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
  14-17.6.11, No. 375  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Chinese, Kazakh presidents hold talks (China Daily)
2011-06-17
Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Monday to discuss ways to elevate China-Kazakhstan strategic partnership to a higher level [...]. Noting that China and Kazakhstan will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year, Hu said bilateral ties have seen all-round development over the years [...]. During the talks, Hu thanked Nazarbayev for inviting him to visit Kazakhstan and to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) [...]. The Chinese president is scheduled to meet Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov on Tuesday. "I am willing to review the progress and fruits of bilateral ties with Kazakhstan leadership and together make plans for further development of bilateral ties," Hu said in a written interview with the Kazakh press on the eve of his visit. "I hope to exchange views with them on the development of the SCO, the Central Asia situation and other major international and regional issues of common concern," he said. Chinese officials said that during Hu's visit, the two sides will issue a joint political document and sign bilateral agreements for cooperation in economy and trade, finance and environmental protection. Over the past 19 years since China and Kazakhstan forged diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have developed steadily. In 2005, the two countries established the strategic partnership [...]. ^ top ^

Vietnam, U.S. to hold naval exercises (SCMP)
2011-06-14
Vietnam will hold joint naval drills with the US next month [...]. Confirmation of the exercises came as Hanoi pushed ahead with a live-fire exercise off its central coast last night and Chinese analysts denounced Vietnam's actions as a show of force defying Beijing. US Seventh Fleet officials confirmed a US destroyer would head to Da Nang next month for a search and rescue exercise as part of a pattern of annual drills with regional allies and partners in recent months that have included Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. At the end of this month, two US destroyers and a salvage vessel will drill with the Philippine navy off Palawan - the closest Philippine island to the sea's disputed Spratly archipelago - as part of the effort [...]. The central government has repeatedly called for an end to US surveillance off its coasts. Fleet spokesman, Commander Jeff Davis, said the moves had long been scheduled and were not a reaction to tensions over the sea in recent weeks [...]. Meanwhile, Ji Qiufeng, a professor at Nanjing University's school of foreign relations, told China's Global Times newspaper that Vietnam was testing China's bottom line. "In response, Beijing needs to make it clear to Vietnam that any challenge to China's sovereignty over the South China Sea cannot succeed," Ji said, noting both sides should avoid further escalations. Hanoi has twice accused Chinese ships of cutting or damaging cables towed by Vietnamese oil ships surveying its southern waters. While repeatedly condemning Hanoi for infringing its sovereignty and demanding an end to exploration, Beijing denied the latest incident last Thursday. Instead, Foreign Ministry officials said its fishing boats were chased by armed Vietnamese ships and one became ensnared in a Vietnamese survey ship, which it insisted was operating illegally [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing warns against complicating South China Sea issue (Global Times)
2011-06-15
China has warned against attempts to internationalize and complicate the South China Sea issue but said it will not resort to the use of force in defusing tensions. “The recent situation in the South China Sea was due to unilateral actions taken by some countries, which damaged China's sovereignty and marine interests. These countries made groundless and irresponsible remarks in an attempt to expand and complicate the South China Sea issue. That is the cause of the problem,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday. “China is committed to a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea issue through bilateral dialogues and consultations with related parties. We will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force,” he said [...]. Beijing's statement comes a day after Vietnam conducted live-fire artillery training in the South China Sea and the country's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed an order on eligibility for military conscription [...]. The Philippines announced Monday that it had started to use the name “West Philippine Sea” to refer to the South China Sea [...]. US senator Jim Webb, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, urged Congress on Monday to pressure China over the issue, [...]. The US angered China last year by asserting that Washington had national security interests at stake in the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, the AP reported. “The US seems to have sketched out vague security guarantees for countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines. Washington therefore is able to further flare up conflicts in the South China Sea so as to counter China,” Ji Qiufeng, a professor at the School of Foreign Relations at Nanjing University, told the Global Times. It is unlikely, however, that the US will offer tangible military support to these nations, Ji added. China declared indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and the Nansha Islands, and their adjacent waters. Countries including Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines lay claim to parts of the South China Sea, which contains important shipping routes and is also believed to contain rich oil and gas reserves. ^ top ^

Hu vows to strengthen Tajik, Kyrgyz relations (China Daily)
2011-06-15
President Hu Jintao met his counterparts from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, and stressed that China will work hard to further enhance relations with the two Central Asian countries. When meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Hu noted that China, as a close neighbor, sincerely hopes for long-lasting peace and common prosperity in Central Asia, and is willing to make unremitting efforts to achieve this with Tajikistan and other countries in the region. Hu also held talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart Roza Otunbayeva on the same day, ahead of Wednesday's Astana summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which brings together China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The summit in the capital of Kazakhstan will mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the SCO, which is dedicated to security and economic cooperation among its member states. Hu told Rahmon that China and Tajikistan greatly complement each other in their cooperation, which has a bright future. In recent years bilateral cooperation has made remarkable achievements, and China is willing to deepen cooperation with Tajikistan in areas including trade, infrastructure, mining, communications and agriculture, Hu told his Tajik counterpart. Hu said China is also willing to implement and expand cooperation in large projects, including the infrastructure construction of the Karasu-Kulma port connecting the two countries [...]. Later in talks with his Kyrgyz counterpart Otunbayeva, Hu said China is willing to increase contacts with Kyrgyzstan and enhance political trust, deepen mutual cooperation in all areas, and elevate bilateral relations to a new level [...]. Analysts said China and the two Central Asian nations have maintained close relations in recent years, and it is important for both sides to guarantee smooth cooperation. Wu Hongwei, a researcher at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European, Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the meetings of the leaders would inject new momentum into bilateral ties [...]. Statistics show that Sino-Tajik bilateral trade reached $1.4 billion in 2010, an increase of 2 percent year-on-year. In 2010, bilateral trade between China and Kyrgyzstan recovered to $4.2 billion following the global financial crisis in 2008. ^ top ^

