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
  18-22.10.10, No. 342  
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Foreign Policy

China expresses deep concern over Japanese right-wing demonstration at Chinese Embassy (Xinhua)
2010-10-18
China expressed its deep concern over Japanese right-wing demonstration at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo on Saturday, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu. Ma made the remarks when asked to comment on the demonstration by hundreds of Japanese right-wing organization members at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo Saturday afternoon."China urges Japan to earnestly fulfill the related obligations laid out in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and take effective measures to ensure the security of China's embassy, consulates, institutions and personnel in Japan," Ma said in a press statement.China-Japan relations have been strained since a collision occurred between two Japanese Coast Guard patrol ships and a Chinese trawler on Sept. 7 in the East China Sea off the Diaoyu Islands, over which China claims sovereignty.In Tokyo, the right-wing groups had planned to mobilize 3,000 people to gather in front of the Chinese Ambassy to "clarify Japanese's attitude on the issue," according to a report on ifeng.com. ^ top ^

Japanese PM calls for safety guarantees after new protests (SCMP)
2010-10-19
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged Beijing to guarantee the safety of Japanese companies and citizens, as a wave of rowdy protests on the mainland sparked by a territorial row entered a third day. As many as 1,000 anti-Japanese demonstrators yesterday took to the streets of Wuhan, in Hubei province, chanting slogans to vent their anger at Tokyo amid a heavy police presence, witnesses said. The protesters clashed with police, attacked a Japanese-owned shop and flipped over and damaged a Japanese-brand car. Armed police with riot shields also guarded an outlet of Japanese retailer Ito-Yokado in Chengdu, Sichuan, where windows were smashed in a rally on Saturday, in one of four anti-Japanese protests at the weekend. [...] On the government front, too, tensions between the Asian giants, triggered by Japan's arrest last month of a Chinese skipper near disputed islets in the East China Sea, showed no sign of abating, with Tokyo's foreign minister labelling Beijing's reaction "hysterical".Both nations have sought to arrange a premiers' summit later this month to ease their worst spat in years, but weekend street protests in both countries highlighted how the issue has inflamed nationalist passions. Thousands of mostly young demonstrators took to the streets of at least four cities at the weekend to assert China's claim to the disputed Diaoyu island chain where the maritime incident six weeks ago triggered the diplomatic row.In the protests - apparently organised on the internet and via text messages following an anti-Chinese rally in Tokyo Saturday - demonstrators smashed windows of Japanese businesses including a Panasonic outlet and an Isetan department store, and attacked Japanese-brand cars, news reports said.Major travel agencies in Tokyo said yesterday that Japanese tourism to China was rapidly dropping off amid the territorial spat. The decline in tour bookings comes despite a strong yen, which has boosted Japanese tourism to other overseas destinations, operators said. Tour bookings to China "have stalled since late September", a Nippon Travel Agency spokesman said. Reservations for tours in December are down by about 10 per cent from a year earlier, the official said.[...] Kan told parliament that "the government has expressed its regret over the demonstrations against Japan," adding that Tokyo has asked "that Japanese nationals and companies be protected". On a conciliatory note, he said Sino-Japanese ties are "a very important bilateral relationship". ^ top ^

