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
  17-21.10.11, No. 393  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China calls for joint effort to deal with global economic difficulties (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-17
Faced with new problems such as sovereign debt and downward risks, all countries should work together to enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies to guard economic growth and financial stability with respective effort, Chinese delegates said Saturday here at the G20 Financial Ministers Meeting. The global economy is challenged by new difficulties which require all countries to join hands in fighting all sorts of protectionism either in trade or in investment, according to a statement issued by the Chinese delegation led by Chinese Financial Minister Xie Xuren and Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan. China suggested that leading developed countries should ensure economic recovery and financial stability in short term, while in the medium term enhance fiscal solidarity, accelerate structural reform and refrain the negative impact of macroeconomic policies. [...] "The emerging markets should promptly take flexible and effective macroeconomic measures in order to control slowdown and tackle with impacts from inflation and capital flows," the statement said. Emerging economies "should also quicken their pace on structural reform in a bid to realize stable and faster growth," the statement added. During the two-day meeting, G20 financial leaders gathering in Paris welcomed the progress the Europe made on the eurozone debt issue on Saturday, but meanwhile expected the euro area to rely more on itself with bigger bailout fund to avoid contagion. ^ top ^

China, Vietnam pledge to properly settle maritime issues (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-17
China and Vietnam reaffirmed their political will and determination to settle maritime issues through negotiations and friendly consultations and to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to a joint statement on Saturday. The leaders of the two parties and countries will keep frequent communication and dialogue on the maritime issues, and to instruct the proper handle and settlement of the issues from political and strategic perspectives, the statement said. Both sides speak highly of the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues existing between the two countries, which was signed on Tuesday by China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and his Vietnamese counterpart Ho Xuan Son. Both sides believe the agreement will guide the settlement of maritime issues between the two countries and pledge to make joint efforts to earnestly implement the agreement, the statement said. In accordance with the consensus of leaders of both countries and the agreement, both sides will step up the negotiations about maritime issues, seek basic and long-term approaches that will be acceptable for both sides, explore interim and temporary solutions, including research and negotiations on the joint development of the sea, without impacting each side's stance and position [...]. Both sides will seek steady progress in negotiations regarding the maritime demarcation of the baymouth of the Beibu Gulf and discuss the joint development of the sea area [...]. Both sides will promote cooperation in marine environmental protection, scientific research, search and rescue, disaster reduction and prevention [...]. Before maritime disputes are finally resolved, both sides will ensure the peace and stability of the South China Sea, keep calm and restrained rather than take any action that will complicate and expand disputes [...]. Both sides will deal with any emerging issues in a constructive manner so as to ensure the relations between the two parties and the two countries and the peace and stability of the South China Sea [...]. ^ top ^

China always firmly opposes to weaponization of, arms race in outer space: envoy (Xinhua)
2011-10-18
China on Monday voiced its firm opposition to the weaponization of outer space and an arms race in outer space and its determination to attach importance to the steps for more transparency and confidence building on outer space. The statement came as Wang Qun, the Chinese ambassador for disarmament affairs, was speaking at the thematic debate on outer space at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. The First Committee is in charge of disarmament and international security. [...] China has been the co-sponsor of the UN General Assembly resolution "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space," and actively promotes the implementation of the resolution at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, he said. "China and Russia have jointly submitted to the CD the draft of 'Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects ( PPWT)'," he said. [...] "China attaches importance to outer space Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBM), and is open towards relevant initiatives and discussions," he said. [...] "An early conclusion of a new international legally-binding instrument aiming at preventing weaponization of outer space is of fundamental importance to permanent peace and tranquility in outer space," he said. "China is willing to join hands with all countries to contribute to maintaining peace and security in outer space," he added. ^ top ^

China to boost soft power through culture (China Daily)
2011-10-19
Leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tuesday adopted a guideline that is aimed at boosting China's soft power and maintain "cultural security" following the ongoing economic boom. The 17th Central Committee of the CPC closed its sixth plenary session and approved a decision on deepening the reform of China's cultural system and promoting the development of the cultural industry. The country will work to improve Chinese citizens' sense of identity and confidence in Chinese culture, according to a statement issued after the session. Culture is emerging as an important part of the country's comprehensive competitiveness in today's world, the statement said. China is facing a difficult task in protecting "cultural security" and feeling the urgency of enhancing its soft power and the international influence of its own culture, the statement said. President Hu Jintao delivered a speech at the session, which opened on Saturday. The statement noted that, as a major form of support for national unity and a source of creativity, China's cultural industry will play a more critical part in the country's economic and social development. The country should not only provide its people with an ample material life, but also a healthy and rich cultural life [...]. The statement said the government will devote more resources to boosting public cultural services and speed up the reform of the cultural industry. ^ top ^

Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister visits China (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-19
China said Tuesday it is ready to continue providing assistance within its capacity to help peaceful reconstruction in Afghanistan. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with visiting Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin on Tuesday. Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin held talks with Ludin. [...] The Chinese officials said China would firmly support Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and it would further provide assistance to Afghanistan within its capability to help with the country's peaceful reconstruction. Ludin thanked China for its support to Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan is willing to work with China to make new progress in the two countries' communication and cooperation in all fields. [...]. ^ top ^

China's Public Security minister meets Russian Security Council Secretary on closer security cooperation (Xinhua)
2011-10-20
China's State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu met with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev on Wednesday and the two sides agreed to enhnce security cooperation. "China-Russia relations have maintained good momentum of development with joint efforts from both sides," Meng said. "China is willing to work with Russia to positively fulfill the agreements reached by the two countries' leaders, and comprehensively strengthen law-enforcement and security cooperation as well as cooperation in other fields." Meng pointed out that China-Russia law-enforcement cooperation and security cooperation are important components of the two countries' strategic partnership of cooperation. [...] He said China hopes the two sides will improve the cooperation mechanism in striking the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism. While cracking down on illegal immigration, the two sides should further facilitate personnel exchanges, strengthen security cooperation in large-scale events, and promote professional law-enforcement training so as to jointly safeguard the security and stability of the two countries and the region, he added. Patrushev said Russia attaches great importance to law-enforcement cooperation with China and is ready to enhance communication and coordination with China within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other mechanisms. ^ top ^

Chinese, US officials pledge closer sub-national cooperation, misgivings linger (Xinhua)
2011-10-20
Chinese and U.S. officials pledged Wednesday to strengthen their sub-national economic cooperation and remove some Chinese entrepreneurs' apprehensions about investing the United States. "Provinces and states are the backbone forces that sustain the economic cooperation between China and the United States," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai as he addressed a group of Chinese and U.S. province or state leaders, adding that there is great potential for sub-national cooperation between the two sides. The leaders, eight from China and six from the United States, gathered [...] to attend a China-U.S. Governors Dialogue. [...] Statistics show that U.S. companies had invested 65.22 billion U.S. dollars in China by the end of 2010 while Chinese companies invested 4.73 billion dollars in the United States, which is comparatively small but growing at a quickened speed. [...] Chinese businessmen believe that their large-scale direct investment will fail in the United States for political reasons. In early 2011, China's Huawei Technologies Co. withdrew its agreement to buy the assets of 3Leaf Systems of the U.S. under pressure of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment. [...] U.S. officials are trying to get rid of the worry and attract more investment from China. The United States are "very open" to Chinese investment and the U.S. governors and their states are eager for Chinese investments, said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Robert Hormats on the sidelines of the Dialogue. The U.S. side will step up high-level efforts to underline the importance of attracting Chinese investments, and take the governors forum as a bridge to facilitate bilateral trade and investment by providing accurate and direct business information, he said. ^ top ^

Chinese president stresses quality in weaponry research, manufacture (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-21
President Hu Jintao has urged the country's military industry to improve its quality and efficiency in weaponry research and production so as to promote the modernization of national defense and the army. Hu made the remarks in a congratulatory letter addressed to a meeting held Thursday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the country's military industry. In October 1931, the Revolutionary Military Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee set up a weapons factory in a village in east China's Jiangxi Province, marking the birth of the country's military industry. Over the past 80 years, the industry has transformed from improvising indigenous methods to making guns and ammunition to independently developing state-of-the-art weaponry, realizing a comprehensive industrial system featuring modern science and technology for national defense. While greeting workers in the industry, Hu hailed their contributions to China's independence, the liberation of the people as well as boosting the country's national power and defense strengths. At the meeting, Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang urged the industry to give "absolute priority" to the research and manufacture of weaponry, striving to achieve breakthroughs in core technology with independent innovation in science and technology projects. [...]. ^ top ^

