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
  22-26.11.10, No. 347  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Wen visits Russia to secure energy prices (Global Times)
2010-11-22
Premier Wen Jiabao began his visit to Russia Monday, as Beijing and Moscow seek to deepen ties, from energy cooperation to cultural interaction. Vice Premier Wang Qishan left Beijing yesterday to attend the meeting of the China-Russia Energy Negotiation representatives, as officials said disagreements remain concerning the pricing agreement for Russian gas supplies to China. […] Russia has begun tests on the new East Siberian-Pacific Ocean pipeline by pumping about 600,000 tons of oil along it. Gu said that once it begins operating in January next year, the pipeline will bring 300,000 barrels per day to China, according to the agency. Russia is China's 13th-largest trade partner, but bilateral trade rose by 43.4 percent to $45.1 billion in the first 10 months of this year, according to Chinese customs data. The Kremlin expects the volume this year to return to the $55.9 billion recorded in 2008, before the economic crisis. "The two countries are recovering from the global economic crisis, though Russia might be slower to do so than China. The structure of bilateral cooperation has improved. Cooperation is ongoing for traditional energy projects such as oil, gas and coal, but also on new projects such as nuclear energy along the border," Wu Dahui, a senior researcher specializing in Russian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. Wang Lijiu, an expert on Russia at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times yesterday that collaboration could also be extended in the future on high-tech imports and exports, as well as on banking services. He said both China and Russia had already established a smooth communications mechanism, which will help to solve any possible problems. "It is natural to have differences, but what is critical is that we have this concrete communications platform in place." […] After his visit to Russia, Wen will head to Tajikistan on Thursday for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian PMs vow to strengthen ties (Xinhua)
2010-11-23
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks here Monday evening during which they vowed to strengthen bilateral ties. They made the commitment in small-scale talks after Wen arrived in the evening for an official visit to Russia.

Wen said that with the organization of a series of cultural activities including the language year programs, China-Russia ties have developed to an unprecedentedly high level. This is in line with the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples, contributes vigorously to world peace and promotes development of both countries, Wen said. […] Putin said that Russia attaches great importance to bilateral ties with China and expressed his satisfaction with the development of these ties. At present, both economies are facing with precious opportunities of development and therefore cooperation between Russia and China is conducive to rapid development of their economies, said Putin. He expressed the hope that both countries would make concerted efforts to ensure that bilateral cooperation can bear more fruit. The two leaders also exchanged views on promoting cooperation in key sectors. ^ top ^

Chinese vice president says satisfied with ties with Botswana (Xinhua)
2010-11-23
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said here on Monday that China is satisfied with its relations with Botswana. In a meeting with Botswana's President Ian Khama, Xi said the bilateral ties have developed steadily and fruitfully and that both sides have kept close coordination in the international arena. Xi, who arrived in Gaborone on Saturday for an official visit, noted that bilateral economic cooperation has maintained a good momentum in recent years, and Botswana has become one of China's vital partners in Africa. […] He said China values its ties with Botswana, noting that China will continue to enhance political trust, expand economic cooperation and strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchange with Botswana. […] The Chinese vice president also praised Botswana for its active role in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, calling for joint efforts to push forward the smooth development of the forum. Botswana is the final leg of Xi's four-nation trip to Asia and Africa. Xi and Chinese delegation left Gaborone right after the meeting. ^ top ^

India adds troops to Chinese border (Global Times)
2010-11-23
Indian Ministry of Defence officials said Monday that two mountain divisions will be deployed in southern Tibet, an area claimed by Beijing, and will be "fully operational" by next year.

Chinese experts dismissed the defiant move, saying it is a misstep on New Delhi's behalf.

India is "fast-tracking new troop formations" in southern Tibet, and the two fresh infantry mountain divisions, with 1,260 officers and 35,011 soldiers, should be "fully operational with specialized equipment" by next year, according to the Times of India. "The two divisions are now virtually in place, with officers and soldiers already being posted for them. They are in the process of getting new equipment, which includes armored personnel carriers and light howitzers," a defense ministry official told the newspaper. "The first battalion of the Arunachal Scouts will be up and running by May 2011," the official said, marking a first for the Indian Army in applying the "Arunachal" name to a company. "Arunachal Pradesh" is the Indian name for the area, over which China claims sovereignty. […] Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman of the ministry, urged the Indian government to address Beijing's "serious concerns" and not to trigger a disturbance in the region "so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations," the Xinhua News Agency reported. The latest report of Indian battalions came three weeks after Singh invited his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, for an official visit to India to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides. […] It seems that "those hawkish groups in New Delhi are getting above themselves after the US voiced support for India's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council," Wang added. Sun Shihai, an expert on Asia Pacific studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that New Delhi's plan to increase troops in the region adds difficulties to the border talks. "By making such a move, India showed its unwillingness to make a concession during the demarcation talks," he said.

Separately, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told Xinhua on Sunday that the two sides "should regard each other's rise as an opportunity, not a challenge." "We have had times of difficulty in our relationship. But despite those difficulties, we have managed to raise the level of our dialogue and strengthen our cooperation to create an architecture for dialogue," Rao said. "That should be the basis for what we do in the future.". ^ top ^