Beijing expresses shock at being called 'hysterical' by Tokyo minister (SCMP)
2010-10-20
Beijing said yesterday it was shocked by comments by the Japanese foreign minister over retaliatory action it took for a trawler captain's arrest near the disputed Diaoyu Islands. Seiji Maehara described the action taken by China as "hysterical". Meanwhile, leaders from the two countries are holding "friendly" informal talks in Beijing in the hope of patching up relations that have slid to their worst level since 2005 amid protests and boiling nationalism on both sides. […] Maehara, a known hawk on China, told the Japanese parliament on Monday that the retaliatory steps taken by China, after Japan arrested the captain of a Chinese trawler over a collision with coastguard vessels near the Diaoyus six weeks ago, were "extremely hysterical". After the arrest, China suspended high-level talks and bilateral events. Maehara referred specifically to a restriction on the export to Japan of rare-earth minerals vital for producing many hi-tech products. Beijing denied imposing curbs but many Japanese traders insisted shipments of rare earths had been disrupted.The intensity of the rhetoric between the two sides was further illustrated by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's comment on Monday that compared China's growing assertiveness over disputed territories to the Nazi ideology of Lebensraum, or living space, which sought to justify expansion while claiming one's survival needs. […] Eda was in Beijing chaperoning the visit of 1,000 Japanese students. The Japanese news agency Jiji Press said Yang and Eda agreed that Kan and Premier Wen Jiabao should meet at the forthcoming regional summits in Vietnam and Japan, saying it would be "extremely important for both nations". However, Xinhua said Ma called on Japan to take practical steps and show its sincerity to improve ties so that the way for a successful meeting between the two leaders could be paved.Maehara's comments also came after occasionally violent anti-Japanese protests over the weekend in at least five Chinese cities. Tens of thousands took part in the protests, which continued on Sunday and Monday. There appeared to be no protests yesterday, but rumours circulated online that more would take place. Chinese censors stepped in from Sunday to halt further reports on such protests.Sino-Japanese relations analysts on the mainland said the use of such highly incendiary terms by Japanese officials at such a sensitive time suggests that Japan's cabinet was split and was once again struggling to agree on a common position towards China. Such outright provocation has not been seen since former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi insisted on visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. Abe, on the other hand, was only an opposition legislator right now, Shi said, so China did not have to worry about his comments. Professor Zhang Yunling of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences agreed there was a domestic split in Japan, but emphasised the split went beyond this incident. "Sino-Japanese relations have improved much in the post-Koizumi era, in particular during Yasuo Fukuda's time," Zhang said. "However, this year China has concretely taken over Japan in terms of economic power. The trawler incident is only a spark. Japan has reached another phase where it is repositioning itself against China again.". ^ top ^

China rejects alleged secret islet deal (Global Times)
2010-10-22
China Thursday refuted reports by Japanese media that Beijing and Tokyo had signed a secret agreement regarding the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. "There is absolutely no secret agreement. It is nothing but a slanderous rumor that not only misleads the public, but also further jeopardizes the political mutual trust between China and Japan. The Japanese side must take upon itself the consequences for this (rumor)," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. "The Diaoyu Islands... have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Chinese Government is unswerving its determination to maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.The Aera magazine, affiliated with Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, reported Monday that under Japan's previous conservative leadership, "the Japanese and Chinese governments had a secret agreement to manage an emergency" involving the islands. […] Also Thursday, citing Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Bloomberg reported that China may have begun drilling in an offshore oil and gas field near the islands. […] Separately, China Thursday declined to confirm whether Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a regional summit next week in Hanoi. "China believes that to realize a meeting between the two leaders would require necessary and appropriate conditions and atmosphere," Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said. "We hope that Japan and China can both come together and take practical steps to show their sincerity in seeking to improve relations between our two countries.". ^ top ^

China says President Hu's state visit to U.S. "far-reaching" (People's Daily Online)
2010-10-22
Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday confirmed it had started preparations for President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States early next year, which the ministry said would be profound and far-reaching for bilateral ties. "China and the United States have maintained close communications about the visit, which will be very important and will bring far-reaching influence for bilateral relations in new era," spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular press briefing.Although Hu's U.S. visit had long been under discussion, it was the first time that China's foreign ministry confirmed the visit and elaborated on its significance.Ma said both China and the United States would like to see a successful visit that will boost the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship in the 21st century. At their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Toronto in June, U.S. President Barack Obama formally invited Hu to pay a state visit to the United States early next year. Hu accepted the invitation, Ma said. The visit will be Hu's first state visit to the United States since the Obama administration took office.His last state visit to the United States took place in April 2006. […] Chinese analysts said the visit would be significant because it is expected to help address current issues and chart a path for the long-term bilateral ties.[…] Relations between the two countries had stumbled earlier this year over issues ranging from U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to China's currency exchange rate, said Qin Yaqing, deputy director of Chinese Foreign Affairs University.[…] Yuan said Hu's visit was aimed at bringing the damaged China-U.S. relations back on "healthy and stable" track."In months ahead of Hu's visit, the United States should be reasonable in dealing with issues like trade and economy and refrain from measures undermining bilateral ties," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of China's Renmin University. Before their meeting in Washington next year, Hu and Obama are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) leaders' gathering in November. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Anti-Liu Chinese campaign starts (SCMP)
2010-10-18
Official mainland Chinese-language mouthpieces have launched a campaign criticising the Norwegian Nobel Committee for awarding the Peace Prize to prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo on October 8. Xinhua, the official news agency, attacked the Nobel committee yesterday for ignoring China's human rights development by honouring "convicted Chinese criminal Liu Xiaobo". Previously the campaign was confined to English-language media targeting foreign audiences; most Chinese-language media had been silent about the award, except for short articles quoting statements made by the foreign ministry. In one of its first commentaries since Liu was honoured, Xinhua, a mouthpiece for Beijing leaders, argued yesterday that the Communist Party had made "unremitting efforts to promote and safeguard human rights". In an unsigned editorial it asked: "In what ways have Liu's actions contributed to human rights progress for China's 1.3 billion people?" The People's Daily, published by the party, said yesterday - in one of the first Chinese-language editorials reacting to the prize - that this year's award strayed from the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize. […] The Nobel committee honoured Liu for his more than two decades of advocacy of human rights and peaceful democratic change that started with the demonstrations at Tiananmen in 1989. The United States, the European Union and Japan have called for his release. Liu's conviction was widely seen as retaliation for authoring Charter 08, an appeal for political reform and human rights published in 2008. Liu's wife, Liu Xia was put under house arrest. She was allowed to go shopping on Saturday under police escort, but Liu criticised it as a "set up" by authorities to dismiss criticisms over her loss of freedom. On Friday, Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store called in Tang Guoqiang, China's ambassador to Norway, and "expressed regret" at China's reaction to Liu's award and urged the authorities to release Liu and remove restrictions on his wife. ^ top ^

