SCHWEIZER BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE

Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  8-12.11.10, No. 345  
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Foreign Policy

Hu wraps up Portugal trip with offer to help fight crisis (SCMP)
2010-11-08
President Hu Jintao prepared to wrap up a visit to Portugal yesterday with pledges to support its battered economy, but he did not commit to buying Portuguese debt as was widely anticipated. Hu and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates signed a series of trade deals after holding talks, but there was no announcement of Beijing's willingness to buy Portuguese debt, as it did last month for Greece. "We are ready to support through concrete measures Portugal's efforts to reduce the impact of the international crisis," Hu said at a joint news conference. He also repeated a pledge made on Saturday to see a doubling of bilateral trade by 2015.Portuguese lenders Millennium BCP and BPI signed deals with Bank of China to identify investment opportunities in the world's second-largest economy, the Portuguese government said. […] The two countries announced the signing of further agreements in tourism, telecommunications and education, but no specific investment figures were released.

[…] Earlier, Hu said China wanted to strengthen co-operation with Portugal on international issues such as reform of the United Nations. "Thus we will be able to consolidate our consultations on global themes and common international interest, such as the resumption of world economic growth, the reform of the United Nations and climate change," he said. […] Hu arrived in Lisbon on Saturday with his wife Liu Yongqing, members of the Chinese government and about 50 business leaders. He flew from France, where Chinese officials had signed more than US$20 billion in contracts.The authorities denied a request from Amnesty International to hold a protest outside Lisbon's presidential palace during Hu's visit. The city government said the demonstration would clash with one by Portuguese and Chinese businessmen that had already been approved, according to state news agency Lusa. But about 20 people gathered near the venue, holding up photographs of what they said were the victims of human rights abuses in China. ^ top ^

China, Indonesia eye stronger strategic partnership (Xinhua)
2010-11-09
China and Indonesia on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to seeking stronger strategic partnership. "My visit here is aimed at bolstering China's relations with Indonesia," Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, the country's top legislature, said at a meeting with Indonesian Vice President Boediono on Monday afternoon. Boediono said the Indonesian government and people thanked China for its generous support to Indonesia. In earlier talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marzuki Alie, Wu announced China would offer 10-million-yuan humanitarian aid in cash to Indonesia as earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruptions wrecked serious havoc on the country. […] Specifically, Wu proposed the two countries increase exchange of visits between high-ranking officials, give priority to cooperation on big projects and infrastructure construction, work more closely in energy exploration, agriculture, fishery, new energy, low-carbon economy and finance. Wu also suggested the two countries step up defense cooperation and work together on security consultation, staff training and maritime security. Wu also appealed for more people-to-people exchanges and stronger coordination on international issues. As next year will mark the 20th anniversary of dialogues between China and the Associations of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN), Wu said China is glad to seek a more united, stable and developed ASEAN. […] Indonesia was the second leg of Wu's three-nation tour to Southeast Asia, which also included Cambodia and Thailand. ^ top ^

China calls for G20 members to work towards strong economic recovery (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-09
China Monday called on the parties of the Group of 20 (G20) to work together to shore up market confidence and consolidate the momentum of the world economic recovery. The call came out of a press conference in Beijing, where Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin gave a briefing on Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming trips abroad. From Nov. 11 to 14, Hu will attend the 5th G20 Summit in Seoul of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and 18th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Japan's Yokohama. Liu said that the participants will discuss the world economic situation, the framework for a robust, sustainable and balanced economic growth, the reform of the international financial institutions as well as issues on development, financial supervision and world trade. China called on the G20 parties to enhance coordination on macro-economic policies based on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results and to send a positive signal that the G20 nations will work together to deal with major economic challenges, Liu said. Liu said China was ready to work with other G20 nations to promote the reform of the international financial institutions, tighten supervision of the international financial market and increase the voice and representation of the newly emerging markets and developing countries in international financial institutions. The involved parties are expected to help narrow the development gap between the North and the South and provide political support for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Liu said. China hoped that the G20 countries could make joint efforts to curb trade protectionism and secure a comprehensive and balanced outcome of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations, Liu added. ^ top ^