Wen, Putin seek to break deadlock over gas prices (SCMP)
2010-11-24
Premier Wen Jiabao met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg yesterday to try to settle a long-running disagreement over gas pricing. Russia, the world's biggest energy producer, is eager to increase sales of oil, gas and metals to the world's fastest-growing big economy. But wrangling over gas prices has delayed construction of a key gas pipeline to China. Wen and Putin, who also talked briefly on Monday, met on the heels of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's three-day visit to China in September, when he and President Hu Jintao launched a cross-border pipeline linking the world's biggest energy producer with the world's largest energy consumer. According to the Kremlin, the oil that Russia will send to its neighbour for 20 years starting from next year could be worth US$150 billion. […] Russia is due to start exporting crude oil to China next year via the new East Siberian-Pacific Ocean pipeline. Gazprom will sell 30 billion cubic metres of gas per year to China from 2015 via this route. Wen and Putin will also attend a 13-state summit that aims to save the tiger and double the big cat's population by 2022. Peskov said that 11 agreements, ranging from oil supplies and refining to intellectual property and border issues, would be signed during Wen's visit. "A large package of intergovernmental, interministerial and commercial agreements is being prepared for signing," the Russian government said, adding that the leaders would discuss joint work in trade, science and the environment. Putin said after yesterday's meeting that the Chinese yuan would start trading on Russian exchanges at the start of next month after China allowed the yuan to trade against the rouble in the interbank market from Monday. […] In the wake of the global financial crisis, China and Russia have called for the US dollar's role in the financial system to be diluted. […] Russia has been competing for a slice of China's nuclear power market as Beijing plans an increase in the number of its nuclear power stations to reduce its dependence on coal. China overtook Germany as Russia's second-largest trading partner in the first six months. ^ top ^

Chinese, Kazakh PMs agree to enhance bilateral cooperation (Xinhua)
2010-11-25
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Kazakh counterpart, Karim Masimov, agreed here Wednesday to enhance bilateral cooperation in various areas, including energy, high-tech, infrastructure and agriculture. The pledge was made at a meeting between the two leaders, who are gathering in the Tajik capital for a prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The strategic partnership between China and Kazakhstan has enjoyed all-round and in-depth development in recent years, Wen said, citing frequent high-level bilateral contacts, increasing mutual political trust, close communication and coordination in such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations and the SCO between the two countries, and remarkable pragmatic bilateral cooperation. […] The two countries should continue to consolidate and expand their cooperation in energy and ensure the safe, stable and effective operation of the China-Kazakhstan oil and gas pipelines, he said. He also urged the two sides to carry out some flagship projects in non-resources fields as soon as possible, enhance their cooperation in high-tech, infrastructure and agriculture, and make concerted efforts to build their transborder free trade zone. The Chinese government supports a greater role of Chinese enterprises in the Kazakh economic development and achieve mutual benefits and common development, Wen said. The Chinese premier said that the SCO is an effective mechanism in promoting regional peace, stability and development and that China is willing to join hands with Kazakhstan and other SCO member states in strengthening the SCO and safeguarding their common interests in a better way. […] Kazakhstan values its strategic partnership with China and would like to expand its cooperation with China in energy and such non-resources areas as infrastructure and agriculture, he said. Kazakhstan is also willing to strengthen its communication, coordination and cooperation with China within the framework of the SCO in promoting regional peace, stability and development, Masimov said. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official vows to forge friendly relations with Peru's Fuerza 2011 (Xinhua)
2010-11-25
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan met in Beijing Wednesday with a delegation of the Peruvian political party Fuerza 2011, led by Ex-President Alberto Fujimori's daughter Keiko Fujimori. Liu spoke positively of the development of Sino-Peruvian ties in recent years, noting that the establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership in 2008 signalled bilateral relations had entered a new phase. Liu, who is a member of the political bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also chief of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said the CPC was willing to develop friendly relations and cooperation with Fuerza 2011 on the basis of independence, equality, mutual respect and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs. He hoped exchanges between the CPC and Fuerza 2011 would boost the development of the bilateral relations. Fujimori, who is chairwoman of the Peruvian party, Fuerza 2011, said her party hoped to forge and develop friendly relations with the CPC. She also hoped Fuerza 2011 would share experiences with the CPC in state-governing and administration, and jointly push forward the bilateral strategic partnership. ^ top ^

Wen, Central Asian peers push for co-operation (SCMP)
2010-11-26
Premier Wen Jiabao met Russian and Central Asian prime ministers in the Tajik capital Dushanbe yesterday for talks on security and economic co-operation. The ninth prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) - a security grouping consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - agreed to press ahead with further regional co-operation, Xinhua reported. Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said terrorism, separatism and extremism, together with drug smuggling and cross- border crime, posed serious threats to the region, China News Service reported. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon also called for further co-operation to fight terrorism and separatism, and promote regional and global development. SCO secretary general Muratbek Imanaliev said earlier that SCO military activities were mainly aimed at fighting terrorism and did not target any specific country. He said the SCO was not a military organisation and was focused on maintaining regional and global security and development. […] China blames terrorism, separatism and extremism - the so-called "three evil forces" - on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which seeks independence for Uygur-populated Xinjiang. In a meeting with Rahmon, Wen said China would expand co-operation with Tajikistan in economic issues and trade, electricity, transportation, minerals and border control. He pushed for the implementation of a co-operation agreement between Tajikistan and Xinjiang. Wen also met his Kazakh counterpart, Karim Masimov. ^ top ^

Chinese premier makes proposal for enhancing SCO practical cooperation (Xinhua)
2010-11-26
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a six-point proposal for enhancing practical cooperation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at a meeting held here. […] First, Wen proposed that the SCO countries boost the vitality of economic and trade cooperation. The SCO countries should stick to the principle of government guidance, encourage enterprises to expand cooperation according to market regulations and rely on science and technology in a bid to accelerate regional economic development, he said. Secondly, Wen called for expanding energy cooperation. […] Thirdly, Wen called for accelerating infrastructure construction such as highways, railways and information highways, to advance regional communication. Fourthly, the SCO members countries should strengthen agricultural cooperation, Wen said, urging them to conduct research on establishing a SCO food security cooperation mechanism. […] Fifthly, Wen called for deepening financial and monetary cooperation among the SCO member states, noting that they should expand business financing channels, conduct researches on establishing a SCO development bank, discuss new ways of joint financing and joint benefiting, and expand cooperation on local currency settlement. Finally, the Chinese premier called for pushing forward capacity building and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The SCO countries should further improve the contingency mechanism for handling emergencies at border areas, he said. […] During the one-day meeting, the SCO prime ministers agreed to intensify the fight against the "three evil forces" to safeguard regional security and stability, enhance coordination in economic policy to promote trade investment facilitation and deepen cooperation in disaster relief, education and culture to promote sustainable development in the region. The SCO prime ministers decided to hold their next meeting in Russia. Founded in 2001, the SCO consists of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Also present at the gathering were delegates from SCO observers India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and the economic minister of Afghanistan as a guest of the host country. ^ top ^