Premier Wen meets leaders of ASEAN nations (China Daily)
2011-10-21
Premier Wen Jiabao met with the leaders from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member nations in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, who will attend the 8th China-ASEAN Expo scheduled to open Friday morning. In meetings with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Naranong and Vice President of Myanmar U Tin Aung Myint Oo, Wen separately discussed with them China's bilateral relations with their countries, and some issues of common concern. With regard to the deadly attack that killed at least 12 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River earlier this month, Wen said China hoped governments of relevant countries would properly handle the aftermath of the case, speed up investigations, take joint actions, strengthen law enforcement along the river, and protect the peoples' lives and property. In the meeting with U Tin Aung Myint Oo concerning the cooperation programs, Wen that it is in the common interests of China and Myanmar to ably carry out programs. He urged the two sides to seriously implement the consensus reached by the two countries' state leaders, fulfill the commitment with concrete actions, strengthen communication and coordination, and properly resolve problems, so as to maintain a sound and smooth development of China-Myanmar trade and economic cooperation. U Tin Aung Myint Oo echoed Wen saying Myanmar attaches great importance to its comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with China. It will keep close communication with the Chinese side, seek actively a solution to the problems and maintain the two sides' common interests, he said. [...] As for the upcoming East Asia series of summits to be held in Bali Island of Indonesia in November, Wen spoke positively of the leading role of ASEAN in East Asian cooperation, and the fruitful cooperation between China and ASEAN (10+1), and cooperation among ASEAN and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (10+3). [...] The premier reaffirmed China's steady adherence to a good-neighborly policy with neighboring countries, and pledged to work with relevant countries to appropriately handle marine disputes and endeavor for the regional peace and stability. [...]. ^ top ^

China demands the Philippines return boats promptly, unconditionally (Xinhua)
2011-10-21
China on Thursday demanded the Philippines return small Chinese boats promptly and unconditionally after a Philippine military vessel confronted a Chinese fishing vessel. "China has presented its stance to the Philippines. We demand that the Philippines return the small Chinese boats unconditionally and as soon as possible, and properly handle related issues," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a daily press briefing. On Tuesday, a Philippine military vessel entered the sea area neighboring the Liyue Tan, also known as the Reed Bank, of the Nansha archipelago in the South China Sea and tried to approach a Chinese fishing vessel towing 25 smaller, unoccupied boats, Jiang said. The propeller of the Philippine vessel got tangled with the rope, disconnecting the Chinese fishing vessel from the 25 smaller boats. "The Chinese fishermen and the fishing vessel are currently safe," Jiang said. She said China has undisputed sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and neighboring sea. "It is completely justified for Chinese fishermen to fish in areas where generations of Chinese have fished," Jiang said. Jiang said the Philippines' behavior impinged upon the legitimate rights of Chinese fishermen. ^ top ^

China, South Sudan vow to advance bilateral ties (Xinhua)
2011-10-21
A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said on Thursday that China will work with South Sudan to promote the comprehensive and sound development of bilateral ties. Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark while meeting with a delegation led by Pagan Amun, secretary-general of South Sudan's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). Wang welcomed the high-level delegation, the first group of its kind to visit the country since South Sudan was founded. [...] China is willing to take the opportunity of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations to enhance high-level visits, promote pragmatic cooperation, deepen party-to-party communication and strengthen coordination in international affairs, Wang said. Amun thanked China for supporting the formation of South Sudan, saying the country attaches great importance to developing friendly and cooperative relations with China. Amun said South Sudan will fully support and promote bilateral pragmatic cooperation in areas such as oil, agriculture, minerals, housing construction, telecommunication, water conservation and transportation. The SPLM admires the leadership and administrative accomplishments of the CPC and hopes to enhance its own exchanges and communication with the CPC in order to consolidate the political foundation of bilateral relations, Amun said. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Denmark agree to deepen strategic partnership, cooperation (Global Times)
2011-10-21
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Danish counterpart Villy Sovendal agreed here Wednesday to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation. [...] Yang said China hopes that the two countries adhere to the principle of mutual respect and equality, and properly handle sensitive issues concerning China's core interests so as to maintain the political foundation of the development of the China-Denmark relationship. The two sides could strengthen their communication and coordination in international affairs, and China expects Denmark to play a constructive role in promoting the relationship between China and Europe when Copenhagen holds the the rotating EU presidency in the first half of next year, Yang said. [...] His visit, the first by a Chinese foreign minister to Denmark in 11 years, comes weeks after a new government comprising a coalition of center-left parties took office here. Sovendal said the Danish government would like to further deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries, and promote high-level exchange visits and mutual understanding. He also vowed that Denmark would play an active role in developing Europe-China relations and reaffirmed Denmark's commitment to the one-China policy. [...] When questioned by the Danish media on human rights in China, Yang said the Chinese people are enjoying unprecedented democratic rights. China is open to holding a dialogue on human rights issues with other countries on the basis of mutual respect and equality, he said. He also said that any bias against the human rights situation in China should be corrected. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese FM, Arab League chief exchange views on Syria over phone (Xinhua)
2011-10-21
Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi here on Thursday discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone conversation with Arab League (AL) chief. "The concerned parties of Syria should put the national and people's interests first, abandon violence and avoid bloodshed, so as to restore stability and order to the country through dialogue," Yang told AL Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi. "The Syria government should implement its promised reforms, and respond to the reasonable demands from the people. The opposition should also have peaceful dialogue with the government," Yang added. [...] For his part, el-Arabi related the AL's position on the issue of Syria and appreciated the positive role played by China in this matter. Yang said "China will continue playing its role, and China attaches great importance to the Arab League's role in regional peace and stability. China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the Arab League on these issues." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China / Politics Draft establishes patients' rights (China Daily)
2011-10-17
A long-awaited draft law and the country's first to protect the rights of mentally ill people and prevent illegal forced hospitalization will be submitted to lawmakers for discussion at the end of this month, a chairpersons' meeting of the top legislature decided on Friday. Lawmakers will be able to review and discuss the draft of the mental health law during their bimonthly session from Oct 24 to 29, according to a statement issued after the chairpersons' meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. The draft, which has undergone 10 revisions over the past 26 years, tries to protect the rights of the mentally ill and prevent wrongful rehabilitation of healthy people, said Wang Yue, a psychiatry professor at Peking University who took part in the drafting. [...] About 100 million Chinese suffer from mental disorders, according to statistics released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009. [...] Liu Xiehe, a psychiatrist with the West China Hospital in Sichuan, who initiated the mental health legislation in 1985, told West China Metropolitan News that the draft also stipulates that people who illegally hospitalize mentally ill patients without their or their relatives' consent will face criminal punishment. "The draft states only the patient has the right to decide whether to receive hospitalized treatment, if he does not pose a danger to himself and the people around him," Wang said, adding that this article is expected to prevent healthy people from being committed. But forced hospitalization would be possible in the case of people who cannot control their behavior and who possibly threaten the public after they are reviewed by doctors or third-party judicial evaluation agencies. [...]. ^ top ^

Campaign against misuse of medicine stepped up (Global Times)
2011-10-18
A senior official with China's top health authority said tougher penalties would be handed out to those who misuse antimicrobial drugs and urged local health authorities to establish or improve reward and punishment mechanisms. [...]The Ministry of Health (MOH) will also further promote a national campaign to regulate the clinical application of antimicrobials, said deputy minister Ma Xiaowei at a recent conference, stressing that the campaign has effectively reduced people's medical expenditures and helped carry forward public hospital reforms. The campaign has been implemented across the country for nearly half a year, greatly cutting the total amount of antimicrobials use in hospitals, according to the MOH. "Antibiotics are treated as a universal remedy for all diseases by the Chinese. However, more than 80 percent of patients who use antibiotics do not need them at all," Chen Yun, a doctor at the General Hospital of the Armed Police Force in Beijing, told the Global Times. [...] According to the Southern Weekly, the misuse of antibiotics leaves 80,000 dead every year in the country. The city of Tianjin recently released a regulation stipulating that hospitals that do not follow the requirements on the proper use of antimicrobials will be downgraded or lose rights to apply for medical projects from the MOH for a year. ^ top ^

Charities bear the brunt of scandals (SCMP)
2011-10-19
The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation is struggling to meet a 300 million yuan (HK$365.6 million) donation target for this year amid widespread distrust of charity projects following a recent spate of high-profile scandals implicating several leading mainland charitable organisations. The foundation said yesterday it had received only 150 million yuan in donations by the end of last month. It raised 550 million yuan last year, ranking third among mainland charities, after a huge response to calls for donations to aid victims of the massive drought that struck the southwestern regions in spring and the devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai province, in April. Liu Wenkui, a deputy secretary-general of the foundation, blamed the public's snub on the Guo Meimei saga in June, which led to the exposure of rampant illicit deals involving charitable organisations, including some subsidiaries of the Red Cross Society of China. [...] China Charity and Donation Information Centre statistics show that the charitable groups it monitors received 6.3 billion yuan in donations between March and May, but just 840 million yuan between June and August. [...] Ding Yadong, a public relations official with the foundation, said yesterday donations from institutions had declined noticeably because of the scandals. [...] "But it's not all bad because all the donors and charitable organisations have become more sensible and responsible in their involvement in charitable works." He refused to say whether the foundation would be able to meet its donation goal this year but said it would have to push for greater transparency to restore public trust. ^ top ^