CPC Central Committee session opens to discuss nation's next five-year plan ( Global Times)
2010-10-18
The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened its fifth plenary session in Beijing Friday to discuss the nation's next five-year development plan.The four-day meeting will review proposals for the country's 12th five-year program (2011-2015) on national economic and social development.The period would be critical for building a moderately prosperous society, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee announced last month.It would be a time of difficult issues for deepening the reform and opening-up process while accelerating the transformation of the nation's economic development pattern, said the announcement.Analysts say the fifth plenary session, which ends Monday, is of great importance as committee members are expected to analyze domestic and international situations and set the guidelines, goals, tasks and key measures for the next five years.They will also review China's economic and social development over the past five years.A draft version of the proposals for the 12th five-year program has been offered to some delegates of the CPC's 17th National Congress and organizations outside the Party.The document was further revised based on their suggestions.Sources with the CPC said the proposals, accumulated from throughout the Party and other organizations, would become a guideline document for China's continued reform and opening-up process as well as socialist modernization. ^ top ^

China to launch new round of reform for good governance: scholars (Global Times)
2010-10-18
China will launch a new round of reform to realize a good governance as the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is planning the country's roadmap in the coming five years, scholars and political observers have said. […] "Only with constant reforms and innovations can China build a good government for good governance," said Yu, who now serves as deputy director of the CPC Central Compilation and Translation Bureau.[…] By exercising democracy in elections, decision-making, management and supervision and guaranteeing the people's rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard and to oversee, the ruling party and the government are emancipating themselves and stepping up governance reform for good governance, Yu said. Observers believe the 12th five-year program will go beyond plans of economic and social development to involve administrative, political, social and cultural restructuring. Wang Yukai, a professor at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Governance, said the country's next five-year program will become a major step on the road to build an effective and accountable government."Good governance is a guarantee for CPC to remain in power," Wang said.[…] The Scientific Outlook on Development was proposed by the CPC in 2003, against the backdrop of rapid economic growth and a series of problems including excessive consumption of resources, damages to the environment and a widening gap between the rich and poor. It was inscribed in the CPC Constitution in 2007 at the 17th CPC national congress. ^ top ^