China, Mongolia pledge closer relations as Mongolian PM visits (Xinhua)
2011-06-16
China and Mongolia on Wednesday pledged to work more closely to enhance good-neighbor relations. The pledge came out of a meeting between Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, and Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold in Beijing. Batbold arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a three-day visit to China as guest of Premier Wen Jiabao. Wu started the meeting by reviewing the growth of China-Mongolia ties, saying Mongolia was one of the first countries to have established diplomatic relations with China [...]. Wu said China-Mongolia relations had withstood the test of profound changes in the international sphere and sought solid development, citing frequent high-level exchanges, deep political trust, close economic cooperation and active people-to-people exchanges. Wu underscored China's commitment to stronger ties with Mongolia, saying China would like to work with Mongolia to deepen exchanges and cooperation in all fields, enhance and broaden bilateral relations and benefit the two peoples [...]. Wu called on both sides to step up cooperation in mineral development, infrastructure construction and technology sharing on animal husbandry. Batbold appreciated China's long-term support to Mongolia's economic and social development, saying his country would like to work closely with China in the trade, minerals, education, science and technology sectors as well as on infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges. On parliamentary ties, Wu proposed the legislative bodies of the two countries step up experience sharing on governance issues and promote democracy and the rule of law [...]. ^ top ^

Central Asia bloc to step up terror fight (SCMP)
2011-06-16
China and the other five members of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) agreed yesterday to strengthen co-operation to combat terrorism and called for an end to the Libya crisis. The regional security group, which also includes Russia and four ex-Soviet Central Asian states, made the pledge in a declaration issued after a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. President Hu Jintao called on members to jointly fight the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and other security threats such as the drug trade and multinational organised crime. Hu also called on SCO members to expand economic co-operation and cultural exchanges [...].. SCO members said counter-terrorism remained a priority, and they were willing to promote co-operation in information security and combating cybercrimes [...]. Chinese public security officials said last month when conducting an anti-terror drill in Xinjiang with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, another SCO member, that they had seen signs that terrorists belonging to the East Turkestan Independence Movement had sneaked back into China through Central Asia. China won support from other member states for its call for Nato to end its military campaign in Libya and for the restoration of stability in the Middle East [...]. It said the international community should respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of West Asian and North African countries without interfering in their internal affairs. China and Russia, who both hold veto powers over UN Security Council resolutions, abstained from a March vote authorising Nato air strikes to safeguard civilians in Libya. The SCO also criticised US plans to deploy missile defences in Europe, saying it could undermine global security [...]. ^ top ^

China to strengthen maritime forces amid disputes (People's Daily Online)
2011-06-17
China's offshore surveillance force will be beefed up to ensure that the country's maritime interests are fully protected amid increasing disputes with its neighbors. By 2020, a total of 15,000 personnel, compared with 9,000 now, will serve in the China Maritime Surveillance (CMS) force under the State Oceanic Administration, a senior official with the CMS, who declined to be identified, told China Daily [...]. The expansion plan was unveiled as China's biggest civilian maritime patrol ship was sent into the South China Sea to protect national "rights and sovereignty". Haixun 31, from the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration, under the Ministry of Transport, sailed from Zhuhai, Guangdong province, on Wednesday on its way to Singapore for a two-week visit, the Xinhua News Agency said. The 3,000-ton, helicopter-equipped ship will monitor shipping, carry out surveying duties, inspect oil wells and "protect maritime security", Xinhua said. It also said that the ship will inspect foreign vessels anchored or operating in Chinese waters [...]. The CMS was founded in 1998 and its duties include patrolling territorial waters, monitoring exclusive economic zones and protecting the maritime environment [...]. China is facing new challenges in protecting its maritime rights, Gao Zhiguo, head of the China Institute for Marine Affairs at the State Oceanic Administration, said. The China Ocean Development Report 2011, released by the institute in May, also said disputes at sea between China and other countries have been on the rise [...]. Vietnam's navy conducted live-firing exercises on Monday after accusing Chinese boats of disrupting oil and gas exploration in its waters. Despite the rising tension, the Foreign Ministry on Thursday reiterated that Beijing will not use force to solve the dispute. China is "committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea", spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news conference [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing OKs role of Taiwan in spat (Global Times)
2011-06-17
Safeguarding sovereignty over the South China Sea is a shared obligation for both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, [...]. "It is a shared obligation for people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to safeguard sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters," Yang Yi, a spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference Tuesday. Taiwan's army said Tuesday that it would send a fleet of ships to the South China Sea and would station tanks on Taiping, the biggest of the Nansha Islands, at the end of June, the Taipei-based United Evening News reported [...]. The Taiwan military is to replace the current troops stationed on the island under its control with better-trained marines to boost combat capacity,[...]. Chen Guoming, an editor of Taiwan-based Defense International, told the Global Times Thursday that cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan is feasible and should be encouraged. However, some analysts poured cold water on the prospects of cross-Straits cooperation on this issue as they believed it might "cost the mainland in recognizing Taiwan independence." South Korea's Yonhap News Agency speculated this was a strategic decision made by Beijing, toward which Taiwan is expected to respond positively. The Chinese mainland has declared indisputable sovereignty over the islands and their adjacent waters some Southeast Asian countries [...]. An official in Beijing Thursday downplayed any implication of the cruise by one of the country's largest civilian patrol vessels in the South China Sea, saying that it was sailing from Zhuhai to Singapore on a visit [...]. ^ top ^

China, Russia stuck on gas deal pricing (SCMP)
2011-06-17
China and Russia failed to finalise a gas supply deal in time for their leaders' summit in Moscow yesterday, but President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of energy co-operation between the countries after meeting with Dimitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart. "Co-operation in energy is a key area in practical co-operation between China and Russia," Hu told reporters after the meeting at the Kremlin Palace. "Both sides are willing to keep pushing forward this co-operation on a mutually beneficial, win-win basis." After five years of negotiations, officials on both sides expressed optimism last week that a deal would finally be sealed before Hu reached Moscow, but differences over pricing reportedly kept an agreement out of reach. Russia's Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, said China should pay a tariff close to the European level, which reached US$345 per thousand cubic metres in the first quarter of the year and is expected to rise to US$500 in the fourth. However, China reportedly wants to pay US$200, the same as it pays Australia and Central Asian countries [...]. Hu's visit to Russia has coincided with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, and the two leaders made a joint declaration yesterday acknowledging it. They also expressed joint views on a range of international issues, such as opposition to outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, Iran's right to nuclear power, and a readiness to resume nuclear talks with North Korea. Yesterday, tourism officials in China also announced that the Chinese side of Heixiazi Island will be opened to tourists on July 20. The island, known as Bolshoi Ussurivsky in Russian, saddles the Sino-Russian border, and the two countries agreed in November to develop it jointly as a tourist destination under the concept of "one island, two countries". ^ top ^

