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
  31.10-4.11.11, No. 395  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China urges to maintain sound development of Sino-U.S. ties (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-31
China has called for maintaining sound development of Sino-U.S. ties and promoting the development of a cooperative partnership, according to a press release issued Saturday by China's Foreign Ministry. According to the release, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, as well as vice foreign ministers Zhang Zhijun and Cui Tiankai, met with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on Friday, to exchange views on bilateral relationship, upcoming multilateral and regional summits, and major global and regional issues, including situations concerning the Korean Peninsula and Iran. During the meetings, the Chinese side told Burns that both sides should seriously implement the consensus reached between the two state leaders, maintain close contacts, and expand cooperation, while respecting each other's core interests and properly handling sensitive issues, so as to remove disturbances and ensure the relationship to develop in a healthy and stable way. "Stable and sound bilateral ties are in the interests of the two countries and the world," said the Chinese side. The U.S. side reiterated its commitment in building the U.S.-China cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit [...]. The U.S. side also said it was ready to enhance contacts and coordination with China, in efforts to deal with regional and global challenges. ^ top ^

Euro bailout chief says talks with Chinese officials "productive" (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-31
Talks with Chinese officials on China's contribution to the new European investment instruments were "productive" and "friendly," the head of the eurozone's bailout fund said here Saturday. Klaus Regling, chief executive officer of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) said in a lecture at Tsinghua University that the purpose of his visit to China was to "listen to potential investors" and "get their views" so as to make the EFSF bonds "interesting" to buyers. But Regling refused to give further details, saying the meetings were "confidential." Regling came to Beijing after a deal was sealed by European leaders Thursday. As part of the deal, it was decided that the EFSF's firepower will be bolstered either through offering credit enhancement to sovereign bonds or via a Special-Purpose Investment Vehicle (SPIV), believed to attract investors outside the EU. The SPIV is still in a design phase, and how the EFSF will make use of the two systems is still undecided, Regling said. He said his conversations with Chinese officials were partly aimed at getting their preference, in order to find the "right structure" that would appeal to potential investors, adding the leverage mechanism would be "simple" and "transparent", just like home mortgage loans. [...] Regling said China has been a regular buyer of bonds issued by the EFSF, although he didn't identify how much the world's second largest economy has invested. While China has the world's largest foreign currency reserve (worth more than 3.2 trillion U.S. dollars), Regling said he is also in touch with other sovereign funders around the globe. [...]. ^ top ^

Bonding through classical cultures (China Daily)
2011-10-31
The mission to export Chinese culture throughout Europe has received a major boost thanks to a deal struck with an Austrian art enterprise. China Arts and Entertainment Group will sign a memorandum agreement with a Vienna-based performance company during President Hu Jintao's four-day visit to the country, which started on Sunday. The move is aimed at setting up a new cooperative model to introduce Chinese culture to more Europeans, Xinhua News Agency reported. "It's the first tie-up between Chinese and European entertainment enterprises," said Shi Mingde, Chinese ambassador to Austria. The Chinese and Austrian companies will each hold a 50-percent stake in the venture and will look to introduce their entertainment products to Asian and European markets. Culture is an important area of cooperation for China and Austria. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Austria has launched a series of activities this year under the title Year of China. [...]. ^ top ^

Cuba, China pledge to enhance bilateral ties, military cooperation (People's Daily Online)
2011-10-31
China and Cuban leaders pledged here Thursday to work together to further push forward their bilateral ties and promote friendly cooperation between the two militaries. The promise came during a meeting between Cuban President Raul Castro and Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission. The two exchanged views on international issues of common concern and both expressed satisfaction with the excellent state of the relations between the two peoples, parties and governments [...]. While congratulating China on the remarkable achievements it had made in social and economic development, Castro expressed the hope that both sides would join hands and strengthen exchanges and cooperation to lift bilateral relations to a new high. [...] Guo said China always sees Cuba as a trustworthy friend and a brother in need, adding that China is willing to work together with Cuba to constantly push forward the bilateral friendly and cooperative relationship. [...]. ^ top ^

Keep out of South China Sea, foreign oil firms told (SCMP)
2011-11-01
China warned foreign energy companies yesterday against exploration in the disputed South China Sea after US oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp said it had discovered hydrocarbons in August off central Vietnam, in an area claimed by Beijing. [...] Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated at a regular briefing that "China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and adjacent waters," referring to the South China Sea. "We hope foreign companies do not get involved in disputed waters for oil and gas exploration and development. This position has been consistent," Hong said, when asked whether China planned to ask Exxon Mobil to withdraw from its oil and gas deal with Vietnam. Exxon Mobil has a licence from the Vietnamese government to explore three blocks off the coast, falling within what Vietnam claims is its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone under international maritime law, the Financial Times reported last week. But the blocks fall within China's claim to most of the South China Sea. Beijing's Global Times cautioned last week that nations involved in territorial disputes in the waters should "mentally prepare for the sound of cannons" if they remain at loggerheads with China. ^ top ^

Deal reached on Mekong security (SCMP)
2011-11-01
Officials from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand reached an agreement in Beijing yesterday on joint law enforcement and patrols on the Mekong River, where 13 Chinese sailors were killed last month. It is the first security co-operation deal by the four countries on controlling crime on the river, which is plagued by rampant smuggling of drugs, people and other contraband. Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu said after meeting officials from the three Southeast Asia countries yesterday that China's southern neighbours had agreed to share information and step up investigations into the October 5 killing of the Chinese sailors. Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kowit Wattana, Laotian Deputy Prime Minister Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit, and Myanmese Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Ko Ko attended the meeting. A joint statement issued afterwards said the four countries would work towards resuming navigation along the river by next month and take action against cross-border drug trafficking. It added that security co-operation meetings would be convened when necessary. China's Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie said the People's Liberation Army would be prepared to step in to ensure safety along the Mekong. "The Ministry of Public Security will be responsible for the operations," Liang said. "But we will give our support whenever necessary." China suspended passenger and cargo traffic in the headwaters of the river after the sailors were killed. [...] Thai police arrested nine Thai soldiers in connection with the incident. The suspects reportedly turned themselves in on Friday after Thai police issued arrest warrants. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier urges trade, investment facilitation (Xinhua)
2011-11-02
Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for the increased facilitation of trading and investing to aid the recovery of the global economy. "Trade liberalization and investment facilitation are a good solution for tackling crises and promoting common development amid the complicated global economic and financial situation," Li told Gerard Mestrallet, chief executive officer of the French energy giant GDF Suez, during a Monday meeting in Beijing. [...] "China will, as before, encourage foreign business people to invest in China, especially in the fields concerning natural resources and energy efficiency," Li was quoted as saying. He called on other countries, especially developed ones, to establish an open, fair and easy environment for Chinese investment. Mestrallet is visiting China for the signing of an agreement with China's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp., worth 2.3 billion euros (3.2 billion U.S. dollars), as well as another deal with China's largest offshore oil producer, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). ^ top ^

BASIC ministers urge developed nations to honor climate change commitments (Xinhua)
2011-11-02
The ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC) in a Tuesday joint statement urged developed nations to fulfill their commitments and provide funds and technology to help developing nations tackle climate change. Developed nations should honor their commitments, made at the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009, to provide 100 billion U.S. dollars annually by 2020 and ensure that there will be no funding gaps from 2013 to 2020, according to the statement. Developed nations should also fulfill their pledge to offer 30 billion U.S. dollars in "fast-start funding" to developing nations in order to help them address climate change [...]. The ministers agreed that the coming Durban climate change conference should achieve a "comprehensive, fair and balanced outcome" under the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. They called on the conference to clearly establish the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, during which developed country parties to the Kyoto Protocol should undertake quantified emission reduction commitments. The Kyoto Protocol is the cornerstone of climate change and its second commitment period is an essential priority for the success of the Durban conference [...]. The joint statement was issued following a two-day meeting of ministers from the four nations, also known as the ninth BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change, a mechanism through which the four countries and other developing countries coordinate their efforts in climate change. Representatives of Group 77 countries, island countries and the Arab League also attended the meeting. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese president leaves Salzburg for G20 summit in Cannes (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-03
Chinese President Hu Jintao concluded his state visit to Austria and left Salzburg for Cannes, France, Wednesday for a Group of 20 (G20) summit. [...] He became the first Chinese head of state to visit Austria in 12 years. On Monday, Hu held talks with his Austrian counterpart, Heinz Fischer, and met Chancellor Werner Faymann and National Council President Barbara Prammer. [...] The Chinese leader proposed that the two sides enhance their political relationship based on equality and mutual trust, continue with their frequent high-level contacts and steer bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective. The two countries should also expand their mutually beneficial economic and trade relations, he said, while calling for concerted efforts to fight trade protectionism and encourage mutual investment [...]. Hu urged Vienna to play a more active role in pushing for the EU's recognition of China's full market economy status and for a lift of the bloc's restrictions on high-tech exports to China. In the culture sphere, the two sides should promote people-to-people exchanges and boost cultural and educational cooperation [...]. In addition, the two countries should also deepen cooperation in multilateral mechanisms to jointly push for a more just and fairer international political and economic order [...]. Fischer, for his part, said that he fully agreed with Hu's proposal, adding that his country is willing to enhance cooperation with China in culture, science and technology and tourism and expand coordination in the United Nations and other international frameworks. Austria will play an active role in seeking the EU's recognition of China's full market economy status [...]. After their talks, Hu and Fischer witnessed the signing of a host of cooperation documents by representatives of the two sides, covering economics and trade, environmental protection, water conservancy, education and culture. [...] This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Austria. [...] China became Austria's biggest trading partner outside Europe in 2010, when their two-way trade rose to 6 billion U.S. dollars, marking a 26 percent increase over the previous year. [...]. ^ top ^