Chinese, Kyrgyz leaders pledge to promote bilateral cooperation (Xinhua)
2010-11-26
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Kyrgyz President and Acting Prime Minister Roza Otunbayeva met here Thursday, with both sides pledging to enhance cooperation in economy, technology and other areas. The two leaders were meeting on the sidelines of the 9th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Tajik capital. Premier Wen told Otunbayeva that China pays great attention to the situation in Kyrgyzstan and hopes for stability in the country. Wen said that both countries should follow the principles stipulated in the Sino-Kyrgyz Good-neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation to further enhance political mutual trust and push forward for a steady and healthy development of bilateral ties, adding that this serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. While expressing the belief that the Kyrgyz people could overcome by themselves the current difficulties, he also promised that China would continue to provide support and help within its own capabilities for Kyrgyzstan both in the bilateral framework and in that of the SCO. The Chinese premier said China would actively participate in the reconstruction of southern Kyrgyzstan, and promote in a down-to-earth manner the projects on bilateral economic and technological cooperation so as to benefit the two peoples. […] The one-day SCO prime ministers' meeting concluded Thursday with the participants agreeing to further strengthen cooperation in security, politics, trade and other areas. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China rolls out measures to fight inflation (Xinhua)
2010-11-22
The State Council, China's cabinet, announced Sunday a slew of measures to rein in rising commodity prices to ease the economic pressures on the people. Local governments and departments are required to boost agricultural production and stabilize supply of agricultural products and fertilizer while reducing the cost of agricultural products and ensuring coal, power, oil and gas supplies, the State Council said in a seven-page circular. The cabinet urged local departments to step up vegetable-planting efforts while stabilizing winter vegetable production and strengthening grain and edible-oil production field management to ward off supply shortages. To reduce delivery costs, road tolls for vehicles transporting fresh- and live-farm produce will be forbidden from Dec. 1, the circular said. […] Chinese decision makers have made price controls a top priority, as the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose to a 25-month high of 4.4 percent in the 12 months to the end of October. The hike was mainly due to a 10.1-percent surge in food prices. Food prices have a one-third weighting in China's CPI calculation. China has been moving to mop up excessive liquidity to combat inflation, with the latest move to target over-liquidity in the banking system.

The People's Bank of China, or the central bank, said Friday it would raise capital reserve requirements by 50 basis points for all the banks of the country for the fifth time this year to control credit and liquidity. ^ top ^

China works to standardize penalty discretion, boost legal system reform (Xinhua)
2010-11-23
China has been striving to standardize its penalty discretion in a major move to push forward the reform of its legal system. The Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate, along with ministries of Public Security, State Security, and Justice, have issued a joint circular demanding reform of standardizing the measurement of penalty be carried out in a comprehensive manner. Investigative and procuratorial organs should pay great attention to the work of investigation and obtaining evidence, collecting not only the evidence that will prove or increases the guiltiness of a suspect or defendant but also the evidence that supports the innocence or decrease the guiltiness of a suspect or defendant, said the circular. The circular urged procuratorial departments to intensify review and prosecution, and conduct an objective and full check of all evidence, while continuing efforts to improve the system of sentencing proposals. Judicial administration organizations at different levels and lawyers' associations were told to expand the current scope of legal aid and arrange more legal aid for defendants who claim innocent, disagree with sentencing proposals or can't afford a defense attorney due to reasons such as poverty. Courts at all levels were told to guarantee the independence in the process of the penalty discretion in court trials, and active participation of public prosecutors and defense attorneys in court hearings and debates, to increase openness and transparency in the measurement of penalty. ^ top ^

Green pledge made ahead of Cancun (Global Times)
2010-11-24
China has vowed to effectively control greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years, while officials admitted that inappropriate practices have been used in some regions to meet energy saving and carbon reduction targets set for the past five years. The pledge came in the Annual Report on Policies and Actions to Address Climate Change, which was published by China's top economic planning body the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Tuesday, one week ahead of the United Nations' Cancun Conference in Mexico. […] The plan envisaged China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) being cut by 20 percent by 2010 from 2005. Xie admitted incorrect practices such as restricting electricity usage did exist in some regions, as local authorities that did not pay enough attention to the issue in the first four years scrambled to meet targets before the deadline. In July, some regions began to restrict electricity usage in some high pollution and high energy-consumption industries. Since September, the practice has been reported in at least 18 provinces, affecting small and medium-sized enterprises and local residents […]. The State Council announced on Friday that local governments are obliged to ensure electricity supply. […] The government policies have put local officials and enterprises in a dilemma over whether they should seek economic progress or save energy, he added. […] China promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, while increasing the proportion of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consump-tion to around 15 percent by 2020. An environmental tax is under discussion and more economic measures will be taken in the next five years, Xie said, adding that carbon trading markets have already been launched in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. ^ top ^

China hopes to expand positive outcomes at Cancun: vice premier (Xinhua)
2010-11-25
China would like to work with other governments and international organizations to assure positive results at the upcoming Cancun climate change conference, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday. Li made the remarks during the China International Green Industry Expo 2010, which was scheduled to run from Wednesday to Saturday in Beijing. […]

He also said that China would continue importing advanced international technologies and equipment in the fields and share market opportunities to provide mutual benefits. The development of green economy and green industry would rely on technological and institutional innovation. "Enterprises should speed up technological progress and focus on making breakthroughs in key technologies and promote industrialization, commercialization and mass production of these technologies," noted Li. The four-day expo has attracted more than 200 enterprises from 25 countries and regions. It is designed as a platform for enterprises to exchange information and display their latest achievements in areas such as energy savings, emission reductions and the recycling-based economy. ^ top ^

