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
  5-9.9.11, No. 387  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China's contracts 'safe' in Libya (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-05
Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) said it will respect business contracts and agreements signed with China before the war, said Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun. Saying China has great ability and potential to help rebuild the country, especially its infrastructure, Zhai urged the NTC to form an "inclusive government" [...]. "We hope Libya can get back to stabilization, which is in the interests of all the Libyan people and people in the region," said Zhai following a speech at the meeting, which was hosted by France and the UK [...]. "The post-war arrangement in Libya should be led by the United Nations," Zhai said. Before the war broke out and they were evacuated, more than 35,000 Chinese, mostly construction workers, were in Libya. "So I think we can play a big role in the reconstruction of Libya," said Zhai. Speaking at the Paris meeting, NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil promised that the country would deliver a new constitution and elections within 18 months, while the Western powers promised a reconciliation and transition process that must be put in the hands of Libyans. Promises and timetables were the biggest achievements of the two-hour conference on Libya's reconstruction, as the international community gradually unfroze Libya's assets and de-listed the economic entities under sanction [...]. The BBC reported that closed-door talks were continuing on Friday between representatives of those nations and Libya's interim authorities to determine how to spend $15 billion in unfrozen funds [...]. The rich resources of oil and gas are part of the reason Western countries are active in Libya, said Zhang Xiaodong, a researcher with the West Asian and African Studies Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. But he added that before the disorder in Libya, its oil and gas mostly went to the European market, so the situation is simply returning to the way it was. With war not entirely ended in Libya, it is hard to tell whether the process of reconstruction can proceed as Western powers hope. Because most of the important resources, like money and oil, are still controlled by the Western world, it will be very difficult to realize the promise of keeping reconciliation and transition a Libyan-led process, said He Wenping, an expert on African studies at the West Asian and African Studies Institute [...]. ^ top ^

Aquino ends 'productive' China trip (SCMP)
2011-09-05
Philippine President Benigno Aquino wrapped up his five-day state visit to China yesterday, leaving for home from the southeastern city of Xiamen, Fujian province. Speaking in Xiamen, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Manila would help implement rules on a code of conduct in the South China Sea when it hosted a meeting of legal officials this month to define the government's proposed "zone of peace and co-operation" in disputed waters. Del Rosario also said Aquino had very "productive and very constructive" meetings with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao [...]. Aquino and his host Hu issued a joint statement on Thursday stressing their commitment to a peaceful dialogue to tackle the sea dispute. Upon his arrival in Manila, Aquino said his state visit would yield US$1.28 billion in new investments. An additional US$3.8 billion worth of deals from Chinese companies were "almost sure", and potentially US$7.9 billion more of investments could emerge in the future. Aquino did not specify the investments nor provide any company names [...]. Aquino also visited Shanghai and Beijing. It was his first visit to China since he took office in June last year. ^ top ^

China supports greater representation of developing countries in UN Security Council (Xinhua)
2011-09-05
Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong on Friday called for greater representation of developing countries within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), specifically African nations, as a goal of its reform. Wu made the remarks at the fourth Lanting Forum held by the Foreign Ministry, where he made a keynote address on the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. Wu said China supports the rational and necessary reform of the UNSC, in order to make it better reflect the current situation of international politics [...]. China has actively participated in the discussions and intergovernmental negotiations relating to UNSC reform and maintains frequent communication with related countries, such as Japan, India, Brazil and German, on the issue, he said. "We value the roles and influence of such countries that are major but currently not permanent members of the UNSC," he said, adding that China hopes these countries will play bigger roles in the UN. He said the reform package of the UNSC should be comprehensive and take into account the interests of all parties [...]. With regard to the UN's role in the future, he suggested it should continue efforts to push for peaceful solutions to hot issues, remain committed to international cooperation on development while promoting social development and the progress of human rights [...]. ^ top ^

China sold no weapons to Gadhafi (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-06
China yesterday denied that it had exported weapons to forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. The Gadhafi regime did contact individuals form certain Chinese companies a in July over weapons sales, but without the knowledge of the government, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The Globe and Mail and the New York Times reported that documents found in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, indicated that Chinese companies had offered to sell rocket launchers, anti-tank missiles and other arms for a total of some US$200 million to Gadhafi's forces, despite a United Nations ban on such sales. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters yesterday that members of Gadhafi's government had come to China and had talks with a "handful" of Chinese arms company officials without the Chinese government's knowledge. "We have clarified with the relevant agencies that in July the Gadhafi government sent personnel to China without the knowledge of the Chinese government and they engaged in contact with a handful of people from the companies concerned," Jiang told a news briefing in Beijing. "The Chinese companies did not sign arms trade contacts, nor did they export military items to Libya," Jiang said. Asked if the Chinese companies or their personnel would be punished over the talks with Gadhafi's officials, Jiang said: "I'm sure that the agencies in charge of Chinese arms will deal with this in a serious and conscientious way." Jiang said China strictly adheres to a UN ban on supplying arms to the toppled Libyan government and backed the role of the UN in a post-conflict Libya. "Chinese companies have not provided military products to Libya in any direct or indirect form," Jiang said. [...] The newspaper reports in the United States said Libyan security officials visiting China in July were received by three arms companies, including Norinco and the China Xinxing Import and Export Corporation. ^ top ^

China never seeks hegemony: white paper (China Daily)
2011-09-07
China never engages in aggression or expansion, and never seeks hegemony, says the white paper [...] on China's development issued Tuesday by the Information Office of the State Council. The Chinese nation loves peace. From their bitter sufferings from war and poverty in modern times, the Chinese people have learned the value of peace and the pressing need of development, says the white paper. They see that only peace can allow them to live and work in prosperity and contentment and that only development can bring them decent living, it says. "Therefore, the central goal of China's diplomacy is to create a peaceful and stable international environment for its development," it says. In the meantime, China strives to make its due contribution to world peace and development. It never engages in aggression or expansion, never seeks hegemony, and remains a staunch force for upholding regional and world peace and stability, according to the white paper. The white paper introduced the path, objective and foreign policy of the peaceful development and elaborated on what China's peaceful development means to the rest of the world. Stressing China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, the white paper says this is "a path of scientific, independent, open, peaceful, cooperative and common development." "Viewed in the broader, global and historical context, the path of peaceful development may be defined as follows: China should develop itself through upholding world peace and contribute to world peace through its own development," says the white paper. The country should achieve development with its own efforts and by carrying out reform and innovation. At the same time, it should open itself to the outside and learn from other countries, it says. China should seek mutual benefit and common development with other countries in keeping with the trend of economic globalization, and it should work together with other countries to build a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity, it says. The white paper reiterated that peaceful development is a strategic choice made by China to realize modernization, make itself strong and prosperous, and make more contribution to the progress of human civilization. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, it says. ^ top ^

