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
  3-7.10.11, No. 391  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China urges consultation over suspended joint hydropower project in Myanmar (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
China on Saturday urged consultation over a suspended joint hydropower project in Myanmar, saying the legitimate rights and interests of its companies should be protected. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the appeal after reports said Myanmar President Thein Sein will order the suspension of the jointly invested hydropower dam in the country's northernmost Kachin State. "The Myitsone hydropower plant is a China-Myanmar jointly invested project, which has gone through scientific feasibility studies and strict examinations by both sides," said the spokesman. "Relevant matters that have emerged during the implementation of the project should be properly settled through friendly consultations between the two sides," he said. The Myitsone hydropower project is jointly invested by the China Power Investment Group, and Myanmar's Ministry of Electric Power-1 and the local private Asia World Company. Hong said the Chinese government always supports its enterprises to cooperate with foreign companies on a basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, and orders Chinese enterprises to strictly perform their duties and commitments according to laws and regulations of the countries where they work. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK Premier visits Jiangsu Province (Xinhua)
2011-10-03
Premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Choe Yong Rim visited east China's Jiangsu Province on Thursday and Friday. Choe, also a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), visited Yurun Group, China Electronics Panda Crystal Technology Corporation, and Yangzhou Smart Valley during his visit to Jiangsu. Jiangsu is known as "a fertile land of fish and rice," and Jiangsu has a long history of industrial development, with heavy and light industries coordinating well, Choe said when he met with Li Xueyong, governor of Jiangsu Province. [...] Choe expressed his hope that Jiangsu and the DPRK's Kangwon-do Province would enhance cooperation and make new contributions to the development of the China-DPRK relationship. Li said the cooperation between Jiangsu and the DPRK has developed well, as illustrated by statistics showing the total value of trade between Jiangsu and the DPRK totalled 55 million U.S. dollars in 2010 and 60 million U.S. dollars in the first half of this year. [...]. ^ top ^

China, France pledge to deepen military ties (China Daily)
2011-10-03
Chinese and French military leaders have pledged to deepen army relations during the 10th strategic dialogue between the countries' defense ministries. The two-day dialogue, starting here Wednesday, was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China Ma Xiaotian and Deputy Chief of Staff of the French Army Philippe Combes. During the dialogue, the two parties discussed defense policies and army construction, regional security and international hot issues, as well as furthering China-France military relations. The two sides agreed the dialogue mechanism was favorable for deepening strategic mutual trust and broadening areas for cooperation. [...] The next round of the strategic dialogue will be held in Beijing in 2012. ^ top ^

China pledges to strengthen close cooperation with UN (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Li Baodong said here Thursday that China will further enhance its close cooperation with the United Nations in various areas so as to make contribution to world peace and common prosperity. Li's remarks came as the Chinese UN Mission held a reception in New York to mark the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the 40th anniversary of the Restoration of the Lawful Seat of the PRC in the United Nations. [...] China is still facing up with difficulties and challenges in the process of realizing comprehensive modernization despite remarkable achievements, he said, adding that to unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and concentrate on improving people's lives will remain the basic tasks for the Chinese government for a long time. Hailing China's restoration of the lawful seat in the United Nations in 1971 "an epoch-making event that opens a new chapter in the relationship between China and the world body," Li said the past four decades have witnessed a history of gradual development of bilateral cooperation from the primary to the profound. As a permanent member of the Security Council and the biggest developing country in the world, China has always safeguarded the purposes and principles of the UN charter, and actively promoted the leading role of the United Nations in international affairs, Li said. [...] Expressing his congratulations, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said China has promoted vision and wisdom for a harmonious and peaceful world. "In that regard, I highly commend the path China has taken with the strategy of open, independent, cooperative and common development of the world," Ban told reporters at the reception. [...] He expressed the hope that "China will make huge contribution to the United Nations and leave a big footprint for the well-being of humanity." [...]. ^ top ^

China "firmly opposes" US Senate's yuan bill, FM spokesman (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-04
China here Tuesday expressed firm opposition on the U.S. Senate's bill on Chinese yuan after it voted to allow a debate on the bill on so-called "currency manipulation" by China. Such a move "seriously violates rules of the World Trade Organization and obstructs China-US trade ties," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement. China demands certain US Senators to "rationally savvy the Sino-US trade cooperation, which is mutually beneficial in nature, and stops to pressure China by using domestic law-making means of the United States," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

SCO stresses co-op against terrorism (China Daily)
2011-10-04
Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Li Baodong said here on Monday on behalf of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that the group believed terrorism can only be counteracted effectively by "strengthening collective international cooperation mechanisms through a worldwide multilateral effort". Addressing a meeting of the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the subject of measures to eliminate international terrorism, Li said that in the past decade, despite some progress achieved by international community in combating terrorism, terrorism has not yet been eliminated and remains the serious concern for all countries. The SCO member states emphasized that "counter-terrorism cooperation should be conducted on the principle of respect for international law including state sovereignty and without any 'double standards'," he said. [...] Li noted that the SCO member states is gravely concerned about the expansion of terrorist ideology. "Representatives of numerous ethnicities with different religious beliefs and cultural traditions live in the territory of this organization," he said. "It is vital that the idea of condemning terrorism becomes an intrinsic part of the dialogue between religions and civilizations. " "We actively support the widespread prevention of terrorism, including countering the ideology that nourishes it, and strongly underscore the importance of developing anti-terrorism partnerships between states, civil society, mass media and the private sector," he noted. The SCO member states vowed to improve the operation of the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure of the SCO (RATS), and further enhance the practical strategies and measures in the activities of the Structure. In addition, the SCO believed that strengthening regional security is a priority in Central Asia, where terrorist and narcotic threats emanating from Afghanistan are the major destabilizing factors. The organization therefore supported the vigorous revitalization of relevant activities to break the link between terrorism and organized crime. "We call for the implementation of relevant decisions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the creation of a wide network of partnership of interested states as well as international and regional organizations," Li added. ^ top ^

UN role is to ease tension in Syria: FM (China Daily)
2011-10-06
China said on Wednesday relevant actions taken by the UN Security Council should be conducive to easing the tension in Syria. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu made the remarks after Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, on Tuesday vetoed a draft resolution, which meant to strongly condemn "the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities" and threatened punitive measures against the Middle East country. "We hope relevant actions of the UN Security Council should help ease the tension in Syria, promote political dialogues to defuse differences, and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East," Ma said in a statement. The draft resolution "put pressure blindly on Syria and threatened sanctions", Ma said. "The draft resolution will not help ease Syria's situation." The draft resolution, presented by France, Germany, Portugal and Britain, won nine votes in favor, two against and four abstentions. South Africa, India, Brazil and Lebanon, the four non-permanent members of the Security Council, abstained. Ma said China is always highly concerned with the development of the situation in Syria. "We call upon all parties concerned in Syria to stop all forms of violence, promote the government to put its commitment of reform into practice, start the Syrian-led inclusive political process as soon as possible, and actively support conciliation efforts of regional countries and organizations," he said. [...] "The international community should provide constructive assistance to facilitate the achievement" of the objectives of the Syrian-led inclusive political process and "in the meantime it should fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria", Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the open Security Council meeting after the vote. "Whether the Security Council will take further action on the question of Syria should depend on whether it facilitates the easing of tension in Syria, whether it helps the defusing of differences through political dialogue, whether it contributes to maintaining peace and security in the Middle East," Li said. "Most importantly, it should depend on the compliance with the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