Xi Jinping moves one step nearer top post (SCMP)
2010-10-19
Vice-President Xi Jinping looks set to be China's next top leader after he was named vice-chairman of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission (CMC) yesterday. The party leaders also reviewed and approved a draft of the next Five-Year Programme for 2011-2015, in which they called for measures to boost domestic consumption and economic restructuring to maintain stable and relatively fast economic development, according to a communique released yesterday at the close of the annual plenum session of the party's Central Committee. Amid rising pressure for substantial political reforms at home and abroad, the statement said the party would "actively but steadily" promote political restructuring, but did not elaborate. Xi's latest promotion may mark the beginning of the second orderly transition of power in the history of the People's Republic. With the vice-presidency together with a leading role on the Central Committee's powerful Secretariat, the latest military promotion will cement his status as the successor to take over power in 2012, when the party's 18th congress is scheduled. That congress will see the transition of power from the fourth generation of leadership under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to the fifth generation - including Xi and Li Keqiang, who is currently the executive vice-premier. [...] For the short term, other political analysts said Xi, 57, is expected to continue to keep a low profile and defer major decisions to Hu in the next two years. After assuming power in 2012, however, they said he would face even more daunting tasks than Hu to steer the world's second-largest economy forward. Domestically, his leadership will face an uphill battle to rebalance the economy to boost domestic consumption and better protect the environment, while ensuring the economic benefits would be shared more by poor people, to boost the legitimacy of the ruling party. He is also going to face more pressure for political reforms as more and more liberals have argued that the lack of such reforms has greatly contributed to rampant corruption and social injustices, which have seriously threatened that legitimacy. Internationally, as a rapidly rising power in the world, the international community would also be keen to hear and see China define its new role and relations with other countries in more positive ways. Compared with Jiang and Hu, who had no military experience before becoming military leaders, Xi has already had high-level military experience. [...] The Shaanxi native - the son of former vice-premier Xi Zhongxun, who was a close ally of Deng - shot up from relative obscurity as a local official in Fujian and Zhejiang before being made party leader in Shanghai in early 2007. The elder Xi died in 2002. Many attribute Xi's rise to the fact that he is one of the few people accepted by all factions in the top echelons of power. [...] Xi has generally kept a low profile since being installed as one of the top national leaders. But he also has been known for his occasional outspokenness, something that would be a marked change in style if he did succeed Hu. While on a visit to Mexico in February last year, Xi hit out at overseas critics, telling a crowd of overseas Chinese that there were "a few foreigners with full bellies who have nothing better to do than try to point fingers at our country." "China does not export revolution, hunger, poverty, nor does China cause you any headaches. Just what else do you want?" he said. ^ top ^

Hopes of political reform hit brick wall (SCMP)
2010-10-20
Talk of political reform in the run-up to the just-ended Communist Party plenum now appears to have been merely hot air. The talk included a string of calls for democracy from Premier Wen Jiabao, retired officials and intellectuals. The party has pledged bold reforms of all aspects of life except its monopoly on power. Despite expectations, a communique released at the closing of the plenum on Monday made only one passing reference to political reform - that the party would make "active but steady" efforts to promote "political restructuring" - without giving any elaboration. The lack of discussion of political reform at the plenum was another sign that the current leadership as a whole has little appetite for any dilution of power, analysts say. Many analysts agreed there appeared to be a division within the party leadership. […] Wen, who is among those scheduled to retire in 2012, ignited debate with a series of speeches recently in which he framed political reform as a do-or-die issue for the party. Hopes that the party may finally edge forward on political reform, 30 years after launching economic reform, began to gather steam as various state media outlets published articles about Wen's appearance on the cover of Time magazine's Asia edition or his calls for political reform in recent weeks. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo brought more calls from within and outside the establishment for political reform.

But it now seems clear that neither Wen or President Hu Jintao had any plan to carry out even moderate political reform during their time at the top. […] But the party was much bolder in other areas. It vowed to go ahead with bold reform on all fronts - the economy, social services, the fiscal and taxation system, income distribution, and development in culture and the sciences. […] "The Communist Party will begin political reform to end its monopoly on power only when the rift becomes too big to narrow or to cover over," Zhang said. Liberal intellectuals and economists have been warning about the long-term dangers of endless delay on political reform. […] Liu Kang, a China watcher at Duke University in the United States, said the absence of political reform on the plenum's agenda was not surprising despite Wen's monologue, which had mostly been aired abroad. "China right now is at its most volatile moment since the 1989 Tiananmen events, as mounting disparity and social injustice with unprecedented media exposure are threatening the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party's rule," Liu said. […] Zhang said the government's vehement condemnation of the Nobel prize for Liu had reinforced that point. "Again, the fear of unrest seems to be the utmost sentiment shared at the plenum," Liu Kang said. ^ top ^