Chinese president, Russian PM vow to deepen ties, cooperation (Xinhua)
2011-06-17
Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin here Thursday for talks on boosting bilateral ties and deepening cooperation in various sectors. Hu said China highly values Putin's efforts for the development of China-Russian relationship over the past decade since the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation [...]. The two countries will enjoy new opportunities to deepen the strategic partnership of cooperation, Hu noted. Hu stressed that China is willing to work with Russia, under the framework of the Treaty, to further enhance strategic mutual trust, enhance mutual support on issues of core interests, enlarge the all-round pragmatic cooperation in various fields, consolidate the long-term friendly ties so as to yield more achievements concerning bilateral ties and bring more benefits to the two peoples. The Chinese president said, to further promote cooperation in the new decade, both countries should continuously enlarge bilateral trade volume, with the goals of reaching 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 billion dollars in 2020. The two sides should strengthen collaboration on energy, including nuclear power, coal, electricity, new energy and new technologies, Hu said. Meanwhile, China and Russia are also expected to see more progress in mutual investment, innovation and high-tech areas, and infrastructure construction in border areas. Putin agreed that the strategic partnership of cooperation between Russia and China is of great significance, and its healthy development will benefit not only the two nations but also the whole world [...]. ^ top ^

China, Mongolia forge strategic partnership, vow to enhance economic ties (Xinhua)
2011-06-17
China and Mongolia on Thursday agreed to upgrade bilateral ties to a strategic partnership level and bolster economic cooperation [...]. Wen and Batbold inked a joint statement on the partnership and witnessed the signing of another eight judicial and economic agreements after their talks at the Great Hall of the People [...]. Mongolia, thanks to its booming mining industry and rich resources of coal, iron and copper, is expected to realize two-digit economic growth this year and is attracting Chinese investors. China has the most direct investment and companies in Mongolia out of any foreign countries, Batbold said in an interview with Xinhua on the eve of the three-day visit. "China will, within its capability, help Mongolia to develop its national industry, secure energy supply, protect the environment and to improve people's living standards," Wen said. He said China will, along with efforts from Mongolia, promote high-level exchanges, further strategic mutual trust and enhance coordination and cooperation in regional organizations and mechanisms [...]. The two sides should also expand exchanges in such sectors as education, tourism, youth and media to promote bilateral relations, Wen said. Batbold said he welcomed Chinese investors and appreciated China's assistance to his country's economic and social development. Mongolia will stick to the one-China policy and consolidate cooperation with China in trade, mining, transportation, finance, husbandry, energy, environment protection, high-tech and humanitarian fields, he said. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Internet users set up site to report bribery (SCMP)
2011-06-14
The mainland public's lack of confidence in the authorities' inefficient anti-graft system has led internet users to set up their own grass-roots online platforms for reporting bribery. At least three independent websites that allow people to detail how they have bribed others have been established in less than four days. They appear to have been inspired by mainland media reports that more than 20 officials were sacked by the Indian government in the past year based on clues exposed by the users of an Indian grass-roots website, ipaidabribe.com. One of the Chinese websites, ibribery.com, says on its front page that nearly 1,800 members have registered since Friday, providing 266 clues about various bribery cases. Many people putting posts on the websites admit that they have paid bribes to teachers, school principals and doctors in exchange for better treatment of family members in schools or hospitals [...]. Another user, claiming to be a salesman at a Shanghai-based wine wholesaler, said on the woxinghui liao.com website that an executive with the China branch of a US beer giant had received more than 10 million yuan in bribes between 2003 and last year from different companies. But few posts on the three sites were related to senior officials and none of the internet users reporting the clues used their real names. Many mainland internet users welcomed the new method of targeting worsening corruption but also expressed concern that it might prompt the authorities to shut down all grass-roots websites very soon. Others said that the websites faced a big challenge because they might lack sufficient manpower to check all the clues reported by tens of thousands of internet users [...]. ^ top ^

Editorial condemns use of violence in protests (SCMP)
2011-06-14
The Chinese-language edition of the Global Times, a state-run newspaper affiliated with People's Daily, issued a strongly worded condemnation yesterday of the use of violence to protest against social injustice. It mentions two incidents in the past week [...]. The editorial also criticised internet users who say the acts represent the weak standing up to the government. "All those who take their revenge on society should be punished in accordance with the law, and the courts must not be influenced by the online defence of the perpetrator," it said. The editorial also said that people who advocated the use of "violence to fight the government and social injustice" were "back-pedalling in society," adding that the way to eliminate injustice was to improve the rule of law, not use the law of the jungle. It urged government officials to stand up and denounce violence, because "the unclear stance of the government will create the illusion that such supporters of violence are taking the moral high ground". ^ top ^

Amendment aims to end forced confessions (China Daily)
2011-06-14
China's drafting amendment of criminal procedural law will likely include better measures to prevent the extraction of confessions through torture or violence, a legal expert said in a report in Monday's Beijing News. Court procedures will exclude evidence found to be extracted by torture, violence or other illegal ways, the newspaper quoted Wang Minyuan, a legal researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The prohibition of illegal evidence extraction and self-incrimination has already been included in the current Criminal Procedure Law, Wang added. However, the provisions in the law did not stipulate consequences for those practices, so confessions and evidence obtained in that manner could still be recognized as valid in the prosecution procedures, and that is a major reason for the repeated cases of forced confessions and miscarriages of justice, Wang said […]. Last year, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security and the Ministry of Justice jointly issued a regulation setting out detailed procedures for examining evidence and for excluding evidence obtained in an illegal ways such as torture. In March, China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said in his work report that the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Law is included in the legislature's schedule of law amendment and revision this year. On Friday, Zhou Yongkang, secretary of the CPC Central Committee's Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, urged the proposed law amendment to better balance human rights with crime-fighting. ^ top ^