Belarus, China to join oil deposit project in Venezuela (Xinhua)
2011-10-06
Belarus and China will take part in the development of an oil field in Venezuela, Belarusian state television reported Wednesday. "We have received the approval to work in a large oil-rich region together with Venezuela and China and extract hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day," Belarusian presidential aide Viktor Sheiman was quoted as saying. According to the report, the joint oil deposit project was discussed when Sheiman, head of the Belarusian delegation, visited the Latin American country last week. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Top priority to improve people's livelihood: Wen (China Daily)
2011-10-03
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged on Friday to make every effort to improve people's livelihood and uphold social equality and justice. "We will continue to give top priority to improving people's livelihood in all our endeavors and address pressing issues directly affecting people's interests," said the premier when addressing a reception marking the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He vowed to maintain general price stability as well as to implement policies for regulating the real estate market and plans for building government-subsidized housing. "We will tighten supervision over workplace safety and food and drug safety, improve the social security system, protect the environment and ensure that people live happy and secure lives with greater dignity," he said. Present at the reception were Chinese President Hu Jintao and senior Chinese leaders Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang and more than 1,000 Chinese and foreign personages. Wen vowed to address unfair income distribution and the income gap to ensure prosperity for all. He also pledged to protect people's democratic rights, uphold judicial justice, resolutely fight corruption and properly address societal problems. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) as well as the first year in the implementation of China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). The premier said that in the face of the severe and complex world economic situation, China has followed a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, and worked hard to stabilize prices, adjust economic structure, advance reform and improve people's livelihood. [...] Premier Wen reiterated the country's adherence to the paths of scientific development, reform and opening-up, and peaceful development. [...]. ^ top ^

Long holiday in China to see 530 mln people traveling (Xinhua)
2011-10-03
During the week-long National Day holiday starting Saturday, more than 530 million people are expected to go on a journey, an increase of nearly 10 percent from the same period last year, according to an official prediction. He Jianzhong, spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, said China's railways, highways and airlines will serve a daily average of 75.6 million travelers during the holiday from Oct. 1 to 7. They will be especially busy on the first and last days of the holiday when people are leaving and returning. He said that more than 830,000 buses with 20 million seats will be operating during the holiday. Meanwhile, 21,000 ships with nearly 900,000 seats will be operating at full steam. Sources from the Ministry of Railways said the ministry has made great efforts to make traveling easier. All CRH tickets can be booked via the Internet as of Sept. 30, and before the end of the year, all kinds of train tickets will be available on the Internet booking system. [...]. ^ top ^

Local legislature elections conclude in NW China (China Daily)
2011-10-03
County and township-level legislature elections in Northwest Gansu province concluded at the end of September, according to the provincial legislative body. The Gansu Provincial People's Congress said the voting rate of the elections reached 95.7 percent, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to the last session, according to available statistics. The voter registration rate reached 96 percent, the Provincial People's Congress added, saying that the people's rights to be the masters of their own affairs have been guaranteed. The provincial legislature said the breakdowns of the deputies are more proper than before, as more than 33.6 percent of deputies are professionals, farmers and herdsmen, an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last session. [...]. ^ top ^

Typhoon-triggered floods kill at least 4 in south China, more rains to come (Xinhua)
2011-10-03
The death toll in the floods caused by Nesat rose to four on Sunday in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as the typhoon continued to wreak havoc, local authorities said on Sunday. By 4 p.m., 2.48 million of people were affected by the typhoon in the region's eight cities and 37 counties, and over 140,000 were evacuated, according to the region's civil affairs department. More than 2,700 houses were toppled, with another 7,800 damaged. About 311,000 hectares of crops were soaked. Direct economic losses exceeded 1.6 billion yuan (251 million U.S. dollars), the department said. Water from heavy downpours brought by Nesat has entered major river courses in the region, and the water levels of five rivers in the region had exceeded danger marks by Sunday morning, local flood control and drought relief headquarters said. [...] The typhoon also damaged power supply facilities in the island province of Hainan, affecting over 500,000 residents. By Sunday, power supply in cities and towns had been restored, but electricity in rural areas will not completely resume until Tuesday, according to the provincial power supply company. ^ top ^

Tropical storm brings downpours to south China, raises disaster fears (Xinhua)
2011-10-04
Experts have warned of rain-triggered geological disasters as strong tropical storm Nalgae landed in south China Tuesday afternoon, bringing torrential rains to the region. Nalgae came ashore near Dong'ao Township of Wanning City in the southernmost island province of Hainan at 12:30 p.m., packing winds of 90 kilometers per hour at its center, said the Hainan Provincial Meteorological Station. Starting Monday, intense rains have pelted several counties and cities in south Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where Typhoon Nesat had just unleashed floods and left four dead. Among the worst hit regions, Jingnan Township near the city of Wuzhou recorded precipitation of 77 mm in a 24-hour period, according to Guangxi regional headquarters for flood control, drought prevention and typhoon precaution. The headquarters said as rains were forecast to continue on Wednesday and Thursday, the region is likely to be hit by more geological disasters. [...] As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 137,000 people in Hainan had been evacuated from Nalgae's path, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. So far there has been no reports of casualties or property damage on the island. Ferry and passenger train services in and out of the island have been suspended. Local airports also canceled several flights heading in and out of the province, stranding thousands of passengers. Also in Hainan, rescuers are rushing to reach 29 trapped travelers on a mountain after floods triggered by Nalgae cut off roads at noon on Tuesday. Overall, 45 people, all on a driving tour during the weeklong National Day holiday, were reportedly trapped on Wangshanting Mountain in Baisha County, said Chen Hongliang, vice head of Baisha County. Sixteen have been rescued by boats, and the rest are reported to be safe for the time being. ^ top ^

Plan to tighten air quality standards (China Daily)
2011-10-04
The environmental authorities are proposing to strengthen the standards on air quality, which could lessen the number of official blue-sky days for many cities. The new standards on air quality will include regulations on the monitoring and publication of particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), which are not currently included in determining the air pollution index (API), said Zhao Hualin, director of the pollution prevention department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. [...] "The central government has the responsibility to protect residents' health," said Ma Jun, director and founder of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "We need to improve the system now. Monitoring and publicizing the information on PM2.5 is the first step." [...] Ma said that car exhaust emissions are one of the major sources of PM2.5 in cities. "Departments, including environmental protection, transportation and other related departments, should make united efforts to reduce the emissions of PM2.5, thus making sure the air quality ratings do not drop if the API is revised," Ma said. [...]. ^ top ^