Freedom of religion hurt by Vatican, Beijing says (SCMP)
2010-11-26
Beijing said yesterday Vatican opposition to the official mainland Catholic body's ordination of a bishop amounted to a violation of freedom of religion. "Any kind of allegation or intervention constitutes an act of restriction of freedom and intolerance," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters. Hong was responding to a Vatican statement on Wednesday that said the ordination by the mainland's state-run Catholic Church - without the Pope's blessing - was "a serious violation" of religious freedom. He said the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association carried out ordinations independently, reflecting China's "freedom of religious belief" and that Vatican interference violated that freedom. Beijing-Vatican relations have been tense for decades, and the two sides have been working to normalize ties since they were frozen in 1951 when the Holy See officially recognized the government of Taiwan as the legitimate government of China. Tensions resurfaced over the ordination last weekend of Father Joseph Guo Jincai as bishop in the northern city of Chengde. […] The ordination was announced by the association, which does not acknowledge the authority of Pope Benedict and is fiercely opposed to mainland clergy who are loyal to the Vatican. The Holy See's statement confirmed previous reports that suggested some bishops loyal to the Pope were forced by government officials to attend the ordination. […] Yesterday the association defended its handling of the ordination, saying the Chinese church does not carry responsibility for the fallout between Beijing and the Vatican. […] Official tallies put the number of Catholics in China at 5.7 million. They include members of an official church with links to the state and an unofficial, "clandestine" church that says it derives its legitimacy from the Pope. Human rights groups say that those who remain loyal to the Vatican often suffer persecution, with detentions of bishops common. Liu said Catholicism was suffering in Western nations, while in China it was developing well. […] The Vatican says it will abandon ties with Taiwan in favour of Beijing if China guarantees religious freedom and allows the Pope to name Chinese bishops. Beijing has imposed two conditions - the Vatican's recognition of the one-China policy, which precludes independence for Taiwan, and its acceptance that religious affairs are an internal Chinese matter. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official urges self-innovation of green technology (Global Times)
2010-11-26
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Li Changchun has called for more efforts to enhance self-innovation of green technology -- a key to realizing the nation's economic restructuring. During Li's visit to the China International Green Industry Expo 2010 on Wednesday evening, he stressed "breakthroughs should be made in the research and development of key technologies, in order to gain more intellectual property rights and cultivate China's own brands." He said accelerating green economic development was an important task in the transformation of the economic development pattern, and an effective way to save energy and encourage an environmentally friendly society. It would also help boost sustainable economic and social development, said Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. He urged authorities and enterprises to seize every opportunity to develop the green and low-carbon economy. The four-day expo which opened on Wednesday, has attracted more than 200 enterprises from 25 countries and regions. It acts as a platform for enterprises to exchange information and display their latest achievements in areas such as energy savings, emission reductions and the recycling-based economy. ^ top ^

China overturns 10 percent of death sentences since 2007 (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-26
China's top court has overturned, on average, 10 percent of all death sentences nationwide since 2007 when it took back the right of final review from lower courts, a senior court official said. Hu Yunteng, head of the research department under the Supreme People's Court (SPC), said regaining the review "played an obvious role" in reducing the number of executions. "It has ensured that the death penalty can only be applied for the most serious crimes," he told China Daily. But Hu declined to specify the number of death sentences carried out each year. In 1981, to tackle rising crime, the highest court granted provincial courts the authority to pass death sentences. The practice, widely criticized following reports of miscarriages of justice, ended on Jan 1, 2007, when the SPC was again given the sole power to review and ratify death sentences. Hu said death sentences were overturned mostly for lack of evidence, procedural flaws or for an inappropriate penalty. […] The SPC also increased its criminal tribunals from two to five to better examine all death sentences passed, Hu said. The SPC also ordered that all cases that carried a possible death penalty must be heard at a court session, with the defendant or defendants in attendance, he added.

The move "prevents unjust, false or invalid cases on the one hand and, on the other hand, respects the rights of defendants", he said. About 90 percent of death sentences passed are for serious crimes ranging from intentional homicide, robbery, serious injury, rape, drug trafficking to kidnapping, according to Hu. […] Despite these moves, he said, the final review still faces challenges, including the use of torture as well as poor standards among some rural judges. In one of the country's most notorious forced-confession cases, Zhao Zuohai, after serving 11 years in prison, was released in early May after the man he was alleged to have murdered turned up alive. The Henan farmer said the police tortured him into making a confession. Zhao Bingzhi, head of the criminal law research committee under the China Law Society, said it's essential for the SPC to classify and summarize cases where the death penalty has been overturned and then release them to guide lower courts. "What's more, the SPC should go beyond only examining evidence, and establish rules to better define serious crimes where the death penalty is applicable to ensure its appropriate use," he said. ^ top ^

China's anti-corruption chief urges improved supervision of major national projects (Xinhua)
2010-11-26
China's anti-corruption chief, He Guoqiang, has asked to enhance long-term supervision on the implementation of the country's economic stimulus policies to prevent corruption arising from it. He, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), attended a high-level meeting Wednesday in Beijing, where officials were briefed on the findings of law violation cases amid the implementation of the stimulus policies. A Total of 314 cases have been exposed and handled, in which 430 Party and government officials have received disciplinary punishment for misconduct since the inspections were launched by the CCDI in Nov. 2008, when China issued stimulus policies to graple with the financial crisis. More stringent supervision and inspection, as well as smooth implementation of government decrees, are crucial to the cause of the Party and the State, said He, […]. First, improving the long-term mechanism would require concrete measures to ensure prompt and timely supervision and inspection, he said. Secondly, it would require an improved coordination mechanism, which is under the centralized leadership of the CPC Central Committee with the duties of all parties clearly assigned. It would also require more meticulously drafted work plans, better-organized execution plans, and inspection on a regular basis, He said. ^ top ^