Corruption still rife in construction industry (China Daily)
2011-10-19
Despite persistent campaigns and tough penalties in recent years, corruption in infrastructure projects is still pervasive, China's anti-graft agencies have warned. According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the country's key anti-graft agency, over the first eight months of this year, about 6,800 officials have been prosecuted for corruption in infrastructure projects across the country. And prosecutors uncovered graft cases in this sector involving more than 2.99 billion yuan ($468 million) during a nationwide campaign from Sept 2009 to March this year, according to the Ministry of Supervision. Local prosecutors closely involved in corruption investigations have found that bribery is now included as a regular part of many contractors' budgets as "public relations expenses". Given that the nation has spent a huge amount of money on infrastructure development in recent years, the amount of money involved in graft cases has increased notably. [...] The bribery occurs in many stages of a project, including land-use approval, project management, public bidding, the purchase of construction materials and equipment as well as project inspections, said Zhang Xin, a provincial prosecutor in Jilin province. Besides accepting outright cash, officials receive shopping vouchers, dividends, overseas tour packages, school tuition for their children, houses and luxury goods, Zhang said. Prosecutors have also found that chief officials in government departments or State-owned enterprises related to infrastructure development are susceptible to corruption. [...] Lack of effective supervision enables chief officials to misuse their power. Anti-graft agencies need to cooperate with the government financial supervision and auditing agencies and set up an information-sharing platform and blacklist contractors involved in graft cases in order to stop them from bidding for other projects, Zhang said. In recent years, the government has stepped up its efforts to crack down on corruption in construction projects. [...]. ^ top ^

Law enforcement urged to improve for cultural development (China Daily)
2011-10-20
Zhou Yongkang, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Wednesday urged law enforcers to do more to counter irregularities in cultural fields, in a bid to promote the healthy development of the country's cultural industry. Zhou, who is also the secretary of the Political Science and Law Committee of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting of the committee held to relay the essential points of the sixth plenary session of the 17th CPC Central Committee, which adopted a guideline on boosting cultural reform and development. [...] Social evils involving pornography, gambling and narcotics must be seriously handled, said Zhou, calling for tightened supervision efforts to maintain normal market order of the cultural industry. Zhou demanded a tougher fight against online criminal activities. He said that procuratorial, judicial and public security authorities must be loyal to the CPC, the nation, the people and the laws, always put people in the first place, and be just and honest. Zhou stressed efforts to improve social security systems, prevent and fight criminal activities, and crack down on the illegal activities of infiltration and subversion by external hostile forces. ^ top ^

Non-Communist parties urged to boost soft power building (China Daily)
2011-10-20
Hu Jintao, chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has expressed hope that non-Communist parties and people of influence contribute more to the country's cultural development and soft power building. Hu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a recent seminar to solicit non-Communist parties' opinions on the CPC Central Committee's decision on deepening cultural system reform and promoting cultural development. Hu said he hopes that workers in cultural field from non-Communist parties can be mobilized to contribute their wisdom and strength to building China into a strong nation in terms of the influence of its culture, according to an official statement issued Wednesday at the seminar. "The new and greater achievements of socialist China and the Chinese nation require joint efforts from the CPC, the non-Communist parties and people of various ethnic groups," Hu said. Non-Communist parties and people of influence are urged to follow the development trend of socialist advanced culture and to inspire their members to deepen their research on cultural reform and development and offer more suggestions in this regard. According to the statement, leaders of non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and people of influence without party affiliation, at the seminar expressed their support with the CPC's decision on boosting cultural reform and development. [...]. ^ top ^

Hit-and-run case triggers calls for legislation (SCMP)
2011-10-20
Mainland intellectuals are calling for legislation to be passed that would punish people who do not try to help a stranger in need. This comes after a two-year-old girl was knocked down by two vehicles and ignored by more than a dozen passers-by. The case continues to spark outrage and has prompted debate over why people did not help the child. Wang Yue was left lying in her own blood after she was ignored by 18 passers-by until Chen Xianmei, an elderly rubbish scavenger, pulled her from the road and helped find her mother a week ago in Foshan, Guangdong. The girl was taken to hospital but doctors say she has a slim chance of survival, as she suffered severe damage to her cerebral cortex and brainstem reflexes. [...] Two drivers suspected of running over the girl have been arrested. Leading Guangzhou commentators conducted a soul-searching discussion at a public forum in the city yesterday about why people were reluctant to help a dying child. Zhu Yongping, director of a Guangzhou law firm, said the incident reflected the degradation of modern Chinese morality. "There should be legal guidance in place to prevent something like this from happening again when moral guidance fails to serve its purpose," Zhu said. [...] The incident has sparked widespread discussion online. Tang Hao, associate professor of political studies at South China Normal University, said not all moral problems could be solved by legal means. "Under circumstances where members of the public are living without the education telling them to care about public affairs, without the conditions encouraging them to participate in public affairs and without the protection of their right to free speech, there is no way they will pay attention to civil matters or take responsibility for people around them," Tang said. [...] There have been instances in the past of mainlanders being sued after trying to help people in need. ^ top ^

China to establish nationwide social credit system (China Daily)
2011-10-20
China will strive to establish a social credit system nationwide to ensure sound and healthy social and economic development, China's State Council, or Cabinet, said Wednesday. China needs to create an honest and faithful society through system improvement and enhanced education, as lack of credibility remains a prominent problem, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. The statement mentioned some of the behaviors featuring lack of credibility, such as business fraud, manufacture and sale of fake products, fraudulent applications and claims, and improper academic behavior. China will comprehensively push forward the establishment of a nationwide social credit system in the next five years, or the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) by establishing a system to keep record of all citizens' credit history, it said. The country will accelerate legislation and regulation improvement concerning the credit system and push forward the construction of credit systems within industries and government departments, and at local levels, it said. The government will also work to make the credit information be shared across the nation, develop credit rating agencies and promote use of credit products in an orderly way. Meanwhile, the government should enhance its own credibility by increasing transparency, and strengthen education on social honesty, it said. The meeting has also approved a guideline for the country's mine exploration in the next 10 years, which aims to build reserves for major mineral resources to support economic development, by enhancing basic geological research, strengthening mineral exploration and encouraging mineral resource recycling. ^ top ^

Award to boost campus innovation (China Daily)
2011-10-21
The Chinese government will set up an award to encourage on-campus invention, a move believed to help boost the number of the country's international patent registrations. In a bid to encourage universities and schools to put more resources toward encouraging invention, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) plans to display inventions by teachers and students at an annual conference on patents, which will run from November 9 to 11, said Xu Fang, an official in charge of intellectual property rights (IPO) registration with SIPO, here Thursday. The creators of these inventions will compete for the award. The SIPO will recommend the top ten prize winners to take part in the Geneva International Invention Show in 2012, and sponsor them by providing free return-trip plane tickets and a booth for each invention at the show. "Chinese universities should play a bigger role in invention and innovation," Xu said. The number of China's international patents lags far behind that of the United States and Japan, Xu said. The number of Chinese patents was only equal to 27.5 percent of that of the US, he said, adding that no Chinese university was listed in the world's top 50 universities holding the most international patents. ^ top ^

Groundwater gets worse, land agency says (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-21
More than half of the groundwater monitored in the country's major cities failed to meet standards for drinking, a report by the country's land watchdog said. Groundwater at 57.2 percent of the 4,110 monitoring stations in 182 cities was classified as bad, meaning people's health could be harmed, according to a Ministry of Land and Resources report released on Wednesday. The quality of groundwater in most northern and eastern parts of China was worse last year than in 2009, the report said, without stating locations. The level of groundwater had also dropped as a result of overexploitation. Household sewage, industrial pollution and overuse of fertilizers and pesticides had led to further deterioration of groundwater, Ma Chaode, former director of the World Wide Fund For Nature's freshwater program in China, told China Daily. Pollution of groundwater and water in rivers and lakes had reached a serious level, he said. [...] Earlier statistics released by the State Council, the country's Cabinet, showed the North China may be more affected by deteriorating groundwater quality because there are fewer rivers and lakes in the north. In North China, about 65 percent of water supplies for residential use comes from groundwater. More than 400 out of the country's 657 cities use groundwater as major source of drinking water. ^ top ^