Liu Xiaobo got jail leave to mourn father's death (SCMP)
2011-10-05
Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year prison term on subversion charges, was allowed out of jail briefly last month to mourn the death of his father, his brother said yesterday. "He was home for half an hour," said Liu Xiaoxuan, confirming that his brother was allowed to return to the family's home in Dalian, in Liaoning, on September 18. [...] Liu was given leave seven days after his father died, allowing him time to pay his respects in accordance with Chinese tradition. His three brothers were also allowed a rare visit to Jinzhou prison, also in Liaoning, to see the former literature professor last Wednesday, he said. "He was fine," said Liu Xiaoxuan, who gave only curt answers before hanging up the phone. "He was stoical and he was managing okay." The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said the visits represented Liu's first family contact in nearly a year. His wife saw him in prison October 10, two days after his Nobel Prize was announced. [...] His wife, Liu Xia, has been held under house arrest and incommunicado ever since, with her phone disconnected and visitors barred from seeing her. Liu Xiaoxuan said earlier this year his sister-in-law was only allowed two hours each week to see her parents. Police accompany her on such excursions and she is not allowed to phone anyone apart from her parents. She appears to have no internet access, with her last Twitter message posted almost a year ago. [...] The news of Liu Xiaobo's brief home visit came just four days before the first anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize award. [...] Authorities subsequently stepped up their detention of other dissidents. The 55-year-old Liu was jailed for 11 years in December 2009 on subversion charges for co-drafting Charter 08, a manifesto calling for sweeping political and legal reforms. A long-time government critic, he was accused of being a "black hand" in inciting the 1989 Tiananmen protests. [...]. ^ top ^

Party liberal stirs reform pot by calling for greater democracy (SCMP)
2011-10-05
A leading liberal voice within the Communist Party has thrown his weight behind a push for greater democracy, with a modest plan for China's political reforms in the coming four decades. The move by Zhou Ruijin - a former deputy editor-in-chief of the party mouthpiece People's Daily in the 1990s and early 2000s, ahead of the centenary of the 1911 revolution on October 10 - has raised quite a few eyebrows. Analysts have noted that his appeals coincided with a high-profile speech by Premier Wen Jiabao in early September on political reforms and the importance of checks and balances to rein in the Communist Party's absolute power. Along with Wen's latest push for political changes, Zhou's proposed reform blueprint reflects mounting public aspirations among mainlanders for democracy and human rights. In an article published in the latest edition of Yanhuang Chunqiu, widely seen as the mainland's most outspoken reformist magazine, Zhou said the party could not afford to waste another opportunity to break the decades-long deadlock on political reform [...]. He said that inherent flaws with one-party rule - namely, an overconcentration of political power and the absence of checks and balances - had helped cause rampant official and judicial corruption and given rise to irrational decisions and the blind pursuit of growth at the expense of people and the environment. [...] As a result of the yawning wealth gap, corruption, environmental degradation, forced evictions and widespread discontent at injustices, the country has seen an explosive increase in petitions, demonstrations and protests. [...] He also lashed out at the recent revival of the Maoist left, which prevents a thorough review of the lessons from the Cultural Revolution and threatens to jeopardise reform and political liberalisation. [...] The resurgence of nationalism, along with the rather clumsy diplomatic decision-making process that is largely driven by outdated ideologies and the "ostrich approach", have further undermined Beijing's ability to cope with growing hostilities and diplomatic challenges abroad that accompany China's rising global influence, he warned. Intriguingly, Zhou also expressed admiration for former Kuomintang leader Chiang Ching-kuo, whose name is rarely mentioned by the mainland's official media. Chiang took bold moves towards democracy in his final years in the 1980s that ushered in Taiwan's democratic transformation process. [...] Zhou cautioned against radical changes, which he said would lead to instability and upheavals. Instead, he mapped out a timetable for China's political reform, consisting of three stages [...]. After establishing a social security system, relaxing control on social groups, addressing pollution problems and implementing reforms of education, health care and housing prices, Beijing would be ready to kick-start political reforms such as constitutional democracy, rule of law and resolving the overconcentration of political power in the government. Zhou said that all the major goals of the reforms should be achieved by 2049 [...]. ^ top ^

Activists object to secret detention bill (SCMP)
2011-10-06
Mainland human rights lawyers and activists are voicing their concern about a proposed law that would legalise secret detentions. [...] Many who have been secretly detained by police themselves expressed their objection by writing to the National People's Congress (NPC) before the end of the consultation period late last week. The proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Law would make it legal for the authorities to detain suspects accused of endangering state security without charge for up to six months, without informing their families. Several outspoken human rights lawyers, including Tang Jingling, who was detained for nearly six months during Beijing's mass crackdown on dissent this year, fear the proposed law might be just the start of a harsher crackdown on rights activists. [...] Human rights lawyers Peng Jian and Liu Xiaoyuan also made submissions to the NPC, demanding that changes be made to the proposed law to protect the rights of suspects and their families, and for more stringent approval procedures to prevent potential abuses. Rights activist Hu Jia, who was freed from jail three months ago, said the law would bolster the power of police and state security agents, spread fear among government critics and further hamper free speech. "The law will be like the sword of Damocles hanging over everyone's head," Hu said. Aids activist Wan Yanhai, who fled the mainland last year citing incessant government harassment, said Beijing would risk further alienating its people. He wrote to the NPC, demanding the security agencies use their experience to assess the use of arbitrary detentions in their bid for social stability. ^ top ^

Senior's Day celebrated across China amid population aging concerns (Xinhua)
2011-10-06
[...] A dozen of artists visited Tonghe Nursing Home in the provincial capital Lanzhou, bringing performances and greetings to the elderly on the traditional Double Ninth Festival, or Senior's Day which falls on Wednesday. The 2,000-year-old festival, which falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, was traditionally celebrated for being auspicious as the pronunciation of "nine" in Chinese is the same as the word for eternity. In recent years, the festival has been celebrated as a special day for younger generations to show respect to the elderly, particularly as China's 1.3-billion population is rapidly ageing, said Shi Lixue, a researcher of folk custom in Jilin Province. According to government forecast, the number of Chinese people aged 60 or above is expected to surge from today's 178 million, 13.3 percent of the total population, to 221 million, or 16 percent, by the end of 2015. In 1989 the Chinese government proclaimed the Double Ninth Festival as Senior's Day to raise public awareness of issues related to senior citizens. [...]. ^ top ^

Death toll rises to 17 in SW China coal mine accident (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-06
One more body was retrieved Wednesday morning after a coal and gas outburst hit a coal mine, bringing the death toll to 17, said rescuers. Eleven others were saved and under medical treatment, a spokesman with the rescue headquarters said. But it is not known yet if they are in critical condition. The accident occurred at 7:53 a.m. Tuesday at the Anping Coal Mine, which is located in the Lihua Township in the county of Libo. At that time, 28 miners were working in the shaft. Thirteen managed to escape, and among them, three died later in hospital after treatment failed. An investigation into the cause of the accident is under way. ^ top ^