Ministry of Justice announces plan to strengthen lawyers' rights (Global Times)
2010-11-26
China aims to better protect lawyers' rights and facilitate their work through enhanced financial and policy support, according to the Ministry of Justice. The ministry also intends to intensify supervision on the work of lawyers and law firms against unsound practices, it said on Tuesday. Efforts will be made to better protect lawyers' rights to meet with their clients in police custody and facilitate their rights to review documents, conduct necessary investigations and collect evidence, the ministry said in a written interview with the Xinhua News Agency. […] "Lawyers should be subsidized if working as legal advisors to the government or providing legal services for the public interest," the ministry said. […] The ministry called on courts and prosecution agencies to recruit more judges and prosecutors from outstanding lawyers and encouraged government bodies to select more qualified lawyers to work as civil servants. Meanwhile, China will improve the evaluation of lawful practices undertaken by the country's lawyers and increase supervision over the work of law offices and lawyers, according to the ministry. […] "Lawyers who ignore or violate laws and regulations governing lawyers' practices should be dealt with seriously, including expulsion from the legal profession," the ministry said. Conditions and procedures which applicants should meet and pass before becoming certified lawyers must be strictly followed, the ministry said. The number of certified lawyers and law firms exceeded 166,000 and 15,000, respectively, at the end of 2009. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing defends jailing of hero milk activist (SCMP)
2010-11-22
Beijing yesterday defended the controversial jailing of milk scandal hero Zhao Lianhai that has caused outrage around the world. A day before the deadline for Zhao to appeal, the statement issued by Xinhua's Hong Kong branch also made clear it was addressing the concerns raised in the city specifically. […] The five-year-old boy was given free hospital treatment and recovered in October 2008, a month after he was diagnosed with kidney stones. The government also paid compensation to Zhao "on the grounds of humanitarianism", Xinhua said. Families said earlier "minor cases" such as Zhao's were paid 2,000 yuan (HK$2,332). "From October 2008 to September 2009, Zhao, although his son has already recovered from kidney stones, still made use of this problem to organize, provoke and rally people to make trouble by chanting slogans and gathering illegally in the districts of Daxing, Fengtai and Dongcheng in Beijing city and Shijiazhuang city, Hebei. "Such actions have seriously disrupted the social order of these areas," Xinhua said. It said Zhao was also sentenced for "making use of another incident as an excuse to rally some people to cause trouble outside a police station in Beijing and disrupt the traffic" in August 2009. This referred to Zhao's actions to help a rape victim to report to the police. Hong Kong-based China Law expert Professor Ong Yew-kim said the report was rare. […] Mainland affairs analyst Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the move was an attempt to confuse the public by issuing official propaganda before Zhao's appeal. Zhao's lawyer Li Fangping said yesterday the Xinhua statement illustrated the government's definition of the nature of Zhao's case. […] But Lau said the Zhao's previous criminal record was irrelevant. "Even if Zhao's previous crime record was true, it should not be blended with this case in discussion," Lau said. NPC deputy Miriam Lau Kin-yee said the co-signed letter from the local delegates was meant to appeal for mitigation. "We have no intention of challenging the verdict of his case," she said. Lew Mon-hung, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference who bought full-page advertisements in several news- papers calling for Zhao's immediate release, said the press release from Xinhua failed to convince the public and was only trying to defend the court's judgment. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Shanghai pollution reaches a new high (China Daily)
2010-11-25
China's largest metropolis has suffered from high levels of pollution since early November, with pollution index figures far higher than those recorded during the six months of the World Expo. As of Wednesday, the city has witnessed its air pollution index passing 100 for eight days this month, the worst readings in the past five years. China's environmental standards rate a reading below 50 as "excellent", from 50 to 100 as "good" and above 100 as "polluted". The latest pollution occurred on Monday when the index reached 107. On Nov 13 it skyrocketed to 370, the highest level in the past decade. When the index exceeds 300, even healthy people are likely to experience reduced endurance during physical activities, and are likely to suffer strong irritations and other symptoms. Local residents started to complain about poor air a day after the World Expo finished, when the index hit 156 on Nov 1, the highest level since March. Readings for the next day dropped to 138 and rose again to 151 on Nov 8. The recent pollution data stood in sharp contrast to figures recorded during the multibillion-yuan fair, when more than 98 percent of the days were recorded as "good". […] There are also higher risks of air pollution in Shanghai during winter as the cold wave brings polluted air from inland provinces, the center said. […] Many construction sites in the city were told to stop work during the Expo to ensure smooth traffic flow and good air quality. The government also prohibited farmers from burning straw, which is a major source of air pollutants, and launched clampdowns on heavily polluting trucks. […] For Yang Qian, a resident of Guangzhou, poor air quality in Shanghai bodes ill for her city, which is hosting the 16th Asian Games. She's worried that pollution affects the city again after the games because the government has only brought in temporary measures, such as the odd-and-even license plate rule, which allows cars onto the roads on alternate days, and the production ban on polluting enterprises. Still, there are a number of people who believe that such measures will pay off in the long run. "It's true we've had poorer air after the Olympics, following the lifting of bans on cars," Beijing resident Zhang Ting said. "But it's still much better than in the years before the event with the shutdown and relocation of many polluting enterprises.". ^ top ^

 

Economy

China invests $30 bln in emission cutting in 5 years (Global Times)
2010-11-23
The Chinese government has allocated a total of 200 billion yuan ($30.12 billion) from its central budget for energy conservation and emission cutting from 2006 to 2010, said an official with China's top economic planning body Monday. The fund was expected to generate a total non-government investment of two trillion yuan, said He Bingguang, a senior official of the Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection at the National Development and Reform Commission. From 2006 to 2010, China had made breakthroughs in the scale, technological level, and commercial modeling of the country's green industries, said He at a press conference concerning the International High-tech Exhibition of Green Industries and Green Economy, to be held in Beijing starting Wednesday.

