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
  25-29.7.11, No. 381  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

New guidelines on South China Sea give green light for China-ASEAN cooperation (Global Times)
2011-07-25
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently adopted an agreement on the guidelines of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which enables them to take a more defined road for cooperation in this region, analysts said [... ]. Although brief in content, the guidelines include some principles that offer directions for implementing the DOC and map out procedural rules for cooperation in the future, China's Ambassador to ASEAN Tong Xiaoling told Xinhua in an interview [...]. The DOC was signed in November 2002 as the first code of conduct for all parties involved in diplomatic issues in the South China Sea [...]. Disputes still remain on issues such as the sovereignty of some islands in the South China Sea, and some countries in the region are accused of violating the spirit of the DOC on many occasions in recent years. In such circumstances, the endorsement of the guidelines enhances the principles in the DOC and exert great significance, said Li Guoqiang, an expert with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The oil- and gas-rich South China Sea is partially claimed by several southeast Asian states, including the Philippines and Vietnam. However, China interprets history as giving it indisputable sovereignty over the sea's islands and their surrounding waters. During the ASEAN Plus China Foreign Ministers' meeting held in Indonesia on Thursday, the foreign ministers of ASEAN said the agreement on the guidelines demonstrates that both China and ASEAN are able and willing to resolve the toughest issue. It is conducive to promoting mutual trust and safeguarding regional peace, stability and prosperity, they added [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese FM calls for further regional cooperation at ARF foreign ministers' meeting (Xinhua)
2011-07-25
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called for further pragmatic regional cooperation at the just-concluded 18th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers' Meeting held here Saturday. Yang said that addressing differences through talks and negotiations and dealing with common challenges through cooperation have become a consensus between countries in the region. He said developing economy and improving people's livelihoods still top the agenda of the Asia-Pacific region. All the parties should trust but not suspect one another, and cooperate with but not confront each other, he added. China will stick to the road of peaceful development, follow the opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit and work with other Asia-Pacific countries to create a peaceful, stable, equal and win-win situation. As to the South China Sea issue, Yang said the dispute should be settled by directly related parties through friendly negotiation and in a peaceful manner. The channels for dialogue and consultation between related parties are open and the overall situation in the South China Sea is peaceful and stable, he said. The minister said properly handling the dispute, enhancing mutual trust and expanding cooperation serve the common interest of every country in the region and this is also the direction that all the concerned countries should move towards. Yang said the importance of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is self-evident, adding that the countries, whether inside or outside the region, are all beneficiaries. The freedom and security of navigation in the South China Sea is especially important to Asia and surrounding nations, and it is not, and will not be allowed to be obstructed, said Yang [...]. ^ top ^

Clinton focus on stability in talks with Chinese diplomat (China Daily)
2011-07-26
Top diplomats from China and the United States on Monday pledged to preserve "the hard-won peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region" in informal talks they called "fruitful". State Councilor Dai Bingguo and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met on Monday afternoon in Shenzhen [...]. The two officials exchanged views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula, according to a press release by the Foreign Ministry. The press release did not mention the current South China Sea issue and US President Barrack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama earlier this month, which drew strong protests from China. Dai reiterated China's stance on Taiwan and Tibet-related issues during the meeting with Clinton, and the "two sides agreed to jointly preserve and promote the hard-won peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region", the press release said [...]. The meeting on Monday came at a critical time following Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama and tension over US intervention in South China Sea disputes. Clinton told Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi while they met on the sidelines of a regional forum on Friday that the US understands the complexities of the South China Sea dispute and takes no position on the issue. She added that Washington supports measures conducive to the settlement of the dispute, and has no intention of getting involved or making it a problem in China-US relations [...]. Clinton, at the end of a lengthy trip that began with a conference on Libya in Turkey in mid-July, said that America's future is closely linked with the future of the Asia-Pacific region and that thousands of US companies are looking to the region for new markets [...]. "We are bullish on Asia's future... We are bullish on America's future too" [...]. ^ top ^

China protests Vatican's refusal of bishops (China Daily)
2011-07-26
China's religious affairs administration denounced the Vatican's excommunication of two Chinese Catholic bishops, saying the decision was "extremely unreasonable and rude". The bishops were ordained by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association to ensure the better management of the church and the spreading of the Gospel, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said in a statement issued on Monday. Yang Yu, a spokesman for the association, declined to comment on the matter. The excommunications have severely hurt the feelings of Chinese Catholics and saddened members of that church, the statement said. China's Catholic Church has already chosen four bishops this year. The latest two - who were excommunicated - were Lei Shiyin, who was ordained on June 29 in Leshan, a city in Sichuan province; and Joseph Huang Bingzhang, who was ordained on July 14 in Shantou, a city in Guangdong province. Upon excommunicating them, the Vatican said their ordinations had been approved without papal agreement and were therefore "illicit" [...]. "The majority of priests and believers will more resolutely choose the path of independently selecting and ordaining bishops, and the government will continue to support and encourage the practice," said the administration in the statement. The Chinese government is willing to try to improve Sino-Vatican relations through talks, it said. "If the Vatican is sincere about improving relations, it should rescind the so-called 'excommunications', and return to the correct path of holding talks," the statement said [...]. "History has proven that the Chinese Catholic Church will not stand still because of threats from the Vatican", and "the majority of priests and believers will more resolutely choose the path of independently selecting and ordaining bishops", it said. The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association told China Daily earlier that China will ordain more bishops when "the conditions are right" [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Beijing credibility hinges on fair trial for fugitive (SCMP)
2011-07-25
Across the mainland, the excitement was palpable for much of yesterday as chattering over telephones, internet chat rooms and dinner tables invariably focused on one person - Lai Changxing. The China Central Television footage on Saturday evening showing the diminutive 53-year-old former farmer, China's most wanted fugitive, handcuffed and with a burly Chinese policeman on either side of him, was a sight mainlanders have been awaiting for 12 long years. It brought closure to the biggest and most sensational smuggling and corruption case in the mainland's modern history. And the excitement is set to intensify in the coming days and months leading to Lai's trial. [...] His repatriation is significant in many ways. In 1999, Lai and his family fled to Canada and claimed refugee status after the central government launched an unprecedented investigation into his sprawling business empire, accusing him of running smuggling operations valued at US$10 billion in Xiamen, Fujian, in the 1990s. [...] Hundreds of officials were implicated and were put on trial with a number of senior provincial and law enforcement officials sentenced to death. [...] The mainland authorities welcomed Lai's repatriation, hailing it as a significant move for the promotion of Sino-Canadian law enforcement co-operation. But it was not easy to get him back. The Chinese government has gone to extraordinary lengths, including a personal assurance reportedly from the then premier Zhu Rongji as early as 2006 that Lai would not be executed as well as formal diplomatic notes giving assurances that he would not be executed or tortured and that his trial would be public and access would be given to Canadian officials. Despite those assurances, the fact Lai could still manage to hole up in Canada has deeply and acutely reflected how the credibility of China's judicial system was viewed in Canada and the rest of the West, by and large. As a result, Chinese authorities must conduct a fair and public trial of Lai for the sake of the country's credibility and that of its justice system. Foreign governments and human rights groups will watch these events closely as they view it as a benchmark case. There are estimates that from 4,000 to more than 10,000 corrupt officials are on the run, taking with them hundreds of billions of yuan of taxpayers' money. Most of them are believed to be in Western countries. Some state media have already begun to speculate that Lai could face life imprisonment [...]. ^ top ^