Cameron seals over US$1b in trade deals (SCMP)
2010-11-10
Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron and Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday oversaw trade deals worth more than US$1 billion. Cameron - traveling with Britain's largest ever delegation of bosses and ministers - wanted to focus on doubling trade with the world's second largest economy and taking their trade relations "to a new level". By far the biggest deal announced was worth US$1.2 billion between Rolls-Royce and China Eastern Airlines (SEHK: 0670) under which the British group will provide jet engines to power 16 Airbus A330 aircraft. Facing pressure to challenge mainland leaders on rights, Cameron said he was not in favor of "lecturing and hectoring" Beijing. Cameron and Wen had a "general discussion" on human rights, British officials said. They emphasized that Wen had welcomed the two countries' discussions on rights. […] Cameron is the first Western leader to visit China since jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 8 - an honor hailed in the West but condemned by Beijing as tantamount to "encouraging crime". Countries including Britain have said they will not heed a Chinese call for Western diplomats to steer clear of the Nobel ceremony next month. Cameron is traveling with 43 bosses from major British companies and four government ministers on his first official visit after taking power in May. […] He said in an article for The Wall Street Journal that he expected to see "new contracts worth billions of dollars" signed during his two days in Beijing, which come ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Seoul starting tomorrow. His longer-term target is to double the level of trade in goods and services between Britain and China by 2015, from last year's US$51.8 billion, though it is thought there has been no specific discussion on targets with China. Cameron's government is searching for new sources of economic growth after unveiling the deepest public sector spending cuts in decades last month. […] The British leader will meet President Hu Jintao and attend a business summit today before heading to South Korea. He is also due to deliver a speech insisting Britain retains considerable global influence despite its economic woes, and constitutes an important trading partner for China. Wen visited several European countries in September and October, conveying pledges to strengthen trade and purchase Greek bonds. Cameron's visit comes on the heels of Hu's trip to France and Portugal last week that resulted in US$20 billion worth of contracts for French and European firms, but no similar pledge to buy Portuguese debt. Cameron's visit is also the first by a British leader since China executed a 53-year-old British man, Akmal Shaikh, for drug smuggling last December, despite an official appeal on his behalf from London. The execution drew condemnation from many British politicians and rights groups who argued that Shaikh was delusional and had unwittingly been exploited by criminals. ^ top ^

China supports UNSC reform (Global Times)
2010-11-10
China said Tuesday that it supports India's desire for a bigger role in the UN, reiterating its demand for more say in the UN Security Council (UNSC) to developing nations. […] Hong's remarks came after UNSC President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Monday for an efficient, effective, credible and legitimate UN to ensure a jUNSCt and sUNSCtainable international order. In his address to the Indian Parliament, Obama stated that, in the years ahead, he looks forward to "a reformed UNSC that includes India as a permanent member." Asked to comment on Obama's visit to India, Hong said, "China hopes cooperation between the UNSC and India is in the interest of regional peace, security and development. "While announcing UNSC support for India's bid for the UNSC, Obama also criticized India's "silence" on developments in Myanmar. "If I can be frank, in international forum, India has often avoided these issues. But speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not in-terfering in the affairs of other countries," Obama said. On the suggestion that India should toe the UNSC line, Kanwar Sibal, a former foreign secretary, said the remarks were "uncalled for." Lalit Mansingh, a former foreign secretary and ambassador to the UNSC, did not appreciate Obama nudging India to speak out against "suppression" of democracy in Myanmar. "This is typical of UNSC doublespeak," he told the Global Times, pointing out that the UNSC was selective in its application of the "democracy principle" depending on its own strategic interests. Except for the jarring note on Myanmar, Mansingh said Obama's visit had addressed Indian anxieties and aspirations. "Neither the US nor India made any statement critical of China. If the message was to keep China engaged for economic cooperation, that purpose was served," he said. Also Tuesday, during his trip to Indonesia, Obama said the US wanted China to succeed and prosper, adding that Washington was not interested in containing Beijing, Reuters reported. ^ top ^

Cameron presses hosts on world role, freedoms (SCMP)
2010-11-11
British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday urged China to work closely with fellow G20 nations and introduce greater political freedoms on the final day of a trade mission. Cameron said Chinese co-operation with the Group of 20 on trade and currency issues would "go a long way" to stabilizing the world economy, but warned of a "dangerous tidal wave of money going from one side of the globe to the other". His speech at Peking University came on the eve of a leaders' summit in South Korea for the 20 biggest rich and emerging economies. The gathering is set to be dominated by the issue of trade imbalances between China and the United States. Cameron - who is understood to have raised the case of jailed dissident and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo with Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday - urged "greater political opening" on human rights in China. Cameron is the first Western leader to visit China since Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month, to the fury of Beijing, and has faced pressure throughout the two-day trip to take a firm public stand on rights issues. The speech, his final engagement in China, came following morning talks with President Hu Jintao and a visit to the Great Wall. He later left for the summit in Seoul. […] Cameron's visit comes a month before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Countries including Britain have said they will not heed a Chinese call for Western diplomats to steer clear of the event. Beijing has said the decision to honor Liu is tantamount to "encouraging crime". Cameron insisted that being able to talk about human rights "makes our relationship stronger", while acknowledging disagreements and differences between the two countries. Defending his approach, a British official said: "We don't get into megaphone diplomacy but if there are issues to be raised, we will raise them." Cameron went into the China trip, on which he took Britain's biggest delegation of business leaders and ministers, saying he wanted to seek deals worth billions of dollars. Officials have not revealed a total figure for the amount of deals struck on the trip but it is thought to be in the single-figure billions of dollars. ^ top ^