Hu willing to work with Europe (SCMP)
2011-11-03
President Hu Jintao says China is committed to expanding co-operation with Europe in all areas ahead of the G20 summit opening in Cannes today, at which European leaders are expected to call on Beijing to help them deal with the lingering euro-zone debt crisis. In an interview published by the French newspaper Le Figaro yesterday, Hu expressed confidence that Europe would be able to tackle the crisis and said China "sincerely hopes the euro zone economy and the euro will maintain stability". [...] But Beijing, despite pledging to give assistance, has made no firm commitment about what help it could provide, saying the technicalities of the bailout plan needed to be clarified. A commentary by Xinhua on Tuesday said China deserved reciprocal treatment from Europe, such as recognition of its status as a market economy, while calling on European countries to make sacrifices of their own to ensure recovery. [...] Hu also said China would work with France to promote a pragmatic G20 summit to put the world economy on a strong growth track. [...] Sarkozy has been under fire from French opposition leaders for asking China to help Europe after the debt crisis deal was reached last week. [...] Hu added that the G20 summit should shore up market confidence, boost reform of the international monetary system and recognise the causes of economic imbalances. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he hoped Europe's action would help maintain market stability, and called on the bloc to stick to the bailout plan after Greece called a referendum on the deal. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese, Brazilian presidents meet on cooperation (Xinhua)
2011-11-03
Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff met here Wednesday to discuss the expansion of bilateral cooperation. [...] Hu said the two nations should further develop pragmatic cooperation and fully use their mutually complementary advantages in capital, technology and energy resources to earnestly push forward cooperation in all fields and achieve a win-win result. Hu said the two countries should also strengthen policy coordination and strategic cooperation within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, BRICS [...] and the G20 in order to jointly safeguard the interests and rights of the developing countries. [...] Rousseff, for her part, said [...] Brazil and China share a huge potential of cooperation under the complicated international situation, saying her country is ready to work together with China to increase mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of innovation, aviation, investment, environment, culture and education so as to continuously advance the bilateral strategic partnership. The two presidents also exchanged views on the current global economic and financial situation, saying the BRICS countries and other emerging market economies should strengthen their coordination and cooperation [...]. Brazil is China's major trading partner in Latin America. Last year, two-way trade between the two countries reached 62.5 billion U.S. dollars. In the first nine months of 2011, the trade volume increased 37 percent against the same period of last year to 62.4 billion dollars. ^ top ^

China draws arc of goodwill (SCMP)
2011-11-03
Dozens of doctors and nurses fanned out from a Chinese navy hospital ship to treat poor Jamaicans this week as part of a global humanitarian mission that casts China's rapidly growing military as a responsible power. The People's Liberation Army's 178-metre Peace Ark carries more than 100 medical volunteers who provide free surgery, CAT scans, eye care and other procedures. [...] It is on a roughly 100-day journey around the Caribbean, where the United States is the largest investment source and military partner. The aim of the operation, dubbed Harmonious Mission, is to soften the image of China's 2.3-million-member military and boost its ties with other nations' armed forces. [...] The Peace Ark has already visited Cuba and after Jamaica is scheduled to go to Trinidad and Tobago. Chinese navy Lieutenant Commander Chen Yong Peng, leader of a team working at a clinic in the Jamaican capital of Kingston on Tuesday, said the mission allowed military personnel to build relationships with regional authorities and had nothing to do with countering US influence. [...] Doctor diplomacy has long been practised in Latin America, most notably by Cuba, which each year sends thousands of doctors to provide free care in poor countries. [...] Earlier this year, a 272-metre US Navy hospital ship brought medical care to Jamaica as part of a five-month goodwill mission to nine Caribbean and Latin American nations. [...] The US has been generally supportive of the Chinese military's humanitarian drive, saying it boosts transparency and chances for peaceful interaction. [...]. ^ top ^

Tattoos, weight given more leeway by army (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-03
China's military is accepting recruits who are heavier and have more visible tattoos, conceding to rising prosperity and individuality among the nation's young. In keeping with a drive for better-educated recruits, the People's Liberation Army also opens up to university students willing to take time off to serve, offering them an additional 6,000 yuan (US$944) annually to subsidize their education costs and guaranteeing that their university places will be there for them when they return to campus. The changes announced by the Defense Ministry yesterday took effect during the army's current winter recruitment drive. The People's Liberation Army is the world's largest, with 2.3 million people in uniform. [...] The changes reflect how China's educated youths are becoming increasingly selective about jobs at a time the military is rapidly modernizing. As in the West, increased food consumption and more sedentary lifestyles are producing recruits who are less fit and more choosy about the physical activities they engage in. [...] While China's growing economy offers numerous alternatives, military pay and benefits have been improving in line with double-digit annual percentage increases in the defense budget. The armed forces also retain a privileged position in society, and a military background can lead to careers in security, local government, and other areas, so serving remains a relatively attractive choice. [...] The army has been essentially all-voluntary for many years as so many young men sought to join. Rejection rates among those taking the basic physical exams have run at about 70 percent in past years. [...]. ^ top ^

Hu calls for joint efforts to promote growth, financial stability (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-04
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday urged the world's major economies to work together to promote growth and financial stability. "It is imperative that we stand on a higher plane, transcend differences on specific issues, move beyond short-term considerations, and jointly seek ways to overcome the crisis and sustain development," Hu told the Group of 20 (G20) summit [...]. "At this critical moment, the G20 must work to address the key problems, boost market confidence, defuse risks and meet challenges and promote global economic growth and financial stability," said Hu. [...] Hu put forward a five-point proposal on what G20 nations need to do to tide over the crisis. First, the countries should ensure growth while paying attention to balance. Given the serious risks facing the global economy and continued market volatility, ensuring growth and promoting stability should be the top priority, he said. [...] Second, the G20 nations should strengthen unity and send a strong signal to the world as there is widespread panic and acute lack of confidence in the markets, said Hu. He urged G20 members to strengthen consultation and coordination, tackle sovereign debt risks, regulate cross-border capital flow, put the fluctuation of commodity prices under control, mitigate global inflationary pressure and make sure that the economic policies pursued by various countries do not offset each other. Third, global economic governance should be improved through reform, Hu said. The international financial crisis has highlighted the deficiencies in the global economic governance system, said Hu. "Major efforts should be made to reform and improve the international monetary system, international trading system and commodity pricing mechanism," said the Chinese president. He asked for continued reform of the International Monetary Fund, calling for the expansion of the use of the special drawing rights, reform of the IMF currency basket and the buildup of a new international reserve currency system. He warned against trade protectionism and urged efforts to curb speculation so as to stabilize commodity prices and supply and demand. Fourth, the countries should strive for progress through innovation, said Hu. "Innovation is an inexhaustible source of human progress. To overcome the crisis, we need to make pioneering efforts," said Hu. [...] Fifth, the G20 countries should help developing economies to grow, said Hu. In the final analysis, the most serious bottleneck in world economic development is the inability of developing countries to achieve full development, said Hu [...] "We should continue to increase the voice of emerging markets and developing countries in global economic governance and create an enabling institutional environment for their development." Hu pledged that his country will provide more help to other developing countries. Between 2010 and 2012, China will provide Africa with 10 billion U.S. dollars in lending of a preferential nature, the bulk of which will go to infrastructure development, he said. Between 2011 and 2015, China will build 200 infrastructure projects in clean energy and environmental protection in other developing countries, he announced. China will give zero-tariff treatment to 97 percent of the tariff items of exports to China from the least developed countries that have diplomatic relations with China, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese president, other BRICS leaders meet ahead of G-20 summit (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-04
Chinese President Hu Jintao and leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa met Thursday in Cannes, France, ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) summit. Hu said that the world's current economic situation is severe and complicated while the prominent sovereign debt issues in some developed countries have created turbulence in the financial markets. Many developing countries also face inflationary pressure and world economic growth has slowed to some extent, Hu said during the meeting. Under the current circumstances, Hu said, the G-20 countries should work together better to ride out the hard times and boost robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. Both developed and developing countries should keep a balanced and relatively rapid economic growth, Hu said. Only in this way, he said, could the world economy achieve recovering growth. The Chinese president stressed that Europe is the largest economy in the world and the global economy can realize recovery only if Europe understands that. China hopes Europe can achieve economic recovery and development as soon as possible, he said. Hu also said that the solution of Europe's debt issues mainly relies on Europe itself. He said that China believes that Europe absolutely has the wisdom and ability to solve the issues while the international community should tender support and assistance. The Chinese president suggested that the BRICS countries create a consultative mechanism to closely watch the development of the situation,exchange ideas on relevant issues and strengthen coordination. At the meeting, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or BRICS, also discussed stronger cooperation among BRICS countries and exchanged views on the world economic situation and the debt issues in Europe. The leaders agreed to maintain close communications and coordination and work together to make the G-20 summit generate positive results. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian presidents meet in Cannes (Xinhua)
2011-11-04
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Thursday to discuss additional development of the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership and exchange views on major issues of common concern. [...] Hu stressed that the next 10 years will be a period of important strategic opportunities for vigorous national development in both China and Russia, and also for the development of China-Russia relations. [...] Medvedev said that Russia is willing to work together with China in strengthening mutual political trust and practical cooperation in all fields, especially in the field of economy and finance. [...] No matter what changes the situation may undergo, Russia's policy of developing strategic cooperative partnership with China will remain unshakable, Medvedev said. [...] China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Russia in their joint efforts for maintaining stability, developing the economy and improving people's living standards in Central Asian countries so as to promote lasting peace and common prosperity in the region, Hu said. The Chinese president said that the SCO is an important platform for maintaining regional security and stability and promoting the common development of member states. China and Russia are the main powers to promote the development of the organization. [...] Medvedev said that Russia is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in maintaining regional development and stability. Russia believes that during China's chairmanship of the SCO, cooperation under the framework of the SCO will witness new progress. ^ top ^