Chinese political advisors make suggestions on 12th five-year plan (Global Times)
2010-10-22
China's national political advisors Thursday offered suggestions on the national development plan for 2011 to 2015, at a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, the top political advisory body, attended the meeting. At the gathering, 15 CPPCC members made speeches in which they advised the government on issues such as improving education, adjusting income distribution, developing the western regions, enhancing China's innovative abilities and public welfare. The Communist Party of China Central Committee outlined the key objectives of the 12th five-year development plan in a four-day meeting that ended on Monday. The plan will be drawn up by the State Council, or the Cabinet. China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, will vote on the plan at its annual plenary session early next year. ^ top ^

Chinese dissidents plan their own WikiLeaks (SCMP)
2010-10-22
A group of Chinese dissidents plan to launch their own version of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks to expose central government secrets and promote democracy. The organisers have signalled their intentions through social networking sites such as Twitter. They aim to launch "Government Leaks" on June 1 next year and they are calling on people to upload confidential government information to their database. […] Deep Throat said a team of professionals had been aseembled to run the site, including journalists, editors, lawyers and hackers - who would help defend against possible cyberattacks. The founder said he was inspired by Watergate, the US scandal of the 1970s, and the success of WikiLeaks, which gained worldwide recognition after it published a massive trove of US intelligence documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, a move that infuriated the Pentagon and energised opponents of the war. Ironically, the founders of WikiLeaks include some Chinese dissidents, according to its website, and it has recently launched a Chinese language version. The Chinese WikiLeaks has not so far published any sensitive information on the Beijing government though. Deep Throat said at first he tried to form a partnership with WikiLeaks. "I sent them a letter on October 1, to all three e-mail accounts listed by WikiLeaks. I told them that I wanted to co-operate with them. But the e-mails never went through as their system was always down. I ended up with three undelivered e-mails in my box," he said. […] Unlike WikiLeaks, which is based in Europe where the freedom of speech and rights to information are guaranteed by the European Union's constitution, Government Leaks would inevitably anger the central government. Many technology-savvy net activists on the mainland feel Government Leaks is too open in its approach. They say the idea is naive and dangerous. Some fear it could become a trap for the authorities to round-up whistle-blowers. […] Deep Throat said informers' safety would be treated as the most important issue. Government Leaks would not use normal e-mail accounts to communicate with informers. It is also studying encrypted technologies to receive reports. "We will also keep contacting WikiLeaks and see if they can help," he said.Another challenge for the website is verifying information and fact checking. Deep Throat said he would invite well-known public figures to help authenticate documents. […] Since making the open call for information a few months ago, Deep Throat said Government Leaks was receiving four or five documents on average each week. But he said most of the information would hardly be considered classified. "Some are out-dated. Some is actual information that is available on the internet. So far we have got only one document that really fits the bill. "Zola said he would not send any sensitive information to Government Leaks unless he was 100 per cent certain about safety. He does not suspect Deep Throat's motives and background, but he is sceptical over Government Leaks' ability to overcome the daunting technological and legal challenges it faces. "They have got to have the right mentality in terms of the seriousness of security in the first place. Then they have a chance of being in full command of the network technology. Only then, can privacy and, hence, the safety of both the website operators and potential informers be secured.". ^ top ^

Party rejects Western model of democracy (SCMP)
2010-10-22
The Communist Party called on its members to reject Western-style democratic notions amid a brewing debate on the direction of future political reform. In an editorial in its flagship People's Daily newspaper, the party criticised multiparty democracy and separation of powers as inefficient and divisive. The system of "socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics" has proven best suited to the country's conditions and must be upheld and strengthened, said the editorial, which was published in Wednesday's paper. The editorial follows a series of bold calls for unspecified political reforms from Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize this month to imprisoned dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, who urged reforms to the single-party communist political system. Wen's comments have been countered by statements from hardliners criticising any change that challenges the party's leadership. His most outspoken remarks have been censored by state media.Liu's award, meanwhile, has embarrassed and angered the government, which has described the move as part of a Western plot to interfere in China's internal affairs and alter its political system. […] Wen has not proposed any concrete reforms, arguing only that the mainland's political system must evolve to ensure continued economic growth. His recent remarks, however, have inspired liberals both within and outside the party, with one elite group of retired party elders issuing an open letter to the national legislature this month calling for freedom of publication and an end to blanket censorship. But despite expectations, a communique released at the closing of the party plenum on Monday made only one passing reference to political reform - that the party would make "active but steady" efforts to promote "political restructuring" - without giving any elaboration. The party's last flirtation with political change came in the late 1980s, when reformers studied the possibility of electing leading party members, removing the party from some aspects of government and ensuring civil liberties such as freedom of speech.Such research ended abruptly with the bloody suppression of the student-led pro-democracy movement centred on Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The two decades since then have brought no significant changes to the Leninist-style government. ^ top ^