Authors report worsening persecution by Beijing (SCMP)
2011-07-26
The recent banning of six mainland writers from visiting Hong Kong and the barring of two exiled authors from returning to their homeland shows Beijing's latest wave of control over dissent has extended to independent-thinking intellectuals and writers, some of them say. Writers prevented from joining the Independent Chinese PEN Centre's 10th anniversary celebration in Hong Kong on Saturday include scholar Cui Weiping, former Peking University journalism professor Jiao Guobiao, journalist Zan Aizong and lawyer and essayist Zhuang Daohe. The day after the conference, exiled writers Bei Ling, an American citizen, Ma Jian, a Hong Kong permanent resident based in Britain, and the group's incumbent president Tienchi Liao - a German citizen, were refused entry to Shenzhen as they tried to cross the border from Hong Kong. They were interrogated separately for over an hour. Writers' organisation PEN International said the incident was "an increasingly alarming situation for writers and activists in China" [...]. Several writers and academics confirmed independently they had been warned by the authorities in recent months to maintain a low profile and not make public statements. Bei, whose manuscript on former dissident and ex-Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel was filmed by the police while he was being held, said Beijing's crackdown on dissent had widened in scope to target writers and intellectuals. "This is obviously targeted at PEN and is a clear repression of writers and intellectuals who think independently," said Bei, [...]. He said the repression had escalated since Liu received the Nobel prize last October [...]. Bei cited the persecution of writers such as Liao Yiwu, an author who fled to Germany this month after being repeatedly barred from travelling overseas, this weekend's barring of mainland writers from coming to Hong Kong and the refusal to allow him to return to the mainland as evidence that the intensity of the repression has increased [...]. Several members of the PEN American Centre travelled to Beijing last week but only three of 14 writers invited to a US embassy-hosted forum were able to attend. Other invitees, including blogger Liu Di, were pressured by authorities not to attend. Rights lawyer Mo Shaoping and writer Dai Qing were unable to meet alone with delegation members, also apparently due to official pressure. ^ top ^

Furious relatives demand answers (SCMP)
2011-07-26
Grief gave way to anger in Wenzhou yesterday as relatives of the victims of Saturday's high-speed train crash protested outside the municipal government offices, demanding railway officials meet them face to face. About 100 family members and friends of the dead [...] blocked the road in front of Wenzhou government headquarters at around 9pm last night after a two-hour stand-off with officials descended into farce. "They are just playing games with us," cried one relative before the situation escalated. "They are the ones who should be apologising to us, and instead we have to beg just to speak to them. The government has such a wonderful tower, but the people are left sweating in the street. Why don't they let us inside to wait?" An hour earlier a Wenzhou city official had held a sit-down meeting with the protesters' de facto leader, 32-year-old widower Yang Feng, during which he promised the authority was prepared to talk [...]. The protesters were calling for an explanation of what caused the accident [...] and answers to what they felt were serious discrepancies in the official account of events. They also accused officials of caring more about fixing the rail link than saving lives. "We are not being told the truth," Yang said. "Why is it that more than 48 hours after the accident not a single person from the Ministry of Railways will meet us face to face?" [...]. The railway ministry's apparent wrong-footed handling of the disaster has sparked a public outcry, with mainland internet users turning to social media websites to express their anger and suspicion over the official accounts of the accident. A slew of questions have been raised, ranging from the conflicting reports on the death toll, the cause of the accident, the hastily cleaned up scene, to the rush to reopen the track less than 36 hours after the country's worst rail disaster since 2008. Transport experts say they have been warning rail authorities about potential risk to the high-speed trains due to the lack of mechanisms to protect against lightning strikes, but that their concerns have been ignored. The ministry, which has been unable to publish an official list of the victims, was also heavily criticised by online communities. Internet users have pieced together a list of dead and missing that concurs with the official toll, which last night stood at 39. Last night both Chinese Central Television and Xinhua were continuing to ask for information about missing people [...]. Rail Minister Sheng Guangzu yesterday repeated apologies, but there is increasing pressure on him to resign over the disaster [...]. ^ top ^

Hasty burial of wreckage sparks suspicion (China Daily)
2011-07-26
Burying parts of the wreckage from Saturday's deadly high-speed rail accident was a part of the rescue operation and not an attempt to hide evidence, a spokesman for the Ministry of Railways said. It was inconceivable for government authorities to try to cover up the collision, and it was necessary to bury the damaged carriages to make way for mechanical equipment to proceed with rescue efforts, spokesman Wang Yongping said at a news conference on Sunday night. Wang was responding to questioning about damaged carriages - which could be important for an investigation into the collision - being torn apart and pushed into large pits at the accident site. Beijing News on Monday quoted people from the China Railway No 3 Engineering Group as saying that the pits were dug to make room for a giant crane to lift away the rest of the carriages that remain on the overhead rail tracks. Images showing backhoes shoveling the wreckage into the pits circulated on the Internet, and speculation has mounted over a possible mishandling by the government or a cover-up to bury evidence crucial for the ongoing investigation. Footage broadcast by China Central Television on Monday showed several damaged carriages still lying on the ground at the site [...]. After the bullet train crash on Saturday, many people have hoped to find the belongings of their relatives or friends onboard the trains. Anyone wanting to find luggage or belongings can check with the Wenzhou South Railway Station and obtain retrieved personal items upon showing proper identification. ^ top ^