The four-day event will be attended by 127 participants, 85 of which are foreign-funded firms. ^ top ^

Central government plans to set CPI rise limit to 4% (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-25
The central government plans to set the limit for Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise in 2011 at 4 percent, one percentage point higher than the 3 percent limit of 2010, the China Business News (CBN) reported Wednesday. According to a source close to the policy makers, ministries and departments proposed that the CPI rise in 2011 should not exceed four percent at the Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing, The conference is regarded as a guideline for next year's economic policy. In the past five years, the central government had been taking efforts to curb CPI rise. The limits for CPI rise in 2006, 2007 and 2010 were all three percent. This figure had been changed to four percent and 4.8 percent respectively in 2008 and 2009, due to the financial crisis. Several international institutions - including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, USSecurities and Standard Chartered Bank - had advised China to give more tolerance to CPI growth in November, seeing the recent price surge in China. The limit for CPI rise of 2010 was higher in Brazail and India. Brazil has a limit of 4.5 percent. India's limit is between 5 to 6 percent. Russia, another BRIC country, had the same limit as China at three percent, but its CPI had increased by 7.5 percent last month. The government has put price stabilization and inflation expectation control as the main economic tasks in 2011. Policy makers will also work on a smooth shift from the current "moderately loose monetary policy" to "prudent monetary policy", according to the report. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian traders to benefit from local currency settlement (Global Times)
2010-11-25
China and Russia will expand local currency settlements for bilateral trade, announced Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Tuesday, one day after the yuan started trading against Russian ruble on the Chinese interbank market. The announcement was made at the 15th regular meeting between the Chinese premier and Russian prime minister, marking the first step of the local currency settlement between the two countries -- the yuan's trading on the Russian forex market will follow in December. As China's energy needs would continue to grow quickly and with Russia's increasing appetite for manufactured goods, skipping the US dollar would benefit the burgeoning trade between the two countries, said Zhang Junsheng, director of Information Center with China National Institute of WTO affiliated to the University of International Business and Economics. Zhang said direct trade between the countries began long before at China's border goods distributing centers. Local traders had largely accepted the Chinese yuan for bilateral trades because of their confidence in its stability and China's strong economy. It was the first time China has ever officially cooperated with a big power on local currency settlement. […] "Without exchange rate loss, they will see large reductions in trade costs, which will help China and Russia trade get back on track (to the pre-crisis level)," he said. Although, there are concerns about China's ambitions to make the yuan into a global currency and the dollar's position. "The dollar's position in the international monetary system is too secure to rock," Zhang said. According to Yao, the recent moves by China and Russia sent signals. One was that countries have begun to seek new channels to avoid domestic assets being devalued by outside risks, as the dollar-dominated international monetary settlement model exposed anumber of problems during the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, it also signaled that emerging markets and countries were working closer and expected more mutual benefits while gradually steering away from cooperating with developed economies. […] China started to allow the yuan to trade against the Russian ruble at 4.671 from Monday and will soon see the yuan trade against the ruble in Russia in December. The ruble is the seventh currency traded on China's Foreign Exchange Trade System after the introduction of the US and Hong Kong dollars, the euro, yen, British pound and Malaysian ringgit. Bilateral trade between the two countries is estimated to reach above 50 billion US dollars by the end of 2010. ^ top ^

Central Bank wary of inflationary pressure as yuan-revaluation expectations rise (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-25
The People's Bank of China warned Wednesday that the country was facing increased inflationary pressures due to capital inflows and amid expectations of a revaluation of the yuan. Deputy Governor Hu Xiaolian put out an online statement outlining these fears a day ahead of a meeting on monetary policy. Hu said the capital flows made managing liquidity more difficult because of "the quantitative easing policy that leading developed nations are continuing to follow" - a thinly veiled reference to the United States. She warned that China would struggle to meet its lending target for the year, as demand for credit had been strong in recent months. After a record of 9.6 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) in new loans last year, Beijing set a moderately lower target of 7.5 trillion yuan for this year. "The speed of Chinese economic growth continues, overseas trade and foreign capital have also risen in consequence and expectations of a renminbi revaluation continue to grow," she said. The central bank will manage liquidity and continue to regulate credit, she said. ^ top ^

Inflation expected to remain top target (SCMP)
2010-11-26
With Chinese leaders scheduled to meet at the nation's highest-level economic decision-making meeting in Beijing within two weeks, economists are already sketching out likely scenarios for next year. They expect inflation will rise to somewhere between 4 per cent and 5 per cent, as the central government pulls out all stops to bring it under control, and that economic growth will fall slightly to about 9 per cent. Economists also predict that the stock and debt markets will play a bigger role in corporate finance as lending curbs start to bite. They say there is also room for further reforms to make the economy more efficient, and more resilient. Every December in Beijing, the central economic work conference is the time when the leadership lays down the new theme or overarching strategy for the country's development the following year. For three consecutive days this week, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, has been urging local government agencies to police price rises, and economists agree that Beijing's immediate concern is inflation. The National Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index, a key measure of inflation, rose 4.4 per cent year on year last month, making it hard for China to meet its full-year inflation target of 3 per cent. Cao Yuanzheng, BOC International's chief economist, said in a recent speech that, ideally, China should strive for annual gross domestic product growth of above 8 per cent, with inflation below 5 per cent. Li Huiyong, chief analyst of Shenyin Wanguo Securities, said on Tuesday that he expected that Beijing would raise the inflation target to 4 per cent next year. Lu Zhengwei, senior economist at Industrial Bank, said: "[…] But for China, not only is it time to bring our economic policies back to normal, it's also time for some real tightening.” […]. ^ top ^