Chinese Vice President stresses importance of cadres from ethnic minorities (Xinhua)
2010-10-22
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping Thursday stressed the importance of nurturing cadres from ethnic minority groups to help in the government's drive to develop regions inhabited by ethnic minorities. Efforts should be made to cultivate outstanding cadres with political integrity and professional competence from ethnic minorities, Xi said at a symposium marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of a training course for Tibetan cadres at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Party School of the CPC Central Committee initiated a training course for Tibetan cadres in Sept. 1980. Over the past three decades, more than 1,700 Tibetans have attended 42 sessions of the training course, becoming the backbone in promoting development, stability and ethnic unity in Tibet. Xi said Party schools should play a key role in training and nurturing cadres from ethnic minorities, who possess both political integrity and ability, particularly among young people and those who are from grass-roots levels. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Students protest to save Tibetan (SCMP)
2010-10-21
Hundreds of Tibetan students took to the streets in a Tibetan-populated county in the northwestern province of Qinghai, protesting against a new education policy, which they say stifles their unique language. According to the London-based Free Tibet Campaign, several thousand Tibetan students from six schools protested in Rebkong county (Tongren in Chinese) in Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Huangnan), about 200 kilometres south of Xining, the provincial capital, from 7am on Tuesday, chanting: "We want equality of nationality; we want equality of culture." […] The report attributed the cause of the protest to reforms in Rebkong, which stipulate that all subjects be taught in Chinese and all textbooks be in Chinese except for Tibetan-language and English classes. Lalong Dhondup - the government head of Rongwo, or Longwu, the town where the headquarters of the county government is - confirmed the mass rally took place yesterday. Such an event is rare. […] He said no schools under his jurisdiction had participated, and almost all demonstrators were from elsewhere in Rebkong county or Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. […] Calls to the government office and Public Security Bureau in Rebkong county went unanswered. ^ top ^

 

Economy

CPC vows to restructure economy (Global Times)
2010-10-19
China Monday approved a new five-year blueprint for economic and social development, in which the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) promises to further improve people's livelihood and "vigorous yet steady" efforts to promote political restructuring. The plan was announced on the last day of the CPC's biggest political gathering of the year, a four-day affair that also saw Vice President Xi Jinping appointed vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. [...] The 17th CPC Central Committee ratified the 12th five-year plan (2011-15) with key targets of major breakthroughs in economic restructuring, maintaining stable and relatively fast economic growth, and driving domestic demand, a communiqué issued Monday at the conclusion of the fifth plenary session said. The detailed text of the plan is expected to be available early next year at the annual assembly of the National People's Congress.The communiqué called the 2011-15 period a "critical stage for China to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-around way," saying the nation is "faced with both precious historic opportunities and plenty of foreseeable and unforeseeable risks and challenges." [...] Authorities pledged to achieve the goal of building a well-off society by 2020, and to basically realize the modernization drive by 2050."Achieving these goals resembles constructing a grand building. The 12th five-year-plan period is the critical period when the layout and foundation of the building is to take shape," Xin said. "Whether the foundation is firm directly determines whether the building can be built and what the building looks like when it is completed."The five-year plans are a series of economic development initiatives shaped by the CPC through the plenary sessions. China initiated its first five-year plan in 1953.During the 2011-15 period, the Chinese economy is expected to grow by about 50 percent, to $7.5 trillion, powering past Japan and moving closer to the biggest economy, that of the US, Reuters reported. ^ top ^

