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
  20-24.6.11, No. 376  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Beijing issues warning signal (SCMP)
2011-06-20
Mainland media yesterday made public details of three recent military exercises [...] amid escalaating tension in the South China Sea. The news also came as anti-China protests were held in Vietnam for the third consecutive Sunday, and as the Philippines plans to send its largest warship into the controversial waters. A People's Liberation Army's vessel was sent to unspecified waters before carrying out a mine-sweeping exercise earlier this month, according to a front page story carried by the PLA Daily yesterday [...]. Before those exercises, the PLA hhad taken part in at least six separate military drills this month, including beach landings on the southern island of Hainan, the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao reported. Xinhua yesterday also said that its most advanced marine patrol boat, Haixun 31, had arrived in Singapore. The boat, which left Guangdong on June 15, will stay in Singapore until Friday. Observers believe its route, which went through the South China Sea, was aimed at sending a signal about China's claim of sovereignty over the disputed waters. A military analyst said China's actions seemed intended to serve as a warning to neighbouring countries that it would not turn a blind eye to territorial disputes over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. "Although the spate of drills by the PLA could be seen as routine, small scale or not even targeting neighbouring countries, the Chinese side choosing to make public so many exercises in such a short spell of time means that they want to send out a signal that they are gearing up for any possible conditions in the face of a series of high-profile actions by the Philippines and Vietnam on the disputed territorial issue," said Wong Dong. president of the International Military Association in Macau. Separately, about 300 Vietnamese protesters gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi yesterday and marched through the streets, yelling "Down with China!" and demanding that China stay out of Vietnam's territory, which it calls the East Sea [...]. Meanwhile,, when asked if sending the flagship Rajah Humabon to the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea could stoke clashes, General Eduardo Oban, the Philippines' top military officer, said: "We hope it will not reach that point." He said the ship would be confined to its maritime boundaries and would not stray into international waters […]. ^ top ^

Indian visit heralds a fresh start (SCMP)
2011-06-20
India resumed defence contacts with China, frozen for a year, when an Indian military delegation arrived in Beijing yesterday, though few expect any breakthrough with China pursuing its "all-weather friendship" with arch-rival Pakistan. But analysts say the visit, which ends a suspension of such contacts following a visa row last year, is a step forward in keeping a balance in ties between the emerging rivals for global influence and resources. New Delhi feels Beijing is trying to encircle and pin India down to South Asia with a string of military bases on the Indian Ocean rim [...]. While trade and diplomatic ties between the Asian powers are booming, the lack of defence exchanges is an aberration analysts say must be remedied for the world's fastest growing economies to achieve lasting peace. "It is symbolic and I cautiously welcome it. It does not represent any breakthrough in solving the disputes," said Uday Bhaskar, director of New-Delhi based think tank National Maritime Foundation [...]. An eight-strong team headed by a two-star general arrived in Beijing yesterday for a five-day trip that will include the western city of Urumqi [...]. Yesterday's visit will lay the ground for the annual scheduled defence secretary talks between India and China. "Major generals in India do not decide policy," Bhaskar said. "That can happen only at the political level. But with this engagement you create space for political rapprochement. ^ top ^

Public want tough line in S. China Sea (Global Times)
2011-06-21
Calls for tougher measures to resolve the South China Sea sovereignty row have intensified as anti-China sentiment continues to mount in Southeast Asia. In an online survey at huanqiu.com, nearly 18 percent of more than 23,000 participants claimed they supported China showing restraint over the issue while about 80 percent disagreed. Only 13.6 percent of respondents said negotiations remained the most reasonable approach to resolve the disputes while around 82.9 percent suggested military actions. Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor with the PLA National Defense University, said China would not ignite a large-scale military conflict but neither would it allow the issue to go unsolved indefinitely. "China should tighten law enforcement at sea. We should not expect any hasty solution. But at the same time, we should not allow any new problems to emerge," he said. "Minor frictions are inevitable and normal. China is capable of handling them," Zhang said [...]. China has long declared its indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters in the South China Sea, [...]. Beijing has stated it is committed to peaceful means and has pledged not to use force in the face of tensions. Zhuang Guotu, director of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at Xiamen University, told the Global Times that Vietnam and the Philippines are attempting to internationalize the issue. "Their two economies have been greatly dependent on China. To aggravate anti-China sentiments would be dangerous for the two. If tensions escalate, they would suffer the most," Zhuang said. Yan Xuetong, director of the International Studies Center at Tsinghua University, told Outlook magazine Saturday that "[...] To maintain regional stability through an appeasement policy may not be a long-term solution. It should be accompanied by punishment," he was quoted as saying. In an opinion piece published by Xinhua, Ye Hailin, an expert on International relations with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, advised China to draw "red lines" in the South China Sea and to make it clear that any transgressor of these lines would be punished [...]. ^ top ^

Libyan rebels seen as 'dialogue partner' (SCMP)
2011-06-23
China said yesterday it recognised Libya's rebel opposition as an "important dialogue partner", in a further sign of Beijing's willingness to get more deeply engaged in the Libyan conflict. The praise for Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) came in a statement by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi after talks in Beijing earlier in the day with senior rebel leader Mahmud Jibril. "China views it as an important dialogue partner," Yang said of the NTC, based in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. The foreign minister added that since the council was established, its "representative nature has increased daily and it has gradually become an important domestic political force". Beijing consistently opposes moves deemed to interfere in the affairs of other countries. But it has held meetings with Libyan rebels in recent weeks in an apparent sign that it wants a speedy end to the conflict in the north African state, where it has sizeable economic interests. The statement by Yang quoted Jibril as saying the transitional council pledged to protect those interests [...]. "[We] pledge to adopt the needed measures to safeguard the assets of Chinese personnel and enterprises in the areas under (NTC) control" [...].. Yang reiterated China's stated position that only a political solution could end the strife. Chinese economic interests in Libya include oil, railway and telecoms projects. ^ top ^