Business as usual is not an option (SCMP)
2011-07-26
Beijing maintains all manner of statistics on economic and social indicators, but when it comes to industrial pollution, it is strangely silent. The facts and figures that are so abundant and readily available about development and growth are nowhere to be found for the number of people stricken by lead, cadmium or arsenic poisoning, the toxicity levels of water in rivers and lakes, and where the heavy metals came from or the area of land made unusable. All that is on hand is anecdotal evidence given by the few people brave enough to speak out, scattered localised reports from environmental groups and campaigners and the evidence of factories pouring waste into waterways that are discoloured, putrid and lifeless [...]. Our Sunday magazine recently told of Yi Xiaomao and Liu Guian, whose young daughter, Bingjie, was among dozens of people in Xinma village of Hunan province thought to have died as a result of toxic waste being dumped on their land by a private electroplating manufacturer. Villagers have been made compensation promises by authorities and told to keep quiet about their ordeal, but the few agitating for justice tell of collusion between local officials, the factory owner and hired thugs. Such stories are similar to the dozens of other incidents of heavy metal poisoning that have come to light over the past few years [...]. Worrying about unrest over pollution and compensation claims, they have shut factories, rounded up suspects, handed out payments, set targets and ordered limits. Environmental Protection Vice-Minister Li Ginjie said last month improved rules for heavy metal pollution were being accelerated and new projects in affected areas would be halted. The State Council in February approved measures to reduce emissions in critical areas by 15 per cent compared with 2007 levels within four years. These are necessary steps, but there are no specifics. Without knowing what the 2007 levels were, it is impossible to gauge the targets. As our reporter witnessed, textile factories in the Guangdong towns of Gurao and Xintang continue to pour chemical brews into rivers [...]. Business as usual cannot be an option. Excessive levels of heavy metals are present in some mainland-grown vegetables and rice. Lives, especially those of children, remain at risk. Improving enforcement of rules, dramatically raising penalties and resolving the conflict between local government and public interest are priorities [...]. ^ top ^

Weibo puts the heat on officials over tragedy (SCMP)
2011-07-27
Despite strong propaganda directives to the media and detailed instructions to downplay Saturday's high-speed train crash in Zhejiang province, a critical mass of internet users' questions and media coverage seems to have forced mainland authorities to supply more details about the accident. Doubts over the death toll which officially stands at 39 were raised on Sina Weibo [...] which has become a driving force in providing accurate details on the accident that conflict with official accounts. It has also been a popular platform to search for missing victims when no official channel was available for this purpose. "The nature of Weibo's communication empowers the voice of internet users. It has pressured authorities to investigate further and answer questions raised by internet users," said Song Shinan, a Chengdu -based media analyst at Southwest University for Nationalities [...]. "No one can afford to ignore Weibo now as it facilitates information flow and directly reflects public opinion." He said the authorities had to form an investigation team under pressure, abandoning their initial blame for the accident on "equipment failure caused by a lightning strike". Internet users voluntarily collected names of the dead from the crash. They also urged the ministry to reveal the names of the dead, an increasingly sensitive and serious issue on the mainland after a contentious count for a Shanghai high-rise fire and the toll provided in a high-profile campaign by artist-activist Ai Weiwei for Sichuan earthquake victims [...]. Authorities say that they buried the locomotive to fill a hole in the ground and continue with rescue efforts. Although central propaganda directives were issued demanding that the media carry reports by Xinhua and "not to comment, elaborate or do reflective reports", newspapers still managed either to confront or get round these directives by working on other angles [...]. An antiquated system and planned economy mechanism of the Ministry of Railways was behind the rail accidents of recent years, the Qianjiang Evening News commented [...]. Other media carried stories about the compensation scheme for the crash, overseas rescue procedures and the operation of bullet trains in other countries, including Japan. Professor Zhan Jiang, who teaches journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said control of the media had subsided under the challenges of a new media era [...]. When Weibo provided new clues, combined pressure was formed through interaction between online and print media. Song said: "The truth will be forced out by the combined power. Even if it's not complete truth, it's at least partial.". ^ top ^

Rail network 'going too fast' (SCMP)
2011-07-28
The fatal train collision in Wenzhou on Saturday showed how Beijing had ignored the hazards of its fast-paced development of infrastructure in recent years, mainland scholars said. Saturday's incident was only the latest of several railway accidents in the past four years, three of which resulted in double-digit death tolls. The newly opened, landmark Shanghai-Beijing line has suffered repeated power failures that have delayed hundreds of journeys. The massive spending by the Ministry of Railways, which was 1.8 trillion yuan (HK$2.18 trillion) in debt at the end of last year, has also raised concern. Its plan to build 16,000 kilometres of high-speed railways across the country by 2020 will involve a further investment of at least 2 trillion yuan, one academic estimated. "The yearly interest for the ministry's debt will soon exceed 100 billion yuan, and its only source to repay it is the 50-billion-yuan railway construction fund [from the state treasury]," said Zhao Jian from Beijing Jiaotong University. "Without support from the central government's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package, and without a new way to finance the increasing interest, the ministry's cash flow will rupture," he warned […]. Mao Shoulong, a specialist in public policy at Renmin University, said the rush to develop the rail sector had led to quality problems. It was time to adjust the pace but this would be no easy job, he said [...]. According to China's mid- to long-term plan which was drafted in 2004 and amended in 2008, the rail network would total more than 120,000 kilometres by 2020. Of this, 16,000 kilometres would be high-speed railways carrying trains travelling at more than 200 kilometres an hour. But, judging from ticket revenue so far, the ministry is likely sinking deeper into debt, Zhao said [...]. Why, then, is the government willing to take the risk? Zhang Ming, a political scientist at Renmin University, said it's been a persistent belief that it should hold political power through rapid economic development. "There has been no political reform, and a lot of problems have accumulated," he said. "The government has to rely on economic growth to cover up these problems, but this only leads to more serious problems, like the recent train collision." Though the government has said it will attach less importance to economic growth in the next five years, the obsession with grandiose achievements will not immediately fade away, said Song Guohua of the Beijing Jiaotong University [...]. ^ top ^