Chinese and French leaders meet ahead of G20 summit (Global Times)
2011-11-04
Chinese President Hu Jintao met here Wednesday his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern [...]. Hu expressed the hope that all relevant parties should jointly endeavor to make the Cannes summit a conference of solidarity and win-win cooperation. Sarkozy expressed his appreciation of the effort China has made to prepare for the G20 summit. He said the French side was ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Chinese side and work with all other parties to push for positive results at the summit. Hu said Europe is the largest economy in the world, and there will be no global economic recovery without a recovery of the European economy. He pointed out that the package deal that the European Union (EU) struck lately demonstrates its will and determination to resolve Europe's debt problem. He hoped that the implementation of the package deal would help overcome the difficulties facing Europe and be conducive to the recovery and growth of the European economy. "It is mainly up to Europe to resolve the European debt problem," Hu said. "We believe that Europe has all the wisdom and capability to resolve the debt problem," he added. Sarkozy said Europe is committed to resolving the debt crisis by making its own effort and strengthening cooperation with the international community. [...]. ^ top ^

Military drill with foreign observers ends in Jinan (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-04
A military drill dubbed "Vanguard 2011: Queshan," conducted by an armored brigade and other troops from the Jinan Military Area Command, finished at the Queshan Combined Tactics Training Base on the morning of Nov. 1. The drill was observed by more than 260 foreign military officers studying at PLA National Defense University, PLA Air Force Command College, Nanjing Army Command College and other Chinese military schools as well as observers and commanders of airborne brigades and armored brigades from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and other countries. The drill is aimed at examining and enhancing the coordination between armored and airborne troops and mainly includes two tactical operations: the joint occupation of an airport and an assault on strategic positions in the mountains. This drill showed China's operational concepts of different roles of military information and firepower. It was yet another experiment in conducting joint training among different branches of armed forces and types of troops. The four-day military exercise has involved 12 branches of ground and air forces and showcased more than 50 types of equipment relating to air force, electronic warfare, special operations, air defense and tactical missiles, with several thousand visitors. [...]. ^ top ^

China a step closer to building its own space station (SCMP)
2011-11-04
Encouraged by yesterday morning's historic rendezvous and docking of the Shenzhou VIII spacecraft, Chinese authorities said construction of a space station will begin as soon as 2013. “We will do two more rendezvous and docking flights next year," said Wu Ping, spokeswoman for the manned space programme, at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. "After that, we will begin the construction of a space laboratory and space station." The space laboratory is expected to be up and running by 2016. If its architecture and equipment proves effective and reliable, the facility will grow into a full-scale space station by 2020, she said. The construction will require more than 20 space flights using China's new heavy-lift launch vehicles, including LM-5 series rockets. Based on an average cost of five billion yuan (HK$6.10 billion) per flight, the ambitious project will require an investment of more than 100 billion yuan, according to space authorities. It is the most detailed and assured official timeline of China's manned space programme, signifying growing confidence among authorities after the Shenzhou VIII docked with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory module shortly after 1am yesterday. [...] Millions of mainlanders stayed up past midnight to watch the docking. Many with cable TV watched the event in high definition - a first for a Chinese space project. Guided by laser and microwave radars, the two spacecraft connected precisely and locked firmly without any technical glitches. Some scientists said the connection was indicative of China's significant advancements in electronics and manufacturing. Cheng Ming, space programme director for the China Electronics Technology Group Corp, told Xinhua yesterday that all of the spacecraft's most sensitive equipment that was crucial to the mission is high on some developed countries' lists of hi-tech products that are embargoed from China. This presented a challenge to Chinese researchers, and pushed them to be innovative, Cheng said. [...] The laser technology as well as other breakthroughs achieved during the mission - such as highly efficient solar panels - would filter through to mainstream industry, increasing the country's competitiveness, Cheng said. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Blast in unlicensed coal mine kills 29 workers (SCMP)
2011-10-31
A gas explosion at a coal mine operating without a proper licence killed 29 miners in Hunan province, state media said yesterday, the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit the industry. Some 35 miners were working in the state-owned Xialiuchong coal mine in Hengyang city at the time of the blast, which happened early on Saturday evening, Xinhua said. [...] The mine, which was owned by the city government, was legally registered, but the provincial government suspended its production licence earlier this year because of its lack of adequate safety measures, state television said. [...] An official of Hunan's mine safety bureau, declined to comment. "I can't tell you anything, because work is still going on," the official said. [...] The head of the central government's work safety agency, Luo Lin, and Hunan governor Xu Shousheng travelled to the scene to direct the efforts. The country's mining industry has a notoriously poor safety record with its mines considered among the most deadly in the world. [...] In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mine accidents in China, according to official statistics - a rate of more than six workers per day. Labour rights groups say the actual death toll is likely to be much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment. ^ top ^

China revises military service, ID laws (China Daily)
2011-10-31
The National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, or China's top legislature, ended its bimonthly session on Saturday, adopting amendments to Military Service Law and Resident Identity Card Law. President Hu Jintao signed presidential decrees to promulgate the two amendments. The legislature also adopted a decision on strengthening anti-terrorism efforts. The legislature approved a decision to appoint Huang Ermei, member of the judging committee of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), as vice president of the SPC. Top legislator Wu Bangguo presided over the closing meeting [...]. Wu said at the closing meeting after the amendments were adopted that the revised Military Service Law is aimed at recruiting more well-educated young people to join the army. The amendment has also stipulated in regard to improved welfare for servicepersons and better treatment, employment in particular, for demobilized soldiers. This would have significant implications to the enlistment work and to protecting lawful rights and interests of servicepersons and their families, said Wu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. The amendment to the Resident Identity Card Law aims to prevent counterfeiting and better protect residents' personal information, said Wu. The amendment has made clear of the expiration date of China's first version of identity cards which were introduced in 1985, and provides that citizens will have their fingerprints recorded when they apply for or change ID cards. Wu said the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Regarding Strengthening Anti-terror Efforts will be conducive to safeguarding the nation and its people. The bill legally defined terrorist acts, organizations and terrorists, made clear of the leadership of anti-terror operations and perfected the mechanism to freeze terror-related funds and assets. [...] Wu also asked lawmakers to fully comprehend the importance of a decision on deepening the reform of the country's cultural system, which was adopted by the Communist Party of China Central Committee at its latest plenum. He urged lawmakers to firmly adhere to the socialist core value system and work to provide stronger legal support for China's cultural reform and development. [...]. ^ top ^