Debt crisis tops agenda of Wen trip (SCMP)
2011-06-24
Europe's deepening sovereign debt crisis and rising Sino-European financial co-operation will be the main talking points for Premier Wen Jiabao and his hosts on a three-stop visit to the continent that starts today, analysts say. The five-day trip to Hungary, Britain and Germany comes just a few months after Wen visited France, Portugal and Spain, where he offered China's help to combating the debt crisis. In October, Wen said China was ready to buy an unspecified amount of bonds from debt-plagued Greece. With worries about Greece's financial and political situation having grown since then, observers are watching closely how China will respond now [...]. Chinese ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming said on Tuesday that China wanted to be a "responsible and active investor" in the European Union - without specifying whether Wen would offer new support - and Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China had increased its holdings of European bonds during the crisis. About a quarter of China's US$3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves is estimated to be invested in euro-denominated assets. Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying said last week that the recovery of European economies was important and beneficial to China [...]. Zhang Shengjun, deputy dean of the Institute of Political Science and International Studies at Beijing Normal University, said China did not want Europe to struggle because this would affect bilateral trade. But he said how much China could give remained in question. "China wants to seek a win-win situation with Europe. China is not a charity group," he said. "Expectations of China offering help should not run too high. China can provide help only within its capacity" [...]. ^ top ^

China says it strictly abides by Declaration on South China Sea (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
China said on Thursday that it always strictly follows the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comment in response to a question at a news briefing. China attaches great importance to the DOC's role in maintaining regional stability and promoting mutual trust between China and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Hong. Since the signing of the DOC in 2002, China has actively pushed forward the implementation of the follow-up actions of the DOC, he said […]. He said marine scientific research, marine environment protection and navigation safety have been selected as priorities of cooperation by the joint working group. The joint working group also reached consensus on six cooperative projects, including disaster prevention and mitigation in the South China Sea and coordination on marine search and rescue missions. The joint working group has held six meetings on a rotational basis between China and ASEAN nations since it was initiated in Manila in 2005. ^ top ^

Top legislator pledges closer ties with the Philippines (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said on Thursday that China and the Philippines should further boost party-to-party exchanges and parliamentary cooperation. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made the remarks while meeting with a delegation led by the Philippines' House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte [...]. He said that developing cooperative ties between China and the Philippines meets the common interests of the people of both countries [...]. Wu urged both countries to properly handle problems in bilateral ties through dialogues and consultation and to accelerate cooperation on a basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Wu told Belmonte, who is from the Philippines' ruling Liberal Party, that increasing party-to-party and parliamentary exchanges between the two countries has facilitated the growth of bilateral relations. "China is ready to strengthen exchanges between the parliaments and parties of both nations and inject new vitality into our overall relations," he said [...]. ^ top ^

China's Catholic church faces pressing task to select, ordain bishops: spokesman (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
The spokesman for China's Catholic church said Thursday that the church faces an urgent task to select and ordain bishops in an "active and prudent" way, as more than 40 of the country's 97 dioceses are without a bishop. Selection and ordination of bishops must be based on national conditions and pastoral and evangelizing work, said Priest Yang Yu, spokesman for the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) and the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church of China (BCCCC). Yang made the remarks following a recent meeting between leaders of the CPCA and the BCCCC, which concluded that absence of bishops has "seriously affected normal operations and church affairs at bishopless diocese" […]. Priest Yang was named the first spokesperson for the CPCA and the BCCCC at the meeting. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Activist's wife under scrutiny (SCMP)
2011-06-21
The wife of jailed activist Hu Jia has been placed under surveillance just days before her husband is scheduled to be freed, confirming her fears that their freedom may be severely curtailed when he is released. Zeng Jinyan, who temporarily moved to Shenzhen two months ago with their three-year-old daughter to avoid harassment in Beijing, returned to the capital alone last Sunday for a final prison visit before Hu's release on Sunday. But friends have been unable to reach her since her arrival on Sunday, evening, prompting speculation that she may have been taken into custody [...]. Her mobile phone remained switched off yesterday and her home phone was permanently engaged. Hu is one of China's most high-profile rights campaigners, known for his activism in civil rights, environmental protection and the country's marginalised Aids patients. He was arrested in December 2007, when his daughter was just one month old, and jailed for three-and-a-half years on subversion charges four months later. Zeng had repeatedly voiced fears that she and Hu will be held under house arrest and cut off from the outside world after his release [...]. Beijing police did not respond to inquiries yesterday. Nicholas Bequelin, a senior researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the mainland authorities were taking measures to ensure that Hu and his wife could not speak to the media after his release [...].. Hu, 37, and Zeng, 27, endured years of harassment before Hu was jailed [...]. Hu was once held by police at an undisclosed location for six weeks in 2006, and Zeng and their daughter were often watched by security agents in Beijing. Zeng said she did not want their daughter to live under house arrest with them in Beijing and had to place her in the care of her relatives. ^ top ^

Full pension coverage for urban, rural residents before 2013: Premier Wen (Xinhua)
2011-06-21
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has vowed to accelerate the implementation of two trial pension programs for urban and rural residents in order to achieve full coverage before 2013. Wen made the remarks Monday at a meeting related to the implementation of the trial programs. One program will cover urban residents, while the other will cover rural residents. The pension program for urban residents is set to be launched from July 1, and will be implemented in 60 percent of China's cities and townships by the end of this year before being introduced nationwide next year. The pension program for rural residents was implemented on a trial basis in 2009, but has yet to be fully implemented. Under both programs, insured residents can receive a monthly pension of at least 55 yuan (8.46 U.S. dollars). These same residents can receive more pension payments, drawn from their tax contributions, when they reach 60 years of age. [...] Wen said "the Chinese people's wish for better care for elderly people will finally come true in the foreseeable future" [...]. "The important thing for now is to ensure full coverage. After that is achieved, we can continue to improve these programs and raise insurance standards in line with the country's social and economic development," Wen said. Wen urged local governments to use financial subsidies to attract more people to the programs. Expenditures for these programs must be ensured, even at the cost of other projects," Wen said [...]. ^ top ^