Reporter vows to fight wife's jail sentence (Global Times)
2011-10-21
The wife of a journalist famous for investigating China's court system was sentenced Thursday in Shanghai to four years in prison for bribery, sparking criticism the court tried the case as retribution against her and her husband. The court found Mei Xiao yang, a former deputy director at State-owned Shanghai Landscape Architecture Design Institute, guilty of accepting 70,000 yuan ($10,970) from a company manager but dismissed other charges. [...] Mei's husband, Yang Haipeng, news director of Caijing Magazine, vowed to continue his fight for her vindication. Yang's high-profile fight on the microblogging site Weibo, where he raised more than 150,000 followers, was viewed by many as a rare case to stand up to injustice in the legal system. The verdict stirred a fierce debate Thursday with tens of thousands of people supporting Yang to appeal to a higher court. Yang's court investigative reports had led to three court deans resignations and around 50 judges disciplined during the last 20 years. Yan Yiming, Mei's attorney, said he would appeal to Shanghai No.1 Intermediate Court at the consent of Mei and her family within 10 days. "The verdict was made with the absence of two key pieces of evidence, which could prove Mei's innocence," he told the Global Times Thursday. Yan had requested prosecutors provide the video of the manager's testimony and the court to allow another witness to testify at the trial, to which the prosecutors and the court refused. [...] "I will by no means apologize for what I did in my previous work. Nor will I compromise for a better result," said Yang Haipeng, after his wife was taken into a detention room Thursday. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing opens public housing to migrants (SCMP)
2011-10-21
Migrants will be among the beneficiaries of a public housing scheme for low-income groups launched by the Beijing municipal government. It is the first time migrants will be able to enjoy subsidised housing in the capital, even though they make up a third of its residents. Until now only those with a Beijing household registration, or hukou, have been entitled to subsidised housing schemes introduced by the government. [...] However, migrants, even if they have lived and worked in a city for years, have not been entitled to any type of housing or social welfare. The other two types of subsidised housing - economically affordable housing and fixed-price housing - are also reserved for Beijing residents with hukou. From December 1, both Beijing hukou holders and non-hukou holders can apply for public rental housing. [...] However, the scheme's rules are vague on the criteria for applicants without hukou. They say such applicants must meet requirements such as "having stable jobs in Beijing for a certain period of time... with stable income", and be able to provide proof of their temporary residence, pension payments and membership of social insurance schemes. The rules also say that neither non-hukou holders applying for the scheme, nor their families, can own property in the city. Individual district and county governments will stipulate additional requirements according to their own economic and industrial development, the capacity of their environment and population, as well as the availability of housing. At a municipal government press conference on Wednesday, Zou Jinsong, a housing official, also said the focus of Beijing's policy-backed housing programme would shift from selling low-cost homes to providing rental accommodation. Zou said that between this year and 2015, the city would build 300,000 public rental homes. The latest census shows that, in November 2010, Beijing had a population of 19.6 million, of whom seven million had household registrations elsewhere. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibetan nun burns to death (SCMP)
2011-10-19
A Tibetan nun burned to death when she set herself on fire in Aba county, Sichuan province, marking the latest incident in a string of self-immolations to protest against Beijing's policies in the region, rights groups said. [...] Tenzin Wangmo was the first woman to participate in this desperate form of protest. The nun's case brings the total number of religious people, including monks and former monks, who have set themselves on fire this year in Sichuan to 10. [...] Among the 10, at least five died. "Information from Tibet suggests that there are more who are willing to give their lives. They are determined to draw global attention to the persistent and brutal violations Tibetans suffer under Chinese occupation," said Stephanie Brigden, director of London-based Free Tibet. "The acts of self-immolation are not taking place in isolation. China has already responded with force in one instance. We have grave concerns that greater force may be deployed if protests spread." Tenzin Wangmo set herself on fire at 1pm on Monday on a crossroad near her nunnery, known as Mame, about 3km from Aba. She shouted slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and religious freedom as she burned, Free Tibet said. Her act came one day after Chinese security personnel reportedly shot two Tibetans at a protest outside a police station near Seda county, Ganzi prefecture, near Aba. [...] Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin denied any improprieties in handling the cases. "Some overseas media and some organisations have been playing up the issue," Liu said. [...] He said he had not heard of police allegedly opening fire on Tibetans in Sichuan over the weekend, and said it was merely "some organisations spreading rumours". [...]. ^ top ^

Sichuan town locked down amid protests (SCMP)
2011-10-20
Aba in Sichuan province was under heavy police surveillance yesterday as the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government held a prayer ceremony in India for nine Tibetans who have set themselves alight this year in protest at Beijing's repression of religion in the region. Police in full riot gear, carrying automatic rifles and iron bars, stood guard outside Aba's biggest monastery, Kirti. Shops and restaurants remained open, but police, soldiers and armoured personnel carriers lined the streets, and all vehicles moving in and out of the town were subject to inspection. [...] London-based Free Tibet earlier quoted exile sources as saying the protest was spreading, and envelopes were being distributed in restaurants and shops in the region containing a call for action today. A Tibetan teacher, who requested anonymity, confirmed the heavy security presence in Aba. "There are many security officers, two or three almost every 10 metres, some with weapons, some not, but they all had tear-gas canisters," the teacher said. [...] In Dharamsala, India, the base for the Tibetan diaspora, the Dalai Lama fasted and led a 90-minute prayer in "sympathy for those who have died and others who have been injured in recent protests in Tibet". The prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, urged China to stop its repression in Tibet and called on the UN to send fact-finding teams to the region. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu condemned the self-immolations. The Dalai Lama was glorifying the acts and inciting more people to commit suicide, she said. Chinese officials have previously called the self-immolations immoral and against Buddhist teachings. Jiang said such immolations were a type of terrorism in disguise. The "Dalai group" - a reference to the Nobel Peace Prize winner and his followers - had "played up such issues to incite more people to follow suit" and had "beatified" rather than criticised the protests. [...]. ^ top ^

Tough measures 'to ensure stability' (SCMP)
2011-10-21
The Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the government of a restive, heavily Tibetan part of the country would take tough measures to ensure stability after a spate of self-immolations in protest at controls. [...] This week, Tibet's prime minister-in-exile blamed the hardline position for forcing Tibetans to take such desperate steps. But Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu repeated that the government would continue to carry out a policy of freedom of religion. "The local government will also take vigorous measures to ensure the safety of people and their property and normal social order," she told a regular news briefing. [...] "China firmly opposes ethnic separatism, will resolutely protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and firmly opposes any country using the excuse of the so-called Tibet problem to interfere in China's internal affairs." [...] Rights groups say the self-immolation protests could lead to a broad crackdown in Aba, which erupted in violence in March 2008 when Buddhist monks and other Tibetans loyal to the Dalai Lama confronted police and troops. [...] But it rejects the criticism of rights groups and exiled Tibetans, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought much needed development to a poor and backward region. ^ top ^

China opens Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-21
The Tibet Buddhist Theological Institute, which aims to promote the study of Tibetan Buddhism, opened in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on Thursday. More than 600 people, including 150 newly-enrolled students as well as Buddhist delegates and government officials, attended a grand opening ceremony held in the regional capital of Lhasa on Thursday morning. The institute, Tibet's only regional-level buddhist theological academy, is located in the township of Nyetang, Quxu County, which is administered by Lhasa. [...] Featuring a distinctive Tibetan architecture style, the institute covers 268 mu (about 17.9 hectares), with a total investment of more than 103 million yuan (about 16.1 million U.S. dollars). The first 150 students include Living Buddhas and monks from various Tibetan Buddhist sects. The institute provides three programs. Two programs focus on studies of Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism, respectively, while the other is tailored to Living Buddhas. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Xinjiang MAC division conducts military drill (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-19
A military drill was held by a division of Xinjiang Military Area Command of the People's Liberation Army in mid-autumn. The division marched more than 3,000 kilometers to the Ho-lan Mountains, which is situated on the border of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northwestern China. There the division conducted the military drill. During the journey, the division climbed four mountains, passed through two deserts and cross four provinces by air, rail and motorcycle. They create a new record of moving on the plateau, with a speed of 780 kilometers in a day and night. ^ top ^

