogue between Iran and E3+3 -- the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France and Germany -- could be restarted at an early date. Wang highlighted the importance of revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) so as to take forward multilateral disarmament negotiations.[…] In this regard, Wang stressed the three essential principles in advancing the work of CD -- enhance CD's authority and position; respect CD's rules of procedure, particularly its consensus rule; and treat the legitimate security concerns of each member state as equal and address them in an earnest manner.[…]The ambassador also called for the "active pursuit of a preventive diplomacy in safeguarding a global common space," including outer space and cyber space.

"Outer space is the common wealth of mankind, and the peaceful use and exploration of outer space is in the interest of the whole human-being," he said, urging the early conclusion of a new legal instrument on the prevention of weaponization in outer space.Cyber space constitutes a new dimension of multilateral arms control diplomacy, Wang said.[…]China hopes that the international community will work on the basis of a first UN report on the issue of information security to "explore effective ways of combating cyber threats and preserving the sound international cyber order," Wang added. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Stop pressing on currency, Wen tells EU (SCMP)
2010-10-07
Premier Wen Jiabao told the European Union on Wednesday to stop piling pressure on Beijing to revalue its currency, saying a rapid shift could unleash disastrous social turmoil.

Wen told an EU-China business forum in Brussels that China would implement a reform of its currency regime announced in June, making the exchange rate more flexible, but rebuffed calls from EU leaders for a rapid and substantial appreciation.[…] The United States and the European Union accuse China of keeping its currency artificially weak to promote exports, undermining jobs and economic growth in the West. The monetary standoff came amid growing signs of a “currency war” in which major industrial nations such as Japan and the United States are seeking to weaken their exchange rates while emerging economies such as Brazil and South Korea are taking or threatening measures to curb capital inflows. The 27-nation EU also pressed Beijing on Wednesday to amend its trade practices to put an end to technology theft, counterfeiting and discrimination against foreign firms.[…] German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of Europe's biggest export powerhouse, met Wen on Tuesday and pledged to work for China to be granted the 27-nation EU's coveted “market economy” trade status by 2016. That would give Beijing better protection against European anti-dumping penalties – a major irritant for the Chinese. […] The EU signed a free trade agreement with South Korea on Wednesday which could double commerce between them, its first such pact with an Asian partner, after announcing on Tuesday the launch of negotiations for a similar accord with Malaysia.[…] With the Doha round of global trade liberalisation talks at an impasse, Brussels is increasingly looking to bilateral and regional agreements as a way forward to boost commerce, especially with fast-growing Asian economies. The United States urged the EU this week to join it in high-level pressure on China to change policy on intellectual property rights and foreign investment. While some European business leaders want the EU to develop new trade defence instruments that could be used as leverage to change Chinese practices, others are dead against such sanctions, which would divide member states.The chairman and founder of China's Zhejiang Geely carmaker, Li Shufu, told reporters some of the investors who funded counterfeiting were likely based in the United States.[…] The EU's trade deficit with China fell to 133.1 billion euros last year, from 169.5 billion euros in 2008, largely due to the global economic downturn. But EU industry has warned China will benefit from Europe's economic recovery, cranking up its production capacity to supply European demand for cheap industrial inputs and consumer goods, and encroaching on traditional European high-tech markets.In recent months the EU has launched several anti-dumping cases. These could result in steep tariffs against Chinese-made products, from fibreglass used in the production of wind turbines and lightweight cars to car wheels and wireless modems. De Gucht said Europe was considering taking stronger powers to demand reciprocal treatment in government contracts. But diplomats said any attempt to use such measures against China would likely founder on differences of interest among member states, pitting free traders such as Britain and Sweden against more protectionist-leaning nations such as France and Italy, with Germany defending its key Chinese growth market. ^ top ^

GDP growth to hit 10.5 percent this year: IMF (Global Times)
2010-10-08
China's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 10.5 percent in 2010 and 9.6 percent in 2011, ahead of other major economies, according to a report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday.GDP measures a nation's overall economic output, incorporating the market value of all final goods and services made within its borders in a one-year period.The IMF published the projections in its biannual World Economic Outlook. China's GDP growth is the strongest among major world economies including the US, the Euro area and other emerging economies such as India and Brazil.The IMF projects US GDP growth, the world's largest economy, to come in at 2.6 percent for 2010 and 2.3 percent next year, while Japan, currently the second-largest economy is forecast to hit 2.8 and 1.5 percent for the same period.[…]The IMF report also said "private domestic demand is poised to contribute two-thirds of near-term growth, and government activity about one-third, whereas the contri-bution from net exports will be close to zero."In the first eight months, retail sales and industrial production grew by 18.2 percent and 16.6 percent respectively year-on-year, according to the nation's Statistics Bureau."The IMF's projections for China's growth are a little overestimated," said Lu Ting, China economist with Bank of America - Merrill Lynch.Lu pointed out that the market expects 10 percent GDP growth this year, and 9 percent for next year. He added that China's economic growth might slow and move within a range between 8 and 9 percent over the next couple of years.The slowdown is part of a general trend, as China's economy is unlikely to zoom as fast as it did in the 1990s, said Cheng Manhong, chief economist with BOCI Holdings, a securities firm and investment arm of Bank of China.China is trying to shift its growth model from export-driven to one fueled by domestic consumption. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Chinese premier hopes for early resumption of six-party talks (Global Times)
2010-10-06
China expected an early resumption of the six-party talks to ease tensions and resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday. All parties should make joint efforts to ease tensions between the south and the north on the peninsula and strive to resume the six-party talks at an early date, said Wen while meeting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels. […] The six-party talks, a multilateral mechanism designed to peacefully denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, were launched in 2003. The talks involve China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States. Speaking of the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) Seoul Summit, slated for Nov. 11-12, Wen said it was of great significance for boosting the world economic recovery, adding that China would support South Korea in seeking positive outcomes at the meeting. Wen said China regards South Korea as a friendly neighbor and an important partner. It also cherished the hard-won mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, believing the bilateral ties could withstand tests and continue to develop. China would also work with South Korea to boost cooperation in East Asia, Wen added. Lee appreciated China's support for Seoul G20 summit, saying his country would keep working with China to improve bilateral ties and play an active role in safeguarding peace and stability as well as deepening cooperation within the region. ^ top ^

China to send delegates to N.Korea (Global Times)
2010-10-08
The Communist Party of China (CPC) will send a delegation to North Korea tomorrow for a three-day visit, the Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.The group is led by Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs.Zhou will be a guest of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), the report added.T he delegation's trip to Pyongyang comes on the heels of an important party confer-ence of the WPK, in which Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of leader Kim Jong-il, was named a four-star general and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the WPK. The visit also coincides with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the WPK, which will be Sunday.Cui Zhiying, a professor of Korean issues at Tongji University, suggested that the major aim of Zhou's visit is to consolidate relations between the two countries.[…]Meanwhile, a senior US diplomat held talks Thursday with South Korean officials about a possible power transfer after the key party conference of the WPK and public appearances made by Kim Jong-un."What's most important... is to ensure that the US and South Korea will remain in lockstep and are extraordinarily closely engaged on mutual assessments in terms of developments in North Korea," US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said in Seoul.

The North Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday that Kim Jong-un, together with his father and other senior officials, attended a concert to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of the WPK.[…]Campbell also said that breaking the deadlock in relations between the South and North is essential before resuming the six-party disarmament talks, according to a report by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.Cui said the resumption of the talks mainly lies in the attitudes of the US and South Korea, as they are still asking Pyongyang to take responsibility for the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. ^ top ^

 

Gabrielle Tschopp
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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