No nationalization of military in China: senior PLA officer (Xinhua)
2011-06-21
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is resolutely opposed to nationalizing the military, a senior PLA officer has said, urging the PLA to unswervingly uphold the principle of the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) over the military. The officer said that "domestic and foreign hostile forces" have a purpose in criticizing the principle with calls for "nationalization of the military" and "non-affiliation between the military and the CPC and depoliticizing the military." The criticism is fundamentally an attempt to divorce the PLA from the CPC's leadership so as to overthrow the CPC's ruling position and subvert the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, said General Li Jinai, a member of the Central Military Commission [...]. He said that the absolute leadership of the CPC over the military is the soul of the army as well as an important political advantage of the party and the state. It's relevant to the enhancement of the CPC's ruling position and improves its governing, as "the military is the cornerstone of the regime, and the ruling party must have a firm grip on the military," Li said. Moreover, Li said that the CPC's absolute leadership over the military is important to China's long-term stability and security, as the military shoulders the responsibility to secure peace for the development of the country during an important period of strategic opportunities. He noted that China's basic military system, the CPC's absolute leadership over the military, serves the fundamental interest of the overwhelming majority of the people, which distinguishes itself from some Western countries' military that safeguard the interests of the bourgeoisie [...]. One major aspect of upholding the Party's absolute leadership over the military is to adhere to a set of basic systems that can guarantee the leadership. For example, the supreme authority and command over the PLA must belong to the CPC Central Committee and the Central Military Commission, according to Li [...]. ^ top ^

Ministry accused of cover-up over safety (SCMP)
2011-06-22
A former senior official of the Ministry of Railways said that the ministry has overstated the safety of high-speed trains and covered up operational incidents. In an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald yesterday, Zhou Yimin, former deputy chief engineer of the ministry and head of the Science and Technology Department, said the new bullet trains had been plagued by problems [...]. He says the latest and fastest train, the CRH 380 series, which will soon begin operating on the world's longest high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai, would put the safety of passengers at risk if run at its top speed of 350km/h. He said the mainland was incapable of making trains that could run safely and reliably at more than 300km/h. The ministry said this month that safety was not a concern at 350km/h, but that Beijing-Shanghai trains would run at 300km/h for economic and environmental reasons. Zhou said the maximum speed of the CRH 380 prototypes, bought from Japan and Germany, was 300km/h. But Liu Zhijun, a former railways minister who was held by the party's disciplinary committee in February, put speed over safety to break world records, Zhou alleged. Safety at 350km/h could not be guaranteed due to a lack of independent research and development, Zhou said. "Key equipment was all made by foreign companies such as Siemens," Zhou said. "Though the manufacturing capabilities of the rail industry have improved a lot with the introduction of overseas prototypes in recent years, China's [research and development] remains peripheral. "Our trains look almost exactly the same as their peers overseas." A spokeswoman for […] the manufacturer of the CRH 380A model, said yesterday that Zhou had been retired for more than a decade, so his knowledge of the industry was out of date. The risk of the CRH 380A derailing was 50 per cent lower than its fastest overseas competitors and hulls were more than 20 per cent sturdier, she said. More than 10,000 leading scientists and engineers helped develop the train, she said, and more than 90 per cent of its components could be made domestically [...]. ^ top ^

Ai Weiwei out on bail, 'admits tax evasion'(SCMP)
2011-06-23
Artist-activist Ai Weiwei was released on bail last night, with police saying it was because he had confessed to tax evasion and was suffering from chronic illness […]. Ai suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes [...]. Ai's wife, Lu Qing, could not be reached for comment. A lawyer friend, Liu Xiaoyuan, said Ai had returned to his studio in Beijing's Chaoyang district last night and had replied to a greeting sent by text message with a terse, "Thanks". Ai said he could not give interviews. Professor Jerome Cohen of New York University, an expert on mainland law, said Ai's release on bail was "the very best outcome that could have been expected in the circumstances of this difficult case". "This is a technique that the public security authorities sometimes use as a face-saving device to end controversial cases that are unwise or unnecessary for them to prosecute. Often in such cases a compromise has been reached in negotiation with the suspect," Cohen said. Investigations into suspects granted such bail may continue for up to a year. The suspect is allowed to have freedom of movement, if not speech, in the city in which he lives. He requires permission to travel elsewhere in China and abroad. Cohen said the investigation was often quietly dropped so long as the suspect behaved himself [...]. Cohen said the outcome "makes clear that great international pressure plus significant domestic political and personal guanxi [connections] can be a potent combination even in the case of someone who went further than anyone ever has before in openly thumbing his nose at the communist regime". The release "has nothing to do with the rule of law but everything to do with the exercise of discretion by the authorities", he added. Word that Ai might be released shortly first spread on Twitter yesterday afternoon. Gao Ying, Ai's mother, said she heard from "very credible" sources her son would be released on bail. However, she said no officials had been in touch with the family. "This piece of news is very reliable," Gao said in a phone interview. "My heart is pounding, I hope I'm not dreaming... I have faith, and I believe this.". ^ top ^