China says it values NTC's status in Libya (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-07
China will recognize Libya's National Transitional Council as the legitimate government "when conditions are ripe," the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. It did not say what those conditions would be. China has not joined Western powers in formally recognizing the council as the legitimate authority in Libya, but has acknowledged its "important role." At a regular news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said: "Our lines of communication with the NTC are smooth. "I would like to point out that the instability in Libya is temporary, but that China-Libyan friendship is long-term." "We value the National Transitional Council's status and role and are willing to stay in close contact with them to promote the steady development of bilateral relations," she said. Meanwhile, Jiang said China would step up controls over arms exports after it was revealed Chinese arms firms held talks with representatives of Moammar Gadhafi's forces in July over weapons sales. China says it exported no arms to Libya. "China will strictly implement the UN resolution and further strengthen management of military exports," Jiang said. [...] "The National Transitional Council has said it will respect China's core interests and keep its promise of effectively protecting the interests of Chinese businesses," Jiang said. ^ top ^

China opposes pressing Syria to solve crisis (China Daily)
2011-09-08
China said on Wednesday that the Syrian crisis should be solved through dialogue and consultations instead of simply putting pressure on the country. "We think the first thing to do is to ease tensions in Syria in order to avoid escalation," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said [...]. Jiang's comments came in response to a question regarding whether or not China will communicate with the Syrian opposition, as Russia has already received a delegation from the Syrian opposition. Jiang said that simply putting pressure on the country offers no solution and the correct approach to solving the crisis will be to launch a Syria-dominated inclusive political process [...]. ^ top ^

Manila's move to bolster maritime defences risks angering Beijing (SCMP)
2011-09-08
The Philippines will buy helicopters and build radar stations to strengthen its defence of oil and gas assets located near an area of the South China Sea also claimed by China, a step that may annoy Beijing. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in a statement 4.95 billion pesos (HK$908 million) of royalties from the Malampaya gas field off Palawan would fund the military upgrade. The field is to the east of Palawan island in an area of the South China Sea not claimed by China, but other nearby fields the Philippines wants to develop are in contested areas of the sea [...]. The US$4.5 billion Malampaya project, estimated to hold 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 65 million barrels of condensate, is operated by Shell Philippine Exploration, Chevron Philippines and state-owned PNOC Exploration [...]. Last week, Philippine President Benigno Aquino met President Hu Jintao in Beijing and the pair agreed on the need for a binding code of conduct in the sea. Abad said the fund would allow the air force and navy to buy six new search-and-rescue and patrol helicopters to guard Malampaya and other oil-and-gas exploration areas in the Reed Bank and Sulu Sea. In June, the Philippines said it expected to award next year 15 contracts for oil and gas explorations requiring total investments of at least US$7.5 billion, most of them in the Palawan and Sulu Sea areas. ^ top ^

Beijing improves ties with Hanoi (SCMP)
2011-09-09
A chill that had befallen Sino-Vietnamese ties is thawing, as the two countries have shifted focus from territorial disputes to other, non-sensitive areas of co-operation, state media in Beijing and Hanoi report. Analysts predict smooth relations if both sides focus on bilateral trade, similar ideologies and potential joint development of oil and natural gas in the disputed South China Sea. China's top diplomat, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan jointly chaired the fifth annual Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Co-operation on Wednesday in Hanoi, according to a statement released by the two countries. [...] The statement said Beijing and Hanoi had agreed to resolve sovereignty claims in the South China Sea through peaceful, friendly consultations. They had agreed to speed up the talks and to reach a mutually agreeable solution, and pledged to sign a pact as soon as possible. [...] Dr Zhang Mingliang of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies at Guangzhou's Jinan University, said the statement indicated both sides were striving to ease tensions fuelled by anti-Chinese rallies in Hanoi in recent months and by a maritime row in May between Chinese warships and a Vietnamese oil exploration ship in the South China Sea. "The joint statement tells us that decisions [to enhance Sino-Vietnamese ties] made by the two countries' top leaders will not be affected by the civilian anti-Chinese protests or even military conflicts in the disputed waters," Zhang said.

Professor Ju Hailong, of the same institute, said Vietnam had been a beneficiary in its ties with China since the last century. Ju cited six key factors affecting the relationship: bilateral trade; a potential joint exploration of oil and natural gas, including in disputed waters; similar political ideologies; their sovereignty claims over the South China Sea; Vietnam's nationalism, which has provoked anti-Chinese protests; and Vietnamese interest groups, which are influenced by overseas populism. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing backs Palestinian statehood (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
China supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and appreciates efforts to push forward the process in peaceful talks, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday [...]. Answering questions on China's stance on the request, spokeswoman Jiang Yu said [...] that having their own state is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people, and also the basis on which Palestine and Israel can achieve peaceful coexistence. "We understand, respect and support Palestine's plan to submit the issue to the UN." China consistently supports the regaining of the Palestinian people's legal national rights and the establishment of an independent country with East Jerusalem as its capital and with full sovereignty, she added. [...]. China established diplomatic relations with Palestine in 1988 [...]. ^ top ^

Top Chinese legislator meets Sri Lankan PM, Samoan vice PM (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
Top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Samoan Vice Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo on Wednesday [...]. During his meeting with Jayaratne, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said China will encourage Chinese companies, especially large enterprises, to take part in Sri Lanka's development and expand trade and investment with the country in order to realize mutual benefit and common development. Wu also pledged to bolster Sino-Sri Lankan cooperation in areas including infrastructure, the exploitation of energy and resources and tourism. Speaking highly of the countries' bilateral relations, Wu expressed appreciation of Sri Lanka's support for China regarding issues related to Taiwan and Tibet. China will continue to support Sri Lanka's efforts to safeguard its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as respect Sri Lanka's path of development and its domestic and foreign policies, Wu said. Jayaratne said that he appreciates China's long-standing support, saying that it has served to boost Sri Lanka's development. [...] During his meeting with Fonotoe, Wu said that China is willing to advance bilateral ties with Samoa. [...] Wu also said that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, should be equal in the international community. Fonotoe said that he came to China with the aim of attracting more investment and deepening bilateral cooperation in economics and trade. [...]. ^ top ^

China upbeat about Europe debt crisis (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
China has confidence in both the European economy and the euro and supports the euro zone's efforts to tackle its debt crisis, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said on Thursday at the Fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue. [...] After the dialogue, China and the UK signed two memorandums of understanding on infrastructure and energy cooperation. "Europe has the ability and wisdom to overcome the current difficulties and come out of the crisis," Wang said. He added that China supports measures adopted by the euro zone, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to deal with the crisis. [...] Resolving the European debt crisis requires the European Union, the euro-zone countries in particular, to reach consensus on effective rescue measures, and implement them quickly," Wang said. He said China and the UK should target bilateral trade hitting $100 billion by 2015. [...] "We hope that the UK will render active support to Chinese companies making investments in the UK and continue to encourage the European Union to relax controls over high-tech exports to China and recognize China's market economy status soon," Wang said. [...] Meanwhile, another official said that China plans to make its currency fully convertible but there is no timetable for this. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at a news conference during the dialogue that China welcomed London's wish to become an offshore trading center for the yuan, but said the internationalization of the Chinese currency is a "long-term process". [...] China is the UK's second-largest trading partner outside the EU. China-UK trade in goods reached $50.08 billion in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 27.9 percent. [...]. ^ top ^