Reshuffle at the top 'will give PLA more power' (SCMP)
2011-10-07
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) will likely play a larger role in domestic politics, foreign and security policy after next year's political reshuffle, an expert in mainland politics said yesterday. President Hu Jintao is likely to stay on as the country's military chief when he hands over the position of party secretary to his heir apparent, Vice-President Xi Jinping, at the 18th party congress, Dr Bo Zhiyue, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute, said in a talk at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "The military will play a more important role than before," Bo said. "Hu Jintao has more seniority, more power and a better network than Xi Jinping. In the future, we'll see a stronger role played by the PLA... maybe the balance of power will be more tipped towards the PLA instead of civilian positions." When Hu became party leader in 2002, he already had a solid military base, having been Central Military Commission vice-chairman for three years. But Xi was in a weaker position because he only became commission vice-chairman in 2010 - just two years before his expected ascension to the party leadership, Bo said. While Hu became a member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee 10 years before he became party chief, Xi entered relatively late in 2007, just five years before becoming party chief, he said. The new leadership was unlikely to depart from current policy directions, partly due to Hu's continued dominance in military affairs and his plan to promote his protege, Inner Mongolia party chief Hu Chunhua, Bo said. It has been widely reported that Hu Jintao hopes the younger Hu (no relation) can enter the elite Politburo Standing Committee and emerge as the country's so-called sixth-generation leader. "Somehow the fifth-generation leadership is going to be sandwiched between two generations, and the room for them to manoeuvre in policy areas is really limited," Bo said. ^ top ^

Net tightens on online rumours (SCMP)
2011-10-07
New regulations targeting China's robust social media are likely to be rolled out soon as part of the government's ongoing campaign to curb the spread of rumour on the web, according to mainland new media scholars and industry insiders. Song Jianwu, [...] dean of the school of journalism and communication at China University of Political Science and Law, expected measures, which may include real-name registration for users of microblogs, to be issued soon. "The central government has recently passed new measures to manage [mainland microblogging site] Weibo," Song said, adding that provinces and municipalities were also experimenting with new controls. "For example, Beijing's municipal government is likely to promulgate a real-name requirement system to regulate Weibo soon." Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has become a mighty conduit for sharing information, expressing political views, challenging officialdom and spreading rumours. Efforts to quell those rumours are being seen by some observers as a bid to close an avenue of anonymous digital dissent on the mainland. The controls may include issuing licenses to those microblogging sites that "can effectively eliminate rumours", Song said. "Just like a supermarket, the food safety watchdog would hardly allow the operation of a supermarket if it regularly sold counterfeit or poisonous food." Leading mainland internet expert Professor Li Yonggang said the government might target bloggers with more than 50,000 or 100,000 followers for tighter control. As tighter control usually results in a withering of business, microblog operators are taking the issue seriously. A Guangzhou-based new media industry insider said a handful of top executives from various mainland microblog operators held a low-profile meeting in Guangzhou last month and discussed how to respond to the expected regulations. [...] Zhang Zhian, associate professor at the school of communication and design at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University, said: "The operators of commercial microblogs are deeply concerned about the new measures which are said to have been in preparation for a good while." The insider said fellow professionals expected tighter control of free expression on the website, adding that he guessed the new policies would be made public, after testing the waters, before the end of this year. Mainland media have been carrying hundreds of reports recently focused on the negative effects of rumours spread through microblogs. [...] Zhang said he was not pessimistic about the development of microblogs on the mainland because they had become a way for the general public to monitor the coercive power of the government since 2009. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

No severe misappropriation in Shanghai Expo (China Daily)
2011-10-03
The 2010 Shanghai World Expo made a total profit of 1.05 billion yuan ($164 million), boosted by ticket sales and sponsorships, according to a report released by the Shanghai municipal audit bureau on Friday. The auditor said that no severe cases of misappropriated funds were found when the report was compiled. The report showed that the 184-day event pulled in operating revenues of 13 billion yuan, exceeding its original investment of 11.96 billion yuan. The expo received 73 million visitors, including 3.5 million from overseas. Ticket sales adding up to 7.3 billion yuan accounted for 56.52 percent of its operating revenues. Revenues from the sponsorship came out to 3.97 billion yuan. In addition, the construction of the Expo Park cost a total of 19.7 billion yuan, 1.7 billion yuan more than was previously budgeted, the report said. ^ top ^

Subway managers sacked for crash (SCMP)
2011-10-07
Twelve people have been "severely dealt with" in connection with last week's subway crash in Shanghai that injured almost 300 people. Xinhua reported last night that three members of the Shanghai Metro management staff, who were in charge of Line 10's control centre at the time, have been fired. The general manager of the subway operator was demoted as a result of an investigation that blamed the accident on human error and a failure to carry out risk assessments or follow safety procedures. Seven of the remaining staff members - ranging from a shift worker to Shanghai Shentong Metro board chairman Ying Minghong, president Yu Guangyao and general manager of operations Shao Weizhong - have had warnings placed in their work records. Three of the warnings have been deemed "major". The final individual implicated, a deputy conductor, has been transferred to another department and placed under supervision for a year. The September 27 accident, which has angered a public still sensitive after the deadly Wenzhou high-speed-rail crash in July, has been described by Shanghai Metro as the "darkest day" in the network's 16-year history. The Xinhua report said that the independent investigation team found that last week's accident occurred in the aftermath of a power failure that knocked out the line's signalling system at Xintiandi station. The outage was caused by workers repairing cabling at the station without halting train operations. No risk assessment had been carried out and no "directed" safety measures had been taken. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibetans celebrate National Day of China (China Daily)
2011-10-03
More than 3,000 Tibetans gathered on a square in front of the Potala Palace in the heart of Lhasa Saturday morning to mark the National Day. The crowd, composed of people from various ethnic groups and all walks of life, attended a grand flag-raising ceremony at 10 am and sang the national anthem in chorus as the five-starred flag was hoisted up. "We are proud to celebrate the National Day here in Lhasa," said Yang Feng, a soldier with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). "China's recent success in launching the Tiangong-1 made us even prouder." [...] "As a soldier, we'll live up to our obligations in maintaining social stability in Tibet and contributing to its prosperity," said Yang. Tibet has shifted from impoverished to prosperous, and from isolated to open in tandem with the growth of New China, said Qin Yizhi, secretary of Lhasa's municipal committee of the Communist Party of China. Tsering Drolkar, 68, attended the ceremony dressed in a traditional Tibetan costume. "It's an important occasion. I'm happy and content with my life," he said, posing for a photo in front of the red-and-white Potala Palace and the national flag. Festivity is in the air throughout Lhasa. Streets are decorated with flags, red lanterns, and red and yellow flowers. Many Tibetans have put up national flags on the roofs of their homes. [...] Meanwhile, activities were held across the country Saturday to mark the National Day. On Saturday morning, President Hu Jintao led the country's top leaders in marking the founding anniversary of New China and paying respect to the heroes who died for the country's independence and prosperity by lying flower baskets at the Monument to the People's Heroes in the heart of Beijing. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Immigration law discriminates against maids, HK court rules (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
A Filipino maid in Hong Kong won the opening legal battle in her fight for permanent residency after a court ruled yesterday that an immigration provision excluding the city's hundreds of thousands of foreign maids was unconstitutional. It was a major legal victory in a case that has divided the city with accusations of ethnic discrimination against the foreign maids, most of whom are from the Philippines or Indonesia. Justice Johnson Lam, ruling in the Court of First Instance, said the immigration provision denying the maids the right to gain permanent residency after seven years - as other foreign residents can - was inconsistent with the Basic Law. The government is likely to appeal the ruling. [...] The case has divided opinion in Hong Kong, with some arguing that immigration provisions barring maids from applying amounts to ethnic discrimination. The vast majority of the city's 292,000 foreign domestic helpers, most of them women, are from the Philippines or Indonesia, but some also come from Thailand, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. [...] But many people complain that giving the maids permanent residency would result in an influx of their family members, which would put a strain on the densely populated city's housing, schools and other resources. [...]. ^ top ^