Independent poll candidates harassed (SCMP)
2011-06-23
The emergence of a wave of web-based, self-nominated "independent candidates" for local legislative elections on the mainland has suffered another setback. Candidates and campaigners have reportedly been harassed by authorities or gone missing. Jiangxi resident Li Sihua, a contender in Yushui district in Xinyu, faces possible criminal charges of "sabotaging elections" from the local government, which has accused him of faking the signatures of some of his 218 supporters. It was simply a move to rule him out as a candidate, Li said. "Although, in theory, I could still win by gathering enough votes, as voters can write my name in an optional space on the ballot, the chances are very slim. They [officials] are so determined to stop me," he said [...]. Nearly 100 candidates have declared their candidacies on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, and their boldness is being hailed by some analysts as an indication of rising civil rights awareness and even as fuel for the democratic process. But on June 8, an official with the National People's Congress' Legislative Affairs Commission said on state television there were "no so-called independent candidates" under mainland law and no legal basis for the term "independent candidate" [...]. Xie Runliang, a contender in Yixing in Jiangsu, withdrew from the election on May 31, the day after he was called to have a chat with local police. Afterwards, he said it was inconvenient to talk about the reason for his withdrawal. "Running in the election is only a dream for someone as humble as me," he wrote on his Weibo account, "but some people are scared of my dream without reason." Candidate Li Chengpeng, a well-known author and social critic, said in his blog on Saturday that his son was denied a tennis sponsorship by a company under pressure from a "mysterious department", and Li was not allowed to appear with his son in a newspaper advertisement. He wrote that he was upset over how his son was made to suffer. "You [the department] are paranoid. We are so careful of toeing the line. We behave within the legal framework and we accept no media coverage," he wrote. The pressure has been applied not only to candidates but also to election campaigners. Activist Yao Lifa, who won a seat as an independent in a congressional election in Qianjiang, Hubei, in 1999 went missing on Monday. His wife, Feng Ling, said she suspected his disappearance was related either to his interview with a Hong Kong television station about the election or a forthcoming meeting in his hometown with someone from the US embassy in Beijing. But Beijing candidate Xiong Wei said he had not encountered any obstacles yet. "It's normal to investigate our background. We should be careful with what we do and say". ^ top ^

Premier Wen urges officials to better use power, serve the people wholeheartedly (Xinhua)
2011-06-23
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday urged government officials and Communist Party of China (CPC) members to better use their power and "serve the people wholeheartedly." Wen made the remarks in Beijing at a commendation ceremony awarding outstanding CPC members and CPC grassroots organizations in central government organs. "As the ruling party of the country, the CPC has won the trust of the people and should make efforts to live up to their demands. All of our work should serve the people's interests," Wen said. Wen called on CPC members and government officials to be good public servants. "The word 'public' requires officials to prudently use their power for the benefit of the nation's people. The word 'servant' means that officials should make efforts to diligently serve the people," he said. Wen also asked the officials to be "clean and honest" and avoid corruption. "The people have the right to supervise the government, and we should take measures to prevent officials from abusing their power," Wen said [...]. ^ top ^

Whistleblower websites closed (Global Times)
2011-06-23
Anti-corruption whistleblower websites are being closed down across the nation ahead of the July 1 anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), media reported Wednesday. At least four websites have been ordered closed down since June 15, a Global Times investigation found. Requesting anonymity, woxinghuile.com ("I paid a bribe") founder told the Global Times Wednesday he had received a notice from the China Internet Data Center on Tuesday closing the website as it was not registered with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The center handles domain name applications and answers to the Internet monitoring department of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Another anti-corruption website founder Chen Hong said he was one of many to have voluntarily closed down his own site ahead of the CPC birthday [...]. "We mean to help establish good societal ethics, not bring trouble to the government" [...]. The first official response came on Monday when city prosecutor Luo Shouliang told the Beijing Youth Daily all the websites were illegal, alleging they may unintentionally help corrupted officials and complicated the work of investigators [...]. "If you want to run for long, you need to register," Chen said. "I'm applying for the approval." The founder of fanxinghui.com ("anti-bribery"), who also requested anonymity, saw no point in applying. "Since it's already been announced as illegal, registering won't help," he said Wednesday [...]. Lack of legal approval was ultimately not the reason for closing down all the sites, Lin Zhe, a law professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Wednesday. "The real reason should be their slim effect in cracking down on corruption or possibly causing slander," she said. "A website doesn't have the function of investigating corruption." "If a person really paid a bribe, he or she should go to the prosecutors to confess and then provide proof." Wxhwz.com ("I paid a bribe") founder told the Global Times Wednesday he had not received any notice after launching his website last Tuesday. "I'm not worried about my website as I censor all posts and remove any bribe recipient's name before publishing," said the founder, who requested anonymity. "No one can secure that all the posts are true.". ^ top ^

Discipline inspection agencies handled 139,621 corruption cases in 2010 (Global Times)
2011-06-23
Chinese discipline inspection commissions investigated 139,621 corruption-related cases last year, said a senior official with the discipline watchdog on Wednesday. A total of 146,517 people were given disciplinary punishments and 5,373 transferred to judicial agencies for criminal proceedings in 2010, Wu Yuliang, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection told a press conference. Wu said special attention had been paid to embezzlement and bribery by officials, breach of discipline and violation of laws in key areas and sectors, and abuse of power and corruption cases related to serious accidents and mass incidents. ^ top ^

No softening of Beijing's tough line on activist (SCMP)
2011-06-24
Maverick artist Ai Weiwei's release does not signal a softening of the central government's tough line on critics - instead, it shows how Beijing's use of arbitrary detention has intimidated many of them into silence, analysts said yesterday. Scholars and rights groups expressed concern about the political nature of Ai's arrest and the way he appeared to have been coerced into making a confession to secure his release. Analysts said the release of Ai [...] may have been a calculated move to coincide with Premier Wen Jiabao's five-day trip to Hungary, Britain and Germany, which starts today [...]. Last month, European politicians visiting Beijing brought up Ai's case and warned that relations with China would be jeopardised if it did not improve its human rights situation. "His arrest has become a big embarrassment for China," said Dr Jean Pierre Cabestan, a political science professor at Baptist University. But even with what appears to be a concession to appease the West, Beijing had already achieved its goal of silencing Ai, one of its most vociferous critics, rights groups said [...]. Ai and most of the dozens of activists, rights lawyers and writers who were arbitrarily detained in the past six months had "retreated into uncharacteristic silence and seclusion" upon their release, Human Rights Watch said. Ai, who never used to mince words in his criticism of the government, yesterday said little more than he was "happy to return home". "I cannot be interviewed... due to my current circumstance," he said. Nicholas Bequelin, senior researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said that Ai's release did not mean the government was easing up on its crackdown. "We're still at a high point of the repression against critics and rights activists in China. The government has achieved its aim... that is to send a message that the authorities can arrest anyone at any point. His arrest was arbitrary, his detention was arbitrary and his release is arbitrary." Chinese-law expert Professor Jerome Cohen of New York University said although the announcement about Ai's release in state media claimed that Ai had "confessed his crimes", no formal charge had ever been brought against him, and he had apparently not pleaded guilty to any crime [...]. Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a political scientist at City University, said Ai's case shows that Beijing has a strategy to deal with people it considers troublemakers. "The way to handle these celebrated dissidents... is to exert pressure on them so they agree to remain silent, and then they are released," Cheng said [...]. Bequelin said: "The reason Ai Weiwei was arrested was because he was increasingly vocal about the state of other human rights activists... or victims of abuse."With his silencing, these people have lost a powerful advocate.". ^ top ^