Interview: IEA new chief expects intensified cooperation with China (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
Cooperation between the International Energy Agency and China will be intensified as China has very active energy policy beyond coal and nuclear and IEA expects to make more contribution on energy efficiency, the new executive director of the Paris-based agency told Xinhua Wednesday. "I know relations will be intensified because China is one of the outreach countries for the IEA," Maria van der Hoeven said [...]. "Energy security is a global issue, so we have to tackle it in a global way and it can't be done only be the 28 members of IEA, we have to keep in mind what's happening in emerging countries," she said, citing China's important role in world energy market. [...] Except coal energy, many people don't know China also have very active policy on wind, solar energy and on hydro, she said. According to IEA, a report on wind roadmap project is to be launched on Oct. 20th in China. [...] To Ms. van der Hoeven, China's relying on diversified resources is what results the wind roadmap report and the cooperation with the IEA. Satisfying on present relations with China, the new IEA chief didn't see membership as a necessary element in future cooperation between the two. "Membership is not a pre-requisite for tangible outcome; pre-requisite for tangible outcome is good working relations and is to see whether we can develop win-win situations for instance, on data transparency and market transparency, transparency of supply and demand," she said frankly. [... IEA said it sees China has a unique policy-making process that involves deep study of how other countries have approached challenges similar to those it faces and the quality and influence of IEA statistics and analysis are also recognized and accepted by China. Ms. van der Hoeven has scheduled her first visit to China as the IEA chief in November to present the 2011 version of its annually World Energy Outlook. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese foreign minister sets forth five principles in sustainable development (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday urged the international community to abide by five principles in achieving global sustainable development. The five principles follow the spirit and principles set forth in the Rio Declaration, particularly the principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities; advancing sustainable development in a balanced manner in the areas of economy, society and environment; respecting the independent choices of countries regarding sustainable development; upholding the principle of building broad partnerships; and paying particular attention to meeting the concerns of developing countries. Yang made the appeal at the opening ceremony of a high-level symposium on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), which opened in Beijing on Thursday. The UNCSD, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next year, [...] presents an important opportunity for the international community to map out a global strategy for sustainable development, Yang said. The symposium, scheduled for Sept. 8-9 in Beijing, is intended to offer a platform for thorough and in-depth discussions on the two main themes and the objective of next year's Rio summit, the foreign minister said. The two main themes are green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development. [...] The symposium drew about 180 participants from about 30 countries, over 10 international organizations and academic institutions. ^ top ^

Chinese vice president vows to boost all-round strategic partnership with Kazakhstan (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
Vice President Xi Jinping met with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov in Beijing on Thursday, vowing to push forward further growth of the bilateral all-round strategic partnership. Calling the two countries friendly neighbors and strategic partners, Xi said Sino-Kazakh relations have witnessed sound growth in recent years. [...] "China treasures its traditional friendship with Kazakhstan, and to enhance relations with the country is one of the priorities of China's diplomacy," Xi said. He vowed joint efforts to take the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year to further deepen political mutual trust, enhance practical cooperation in energy and non-resource sectors, cement coordination in international organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the United Nations. Calling China a great neighbor, Kazykhanov told Xi the Kazakh government attaches great importance to developing relations with China, and regards China as a close friend and reliable partner. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Britain should harness new opportunities for co-op: Chinese vice premier (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Thursday that China and Britain should harness their respective strengths to seize new opportunities for bilateral cooperation. "The main task of this round of dialogue is therefore, to act on the important agreement reached by our leaders and promote the healthy development of China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership with concrete steps," Wang said in his opening remarks at the Fourth China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in London. Wang said new opportunities for economic cooperation between China and Britain have come forward as China implements its 12th Five-Year Plan and Britain rolls out its Plan for Growth and hosts the Olympic Games in London next year. The two countries need to deepen their cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, investment, finance, science, technology and tourism, Wang said. He also highlighted new bright spots of cooperation for the two sides, including infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, new energy, energy conservation and environmental protection. [...] Meanwhile, Wang voiced hope that Britain's measures to revitalize its economy and maintain fiscal sustainability would quickly produce results. [...]. ^ top ^

Sino-Africa cooperation ought to be further developed amid uncertain global economy: minister (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
China and Africa need to cooperate with each other and promote common development amid the uncertainty of the world's economic recovery, China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said Thursday [...]. "Sino-Africa cooperation is win-win and transparent," he said. By the end of 2010, China had invested around 40 billion U.S. dollars with direct investment of about 13 billion U.S. dollars in more than 2,000 enterprises from 50 African countries covering various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining and finance, Chen said. The direct investment of Chinese enterprises in Africa amounted to 2.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, an increase of 46.8 percent over the previous year, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Commerce. China has already helped African countries cultivate a total of more than 30,000 talented people in diverse areas since the 1980s. China has become the largest trade partner of Africa while Africa is the fourth largest overseas investment destination, according to Chen. "As for some Western countries' remarks that liken China's presence in Africa as 'new colonialism,' it is groundless and unacknowledged," Chen said [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

New plan to hear public opinions (China Daily)
2011-09-05
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has dispatched community workers in every city to knock from door to door in the next three months to canvass citizens' concerns and difficulties in a major bid to improve social management. This step toward the public follows recent campaigns in which other ministries and local governments organized extensive visits to households to address major social problems. "The aim is to consolidate lawful appeals and reasonable needs that the majority of citizens call for strongly," said a briefing statement by the ministry [...]. All community workers and officials with sub-district offices in cities will participate in the campaign "visiting thousands of households, visiting thousands of people" which begins this month [...]. They will visit registered residents, migrant populations, community and social organizations, as well as companies and work units in their communities. The ministry also requires the residential committees of every community to set up ad hoc dossiers to record the opinions of groups that have special difficulties and special appeals, including senior citizens living alone, people with disabilities, former inmates and poor families [...]. Social policy experts hold mixed views toward the massive campaign, which will last for three months. Ge Daoshun, a sociology professor with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the campaign will help the authorities find out about problems but the more important thing is to address these issues. Ge said the civil affairs authorities should organize rather than execute the plan [...]. In a speech at a seminar attended by provincial and ministerial-level officials in February, President Hu Jintao acknowledged that, despite China's remarkable social and economic development and growth in its overall national strength, the country is "still in a stage where many conflicts are likely to arise". China is experiencing rapid economic and social development, which creates "prominent problems causing unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development", Hu said [...]. ^ top ^