Unhappy rural workers 'threaten social stability' (SCMP)
2011-06-15
China's millions of rural workers will become a serious threat to stability unless they are better treated in their new urban homes, a top state think tank warned in a report published in the wake of fresh rioting in one factory city in the south. The report from the State Council Development Research Centre, published yesterday, found that while the overwhelming majority of migrant workers and business owners from villages see their future in cities and towns, they are often treated as unwelcome "interlopers" and have few rights. The huge shift from the countryside to cities will continue for decades, and unless the migrants have better welfare, housing and legal status in towns and cities, their discontent could turn into a serious threat to stability, said the study, published in Reform magazine [...]. "If they are not absorbed into urban society, and do not enjoy the rights that are their due, many conflicts will accumulate. If mishandled, this will create a major destabilising threat," it warned. It singled out China's residence permit or hukou system, which channels most welfare, housing support and health care to urban residents, as another major impediment to integration. [...]. Migrant workers have won higher wages and better treatment, the survey of 6,232 migrant workers found. The report did not spell out exactly when the survey was conducted, but results refer to conditions in 2010. The percentage of migrant workers who said their wages were in arrears fell to 4.3 per cent, a fall of 16 percentage points on the results of a 2006 survey [...]. ^ top ^

New round of heavy rain hits China; 55,000 evacuated (China Daily)
2011-06-15
A new round of heavy rain has started to batter several southern regions, causing more deaths and triggering floods and landslides which had forced over 55,000 people to evacuate their homes as of late Tuesday, local authorities said. Torrential rain began to lash Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guizhou and Anhui provinces Monday evening and Zhejiang Province Tuesday morning. The rain is forecasted to last till Friday in some regions, according to local meteorological authorities. More than 53,000 people had been evacuated from their homes in Hubei City of Xianning, as downpours had raised the level of a local river by five meters as of 7 pm, local authorities said [...]. Three people were killed by lightning in Guizhou late Monday and Tuesday, where more than 2,700 were evacuated from areas at risk of flooding. Heavy downpours and hailstorms also hit the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Monday night, killing four people and nearly 1,000 farm animals [...]. In the already hard-hit Yueyang city in Hunan, the new round of rain further damaged the embankments of several reservoirs, and last week, flash floods and landslides caused by the largest rainstorm in 300 years killed 29 people and left 20 missing. City authorities have ordered the repair of the damaged embankments, checks on all reservoirs for problems, and the evacuation of downstream residents who might be in danger. In the city of Huangshan in southern Anhui, water overflowed from 35 reservoirs and exceeded the warning levels in 124 reservoirs, according to the city flood control and drought relief headquarters. The agency has also ordered precautions and checks for potential geological disasters and the relocation of threatened residents. ^ top ^

Ministry in blacklist threat over food scares (SCMP)
2011-06-15
The Ministry of Health plans to blacklist reporters who "spread wrong information or mislead the public", prompting a public outcry over censorship and manipulation of power. Spokesman Mao Qunan said during a food safety seminar on Monday that the ministry would monitor reports and set up a blacklist to "crack down on individual media intentionally sending misleading information", the Economic Daily reported. "We will inform the relevant authorities of the media organisation, and we will blacklist the media organisation and reporter," Mao said. He later elaborated on the blacklist to caing.com, saying it was intended for internal use as part of efforts to manage the media by monitoring stories and quelling "intentionally wrong reports". Mao said the ministry could judge whether reports were malicious based on their source and how they were reported. And even if false reporting is found to have been unintentional, the reporter will still be held responsible [...]. Experts quoted in reports could also be held responsible, he added [...]. Over the years, media reports have been crucial in exposing food safety problems on the mainland, with almost all major food scandals exposed by the media [...]. Mao's remarks have incurred widespread criticism by reporters, media critics and the public, who are accusing the ministry of attempting to silence reporters. Yu Guoming, vice dean of the school of journalism at Renmin University, said telling the public it would blacklist reporters was a violation of freedom of expression, and he called the move "highly inappropriate" [...]. ^ top ^

Corrupt cadres fled with 800b yuan (SCMP)
2011-06-16
As many as 18,000 corrupt mainland officials may have fled the country with as much as 800 billion yuan in ill-gotten gains in less than two decades, according to a study released by the central bank. The money was secreted out of the country between the mid-1990s and 2008, according to the report by the People's Bank of China's anti-money-laundering monitoring and analysis centre. The document, not originally intended for public consumption, depicts the likely extent of the problem of officials and executives from state-owned enterprises absconding with embezzled funds and bribes, long the subject of speculation. In addition to assessing the extent of the lost capital, the report also detailed the perpetrators' main routes of escape, money-laundering methods and the risks they posed to the country. Hong Kong has been widely used as a springboard for corrupt officials to flee to Commonwealth countries, it said [...]. It said lower ranking officials who took relatively small amounts of money tended to flee to nearby countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia and Russia. Higher-ranking corrupt officials, with cases involving larger sums, tended to escape to developed countries in the West such as the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands [...]. Casinos in Macau, Russia and Southeast Asia were also commonly used for money laundering by colluding with casino operators, the report said [...]. The report warned that the rampant corruption was jeopardising communist rule. "It is a direct threat to the clean-politics structure of the [Communist] Party and harms the foundations of the party's power," the report said. ^ top ^

CPPCC chairman calls for maintaining stability (China Daily)
2011-06-17
China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin has called for accelerating the strategic restructuring of China's economy and promoting economic and social development in a "sound and fast manner." Jia, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, [...]. He talked with workers and scientists, asking them to make "great efforts" in developing energy-efficient technologies. Jia showed concern regarding the incomes and general quality of life of both factory workers and rural residents. The goal of developing economy is to meet the ever-increasing demands of the people, he said. Jia said that efforts must also be made to address China's growing income gap. Jia also called for efforts to resolve outstanding problems that have cast a negative impact on social harmony and stability, in a bid to create a better social environment. ^ top ^