Rise of China means opportunity: Cameron (Global Times)
2010-11-11
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that he sees the rise of China as an opportunity, not a threat. "In the argument about how to react to the rise of China, I say it's an opportunity. I choose engagement not disengagement," Cameron told students in a speech at Peking University. "We want a stronger relationship with China - stronger on trade, investment and dialogue." Chinese President Hu Jintao told Cameron Wednesday that the two sides should make good use of development opportunities because the two economies are compatible with each other. Hu suggested that "new energy, new material, energy-efficiency and environmental protection know-how, as well as high-end manufacturing," could be new growth areas for bilateral cooperation, according to the Xinhua News Agency. On Tuesday evening, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had an hour-long colloquium with British entrepreneurs after his talks with Cameron. Wen said China welcomes the entrepreneurs' expanded cooperation with the country. "As China gets richer, it does not mean that the rest of the world will get poorer. It is simply not true that as China rises again, the world's other nations decline. Globalization is not a zero-sum game," Xinhua quoted Cameron as saying. Cameron also said China needs to move toward stronger domestic demand and a more flexible exchange rate. However, China's vice foreign minister, Cui Tiankai, said Wednesday that the summit should try to address global challenges rather than focus on the issue of the exchange rate. […] Cameron also suggested that "as China's economy generates higher living standards and more choice for Chinese people, there is inevitably debate within China about the relationship between greater economic freedom and greater political freedom." Wang told the Global Times that Cameron's comments are in accordance with the traditional position of the British government that "spares no efforts in promoting Western values and ideas." Cameron will attend the G20 summit that opens in Seoul today. ^ top ^

Japan Coast Guard staff admits video leak (Global Times)
2010-11-11
A Japanese Coast Guard employee has admitted leaking a video on video-sharing website YouTube showing the collision between a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese Coast Guard vessels off the Diaoyu Islands, officials said Wednesday. The move came after Japanese prosecutors seized user records from the video-sharing site, owned by search giant Google, on Tuesday in a probe into the leak that risked inflaming the already-bitter feud between the two nations. A patrol boat crewmember with the coast guard's district No. 5 headquarters in Kobe confessed to the ship's captain yesterday to leaking the video, Coast Guard Commandant Hisayasu Suzuki told Parliament. Tokyo authorities have confirmed that the leaked video footage is identical to what the Japanese Coast Guard recorded during the incident. Beijing and Tokyo have been embroiled in a series of diplomatic spats after the September collision and Japan's subsequent detention of a Chinese trawler captain. ^ top ^

World leaders sharply split on currencies, trade (SCMP)
2010-11-12
Chinese and US leaders tried to set a cordial tone yesterday at the start of the G20 summit following a tense period in bilateral relations. President Hu Jintao arrived yesterday morning and immediately walked into back-to-back bilateral meetings with South Korea, the United States and Russia. He then attended the opening of the Group of 20 summit at a working dinner with all the participating leaders. Concerns are running high that the G20 summit in Seoul - the first time it is being held in an Asian country and an emerging economy - will be reduced to a showdown between China and the US, which have been spouting rhetoric accusing each other of causing the financial crisis. But yesterday, both sides emphasized the will to work together at the summit. "The Chinese side stands ready to work with the US side to increase dialogue, exchanges and co-operation so that we can move forward the China-US relationship on a positive, co-operative and comprehensive track," Hu said. He officially accepted a US invitation for a state visit in January - a trip long delayed because of tension this year over arms sales to Taiwan, the Yuan and sovereignty disputes in the East and South China seas. Analysts believe both sides will try to create a friendlier environment ahead of Hu's visit. Hu reiterated the need to respect each other's "core interests" and called for closer co-operation as the two nations faced "fast-changing international and regional challenges". US President Barack Obama said it was good to meet Hu again - the seventh time since he took office in January last year - and said Sino-US relations had grown stronger in recent years. US officials said the meeting centered on the yuan, but Hu and Obama also discussed the nuclear situations in North Korea and Iran. "As two leading nuclear powers, obviously we have a special obligation to deal with nuclear proliferation," Obama said. "As two of the world's leading economies, we have a special obligation to deal with ensuring strong, balance and sustained growth." Dr Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman for the Chinese delegation, said the meeting was constructive and that China had come to the G20 summit with the aim of co-operating. US media reports said Obama discussed human rights with Hu, but it was unclear whether he brought up the case of jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo. World leaders are under pressure from rights groups to make their stand known to China. Fifteen past Nobel Peace laureates have written an open letter to G20 leaders to call for Liu's release. In the meeting between Hu and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the two leaders renewed their commitment to a strong and rapidly growing trade relationship. Bilateral trade was up 36.7 per cent year on year by September. The two also discussed the nuclear situation on the Korean Peninsula. Hu and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose last meeting took place in Beijing at the end of September, agreed yesterday to deepen their strategic partnership and vowed solidarity on the position of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in global financial reform. At dinner, Hu sat between Medvedev and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan sat in a corner far from Hu. Chinese diplomats have responded coldly to the idea of a meeting between Hu and Kan in Seoul or at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit this weekend in Yokohoma, Japan. ^ top ^