3Q account surplus (Global Times)
2010-11-26
The nation's current account surplus more than doubled in the third quarter of 2010 from the same period last year, official data showed Thursday, propelled by strong demand for Chinese-made products. The current account surplus - the broadest measure of trade with the world - rose 103 percent to $102.3 billion between July and September, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange said on its website. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Tensions high as two Koreas trade shelling (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-24
The two Koreas exchanged artillery fire Tuesday along their disputed border, raising tensions between the rivals to their highest level in more than a decade. It is reported that two South Korean Marines were killed in the shelling. Pyongyang warned of more and harsher military strikes if South Korea encroaches on the maritime border by "even 0.001 millimeter." Seoul also warned North Korea Tuesday of "enormous retaliation" if Pyongyang took more aggressive steps. China has urged for the two to restrain and do their best to maintain peace and stability in the Korea Peninsular. U.S. President Barack Obama said that the United States will defend South Korea after what the White House branded an "outrageous attack" by North Korea on its neighbor. Yet with its options limited, the U.S. sought a diplomatic rather a military response to one of those most ominous clashes between the two Koreas. […] Obama, speaking to ABC News, would not speculate when asked about military options. He was expected to telephone South Korean President Lee Myung-bak late Tuesday night, and he met into the evening with his top national security advisers to discuss next steps, the Associated Press reported. The skirmish began when North Korea warned South Korea to halt military drills near their sea border, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, the North troops retaliated by shelling the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations and a small civilian population. Seoul responded by unleashing its own barrage from K-9 155mm self-propelled howitzers and scrambling fighter jets. Two South Korean marines were killed in the shelling that also injured 15 troops and three civilians. Seoul said there could be considerable North Korean casualties, too. The confrontation lasted about an hour and left the uneasiest of calms, with each side threatening further bombardments. […] The attacks focused global attention on the tiny island and sent stock prices down worldwide. The dollar and gold rose as investors sought safe places to park money. Hong Kong's main stock index sank 2.7 percent, while European indexes fell between 1.7 and 2.5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 142 points, or 1.3 percent. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the artillery attack, and called for "immediate restraint" and insisted "any differences should be resolved by peaceful means and dialogue.". ^ top ^

US-led UNC proposes general-level talks with DPRK (Global Times)
2010-11-24
The US-led United Nations Command (UNC) proposed staging general-level military talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to discuss Tuesday's exchange fire between South Korea and the DPRK, UNC said in a statement. ^ top ^

DPRK accuses ROK of firing first; 2 marines killed (China Daily)
2010-11-24
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday exchanged artillery fire with the Republic of Korea (ROK), after the DPRK shelled an island near their disputed sea border, killing at least two ROK marines, setting dozens of buildings ablaze and sending civilians fleeing for shelter. […] "Despite our repeated warnings, South Korea fired dozens of shells from 1 pm... and we've taken strong military action immediately," its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a brief statement. The supreme military command in Pyongyang threatened more strikes if the ROK crossed their maritime border by "even 0.001 millimeter", according to the KCNA The ROK returned fire, and scrambled fighter jets to the area. The military said it was conducting regular military drills off the west coast before the DPRK started firing dozens of shells. But Seoul said its firing exercises were not aimed at the DPRK. It is not clear whether there had been any military drills near the island that could have triggered the incident. […] ROK President Lee Myung-bak, who has pursued a hard line with the DPRK since taking office nearly three years ago, said a response had to be firm following the attack on Yeonpyeong island, 120 km west of Seoul. The United Nations Security Council could hold an emergency meeting in the next day or two over the increasing tension, a French diplomatic source told reporters on Tuesday. The exchange was a sharp escalation of skirmishes that flare up periodically along the disputed border, and it comes amid renewed tension over the DPRK's claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility. […] The ROK military said two marines were killed in the attack, 17 were wounded and three civilians were also hurt. Piao Jianyi, director of the Center of Korean Peninsula Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it is too early to say which side is to blame for starting the skirmish, as the ROK was conducting a military drill near the island. He noted that based on news reports, both sides were restrained and neither sought to launch a war. "It is no surprise that the DPRK reacted as it has long been under pressure from ROK-US joint military drills," he said. Piao suggested that the best solution is for all sides to return to the negotiating table at the Six-Party Talks. Huang Youfu, director of the Institute of Korean Studies at Minzu University of China, also blamed the United States and the ROK for the escalation of tensions. "The frequent joint military drills by the US and ROK have made the DPRK feel under grave security challenges. Pyongyang may want to demonstrate its self-defense capacity (by fighting back)," said Huang, adding the incident will make China's efforts at resuming the Six-Party Talks more difficult. Gary Li, an expert on East Asia security at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, called the DPRK shelling a military "provocation". "Washington just ruled out the resumption of Six-Party Talks following this incident, so it is unlikely to be restarted anytime soon." Scott A. Snyder, adjunct senior fellow for Korea Studies at the US-based Council on Foreign Relations, said the DPRK's "renewed nuclear development efforts" are likely to push Pyongyang higher on the Sino-US agenda. Revelations regarding the DPRK's enriched uranium program "pose a direct challenge" to the Obama administration's policy on a number of fronts, he added. ^ top ^

China again calls for joint efforts to safeguard stability of Korean Peninsula (People's Daily Online)
2010-11-26
China on Thursday again called on the relevant parties to make joint efforts to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing. […] Hong initially expressed China's stance Wednesday with regard to the exchange of fire between the ROK and the DPRK. On Thursday, Hong again called on parties involved to stay calm and exercise restraint, and urged the ROK and DPRK to engage in dialogue and refrain from similar actions. China has always maintained that the relevant parties resolve disputes through negotiations and by peaceful means and be committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, Hong said. China opposed any acts that harmed the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, he went on. […] He said China hoped parties involved could make concerted efforts to properly handle their concerns through talks and consultation within the framework of the six-party talks, which involved China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Russia and Japan. China would like to make concerted efforts with all parties to help ease tension, seek peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, Hong said. With respect to the planned joint military drill between the United States and the ROK in waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula from Nov.28 to Dec. 1, Hong said China was concerned. "China holds a consistent and clear stance on the issue," Hong said without elaborating. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