Calls for reform put forced confessions under the spotlight (China Daily)
2011-06-17
Suspected criminals in China may finally get their "right to remain silent", a cliche in Hollywood gangster movies, as experts urged lawmakers to outlaw self-incrimination to reduce forced confessions. Tian Wenchang, director of the criminal committee of the All China Lawyers Association, told China Daily the country's Criminal Procedure Law, which will "very likely" be amended this year, may give suspects immunity from testifying against themselves [...]. Experts and officials have long been calling for revision of the Criminal Procedure Law, which has not been amended for 15 years [...]. Wu Bangguo, the top legislator, said earlier this year the revision of the Criminal Procedure Law was included in this year's work schedule of the National People's Congress, while Zhou Yongkang, secretary of the Party's Central Political and Legislative Committee, last week urged the proposed amendment to better balance human rights with fighting crime. Wang Minyuan, a senior crime expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Beijing News that torture during interrogation was still practiced in China, although the current regulation rules out the use of evidence extracted through torture, violence or other illegal means. "However, the article failed to reject the legitimacy of such evidence, some of which can still be used in court, making the prohibition of such illegal methods very difficult," Wang said [...]. Article 38 in the Criminal Procedure Law, together with Article 306 in the Criminal Law, stipulates lawyers of suspects are liable for criminal penalties if they "entice their clients to change their testimony and interfere with judicial activities". The article was included in the Criminal Procedure Law during its last revision with the aim of preventing lawyers from influencing judicial procedure. Tian said such a stipulation, which is rarely seen in other nations' legal systems, will limit lawyer's abilities to defend their clients and hence reduce the rights of suspects. Tang Hongxin, a Beijing-based criminal lawyer, admitted he has been very "prudent" in collecting verbal evidence. "Normally I prefer objective evidence to the verbal ones," he said. "Article 38 has thrown many lawyers behind bars since it was adopted in 1997" [...]. ^ top ^

Southwest China city vows severe punishment, even death penalty, in food safety scandal crackdown (Xinhua)
2011-06-17
A new trial provision issued by the Higher People's Court of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality requires more severe punishment, including the death penalty, be adopted to decrease the likelihood of food and drug safety scandals. The provision of ten items provides concrete advice in the trials of food and drug safety crimes. According to the provision, primary culprits, recidivists and criminals who cause serious health hazards or get a huge amount of illegal profit must be severely punished. Violators whose criminal acts have caused serious consequences or fatalities may face a life sentence or even the death penalty, according to the provision. Criminals may face capital punishment for committing food safety-related crimes that result in death or other severe consequences, according to China's Criminal Law. The provision also increased the extent of property penalties and sets no limit on confiscated properties and fines [...]. The top legislature passed the Food Safety Law in 2009, which was soon followed by a nationwide food safety inspection [...]. ^ top ^

Regions to pay herders to cut down grazing on grasslands (Global Times)
2011-06-17
Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions started Thursday to implement a subsidy and reward program for herdsmen, initiated by the central government to reverse and prevent damage of grasslands from climate change and overgrazing. Xinjiang will prohibit herdsmen from grazing their cattle on about 10 million hectares of grasslands, about 17.6 percent of the region's total natural grasslands, according to the regional government. Some 36 million hectares of natural grasslands will still allow for a limited number of cattle to graze, the government announced. Affected herdsmen will be compensated with an annual subsidy ranging from 5.5 yuan ($0.85) to 50 yuan for each mu (0.07 hectares) of different kinds of grasslands where grazing is prohibited, and an annual subsidy of 1.5 yuan per mu of grassland where grazing is limited. In addition, herdsmen who sow grass will be given an annual subsidy of 10 yuan per mu. Similar to Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia will annually compensate herdsmen 6 yuan per mu for its 404 million mu of prohibited grassland and 1.5 yuan per mu of 616 million mu of grassland where grazing is limited. The central government is expected to annually spend 13.4 billion yuan in five years on the program, said to be the country's largest of its kind in terms of funding and coverage. ^ top ^

China dispatches disaster relief teams to flooded south (Xinhua)
2011-06-17
China's central authorities on Thursday upgraded its emergency response to level 4 -- the highest-- and sent disaster relief teams to Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi provinces -- where heavy rainfall has triggered serious floods claiming lives. Floods, caused by a new round of torrential rains that started to pelt south China Monday, [...]. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, the floods triggered by the concentrated rainfall in the past four days had resulted in 19 deaths and seven missing in Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces and Chongqing Municipality, according to the ministry source. More than 555,000 people have been evacuated in those areas, while some 3,500 houses in the two provinces of Zhejiang and Anhui had toppled, and 18,100 more were damaged in the floods, it said. Earlier Thursday, a disaster inspection and relief team was also sent to Jiangxi where the floods had killed four and affected 3.18 million people [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Curfew order for riot-hit Xintang (SCMP)
2011-06-14
Hoping to prevent riots from rolling into a fourth night, authorities imposed an 8pm curfew last night in Xintang, Guangdoong. The rioting started on Friday night in Zengcheng, a denim-garment production hub, after a pregnant 20-year-old hawker, Wang Lianmei, from Sichuan, was allegedly manhandled by security staff in front of a supermarket in Dadun village, Xintang. The guards, hired by the local government, were said to have tried to stop the woman peddling goods. Although there was no official announcement, residents of the town, part of the city of Zengcheng and administered by Guangzhou, said they were told yesterday to stay off the streets [...]. However, a small scuffle broke out at about 7.30pm when more than 100 migrant workers waved batons and water pipes at police before being quickly dispersed, according to witnesses [...]. Police began setting up barricades in the afternoon to block roads leading to 107 National Highway which goes through Xintang. On Sunday, residents were shocked to see more than 1,000 migrant workers gather at the highway about 9pm, despite a heavy police presence. The demonstrators burned cars and public facilities as they moved north, before being dispersed at 1.15am yesterday. Xinhua reported on Sunday that 25 people had been arrested [...]. Many shops were closed and only a few people went to work. Helmeted police carrying batons and shields patrolled the streets all the day [...]. Although the government was quick to broadcast footage of a press conference, attended by Wang's husband, who said that both his wife and his child were safe, and showed officials visiting Wang in hospital, demonstrators took to the streets three nights in a row [...]. ^ top ^

Party 'unharmed by Guangdong riots' (SCMP)
2011-06-16
A week of widespread riots in southern China may have dampened provincial party chief Wang Yang's "Happy Guangdong" campaign, but analysts don't expect the unrest to harm the political star's rising career. Chaozhou's Guxiang town in eastern Guangdong and Zengcheng's Xintang town near Guangzhou are recovering from violent unrest that saw government offices besieged and vehicles destroyed, mostly by migrant workers. The government responded with an iron fist, by arresting protestors and unleashing an unprecedented display of police strength. Now, the challenge remains to repair not only physical property but also the damage to the region's image, particularly in the light of the happiness campaign that Wang has promoted since January. University of Hong Kong associate professor Peter Cheung Tsan-yin, who specialises in politics and public administration, said the timing of the incidents may have poured cold water on Wang's campaign but his career remains on track [...]. "The problem is not unique to Guangdong; it could happen anywhere in China as long as the overall urban-integration problem shared by more than 100 million migrant workers is not properly dealt with by the central government." A Guangzhou-based political analyst who declined to be named expressed similar views, saying riots occur elsewhere, not only in Guangdong. However, the "rioters in Guxiang and Xintang are targeting only local township and village governments with no political significance."Top-level politicians are concerned only whether their ruling position is being threatened, such as during the Jasmine Revolution. But, in fact, Wang might have gained an extra bonus for his crisis management during these incidents." Zheng Yongnian, director of the National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute, said making stability the highest priority could encourage officials to use violence against protesters, which in turn could make matters worse [...]. Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, urged officials during his visit to Henan early this week to give priority to strengthening and innovating social management in order to boost co-ordinated social and economic development, and let ordinary people "truly feel fairness and justice.". ^ top ^