Outbreak in Xinjiang spurs polio jabs for 4.5m (SCMP)
2011-10-19
Some 4.5 million children and young adults have been vaccinated against polio in Xinjiang over the past five weeks after the disease left one person dead and 17 paralysed, the World Health Organisation said. The polio outbreak was the first in China since 1999, and scientists say the strain originated from Pakistan. "Even if [carriers] don't come down with any symptoms, by giving them polio vaccine we make that person less infectious," WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer said. All 17 polio cases occurred in Hotan prefecture between early July and mid-September. Rosenbauer said the WHO assumed that for every case it found, there would be 199 others infected with the virus without displaying symptoms. [...] "The rest of the world may be polio-free, but because it is a communicable disease and people travel, polio-free countries can become re-infected... this is what we are seeing in western China," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Cardinal Zen takes fast in his stride (SCMP)
2011-10-21
Despite the twin pressures of fasting and coming under the media spotlight, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun continued to bear up well as he camped in protest outside the Salesian Community House in Chai Wan yesterday. Zen, 79, started a three-day hunger strike on Wednesday in protest against a court ruling that weakened the Catholic diocese's control over its schools. At the same time, he has faced a media frenzy over the HK$20 million in donations he received from Next Media [...] chairman Jimmy Lai Chee-ying. Zen earlier confirmed that he had received the donations from Lai, after documents leaked on the internet revealed the size of the gifts. The documents also showed Lai donated millions to the opposition Civic Party and Democratic Party. [...] Zen said yesterday: "Until now everything is all right. I feel comfortable and have nothing to complain about." Speaking in front of supporters who packed the entrance to Braga House, he reiterated that he had to protest against the court ruling, which he said took away something the city should have treasured. [...] Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who arrived during a press conference, praised Zen for supporting the underground church on the mainland with his private donations. [...] Tam Yiu-chung, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, earlier said that Zen's financial support for the underground church had eroded the "one country, two systems" principle. [...] Lai's donations made up 64 per cent and 22 per cent of the donations made to the Civic and Democratic parties for the 2009-10 financial year, according to financial statements from the two parties and the leaked documents. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan opens door to more mainland ties (SCMP)
2011-10-19
In another change of policy on one of the thorny issues dogging cross-strait relations, Taiwan has proposed the eventual opening of formal liaison offices in Beijing and Taipei. Dr Lai Shin-yuan, chairwoman of the island's Mainland Affairs Council, said yesterday that it was something that should be encouraged and pursued gradually. Her comment came a day after Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou announced that he would consider signing a peace treaty with Beijing in the next decade. That statement won him praise from some Taiwanese lawmakers for being a responsible leader, but was criticised by the pro-independence camp for setting a timetable for reunification. Lai [...] told a news conference in Taipei that the opening of liaison offices would be the end result of institutionalised talks between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait over the past three and a half years. "In the process of gradually promoting the exchange of representative offices, this would make the mainland take note of the fact of the existence of the Republic of China [Taiwan's official title]," she said. [...] Her comment signals a shift in policy, with the island's authorities previously having been evasive on establishing liaison offices in the two capitals. Just three months ago, when Taiwan set up representative offices in Hong Kong and Macau, Lai said their establishment had nothing to do with paving the way for the opening of formal offices representing the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Pundits said that opening formal liaison offices was not as politically sensitive as Ma's peace treaty idea, which has drawn fire from Taiwan's pro-independence camp, led by the island's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). [...] . ^ top ^

Joint pledge on nuclear safety (SCMP)
2011-10-21
The mainland and Taiwan agreed yesterday to co-operate more closely on nuclear safety and preparedness for disaster in the wake of the meltdowns at a Japanese power plant in March. But top negotiators from both sides, meeting in Tianjin, failed to sign an investment protection pact. Negotiations on the pact would top the agenda at the next rounds of talks, they said. [...] Under the agreement, energy officials from the mainland and Taiwan will notify each other in the event of an emergency and work together to minimise damage. They will share experience and information on nuclear safety monitoring, analysing data, managing nuclear plants, radiation detection and the handling of emergencies. Each party will organise their own nuclear safety work teams, however. The teams will meet to share information and discuss other exchange programmes. "Nuclear power safety is significant to people's lives on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and to the environment we all share," said Chen Yunlin, president of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait. [...] Meanwhile, Chen and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, said that a consensus had been reached on the complex investment protection pact. Both sides agreed that the pact should have clauses stipulating: the removal of investment restrictions, compensation and dispute-handling mechanisms, protection of personal safety and the enhancement of investment transparency. They agreed to continue discussing the dispute-handling mechanism, and to establish a platform for strengthening investment services. [...] Taiwan has become one of the major investors on the mainland in recent years. The two sides agreed to organise regular industry forums to promote co-operation. Industries, including those involved in light-emitting diodes and electric cars, would be the priority for industrial co-operation, a statement issued after the talks said. [...]. ^ top ^

Peace treaty with Beijing would need vote, Ma says (SCMP)
2011-10-21
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has told the island's voters that a referendum would have to be held before any peace treaty was signed with the mainland. Ma, who is seeking re-election in January, said yesterday that his peace treaty proposal would have to be backed by public support - one of three conditions before Taiwan could sign any such agreement. "Putting the matter to the vote is a way to see if there is strong public support," Ma [...] told a hastily called news conference held to clarify his stand amid mounting criticism from the pro-independence opposition. [...] His assurance came after the pro-independence camp, led by Dr Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, criticised Ma for listing the signing of a peace treaty as one of his policy goals for the next decade. The opposition said this was tantamount to setting a timetable for reunification with the mainland and put the island at risk. Ma announced on Monday that he would consider signing a peace pact with the mainland as part of his "Golden Decade" policy agenda. On Wednesday, Tsai criticised Ma's proposal as an "ill-considered idea" which would risk sacrificing Taiwan's sovereignty, alter the cross-strait status quo, endanger Taiwan's hard-won democracy and undermine the island's strategic position. [...] Meanwhile, Beijing has responded cautiously to Ma's peace pact proposal, with Taiwanese media and pundits saying it was reluctant to get involved in the debate ahead of the island's presidential election. Wang Yi, director of the mainland State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told Taiwanese negotiators in Tianjin that although both sides should solve all sorts of questions eventually, it had been proven effective to tackle economic issues before political ones, and that would build up mutual understanding and trust for the solving of complicated and sensitive issues in the future. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Premier warns of decreased openness (China Daily)
2011-10-17
Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday called for joint international efforts to combat rising trade protectionism, which he said is damaging the world economy amid ongoing global economic turbulence. "We should embrace opening-up and development, instead of closed doors and stagnation. This is a general trend," said Wen at the opening ceremony of the 110th Canton Fair in Guangzhou. [...] "The current challenge is that there is growing trade protectionism worldwide and more trade frictions are politicized, which casts a large shadow over and hurts the global economic recovery," Wen told exporters in a speech carried on State television. [...] Wen said countries should be rational in dealing with trade disputes as the world grapples with a mounting debt crisis. [...] Wen made no specific mention of the United States, but his remarks followed a storm of protest in China over a bill that Beijing has warned could start a trade war between the world's top two economies. [...] According to the General Administration of Customs, China's exports experienced their smallest growth since February and the trade surplus dropped to its lowest since May. "China follows the policy of expanding imports and stabilizing exports. We never intentionally seek a large trade surplus," said Wen. [...] Despite the achievements that China has made since its entry into the WTO a decade ago, "China will continue to push forward its reform and opening-up policy with incomparably firm determination and courage," as China is still a developing nation characterized by imbalanced economic development, said Wen. [...] China also vowed to encourage Chinese companies to invest overseas, besides continuously welcoming foreign business to invest, especially in China's central and western areas. [...] Its large foreign exchange reserves makes it possible for China's overseas direct investment to grow. [.... ^ top ^

China surpasses US as EU's top trade partner: MOC (Global Times)
2011-10-17
Trade between China and the European Union (EU) totaled 35.6 billion euros ($49.4 billion) in July, allowing China to overtake the United States as the EU's largest trade partner, the Ministry of Commerce said, citing the latest statistics from Eurostat. The overall value of China-EU trade in July exceeded that of the EU and the United States by 800 million euros, accounting for 13.4 percent of the region's total imports and exports [...]. However, bilateral trade shrank for a second consecutive month in July, falling 0.8 percent from the same period last year. Meanwhile, China remained the EU's second largest export market. EU exports to China totaled 11.7 billion euros in July, up 12.3 percent year-on-year, which is higher than EU's total export growth rate of 4.1 percent. The EU imported 23.9 billion euros in Chinese goods, down 6.2 percent from the previous year. But China still held the top spot as the region's import source, making up 17.4 percent of the EU's total imports. The EU reported a 12.2-billion-euro trade deficit with China in July. ^ top ^

China reports 470 bln yuan new loans in Sept. (Xinhua)
2011-10-17
China's new yuan-denominated loans in September stood at 470 billion yuan (73.7 billion U.S. dollars), a drop of 131.1 billion yuan from the same month of last year, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said Friday. The figure brought the total new loans in the first nine months of this year to 5.68 trillion yuan, 597.7 billion yuan less than the same period last year, the PBOC, the country's central bank, said in a statement on its website. By the end of September, the outstanding broad money supply (M2), which covers cash in circulation and all deposits, rose 13 percent year-on-year to 78.74 trillion yuan, the statement said. The narrow measure of money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand deposits, increased 8.9 percent year-on-year to 26.72 trillion yuan by the end of last month, the statement said. It also said China's foreign exchange reserves totaled 3.2017 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of September, compared with 3.1975 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of June. ^ top ^