Hong Kong celebrates National Day in joyous tone (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
Brimming with cheer and jubilance, Hong Kong unveiled a string of activities Saturday in celebration of the 62nd National Day of the People's Republic of China. Kicking off the celebrations was a flag-raising ceremony held at the Golden Bauhinia Square in the morning. Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Donald Tsang attended the occasion with about 3,000 people, including invited guests, senior officials and members of youth uniformed groups and community groups. [...] Following the ceremony was a National Day reception hosted by the Chief Executive. [...] Delivering his speech at the reception, Tsang said Hong Kong people should join hands and put heads together to discuss ways to resolve issues, and to seize the chance to build a better, brighter future. "Our ability to seize opportunities and to keep up with the times has always been our key to success," said Tsang, adding the city has a more important role to play in the 12th Five-Year Plan, which is a chance that the city cannot afford to miss. He said, Hong Kong, as its nation's international financial center, keeps a particularly close eye on events in the financial world and makes every effort to support the country's steady development. [...]. ^ top ^

The Central Government has appointed Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam as the new Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, replacing Henry Tang who has resigned (Xinhua)
2011-10-03
The Central Government has appointed Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam as the new Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, replacing Henry Tang who has resigned. Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Friday said Lam is competent for the job. [...] Responding to the appointment, Lam said he was honored and felt the great responsibility of taking up the job, adding he will strive to serve Hong Kong. Within the remaining nine months of the current term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, there will be many important tasks to deal with, which include assisting the Chief Executive to implement the new policy address, and to ensure a smooth transition of government next year, Lam added. Henry Tang resigned as Chief Secretary on Sept. 28, in order to ponder whether or not to run for next year's Chief Executive election. In accordance with Hong Kong's Basic Law provision, the Central Government Friday approved Tang's resignation and appointed Lam as the new Chief Secretary according to Tsang's nomination and suggestion. [...] Tsang expressed his thankfulness towards Central Government's adoption of his nomination and suggestion, and its swift response to the alternation of the city's government officials. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

'Taiwan's future in Taiwan's hands' (SCMP)
2011-10-05
Taiwan presidential candidate Dr Tsai Ing-wen [...] said yesterday that, while she was willing to work with the mainland if elected, the island's future will be determined by its residents and not Beijing. "Any precondition for dialogue across the strait that is not transparent and not in line with the democratic consensus of the Taiwanese people will not be sufficient to deal with the complexities of the relationship," Tsai, head of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said in a speech in Tokyo. "I am willing to work with the leaders of Beijing to seek a mutually beneficial, wise, and responsible way to move forward." [...] Taiwan will hold presidential elections on January 14 and Tsai is the island's first female nominee. She helped pen the "state-to-state relations" doctrine for former president Lee Teng-hui in 1999 that led Beijing to brand Lee "a rat" and "the sinner of 1,000 years" and cut off dialogue with the island. [...] President Ma Ying-jeou, head of the Kuomintang party that fought the mainland communists six decades ago, reversed the DPP's pro-independence stance when he took office in 2008. Taiwan has since signed 15 economic agreements with the mainland in a policy that Tsai has said is "boxed in a frame set by [Beijing]." Ma is preferred by 46 per cent of voters, according to a poll published on September 30 by the TVBS Poll Centre. Tsai received support from 38 per cent of those surveyed, the pollster said. [...] Tsai has pledged that her mainland policies would reflect the consensus of the island's voters, saying in August that the "status quo" should be sustained if she wins in January. [...]. ^ top ^

Taiwan's former leader to stand trial (SCMP)
2011-10-06
Taiwan's former president Lee Teng-hui is to stand trial on corruption charges this month, court officials said on Thursday. The 88-year-old, accused of embezzling US$7.79 million from the government's diplomatic slush funds while in office between 1988 and 2000, is scheduled to appear at the Taipei District Court on October 21. “This will be the first session in the hearing of former president Lee's case after he was indicted in June,” Huang Chun-ming, the spokesman for the Taipei District Court, told reporters. The session will be held behind closed doors as Lee's testimony is expected to involve national secrets, Huang said. According to the indictment, Lee allegedly switched money earmarked for diplomatic affairs from a confidential account belonging to the National Security Bureau to help set up the Taiwan Research Institute, a think-tank. Lee has flatly rejected the accusations, saying they were “invented” by the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government to persecute its critics. Lee, a vocal critic of the current Kuomintang government's ever warmer ties with China, irked Beijing during his presidency by promoting a separate identity for Taiwan. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Slowdown in reform efforts under attack (SCMP)
2011-10-03
Amid increasing signs of rising anxiety among the public, the mainland's most revered economist has published the strongest criticism yet, from within Beijing's academic circles and government think tanks, of the recent slowdown in the nation's economic reform efforts. The article, which appeared in Economic Information Daily last week, goes so far as to criticise Beijing for back-pedalling by allowing the state sector to overwhelm the private sector. Wu Jinglian, 81, who has been advising the mainland's top leaders since the beginning of the market-oriented economic reform, also called for the breaking away from old ideologies and for the continued reform of state-owned enterprises. Wu is a researcher with the Development Research Centre of the State Council and a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's national committee, a top political advisory body of the government. With more public figures chiming in on the reform issue, opinions have been fermenting in the run-up to the Communist Party's transition of power set for autumn next year, and the consensus is showing a rising dissatisfaction with the slow progress in recent years. [...] Wu noted that state-owned enterprises had been rapidly expanding their monopolistic power as a result of the administrative protection they received, as well as from the massive credit support from the state-owned banking system in recent years. The veteran economist said the strengthening of the state sector's dominance would affect the long-term health of the mainland economy. He also said the internal management of state-owned firms, as plenty of research by Chinese and foreign economists had proven, was in no position to compete with management at private enterprises, particularly in terms of efficiency. Wu quoted official data indicating that state-owned enterprises still maintain "absolute dominance" in industries dealing with defence, electricity generation and power grids, petroleum and petrochemicals, telecommunications, coal, civil aviation, and shipping. [...] Common prosperity [...] and stability would not be possible if the back-pedalling was not halted, he said. He said the "only way out" was to go back to the principles that Beijing adopted in the past three decades or so, but which it had yet to put into full practice because of resistance from special interest groups and fears of those who clung to old ideologies. First, he said, state-owned enterprises should avoid all competitive industries. And in the process, part of the existing state-owned assets should be used to replenish the national social security fund. Secondly, with the exception of only a few necessary monopolies, state-owned corporations should practise joint-stock ownership and all should independently bear the full consequences of their operational decisions. Thirdly, there should be equal property rights and equal competition between state and private ownership. [...]. ^ top ^