Suspect held for online posts 'that caused riot' (SCMP)
2011-06-17
Police have arrested the alleged rumour-monger they say made online posts last week that triggered three days of violent riots in Zengcheng, Guangzhou. The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau said via a microblog posting on Wednesday night that the suspect was arrested on Tuesday. Police said he had already admitted posting false information online, but the authorities were further investigating the incident [...]. Under a heavy police presence, Xintang is gradually returning to order, with entertainment venues such as nightclubs reopening after being forced to shut down amid violence that saw government offices besieged and vehicles torched. Guangzhou Mayor Wan Qingliang said on Wednesday that the government needed to learn from the riot, The Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday [...]. Earlier, police said separate protests in Chaozhou were started by a migrant worker from Sichuan who was wounded in an attack after demanding unpaid wages on June 8. And in Zhejiang province, security forces mobilised on Tuesday to suppress protests in the city of Taizhou, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. The Taizhou unrest broke out after the head of a local village government got into a physical confrontation with workers at a petrol station during negotiations about land-compensation fees that the owner of the service station was supposed to pay villagers. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet again closed to foreigners, travel agents say (SCMP)
2011-06-14
Foreign tourists will be barred from going to Tibet until the end of July, travel agents said on Monday, the second time this year the troubled region has been closed to overseas visitors [...].. A worker at the Tibet Youth Travel Service agency confirmed the ban, saying it begins on Tuesday and was linked to celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of China's rule over Tibet, reportedly scheduled for July [...]. The regional tourism bureau refused to comment when contacted by journalists, and a spokesman for the Tibetan government said he was unaware of the situation. Tensions run deep in Tibet, where many Tibetans accuse the government of trying to dilute their culture, and cite concern about what they view as increasing domination by China's majority Han ethnic group [...]. In March this year, Tibet was once again closed to foreigners ahead of the third anniversary of the riots, but travel agencies said overseas visitors had been able to visit from April to June [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

$659m poured to support Xinjiang's health sector (China Daily)
2011-06-15
Nineteen provinces and municipalities have spent a total of 4.28 billion yuan ($659 million) to support health sector development in western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region over the past year. The 19 selected regions, including Beijing and Guangdong, have supported 265 health projects in Xinjiang - from infrastructure building, medical equipment purchases to medical staff training, said China's Health Minister Chen Zhu, while addressing a meeting on Monday. These health projects are part of a national plan to support Xinjiang through "pairing assistance" from 19 provinces and municipalities, which was unveiled in March 2010. Chen added that the supporting provinces and municipalities have dispatched over 700 medical professionals and management staff to Xinjiang and organized health sector training for thousands [...]. According to Chen, the Ministry of Health and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine allocated a special investment of 2.8 billion yuan for the development of Xinjiang's health sector in 2010, up 39 percent year-on-year. Chen urged for further support to Xinjiang's health sector, especially in the reform of the medical system and training of medical professionals. At a national conference on "pairing assistance" for Xinjiang held in Beijing last month, the government pledged to promote further development in the west region while improving residents' lives there was highest concern. ^ top ^

Senior leader stresses supervision over policy implementation in Xinjiang (Xinhua)
2011-06-17
Senior Chinese leader He Guoqiang on Thursday called for stepped-up supervision over the implementation of several Xinjiang-oriented policies and projects in order to ensure the continued development of the northwestern region. He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee [...]. The projects and policies mentioned include "pairing assistance" projects, which were unveiled by the Chinese central government at a high-level meeting in March of last year. The projects require 19 provinces and municipalities to support Xinjiang in building new infrastructure and promoting local industries. He said that the authority of the policies must be "stoutly" adhered to, and that strict supervision of construction projects in the region must be ensured. He said that supervision must be focused on the work of government officials, in order to prevent corruption and waste. He said that if any problems are discovered, relevant groups and individuals must rectify the problems as soon as possible and work to prevent them from occurring again. He vowed intensified punishments for officials who neglect their duty or otherwise conduct themselves improperly. The Ministry of Supervision, along with other central government departments, has previously dispatched two work teams to various areas of Xinjiang to conduct inspections. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong urged to get back to basics (SCMP)
2011-06-15
Hong Kong urgently needs to address basic issues, such as housing, before they become political problems, Beijing's head of Hong Kong affairs said yesterday. Speaking on the last day of his first official visit, Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, also said a sense of urgency was needed to keep a competitive edge over the region's other economies. "Hong Kong has a lot of advantages, but the challenges are there, and the challenges are real," he said [...]. He singled out housing as a potential political problem if not handled properly. "The housing demands of citizens constitute both an economic and a livelihood issue. If not handled properly, it will become a political problem. The government should be sensitive to and be concerned about the housing problems people are facing." Wang mentioned the downturn in the US and the European debt crisis as factors with the potential to crimp Hong Kong's economy [...]. He said he understood Hong Kong better from visiting different places and talking to people from different walks of life. His warning coincided with the release of a survey showing Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's rating at a record low […]. Asked about the decline, Wang praised Tsang's team for its efforts to improve the economy and people's livelihoods. Noting the existence of "many controversies" in Hong Kong, he said it was normal to find different opinions on major public policies. "When it is in the chief executive's judgment that the policy is in the long-term interest of Hong Kong, he should persist with it," Wang said, and it was good the Hong Kong government had adjusted some policies in response to public demand [...]. Wong Kwok-kin, a local deputy to the National People's Congress, said Wang's high-profile visit signalled a change of role for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. "It will take a more proactive role in communicating with the Hong Kong SAR government," Wong said [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