China hopes to deepen cooperation with U.S. in "constructive manner": official (Xinhua)
2010-11-12
China is willing to deepen economic and trade cooperation and strengthen bilateral ties with the United States in a "constructive manner", a senior official from China's Ministry of Commerce said here Thursday. At a press conference held Thursday evening, Yu Jianhua, director general of the International Trade and Economic Affairs Department of Ministry of Commerce, said China does not want to get into confrontation with the United States in trade and exchange rate issues, though its second round of quantitative easing will have great impact on China and other emerging economies. "On the contrary, we are willing to deepen economic and trade cooperation with the United States in a constructive manner," said Yu, who is also a member of the Chinese delegation to the G20 Seoul Summit which opened Thursday evening. He said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also proposed to deepen the bilateral economic and trade cooperation during a meeting with U.S. President Barak Obama in New York last September. […] On Thursday afternoon, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with U.S. President Obama in Seoul, the host for the G20 Summit. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth opinions on the Sino-U.S. relations and common concerned international and regional issues, and reached consensus. Chinese delegation spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told the press conference that both the two leaders agree that boosting Sino-U.S. relationship to a higher level, against the backdrop of the profoundly changing international circumstances, will not only concern the two countries but also the future of the world. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China moves to build government ruled by law, highlights public participation in legislation (Xinhua)
2010-11-09
China has moved to speed up the building of a clean government ruled by law, part of the country's efforts to further enhance the government's credibility and maintain a harmonious social order for its rapid economic development. The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, issued guidelines on Monday focusing on creating a government ruled by law, which requires officials and government staff to improve their ability in addressing "prominent problems" through legal means and invites the public to contribute to legislation. According to a statement issued along with the guidelines, the State Council said it was "important" and "imperative" to build a government ruled by law, as China now faces challenges, including imbalanced development of rural and urban areas, a widening income gap, an increased numbers of "social conflicts“, as well as corruption and injustice in law enforcement in some sectors. An official with the Legislative Affairs Office said Monday that the guidelines will further safeguard public interests and maintain social and economic order by requiring stepped-up efforts from authorities to investigate and punish cases that run counter to the country's mandate for the safe production and issues related to food safety, the protection of natural resources and the environment, as well as public security. […]However, government officials will be held liable for malfeasance or failure to fulfil their duty in major accidents or cases that have seriously violated laws. Further, the guidelines stress the importance of public participation in legislation, saying people's opinions, reasonable needs and legitimate interests should all be considered in lawmaking. Additionally, the guidelines state that the legislative process shall not be influenced to favor the interests of a certain sector or protect local interests. Also, to facilitate the creation of a clean and transparent government, the guidelines require all government information, aside from that involved in state, commercial or private secrets, to be open to the public. Government departments are also required to reply to pubic requests on the release of government information within a certain period of time and improve the ways of handling government affairs, according to the guidelines. ^ top ^

Police step up anti-Liu crackdown (SCMP)
2010-11-10
The repression of supporters of jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo appears to have intensified in the run-up to the Nobel Prize award ceremony next month, with a rights lawyer and a professor banned from traveling abroad and a prominent scholar interrogated by police. Mo Shaoping, head of the law firm that represents Liu, said he and Peking University law professor He Weifang were prevented by police from boarding a flight to London at Beijing's international airport yesterday morning. They had planned to attend a panel discussion organized by the International Bar Association. […] After the announcement of Liu's Nobel award on October 8, dozens of his supporters, many of them activists and dissidents, came under tight surveillance. They say the authorities have been taking pre-emptive steps in the form of detention, house arrest and various other restrictions to prevent them from traveling to Norway to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10. Mo and He did not plan to go to Norway, and had only British visas and return tickets for a flight back to Beijing on November 15, Mo said. Mo said it was the first time they had been barred from leaving China and they planned to take legal action against the authorities. "Their action is totally illegal," said Mo, who as a signatory to Charter 08 was prevented from acting as Liu's lawyer. Many of Liu's supporters say they have been prevented from leaving the country recently, including respected author Zhang Yihe. […] Chinese Human Rights Defenders said it had received around 100 reports of Chinese citizens being put under police control since the Nobel Prize was awarded to Liu last month. Liu Xia, the Nobel laureate's wife, has been confined to her home since the prize was announced. In an open letter posted online last month, she urged 143 activists, academics and celebrities to attend the awards ceremony. Mo and He were among them. […] The central government responded furiously to Liu's Nobel award, insisting that the prize was a Western conspiracy to destabilize China. China's embassy in Oslo has urged Western countries not to attend the prize ceremony next month. However, the French Foreign Ministry said yesterday its envoy would attend the ceremony. "Every year, at this prize-giving, France is always represented by its ambassador to Norway. This tradition will be upheld this year," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. "We have been in touch with our European colleagues and we understand from this that that is the choice they intend to make.". ^ top ^