Updated tariffs on luxury products discussed (Xinhua)
2011-10-17
China needs to update its definition of luxury goods and adjust the tariffs on imported luxury goods accordingly, a senior Customs official said on Thursday. The country is rumored to have plans to cut tariffs on a host of imported luxury goods this year to attract domestic consumers, many of whom go overseas to purchase such products or buy them online. "It's an international practice to impose high tariffs on luxury goods, but the rates for luxury goods are changing in accordance with the economic development (of different countries)," Lu Peijun, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs, told China Daily on Thursday. "Tariff cuts are an issue of the top priority with policymakers. However, the definition of luxury products should be made more accurate to better delineate tariff policies," Lu said. According to Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce, China's definition of "luxury goods" is too broad and some items should be delisted and their import tax rates accordingly lowered. Lower tax rates would stimulate domestic consumption of such goods, he said. A survey by the Ministry of Commerce shows that the prices in China of 20 luxury brands in goods ranging from clothing to electronics are 45 percent higher than in Hong Kong and 51 percent higher than in the United States. [...] Analysts have said policymakers are divided over the tax policies regarding luxury goods - the Ministry of Commerce supports tariff cuts for the products, and the Ministry of Finance opposes them. [...] According to a Bain & Company survey in 2010, Chinese consumers spent $13 billion on luxury goods, and 56 percent of that was spent overseas. ^ top ^

China issues regulations on FDI with RMB settlement (Xinhua)
2011-10-17
The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, announced Friday it has just issued regulations about foreign direct investment (FDI) settled in the Chinese currency Renminbi (RMB). Foreign institutional and individual investors will be able to apply for permits to make direct investments in China with the settlement of RMB, on the condition that their investments are in line with China's current laws and regulations, according to a statement posted on the PBOC's website. The move will further promote cross-border trade and investment settled in RMB and support the development of the RMB market in Hong Kong, the statement said. The PBOC will work with other authorities to develop a management system for sharing information and closely monitoring investments to help banks ward off risks, the statement said. [...] To encourage the internationalization of the RMB, the Chinese government allowed trials of cross-border trade settlement in RMB in July 2009 and expanded the project to include 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions last year. ^ top ^

China's manufacturing exodus (SCMP)
2011-10-17
As overseas buyers flood China's largest and most established trade show, the Canton Fair, change is afoot in the world's largest exporter. Relentless inflation in production costs and wages had forced many manufacturers to relocate production from the Pearl River Delta or Yangtze River Delta to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, some buyers said at the 110th China Import and Export Fair at the weekend. They said moving offered a solution for manufacturers, who had limited room to raise costs for buyers at a time of a possible double-dip recession in the United States and European Union, China's largest trading partners. It also came at a time when Beijing's policy was to force factories to upgrade or migrate. [...] "One in every four of my Chinese suppliers have moved to Vietnam and another 20 per cent will be moving before the Chinese New Year [in January]," said a Hong Kong-based Canadian trader of home electrical appliances named Richard, a fair regular for the past 40 years. "Labour cost inflation in China is not going away," he said, adding that inflation was stable relatively in Vietnam and Indonesia. He expected 60 per cent of his company's products to be sourced from Southeast Asian countries by 2013, but China was now the group's dominant source, supplying 80 per cent of products. [...] The persistent inflation and the strong currency effectively means China's days as a low-cost producer are numbered, particularly in the Pearl River Delta. Shenzhen, for example, recently raised the minimum wage 16.6 per cent to 1,320 yuan (HK$1,600) a month, the highest in China, and surpassing the average 1,310 yuan in Zhejiang province in the Yangtze River Delta. [...]. ^ top ^

Yuan gold trading debuts in HK (SCMP)
2011-10-18
The world's first offshore yuan-denominated spot gold market was launched in Hong Kong yesterday, opening a new window for trading the Chinese currency and enabling the city to strengthen its role as a global gold market. [...] Individual investors can trade kilobar gold, which is priced at 347,000 yuan per unit, by paying a deposit as low as 16,000 yuan. The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange has 27 members who are designated traders for yuan bullion. [...] Yuan deposits in Hong Kong surged to 609 billion yuan in August, accounting for 10 per cent of total deposits in the city's banking system. However, these yuan deposits usually sit idle in the bank since there are not enough investment channels apart from dim sum bonds, or yuan bonds issued in Hong Kong. "By attracting both local and international investors, it is a significant step towards increasing the liquidity of yuan in the city and the internationalisation of the yuan," Cheung said. [...] It is estimated that yuan bullion transactions could hit 100 million yuan per day at the start and surge to 300 million yuan in Hong Kong over the next six months, Cheung said. Hong Kong is the world's third-largest gold-trading centre, with average daily transactions at 10 million ounces, after London and New York. [...]. ^ top ^

WTO head: China has delivered an A+ performance since entering WTO (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-19
China has delivered an "A-plus performance" since the Asian economic powerhouse entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said Tuesday in China. "In the past 10 years, overall, China has applied the rules, although not 100 percent," Lamy said in a speech at Sichuan University. [...] China's entry into the trade bloc has benefited not only China, but also the entire world, he said, adding that "the result is a win-win situation where China has received a lot from international trade and other WTO members have also got a lot from the opening of China." Lamy's comments echoed those of Premier Wen Jiabao, who said last week that after its accession to the WTO, China received a great economic boost and its overall competitiveness had been greatly improved. [...] Over the past 10 years, China has imported an annual average of 750 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods and created more than 14 million jobs for its trading partners, according to official statistics. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises operating overseas employed nearly 800,000 people locally and paid over 10 billion U.S. dollars in taxes every year. "In this difficult time of the world economy, there are some protectionists there," said Lamy. The international community must be extremely vigilant to prevent protectionist measures causing adverse effects, he added. Last Friday, Premier Wen also urged all nations to further open their markets and reject rising protectionism in the fight against the current financial crisis. [...]. ^ top ^

Economy cools in 3rd quarter (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-19
Economic growth cooled in the third quarter to its slowest pace in more than two years amid tightening measures, debt fears in the euro zone and a sluggish US economy. But the world's second-largest economy is not facing any risk of a hard landing given its sound fundamentals, economists said. Year-on-year GDP growth slipped to 9.1 percent in the July-to-September period from 9.5 percent in the second quarter and 9.7 percent in the first, indicating a moderate expansion, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday. The sluggish global economy, slumping financial markets and tightening monetary policies have combined to weigh down domestic output, Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based chief Asia economist at MF Global Holdings, said. However, Kuijs does not believe that the country will experience a double-dip recession [...]. Domestic demand remained resilient last month. Year-on-year growth for retail sales was 17.7 percent, up from 17 percent in August. Industrial output in September rose to 13.8 percent from a year earlier and 13.5 percent in August. The figure for the January-to-September period increased by 14.2 percent year-on-year, according to the NBS. "China's economic development is likely to maintain a relatively fast pace in the fourth quarter although both external and internal conditions are turning more complicated with increasing uncertainties," NBS spokesman Sheng Laiyun said at a news conference on Tuesday. [...] "The September Purchasing Managers' Index (a key manufacturing indicator) also signaled a production rebound," Sheng said. The index climbed to 51.2 year-on-year in September, up from 50.9 in August and July's 29-month low of 50.7. [...] Fixed-asset investment, a key driver behind economic growth, showed robust growth of 24.9 percent in the first nine months. [...] Despite strong growth in domestic investment, analysts said that the nation should make renewed efforts to boost domestic demand as global economic prospects continue to dim. [...] The economic slowdown may prove to be a useful antidote to China's inflation headache. The consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, fell for two consecutive months to 6.1 percent in September, from July's 37-month high of 6.5 percent. Inflationary pressure is likely to continue to drop in the last quarter of this year, because of tightening policies and falling commodity prices caused by weak global demand, said NBS spokesman Sheng. [...]. ^ top ^

China's fiscal revenue growth slows sharply in September (Xinhua)
2011-10-19
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Tuesday that China's fiscal revenue in September rose 17.3 percent year-on-year to reach 737.7 billion yuan (115.7 billion U.S. dollars), much slower than the 34.3-percent growth rate posted in August. The slowdown in fiscal revenue growth was the latest of a series of economic data released on Tuesday that pointed to a slower economic growth in the world's second largest economy. [...] The MOF said the slower growth in fiscal revenue followed a slight downturn in the economy and ongoing monetary tightening policies designed to cool down the property market. In September, the central government collected 375.37 billion yuan, and local governments gathered 362.34 billion yuan, according to the MOF's statement. September's growth took fiscal revenues for the first nine months to 8.16 trillion yuan, up 29.5 percent from a year ago, according to the ministry. The MOF projects that 2011's fiscal revenue growth will slow down even further in the coming months due to an economic slowdown and the implementation of new personal income tax rules [...]. Taking the first nine months together, the country's fiscal spending rose 27.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.95 trillion yuan, with 949.1 billion yuan spent on education, 800.3 billion on social security and employment, 706.2 billion on general public services, 396.5 billion on medical services and 228.6 billion on affordable housing. ^ top ^