Money supply may trigger inflation (Global Times)
2010-10-19
China's mushrooming money supply might lead to serious inflation in the coming years, eroding consumer purchasing power even as the government tries to raise personal incomes as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan, experts said Monday. The government plan, to raise personal incomes hand in hand with the country's gross domestic product (GDP), is designed to reduce income disparities and will be included in the five-year plan from 2011 to 2015, the Securities Daily cited Su Hainan, vice president of the China Labor Association, as saying.However, even if personal income growth is directly linked to GDP growth, consumer purchasing power could still suffer over the next few years as the money supply expands.If the money supply continues its 15 percent annual growth, the M2 will be 2.8 times China's GDP in 10 years time, which could lead to serious inflation problems, said Li Xunlei, chief economist with Guotai Junan Securities speaking at the China International Finance Forum Sunday. China's money supply or M2 is the amount of money in the economy or simply put, the actual amount of bank notes and coins in circulation, plus money in checking and savings accounts. The nation's money supply increased by 434 percent over the past 10 years, which is extremely high compared with other major economies, according to central bank data. The M2 is also a major indicator of inflation.China's M2 reached 69.64 trillion yuan ($10 trillion) at end of September, almost double last year's GDP. In the US, the money supply is only about 80 percent of GDP, while in Japan and South Korea it is close to the level of those nations' GDP.To date, inflation has not skyrocketed in China over the past decade because the booming property sector absorbed excess cash in the market, said Ding Jianping, a finance professor with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.However, with a host of government measures in place to calm housing prices and curb speculation, the snowballing money supply may have nowhere to go, possibly resulting in higher asset prices that will lead to rising inflation, Shanghai University's Ding said. The dilemma for China, however, is that if it holds its money supply, other major economies including the US and Japan will keep their monetary policy loose by printing more bank notes. If Beijing doesn't follow suit, the yuan will appreciate significantly against other currencies, pushing up prices for Chinese goods overseas, which could in turn trim economic growth. Unless the nation's GDP growth remains strong and more goods and services are produced, inflation is inevitable, Ding said. ^ top ^

China raises rates to curb rising inflation (People's Daily Online)
2010-10-20
China's central bank raised interest rates Tuesday for the first time in nearly three years, a move that reflects Beijing's rising concern about inflation and could mark the start of a more aggressive phase of monetary tightening. The People's Bank of China said it was raising benchmark rates by 25 basis points, taking the bellwether one-year deposit rates to 2.5 percent and one-year lending rates to 5.56 percent.If there was ever any doubt about China's role in driving the stuttering global economic recovery, the impact was felt by markets across the board. Oil and gold prices tumbled, stocks turned negative in Europe and the dollar jumped.[…] Finance ministers of the G20 major economies will aim to tackle the global currency strains in a meeting in South Korea starting on Friday. The country also hosts a G20 leaders' summit in November.In the view of some, it is about time for China to embark on a more aggressive tightening cycle. To date, it has relied on lending restrictions and banks' reserve requirements to keep growth from boiling over. […] A number of leading economists, including some advisers to the central bank, have urged an increase in deposit rates to keep savers' returns in positive territory. China reported consumer inflation of 3.5 percent in August and economists expect that the pace climbed to 3.6 percent or even higher in September. Still, the increase in rates is surprising given that several top leaders have recently expressed confidence that inflation is under control, and have said that higher rates would potentially suck in speculative capital from abroad.[…] Economists polled by Reuters last month had expected an extended period of interest rate stability in China, with no increase until the second quarter of 2011.Propelled in part by these expectations of low rates, Chinese asset prices have shown signs of taking off. The Shanghai stock index, a laggard for much of this year, has jumped 16 percent in the past nine trading days. And despite a months-long campaign to clamp down on the real estate market, housing inflation has started to perk up again.[…] Higher rates make yuan-denominated assets more attractive and could in theory place upward pressure on the Chinese currency. Until a fall on Monday, the closely managed currency had risen 2.5 percent against the dollar since the end of August, its quickest pace of appreciation since a 2005 revaluation. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Agreement signed on cooperation in nuclear energy (Montsame)
2010-10-14
October 14 is the second and last day of the visit of Anne-Marie Idrac, the Minister of State for foreign trade of the Republic of France. This visit has been paid on occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Mongolia-France diplomatic relations. Developing the bilateral "Third partnership" friendly and active cooperation and relations is one of vital goals of Mongolia's foreign policy. France was one of western countries who established diplomatic relations with Mongolia. France also has guaranteed Mongolia's nuclear weapon-free status. The official visit of the French minister has contributed to keeping a frequency of bilateral high level visits and talks, to providing them with new contents and to advancing the relations and cooperation established with European countries. In frames of the visit, a meeting ran between Mongolia's Foreign Minister and the French minister to discuss issues of present situation of the Mongolia-France relations and cooperation, as well as matters on widening the collaboration. The sides have signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy sector as well. It will open possibilities for the two countries to boost the collaboration in other spheres that may have a great importance in deepening the bilateral ties, the sides consider. In addition to it, the countries have inked an agreement on development of bilateral cooperation in emergency sector. During the talks, which took place October 14, the Ministers shared views on opportunity to develop multi-lateral cooperation in trade, economics, infrastructure, energy, mining and tourism sectors. Projects have been implemented successfully with a soft loan granted by the French government in environment and water spheres. The Mongolian side has proposed to collaborate in the biggest projects on water pollution and water supply in urban areas, to study experiences of France in developing agriculture and tourism and introduce standards, to work out middle-term cooperation programs in accordance with previously established contract and agreements, and to implement projects on food safety. ^ top ^