China to issue unified rules on sentencing for cyber attack crimes (Xinhua)
2010-11-11
China will issue new judicial rules governing sentencing standards for cyber attack crimes by the end of this year, an official of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) told Xinhua Wednesday. China has become a major victim of online crimes such as hacker attacks, with eight out of every ten computers in the country having suffered botnet attacks, said Gu Jian, vice director of the Internet security bureau of the MPS. Botnet is a network of computers that have had malicious software installed in them and are under the control of criminals, while the owners of the computers remain unaware of the computer hacking. China criminalized attacks on computer systems in 1997, and made specific provisions on hacker attacks, such as outlawing the illegal control of another computer, in its seventh amendment to the Criminal Law in 2009. In most botnet cases in China, the controllers were found to be located abroad, Gu said. Moreover, more than 80 percent of the cyber attacks targeting websites of China's government agencies came from overseas, Gu said. Gu called for more international cooperation in fighting transnational online crimes at the fourth U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum which concluded Tuesday in Beijing. At the forum, China and the U.S. agreed to strengthen international law enforcement in combating cyber crimes, improve international cooperation mechanisms in this regard, and enhance communication on fighting cyber crimes. In addition to cyber attacks, other kinds of major online crimes included online pornography, online gambling and online fraud, Gu added. ^ top ^

China launches fresh crackdown against fake goods, IPR violations (Xinhua)
2010-11-12
The Chinese government has launched a half-year campaign to crack down on the violation of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and the production and distribution of fake and shoddy products. The campaign, beginning in November, targets pirated publications, software products, DVDs, designs and other products with IPRs. 'It also targets violations of registered trademarks and patents at both the production and distribution level, a circular released Thursday. The General Administration of Press and Publication, the National Copyright Administration and the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office jointly issued the circular. The campaign focuses on 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions including Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Shanghai. In addition, an unnamed official with the National Copyright Administration said an ongoing campaign targeting video and e-commerce web sites will be extended to February to strike hard against the illegal spread of films and videos via the Internet. ^ top ^

China embraces green, low-carbon economy, says Chinese vice-premier (Xinhua)
2010-11-12
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said that China will firmly embrace green and low-carbon development ideals and step up efforts in saving resources and protecting the ecological environment. China will strive to transform its economic growth model in a bid to build an energy-saving and environmentally-friendly society, Li said Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. He said China will promote development of the emerging industries of strategic importance, hi-tech industries and modern service industries, conduct technological innovation on traditional industries and continue efforts in eliminating backward production capacities to maintain a sustainable development. Further, China will ramp up its efforts in sewage treatment and building clean energy facilities, and concentrate on solving prominent environmental problems that affects people's lives, Li said. He also urged protecting the nation's major ecological conservation areas and facilitating biological diversity. Facing the climate change challenges, the international community should actively work together on the basis of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities", and strive for a successful Cancun conference, Li said. ^ top ^