MOU signed to implement EU standards (Mongol Messenger)
2010-11-19
On November 11, the Government of Mongolia and the European Union (EU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Multiannual Indicative Plan (MIP) for cooperation in the period 20111-2013. The event happened within frames of the meeting between EU Member States Ambassadors and Prime Minister S.Batbold. the MoU was signed by Dr. Michael Pulch, the Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Mongolia, and Mongolia's Finance Minister S.Bayartsogt. This MIP 2011-2013 provides the framework for future bilateral cooperation of 5 million Euro per year, representing a 40 percent increase of funding to Mongolia as compared to the period 2007-2011. During the event, Prime Minister S. Batbold said, “Mongolia aspires to expand its cooperation with the EU within frames of its ideology of third neighbor. Mongolia's Government and people are very grateful to EU and its member states for effectively supporting democratic and market changes in Mongolia. Preparations have satisfied the establishment of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with EU by the end of this year. The MoU signed today has been a part of cooperation between Mongolia and the EU; by doing so, work to naturalize EU standards in Mongolia starts in reality.”. ^ top ^

MPP Officially Registered in SOC-Intern (Montsame)
2010-11-19
A delegation headed by the Secretary-General of Mongolian People's Party /MPP/ U.Khurelsukh has participated in a meeting of Socialist International, which ran in Paris, France, on November 15-16. At this meeting, which gathered some 400 delegates representing 80 political parties from 60 countries, the delegaion had the party's new name registered officially, and met a president of Socialist International, Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, General Secretary of Socialist International Luis Ayala as well as a president of Women's Socialist International Pia Locatelli. At these meetings Khurelsukh presented the results of the 26th Congress of his party and its politics of reform, exchanged views on cooperation prospects. He invited the Socialist International leadership to visit Mongolia during the 90th anniversary of the MPP which will be celebrated in 2011. A result of these meetings, the sides agreed to hold a meeting of the Committee of the Socialist International Asia-Pacific region in Ulaanbaatar before the anniversary of the MPP. ^ top ^

DP will not quit coalition, asserts N.Altankhuyag (News.mn)
2010-11-22
The highlight of the 32nd meeting of the National Consultative Committee of the DP that concluded on November 19, with 196 of its 228 members in attendance, was an address by the party Chairman, First Deputy Premier N.Altankhuyag. He strongly repudiated all suggestions that the party come out of the coalition, calling them “naive”. He said the country's interests come first and collaboration in governance was more important now than being in the opposition for its own sake. He asserted that the DP was not overshadowed by the MPP in the coalition Government and “I, Chairman of the DP, am not in the pocket of the Chairman of the MPP”. Such allegations are “far from the truth and constitute calumny”, he said. He felt the DP and the MPP have equal chances in the next election period. Indeed, opinion polls put DP 3-5 percentage points ahead of the MPP. Altankhuyag stressed that this indicates popular support for the DP continuing in the coalition. “We have to show the people that we have the skills and the sense of responsibility to face any difficult situation,” he said. ^ top ^

World Leaders Thank Mongolia (Montsame)
2010-11-23
The leaders of major states who participated in NATO Summit on Afghanistan issue talked to Mongolia's President Tsakhia Elbegdorj during the Summit's second day in Lisbon, Portugal, on Nov. 20 and praised Mongolia's contributing to stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan and implementing an active work of the foreign policy. As part of this summit, the head of the Mongolian state has exchanged views on multilateral cooperation issues with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the U.S. President Barack Obama, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, EU President Herman Van Rompey, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jonh Key, Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague. During these talks, the world leaders expressed words of gratitude to Mongolia, which is sending its peacekeepers to Afghanistan to take active participation and cooperation in maintaining a security in the region and worldwide. From 2003 to the present, Mongolia has sent some 700 of its troops to participate in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Currently, two units of the Armed forces of Mongolia are there fulfilling the mission of conservation and protection zones near Kabul, which is under the control of the U.S. troops. In addition, the Mongolian troops and the soldiers of Germany jointly have been carryinh out an operation in the Faisalbad city in southern Afghanistan. Apart of this, a team of artillery instructors have been working there since 2003 and are training a group of helicopter technicians. ^ top ^

Khurts Case Adjourned (UBPost)
2010-11-23
The trial of Mongolian top national security official B.Khurts, who remains in custody since September 17 in Wandsworth prison in London, took place in Westminster Magistrates Court in London on November 15. At the extradition hearing in London, Alan Jones, a defense lawyer for Khurts, made legal arguments based on testimonies by witnesses and on relevant international legal grounds not to expatriate B.Khurts to Germany. As the Court decided to consider these lawful grounds thoroughly, the case was adjourned until January 5, 2011. The defense lawyer Jones accused British authorities of trying to “entrap” his client by inviting him to visit the country only to detain him for alleged kidnap. […] “That is a completely inappropriate way to conduct relations with a foreign friendly government,” the lawyer told Westminster Magistrates' Court. At the hearing, Khurts said in a statement read out on his behalf in court that he was the head of the executive office of Mongolia's National Security Council, describing it as “effectively the absolute power in Mongolia”. He said he worked “very closely” with foreign intelligence agencies and was keen to share knowledge with Britain. To this end, British and Mongolian officials in London and Ulaanbaatar began discussing in November 2009 the possibility of a visit by a Mongolian official to London, according to documents revealed in court. The Foreign Office has denied any formal meetings were arranged for Khurts' seven-day trip. However, the Mongolian ambassador to London, Bulgaa Altangerel, told the court it was “very normal” for visiting officials not to have formal written invitations and that should not be taken as a sign that Khurts was not welcome. The hearing was in presence of some Mongolian top officials, including Foreign Ministry's State Secretary D.Tsogtbaatar, the Justice Ministry's State Secretary G.Bayasgalan, Special Functionary Ambassador Ts. Bolor, Mongolian Ambassador to the United Kingdom B.Altangerel and the Embassy's Advisor and Consul N.Bataa. Officials from the British Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth also attended the trial. ^ 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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