Government apologizes to France, Belgium, Germany over Khurts (News.mn)
2010-10-19
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent an official note of apology to the Governments of France, Belgium and Germany, asking them not to press for the transfer of B. Khurts, Chief of Administration at the National Security Council, from Britain, where he is now under detention. These three countries want to interrogate him in a case of violation of human rights in their territory when Khurts and some other Mongolians abducted a Mongolian national in France in 2003 and brought him home through Belgium and Germany.Khurts was arrested in Britain on September 17 and is being tried there but the charge against him does not actually involve Britain. The British Government has not replied to demands from the Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice to release Khurts. The next hearing of his case is fixed for November 15 when the court may decide to hand him over to the countries which want him. The Government has hired a defense lawyer for him and is hoping the three European countries will drop their demand to have Khurts. ^ top ^

Mongolia Successfully Completes SBA with IMF (UB Post)
2010-10-19
IT was officially stated in the Joint Statement by Mongolian Government, the Central Bank of Mongolia and the International Monetary Fund Mission to Mongolia released on October 15, 2010. The Government of Mongolia requested an SBA with the IMF in support of its efforts to overcome the economic and financial crisis in Mongolia. The Executive Board of the IMF approved an 18-month SBA on April 1, 2009. The goal of the IMF-supported program was to put the Mongolian economy on a path of strong, sustainable, and equitable growth with low inflation. The SBA was approved for an amount equivalent to about US$242 million. In 2009, about US$170 was disbursed and about US$24 was disbursed in 2010. On September 8, 2010, the Executive Board of the IMF approved the final two disbursements of about US$48 million. In addition, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and other bilateral partners committed significant financial and policy support to Mongolia. Mongolia's determined policy implementation under SBA has led to a remarkable economic turnaround with growth expected to exceed 7 percent this year. Under the program, macroeconomic performance improved significantly. The Government of Mongolia has also made significant structural reforms under the SBA, including adoption of a Fiscal Stability Law, revised Central Bank Law, and revised Banking Law. These reforms set a solid foundation for securing sustained growth in the years ahead. ^ top ^

HIV-infected blood was not used for transfusion (News.mn)
2010-10-21
Officials from the Ministry of Health and related organizations have denied rumors that 14 patients received transfusion of blood from an HIV-infected donor. Among those who spoke to journalists were N.Khurelbaatar, State Secretary of the Ministry; S.Tugsdelger, Chief of the Social Health Policy Implementation Coordinating Board; S.Enkhbold, Chief of the Information Control Research and Estimation Board; Kh.Surenkhand, Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID); N.Gantumur, Chief of the HIV and AIDS Research and Observation Office at the NCID; and P.Ulaankhuu, Chief of the National Center for Blood Analysis.They explained that tests had identified about two months ago that the blood had the virus and it was never used. Journalists wanted to know why the donor's identity had not been revealed and why a donor's health status is not checked before taking blood. S.Tugsdelger said such public identification of an HIV-infected individual is against national security, and also violated the law and human rights. P.Ulaankhuu said Mongolia has 83 recorded cases of HIV infection and this particular donor is No. 80 and had tested positive in August. He has been donating blood for three years and on every of the previous occasions, the blood had been found safe. He assured media that equipment and practices relating to blood transfusion in Mongolia followed international standards. ^ 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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