Activist Yao Lifa goes missing from home a day after his release (SCMP)
2011-09-06
Detained rights activist Yao Lifa returned home briefly at the weekend but his wife was unsure of his whereabouts after he left home for work yesterday. Yao, 53, a primary school teacher and activist in Qianjiang, Hubei, was taken away on June 20 and did not return home until late on Sunday - more than 10 weeks after going into detention. His wife, Feng Ling, said she suspected Yao's detention was meant to stop his campaigning for district-level elections during the summer holiday. He won a seat as an independent candidate in a local people's congress election in Qianjiang in 1999. Feng said Yao suffered stomach pain while in detention on Friday and was sent to a nearby hospital. He was diagnosed with an inflamed gall bladder and discharged two days later. But early yesterday morning, about a dozen men went to their home asking Yao to go back to the school where he worked. Feng said Yao called her later saying that he would not be able to return home for lunch. [...] Feng said Yao was still suffering from compression fractures of his spine but was not allowed to be treated by doctors or transferred to a hospital. Feng said that Yao had lost more than 10 kilograms in two months because he was fed only twice a day, with each meal a third of a normal portion. He was not allowed to read books or watch television and was under surveillance 24 hours a day. "I am extremely concerned about his health because it seems to me that they won't let him receive proper treatment," she said. "It's too inhumane." Feng's phone was disconnected yesterday afternoon. ^ top ^

Common prosperity is back in fashion (SCMP)
2011-09-06
A long-forgotten socialist slogan, "common prosperity [...]", coined by the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, has returned to the limelight, becoming the latest catchphrase for mainland cadres ahead of next year's leadership reshuffle. In a message to a gathering of Asian political parties in Nanning on Sunday, Vice-President Xi Jinping, President Hu Jintao's heir apparent, reiterated the central government's commitment to "allowing people to share the fruits of development". He said the Communist Party would stick to economic reforms, boost social services, speed up reforms to income distribution and "unswervingly pursue the path of common prosperity" [...]. Meanwhile, the party mouthpiece People's Daily also voiced support for Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai's concept of wealth redistribution, with an article yesterday highlighting an endorsement from a group of intellectuals. Although Xi's remarks largely repeated almost word for word what Hu said in a July speech marking the party's 90th anniversary, political analysts said the frequent talk of common prosperity underlined major policy shifts by Beijing in recent months, in a bid to cope with mounting grievances over social injustice. They said the catchphrase's comeback marked a clear departure from the era marked by Deng's famous slogan, "some people must be allowed to prosper first", which saw the resurrection of entrepreneurship and the mainland's rise over the past three decades to the position of a global economic powerhouse. "After more than 30 years of reform and opening up, the principal contradiction in the country has changed from alleviating widespread poverty to addressing escalating social tensions fuelled by injustice and a widening wealth gap," said Professor Zhu Lijia of the Chinese Academy of Governance. But it remained to be seen if Xi's talk of common prosperity amounted to a tacit endorsement of the conservative Bo, one of the top contenders for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee next year. Bo, who earned notoriety for his maverick crusade against organised crime and his controversial campaign to resurrect Maoist revolutionary culture, has become the focal point again, with his ultra-orthodox championing of socialist ideology in the pursuit of common prosperity. In July he explained his "cake theory" in tackling the contentious issue of the wealth gap, saying it was more important to divide the cake fairly than to make it bigger. [...]. ^ top ^

China steps up inspection of government-subsidized housing projects (Xinhua)
2011-09-07
China's discipline watchdog is tightening supervision on the construction of affordable housing projects nationwide, which involves billions of government funding. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will send 10 inspection teams to 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in next two weeks, said He Yong, deputy head of CCDI, at a meeting held on Tuesday. As an effort to cope with soaring housing prices, the government has arranged a total of 170.5 billion yuan to build affordable homes for low-income earners this year. Inspectors will evaluate the implementation of the central government's policy, check the quality of the housing, and verify the proper use of public money, He said. They must not overlook any indications of, or related to, malpractice in the housing projects, such as breach of duty, bribery and misuse of government funds, he said [...]. Another major task of the teams is to check the implementation of the government's policy to build irrigation and water conservation facilities in rural areas and reform the management of water resources, He said [...]. ^ top ^

Senior Chinese leader stresses management of migrant population (Xinhua)
2011-09-07
A senior leader highlighted social management of migrant population during his two-day inspection tour to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region that ended on Tuesday. Zhou Yongkang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited urban community service centers, rural communities and service centers for migrant workers in the region's capital city Nanning, during his tour that centered on social management. [...], Zhou said it is a pressing task to manage the migrant population well [...]. Zhou urged efforts to improve services offered to migrants, among other things, to ensure children of migrant workers have access to proper schooling, and at the same time to boost local security. "We cannot have migrant people work and live for the long term in places where they don't feel at home," Zhou said, calling for more balanced development among different regions and between urban and rural areas so people can live a more settled life [...]. Zhou also stressed greater care for the elderly and orphans during his visit to local communities. While talking with local cadres, Zhou asked Guangxi to make increased efforts to strike a balance between economic and social development, to have local people of all ethnic groups benefit from the reform and opening-up policy, and to protect environment. ^ top ^

State Council demands oil spill probe (China Daily)
2011-09-08
The State Council called on Wednesday for a thorough investigation into a huge spill at a Bohai Bay oilfield run by US giant ConocoPhillips. The State Council also called for a limit on the construction of industrial plants along the bay to protect the area's environment following massive pollution from the spill that began in early June. "Parties responsible for the accident must be made to contain the spill, clean up the mess and substantially alleviate the damages caused by pollution," the State Council said in a statement. The oilfield where the spills occurred is operated by ConocoPhillips China, a joint venture with State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), the majority stakeholder. But the statement stopped short of singling out the two companies as culprits [...]. "The cause of the accident must be identified, damage and losses must be defined, and those responsible must be punished according to the law," the statement said [...]. Meanwhile, US oil giant ConocoPhillips said it will establish a fund to cover costs resulting from the spills and "benefit the general environment in Bohai Bay". However, the company failed to say how much money will be put into the fund in a statement issued on Wednesday [...]. The move came after the State Oceanic Administration ordered a suspension of production in Penglai 19-3 oilfield on Sept 2 [...]. There have been mounting calls for legal action against those found to be responsible for the pollution. Wang Yamin, an associate professor at the Marine College of Shandong University, said that the fund should not be viewed as compensation for damage to the environment [...]. A compensation fund, he said, had the potential to bankrupt ConocoPhillips as the economic losses suffered by fishermen and other commercial concerns in the area were huge. The wording of the statement by ConocoPhillips suggests that the company is trying to buy time, according to Jia Fangyi, an attorney at the Beijing-based Great Wall Law Firm [...]. ^ top ^