Official says "red songs" do not indicate ideological shift (People's Daily Online)
2011-06-24
A senior publicity official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Thursday said the current popular "red- song" performances in the country do not signal an ideological shift. Wang Xiaohui, vice director of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a press conference in response to a question on whether red-song chorales springing up nationwide indicates an ideological return to the past. Groups of people signing red songs, mostly revolution-era songs, can be seen in more and more places throughout the country as the CPC prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary on July 1. Wang said that it's a long-held tradition of the Chinese people to sing red songs and this year it's very "meaningful" for people to get together and sign the songs to express their love for the CPC, remember the revolution martyrs and hope for a better life. "Today we have a very rich and diverse culture. […]." ^ top ^

Former vice mayor's death penalty appeal denied (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
A former vice mayor of China's eastern resort city of Hangzhou was denied an appeal for his death sentence, a higher court confirmed Thursday. The Higher People's Court of Zhejiang Province announced its decision on Tuesday to uphold the death sentence of Xu Maiyong, one of the harshest sentences handed down to a high-level Chinese official in recent years. Xu, 52, was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power on May 12 at the Intermediate People's Court of Zhejiang's city of Ningbo. The former vice mayor of the provincial capital was also stripped of his political rights for life and all of his personal property was confiscated. The official verdict said Xu made 145 million yuan (about 22.2 million U.S. dollars) in illegal profits by interfering in project contracts and by helping companies and people to obtain land, promotions and tax breaks between 1995 and 2009. Xu also embezzled state-owned assets worth a total of more than 53 million yuan, according to the verdict. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing's second airport to be ready by 2017 (China Daily)
2011-06-22
A new airport in the capital city, which will handle soaring passenger traffic in and out of the booming metropolis, is expected to be completed by October 2017, an airline source told the Beijing News. The new airport, which is likely to be approved within the year, will probably have eight runways for civilian use and a ninth for military use, Yao Weihui, general manager of China United Airlines, said [...] on Monday. Once the airport in southern Beijing's Daxing district is put into use, the Beijing Nanyuan Airport in the southern Fengtai district, which is used for both military and civilian purposes, will be closed, said Yao, whose airline now uses Nanyuan airport. Sources with the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Tuesday that the project is yet to be approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, so any detail in the previous plan is subject to change [...]. "The suggested location (for the new airport) in Daxing district is a place with few residents and buildings, so many runways can be built," Wang said, adding the Beijing Capital International Airport in the northeast cannot have a fourth runway because of its location. There has been a plan to build a second airport in the city for years. The new airport will shoulder part of the traffic pressure faced by Beijing Capital International Airport, which is now the world's second largest in terms of passenger traffic [...]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Power shortage hits offices, malls in Shanghai (People's Daily Online)
2011-06-20
Shanghai's shopping malls and office buildings are being urged to close on extremely hot days this summer to save power for residents' use in the midst of a shortage of supply, according to a recent notice issued by the Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company. The unprecedented power-rationing plan for 3,000 non-industrial users has been approved by the Shanghai municipal government but is not mandatory. The Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company is also calling on non-industrial users to set the temperature of their air conditioners above 26 C and says office buildings with power loads of more than 100 kilowatts may be asked to turn off their air conditioners for an hour on days when the temperature rises above 35 C. On days when the mercury rises above 37 C, non-industrial users are being called on to shut to ensure there is enough power for residents. In addition, as many as 24,000 electricity power users, most of which are industrial users such as factories, will be subjected to power rationing this summer [...]. Shanghai witnessed an annual growth in demand for power of 7 to 8 percent during the past three years and the gap between supply and demand this summer may reach 2.1 million kilowatts, according to the Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company. The gap across the whole of China this summer may exceed 30 million kilowatts, according to the China Electricity Council. Consumption of electricity by industrial users will be strictly limited during peak periods, while power rationing for non-industrial users will not be mandatory [...]. "We will refuse to be subjected to power rationing," said a clerk, who spoke on condition of anonymity, from the engineering department at Wanda Square, a major shopping mall in Shanghai's Yangpu district [...]. A notice about the shortage of electricity nationwide was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission. However, rain in several areas of the country helped ease the power shortage because hydropower plants are now operating to their maximum. Meanwhile, demand for electricity for air conditioners fell because the air temperature also dropped [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Zengcheng offers cash, residency to informers (SCMP)
2011-06-20
Zengcheng is giving out hukou, or residency, to migrant workers who provide tip-offs leading to the successful arrest of rioters after three days of civil unrest that tore Xintang town apart last week. According to a police notice published by the Zengcheng Daily yesterday, the authorities will give out awards of 5,000 to 10,000 yuan (HK$6,000 to HK$12,000), as well as grand titles such as "righteous good citizen", to people who provide information about riot participants. It said cash and additional awards would also be given to "outstanding" migrant-worker informants. That includes being dubbed an "excellent migrant worker" and receiving free residency in Zengcheng, a satellite city of Guangzhou. Chaozhou's Guxiang town in eastern Guangdong and Xintang town near Guangzhou are trying to recover from the violent civil unrest that saw government offices besieged and vehicles destroyed, mostly by migrant workers. The government responded to the violence with an iron fist [...]. Many perceive the latest measures dished out by the Zengcheng government as a tactic to divide migrant workers, who are known for their united spirit [...]. A Guangzhou-based analyst said it was the first time the government had offered free residency as a reward for information in the hunt for rioters. But he doubted the tactics would work. "Those who betray their brothers at home will lose their credibility," he said, calling such people unworthy to be citizens. He added that migrant workers could easily find jobs elsewhere, and official residency in Xintang may not be as attractive as the government thought. The official notice added that the government would penalise those who stormed government offices and used violence to disrupt the work of civil servants. It also called for rioters to turn themselves in to receive more lenient treatment [...]. ^ top ^