Crash relatives demand truth (Global Times)
2011-07-28
More than 100 relatives of passengers killed in Saturday's bullet train crash in Zhejiang Province protested at Wenzhou South Railway Station on Wednesday, demanding to know the "true reason" behind the accident, as Premier Wen Jiabao called for a swift and transparent investigation. "Help us and tell us what really happened," protesters shouted, demanding direct talks with officials from the Ministry of Railways (MOR). They held a 15-meter-long banner reading, "Disclose the true reason behind the July 23 train crash and respect the dignity of victims." "They claimed that the bullet trains were built with advanced technology. How could lightning paralyze them so easily?" Wang Hui, who lost her husband in the accident, said to the Global Times, referring to the authorities citing lightning as the cause of the disaster. The State Grid said on Wednesday that power supplies were normal when the accident happened, refuting speculation that a power shortage was one of the reasons behind the crash. "I believe there was human error behind the accident. The authorities should not hide anything from the public," said Wang, who now has to raise her 1-year-old daughter alone [...]. The relatives also complained about the compensation plans offered by the MOR, which came up to 500,000 yuan ($77,626.50). "Many people here were angered by the offer, especially a maximum 50,000 yuan bonus for those who signed the agreement early, which is deemed insulting," Wang said. However, the Wenzhou government on Wednesday issued a statement denying the offer of a bonus. Most of the protesters also insisted that compensation should be discussed after the cause of the accident is determined and the people responsible are punished. "I don't know the cause, so how can I talk about compensation?" a relative of Xiang Weiyi, a 2-year-old girl who lost both her parents in the accident, told the Xinhua News Agency. "If they (the girl's parents) had been rescued earlier, they would have had a chance of survival," the relative said. By on Wednesday afternoon, family members of only four victims had signed the compensation agreement, the Global Times learned [...]. Separately, the MOR said that bullet train services in Zhejiang had returned to normal. Since operations resumed on Monday, a total of 135 trains have traveled past the accident site, transporting 156,253 passengers, with an average occupancy of 117.6 percent, said a press release sent by the MOR to the Global Times. However, many bloggers, including Ma Hongtao, an anchor on China Central Television, questioned the rush to resume operation before finding out the cause of Saturday's crash [...]. At an executive meeting of the State Council, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday that the investigation must be open and transparent, and the results must be honest and responsible, Xinhua reported. While offering his "deep condolences" to the victims and their families, Wen called for all-out and unswerving efforts to treat the injured and the victims' relatives well. ^ top ^

'Independent' leaves election (Global Times)
2011-07-28
Political activists expressed mixed feelings on Wednesday after Shanghai writer Xia Shang announced he is giving up on participating in the local people's congress election as an "independent candidate." "I have experienced unforseen problems and hindrances since I announced my decision to participate in the local congressional election," said a message published on Wednesday on Xia's microblog on Sina Weibo. He had applied for a district-level people's congress seat in Shanghai in May. Xia said a recent series of public events had "also disappointed and frustrated" him. But he stressed to the Global Times that his decision was made due to "the loss of interest in the political game," not "external pressure [...]. "The pressure we (independent candidates) shoulder is extraordinarily great," Li Chengpeng, a controversial writer and representative independent candidate, told the Global Times on Wednesday. But, some doubt Xia's reasons for stepping down. Yao Bo, a renowned online commentator who applied for a district-level people's congress seat in Beijing this year said he "has never encountered any official interference," but he heard some who joined the election as independent candidates were suddenly audited by local taxation bureaus. But Li and other candidates said their determination to run for seats wouldn't sway because of Xia's stepping down [...]. Since the end of May, China began seeing a wave of independent grass-roots candidates seeking election as deputies of local people's congresses. According to Wu Danhong, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law and also an independent candidate in Beijing, more than 50 are running. The phenomenon mirrored "an awakening of civic awareness" among Chinese, Wu said [...]. According to the Electoral Law, any qualified citizen above 18 years of age has the right to vote and run for office in China, following specific election procedures. An official of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, elaborated in June that the procedures follow four steps: A citizen must first register and win confirmation of his or her qualifications for lawmaker candidacy, then receive a nomination as "deputy candidate" by political parties, social organizations, or 10 or more voters in one constituency. ^ top ^

China orders passenger car overhaul after fatal bus fire (Xinhua)
2011-07-28
China on Wednesday ordered an overhaul of commercial passenger cars, trucks and school buses in the wake of a deadly bus fire in central China that killed more than 40 people onboard. Huang Ming, vice minister of public security, called for "zero-tolerance" and "zero-malfeasance" with regard to safety loopholes during the overhaul and underlined the importance of strengthened supervision. A 35-seat double-decker, traveling from the city of Weihai in the eastern Shandong Province to central Hunan's provincial capital Changsha, caught fire at 4 a.m. Friday on the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway. Police detained six suspects and blamed inflammable chemicals for the blaze that occurred in Henan Province. Trucks that carry hazardous materials, commercial passenger cars, trucks and school buses are required to pass a security check before September this year, or will be prohibited from operating, according to the ministry [...]. ^ top ^

Ministry to baby buyers: no sale (Global Times)
2011-07-28
Eighty-nine rescued babies will not be returned to the people who bought them, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Wednesday, unlike the 29 who they gave back to the buyers in the last anti-trafficking crackdown in June. Unable to find the birth parents after a Shandong Province crackdown last month, police opted to return those infants to their original buyers, a move lambasted as encouraging the underground baby trade. The 89 recovered in this latest high-profile crackdown will instead be sent to welfare centers before locating their birth parents, the ministry announced. Most were newborns, the youngest 10 days old. Some were sent to hospital for treatment, while the rest have been temporarily settled in welfare centers around the country [...]. Those caught trafficking children face a maximum 10 years' imprisonment under Chinese law, but buyers of an abducted child face a maximum three years, many receiving no punishment at all. The massive, lucrative baby market is a major motivation for traffickers, Chen Shiqu, director of the ministry's anti-human trafficking department, told the official newspaper. Not returning the stolen underground babies to their buyers would "send a strong signal," Chen said. The ministry announced on its website on Wednesday it had cracked two networks over the last two weeks, netting 369 trafficking suspects in different provinces and autonomous regions around the country. Police had also seized eight infants from Vietnamese traffickers on July 15 in Guangdong Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the ministry [...]. ^ top ^