12,000 arrested for selling drugs online (SCMP)
2011-10-31
Mainland police arrested 12,125 suspects and confiscated more than 300kg of illicit drugs in a nationwide crackdown on narcotics sold through online chat rooms. It is the first time authorities have smashed a nationwide drug distribution system which used the online media as its main transaction platform, Xinhua reported [...]. In the campaign, which started in March, police busted 144 drug rings involved in narcotics trafficking and 22 drug-making plants. [...] Police were tipped off to the scale of the problem after uncovering online chat rooms in the western cities of Lanzhou and Xian that were being used to peddle drugs, it said. The online drug syndicate system was described as "super-large" by the Ministry of Public Security, adding it was "a new type of online criminal offence" and describing it as "very bad, very extensive and very dangerous". Via the webcam of the chat rooms, members were taking drugs together, sharing their drug-taking experiences and buying and selling drugs. [...] Police began detaining suspects in early September, Xinhua said. Most of the people under investigation were youths and teenagers, the youngest being 14, said a report by the Beijing-based Legal Daily. ^ top ^

Morality campaign aims to create 'dutiful children' (SCMP)
2011-11-01
The state-sanctioned China National Association for Ethical Studies has launched a five-year campaign to cultivate one million "dutiful children" in a new morality drive that has been met with scepticism. Wang Haibin, who heads a division of the association promoting morality education, said the campaign would target children from four to six. They would study filial piety - respect for parents and ancestors - and the teachings of ancient Chinese philosophers, including Confucius and Mencius. The campaign comes as the ruling Communist Party has been trying in recent years to delve into so-called traditional teachings, which it once despised, in an effort to maintain control of the country. Association secretary general Sun Chunchen said a sense of filial duty had much to do with the academic development of students. [...] Under the five-year plan, 30 to 60 pre-school pupils would be selected in each county, starting next year, to receive etiquette and morality lessons for 100 days. The pupils who pass would receive an additional three years of such studies before they would be deemed "dutiful Chinese children". However, organisers did not specify the criteria for a dutiful child. The project, which was launched on Sunday, triggered much discussion online, particularly on the Weibo microblogging site, where many criticised the initiative. [...]. ^ top ^

Super-rich want to leave mainland (SCMP)
2011-11-01
Nearly half of the mainland's super-rich are considering emigration, according to a survey of people with assets of more than 10 million yuan (HK$12.17 million) that has raised concern about the country's worsening social and business environment. The survey, released jointly by the Hurun Report, which also publishes an annual China rich list, and the Bank of China, also found that 14 per cent of the 980 millionaires surveyed had either already moved overseas or were applying to do so. [...] Forty-six per cent said they planned to emigrate, citing the better quality of education available for their children overseas, concerns about the security of their assets on the mainland amid political and economic uncertainty, and hopes for a better life in retirement as the main reasons. A third had engaged in "investment immigration", which allows a person to emigrate after they agree to first invest a certain amount of money in the host country. [...] After education, protecting assets and retirement, other reasons listed for wanting to emigrate included the lack of a sufficient legal framework on the mainland leading to too many grey areas, a worsening atmosphere for investment, and rising living costs and taxation. [...] The yawning wealth gap on the mainland has also fed a resentment that makes some of the wealthy uncomfortable. [...] Other observers say this indicates a worrying trend for the Chinese leadership and the country, whose uneven jump to capitalism over the past three decades has created hundreds of super-rich but left a string of problems behind including corruption, pollution, food safety fears and a creaking health system. [...]. ^ top ^

Fight will go on despite grant cut (China Daily)
2011-11-01
The country's top health official reiterated that an international charity's decision to not give millions of dollars to Chinese organizations that fight AIDS and other diseases will not bring about the end of those organizations. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Monday that it will withhold $95 million from the $270 million in grants it had planned to give China. That decision came as the result of months of discussion between the charity and Chinese officials. [...] Chen Zhu, the minister of health, said officials have found a way to limit the harm. "In the coming five years, the Chinese government will constantly increase its financial support of social organizations, particularly those that work to control and prevent HIV/AIDS," Chen said while addressing the 6th Experience Exchange Conference of International Cooperation Program on HIV/AIDS in China on Monday. In a recent survey of more than 200 organizations taking part in the fight against HIV/AIDS on the mainland, nearly 80 percent of the respondents said they had received grants from the Global Fund. About 83 percent of them said they will find it difficult to continue operating without financial support from abroad, it said. [...] Statistics from the ministry showed that, by the end of September, China had reported 429,000 cases of HIV infection on the mainland, including 164,000 cases in which patients had developed AIDS. ^ top ^

Ai Weiwei slapped with 15m yuan tax-evasion bill (SCMP)
2011-11-02
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei says Beijing's tax office has demanded he pay 15 million yuan [...] in back taxes and fines, in what he says is a reprisal for his criticism of the Communist Party. Ai, who was detained for nearly three months this year, said three officials from the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau had told his wife, Lu Qing, the legal representative of their design company, Beijing Fake Cultural Development, about the tax notifications last Friday. "If it's a tax problem, I'll pay. But if it's not, I won't pay," Ai told the Post yesterday [...] Ai's lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, said Ai would probably lose his freedom again if he failed to pay. [...] "The whole matter is ridiculous because so far there is no evidence to show that the [firm] is involved in tax evasion. And there is also a lack of an open and fair hearing on this case." Pu said the authorities confiscated original documents from Ai's company, including its account books and records of its operations. However, officials did not specify any particular deals or the dates when the company purportedly failed to file their tax reports, the lawyer said. [...] Beijing authorities held a closed tax-evasion hearing in July to examine Ai's case, but the 54-year-old artist was barred from attending. [...] "Accounts for tax purposes should be investigated by the tax bureau, not the police. But it's the police that took me away to an unknown place for 81 days to investigate taxes," Ai said yesterday. He said the authorities had threatened the company's accountant and manager, and prevented them from meeting him. "I just want to say, if a country is determined to do something in the world, it's a must to protect every citizen's human rights well [and] building up a fair legal system [is] the only option," Ai said. "However, I am feeling so [unsafe] in my country." [...] On his Twitter page, Ai wrote that officials warned him he could not avoid the "tax penalty". He said: "They [taxation officials] told me seriously: 'If the country says you have evaded taxes, then you must have evaded them'." [...]. ^ top ^

Communist leadership sets out plans for poll (SCMP)
2011-11-03
The Communist Party leadership has announced the start of the election of delegates who will attend next autumn's 18th National Party Congress, which will decide the party's new leadership line-up. A total of 2,270 delegates will be elected from 40 electoral units across the country. [...] The party wants to see more workers, farmers and technicians nominated and more women and more grass-roots representatives to attend the congress than were at the last such meeting in October 2007. Additionally, "social management" has been added as a new constituency from which delegates will be elected, alongside those from the existing fields of economics, technology, defence, political and legal, education, publicity, culture, health and sports. The election must be competitive, the party says, and the difference between the number of candidates and the number of available slots must be "more than 15 per cent", the statement said [...]. The statement also said that election organisers would have to seek advice from party disciplinary committees on all candidates, and advice from administrative and industry watchdogs in relation to candidates from financial organisations and enterprises. [...] The National Party Congress is intended to bring together the best of the Communist Party's 80 million members from across the country and all walks of life. [...] However, despite efforts to raise the number of grass-roots representatives, officials still made up the great majority of the National Party Congress. The authorities want 32 per cent of the attendees to be grass-roots representatives next year, up two percentage points from last time. [...] An intensive two-week period next autumn will see members of the new CPC Central Committee and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection elected. In turn, those two bodies will vote for the members of the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee - the party's innermost power group, which usually consists of nine members. ^ top ^

Curbing corruption through education (Global Times)
2011-11-03
China will launch a morality training campaign for the country's civil servants over the next five years, the State Administration of Civil Service (SACS) announced in a recent statement. All civil servants will be trained by the end of 2015, the last year of the country's 12th Five-Year Plan period. [...] The training will cover three sections of basic knowledge, special topics and typical case study in an effort to improve civil servants' loyalty to the country and the people as well as their sense of responsibility and honesty. Aside from responsibility, sense of obligation, values and the basic knowledge section the release also mentioned China's ancient officials' ethics without giving further details. [...] The campaign will focus on training high-ranking officials and the grass-root civil servants who work in direct contact with the public, the statement said. Ethical performance will always be taken as an important standard in civil servant selection, assessment and supervision, the statement said. [...] "The policy will improve the government and civil servants' credibility and consolidate the ruling base of the Party," Fu Siming, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Wednesday. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese govt approves anti-drought plan (China Daily)
2011-11-03
The State Council, or China's Cabinet, on Wednesday approved a national anti-drought plan that aims to improve the country's drought-fighting capabilities. [...] A statement released after the meeting said that droughts have been occurring more frequently in China due to the impact of climate change and rising water demands. It said that more than 60 percent of the nation's counties are vulnerable to droughts, while 110 out of 658 cities have suffered from water shortages. According to the plan, the government will seek to "significantly improve" access to drinking water in drought-hit counties by 2015; by 2020, safe supplies of drinking and irrigation water will be largely satisfied. The government will also construct more water reserve projects in rural areas, towns and cities, as well as establish a nationwide drought-monitoring network that will facilitate decision-making in case of future droughts. Officials attending the meeting also agreed that the country should learn from the experiences and advanced techniques of other countries in drought-fighting and disaster relief. The meeting also stressed the importance of water saving. The statement said that the country will promote more advanced irrigation technology and equipment to allow farmers to save more water. The government may resort to price controls in order to regulate projects that consume large amounts of water [...]. ^ top ^