New spy scandal rocks Taiwan (SCMP)
2011-06-15
Taiwanese authorities have arrested a businessman on charges of spying for the mainland, in the latest espionage scandal to rock the island. The businessman is one of the eight locals, in five separate espionage cases, to have been arrested for allegedly gathering classified information for the mainland since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May 2008, despite warming cross-strait relations. Lai Kun-chieh, 35, who worked for a well-known computer company in Beijing, was detained on Monday under an order by the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office, for alleged espionage [...].. In May last year, Lai approached an acquaintance [...] offering him close to NT$1 million for confidential information about Taiwan's Patriot missiles and related missile drills, the Investigation Bureau officers said. Alarmed by the alleged offer, the major reported the case to his superior, who then started monitoring the businessman, culminating in Monday's arrest, the officers said. Investigators say Lai later told them that he was recruited by a Taiwan Affairs Office official with the Beijing city government, who threatened to make his life in Beijing bitter if he refused to serve as a secret agent for the mainland. David Lo, spokesman for Taiwan's defence ministry, [...] stressed that no classified information had been leaked. "Nor had any military officers been involved," he said, adding that the military turned the case over to prosecutors since no military personnel were involved. The incident comes just months after Taiwan arrested a major general in February for leaking classified information to the mainland. The arrest of Lo Hsien-che [...] dealt a serious blow to Ma's government, which had adopted a policy of engaging Beijing. The latest scandal also provided the pro-independence camp with another excuse to attack the government's policy of increasing engagement with Beijing. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Rules hamper use of yuan for overseas investment (SCMP)
2011-06-14
The yuan is still not widely used by mainland companies for overseas acquisitions despite them being cleared by regulators to make greater use of the currency offshore, suggesting more reforms are needed. Beijing's moves to relax its currency regime since mid-2009 and turn Hong Kong into an offshore yuan- trading centre have had mixed results. Yuan bond issuance in Hong Kong, yuan trade settlements and deposits have all ballooned over the past year, but in the five months since getting permission to use the yuan instead of US dollars, mainland firms have hung back from using yuan to go shopping overseas. "So far, we have not heard of much overseas direct investment in yuan," Jun Ma, chief economist for Greater China of Deutsche Bank, told a conference yesterday […]. Hong Kong has been a gateway for mainland companies making overseas direct investments. Of the US$59 billion in such trade last year, 57 per cent went through Hong Kong. One reason for the reluctance of mainland firms to use yuan to buy overseas companies, was the lengthy approval procedures involved, according to a banker who did not want to be named. As a result, they preferred to use dollars. Ma said the policy was one-sided. While the People's Bank of China may have allowed mainland firms to invest overseas in yuan via Hong Kong, companies wanting to invest in the mainland with the currency are handled on a case-by-case basism [...]. At the conference, Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam said 7 per cent of China's trade was settled in yuan in the first quarter, against 0.7 per cent in the first half of last year [...]. ^ top ^

Reserves ratio hiked as CPI hits 34-month high (China Daily)
2011-06-15
China's central bank raised bank reserve ratios on Tuesday for the ninth time since last October after data showed inflation rising in May to 5.5 percent, its highest level in almost three years. The central bank increased the ratio for China's biggest banks to 21.5 percent, a record high, locking up funds that could otherwise be loaned out and add to inflationary pressures. Data released on Tuesday showed economic growth is slowing down, but not too quickly, providing relief for financial markets that China will avoid a hard landing and leaving room for Beijing to focus on fighting inflation. The increase in reserves takes effect on June 20, the central bank said on its website. Following the inflation data earlier on Tuesday, several analysts had predicted the central bank would raise interest rates in the coming weeks. Du Zhengzheng, an analyst at Bohai Securities in Beijing, said the increase in the reserve ratio requirement (RRR) may now delay a rate rise slightly [...]. "Inflation pressurees remain large," Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman for China's National Bureau of Statistics told a news conference. However, he said the economy was on track for "stable and relatively fast growth" [...]. Power shortages have contributed to the slowdoown in factory output growth, said Xu Biao, an economist at China Merchants Bank in Shenzhen [...]. May retail sales rosse 16.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with expectations for an increase of 17.0 percent, while fixed-asset investment between January and May rose 25.8 percent from a year earlier, against expectations for a rise of 25.2 percent [...]. China's money growth slowed to a 30-month low iin May and banks extended fewer new loans than expected, data on Monday showed [...]. Inflation has largely been fuuelled by a rise in food prices, exacerbated of late by a severe drought in farming heartlands. Sheng said pork prices rose in May more than 40 percent from a year earlier. Some economists say inflation is also the result of China's massive stimulus during the global financial crisis [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Kim Jong Il meets senior Chinese official (Xinhua)
2011-06-14
Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) met Monday with Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) […]. Li said Kim's successful visit to China in May pushed bilateral friendly cooperation to a higher level. China is willing to work with the DPRK to fulfill the consensus reached between the top leaders of the two parties and countries, strengthen strategic communication and deepen politic mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and maintain communication and coordination on major regional and international issues, he said [...]. Kim asked Li to convey his greetings and goodwill to President Hu. Kim said he reached important consensus with the leaders of the CPC and the Chinese government on consolidating and strengthening traditional DPRK-China friendship. Under the current complex international situation, it is of great importance for the two parties and countries to boost solidarity and cooperation and communicate on socialist construction experiences, he said. The DPRK would like to join hands with China to enhance high-level contacts, maintain close coordination, boost practical cooperation, expand cultural exchange and safeguard regional peace and stability, he said [...]. ^ top ^

North Korea leases port pier to Switzerland: report (Global Times)
2011-06-15
North Korea has leased a pier in its northeastern free trade zone to Switzerland as part of a move to bring in badly needed foreign investment, a report said Tuesday. South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Pyongyang had forged the deal to lease one of the piers at Rajin port, in the Rason special economic zone bordering China and Russia on the Sea of Japan. It gave no details about the reported Swiss deal, but said Pyongyang last year had already leased two other piers at the port, one to China for 10 years and another to Russia for 50 years. A group of Swiss foreign ministry officials led by Beat Nobs, deputy secretary of state, arrived in Pyongyang on Monday, the North's state media said. The Swiss embassy in Seoul could not immediately confirm the report. Yonhap's source said some European companies already have plans to invest in Rason, formerly known as Rajin-Sonbong. North Korea is striving to revitalize its economy through foreign investment in Rason, which was declared a special economic zone in 1991 but has so far failed to flourish. Earlier this month, North Korea and China reached a consensus to jointly develop two economic zones, the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone, in North Korea. Separately, elections for deputies to province, city and county-level people's assemblies will be held in North Korea on July 24, the official KCNA news agency said Tuesday. ^ top ^