PLA carrier's launch downplayed (SCMP)
2011-07-28
Beijing yesterday attempted to downplay fears about its military might by stressing that its first aircraft carrier will be used for research and training. Defence spokesman Geng Yansheng spoke amid growing speculation that the carrier's sea trials will begin around August 1, the anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army. "China is seriously studying the development of the aircraft carrier," he said. "At present we are using a scrapped aircraft carrier platform to carry out refurbishment for scientific research and training." It is the first official acknowledgement that the military is refitting an old carrier, a reference to the Varyag, whose stripped-down hull was towed from Ukraine in 1998. Reuters, citing unnamed sources, yesterday reported that China was building two indigenous aircraft carriers as part of a broad military modernisation programme [...]. Geng gave no timetable for starting sea trials, but said training pilots in how to operate from the carrier was "very important" and was in progress. China's military profile, especially that of its navy, has been rising steadily amid renewed territorial disputes with countries including Vietnam and the Philippines over the South China Sea. Geng said the timing of the announcement "had nothing to do" with the tensions there [...]. However, he said China had a right to protect its maritime territory and coast, calling it "the sacred responsibility of China's armed forces". Antony Wong Dong, president of the Macau-based International Military Association, said the refitted former Soviet vessel was still capable of military use, but it was more likely China would use its homemade aircraft carriers as part of any battle group [...]. "But the carrier is still a reflection of China's power. The country is flexing its muscle in a hidden way." Shanghai-based military analyst Ni Lexiong also said the ship might still be deployed in battle if necessary [...]. ^ top ^

Premier Wen vows to punish those responsible for train crash six days after tragedy (Xinhua)
2011-07-29
Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday vowed to "severely punish" those who are responsible for Saturday's fatal train collision and said "safety is a top priority" for the country's high-speed railways [...]. The premier said he should have visited the crash scene earlier, but his health problems had delayed his visit. "We will severely punish those who are responsible for the accident, as well as those who hold responsibilities of leadership, in accordance with the country's laws," Wen said during the press conference [...]. A probe into the tragedy will be conducted, Wen said. The probe will be thorough, "no matter if it was a mechanical fault, a management problem, or a manufacturing problem," he said, adding that conducting a complete investigation is the only way in which the victims will be able to rest in peace. He promised the probe will offer results that will "stand the test of history." The State Council, or China's cabinet, has set up an independent investigatory panel that includes authorities from the country's work safety, supervision and judiciary departments, Wen said. [...]"The ministry should give an honest answer to the people as to whether it has conformed with this principle in dealing with the collision," he said. The government's top priority is to protect people's lives, said Wen [...]. "High-speed railway development should integrate speed, quality, efficiency and safety, and safety should be put in the first place," said Wen [...]. An initial investigation into the accident indicates that design flaws in railway signal equipment led to the collision, according to the Shanghai Railway Bureau [...]. Before meeting the press, Wen visited the No. 2 People's Hospital of Wenzhou, [...]. In another meeting, the premier offered his condolences and bowed to relatives of the deceased. He listened to the opinions of more than 10 relatives of the victims and answered their questions [...]. Wen pledged to provide the public with timely and accurate information regarding the train collision. Only by openly disclosing the truth can the aftermath of the accident be handled properly, said Wen, who also promised "reasonable" compensation for the families of the deceased [...]. Besides the compensation, families of the victims should be supported by society if they have life difficulties in the future, and schooling of the children and life of the elderly family members should be guaranteed, Wen said [...]. Wen also expressed his gratitude to local residents who have volunteered to join rescue efforts. Many local residents in Wenzhou have set up rescue teams and donated blood, he said, adding that they have also made "patient and meticulous efforts" to comfort the families of the deceased and the injured. ^ top ^

Central gov't departments spend 60 pct of budget on vehicles: report (Xinhua)
2011-07-29
Central government departments spent a great deal of their money on vehicle purchases and maintenance last year, underlining the slow progress China has made in reforming its central government departments' spending habits, the Economic Information Daily said Thursday. As of Tuesday, 86 central government departments have disclosed their expenditures on vehicle purchases and maintenance, overseas trips and official receptions in 2010. Expenditures on vehicles amounted to 3.92 billion yuan (about 608.34 million U.S. dollars), accounting for 61.3 percent of the total amount spent by the departments on the three items, the report said. The same departments have budgeted 3.79 billion yuan, or 60.5 percent of the total, for vehicle purchases and maintenance this year, the report said [...]. However, the actual number of vehicles owned and used by the government remains unknown [...]. "The difficulty of reform lies in the design of the reform mechanism. Openness and transparency in the implementation and design of reforms are the keys to success," Jiang Wei, a professor with the Beijing Administrative College under the Beijing Municipal Government, said in the report. The central government started publicizing its budgets for vehicle purchases and maintenance, overseas trips and official receptions this year as part of its efforts to improve transparency. Central government expenditures on the three items, referred to by some as the "three public consumptions," have long been viewed as the main source of government corruption and waste. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Businesses, public pan WiFi monitoring (China Daily)
2011-07-29
A regulation that requires bars, restaurants, hotels and bookstores to install expensive Web-monitoring software has sparked controversy among business owners and the public. The software, which is designed to supervise illegal activities by passing the identities of customers using free wireless services to public security departments, will cost business owners 20,000 yuan ($3,100). Those who refuse to pay and offer unfettered Internet access may face a 15,000-yuan fine [...]. Many business owners in the city who had not heard about the new regulation expressed disapproval when they were told how much the installation would cost. "It's a requirement of the public security organs. Why should we pay the fees?" said Yang Xiaowen, manager of UBC Coffee in Chaoyang district [...]. Yi Shenghua, a Beijing-based lawyer at Ying Ke Law Firm, said he did not support the regulation, which is similar to one that applies to Internet bars. He said business owners should not have to pay for the monitoring software. The Beijing municipal public security bureau had not responded to these criticisms by Wednesday. "I have known about it and we are studying the issue at present," said Zi Xiangdong, spokesman for the bureau, who declined to make any further comment. A report in Beijing News said the public security department revealed that the regulation has been introduced in the capital and will be applied across the country. Cafe owners contacted by China Daily reporters in Shanghai, and in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, said they had been notified of the new measure. In addition, the developer of the program, Shanghai Rain-Soft Software, did not comment [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Bo unveils plan to achieve 'common prosperity' (SCMP)
2011-07-26
Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai has stepped up the rhetoric in his red-culture campaign before next year's key party congress, urging the southwestern city to reach the "national moral high ground". In a speech to Chongqing's Communist Party committee, Bo revealed his plan to achieve the ultimate goal of the party: "common prosperity". He said common prosperity was a goal of former leader Deng Xiaoping, former president Jiang Zemin and President Hu Jintao, but no province or municipality had achieved it. Bo said the city must first narrow the gap between its rich and poor in the next five years and then achieve the goal by following socialist principles and strengthening state-owned enterprises, but not with a so-called market economy, the Chongqing Morning Post reported yesterday. He said a market economy had failed to help Western countries recover from the 2008 financial crisis, and he attributed the wealth gap in Europe and the US to the market model and capitalism [...]. Political analysts have widely said those moves were tactics to earn him a seat on the new Politburo Standing Committee next year. He hailed previous efforts to narrow the wealth gap, including those made by his predecessors in Chongqing. They include Guangdong party secretary Wang Yang and He Guoqiang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. But without naming anyone in particular, he said he opposed the idea of focusing on economic development first and dealing with redesigning the distribution system later, saying that the public would have stronger motivation for economic development if they could benefit from a good distribution system [...]. Bo vowed to set up more nuursing homes for the elderly and a better system to educate and take care of the children of migrant workers, in line with "traditional Chinese ethics". ^ top ^