Food nutrition labeling has national standard (China Daily)
2011-11-03
China's Ministry of Health Wednesday publicized the country's first national standard for food nutrition labeling, which is set to take effect January 1, 2013. Bearing a standard code of GB28050-2011, the new regulation provides that food package labels will have to spell out food's nutritional information, including levels of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate and sodium. If any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat is used for producing the food, the level of trans fat will have to be highlighted on the nutritional information label. The regulation stresses that nutritional information should be accurate and objective, warning against any cheating and exaggerating. Encouraging food firms to conform to the new rule as early as possible, the ministry said food products without proper nutritional information labels will be banned from sale after the new rule takes effect. [...]. ^ top ^

Newspaper warns of trust crisis in local governments (Global Times)
2011-11-04
People's Daily on Thursday warned of cases of "trust crises" between local officials and the public that could both undermine the CPC's ability to govern and disrupt social harmony. The public's lack of trust in local government departments and officials can be blamed for many incidents involving mass participation in recent years, such as this year's cases of unrest in Zengcheng and Zhili, and previous cases in Menglian and Weng'an, the newspaper said in a commentary. Community-level officials who work directly with the public are considered the face and voice of the Party and government. Their behaviors directly affect the image of the government [...]. The "trust crises" could undermine the authority of local governments, lead to the government's incompetence in handling similar "mass incidents" and a decline in its social management capability, and impact social harmony. The commentary said that as the establishment of the CPC's rule is based on the support of the people, individual cases of public distrust and the amplification of such cases could consume the political resources sustaining the Party's rule. [...] It is the most fundamental test for a grassroots government to win the solid trust and support of the public, maintain the closest ties with the masses and work for the welfare of the people, the commentary said. ^ top ^

Hundreds of foreign mail-order brides rescued (China Daily)
2011-11-04
Police in North China's Hebei province have rescued 206 foreign women who were illegally purchased by desperate bachelors over the last two years, local officials said Thursday. Police in the province also rescued 3,500 women and children abducted from areas around China as part of a campaign against human trafficking, said Yan Zeli, an official from the provincial public security bureau. Yan said some rural families in Hebei still retain an old custom of purchasing wives for men who cannot find suitable Chinese spouses. [...] Police have busted more than 429 trafficking rings and arrested 556 suspects since the campaign started in 2009, Yan said. [...] In the past, women were sometimes kidnapped from relatively poor areas in southwest China and sold to rural families in the wealthier central and eastern provinces. [...] "Some foreign women are tricked into moving to rural China for job opportunities or false marriages," Yan said, adding that the women come from a host of countries, including Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Mongolia. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Doctors urge caution as fog shrouds Beijing (Global Times)
2011-11-01
Heavy fog has shrouded the capital city, causing a surge in the numbers of patients with respiratory problems, while Beijing Meteorological Bureau (BMB) issued four yellow alerts for dense fog in the last two days. BMB forecasts the fog will continue on into the week, and doctors have advised caution when undertaking outdoor exercise. [...] The 999 Emergency Rescue Center also said Monday there had been a 30 percent spike in the number of patients treated for respiratory problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia. According to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau's guidelines, the Air Pollution Index (API) Monday was between 150 to 170, indicating "slight" pollution, and the API will be lower today, between 110 to 130. [...] However, a microblog post from Zheng Yuanjie, a famous writer, captioned his picture of the Beijing sky with "the air smells like sulfur perfume, as the capital city currently looks like a poisonous huge gas can," questioning the bureau's description of "slight" pollution in the capital. [...] BMB issued a yellow alert at 10 am Monday, following three previous alerts on Sunday, warning that the fog and haze could decrease visibility to within 1,000 meters in the city. In some areas, visibility was less than 200 meters. Up to Sunday night, 163 flights at Beijing Capital International Airport were canceled [...]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

City to lure more financial pros (China Daily)
2011-11-02
Shanghai plans to increase the number of financial professionals by about 40 percent in the next five years, the city's latest attempt to turn into an international financial hub. The city aims to recruit 90,000 more financial workers to take the number of the total financial work force to 320,000 in 2015, according to a five-year plan for human resources development in Shanghai's financial sector released on Monday. [...] Currently, the city boasts about 230,000 people working in the sector, which is less than 2 percent of the city's total work force. In New York, the figure is 10 percent. [...] There is a concerted effort to make Shanghai an international financial center, to rival the likes of New York, London, Hong Kong or Singapore. But many banks and securities companies in the city have been struggling with the lack of skilled financial professionals [...]. Plans are afoot to attract the world's financial powerhouses to set up their regional headquarters in the city and create more positions for talented people. [...] Walter B. Kielholz, chairman of Swiss Reinsurance Co, said in Shanghai last week that the high rate of personal income tax is acting as a deterrent to financial professionals who might have otherwise considered a career in the city. [...] Apart from tax, soft power is equally important to retain talented people, experts said. A better medical care system, social insurance, and children's education services have been pledged to seasoned financial professionals from overseas, as part of the new five-year plan. ^ top ^

Grandma who led protest jailed for 3-1/2 years (SCMP)
2011-11-04
A 65-year-old grandmother who organised a protest in Shanghai demanding better benefits for retirees has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail, a relative and court official said yesterday. Zhang Weimin was sentenced this week for disturbing the public order after she helped organise a peaceful demonstration of hundreds of retirees in the city last November [...]. A spokeswoman for the Shanghai Number Two Intermediate People's Court confirmed the sentence. Zhang is the leader of a group of Shanghai residents - now retired - who were sent to the far western region of Xinjiang in the 1960s to work as part of a policy of dispatching so-called "educated youth" to rural areas. Many returned to the eastern commercial city from Xinjiang in the late 1990s, but they complain their pension and health benefits are lower than other Shanghai retirees. Although Shanghai residents were sent to many parts of the mainland at the time, the Xinjiang returnees are the best organised and have held weekly protests for nearly a decade, with participants sometimes numbering in the hundreds. "They targeted her as she was the leader," said the relative. Police also detained scores of supporters who showed up at the courthouse to rally around Zhang at her sentencing on Tuesday. The charge stems from a protest held last year in People's Square, outside the city hall. But Zhang was not detained until this April, when she was arrested amid a crackdown on dissidents, activists and lawyers following revolts in the Arab world. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Petition onus placed on officials (Global Times)
2011-10-31
Local government of Guangdong Province will make more detailed rules to regulate the petition work, clarifying that government officials will be held responsible if their poor decisions lead to large-scale incidents, according to Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily. The Guangdong committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) told the media that the remark was made by the Guangdong Bureau of Letters and Calls (BLC), as its response to a proposal submitted by Zheng Youjian, a member of the local committee of CPPCC, according to the report. The proposal suggested coordination among different government departments is not sufficient when handling petitions, and the trend of passing blame has upset many petitioners. [...] Zheng also urged local government to further implement a rule that stipulated local governments' roles and responsibilities in handling petitions. Guangdong issued the Interim Measures on the Responsibilities of Petition Work last year, which stipulates that both local officials and government employees will be held accountable if their poor decisions and negligence caused "severe and massive incidents." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

A reluctant young spiritual leader in waiting (SCMP)
2011-10-31
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa who is widely tipped to succeed the Dalai Lama as the spiritual figurehead of Tibetan Buddhism, says he has no intention of going into politics - at least for as long as he can hold off. "I'm not sure I have this ability [to contribute to the resolution of the Tibetan problem]," he told the Post in an exclusive interview at the Gyuto Tantric Monastery in Dharamsala, India. [...] The young spiritual head of the Kagyu sect escaped into India in late 1999 when he was 14, telling the media at the time that he went mainly because he wanted to study Buddhism with teachers in exile. He did not want to be forced to take up political positions in the Chinese government when he reached 18. However, with his religious standing - Kagyu is one of the three main Tibetan Buddhist sects; both the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama belong to the Gelupa sect - and given his popularity and that he is recognised by both Beijing and the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa might find it difficult to stay away from politics. His rising prominence is apparent: he travelled with the Dalai Lama to the United States in July and led prayers with the Dalai Lama on October 19 for the nine young Tibetans who committed self-immolation on the mainland. [...] He is trying other ways to serve the Tibetan cause, for example, by raising awareness of environmental deterioration through his teachings and publications. [...]. ^ top ^