New Chinese law to target domestic violence (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-08
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has incorporated a new law against domestic violence into its legislative agenda, and the law has passed into the final stage of investigation and argumentation, according to the All-China Women's Federation. In 2010, a survey conducted by the All-China Women's Federation about the issue of domestic violence showed that 64 percent of the adult respondents have experienced domestic violence, and nearly 40 percent of the surveyed couples admitted that domestic violence has affected their marital lives, while 60 percent of the minors have suffered violent treatment from their parents [...]. According to the federation, the current work will focus on how to deal with the relationships between domestic violence law and other legislations and what measures could be taken to prevent domestic violence from happening. The federation will submit survey results to the relevant authorities for the final preparation of the legislation. ^ top ^

Wen sees nation of 'phoney' culture (SCMP)
2011-09-08
Premier Wen Jiabao has accused land developers of destroying traditional heritage and leaving the nation with a culture of "phoney" modernisation, state media said yesterday. Disputes over forced land requisitions have become the mainland's most volatile social problem as officials and developers seek to cash in on a property boom, sometimes forcing people out of their homes without proper compensation. "No one is paying attention to the legal rights of farmers in some places, and they are forcefully destroying homes and moving them out," Wen said, according to state-run Beijing News. "We are destroying the real and building up the fake," he told a symposium in the capital about safeguarding cultural traditions. "A lot of our tangible cultural heritage has been torn down and destroyed, and then a lot of money is spent on building these phoney things." Wen, long viewed as a man of the people, also questioned the morality of destroying homes in the name of development. "The development of our nation and the reawakening of our people do not only require economic power, but more importantly it needs strong cultural and moral strength," Wen said [...]. ^ top ^

Journalist threatened for report (Global Times)
2011-09-08
A reporter claimed Wednesday that police in Langfang, Hebei Province, had threatened him and his family, demanding he delete of an investigative report about local government corruption. Zhu Ruifeng, a reporter with the Hong Kong-based website rmjdw.com, posted on his sina.com microblog Wednesday morning he entrusted Zhou Ze, a lawyer with Beijing Wentian Law Firm, to represent him "with legal matters once he loses his freedom in the future" since he has been threatened by police from the Langfang Public Security Bureau. Zhu's website publicized a report on August 17 accusing Liu Guangfu, Beijianta Village's Party Secretary, of hiring criminal organizations and taking bribes under the protection of Li Bo, secretary of the Langfang Party Committee. The report alleged Dong Yuyou, manager of a local cement company, had given two luxury vehicles to Liu at his daughter's wedding. "The Langfang police took Dong and his wife hostage and got them to beg and threaten me to delete my report about Li's corruption," Zhu told the Global Times Wednesday. "They even went to where my wife works and threatened to arrest me if the report was not removed from the website soon." According to Zhu, Dong's wife said Dong has been in police custody since August 31 and officials from the Langfang police and the city government came down to Dong's residence and threatened him. "They said if Dong didn't get me to delete all the accusations about Li in three days, they would come up with something to sentence Dong for least 10 years, "said Zhu. Neither Dong nor his wife could be reached Wednesday, and Zhu hasn't heard from them since Tuesday night [...]. A public relations official, surnamed Zhang, of the Langfang police said they were not aware of the case since it "does not concern the bureau" and refused to confirm the identities of the officers. "I spent about 15 days interviewing local residents including Dong to confirm everything in the report," said Zhu. "I won't delete it just because 'it would do harm to the government's image' as they said," Zhu added. ^ top ^

Rural preschool reforms welcome (SCMP)
2011-09-09
Headline criticism of the mainland's education system tends to focus on stifling university bureaucracy, conformity, corruption and academic irregularities. This overlooks the case for reform from bottom to top, starting with kindergartens. Despite the mainland's urban transformation, about 80 per cent of preschool children languish in rural kindergartens starved of public funding and qualified teachers [...]. In response to growing public discontent, a recent State Council directive listed accelerated development of preschool education as a top priority among the main aims of an education reform pilot programme. Now it seems rural kindergartens will actually see some money without having to wait for the results of the trial. The State Council last week pledged 50 billion yuan over five years to develop preschools in rural areas of underdeveloped western regions and in some impoverished areas of central China. This is overdue but welcome, as is the decision to fund children from migrant worker families in major cities who are excluded from public schools by the household registration system [...]. It remains to be seen whether the money is put to effective use. School funding stretches governments in poor regions [...]. ^ top ^

China issues revised rules for police supervision (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
The State Council, or China's cabinet, issued revised regulations on Thursday regarding the supervision of police conduct. The amended rules, adopted on Aug. 24 at a cabinet meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, will take effect on Oct. 1 [...]. The rules aim to "improve the supervision of police forces and ensure that they perform their duties and observe discipline," a cabinet statement said. An inspection committee under the Ministry of Public Security will be in charge of inspecting police work nationwide and will report directly to the Minister of Public Security, according to the amended rules. Inspection committees at different levels of government are responsible for overseeing public security organs at the same levels, the rules said. The committees will evaluate how police handle emergencies and criminal cases, as well as evaluate their usage of weapons, police equipment and vehicles, according to the revised rules. Inspectors should also take heed of the public's opinion in order to improve their own inspection work, the rules said. Police who are suspected to be in violation of the criminal law will be sent before judicial authorities, according to the rules. ^ top ^

Project to stop officials from fleeing (China Daily)
2011-09-09
Ten Chinese provinces and municipalities have launched a one-year pilot program to prevent corrupt or undisciplined officials from fleeing the country, the Ministry of Supervision said in a press release. They will also try to have fugitives returned from abroad. "Authorities must improve their work to prevent escapes and to catch fugitives abroad," Gan Yisheng, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said [...]. China has pulled off several high-profile extraditions of officials or government employees who were accused of bribery and embezzlement in the past few years, said Gan. Other suspects have been handed back to China or persuaded to return, he added. "The procedures to prevent escapes must be stressed," Hou Chengxin, deputy secretary of the discipline inspection commission in Nanjing, [...]. For instance, applications by officials for overseas trips must be strictly reviewed, said Hou. In China, officials and government employees are required to register their private overseas trips with the authorities as part of government tactics to prevent them from fleeing the country. Relevant authorities hold their passports while the cross-border movement of funds is monitored [...]. The pilot will cover the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Guangdong and Yunnan, and the municipality of Shanghai [...]. ^ top ^