Govt steps up push for subsidized residences (China Daily)
2011-10-03
China's State Council announced this weekend that local governments that have failed to complete the construction of planned subsidized housing projects will not be allowed to construct or buy new official buildings. In response to complaints about soaring property prices, China plans to have 36 million subsidized residences built in 2011 and the next four years. Ten million of them are to be built this year alone. Gu Yunchang, vice-president of the China Real Estate Association, said on Saturday that some officials do not seem to be taking the projects seriously. "Some local governments have squandered large amounts of revenue to have luxurious official buildings for themselves and have left little money for subsidized housing for the people," he said. The State Council said its goal is for 20 percent of the urban population to be living in subsidized housing by 2020. [...] In September, the State Council released several guidelines to guarantee that subsidized housing projects will have the financial support, an adequate stock of land and other resources they need to go forward. It also called for local governments to set a priority on the construction of subsidized apartments for low- and middle-income families, new graduates and migrant workers. "All the moves show that the central government has been working hard to bring balance to social development," said Dang Guoying, a researcher with the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "In the long run, it will better promote economic development." [...]. ^ top ^

China's PMI rises to 51.2 pct in Sept. (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) continued its rise in September, hitting 51.2 percent in September from 50.9 percent in August, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Saturday. The CFLP report said the 0.3 percentage-point rebound marks the PMI's two-consecutive-month rise, indicating that economic development is continuing to stabilize and that the worries of a hard economic landing are being eased. But sub-indices of the PMI also show that uncertainties remain in the export sector and prospects for small and mid-sized enterprises are gloomy. [...] China's PMI had declined for four consecutive months, hitting a low of 50.7 percent in July before rebounding to 50.9 percent in August. [...] In September, nine of the 20 industries, including tobacco, medicine and transport equipment, enjoyed a PMI of over 50 percent; nonferrous metals stood at 50 percent; while 10 other industries, including ferrous metals, general equipment, paper-making and printing, were below 50 percent. [...] The sub-index for input prices fell by 0.6 percentage points to 56.6 percent, indicating that cost pressures on enterprises have somewhat eased, Zhang said. However, he said that the growth speed on the demand side is showing a downward trend in general, and a high possibility of dwindling export growth. It is still highly possible that the economic growth rate will continue to decline in the future. [...] The CFLP's figure exceeded the figure published by HSBC on Friday, which stood at 49.9 percent, or flat with its figure for August. Experts say the difference between the two figures is that most businesses surveyed by the CFLP are state-owned enterprises while HSBC includes more small and mid-sized enterprises in its survey. [...] The analysis suggests that due to a complicated outside environment, China should maintain stability of macro-economic controls in addition to enhancing flexibility and pertinence. Specifically, China should continue to expand domestic demand, pay attention to the difficulties hampering the development of small and mid-sized enterprises, and continue to reign in inflation. ^ top ^

China's energy-saving campaign saves 150 mln tons of coal (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
A national energy-saving campaign involving over 1,000 companies managed to save equivalent to 150 million tons of coal from 2006 to 2010, China's top economic planner said Sunday. The companies that consumed half the energy of the industrial sector, or one-third of all China's energy, saved more than the 100-million-ton target set for the five year period, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said. In the past five years, the companies cut down more than 30 percent of energy consumption per unit of production of alumina, ethylene, and caustic soda, and over 10 percent for crude oil processing, electrolytic aluminum and cement, the NDRC said. China launched the campaign to curb energy consumption in 2006, the first year of its 11th Five-Year Plan, among nine energy-gobbling industries, including steel and iron, non-ferrous metal, coal, oil and petrochemicals as well as chemicals and construction materials. The country aims to save equivalent to 670 million tons of coal from 2011 to 2015. ^ top ^

China's petrochemical industry Jan-Aug output up 34.9% (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
The output of China's petrochemical industry rose 34.9 percent year-on-year to 6.4 trillion yuan (1 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of this year, according to China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). Of the total output value, 2.02 trillion yuan came from the oil refining sector, while the chemical industry contributed 4.2 trillion yuan, up 30.6 percent and 37.1 percent year-on-year respectively, according to the CPCIF. All production indicators pointed to slower growth of the petrochemical industry from January to August. The crude oil processed added only 6.6 percent year-on-year to 297.44 million tonnes, compared with 13.4 percent in the same period of last year. Finished oil output rose 7 percent from a year earlier to 176.56 million tonnes, while ethylene products increased 14.6 percent to 10.34 tonnes in January-August. The growth of finished oil and ethylene was 3 percentage points and 17.1 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, respectively. ^ top ^

China's crude steel output rises 10.6% (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-03
China's crude steel output increased 10.6 percent year-on-year to 469.28 million tonnes in the first eight months, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The growth rate was 4.7 percentage points lower than that in the same period a year ago, the ministry said on its website. In August, the steel output rose 13.8 percent year-on-year,compared with a drop of 1.1 percent a year earlier. Steel prices edged up in August. The composite domestic price index advanced to 135.17 points, up 1.07 points from July, and 18.93 points from a year ago. Steel export dipped 250,000 tonnes from July to 4.19 million tonnes, while import increased 110,000 tonnes to 1.35 million tonnes. The steel industry earned 180.3 billion yuan (28.35 billion U.S. dollars) of profit in the first seven months, up 29.2 percent year-on-year. ^ top ^

China's port production maintains stable growth (Xinhua)
2011-10-04
China's port production maintained stable growth in August, with the handling capacity of freight, foreign trade cargo and containers up steadily on the year, according to sources with the Ministry of Transport (MOT). According to the latest MOT statistics, China's main ports handled 768.86 million tonnes of freight in August, up 11.2 percent year-on-year. Of the total, 520.06 million tonnes were handled by coastal ports and 248.79 million tonnes by inland river ports. [...] Major ports nationwide also handled 230.58 million tonnes of foreign trade cargo in August, up 10.1 percent. Among them, 211.02 million tonnes were handled by coastal ports and 19.57 million tonnes by inland river ports. Their handling capacity of international containers reached 14.46 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 9.7 percent. They included 12.96 million TEUs handled at major coastal ports and 1.49 million TEUs handled at inland river ports. ^ top ^

Chinese exports price rises as quantity growth slows (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-04
The average price of China's exports is rising as export quantity growth slows, according to customs data. Meanwhile, the nation's foreign trade gains more momentum with countries such as India, ASEAN members, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Customs data shows that the average price of Chinese exports rose 10.3 percent during the first eight months of this year, in comparison with the same period last year. The figure was 9.1 percentage points higher year-on-year. However, export amount slowed by 21.8 percentage points to 12.1 percent. The average price of textile and garment exports, for instance, rose 24.7 percent year on year in July, with 0.9 percent more of such commodities sold abroad [...]. China's exports surged 24.5 percent year-on-year in August to reach 173.31 billion U.S. dollars, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. From January to August, exports totaled 1.22 trillion U.S. dollars, up 23.6 percent; imports totaled 1.13 trillion U.S. dollars, up 27.5 percent. However, the country's exports growth to the emerging economies such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa exceeded faster. In the first eight months, ASEAN was China's third largest trading partner as their bilateral trade totaled 234.61 billion U.S. dollars, up 26.6 percent. ^ top ^