Nun is eleventh Tibetan to set herself alight (SCMP)
2011-11-04
A Tibetan nun burnt herself to death yesterday in the mainland's southwest, Xinhua said, the 11th ethnic Tibetan this year known to have set themselves on fire in a region that has become the centre of defiance against strict central government control. Qiu Xiang, 35, set herself on fire at a road crossing in Dawu county of Ganzi, called Kandze by Tibetans, in Sichuan province, the state news agency said, citing the local government. The nun was from Tongfoshan village, Xinhua said. The report said it was unclear why she killed herself and the local government launched an investigation. The International Campaign for Tibet confirmed the death of the nun, saying she called for religious freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, as she set herself on fire. London-based rights group Free Tibet also confirmed the latest incident. [...] All but two of the incidents occurred in Aba after mainland authorities in late August jailed three monks from 11 to 13 years for their alleged roles in the March death in Kirti. Lobsang Sangay, head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said on Wednesday in Washington that the self-immolations by protesters shouting Tibetan freedom slogans and their support for exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, showed the mainland's "hardline policies" were not working. He urged the US government to press China to allow an international delegation access to that region of Tibet to look into the causes behind the self-immolations, and to allow news media to visit too. Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of encouraging the self-immolations, which Sangay denied. He said the Tibetan administration in exile, based in northern India, had a sacred duty to show solidarity with the protesters, but he urged them not to resort to "desperate acts". He said it would be better for them to leave and join the Tibetan exile movement. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

HSBC revises down HK growth outlook (SCMP)
2011-11-02
HSBC is slashing Hong Kong's economic growth forecasts for both this year and the next as economists warn the euro-zone debt crisis will continue to hit local exports. The bank cut the city's gross domestic product growth forecast to 5.4 per cent year on year, from 6.5 per cent earlier. It reduced its growth forecast for next year to 4.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent. "Hong Kong exports slowed quite shockingly and that will hamper the important logistics sector," said Frederick Neumann, HSBC's co-head of Asian economic research. "The financial market will also continue to be very volatile and this will hold back economic growth in Hong Kong to some extent." On the brighter side, the bank predicted strong retail sales and tourist spending would keep the city from slipping into a recession. Neumann stressed that any downturn would not be a repeat of the credit crisis of 2008 and that China was supporting the region with its strong economic growth. [...] Inflation, however, will remain a concern in Hong Kong. "There is a risk that by the middle of next year when Hong Kong's economy revives inflation will come back into the picture," Neumann said. [...] Hong Kong's year-on-year increase in consumer prices will climb back to 6.1 per cent in the third quarter next year from between 4.2 per cent and 4.8 per cent in the nine months to June. Towards the end of next year, it could further advance to 6.4 per cent as an economic recovery puts pressure on property prices and wages. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

I can register for presidential poll, Soong declares (SCMP)
2011-11-02
The chairman of Taiwan's opposition People First Party announced yesterday that he had gathered nearly 100,000 more signatures than the 257,695 he needs to qualify to run for the island's top post in January's presidential election. The move dashed the hopes of the ruling Kuomintang that James Soong Chu-yu would be forced to bow out if he failed to obtain endorsements from 1.5 per cent of eligible voters. Analysts said Soong's participation could siphon pro-mainland votes from KMT leader Ma Ying-jeou, who is seeking re-election. At a news conference in Taipei, 69-year-old Soong, who left the KMT to form the PFP after losing in an independent bid for the 2000 presidency, vowed not to back out from the poll, which will become a three-horse race when he registers his candidacy before Saturday's deadline. [...] Candidates require endorsement unless they represent a political party that won at least 5 per cent of the total valid ballots in the last presidential or legislative elections. Soong's party failed to get the 5 per cent in the 2008 legislative race. Anxious KMT politicians called yesterday for more co-ordination with Soong, hoping to avoid a split in the mainland-friendly blue camp of the KMT, PFP and New Party. Meanwhile, Tsai hailed Soong as a "respectable opponent" who would be highly competitive. When asked if some of the endorsements for Soong came from DPP members, she said she did not know what reporters were talking about. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China steps up support for culture industry (Global Times)
2011-10-31
China is trying to increase the contribution of culture sector to the national economy while its leadership prioritized cultural development at a key session this month. The output of culture industry is aimed to account for 5 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, said Minister of Culture Cai Wu, adding that the culture industry should be "a pillar of the national economy." The percentage in 2010 was 2.78 percent, he said. Last week, the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) approved a guideline on boosting reform of the cultural sector and cultural development at its sixth plenary session. The guideline pledged to beef up support for the culture industry and make it a more important part of the national economy. [...] Cai noted that the key to boost cultural development is to invest more. ^ top ^

China's foreign trade to top $3 trillion this year: official (Xinhua)
2011-10-31
A senior Chinese official said Friday the country's foreign trade volume will surpass 3 trillion U.S. dollars this year, accounting for 10.5 percent of the world's total. The country's trade surplus to GDP ratio is expected to fall below 3 percent this year from 7.5 percent in 2007, said Liu Mingkang, chief of the China Banking Regulatory Commission [...]. This year marked the 10th anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the country has grown to become the world's largest exporter and second largest importer, Liu said. [...] The country's trade volume expanded 24.6 percent year on year in the first nine months to 2.68 trillion U.S. dollars, according to statistics from China's General Administration of Customs. Growth of imports outpaced exports in the January-September period, up 26.7 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively. [...]. ^ top ^

China raises VAT, business tax thresholds (China Daily)
2011-11-01
China will raise thresholds for levying value-added and business taxes on small enterprises starting from Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance said Monday. The value-added tax (VAT) threshold for small enterprises will be increased to between 5,000 yuan ($791.14) and 20,000 yuan, in terms of monthly sales revenues, from the previous threshold of 2,000 to 5,000 yuan, the ministry said in a statement [...]. Meanwhile, the threshold for levying the business tax for small enterprises will be raised to 5,000-20,000 yuan from the previous 1,000-5,000 yuan. The adjustments came after a decision announced earlier this month by the State Council, or China's cabinet, to enhance financial support for the country's cash-strapped small enterprises. [...]. ^ top ^

Worst yet to come for mainland firms (SCMP)
2011-11-01
Mainland-listed companies that have reported a quarter-on-quarter profit decline will have to brace for an even worse earnings environment in the coming months. The more than 2,300 firms on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges earned a combined 477.4 billion yuan (HK$583.5 billion) in the three months to September, down 6.1 per cent from the previous quarter, the Shanghai Securities News reported. It was the first quarter-on-quarter profit slide for the mainland's listed companies since September 2008 when the economy took a hammering from the global financial crisis. But they are expected to show a further drop of 10 to 20 per cent in earnings in the October-December period because of the economic slowdown, fund managers and analysts said. The pessimistic prediction could deal a heavy blow to millions of retail investors who have heightened expectations of a strong rally following a five-day winning streak last week. [...] The mainland stock market, the world's third-worst performing last year, continued its downward trend this year as Beijing introduced cooling measures to avoid a hard landing. As of yesterday, the benchmark was 12.1 per cent off last year's close. [...] In the third quarter, listed companies' year-on-year profit growth stood at 19 per cent. For the first half, their profits grew 22.7 per cent from a year earlier. [...] Analysts also pointed out that Beijing could implement policy changes soon to bolster the slowing economy now that a capital crunch had been seen in some sectors, particularly small and medium-sized firms. "With growth slowing and liquidity getting tighter, policy easing is more likely to be adopted before year-end," China International Capital Corp wrote in a report. [...]. ^ top ^

China to be second largest consumer market by 2020 (Global Times)
2011-11-01
China's real consumption will double to $4.8 trillion by 2020, making it the world's second-biggest consumer market after the US, global management consultancy McKinsey & Company said in its 2011 consumer report Monday. [...] In a McKinsey survey of over 15,000 consumers in 49 Chinese cities, 58 percent of respondents said they expected their income to rise in the next year, compared with 39 percent in the previous year. And 83 percent of consumers increased their spending in at least one category this year, 2 percentage points higher than 2010. On average across categories, some 50 percent of those surveyed identified inflation as the main reason behind their higher spending. But of the remainder, 35 percent said they were trading up, meaning buying more expensive goods in a given category, while 60 percent bought in larger quantities or bought more frequently, with only 5 percent spending more on new items. The data shows that trading up is the new opportunity to drive domestic consumption going forward. For the future, it's very important for companies to convince consumers to buy more, especially convince them to buy more expensive products, and the government needs to think about it as well, McKinsey said. ^ top ^