 

Tibet

China approves establishment of Tibetan regional bank (Xinhua)
2011-07-25
China's top banking regulator announced Sunday that it has given the nod to the establishment of a regional bank in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with initial capital adding up to 1.5 billion yuan (233 million U.S. dollars). The bank will be registered in Lhasa, the region's capital, and funded by 15 institutions, including the regional government, domestic banking institutions and several leading enterprises, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said in a statement posted on its website. The bank will be the first regional corporate bank in the region and also the first equity commercial lender to operate in the autonomous region since its establishment, the CBRC said. The Bank of Communications, China's fifth-largest lender, will be a strategic investor for the bank, the CBRC said. The establishment of the bank will strengthen financial services in Tibet and help promote its regional economy, the CBRC said. It will also provide financial support for the development of local small- and medium-size enterprises, as well as for projects that will improve the livelihood of local residents, it said. The CBRC did not give a detailed timetable for the bank's establishment. There are currently just five commercial banks with subsidiaries in Tibet, most of which are located in the region's larger cities. ^ top ^

Tibet hosts 2.25 mln tourists in first half of 2011 (Xinhua)
2011-07-29
Tibet recorded 2.25 million tourist arrivals in the first half of this year, up 24.8 percent year-on-year, according to figures released by the region's tourism bureau on Thursday. The region's total tourism revenues went up by 39.65 percent to reach 7.14 billion yuan (1.11 billion U.S. dollars) during the period, according to the figures. The bureau estimates that the number of tourist arrivals will hit a new high of 7.5 million in 2011. Tourism has become a pillar industry in Tibet, as its infrastructure and transportation have been significantly improved in recent years. The region receives over 10,000 tourists daily [...]. By the end of 2015, Tibet expects to host 15 million tourists annually and post annual tourism revenues of 18 billion yuan, Padma said. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Hotan attack takes a toll on business (SCMP)
2011-07-25
Fears of further violent incidents, coupled with growing misunderstanding between the minority Han Chinese and the Uygurs, is taking its toll on businesses in Hotan, Xinjiang, a week after 18 people were killed in an attack on a police station in the city. On the first weekend after the attack, streets around Unity Square in the heart of the city were almost deserted instead of being packed with the usual crowds. Nearly half a dozen shops - most owned by Han Chinese - at the Hotan Jade Article Market beside the square were shut [...]. Some businesspeople have contemplated leaving the city and moving to the countryside. "On the day the killing took place, I received 20 calls from relatives in my hometown and another 30 from friends in Urumqi," said a restaurant owner in his late 30s. He said the callers, including his ageing parents, begged him to leave and start a new life somewhere safer. However, after discussion with his family, he decided to stay put and continue running the business he had worked hard to establish since leaving the People's Liberation Army in Xinjiang. The threat of being subject to attacks is causing trepidation among Han Chinese, who account for less than 3 per cent of the population. And this is not helped by disturbing rumours circulating in the city. Within the Han community there is gossip that two Han Chinese lovers had their throats cut by Uygurs somewhere in the city last Tuesday evening. An official with a sub-district administrative office, responsible for security at the police station which was attacked, did not verify the rumour but said the male victim worked at a hotel and the girl was a student. He said both suffered serious injury and were being treated in hospital. Han Chinese, either residents or visitors, have almost disappeared in the Uygur-dominated areas, such as the Grand Bazaar, and this has also made it harder for Han businesses to do well [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Economy to steadily slow down: economist (Global Times)
2011-07-25
China's economic growth rate is expected to ease to around 9 percent year-on-year in the second half of the year, Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday, citing an economist from a government think tank. As the central government is going to maintain a prudent monetary policy throughout the year, the economic stimulus effect witnessed before will disappear, and the investment and corporate profit growth will continue to decline, Xinhua reported, citing Zhu Baoliang, chief economist with the State Information Center. [...] China's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in the first six months of the year stood at 9.6 percent year-on-year. Top officials from the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee agreed Friday to stick to proactive fiscal policies and a prudent monetary policy in the second half of this year, with stabilizing prices as the main priority, Xinhua reported. Elevated inflation in Asia poses multiple threats to economies, including a "reduction of consumer purchasing power, which suppresses spending and threatens social instability," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, an economist at the French banking conglomerate Crédit Agricole. China recorded a 6.4 percent annual inflation rate in June, the highest in three years. Meanwhile, the emerging economies in Asia saw an annual inflation rate of 6.6 percent in June, nearly a three-year high. But Kowalczyk expects the inflation in the region to peak in the third quarter of the year, as domestic demand and industrial production slow down. Zhou Wangjun, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, also said Friday that the domestic inflation is "close to an inflection point" based on historical cycles. The tightened monetary policy has taken a heavy toll on many small- and medium-sized factories in China. The preliminary China purchasing managers index (PMI) in July released by HSBC on Thursday fell to 48.9, suggesting contraction in the manufacturing sector for the first time in a year. Currency and commodity markets initially fell on the news, but recovered later [...]. ^ top ^

West China's economy to grow 13 pct this year: report (Xinhua)
2011-07-25
China's first evaluative report on economic quality in the western region predicted that the region's economy will grow by 13 percent, higher than the nation's average. The report was published during the Western Region Economic Development Forum held in Beijing on Sunday. As a part of an annual research report on economic development in the western regions of China, the Western Blue Book 2011 has reviewed and analyzed economic growth in western areas since the implementation of the country's strategy on the development of western regions in 2000. The blue book, published by the Social Science Academic Press, features an evaluative system based on six indices: efficiency, compatibility, stability, sustainability, creativity and the sharing of economic growth. The report concluded that local economies in China's western regions have been developing rapidly since the western development strategy was adopted. It confirmed that the living standards of local residents in western regions have seen great increases over the past eleven years. The report also summarized the main obstacles barring economic growth in west China and suggested several policy changes and additions in accordance with the problems facing west China's economies. Western regions will need to focus on improving education and environmental protection in the future, as well as creating more opportunities for local residents to earn more money, Yao Huiqin, a professor from Northwest University, said at the forum [...]. ^ top ^