Oil spills pose threat to China's oceans (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-12
Oil spills are posing an increasing threat to China's marine environment as the country's energy demand grows, a leading environmental think tank warned on Thursday. A report released by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development said the volume of China's oil transported by sea now ranked third in the world following the United States and Japan, and its oil handling capacity is growing by more than 10 million tons every year, making China's oceans a potential site for marine incidents and oil spills. The expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration is also increasing the risk, the report warned. It said from 1973 to 2006, about 2,635 oil spills happened at sea in China, with more than 37,000 tons of oil spilled. The Yangtze River, Pearl River, Taiwan Straits and Bohai Bay are the areas at greatest risk for oil spills, it said. The Bohai Sea, which has the highest concentration of ports in China, is the national strategic petroleum reserve and has the largest offshore oilfield in the country. A total of 178 offshore oil platforms and 1,419 marine oil wells have been built in the sea, and their oil capacity is expected to reach 210 million tons by 2020, the report said. […] At present, five departments are involved in marine affairs in China, including the China Marine Surveillance under the SOA, the fishery administration under the Ministry of Agriculture, the Maritime Safety Administration under the Ministry of Transport, marine police of the Ministry of Public Security and the General Administration of Customs. The committee should be made up of the leaders in the related departments to work out the country's ocean development strategy and strengthen cooperation among these departments, the report said. Wang Dianchang, director of the policy and regulation department under the SOA, hailed the proposal as a major step to help the country "systematically and comprehensively manage its sea resources". "A similar suggestion has been submitted to the government and is likely to be listed in the country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015)," he told China Daily on Thursday. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Outrage as tainted milk 'hero' goes to jail (SCMP)
2010-11-11
Zhao Lianhai, who helped families seek justice after their children became ill from drinking melamine-laced milk, was jailed for two and a half years for "provoking quarrels and making trouble" by a Beijing court yesterday, sparking outrage among his supporters. Zhao, 38, was convicted by the Daxing District People's Court for "inciting and gathering crowds to protest". The verdict said Zhao and others had "chanted slogans and gathered illegally to stir trouble" and seriously disrupted the social order. His lawyer, Li Fangping, said the jail term was unusually severe, compared with sentences for similar cases, which are typically six to eight months. Zhao has already been detained for nearly a year. […] The verdict mentioned incidents for which Zhao, himself a father of one of the victims of the milk scandal and the founder of the online support group Kidney Stone Babies, was being punished. Before his arrest almost a year ago, Zhao and other parents had protested outside several courthouses when cases were heard against milk companies. Last summer, he also tried to help a victim in a rape case seek justice from police. He and others protested outside the headquarters of the Beijing Public Security Bureau when they became frustrated with police inaction. […] Li said her family was in financial distress because of the length of Zhao's detention. […] Li said Zhao was expected to be sent to a prison in Tianjin. The milk scandal broke in 2008, when six infants died and around 300,000 children were diagnosed with kidney failure after drinking milk laced with melamine, an industrial chemical added to substandard milk to help it to pass protein tests. Parents and relatives who have tried to seek legal redress over their children who died or were made ill by the poisoned milk have been repeatedly harassed by authorities. Zhao, a father of two, had said the authorities had harassed him many times over activities he had organized. Many parents have backed off from their fight for compensation and lifelong treatment for their children, Zhao was one of the few who persisted despite the intense pressure. Earlier this year, the government said at least five dairy manufacturers had been using contaminated milk powder seized more than a year ago in new products. Parents of victims said the jailing of Zhao showed the government was more keen on suppressing the voices of the victims than actually cracking down on the corrupt practices and collusion between officials and milk manufacturers. Zhao used to lead a simple life as a well-paid advertising executive with a monthly salary of 5,000 to 6,000 yuan, his sister said. But the discovery that his toddler son had kidney stones in 2008 made him give up his job and turn into a full-time activist, crusading for the rights of parents in the same situation. His family and supporters say Zhao is a generous and passionate man with a strong sense of justice. He insisted on fighting for his and other parents' rights, but was also trying to stay legal and often compromised with police over his activities. […] "It's like saying people shouldn't care about social justice and responsibility," Peng said. "Zhao Lianhai has a sense of social responsibility, and this is what he got for his efforts.". ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Shanghai first annual development report released, charting way forward (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-12
The first annual development report for east China's metropolis Shanghai was released Thursday, pointing out new strategies to build the city into an international economic, financial, trading and shipping center by 2020. The Development Report on Shanghai International Economic, Financial, Trading and Shipping Center was released by the municipal Development and Reform Commission and the municipal Development and Reform Institute. The report reviews the efforts and progress in building Shanghai on four fronts and makes proposals for future development. Shanghai set the goal of becoming the center in the four areas in 2009. At the ceremony marking the release of the report, scholars gathered to discuss Shanghai's development. In terms of becoming an international economic center, Jiang Yingshi, president of the Shanghai Society of Macroeconomics, said that Shanghai should draw on the World Expo effect to enhance its service-oriented economy, regional integration, and cultural development. To become an international financial center, Xiao Lin, deputy chief of the municipal Development and Reform Commission, said that the key task in the next decade is for Shanghai to become the RMB products trading and investment hub with world class financial services. In terms of becoming an international trading center, Yuan Zhigang, economics professor at Fudan University, said that efforts should be made to develop high end products and build Shanghai into a shopping paradise. In terms of becoming an international shipping center, scholars pointed out the importance of a modern shipping service system. The development report will be released every year starting in 2010 to keep track of each breakthrough along the way, said Xiao Lin. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Beijing ratchets up the pressure on Washington (Global Times)
2010-11-09
China ratcheted up pressure on Washington over the US Fed's latest moves to lift its economy by printing more money, with a vice finance minister saying resulting hot money inflows were a shock to global markets. In the run-up to this week's G20 and APEC meetings, a number of leading economies have warned against the Federal Reserve's decision last week to inject an extra $600 billion into the US banking system. […] Vice Finance Minister Zhu said that China plans "frank discussions" with the United States over its money printing plans. China and the United States had turned down the heat in the acrimonious dispute over currencies and trade imbalances at a meeting of finance ministers from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum over the weekend. But Zhu said Monday that the Fed's quantitative easing was a poor decision. He said the United States must recognize its role and responsibility in the global economy. A leading Chinese newspaper warned Monday that Washington's actions were a form of indirect currency manipulation that could lead to a new round of currency wars and even global economic collapse. For his part, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in recent days has been defending the bond-buying, saying the measures to help restore a strong US economy were critical for global financial stability. Despite the heated rhetoric aimed at US economic policymakers, Zhu predicted Monday that the G20 meeting would send a positive signal to global markets. "We, including the Federal Reserve, will strengthen coordination of and communication about macroeconomic policies and monetary policies.". ^ top ^