Report lists three major sources of China's balance of payments surplus (Xinhua)
2011-10-04
China's Foreign Exchange regulator identified net exports and direct investment, overseas financing, and booming yuan-based cross-border settlement as the three major sources of the nation's surplus in international balance of payments. According to a report issued by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the total surplus of the nation's international balance of payments amounted to 271.7 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of the year, up 77.1 billion U.S. dollars year-on-year, or 40 percent. The report said that in the first half of the year, the trade surplus totaled 87.6 billion U.S. dollars while the direct investment surplus totaled 92.7 billion U.S. dollars. Domestic institutions, such as importers and banks, have been increasing financing activities overseas, which directly led to 64.3 billion U.S. dollars of borrowing or liability in the first half. Meanwhile, with China's efforts to boost its currency status, the country's yuan-based cross-border settlement businesses are gaining momentum with net outflow of yuan totaling 50 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months, which at the same time reduced the outflow of foreign exchanges, the report said. ^ top ^

Tourism sees robust growth in China's western regions (Xinhua)
2011-10-04
China's vast western regions are becoming a new growth engine for the nation's tourism industry as travel demand from the Chinese people keeps rising with improving living standards, according to the country's tourism authority. Data from the National Tourism Administration (NTA) show that domestic travels numbered almost 1.4 billion in the first half of this year, representing a rise of 14.7 percent year-on-year. The increasing number of travels also boosted revenues by 24.2 percent to 938.3 billion yuan (147.6 billion U.S. dollars) during the period. The western regions are eying on the fast-growing sector as provinces such as Yunnan, Guizhou, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region all prioritize tourism and aim to build it as their strategic pillar industry. Zhu Shanzhong, vice chief of NTA, said that so far a total of 27 provincial-level regions have all highlighted tourism as an important industry to develop. "The western regions, in particular, are rich in natural scenic resources, ethnic cultures, and red tourism featured by commemorations of revolutionary spirit," Zhu said. "These resources are set to boost the sector in the western regions," Zhu said. Zhu added that tourism is also expected to boost the income of the locals living in the less-developed west because tourism resources are vastly distributed in many villages and poverty-stricken areas. [...]. ^ top ^

Wen proposes a lifeline of credit for small businesses (SCMP)
2011-10-06
Premier Wen Jiabao has urged stronger financial support for cash-strapped smaller businesses, amid reports that many small and medium-sized enterprises are facing bankruptcy due to credit tightening. Wen [...] made the remarks during a visit to Wenzhou, a hub of private capitalism, in Zhejiang province on Monday and Tuesday, Xinhua reported. [...] "Smaller enterprises should be a priority for bank credit support and enjoy more tax preferences from the government," Wen said, adding that banks should set targets for loans to small companies, reduce their cost of credit and allow a higher non-performing loan ratio. [...] Small businesses, which create 80 per cent of the nation's jobs and produce 60 per cent of its industrial output, have long complained about difficulties in securing loans from state-owned banks. In a campaign to tame inflation, the central government has taken measures since the middle of last year to curb lending and implemented other steps to curb liquidity. Small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the pinch because they have traditionally not had the same access to funding from the state-owned banks enjoyed by major state-owned enterprises. Most small firms use inter-company funding, borrowing from relatives and friends. But some have to borrow from loan sharks or through a guarantee company, a kind of private lender, which often set sky-high interest rates, typically ranging between 15 per cent and 20 per cent a year, but in some cases, according to mainland media, hitting 100 per cent. [...] Last week, Wenzhou stepped up measures to control private lending, capping interest rates for private lending at 1.3 times the central bank's benchmark rates, warning loan sharks against using violence to collect debts and ordering tighter controls on debtors trying to flee. The government also ordered banks to meet a target of issuing 100 billion yuan (HK$122 billion) new loans to small companies this year and promised to deal thoroughly with the cases of bosses running away due to mounting debt. [...]. ^ top ^

China's electronics and IT sector continues to grow in Jan.-Aug. (Xinhua)
2011-10-06
China's electronics and information technology (IT) sector continued to expand in the first eight months of this year but companies faced growing pressure from higher costs and slower income, according to latest official data. The value-added output of manufacturers in the sector rose 15.5 percent year-on-year in the Jan.-Aug. period and sales value increased 22.3 percent year-on-year, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). During that period, exports of electronics and IT products climbed 15.5 percent year-on-year to 420.9 billion U.S. dollars, said the MIIT. Meanwhile, 21.8 percent of the sector's companies were in the red in the Jan.-July period, with their combined losses surging 73.7 percent year-on-year, according to the MIIT. The electronics and IT companies were facing increasing costs, said the ministry. In July, the sector's revenues grew 18.3 percent year-on-year, down 5.5 percentage points from June, according to the statistics. ^ top ^

PetroChina's Kela-2 gas field produces 60 bln cubic meters of gas (Xinhua)
2011-10-07
China's Kela-2 Gas Field, the major gas producer for the country's west-east gas pipeline, has posted a total output exceeding 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas as of Thursday since it began operation in 2004. The amount was equivalent to 63.6 percent of the country's total gas output last year, the PetroChina Tarim Oilfield Company said Thursday. The field, located in the Tarim Basin of the country's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, currently has a top daily production of 7 million cubic meters of gas for a single well, it said. So far this year, it has transported 4.66 billion cubic meters of gas through the pipeline to more than 80 cities along the pipeline and benefit more than 300 million residents, it said. The pipeline stretches from Xinjiang to the energy-hungry Yangtze River Delta. The field was discovered in September 1998 and the proven gas reserve stands at 284 billion cubic meters. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK's top lawmaker meets with CPC delegation (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-04
Kim Yong Nam, the top legislator of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), met with a Communist Party of China (CPC) delegation here Monday and praised the bilateral ties. [...] The friendship was elevated to a new level after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il's four visits to China in one year and the historical meeting of the two countries' leaders, he said. [...] Guo Shengkun, head of the delegation, said the China-DPRK friendship had become stronger and more vigorous thanks to unremitting efforts by the two countries' generations over the past decades. China and DPRK had beefed up their communication in recent years, with high-level exchanges becoming frequent, economic and trade cooperation deepening, cultural exchanges being active and strategic coordination strengthening, said Guo, an alternate member of the CPC central committee and secretary of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee. [...] Meanwhile, Guo said he hopes the DPRK people could achieve more success. The CPC delegation was on a five-day visit to Pyongyang at the invitation of central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. ^ top ^