CIC reports $51.5 billion net profit in 2010 (Global Times)
2011-07-27
China Investment Corp (CIC) added $35.7 billion in new investment in 2010, which reduced the cash balance in the sovereign wealth fund's (SWF) overall portfolio from 32 percent to 4 percent, according to its 2010 annual report released on Tuesday. CIC reported a net profit of $51.5 billion in 2010, with a net asset value of $374 billion. The annual return rate of its global portfolio reached 11.7 percent, and the accumulated annual return rate since establishment stands at 6.4 percent [...]. With a more diversified portfolio strategy that focused on long-term investment, CIC increased its investment in private equity, property and infrastructure, while attaching more importance to investing in emerging economies. The number of investments in its portfolio doubled in 2010 [...]. Wang Shuilin, CIC's spokesman, said the change was to emphasize the fund's position as a long-term investor and to improve its resistance to market fluctuations. Established in 2007, CIC is one of the world's largest SWFs and is responsible for managing part of China's $3 trillion foreign exchange reserves. The fund received approximately $200 billion of assets under management when established in 2007 [...]. More experts are calling for investors such as CIC to turn part of the reserve into investment, but like all investors, the fund faces its risks. Fan Jianjun, an economist with the State Council Development Research Center, said SWFs have their own drawbacks, and most do not have a decent return rate. ^ top ^

China's fiscal revenue growth to slow in H2 (Xinhua)
2011-07-27
China's fiscal revenue will increase at a slower pace in the second half of this year, following an array of tax cuts, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Tuesday. Reductions in personal income tax, value-added tax, sales tax, and small business tax will lead to slowing growth, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Fiscal revenue rose 31.2 percent year-on-year to 5.69 trillion yuan (875.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, boosted by the country's fast economic growth and rising consumer prices, it said. The MOC will spend more on education, health care for rural residents, pension, and affordable housing construction in the second half, it said [...]. ^ top ^

China to reduce carbon intensity by 17% by 2015 (China Daily)
2011-07-29
China will soon release detailed plans on ensuring that its goal for reducing carbon intensity from 2011 to 2015 is attainable, and it has started looking at technical options for cutting carbon dioxide emissions after 2020. Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said on Wednesday at a conference that a comprehensive plan to allow China to meet its objective [...] of reducing carbon intensity by 17 percent reduction will be released soon. China has set a target to cut its energy intensity (the amount of energy consumed for each unit of GDP) by 16 percent and reduce its carbon intensity (the amount of carbon emitted for each unit of GDP) by 17 percent from 2011 to 2015. "The targets surely need to be handed over to local governments, and a specialized blueprint for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions is a necessity," Su Wei, director-general of the Department of Climate Change of the NDRC [...]. The target is a step in the government's pledge to cut carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. The NDRC has also begun working out ways to attain further, large-scale reductions of carbon dioxide emissions after 2020. Xie said that China considers carbon capture and storage (CCS) an important technical means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the next few decades, and that the country should already be working toward the development of the emerging technology [...]. Xie called for international collaboration in research and technology transfers from developed countries. China has set targets to boost its non-fossil-fuel use to 15 percent of energy consumption by 2020 [...]. However, coal remains the primary source of energy in China, the world's largest consumer of coal, with more than 70 percent of the country's energy consumption depending on it [...]. ^ top ^

Sugar, peanut prices surge amid shortage (SCMP)
2011-07-29
Despite a slight drop in pork prices last week, the cost of other agricultural commodities continues to surge on the mainland, with sugar breaking records and peanuts nearly doubling in a year. Sugar prices in Nanning, [...], where 60 per cent of the country's sugar is produced, reached a historic high of 7,660 yuan (HK$9,270) per tonne yesterday, according to statistics from ec-sugar.com, the website of the China Sugar Association (CSA). The price has climbed by more than 30 per cent from October last year, when the last round of rises began. The price of peanuts, a relatively small crop but an important source of cooking oil, an essential staple, ranged from 11,000 yuan to 12,000 yuan per tonne in the two major producing provinces of Shandong and Henan last week, nearly double the price of a year earlier, [...]. Gao Wang, an analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant (BOABC), said soaring sugar prices were a result of three consecutive years of reduced production. "Stocks are running out as the government has kept releasing sugar reserves to the market," Gao said. "In the global market, production in Russia and Australia has dropped, so imported sugar is also more expensive." According to the CSA, China is expected to produce 10.45 million tonnes of sugar this year, while domestic demand will stand at 13 million tonnes. The country greatly increased sugar imports in the first half of the year, with 52,000 tonnes arriving between January and June at a cost of US$400 million, according to customs data. The volume of imports rose by 27 per cent and their value by 67 per cent from that period last year [...]. Lina Chen, grains and oilseeds analyst at BOABC, said that as peanuts became more expensive, cooking oil producers would pass on those costs to consumers through higher retail prices. The National Development and Reform Commission, [...], had subsidised five leading producers in the cooking oil industry to help them keep prices in check, Chen said [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

N.Korea holds polls ahead of key celebration (Global Times)
2011-07-25
Almost all North Korean voters cast ballots on Sunday to elect representatives for local assemblies, state media said. The vote to elect deputies for provincial, city and county-level assemblies began at 9 am across the country, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. "Polling stations are crowded with well-dressed voters eagerly waiting for their turns... with many dancing to the music of drums and gongs," KCNA said. It said that all participants would cast "yes" votes in support of the ruling Workers' Party, adding later about 99.97 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballots by 6 pm local time. The exceptions were "those on foreign tour or working in oceans," while elderly and sick people who could not go to polling stations "cast their ballots in mobile ballot boxes." North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il voted at a polling station in Pyongyang, along with other senior officials including his youngest son and heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, KCNA said. ^ top ^