China warns against rise of trade protectionism (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-11
Countries need to guard against the rise of trade protectionism as uncertainties remain in the world economy, a senior Chinese trade official said on Wednesday. Speaking at the ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, China's Vice Commerce Minister Yi Xiaozhun, called on countries to work together to fight trade protectionism as difficulties and uncertainties remain in the world economy and economic recovery is going to be a long process. On the Doha round of global trade talks, Yi said China believes a successful completion of the negotiations will help the recovery of the world economy and hence benefit economies in the Asia- Pacific. […] The ministerial meeting came just three days ahead of an APEC summit in Yokohama, where leaders will mainly ponder the future direction for regional economic integration, formulate a new regional growth strategy and discuss an assessment of the achievement of the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, adopted at a 1994 APEC summit in Indonesia. Five developed economies are subject to assessment over the achievement of the Bogor Goals at the APEC summit in Yokohama and eight developing economies volunteered to participate this year, including South Korea, Singapore and China's Hong Kong. Yi urged developed member economies to be more open in the trade of goods and services as well as investment and said they also need to enhance technological cooperation and capacity building to help developing member economies to increase competitiveness of their industries. As to regional economic integration, he stressed the principle of transparency and openness in regional cooperation, saying diversity should be respected and core concerns cared for. ^ top ^

Inflation rate exceeds target (Global Times)
2010-11-11
Concerns are growing among some Chinese consumers that their pay raises have failed to keep up with the country's commodity price hikes, as the inflation rate appears to be outpacing the government's target. High-ranking officials and prominent economists have hinted that this year's annual inflation rate will exceed the government's 3 percent target. Authorities are set to announce the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October today. Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), acknowledged at a work conference Tuesday that annual inflation is on track to "hover slightly over 3 percent," the Beijing News reported. It was the first such speculation by an NDRC official. The prices of goods will continue to rise in the fourth quarter due to natural disasters, the depreciation of the US dollar, and abundant liquidity that has boosted speculative investments in various commodities such as grain and cotton, Zhang said. The CPI hit a 23-month high of 3.6 percent in the year to September, and a Reuters poll this week forecasts that inflation in October hit 4 percent. However, Xu Qiyuan, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a government think tank, released a report Wednesday suggesting that the National Bureau of Statistics underestimated inflation by a total of 7 percent between January 2006 and May 2010, or by more than 1 percent a year. […]Tao Dong, chief economist at Credit Suisse, compared the soaring CPI figure to an invisible tax that strikes hardest on low-income groups and reduces their purchasing power. "Commodity price hikes victimize the poor and assist the rich," Tao told the Global Times Wednesday, adding that the low-income group will continue to bear the brunt of rising living costs unless their salaries reflect inflation growth. […] However, official figures seemed to have presented a different picture. The NBS said in July that the annual average income of urban workers in 2009 posted a 12 percent increase, year-on-year, but the full-year inflation dropped 0.7 percent. […] In its latest action to curb rapid credit growth, the central bank Wednesday ordered some banks to increase their reserve requirements by 0.5 percentage points, following a move last month to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly three years. Yuan Gangming, an economist with the CASS Economic Institute, told the Global Times that, "The risk of inflation is overstated, and given the rapid economic expansion in China, the increase in the CPI figure is quite reasonable.". ^ top ^

Renminbi remains increasingly desirable for global markets (China Daily)
2010-11-12
The Chinese yuan will remain attractive internationally due to the nation's rapid economic expansion and gradual opening-up of its capital account, officials and industry experts said.

"The internationalization of renminbi is likely to pick up," Il Houng Lee, the International Monetary Fund's senior resident representative in China, said on Thursday at a financial conference in Shanghai. The level of the yuan on the global stage in the next decade may become as high as the Japanese yen was over the past 20 years, Lee said. The Japanese currency is widely used as a reserve currency after the US dollar and the euro. A possible route for the currency's internationalization will initially probably be through East Asia, along with the circulation of some other key Asian currencies, Lee said. "Asia as a bloc is increasing much faster than other regions, suggesting a sizable expansion of its financial market," he said, adding that China currently has negative net export to the Associations of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan and South Korea, which could help promote the yuan in the region. China has stepped up the liberalization of the yuan since December 2008, when it began to sign currency swap agreements with several countries and regions, including South Korea, Indonesia and Argentina. In June, the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, expanded its renminbi cross-border trade settlement scheme to 18 more regions in China after piloting it in five cities, including Shanghai. All foreign trade partners are now permitted to use the yuan to settle accounts with firms in the regions. The Bank of China, the country's fourth-largest lender in terms of assets, said renminbi cross-border trade settlement services exceeded 80 billion yuan ($12 billion) in business by the end of October. In the next five years, cross-border trade settlement with the yuan will grow explosively, said Ren Xinjian, director of the Finance Research Institute at the Shanghai Academy of Development and Reform. The People's Bank of China said in August that it would open its interbank bond market to offshore financial institutions on a trial basis, a big step in terms of the opening-up of China's capital account, which will increase the yuan's attraction for foreign investors. […]