Guangdong chief speaks out on riots belatedly (SCMP)
2011-06-22
Guangdong party chief Wang Yang made a long-overdue, and vague, response to recent widespread riots in the southern province that appeared to put a damper on his signature "Happy Guangdong" campaign. Wang was quoted by the Guangzhou Daily as saying strengthening "social construction" was Guangdong's top priority [...]. Wang said that after more than three decades of implementing the reform and opening-up policy, Guangdong had been tremendously successful in building a rapidly growing economy, but the province remained relatively weak in terms of social woes. "Guangdong's long-term development on all fronts will be hampered if we don't pay attention to outstanding [social] problems," he said [...]. Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a political scientist at the City University of Hong Kong, said Wang's belated response, despite its ambiguity, was issued at a critical stage of his career development, as he looked to be promoted next year. "The intention behind his soft-lined and general comments is clear - to let things die down slowly," Cheng said. However, he said that did not mean the government had reacted slowly to the three days of riots triggered by rumours of a pregnant vendor being assaulted and her husband killed by Xintang security officers. "I wouldn't say it was a job well done, but it at least shows cadres have been well trained in crisis management” [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Top legislator calls for promoting Xinjiang's leapfrog development (China Daily)
2011-06-20
China's top legislator Wu Bangguo has called for promoting "leapfrog development" and "lasting stability" of northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region during his four-day visit of the far western area [...]. Efforts should be made to learn the significance of the progress in Xinjiang from a "strategic and overall view," said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislative body. "By utilizing nationwide support, Xinjiang's self-development ability should be strengthened and its resource advantages should be transferred into economic strength," said Wu, [...]. During his visit, Wu showed great concern for the improvement of locals' living conditions such as the construction of low-income housing [...]. Wu said bilingual education is vital to promoting exchanges among different ethnic groups in Xinjiang and helping create more job opportunities. When visiting a walnut-growing base in Hotan, Wu said fruit and cotton production, an agriculture pillar of Xinjiang, should be accelerated by adopting new technology, extending industrial chain, enhancing competitiveness of farm products and strengthening overall agricultural production capability. Xinjiang's agricultural development should feature "a new path of water conservation and efficiency," he said. During a tour to Xinjiang Tiansheng Corporation, a textile printing and dyeing factory, Wu urged the enterprise to increase the recycling of waste water to reduce environmental pollution."The key to realizing Xinjiang's leapfrog development is to upgrade traditional industries, and promote clean production and comprehensive utilization of resources, in order to lay a solid foundation for the region's sustainable development," Wu said [...]. He also said the building of the special economic zones of Kashgar and Horgos, which border countries including Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, should be a good chance for transforming Xinjiang into China's important base for opening up westwards. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong's GDP rises 7.2 pct in Q1 (Xinhua)
2011-06-21
Hong Kong's gross domestic product (GDP) went up 7.2 percent in real terms in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, compared with the 6.4 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2010, the city's Census and Statistics Department announced Monday. According to the department, analyzed by constituent sector and on a year-on-year comparison, net output in all the service activities taken together increased by 7.0 percent in real terms in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, compared with the 6.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 [......]. The accelerated growth was attributable to the strong growth momentum of external trade regained in the first quarter, the department said [...]. Net output in the financing and insurance sector grew by 12.6 percent in real terms in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, following the growth of 13.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. This reflected the continued buoyancy in financial activities, according to the department. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Ma picks premier as running mate for 2012 (SCMP)
2011-06-20
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has picked his premier as his running mate for January's presidential polls in what pundits see as an ideal ticket and a smart move to head off criticism he focuses only on ties with the mainland and fails on domestic issues. Ma announced at a news conference yesterday that Premier Wu Den-yih [...] would be his vice-presidential running mate. Ma is seeking a second four-year term under the Kuomintang party in January [...]. Wu, 63, became premier in 2009, replacing Liu Chao-shiuan, whose response to a typhoon disaster that left more than 700 people dead, seriously eroded public support for Ma. The cabinet led by Wu is known to respond swiftly to public demands. His quick wit, eloquent arguments and swift action in response to criticism from lawmakers [...] have pleased both Ma and his ruling Kuomintang [...]. Wu served as KMT secretary general before becoming premier in 2009. Wu's nomination was made possible after incumbent Vice-President Vincent Siew declared last month he would no longer seek a second term [...]. Hsu Yung-ming, professor of Soochow University, said Ma's policy of engaging with the mainland, adopted since he took office in 2008, had helped to improve the economy. But it had also caused distrust among voters in the pro-independence camp, who felt he was leaning too far towards Beijing. "The Ma-Wu ticket still faces a tough challenge from the DPP presidential nominee," Hsu said, referring to chairwoman of the DPP Dr Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai, who is visiting the Philippines, has yet to announce her running mate. Most opinion surveys have shown the two contestants are tied. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Developers turn to mining amid housing tightening (Xinhua)
2011-06-20
As home sales continue to fall amid strict tightening measures on the property market, some Chinese real estate companies believe they have found an alternative way out of the market uncertainty: mining. By June at least 15 property developers, buoyed by rising metal prices and great potential returns, have tapped the mining industry with a total investment of 19.26 billion yuan (2.98 billion U.S. dollars), according to the China Mining Association (CMA). Most of the investments went to mines that produce gold, lead, zinc and molybdenum, according to the CMA. The change of developers' investment strategy came after it became harder for them to cash in on the housing market, which has been weighed by a series of government measures since last year to cool down the hot market [...]. Ma Zhipeng, a spokesman of the China Beijing International Mining Exchange, said China's current anti-inflation monetary tightening and the rising prices of mineral products and other commodities would inevitably induce real estate developers to seek higher returns from other sectors. From January to May, land sales in 128 Chinese cities dropped 5 percent year-on-year to 665.9 billion yuan (102.45 billion U.S. dollars), while residential land sales fell to 519.3 billion yuan, according to data from the CEBM Group Ltd., a Shanghai-based real estate investment advisory firm [...]. According to financial statements by housing companies, more than half of property developers enjoyed a profit margin of around 60 percent on their investment in mining, while about one third posted a 20-percent return on mining-related investmentsn [...]. Analysts urged caution, however, saying mining may not save some housing developers squeezed out by the country's tightening measures over the housing market because of underlying risks. "The risks can be huge as the country has imposed stricter control over the mining industry, and getting a mining license isn't as easy as before," said Shi Jingxi, a member of the CMA. Shi said factors regarding technology, environmental protection, community relations, logistics and price fluctuations of mineral products may also jeopardize developers' investment in mining. Developers' input in mining would remain a good investment only if the current commodity price increases can last, he added. ^ top ^