Profit growth of China's SOEs continues to slow in September (Xinhua)
2011-10-19
China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) reported another monthly decline in profits in September, extending the downward trend starting in July, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. Gross profits of the SOEs rose 19.4 percent year-on-year to 1.71078 trillion yuan (about 264.49 billion U.S. dollars) in the first nine months, but the SOEs have suffered a month-on-month decline in profits since July [...]. Net profits of the SOEs during the January-September period totaled 1.28838 trillion yuan, said the ministry. Business revenues rose 24.3 percent year-on-year to 27.0527 trillion yuan during the first nine months. On a monthly basis, the SOEs' revenues gained 3.9 percent in September. [...] The building materials, chemicals, commerce and trade, coal and petroleum sectors reported big year-on-year gains in profits for the first nine months while the non-ferrous metal businesses reported wider monthly declines during the July-September period. ^ top ^

Growth in housing prices easing off (Global Times)
2011-10-19
Housing prices in 70 medium and large-sized cities saw nearly flat growth in September, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Tuesday. [...] The NBS said that house prices rose last month in 24 of the cities it has been tracking [...]. However, the biggest rise in the 24 cities was just 0.3 percent. Meanwhile, 17 cities saw a slight dip in house prices month-on-month [...]. "Reading from the figures, we can see that housing prices have not changed month-on-month, but have declined year-on-year, which shows a turning point has been reached," Ji Feng, a researcher at property brokerage Centaline China Real Estate, told the Global Times Tuesday. According to Ji, this shows that the government's real estate regulatory policy is having an effect. [...]. ^ top ^

China is wealthier, but inner gap becomes wider too: Report (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-20
China is on path to become the world's second-wealthiest country after the United States with total fortune expected to reach US$40 trillion by 2016, Credit Suisse AG said in a report released yesterday. [...] China, which has surpassed Japan as the world's second-biggest economy, will soon catch up with its neighbor in terms of total wealth. But, there exists an alarmingly big wealth divide in the rapidly growing China, the Credit Suisse report said. [...] Overall wealth at the hands of Chinese mainlanders is projected to reach US$39 trillion in the coming five years, Credit Suisse AG said in its annual Global Wealth Report. China now has a total wealth of US$20 trillion, third in the world behind only the US and Japan but ahead of France [...]. Total fortune in China increased by US$4 trillion from January 2010 to June 2011, and is the second-highest contributor of global wealth growth after the US, the report said. Wealth per adult in China has more than tripled from US$6,000 in 2000 to US$21,000 this year, the report said. The report said that 37 percent of the adult population belongs to the middle-class bracket of the wealth pyramid with a fortune of US$10,000 to US$100,000 each, while about 6 percent of the adult population falls below US$1,000. And, 2.3 percent of them own per-capita wealth at more than US$100,000. [...] So far this year, China has gained more than a million millionaires for the first time and now has more than 5,000 ultra-high net worth individuals with average fortunes above US$50 million, just behind the US, the report said. [...]. ^ top ^

Foreign banks remain optimistic over expansion in China (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-20
Foreign banks in China are still fighting hard to define their role in the Chinese market and expand their operations 10 years after China joined the World Trade Organization, said analysts. [...] In 2006, China announced it was opening up the domestic market and yuan-denominated business to foreign banks. However, the fact that foreign banks need to get approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) if they want to open new outlets has limited their expansion across the country. Currently, a foreign bank is usually allowed to open only one branch in China each year in first-tier cities. Foreign banks' total assets grew steadily between 2003 and 2007, stalled in 2008 and 2009 at the time of the stimulus plan, and grew again in 2010. The 127 foreign players' overall market share accounted for just 1.83 percent in 2010, according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) International Ltd in June. [...] In addition, banks need to meet the required loan-deposit ratio of 75 percent and new capital regulatory parameters set by the CBRC, especially the 2.5 percent provision ratio. While feeling the increasing weight of new regulations, coupled with tightening liquidity as the government seeks to curb inflation, foreign banks operating in China are still "surprisingly confident" about their prospects in the Chinese market, according to PwC. [...]. ^ top ^

Local gov't debts controllable: top banking regulator (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-20
A senior Chinese official said on Wednesday that the debt risks facing local governments are controllable despite concerns of default on the 10.7 trillion yuan (about 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars) of debts registered as of the end of last year. Liu Mingkang, chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), made the remarks in a speech published on the CBRC's website. Liu said that the risks are generally under control given that the scale of the debt, the debt structure, and repayment capabilities are all pointing toward a positive outlook. He said that the 10.7 trillion yuan of local government debt accounted for only 26.9 percent of GDP in 2010, while the outstanding central government debt accounted for 17 percent. To combine the financial bonds issued by the nation's policy financial institutions, which accounted for 6 percent of GDP, the Chinese government's debt-GDP ratio was only around 50 percent, which was below the warning mark of 60 percent, and far lower than the ratios in debt-stricken Europe and the United States, Liu said. In terms of structure, 80 percent of the local government's debts raised through local government's financing vehicles (LGFVs) are owed to banks. Liu said that the CBRC is urging the banks on lending contracts with the LGFVS to normalize the contracts as commercial loans if plausible. The banking regulator also said the local government will be responsible for the loans of the LGFVs. The local government should urge the LGFVs to regulate the loan contracts and improve mortgage conditions. With a long-term view, the local government's debt repayment capabilities are also strengthening given that the growing economy boosts fiscal revenues. Last year, the government's fiscal revenues rose 21.3 percent year on year. Further, Liu said that a large number of assets held by the local governments can be liquidated, which further guarantees repayment. ^ top ^

FDI stays strong despite slowing growth (Global Times)
2011-10-20
China witnessed a 16.6 percent growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) from January to September this year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said at a press conference in Beijing Wednesday. The growth reflects the confidence of overseas businesses towards the world's fastest growing economy amid global economic uncertainties. However, the FDI from the Europe Union (EU) into China has shown a negative growth for the first time, compared with a narrower FDI decline from the United States, but a big jump from Asian economies, analysts said. According to the figures released by MOFCOM Wednesday, the FDI soared to $86.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year, and in September alone, China attracted $9.05 billion, a year-on-year growth of 7.88 percent. [...] The FDI from EU stood at $4.18 billion from January to September, down 1.8 percent year-on-year. In September alone, the FDI from EU was $380 million. [...] The pace of European FDI in China has been slowing down. In the first eight months of this year, the EU countries made an actual investment of $4.56 billion, increasing by 3.28 percent year-on-year. The year-on-year growth was 18.91 percent last year. [...] "China will continue open policy and make it more convenient to invest in the country," Shen noted. Shen also noted that the Chinese government is still encouraging domestic enterprises to invest in EU as "Chinese investment in EU is mutually beneficial. ^ top ^

China cuts US debt holdings (Global Times)
2011-10-20
China reduced its holdings of US treasuries by $36.5 billion, or 3.1 percent, in August, the largest amount since 2000 as Beijing works to reduce its trade surplus and optimize its foreign exchange reserves structure. The cut was the first since a 0.8 percent decline in February and also the biggest sell-off by China this year in the wake of net buying of over $8 billion in March, according to data released Tuesday by the US Treasury Department. China's holdings of longer-term notes and bonds declined 3.5 percent to $1.123 trillion, while its position on shorter-term bills rose by $3.9 billion to $14 billion, the data showed. Despite the drop, China remains Washington's biggest creditor, holding $1.14 trillion in US securities. [...] A People's Daily commentary said that holding US securities is not the best option, but a practical one nevertheless under the current situation. The paper said that China should promote the diversification of its foreign exchange reserves in a timely fashion. [...] Chinese representatives in the G20 were also reported to have indicated last week that Beijing was willing to pump billions of dollars into the problematic eurozone to purchase infrastructure assets and sovereign debts. [...] Figures from the People's Bank of China showed that China holds about $3.2 trillion in total foreign exchange reserves, the largest in the world. [...]. ^ top ^

E-retail sector control tightened (Global Times)
2011-10-20
Commerce authorities vowed Wednesday to strengthen management over the e-retail sector following a conflict between Taobao's B2C platform Taobao Mall (Tmall) and its small-scale merchants, which broke out earlier this month. "A root reason (behind the conflict) is China's lack of relevant management rules for the e-retailing business," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said Wednesday, adding that the ministry will lead the drafting of such a regulation. The regulation will outline an access-and-withdrawal mechanism for third-party payment platforms and further clarify the responsibilities, rights and obligations of each party involved in e-retailing businesses, Shen said. Tmall, the largest B2C online retail platform in China by transaction value, was attacked online by thousands of people on the night of October 11 after the platform announced an increase in the membership fee for merchants [...]. Shen Wednesday said Taobao needs to strengthen the guidance and service of its third-party payment platform and ensure the continuity of policies to ensure merchants' interests, a view supported by some Taobao shop owners. [...]. ^ top ^