The yuan has advanced by more than 2 percent against the dollar since China initiated foreign exchange reform in June this year after being pegged to the US dollar for two years. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

President receives Swiss Ambassador (Montsame)
2010-11-10
The President of Mongolia Ts. Elbegdorj received Ambassador of Switzerland to Mongolia Mr Blaise Godet on Wednesday, 10 November. At the beginning of the meeting, Mr Elbegdorj has expressed his satisfaction over development of the bilateral relations. He underlined that Mongolia needs experience and assistance of Switzerland in transition from parliamentary democracy to direct democracy. „First of all, we are interested in introducing Swiss experience in providing direct civil participation in decision - making in some soums, aimags and districts of the capital city by choosing them as a model" said the Head of State. In his turn, the Ambassador said that he would transmit Mongolian President 's proposal to his country's leaders and added that "It is a pleasure for Switzerland to share own experience in developing direct democracy". ^ top ^

Some Hundred Students Selected for Scholarship
2010-11-09
112 students from low income or herder families have been selected for scholarships announced on the sixth year by the "Zorig" foundation and Swiss development agency. The 65 percent of them are those have come to study here from provinces. In the last six years, in total 540 students got scholarships. Specific features of this project is that the students who got scholarships are obliged to initiate and draw up god deeds-targeted mini-projects and participate in realizing them. This year's 112 students will be divided into14 teams to run such works. nPresent at the ceremony of presenting certificates were the Swiss Ambassador to Mongolia Blaise Godet, Vice-minister of Edication, Culture and Sciences Ch.Kulanda, resident representative of Swiss development agency F.Fellmann and members of leading council of the "Zorig" foundation. ^ top ^

Prime Minister Batbold Again Made MPP Chairman (UB Post)
2010-11-09
Prime Minister of Mongolia Batbold Sukhbaatar was re-elected as chairman of the ruling Mongolian People's Party on November 6. Batbold beat his challenger Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan, a parliament member, by gaining 85 percent support from 800 deputies at the party's 26th Congress, which is convened every four years. The ruling party decided last Friday to change its name from the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party to its original Mongolian People's Party. The Party also changed its official flag and emblem. “Today, we have made a historic decision to restore original name of our party,” Batbold told the three-day event which opened Thursday. “Our time requires a harmonious approach rather than revolution and confrontation, a scientific and pragmatic approach rather than an emotional approach. The name of our party should align with our approach,” he said. The party was founded as the Mongolian People's Party in 1921. The word Revolutionary was added under the influence of Soviet advisers in 1925. The ruling party holds 46 seats in the 76-seat Mongolian parliament known as the State Great Khural. The other major party, the Mongolian Democratic Party (MDP), takes 27 seats. The current Mongolian government is a coalition of the MPP and the MDP. ^ top ^

Mongolia Ranked at 100th Position in HDI (Montsame)
2010-11-05
Mongolia's government press office reports that the "Human development report-2010", released annually by the UN, was presented November 4 all around the world. List of Human development indexes covers 169 member-states. According to the report, Mongolia soared to 100th place with 0.622 points from the last year's 114th by the HDI. It has been stated in the report that substantial achievements were made in Asian countries, in particular, the index on human development has been improving steadily in Mongolia. In the perspectives, Mongolia's Government is pursuing the object to rank 65th place in 2015, and within first 50 nations--in 2021. Norway, Australia and New Zealand are leading the world in HDI, while Zimbabwe came the last among 169 nations. ^ top ^

WB-Managed GAFSP to Grant 12.5 MLN Dollars (Montsame)
2010-11-05
The Directors' Council of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme /GAFSP/, a new World Bank-managed fund, has recently made a decision to allot to Mongolia 12.5 mln. dollars grant. It was decided after a discussion on the projects applied by 20 developing countries for the fund's grants at the meeting of the Council that ran in Washington, USA, November 3-4. The grants are aimed at helping a country increase food security, raise rural incomes and reduce poverty by enabling small-scale farmers to grow more crops and earn more. At its meeting, the Council supported the project "Supporting the living based on the livestock" worked out by the Government of Mongolia. "The fund will assist in linking farmers to markets, raising livestock productivity and quality, providing technical assistance, allowing herders to market their livestock easier", GAFSP officials said. Experts of the Fund have also approved the "National programme on the food security" worked out by Mongolia's government for the period of 2009-2016. ^ top ^

Prosecutor-General wants probe into Bayaraa's charge of attack (News.mn)
2010-11-10
State Prosecutor-General D.Dorligjav has asked the General Police Department to investigate the claim of D.Bayaraa, brother of D.Enkhbat who was abducted from France in 2003, that he had been attacked by unknown people on the night of October 25 and forced to drink something poisonous. Bayaraa says he wanted to submit certain documents to the US and German Embassies and the attack were to stop him from this. However, he did not go to the police. He is now being treated for symptoms of chemical poisoning. ^ 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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