Key factory indicator falls in Oct (China Daily)
2011-11-02
A key domestic manufacturing index dropped to a 32-month low in October, igniting market speculation that tight monetary policy may be eased. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped to 50.4 last month from 51.2 in September, according to data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) on its website on Tuesday. The October figure was much lower than market expectations of 51.8. [...] The latest figure suggests that China's economic expansion could cool further in the fourth quarter, a statement from the CFLP said. [...] Zhang Liqun, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that slower export growth and investment have dragged down economic expansion in the third quarter. The CFLP said that this is due to weaker external demand amid eurozone debt problems while tight monetary policies have led to cash-flow problems for many companies. [...] A PMI sub-index of new export orders dropped to 48.6 last month from 50.9 in September. On top of this, a sub-index for new orders declined to 50.5 year-on-year in October from 51.3 in September, the lowest for almost three years. [...] A possible silver lining may be that input prices declined in October to 46.2, 10.4 points lower than September. It is the first reading below 50 in 32 months. [...] HSBC on Tuesday released its China PMI for October. This figure is at 51 for October, up from 49.9 for September. "Inflation is on track to ease, which provides leeway for Beijing to fine-tune policy to strike a better balance between growth and inflation priorities," said Qu Hongbin, HSBC chief economist in China. ^ top ^

October sees new dip in house prices (Global Times)
2011-11-02
House prices in the country's major cities dipped during October and slack sales may force developers to cut prices further in the fourth quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by the China Index Academy, a real estate research institute. The average price of an apartment in 100 major cities in October declined by 0.23 percent compared with September, the report said. Of the 100 cities, 58 saw price drops last month, 15 more than in September. Some large domestic developers like Vanke and R&F Properties began to reduce prices last month in first- and second-tier cities, and the price for some apartments even fell by 20 percent, the report said. [...] He Tian, index research director at China Index Academy, told the Global Times Tuesday that developers would probably reduce prices further during the fourth quarter. [...]. ^ top ^

Provinces report economic growth of over 10% in first three quarters (Global Times)
2011-11-02
Among the mainland's 31 provinces and municipalities, 28 have reported year-on-year economic growth of more than 10 percent between January and September. But experts said Tuesday such a rapid pace of growth is "not healthy" for the country. "The investment-dirven economic development model should be changed to focus more on consumption, which is healthier and sustainable," Mao Yushi, president of Unirule Institute of Economics, a non-government think tank, told the Global Times Tuesday. As of October 31, all provincial-level regions had announced their gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the first nine months. The municipalities of Chongqing and Tianjin ranked top in terms of GDP growth with the rate of 16.5 percent. [...] Li Yongsen, a professor at the Financial and Securities Institute and Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that he thinks a hard landing is "very unlikely" to happen in the years to come. [...] "Since the figure is one of the assessment standards for the performance of the local governments, they have the motivation to invest and boost the economy." said Mao, "But the governments should change their focus from growth to social justice. Let people themselves boost the economy." [...] But provincial governments set their own goals for economic growth, which are mostly above 9 percent. [...]. ^ top ^

Oil, gas resource tax rate set at 5% of sales (China Daily)
2011-11-02
China will levy a resource tax on crude oil and natural gas products at 5 percent of sales nationwide starting from Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance said Monday. The ministry also released specific resource tax rates on a variety of other commodities, including iron ore, coking coal and rare earth ore, for which the tax will remain based on sales volumes. The tax policy change came after the State Council, or China's Cabinet, announced earlier this month that resource taxes on domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas would be extended from a few of the country's regions to the entire nation starting from Nov 1. [...]. ^ top ^

Bank loan growth signals policy shift (Global Times)
2011-11-03
Loans from China's top four banks registered a sudden rise toward the end of October, indicating the possibility of credit policy easing in the fourth quarter. The rise has also raised expectations in the finance industry about lower deposit reserve ratio, industry experts told the Global Times Wednesday. Loans from the top four banks - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Construction Bank of China - amounted to 60 billion yuan ($9.44 billion) from October 21 to 27, China Securities Journal reported Wednesday, while in the first 20 days of the month, the loans totaled just 80 billion yuan. The loan growth is against the normal trend, as banks usually face greater pressure of deposit outflow every October, which limits the loan volume. Statistics for the first 15 days of September show that deposits at the top four banks decreased by a significant 420 billion yuan from that of August. Premier Wen Jiabao said last week that the central government should make suitable micro adjustments to maintain a balanced credit growth, which the market interpreted as a signal of monetary policy easing in the fourth quarter, He Zhengsheng, chairman of Botian Investment Management Ltd, told the Global Times. Total lending in 2011 will be around 7.5 trillion yuan, edging the bottom line of the 7-7.5 trillion yuan target set for this year, according to a China Securities Journal report. [...]. ^ top ^

Wenzhou sets up fund to rescue small businesses (SCMP)
2011-11-03
Wenzhou, known as the hub of privately owned businesses, plans to set up a 5 billion yuan (HK$6 billion) emergency fund to help bail out cash-starved small companies after crises involving underground banks. The city's Economic and Information Commission signed an agreement with privately owned Zhejiang Zhongan Guarantee Group, and Wenzhou branches of China Construction Bank [...] and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China [...] to launch the fund, a spokesman with the commission said. The fund was aimed at supporting troubled private firms, she said. It will be the mainland's first bailout fund targeting cash-strapped private businesses. "The fund-raising process has been kicked off and the first round of 1 billion yuan is likely to be put in operation soon," the official said. [...] Zhongan, a privately owned loan guarantor, will be responsible for fund-raising and operations. The fund will be used to support qualified businesses in Wenzhou, helping them overcome difficulties in repaying their debts. [...] In Wenzhou, underground banks were rampant before Beijing tightened monetary policies last year, and they offered much-needed credit to privately owned businesses to execute export orders and replenish expansions. But the austerity measures, coupled with rising raw materials and labour costs, plagued the private businesses as many of them faced difficulties in repaying the debts to the underground banks. [...] But analysts said the Wenzhou emergency fund would not be able to solve the problem given the large size of underground banking loans. The People's Bank of China estimated the outstanding loans by illegal underground banks were valued at 110 billion yuan this year, up from 80 billion yuan last year. [...]. ^ top ^

Alliance to boost brands in international markets (China Daily)
2011-11-03
Dozens of leading private domestic companies have formed a business alliance to help promote top Chinese brands on the global market. Founded in June, the alliance has set the ambitious target of assisting 100 Chinese companies to join the ranks of the Fortune 500. The organization was started by 11 influential entrepreneurs including Feng Jun, president of electronics company Aigo Digital Technology [...]. The alliance expects to have 500 members in a year, all privately owned Chinese companies that are leaders in a business sector. It will look for global partners and investment destinations around the world with "business incubators" supported by overseas governments through free space for R&D, sales centers and facilities shared with local partners. The group will also cooperate with international law firms and ask local governments to provide assistance with legal advice, consulting services, public relations and intellectual property protection. Part of the effort includes encouraging and assisting member companies to register trademarks and apply for patents overseas. [...] The alliance is also registering an International Best Brand (IBB) mark in potential overseas markets. Only 50 member companies can use the mark along with their own trademarks. [...] Both developed countries and emerging markets are attractive to the alliance, according to Xue's colleague Yang Bo. The first overseas incubator will be in Europe. Members of the alliance will vote from a list of four candidate countries - the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. The government of southern Belgium's Walloon Region said it welcomes top Chinese brands in the European market and promised subsidies of up to 70 percent for R&D expenses. [...] Several internationally renowned business leaders are serving as consultants to the alliance [...]. ^ top ^

PetroChina climbs into world's top five energy ranks (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-03
Chinese oil giant PetroChina came in the fourth place in a ranking of world's top 250 energy companies unveiled on Wednesday evening, making it the first Asian firm to join the top five ranks. The 2011 Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings was compiled by energy information provider Platts based on the performance of the companies last year in terms of asset worth, revenues, profits and return on invested capital. The assets of PetroChina has increased almost fivefold to 255 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 from 52 billion dollars ten years ago, when the company was ranked the 12th among world energy firms. Its revenues increased 7.5 times over the same period. [...] Primary energy consumption in Asia Pacific grew by 5.6 percent per annum over the last decade. The growth rate even surge to over 10 percent for China last year. Sinopec, the other Chinese oil giant and leading refiner, came in the 8th place this year. [...] Japan has 18 of the top 250 energy firms, while China and India each has 13. [...]. ^ top ^