China, DPRK launches first patrol on Yalu River (Xinhua)
2011-06-16
Maritime authorities in China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday launched their first joint patrol on the Yalu River, located on the border of the two countries. The action, aimed at maintaining navigation order along the river, was conducted by Maritime Safety Administration of Dandong City, China's northeastern Liaoning Province, and its counterpart in DPRK's P'yonganbuk-do. Three vessels from China and two vessels from the DPRK inspected about 92 km along the river and cleared ships and fishing boats hindering the normal flow of ships around the river's Dadong Port, according to the Dandong Maritime Safety Administration. In April this year, maritime authorities of the two countries signed a cooperative agreement on the management of the Yalu River. In the agreement, the two sides vowed to conduct joint patrols and rescue on the river. ^ top ^

Korea demands defectors return (Global Times)
2011-06-17
North Korea Thursday demanded the return of nine apparent defectors who crossed into South Korean territorial waters in a rowing boat, Seoul officials said. "North Korea's Red Cross sent a message to the South Korean Red Cross and demanded that the South return the nine people at an early date," the unification ministry said in a statement. The South says the nine are free to decide whether to stay or go. The three men, two women and four children, rowed across the Yellow Sea border Saturday. Media reports say they expressed a desire to defect from their impoverished homeland, currently beleaguered by persistent severe food shortages [...]. The latest incident comes as cross-border tensions are worsening but an analyst denied this would particularly aggravate matters. "The North cannot help but demand their return, as usual, but it will have to swallow (the situation) as the nine came to the South of their free will," said Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University. "I don't think this will seriously affect inter-Korean relations.". ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolian President to visit the United States (UB Post)
2011-06-14
President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj is to pay an official visit to the United States of America between June 13th and 18th, 2011, as the guest of his American counterpart Barack Obama. During the stay in the U.S, the President Elbegdorj will meet with the U.S President Barack Obama on June 16th. He will also hold separate meetings with the U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner and other officials, to discuss wide range of issues concerning bringing the bilateral relationship into a new level. The President Elbegdorj's trip will begin from Seattle City, where the Microsoft is based and San Francisco City to attend opening ceremony of a Mongolian Consulate-General. On June 16th, Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host the President of Mongolia, for a discussion of the concept of the “third neighbor” and Mongolia's foreign policies toward the larger Northeast Asia region, its relations with neighbors China and Russia, and its approach toward multilateral engagement. After his remarks, President Elbegdorj will take audience questions. ^ top ^

About visit of U.S. House of Rep's delegation (Montsame)
2011-06-15
A delegation of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Chairman David Dreier visited Mongolia June 10-11, 2011 to engage with MPs as part of a series of ongoing exchanges through the House Democracy Partnership (HDP). The U.S. delegation included members of both political parties.The HDP is a bipartisan, twenty-member commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with 13 partner countries around the world to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislative institutions. The HDP uses peer-to-peer exchange programs, training seminars for members and staff, and targeted material assistance to build capacity in key areas such as legislative oversight, budget analysis, committee operations, constituent relations, and library and research services.The HDP delegation has met with the Parliament Speaker Demberel; chairmen of the parliamentary Standing Committees; leaders and staff of the Parliamentary Research Center, HDP program alumni, as well as an MP and constituents from the city's Bayanzurkh district. The meetings focused on exchanging ideas and experiences on strengthening democratic institutions and deepening U.S. Mongolia bilateral relations. The delegation also has met with the State Head Elbegdorj to discuss the political and economic situation in Mongolia and bilateral relations. Regarding the visit of the HDP delegation to Mongolia, Mr. Dreier stated: "HDP has had a very productive partnership with the State Great Hural for many years, and this visit has helped to deepen and expand our cooperation. We're very encouraged by our Mongolian colleagues' commitment to develop their legislative institutions, and we clearly recognize the regional significance of their efforts and progress. The U.S. Congress continues to stand firmly with Mongolia in this endeavor". The Mongolian Parliament became a partner country with the HDP in 2006. Since then, more than 30 MPs and staff members from Mongolia have participated in HDP programs, and a similar number of Members of Congress and staff have visited Mongolia through HDP. ^ top ^

Minister details funding sources for road construction in capital (News.mn)
2011-06-15
The Standing Committee on the Budget yesterday discussed draft outlines of economic and social development in 2012. D.Zorigt criticized the allotment of only MNT15 billion to construct new roads in the capital city, when MNT123 billion was to be spent on similar programs in the provinces, and when MNT38 billion has been allocated to repair and renovate Embassy buildings. Minister for Finance S.Bayartsogt explained that the budgetary allocation was small as road construction in Ulaanbaatar would be financed from other sources, including MNT150 billion from the Development Bank, and MNT255 million from a Chinese soft loan of USD500 million. ^ top ^

President legs Google and Hoover institution (Montsame)
2011-06-16
In a scope of the visit, the President Ts.Elbegdorj has visited the Hoover Institution and the Google Corporation. In the institution, the State Head has been received by Mr. George P.Shultz, an economist and former U.S Secretary of State. He has significantly contributed to the Mongolia-USA relations and cooperation. The dignitaries have discussed the bilateral friendly relations and international matters. For contribution to developing of the relations, the President has awarded Mr. Shults the North Star Order. After this, the President has visited the Google Corporation. Its authorities have introduced Elbegdorj to new products. Wnen John Collins, a director of the Mind Prediction Service, said that a speech translation program is in a great demand, the President proposed to install the Mongolian language in this program. This was accepted, and a promise was given to study this matter. The Mongolian side has forwarded some other proposals on cooperation with the Google Corporation in information and communication, for example, it has requested the Corporation to study an opportunity to found a data center of the Google in UB. Ch.Saikhanbileg MP and a deputy head of the Information and Communication Authority A.Monkhbat have spoken about Internet in Mongolia, and disccussed with the U.S. side some matters on cooperation opportunity. ^ top ^

 

Jean Binder
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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