12 million people short of drinking water in SW China (China Daily)
2011-09-09
A lingering drought has left more than 12.6 million people short of drinking water and huge tracts of farmland parched in China's southwestern regions, the nation's top drought-relief authority said Thursday. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said that a total of 6.24 million hectares of farmland nationwide have been affected by the drought as of Thursday. The drought has also caused water shortages for 14.54 million people nationwide. But the drought has been particularly severe in the southwestern provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Chongqing municipality, drying up reservoirs and rivers since it began in early July. The drought has affected more than 3 million hectares of farmland in the southwest [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Much-criticised regulation on petitions toned down (SCMP)
2011-09-09
Shenzhen has revised a controversial new regulation on petitions, removing most of the contentious content after an earlier draft was criticised as an attempt to curb civil rights. The new regulation will, however, still strengthen a ban on mass petitioning. The regulation has been finalised and will come into effect from next month [...]. The final version says no more than five representatives will be allowed to petition over the same case, and urges petitioners to raise complaints via letters, e-mails and faxes rather than face-to-face visits. It says petitioners who disturb public order will be punished. It outlaws unauthorised petitioning at or near key government offices, venues for public events or important functions and main roads. Illegal gathering, lingering, blocking roads or exits, intercepting cars, nagging, insulting or assaulting officials will also be banned, as will threatening to commit suicide or kidnap, burn or bomb officials and their families. Several controversial clauses have been removed from the first draft released in February, including a ban on petitioners wearing "disgusting" or "dreadful" clothing and using props for their appeals. A ban on people with contagious diseases visiting petition offices was also removed. Guangzhou-based rights lawyer Tang Jingling said the law would limit the rights of petitioners but would not be able to stop the public in the long run. [...] "The trend of resolving social and legal injustice by petitioning is unstoppable... these laws might deter but they will not crush the spirit of petitioners who are determined to fight injustice. " When laws set out to seriously infringe people's rights, their legal power will also perish, and people will cease to follow them." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibetan children to receive free heart treatment in Beijing (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
A group of 26 Tibetan children suffering from congenital heart defects have arrived in Beijing to receive free surgery to correct their health problems. The children's heart defects were discovered during a large-scale health examination conducted in August in Tibet Autonomous Region, according to a statement issued Thursday by the China Charity Federation (CCF), [...]. Over 3,500 children from northern Tibet were examined, with 59 of them identified as having congenital heart defects, [...]. Deng Tongshan, the CCF's vice president, said that the group decided to cover the costs of surgery for the children after hearing of their plight. The first group of children arrived on Wednesday and Thursday and will receive the surgery next week, while the rest of the children will come to Beijing later, according to Deng [...]. All of the children are from poor ethnic minority families. The group has sponsored free surgery for 291 children from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and the program sets to expand to autonomous regions of Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Guangxi, and Yunnan Province, Deng said [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Increased support pledged for Xinjiang (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-05
Regulators and bankers on Friday vowed to increase capital support for the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The move is expected to provide relief for the northwestern Chinese region that is thirsty for funding amid the country's monetary-tightening policies aimed at curbing inflation. Ma Delun, vice-governor of the People's Bank of China, said the government has implemented less harsh monetary policies in the region [...]. However, he admitted that major banks have decreased the number of loans to Xinjiang [...]. The lending quota to the region decreased from 120 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) in 2010 to 90 billion yuan this year, said Wang Huimin, assistant chairman of the Xinjiang government. Wang is in charge of the region's finances, securities and State-owned assets. By the end of July, new loans by China's major banks to Xinjiang accounted for 85 percent of the yearly quota, he said. Although loans available for the region slowed down, the growth of lending in Xinjiang has topped the nation this year, according to Cai Esheng, vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. By the end of July, outstanding loans in Xinjiang reached 131.6 billion yuan, a rise of 28.4 percent year-on-year [...]. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world's largest lender by market value, plans to double its lending in the region in the next three years, said Yi Huiman, vice-president of the bank, without revealing the number of loans his bank provides for Xinjiang [...]. ^ top ^

Jihadist video claims Xinjiang attacks (SCMP)
2011-09-09
A jihadist group has released a video claiming responsibility for recent attacks in southern Xinjiang that killed at least three dozen people, a US group that monitors militant organisations has said. The video was purportedly made by the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), which seeks independence for the majority Uygur-populated region, the SITE Intelligence Group said. The militants are believed to be based in Pakistan, where security experts say core members have received training from al-Qaeda. The 10-minute video, released in late August, features Turkestan Islamic Party leader Abdul Shakoor Damla, whose face is blotted out, saying the attacks were revenge against the Chinese government. [...] However, the video could no longer be found online yesterday. [...] Comment on the organisation's claims, Hou Hanmin, a spokeswoman for the Xinjiang regional government, said yesterday that as far as she knew, no overseas separatist forces had been involved. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Donald Tsang vows to uphold 'social order' (SCMP)
2011-09-06
Anyone who disrupts public order will be dealt with according to the law, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen told a policy-address consultation forum yesterday, amid stepped-up security. This came after a similar meeting last Thursday ended in a violent clash between protesters and government supporters. "Security officers were hurt at another disrupted forum last week," said Tsang at yesterday's forum in Leighton Hill Community Hall in Causeway Bay. "We will handle those who disrupt social order according to the law." He was referring to last week's consultation forum on the government's plan to scrap Legislative Council by-elections, which descended into chaos as a hundred protesters gatecrashed the venue and became involved in scuffles with security guards and forum participants. Increased security was much in evidence at yesterday's event [...]. League lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung attempted to throw a bag of rubbish and a bag of dog biscuits at Donald Tsang, but was caught by a plainclothes officer. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taipei makes an electric claim (SCMP)
2011-09-08
Taiwan has begun installing a solar power system to generate most of the electricity on its occupied Taiping islet, the largest of the Spratly Islands, located in the South China Sea, despite mounting tensions in the region. The groundbreaking ceremony took place yesterday at a park near the islet's small airport, in line with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of upholding Taiwan's sovereignty over the Spratlys. A group of officials from the Defence and the Interior ministries, the Taiwanese Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and engineers from the Taiwan Power Company took part in the ceremony for the NT$22 million (HK$6 million) project that should be completed within six months [...]. Coast guard officials said the solar energy system would replace the existing diesel-powered generation system as the primary source of energy on the islet in a year or so [...]. Taiping, occupied by Taiwan for decades, is the largest of the archipelagoes and the only islet with a fresh water supply among the Spratly chain of islands, which are claimed in part or wholly by Taiwan, the mainland, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. The latest move is expected to spark protests from the claimants, which have disputed the territorial rights of the island chain in the sensitive South China SeA [...]. Beijing had proposed to co-operate with Taipei over the territorial claim, but was rejected by the Ma administration. Other than reiterating its historic claim over the territory, Taipei had remained relatively quiet to avoid intensifying the situation, but that approach was snubbed by lawmakers who said it showed the inaction of the Ma administration in upholding Taiwan's claim [...]. ^ top ^