China to cut tax on luxury goods: report (China Daily)
2011-06-21
China, already the world's second-largest luxury goods market, will soon slash import duties on opulent items to encourage wealthy local shoppers to buy more pricey cosmetics, watches and liquor, Chinese media said on Monday. China's high import duties of 50 percent for cosmetics and 30 percent for high-end watches have driven many rich Chinese mainland consumers to shop in Hong Kong, London and Paris, a trend that several Chinese ministries want to change, the 21st Century Business Herald reported. Citing unidentified sources, the paper said China's finance ministry may unveil a revamped tax system before the National Day holiday in October so that Chinese consumers can buy luxury brands [...] at home over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The bid to keep well-heeled Chinese shoppers at home is in line with Beijing's over-arching plan to boost domestic consumption and cut China's dependence on exports to drive its economy, the world's second largest. With the new taxes, duties on imported cosmetics, milk powder, watches, clothes, suitcases and shoes are expected to be reduced or even scrapped entirely, it said. Luxury good makers and government officials from the finance and commerce ministries have held closed-door meetings to discuss China's new tax model, the newspaper reported [...]. Investment group CLSA forecasts that China will become the world's largest market for luxury goods by 2020 as China's burgeoning middle class indulges in high living. ^ top ^

Railways expect 365 million passengers during China's summer travel season (People's Daily Online)
2011-06-21
About 365 million passengers are expected to journey by train during the summer travel peak season this year, according to the Ministry of Railways (MOR) on Monday. The number of rail passenger trips during this summer's travel season, which starts on July 1 and lasts until Aug. 31, will be 41.27 million more than a year earlier, or an increase of 12.7 percent year-on-year, MOR said in a statement on its website. On a daily basis, the country's railway system will transport an average of 5.89 million people per day. The railway system's passenger transportation capability is expected to increase by 9.6 percent after a rescheduling of train journeys nationwide is implemented on July 1. Most railway passengers this summer will be tourists, while students returning home for their summer vacation will also put pressure on passenger flow, said MOR. ^ top ^

China should prioritize technology import: Vice-Premier (China Daily)
2011-06-22
China should import more "advanced technology, managerial experience, high-end talents and international brands" to improve the quality of the country's industrial development, Vice Premier Wang Qishan said on Tuesday. Wang made the statement during the opening session of a four-day plenary meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the 11th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's political advisory body. While delivering a speech on China's international trade and investment, Wang said the country, the world's largest exporter and the second largest importer, should expand imports for a more balanced growth of foreign trade [...]. Wang called for more efforts to "improve technological content and add value to exported goods." Efforts should be made to accelerate the implementation of the country's overall economic strategy by strengthening support for enterprises which invest overseas, preventing investment risks and improving the quality of foreign aid projects, he said. The opening session was presided over by CPPCC National Committee Chairman Jia Qinglin, who encouraged political advisors to actively put forward suggestions on restructuring the economy and promoting stable and rapid economic development. ^ top ^

Inflation to elevate in June, quick rate hike likely (People's Daily Online)
2011-06-23
Inflation is predicted to edge higher in June, China's top planning department said, and most economists say the central bank will be forced to raise interest rates again within the coming weeks. In May, the consumer inflation rose 5.5 percent, the highest in 34 months, the National Bureau of Statistics reported last week [...]. People's patience is wearing thinner as inflation has kept climbing. "The estimate is that the overall price increase in June will be higher than May," said a statement on Wednesday by the National Development and Reform Commission, the central government's top economic planning agency. If the prediction gets its way, the central bank will have to raise interest rates in late June or early July, analysts say. Lu Zhenwei, a chief economist for the Industrial Bank Ltd, said he expected the central bank would raise interest rates by 50-75 basic points this year ... 25 points apiece. In the second half of the year, "new price increases should decline and prices for the full year can be controlled," the commission statement said. It said floods in eastern and southern China that damaged crops were partly to blame for food price hikes. The May price rises were driven by an 11.7 percent jump in food costs. The Xinhua News Agency said prices of green vegetables were up 40 percent in some areas. The People's Bank of China, the central bank, has raised interest rates four times since October and has ordered commercial lenders to increase their reserves to historical highs to limit lending. The required reserve ratio for the country's six biggest banks has been raised to 21.5 percent now. ^ top ^

China to step up efforts to promote innovation among central SOEs (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
China will step up its efforts to promote independent innovation and technological advancement among its central state-owned enterprises (SOEs), [...]. Scientific and technological advancement will contribute more than 60 percent to the growth of the country's central SOEs during the 2011-2015 period, SASAC chairman Wang Yong said at a work meeting. Speeding up innovation is now an urgent priority for central SOEs, as they must enhance their core competitiveness in the face of a rapidly changing global marketplace, Wang said. Central SOEs should integrate foreign technologies and use them to create new products with independent intellectual property rights, he said. The SASAC will design new measures and improve current policies to create a more favorable environment for central SOEs, he added [...]. According to a work plan issued by the SASAC, the number of authorized patent applications filed by central SOEs will double over the next five years. ^ top ^