DPRK end first day "serious, business-like" nuclear talks (Xinhua)
2011-07-29
Representatives from the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday concluded their first day of a two-day dialogue aiming at reviving the long-stalled six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, [...]. DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-Gwan left the U.S. Mission to the United Nations building, where the bilateral talk was taking place [...]. While the U.S. State Department released a brief readout, calling the first-day discussions "have been serious and business- like." "We look forward to continuing our meetings tomorrow," said the readout. It added that this is "an exploratory meeting" to determine if DPRK is prepared to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the six-party talks and its international obligations, as well as to take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization. "We continue to coordinate closely with the Republic of Korea and our other partners," it said [...]. According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, Kim told reporters after landing in New York Tuesday that he was " optimistic" the six-party talks could resume and that relations with the U.S. might improve. "Now it's the time for countries to reconcile," he said. The bilateral talks came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday invited Kim to New York for talks on the potential resumption of the six-party talks, which has been on hold since December 2008. Last Friday, South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac and his DPRK counterpart Ri Yong-ho held a bilateral meeting in Bali, Indonesia, during which the two sides agreed to work to resume the six-party talks, which also includes China, Russia and Japan. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Railway to South likely to be constructed in 2012 (news.mn)
2011-07-25
Yo.Jargalsaikhan, a senior official of the National Security Council (NSC) who deals with issues of infrastructure, has stressed the supremacy of the principles of national security passed by Parliament of in 2010. The NSC accordingly applies them whenever it discusses an issue and submits recommendations to the Government. He offered the railway policy as an example. The first phase will be the 1,100-km stretch from Tavantolgoi to Choibalsan but the route to the south will also be taken up next year, especially as the Oyutolgoi mine is being developed fast. Jargalsaikhan said that safety issues relating to coal transportation would have to be considered. ^ top ^

Government favors diplomatic relations with more countries (news.mn)
2011-07-25
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mongolia joining the UN. It now has diplomatic relations with 150 other member countries. President Ts. Elbegdorj has suggested setting up relations with more countries to observe the anniversary. The Government meeting on July 20 discussed establishing diplomatic relations with Andorra, Gambia, Honduras, Nauru, Palau, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, and decided to forward the issue to the Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy for further discussion. The first country to set up diplomatic relations was Russia in 1921 and the second, North Korea in 1948. India was the first country outside the then Soviet bloc to establish relations, in 1955. The most recent country to have such relations was the Dominican Republic in 2010. ^ top ^

Oyutolgoi dream comes closer to reality with every passing day (news.mn)
2011-07-25
On July 17, Ivanhoe Mines observed the 10th anniversary of the company"s first major mineral discovery at Oyutolgoi with a tribute to the 14,000 workers who now are building the mining complex. Chief Executive Officer and founder, Robert Friedland, said, "Oyutolgoi already is one of the mining world"s great stories, thanks to the legions of people who have figured in its discoveries and development. It began with the perseverance of an international fraternity of geologists who believed that Oyutolgoi"s green-stained surface rocks were clues to deeper secrets. Ivanhoe"s geological team started working with the drillers in 2000 and successively lifted the lids on this extraordinary chain of mineral deposits that now extends over 23 kilometers. We listened and found common ground with aspirations of the people of Mongolia. And now the skills of a construction workforce, which surpassed 14,000 on July 15, are bringing the Oyutolgoi dream closer to reality with every passing day." Senior Vice President of Exploration, Douglas Kirwin, said Oyutolgoi remains on track to begin producing ore around next year"s anniversary of the initial discovery and ultimately to become one of the world"s top three copper-gold mines. Commercial production is scheduled for 2013. During the first 10 years of production, Oyu Tolgoi is projected to produce an average of 1.2 billion pounds (544,000 tons) of copper, 650,000 ounces of gold and three million ounces of silver every year. ^ top ^

President of India to visit (Montsame)
2011-07-25
At invitation of Mongolia's President, a state visit will run of the State Head of Republic of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil. While being here July 27-30, Mrs Pratibha Devisingh Patil will hold negotiations with her Mongolian counterpart Mr Ts.Elbegdorj, will receive Mongolia's Prime Minister, the Parliament Vice-Speaker and some women politicians. The Indian President will deliver a speech at the Mongolia-India business forum, lay a wreath to the UB-located monument to Mohandas K.Gandhi. The Republic of India is one of the largest investor-countries for Mongolia. According to statistics, direct investments of USD 7 million and 527 thousand were made to Mongolia by 30 Indian companies in 1990-2010. In the previous year, the trade turnover between the two countries reached USD 17 million 637.7 thousand. In 1987, Mongolia enrolled the Technical Assistance Program of India. In frames of it, 30 Mongolian students and master candidates study every year in India with the governmental scholarships. India rendered a non-refundable aid of USD 7 million to Mongolia in 2008, and granted a soft-loan of USD 25 million for overcoming the financial crisis in 2009. ^ top ^

“Miner and supplier” forum to run (Montsame)
2011-07-25
A “Miner and Supplier” forum and exhibition are to start July 6 in Ulaanbaatar. The initiator of the action the "Mineral mining exchange" NGO wants to improve Mongolian mining section's supply quality, give information to mining and engineering companies, improve a participation of mining suppliers in the market, make better ties between miners and suppliers. Participation is expected of some 200 mining supplier managers, geologists, engineers, leading supplier companies. ^ top ^

“Days of world Mongolians” to start (Montsame)
2011-07-25
A “Days of World Mongolians” is running July 5-9 on the UB ciy's Sukhbaatar square, co-organized by Ministry of Science, education and culture, the National library and Mongolia's State university. The action has been included in the frames of marking several important anniversaries such as the 2220th of Hun Empire establishment, 805th of Great Mongol Empire, 100th of National freedom revolution, and 90th of People's revolution. As a start, the “Day of Mongol ger” is running July 5, followed by the “Day of Mongol dairy products” July 6, in which the President will take part, by the “Day of Mongolian script” July 7, with a participation of the Premier and with mounting a calligraphy exhibition and lyrics competition, by the “Day of Mongolian folk art” July 8, and the “Day of Mongolian national costumes” July 9. ^ top ^

National Naadam holiday (mongolmessenger.mn)
2011-07-25
The “Three Manly Games”, now registered by UNESCO a an intangible cultural heritage and becoming increasingly renowed, was widely marked on July 11-13. This year's Naadam has been celebrated more widely and magnificently than previous years' because it coincides with the 2220th anniversary of teh Mongolian First Statehood, the Great Mongolian Empire's 805th anniversary, the National Liberation Movement's 100th anniversary, and the People's Revolution 90th anniversary. ^ top ^

Sowing successful (news.mn)
2011-07-27
The Chief of the Technical Department of Agriculture Policy of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry has said that sowing in the central and western regions has been satisfactory and successful. Wheat is being grown in 42,700 more hectares than last year. The Planting Support Foundation under the Ministry is cooperating with NIK LLC in fuel supply. Agriculture companies can buy fuel with a loan for 30% of the total cost. Potato and vegetables have been planted in 2500 hectares more than last year. Prices would be reduced in August when the harvest is in. ^ 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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