Leaked cables expose political infighting (SCMP)
2011-09-09
A string of US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks relating to Taiwan has triggered a political furore on the island that is set to affect elections in January. Eye-catching items range from Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi's comments on the contested "1992 consensus", to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's proposal that the mainland "offer to eliminate" more than 1,000 missiles targeting the island in exchange for an end to US arms sales to Taipei. In a meeting with US Ambassador Clark Randt in Beijing on December 24, 2008, Wang said that the so-called 1992 consensus was actually the "one China consensus," according to one leaked cable. "Both sides now accept and recognise the 1992 consensus, which means that both sides essentially accept there is only one China," Wang was quoted as telling Randt. Wang added that for Taiwan to boost its international presence, it must stick to the "one China" framework. [...] Wang's interpretation of the "one China" consensus was used by the pro-independence camp in Taiwan yesterday to accuse Ma of selling out to the mainland, an allegation that could affect his re-election chances. In another sensitive cable, about a meeting between Ma and US envoy Stephen Young in Taipei on June 26, 2009, Ma was quoted as suggesting that although it would be a "bad bargain" for Taiwan, Beijing could remove the missiles targeting the island "in exchange for an end to US arms sales" to Taipei. The leaked cables also shed light on the character and abilities of Ma and his opposition rival, Dr Tsai Ing-wen, head of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. One of the cables indicates that Wang told Randt that Ma was getting unpopular, as shown by various opinion polls in Taiwan, and, in order to increase Ma's popularity, Beijing offered more economic incentives to help boost Taiwan's economy. Negative comments were made against Tsai by several DPP big shots, including former premiers Su Tseng-chang and Frank Hsieh Chang-ting, who said she was too unqualified and incompetent to be the leader. Worst of all, the cables exposed infighting among the island's political leaders, within both the ruling Kuomintang and the DPP. [...] The cables have rocked Taiwan, with all those named denying they had ever made such comments. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Structural challenges loom ahead (China Daily)
2011-09-05
The global economy is entering "a danger zone" this autumn and China should hasten the transformation of its economy from being export driven to consumption-led, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, said. But this is not an easy task, he warned. "The bigger challenge for China in the autumn is if events (in the global economy) lead to a deeper downturn that affects demand for China's exports," Zoellick said during a visit to Heilongjiang province on Sunday. "China needs to be thinking about the structural basis for future growth." Global economic indicators make for bleak reading. [...] "The world economy is entering a new danger zone this autumn," Zoellick said at a conference on Saturday in Beijing. "China's structural challenges occur in the current international context of slowing growth and weakening confidence." Zoellick started a five-day visit on Sept 1, his fifth since he assumed office in July 2007. The main reason for the visit is to discuss key medium-term challenges with government officials. [...] The World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council are working together on identifying and analyzing China's medium-term development challenges by 2030, with the report due to come out at the end of this year. As part of the research, the World Bank pointed out that China is well-positioned to join the ranks of the world's high-income countries. "The challenge was the so-called mid-income trap, which is when countries reach levels of income about $3,000 to $6,000 per capita, their productivity rate tends to slow, their growth rate tends to slow," Zoellick said. In an article released last Thursday, Premier Wen Jiabao said reining in soaring consumer prices was China's top priority, as it had been for most of this year, and that China's "macro-control and adjustment direction cannot be changed". The consumer price index, a major gauge of inflation, hit a three-year high in July of 6.5 percent on higher pork prices. [...] "Premier Wen mentioned it is a primary concern, I think it can be dealt with," Zoellick said. "When you have inflation there are different tools. One is if China appreciated its currency more, that would make foreign goods cheaper in China. Another is the expansion of credit. A third dimension is to remove supply barriers." There are growing concerns over grain production as the rate of urbanization intensifies. Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu on Sunday called for favorable policies on grain and agricultural production to stabilize prices. Zoellick disagreed that growing urbanization, in itself, harms food production. "The challenge is to have smart urbanization," he said."China is moving with technology so that each farmer can be more productive China can boost output without necessarily using more land. ^ top ^

China regrets WTO's report on tire dispute (Xinhua)
2011-09-06
China expressed its regret Monday over a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling which rejected a Chinese complaint against "protectionist" measures taken by the U.S. against Chinese tier imports. "China regrets that the WTO Appellate Body in its report released on September 5, 2011 decides to uphold the panel report on United States - Measures Affecting Imports of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China," the Chinese Preferment Mission to the WTO said in a statement. The WTO ruled in favor of the U.S. in a 123-page ruling Monday which centered on a 2009 U.S. decision to impose punitive duties of 35 percent against Chinese tire imports, quoting damages to its own tire industry. According to the statement, the U.S. decision, a "protectionist measure... unsupported by the U.S. tire industry," was imposed "only to accommodate the country's domestic political pressure." It said the punitive measure failed to help reduce U.S. tire imports, but had hurt China's legitimate trading interests. U.S. tire imports from China declined by nearly 24 percent in 2010 compared to 2009 and further declined by 6 percent in the first half of 2011, the statement said. During the same period, however, the total tire imports of the U.S. increased by more than 20 percent in 2010 compared to 2009 and further increased by 9 percent in the first half of 2011. "The U.S. measure only serves to chill its trading partners and distort international trade," it said. "China urges the United States to discard promptly the special safeguard measure and to maintain a market of fair competition for Chinese enterprises," the statement read. ^ top ^

China's GDP growth could dip under 9% (China Daily)
2011-09-07
The growth rate of China's economy is likely to fall below 9 percent next year, pulled down by the deteriorating economic momentum of the largest developed countries, a senior currency regulation official said on Tuesday. Huang Guobo, the chief economist at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said weakening demand in global markets is expected challenge the country's export-driven economy. "If the situation continues into next year, China's GDP growth rate may decrease to less than 9 percent," he said at a forum in Beijing [...]. China might face more imported inflationary pressure because of soaring commodity prices, which have been lifted higher by mass liquidity, Huang said. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the GDP growth rate in the second quarter was 9.5 percent, down from 9.7 percent in the first quarter, a decline economists attributed to the steadily tightened monetary policy [...]. Many economists have said there will be less room for the central bank to further raise the interest rate and reserve-requirement ratio for the rest of this year. The purchasing managers' index (PMI) in August, released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, rose to 50.9 year-on-year from the 29-month low of 50.7 in July, signaling a rebound in manufacturing. However, Chang Jian, an economist at Barclays Capital Inc, still forecast slower GDP growth in the third quarter at close to 9 percent and below 9 percent in the last quarter [...]. Huang said that the global economy is caught in the deteriorating sovereign debt crisis of some large economies, especially in Europe, and reduced worldwide market confidence [...]. ^ top ^

China to push forward Doha Round of negotiation: minister (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said Thursday that the country will continue to make efforts to push forward trade negotiations launched in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), although the window for success is gradually closing. Chen called on developed and emerging nations to support the drive to exempt tariffs and export quotas for the least developed nations that have been awaiting these results since the Doha Round of trade negotiations among WTO members in Doha, Qatar in 2001. China is willing to help those nations improve their deep processing capabilities of agricultural products to increase their added-value and benefit their people, Chen told a forum at the ongoing 15th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in China's southeastern coastal city of Xiamen. ^ top ^