China will strive to meet emission reduction target: official (Xinhua)
2011-06-24
A Chinese official said Thursday that the country will strive to fulfill its emission reduction targets for 2020. "China will make unswerving efforts to realize its emission reduction target, no matter how international climate change negotiations develop," said Sun Cuihua, vice director of the climate change department of the National Development and Reform Commission. China has pledged to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by the end of 2020. According to Sun, the country will use an array of tactics to meet the target, including pushing forward emission trading systems, using market mechanisms to cut carbon emissions and promoting international cooperation in combating climate change [...]. Sun said the Chinese government will fortify its policy of addressing climate change through legislation. "The country is now conducting comprehensive research on legislation concerning climate change," she said [...]. China now has nine emission trading bourses in several major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

North Korea steps up measures to tame unrest (SCMP)
2011-06-22
North Korea has created a special police squad and bought large amounts of riot gear from China in apparent preparation for any disturbances similar to those in the Middle East, a report said yesterday [...]. The development indicates concern at a possible popular uprising similar to the ones sweeping North Africa and the Middle East,[...]. The North has also created a special nationwide police anti-riot force, Yonhap said. South Korea's intelligence chief said in March the North had stepped up its campaign to block information on pro-democracy protests in the Arab world for fear of disturbances among its own people [...]. But there were reports of rare public unrest in 2009 following a bungled currency reform that wiped out savings, pushed up prices and worsened severe food shortages. There have been small copycat democracy protests in Asia, including China, since the uprisings began, but they have gained little traction. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia-Switzerland consultative meeting held (news.mn)
2011-06-20
The second consultative meeting of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and Switzerland was held in Ulaanbaatar between June 18 and 20. State Secretary at the Ministry D.Tsogtbaatar headed the Mongolian delegates while the visiting team was led by Beat Nobs, the Assistant State Secretary for Asia/Pacific of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. The two sides reviewed the present state of bilateral relations in major areas and discussed ways to further strengthen them. It was felt trade and economic ties would receive a boost with more Swiss investment in Mongolia. The meeting noted the success of some projects undertaken by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to reduce poverty, support countryside development and generate working places in Mongolia. The next consultative meeting will be held in 2012. ^ top ^

Mongolia-China joint statement issued (Montsame)
2011-06-20
The Prime Minister of Mongolia Batbold Sukhbaatar paid an official visit to the People's Republic of China at invitation of Wen Jiabao, the PRC Premier. The two countries signed the Mongolia-China joint statement Thursday and released it on Friday June 17. China and Mongolia have decided to bring the bilateral good-neighbor partnership of mutually trusted ties into a strategic partnership, according to the joint statement. "To advance the good-neighbor friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Mongolia, the two sides have decided to upgrade it to a strategic partnership," the joint statement says. The sides are satisfied with the development of the bilateral ties over the past years. As China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors sharing a long border, to consolidate and deepen continuously the friendly relations conforms with the common interests of the two states and their people, as well as helps to promote peace, stability and development in the region. In the statement, China and Mongolia pledge to increase their political communication and to boost mutual trust between the two countries in order to build a more solid political foundation for the strategic partnership. “The two sides believe that high-level interaction is of special significance for the development of bilateral ties," the statement says, adding that the two countries will keep the momentum of exchanges between their leaders to "boost strategic communication" as well as step up cooperation between their parliaments, governments and political parties. The two neighbors also vow to work together to fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and other cross-border organized crime, as well as to cooperate in dealing with natural disasters and infectious diseases. China and Mongolia will expand their economic cooperation with a view to common prosperity, which will provide a long-lasting driving force for the development of the strategic partnership. The two sides reiterate that a priority will be given to natural resources and infrastructure in their economic cooperation. The countries are also committed to people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, which act as essential grassroots support for the bilateral strategic partnership, according to the statement. Moreover, the two countries also pledge to coordinate their stances and support each other in regional and international affairs to safeguard their common interests as well as enrich the strategic partnership. The two sides hold that they improve mutual trust and coordination in international and regional affairs, resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, and make joint efforts to forge a more just, democratic and rational international political and economic order. ^ top ^

Each soum will get money for SME development (news.mn)
2011-06-21
The Chief of the SME Office, Ts.Nyam-Osor, has told the Uls Turiin Toim newspaper that the MNT24 billion in the Production Development Fund will be spent on setting up and strengthening SMEs in soums all over the country. Each soum will be allocated between MNT50 million and MNT265 million, depending on its population. The loans will carry 3% interest and will be for three years. The SME Office has so far distributed between MNT400 and 500 million in the aimags. Nyam-Osor said some 1,200 organizations have benefited from the exemption from customs duty and VAT to equipment imported by SMEs for their use. All aimags have established brick factories, and bread and 20 other types of goods are now extensively produced in the countryside. More vegetables are also being grown. The SME Office has a list of 256 items that can be produced by SMEs in the countryside, and has helped set up 196 factories in the last two years. Repayment rates have been very good in the countryside and many entrepreneurs who took and repaid loans between MNT10 and 20 million are demanding up to MNT70 million. ^ top ^

Meeting of MPP faction held (Montsame)
2011-06-21
The faction of the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) discussed Monday a draft law on parliamentary election, and announced that it backs the majority-dominating voting system. According to D.Lundeejantsan, the faction's head, the faction members have backed a guideline of the MPP board which consider as necessary to run the parliamentary election under this mixed voting system. The faction thinks the majority system must be dominated in any proportions-- 52:24 or 50:26. An elector must circle a name of a candidate on the ballot paper, they say. In order to have other parties recognize this position and to negotiate with the Demparty group, the faction has set up a working group with N.Enkhbold, D.Lundeejantsan, Ts.Davaasuren and J.Sukhbaatar MPs. The meeting also has discussed draft amendments to the laws on income tax of people and on income tax of enterprisers, and considered as necessary to exempt the low-income people, as well as the enterprisers located in remote areas, from the income taxes except those who produce tobacco and alcohol beverages. A decision has been made to set up a working group to make related researche. ^ 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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