DPRK's KCNA rejects pre-conditions for resuming six-party talks (Xinhua)
2011-10-05
KCNA, official news agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), issued a commentary on Tuesday rejecting any pre-conditions for resuming the stalled six-party talks. It is hard to find sincerity in the United States for restarting the talks as Washington still insists that the DPRK has to meet some pre-conditions, it said. By setting up these pre-conditions, the United States intends to shift the blame to the DPRK for failing to resume the multinational talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, said the commentary. The editorial also reiterated that the DPRK calls for "resuming the talks without pre-conditions." However, it added that if it is necessary to have pre-conditions, then it is essential to set them on the basis of equality among all parties concerned. Addressing the 66th session of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 21, U.S. President Barack Obama said the DPRK has not taken concrete steps for dismantling its nuclear programs. [...] Another KCNA commentary also issued on Tuesday said the Oct. 4 Declaration clearly indicates the ways to bring mutual respect into the north-south relations despite their different ideologies, as well as ways to revitalize all-round cooperation, especially economic cooperation. The declaration was signed by the DPRK's top leader Kim Jong Il and then South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun on Oct. 4, 2007 to boost the relations between the two countries and promote peace in the peninsula and national unification. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK media accuses US of deteriorating situation on Korean Peninsula (Xinhua)
2011-10-05
The official news agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday accused the United States of deteriorating the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The United States is chiefly to blame for disturbing peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the KCNA said in a commentary, noting that Washington has tightened military tie-up with South Korea and "escalated confrontation with the DPRK." [...] The U.S. policy convinces the DPRK once again that Pyongyang "has no other option but to keep bolstering deterrent for self-defence to avert a war and defend peace on the Korean Peninsula," the commentary stressed. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK media slams S.Korea for alleged "smear broadcasting campaign" (Xinhua)
2011-10-05
The official news agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday lashed out at South Korea, accusing Seoul of conducting a "smear broadcasting campaign" against the DPRK. The KCNA made the condemnation in a commentary in response to allegations that South Korea keeps airing anti-DPRK broadcasting programs in the same frequencies as used by DPRK broadcasters. "It is an illegal act in wanton contravention of international law and order to infringe upon the frequency already in official use by another country and region," said the commentary. The news agency warned that should the campaign continue, the bases of the relevant South Korean broadcasters would not escape a merciless punishment by the army of the DPRK. [...]. ^ top ^

S Korean official says DPRK food shortage not "serious" (Xinhua)
2011-10-07
South Korea's new unification minister said Thursday that food situation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is not unusually serious. "I don't think the situation is very serious, though the rice harvest fell a little short of the usual level," Yu Woo-ik of the unification ministry, which oversees inter-Korean affairs, told parliament. The remark made by Yu, who recently replaced a hard-liner, contrasts with estimates by aid agencies that show the DPRK suffers from critical food shortages affecting a quarter of its 24 million population. UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amosa is set to visit the DPRK later this month to assess food needs in the country, as the organization appeals for 218 U.S. million dollars in aid. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Government to raise salaries, pensions by 53 percent (News.mn)
2011-10-03
The government plans to raise the salaries and pensions of state workers by 53 percent next year. The proposed raise is included in the draft budget that Prime Minister S.Batbold delivered to Speaker D.Demberel last week. If the increase goes through, the average state worker's salary will have doubled since 2008. In 2008, the joint-coalition government promised to raise per capita GDP to USD 5,000. The government now projects that per capita GDP will reach USD 5,362 next year. According to the draft budget, government revenue next year is projected to be MNT 6.4 trillion MNT (35.4 percent of GDP), while spending is expected to be MNT 7.1 trillion (39.5 percent of GDP). The projected deficit is 4.1 percent of GDP. In the draft budget, the government says there are four priorities for dealing with the economic boom in the mining industry: to maintain steady revenues; to ensure that all citizens benefit equally; to support economic development programs; and to increase investment in the health care and education sectors. The draft budget proposes implementing a “Healthy Child” program that every child would participate in. The draft also calls for increasing spending on environmental programs, including MNT 71.2 billion to reduce air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. The proposed budget maintains the monthly allowance of MNT 21,000 that every citizen receives, at least through the first half of the year. Women 55 and older and men 60 and older, as well as disabled persons, would receive payments of MNT 1 million, and the government would pay students MNT 500,000 each toward tuition fees. The government also proposes implementing a “100,000 Homes” program that would provide MNT 100 billion as down payments for 100,000 citizens who want to purchase a home. ^ top ^

Campaign launched to increase women's participation in politics (News.mn)
2011-10-04
A new campaign was launched on Monday to increase women's participation in politics in Mongolia. Called “Women Can,” the campaign is being sponsored by the Standing Committee on State Structure, the National Committee for Gender Equality, and Mongolian National Public Radio and Television (MNPRT). Organizers hope the 45-day campaign will help change the traditional perception of women in politics, increase the number of women who vote, and increase the number of women running for elective office and seeking positions of authority. The head of the Standing Committee on State Structure, J.Sukhbaatar; the MP and head of Social Democracy-Mongolian Women's Association, D.Oyunkhorol; the deputy head of CW-GP, S.Oyun; the deputy head of the National Committee for Gender Equality, B.Dolgor; the President's Advisor M.Batchimeg; and project coordinator of the MNPRT D.Oyunchimeg all took part in the press conference announcing the campaign. Organizers say Mongolian politics would be improved if more women participated, and they said they would like to see between ten and 15 women elected to Parliament. Currently there are only three women MPs. Organizers also said they supported a quota for women in Parliament because, without one, it is difficult for women to get elected. ^ top ^

Mayor about budget of UB city (Montsame)
2011-10-05
A Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city, G.Monhkbayar gave an information on UB city's budget to the high bodies while discussing with them the UB city budget. Usually Ulaanbaatar spends 794 billion togrog every year for people's life, obliged to give a majority of this money to the state. This year, the budget clarification is not reflecting such a money. It this becomes available, the city can spend for itself some 95 billion togrog “to go for improving the people's comfort life,” said the Mayor. He added that before, repair works would be postponed for the sake of furnishing works. Now it may be possible to run both actions. "We will more improve ger districts' environment, give more money to family hospitals, for example, 30 million togrog for each of them,and will focus on increasing a number od garbage trucks." The city will mark its anniversary October 22. ^ top ^

State supreme court to consider environmental cases (News.mn)
2011-10-05
Sources say the State Supreme Court (SSC) will consider complaints lodged by an environmental group next week. Civil Movement's United for Rivers and Lakes has twice filed complaints alleging that the Government has ignored or allowed to occur environmental damage in numerous river basins. Lower courts have rejected the complaints which the SSC will now consider. The environmental group says it can identify damage in the Ongi, Zavkhan, Ulz, Tuul, Khagiltsag, Khuder, Yeruu, and Gatsuurt river basins, mainly due to mining operations. The group says the Government should pay to restore the damaged areas. The group also wants the Government to cancel the permits of mining companies operating in the basin, in accordance with a law banning mineral exploration and exploitation in river and forest basins. ^ top ^

Anti-nuke group calls for new policies (News.mn)
2011-10-06
The group National Movement for the Nuclear Security of Mongolia says the Government's nuclear policies need to be completely overhauled. On Wednesday the group said it plans to deliver a note to the National Security Council (NSC) urging that the law on nuclear energy be replaced. The note also calls for abolishing the Nuclear Energy Authority and state-owned Mon-Atom LLC, and establishing a new renewable energy authority. The group says Mongolia's nuclear energy policy is not well thought out, and they hope the NSC will consider their proposals. The group is also gathering signatures from opponents of nuclear energy and has collected 5,000 since September 11. ^ top ^

 

Gregor Muischneek
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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