No date for fully convertible yuan (People's Daily Online)
2011-09-09
The central bank chief yesterday poured cold water on talk that China could make the yuan fully convertible by as soon as 2015. People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the nation's economic plan for 2011-2015 included the goal of scrapping restrictions that mean the yuan cannot be freely traded for purposes other than trade and investment. But, speaking to reporters in London, Zhou added: "Up to now, the plan does not define a clear timetable for full convertibility” [...]. China has been promoting the international use of the yuan in trade for the past two years to reduce the country's reliance on dollar financing. A thriving market in yuan-denominated bonds and deposits has sprung up in Hong Kong as a result. This has led some commentators to conclude that China would speed up efforts to meet its long-standing goal of making the yuan, [...], freely convertible. Mark Williams, chief China economist at Capital Economics in London, said he was highly skeptical of the 2015 timeline. "Full convertibility would require both that the renminbi first appreciates to around its fair market value and that the government is comfortable allowing conditions in its banking sector and financial markets to be dictated in part by foreign investors. Neither seems likely," he said in a report [...]. The central bank chief said China saw no "special urgency" in having the yuan included in the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right, the International Monetary Fund's in-house unit of account. But Zhou said he welcomed discussion of the idea as part of the search for ways to improve the functioning of the global financial system [...]. On the global economy, Zhou said tackling imbalances required a "concerted effort by all the major economies in the world" and said the Group of 20 major advanced and emerging economies was a good forum for such coordination. Asked how China would respond to further quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, Zhou said he understood the US needed to secure an economic recovery [...]. ^ top ^

China's inflation eases to 6.2 pct in August (Xinhua)
2011-09-09
China's inflation eased in August from a 37-month high as the country's economy cooled and global uncertainties lingered. The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, slowed to 6.2 percent in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday. The NBS said food prices rose 13.4 percent in August. The CPI surged to 6.5 percent in July, driven mostly by food prices which had jumped 14.8 percent from a year earlier [...]. The Producer Price Index, which is used to calculate inflation at the wholesale level, jumped 7.3 percent year-on-year in August. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

North Korea slams South's call for Mount Kumgang resort boycott (Global Times)
2011-09-08
North Korea Wednesday denounced South Korea's call for an international boycott of a jointly-developed resort, as Pyongyang tries to lure foreign tourists and investors after kicking out South Korean staff and interests. The North last week invited scores of journalists and potential investors to try to attract new investment to Mount Kumgang, built by a Seoul firm north of the border and visited by millions of South Koreans in the past decade. Seoul's government halted tours by its people in 2008, when a North Korean soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist who strayed into a military area. Negotiations to restart the program failed amid a deep freeze in overall relations. Frustrated with the long stalemate and desperate for foreign cash, the North this year stripped South Korean developer Hyundai Asan of its exclusive right to run the tours. It also seized hotels and other properties owned by Seoul worth an estimated $300-400 million, and expelled all South Koreans from Kumgang last month. On Tuesday, the South's government said it would urge other nations not to invest in or to send tourists to the scenic resort. The North's official website uriminzokkiri.com called the boycott call "disgusting" and "stupid" and said it aimed to heighten cross-border tensions [...]. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

PM signs student's petition against nuclear waste storage (News.mn)
2011-09-07
A secondary school student has succeeded in his attempt to get Mongolian Prime Minister S.Batbold to sign a petition against storing nuclear waste in the country. The student, B.Bat-Orgil, started the petition in response to rumors that Mongolia is considering taking nuclear waste from other countries. He lives in Mandal soum of Selenge aimag, and he wanted the prime minister to sign the petition when he visited there this week.
Batbold signed the petition for the student and praised his patriotism. He also said young people should not be misled by the rumors. The prime minister said the Government has already released a statement officially denying the rumors. He also said Mongolian law prohibits the transportation and storage of nuclear waste in the country. ^ top ^

Officials announce results of HIV/AIDS meeting (News.mn)
2011-09-07
The Mongolian delegation to the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific announced addressed reporters in Ulaanbaatar on Tuesday. The congress was held August 26 to 30 in Pusan, South Korea. The delegates said measures to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS were discussed at the congress. They also said data was exchanged. The Mongolian delegation also called on the Government to increase funding for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The delegates also said such programs should be expanded. ^ top ^

Mongolia to borrow USD 300million from South Korea (News.mn)
2011-09-08
After Wednesday's Government meeting, Finance Minister S.Bayartsogt announced that Mongolia will borrow USD 300 million from the South Korean Economic Cooperation Development Fund at an annual interest rate of 0.15 percent. The loan is scheduled to be paid of in 2045. It will first be used to establish a National Center for Diagnostics and Treatment. Parliament and the relevant Standing Committees will decide how the remainder of the loan will be spent. Among the possibilities: constructing a coal enriching factory, improving the national archive, and purchasing medical equipment. Under the terms of the loan, the money must be used for two projects every year. ^ top ^

Government: inflation will be reduced (News.mn)
2011-09-08
At yesterday's Government meeting, the Cabinet discussed a program for reducing interest rates. The program calls for low and stable inflation rates, banking transparency, financial stability, stock market development, improved infrastructure, and relevant legislation. To fight inflation, the Cabinet adopted a policy that would reduce consumer prices gradually by ensuring the goods are properly distributed and available to consumers. The program will run through 2013, and, according to the Government's projections, inflation will be reduced to eight percent in 2012 and five percent in 2013. ^ top ^

CW-GP says mining is causing environmental damage (News.mn)
2011-09-08
The Civil Will-Green Party delivered an urgent message about the environment to the Government on Wednesday. In the message, the CW-GP says the Orkhon River Valley, which is noted for its natural splendor and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is being threatened by mining operations. The party says 50 gold mining companies operating in the area are contaminating it. For example, the CW-GP says, the water in the river is polluted and people and animals cannot drink it. The CW-GP blames the Government for the situation. It says the Government has failed to enforce environmental protection laws and has failed in its fundamental duty to protect Mongolia's natural features. The CW-GP is urging the Government to enforce a law that bans mineral exploration and exploitation in environmentally sensitive areas. The CW-GP also says the mining companies should be held accountable for the damage they are causing in the Orkhon River Valley. ^ top ^

Tombs and graves to be protected (Montsame)
2011-09-08
An ancient aristocrats-nomads tombs and graves has been discovered by joint research crew of the History Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia and the Institute for Turkic-Altai Studies of the Euro-Asian University of Kazakhstan, near the “Ulaan kherem” place, Bayannuur soum of Bulgan aimag on July to September, 2011. The unique tombs and graves with valueless archeological findings date back to the 7th century. The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided to take the tombs and graves under the protection of the state, determine protection zone, restore and create an open museum as one of tourism destination. ^ 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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