China's provinces allowed to issue debts (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-21
China has given the green light to a trial program that will allow four selected local governments, including Shanghai, to issue bonds for the first time. The move is meant to narrow financing shortfalls and prevent debt defaults by overextended provinces. The other three governments, in addition to Shanghai, are the city of Shenzhen and the provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong. All will be allowed to issue debt on their own, the Finance Ministry said [...]. A report by Caixin Magazine said the ministry has approved the following amounts for the four governments to issue bonds: Shanghai, 7.1 billion yuan; Guangdong, 6.9 billion yuan; Zhejiang, 6.7 billion yuan; and Shenzhen, 2.2 billion yuan. Funds raised by local government bond sales will be kept in a special account of the ministry. The ministry said it will pay the principal and interest on the bonds to investors after the debt matures, and the local governments then repay the ministry. Half of the debt sold in the program will be three-year and five-year bonds, according to the statement. The pilot program could bring hope for additional funding for local governments, allowing them to roll over debt and meet their obligations. [...]. ^ top ^

MOC: China's Q4 trade growth will decelerate (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-21
China's Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang stated at yesterday's monthly press conference that the import and export situation in the fourth quarter and next year's first quarter will be tough and the last quarter's growth rate of imports and exports will be lower than the previous quarters. [...] Shen said that the first three quarters saw a steady increase in imports and exports, a continually optimized trade structure and the trade surplus dropping to a greater extent. According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs (GAC), China's total import and export volume was 3 trillion U.S. dollars for the last nine months, increasing 24.6 percent from last year. This year's first three quarters saw the growth rate of China's imports and exports fluctuate. The monthly growth rate fell from March's 31.5 percent to 18.5 percent in June. It rebounded to 27.1 percent in August prior to dropping back to 18.9 in September. Shen said that the Ministry of Commerce will make efforts in its next step to maintain the stability of the export related policies, such as policies on export rebate, foreign trade credit, export credit insurance and the exchange rate of the RMB, etc. ^ top ^

Small firms find mainland market tough (SCMP)
2011-10-21
The mainland continues to be a difficult place for small, private enterprises to do business, according to the World Bank. In its annual Doing Business survey, the mainland was placed 91st on a list of 183 economies for overall ease of doing business, down from 87th last year. The World Bank studies the commercial environment for domestically owned manufacturers with 10 to 50 workers, judging how governments provide frameworks for firms to start up, get credit, safeguard investments and enforce contracts, among other essentials. [...] He said that because the survey compared countries with each other, the mainland's fall further down the table might not mean its business environment got worse this year. Instead, it was likely other countries improved their business environments while China did not. With regards to individual elements of the overall ranking, the mainland came 151st for ease of starting companies. In terms of investor protection and gaining access to credit, it placed 97th and 67th, respectively. Its investor protection ranking was lower than India's and Egypt's. Hong Kong took second place for overall ease of doing business, while Singapore came top, with both cities ranking the same as last year. [...] Anecdotal evidence abounds that this year has been tough for privately owned mainland Chinese manufacturers [...]. The mainland scored modestly well in two of the 10 individual elements of the World Bank survey. For example, it ranked 40th for the ease of registering property and 16th for enforcing contracts. [...] . ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

US, North Korea in Bangkok for talks on war remains (SCMP)
2011-10-19
US and North Korean officials hold talks in Thailand on Tuesday on resuming recovery of the remains of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, the Pentagon said in a statement. The talks in Bangkok come amid a renewed push to revive negotiations with regional powers on disabling secretive North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The US delegation will be headed by Assistant Secretary of Defence Robert Newberry and include officials from the State Department and Pentagon agencies responsible missing personnel, the Pentagon said on Monday. “Accounting for Americans missing in action is a stand-alone humanitarian matter, not tied to any other issue between the two countries,” said the statement. [...] But there is growing speculation US President Barack Obama, approaching the final year of his current four-year term, may initiate talks with North Korea on curbing its nuclear ambitions. [...] More than 7,900 US soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, with some 5,500 estimated to be buried in the reclusive North. Joint recovery efforts were halted in May 2005 over concerns about the uncertain environment created by North Korea's nuclear programs. The North has long sought to sign a peace treaty with Washington to formally end decades of enmity since the war, which ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty. ^ top ^

N.Korea, US said to hold nuclear talks next week (Global Times)
2011-10-19
North Korea and the US will hold a second meeting next week in Geneva to discuss ways to restart stalled Six-Party Talks on the North's nuclear disarmament, a report said Monday. "I have learned that a high-level dialogue between North Korea and the US will be held in Geneva," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency quoted a diplomatic source as saying, adding the meeting may be on October 26. The South Korean foreign ministry said it had no information on the reported talks. [...] South and North Korean nuclear negotiators met separately, in Bali in July and in Beijing last month, but no clear progress was reported from the Beijing meeting. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia and EU discuss cooperation and partnership (News.mn)
2011-10-17
The 14th meeting of a joint Mongolia-European Union committee was held in Brussels on October 13. The Mongolian delegation was headed by Deputy Prime Minister M.Enkhbold. The EU delegation was headed by D.Osallivan, the director general of the Foreign Relations Office of the EU. The Mongolian side confirmed the importance of widening relations and cooperation between Mongolia and the EU, and discussed the results of the previous meeting of the joint committee. The two sides agreed to sign a cooperation and partnership agreement at the end of 2011. The agreement is the basis for developing cooperation in trade, investment, and security issues. The European delegates agreed to widen bilateral relations, and to help support Mongolia's agriculture and mining sectors. The two sides agreed to support the activity of technical education and training centers. The EU has granted EUR 7 million toward the project. Mongolian delegates also reported progress in Mongolian's adoption of European standards, including the Standardization and Measurement Office of Mongolia's membership on the European Standardization Committee. At the end of the meeting, M.Enkhbold and V.I.Budura, the director of the Asia and Pacific Board of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministry, signed a joint note. ^ top ^

Mongolia and Italy sign cooperation documents (Montsame)
2011-10-19
Mongolia and Italy have signed cooperation documents during the official visit of the President Ts.Elbegdorj. A memorandum on cooperation in the agricultural sector was signed on Tuesday by T.Badamjunai, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, and by Paolo Romani, Italy's Minister of Economic Development. A memorandum on investment and financing was inked by M.Bayarmagnai, the director of Mongolia's Foundation for Development of Small- and Medium-Sized Productions, and by M.D'Auto, the executive director of the Simest organization. A president of Mongolia's Association of Meat L.Ganpurev and a president of the “Assefoodtech” company E.M. Arosio signed a memorandum on supplying food equipment. The Mongolian University of Sciences and Technology (MUST) and the University of Turin established a cooperation memorandum. During the ceremony, which ran in the Ministry of Economic Development, the Minister Romani said the two countries can cooperate in the fields of mining, infrastructure and agriculture. ^ top ^

Committee approves prisoner swap with China (News.mn)
2011-10-19
The Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy on Tuesday approved a proposed prisoner exchange with China. Nine Chinese citizens are being detained in Mongolia. About 30 Mongolian citizens are imprisoned in China, mostly for drug offenses. Under the agreement, prisoners with less than a year remaining on their sentences can be sent to their home countries. ^ top ^

State head meets Croatian president (Montsame)
2011-10-20
The President Ts.Elbegdorj arrived on Wednesday in Zagreb to pay a state visit to the Republic of Croatia at invitation of the President Ivo Josipovich. The two Presidents held an individual meeting after a welcoming ceremony. My visit to your country is coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Croatia's independence and the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between our countries. I am glad to exchange views with my Croatian counterpart on the mutual cooperation,” the President said. He added that Mongolia wants to expand the friendly relations with Croatia in all spheres. The leader of Mongolia congratulated Croatia on development achievements gained in a short time, earning a good reputation at international arena, and approaching to a membership of the European Union (EU). In response, Mr. Josipovich thanked Ts.Elbegdorj for paying the visit to Croatia, and emphasized that it will a historical event opening a new chapter in the bilateral relations. Mongolia has gained success in a short period. I admire a good example of the 'young' Mongolian democracy in the region,” Mr. Josipovich said. The dignitaries discussed issues of combating corruption and fair court organizations, underlining that they are a basis of sustainable development. ^ top ^

President arrives in Milan (News.mn)
2011-10-20
Continuing his official visit to Italy, President Ts.Elbegdorj arrived in Milan to take part in a Mongolian-Italian business forum, to meet with city and regional officials, and to pay a visit to the historic football club Inter-Milan. The president met with Lombardy Region President R.Formigoni to discuss ways of increasing cooperation, especially as it relates to the development of small- and medium-sized businesses, the processing of raw materials, high technology, and the training of specialists. The two men also discussed the importance of fostering cooperation between businesses. Elbegdorj also called on Milan Mayor J.Pisapia. Mayor Pisapia noted that relations and cooperation between Milan and Ulaanbaatar have intensified in recent years. Elbegdorj thanked the Mayor for organizing the Mongolian-Italian business forum in Milan, and said Mongolian organizations are planning to take part in the Expo International fair in Milan in 2015. He added that Ulaanbaatar and Milan have opportunities to cooperate in the culture, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors. The two sides have agreed to organize a week of Italian festivities in Ulaanbaatar next March and a week of Mongolian festivities in Milan next September. ^ 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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