Foreign-funded firms continue to expand in China (China Daily)
2011-11-04
Foreign-funded companies continue to expand their presence in China, as they numbered 449,700 as of the end of September in the world's second largest economy, government data showed Thursday. The figure was up 1 percent compared to that at the end of last year, according to figures released by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC). Meanwhile, their registered capital hit 10.77 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion) as of the end of September, up 3.13 percent compared to the end of 2010. The data reveals that the nation remains attractive for foreign businesses. The Ministry of Commerce announced earlier that the country attracted $86.68 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first three quarters of the year, up 16.6 percent year-on-year. In September alone, the country drew $9.05 billion of actual FDI, up 7.88 percent from a year earlier. By the end of September, China had more than 12.28 million licensed businesses with a total of 68.96 trillion yuan of registered capital, up 8.07 percent and 15.65 percent respectively from the end of last year, according to the SAIC. ^ top ^

Most of China's mineral reserves unexplored (China Daily)
2011-11-04
China has a large amount of unexplored mineral resources, as only 36 percent of the country's mineral deposits have been discovered thus far, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday. A survey of China's potential mineral resources showed that by the end of 2010, the exploration rate of China's iron ore stood at 27 percent, while that of bauxite was only 19 percent, the ministry said in a report. For petroleum, only 26 percent of the country's oil deposits have been prospected, and 85 percent of natural gas reserves remained unexplored, said the report. Zhang Hongtao, chief engineer of the ministry, said China has spent 370.8 billion yuan ($58.4 billion) on geographical surveying and found 2,839 new mines and reserves in the past five years. China has also become a giant in mineral consumption and production, said Zhang. From 2006 to 2010, China's coal output rose 28 percent to 2.53 billion metric tons, while crude oil output climbed 10 percent to 203 million metric tons. In 2009, China produced 97 percent of the world's total rare earth output, while its rare earth reserves only accounted for 36 percent of global deposits, he said. ^ top ^

China's non-manufacturing sector growth slows in Oct. (Xinhua)
2011-11-04
The growth of China's non-manufacturing sector slowed in October, as indicated by a decline in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said Thursday. The non-manufacturing sector's PMI, a key economic indicator, fell to 57.7 percent in October from 59.3 percent a month earlier, the CFLP said. [...] The index has stayed above the boom-or-bust line of 50 percent for eight consecutive months, showing the non-manufacturing sector was still growing steadily, the CFLP said. [...] The index for intermediate input prices declined to 55.7 percent, down 4.2 percentage points from September, while the index for new orders dropped 0.3 percentage point to 52.5 percent. "Indices for different industries show there are obvious structural changes in the non-manufacturing sector," said Cai Jin, vice president of the CFLP. Consumer demand remained strong as the index for consumer services rose for the second straight month to 60.1 percent. "The vigorous demand for consumer services contributed significantly to the steady growth in overall market demands, Cai said. The PMI for the real estate sector dropped under the 50 percent boom-bust line to 48.7 percent, showing the investment in the sector would slide further in next months, according to Cai. [...]. ^ top ^

China makes more contributions to world economic growth: Hu (Xinhua)
2011-11-04
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Thursday that his country is making more contributions to world economic growth as its economy has made strides in the past decade. China has served as a huge market for other countries and its growth has added momentum to global economic recovery, Hu said in a speech at the Group of 20 (G20) summit [...]. After the outbreak of the global financial crisis, China has substantially increased its financial contributions to international financial institutions and extended a helping hand to other developing countries [...]. China has also increased bond purchase from developed countries and played its part in assisting the economic and social development of relevant countries and stabilizing the international economic and financial situation, he said. [...] In the past 10 years, China's average tariff level has dropped from 15.3 percent to 9.8 percent, lower than the WTO requirement for developing countries, Hu said. Meanwhile, China's imports in this period aggregated 8.5 trillion U.S. dollars, creating a huge market for other countries, he said. He added that in the coming five years, China's imports are expected to exceed 8 trillion dollars, which will be a major contribution to the global economy. [...] On the other hand, China is confronted with quite a few challenges in its efforts to maintain steady and fast growth, said the Chinese leader. Some institutional and structural problems that have built up over the years remain unresolved, and there are some negative factors affecting the sound performance of China's economy, he said. The overall price level is rather high, some small- and medium-sized enterprises face difficulties, job pressure is growing, and much more needs to be done in energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction, said Hu. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK top leader meets Chinese ambassador to Pyongyang (Xinhua)
2011-11-01
Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), met the Chinese ambassador to the DPRK on Monday and praised the Chinese embassy for its contribution to the development of Sino-DPRK relations. According to a report of DPRK's official KCNA news agency, Kim highly appreciated the positive efforts made by the Chinese embassy to contribute the development of the DPRK-China friendly and cooperative relations. Ambassador Liu Hongcai conveyed warm greetings from Chinese President Hu Jintao to the DPRK leader. Liu said Kim's two visits to China this year had played an important role in consolidating and developing the traditional China-DPRK friendship. [...] Also present at the meeting were Kim Jong Un, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), Ri Yong Ho, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK, and some other DPRK officials. ^ top ^

S Korean Protestant leaders to pay rare visit to DPRK (Xinhua)
2011-11-02
A group of South Korean Protestant leaders will visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a rare trip hinting at Seoul's shift from confrontation with its estranged northern neighbor, local media reported Tuesday. South Korea's National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) reportedly said the leaders are scheduled to hold a joint prayer service with DPRK counterparts from the Korean Christian Federation. The two sides are expected to discuss expanding religious exchanges between the two Koreas. [...] Separately, a group of South Korean Buddhists visited the DPRK in September, the first such visit since cross-border exchanges were put on hold. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Bloomberg to open Ulaanbaatar bureau (News.mn)
2011-11-01
Bloomberg Media Group announced on Monday that it will open a bureau in Ulaanbaatar and start a Mongolian language television service. Bloomberg TV Mongolia is a joint venture between Bloomberg and the Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB), the oldest and one of the largest banks in the country. Bloomberg TV Mongolia is scheduled to launch in March 2012. “Bloomberg TV Mongolia is the first business and financial news network targeted at this rising new market in Asia,” said Gary Groenheim, commercial director of Bloomberg Television, Asia-Pacific. “We"re pleased to partner with TDB to offer the local population better access to international business news, as well as serve business travelers as Mongolia continues to play a greater role in global trade and exports to China.” TDB President Randolph Koppa said, “Mongolia is a booming and developing economy. Bloomberg TV Mongolia will target the political decision makers and business leaders of Mongolia with essential and accurate news, data and analytics. As all Mongolians now own shares in the Tavan Tolgoi Mining Project, the channel will be a valuable new education source.”. ^ top ^

Parliamentary group discusses human rights (News.mn)
2011-11-02
The human rights council of Parliament organized a seminar on legislation and human rights in the Government House on Monday. MP and Deputy Council Chairman Kh.Temuujin told our correspondent that Parliament has passed many laws regarding human rights over the last two decades, but many have never been implemented properly. The Government has started monitoring the implementation of laws. Participants criticized the way the Government reacts when negative information is made public by the media. For example, they said, if the Government conceals data and the media report it, Parliament just says the media are lying. Participants said foreign organizations often allocate up to ten percent of a project's cost toward monitoring the implementation of the project. They said Mongolia should consider doing likewise with the laws Parliament passes. ^ top ^

MPP caucus discusses 2012 budget proposal (News.mn)
2011-11-02
U.Enkhtuvshin, chairman of the MPP caucus in Parliament, told journalists on Tuesday that the caucus is pleased with a 2012 budget proposal that projects the economy will grow by 25.6 percent and per capita GDP will reach USD 5,362. The proposal also increases investments by 4.2 times to MNT 1.5 trillion. The projected deficit of MNT 740 billion is less than the 2011 budget deficit. U.Enkhtuvshin said the 2012 budget is directed toward human development. MNT 1.2 trillion is allocated to salary increases and MNT 700 billion to pension increases. Also, an estimated 334,000 women over 55, men over 60, and disabled people will each receive a onetime cash payment of MNT 1 million from the Human Development Fund. MNT 83 billion is allocated for tuition fees, and 100,000 citizens will receive a MNT1 million payment for housing. The Government plans to give computers to secondary school teachers and 12,000 tractors to farmers. It also plans to build roads connecting all aimags centers. U.Enkhtuvshin added that a meeting of the MPP's managing council is being held on Wednesday. ^ top ^

Do not pollute air and get discount (Montsame)
2011-11-02
At its regular meeting held on Wednesday, the cabinet approved a rule on a discount on electricity price. It will apply to the families who live in the UB city's air quality zone. Accordingly, the nighttime electricity tariff is to declined 50 per cent for those who satisfies specific criteria in contributing to reduction of air pollution, moreover, this nightime period has been newly fixed--from 6.00 p.m to 9.00 a.m., increasing by six hours, and even the tariff is to decline twice. Families who want to enjoy the discount may apply to related organizations and make a bilateral contract. They must have electricity-meters and electric appliances of high quality. The Minister of Finance S.Bayartsogt has been obliged to deal with the money-related issues and to give kind of compensation to energy producers. Some Minister and the city's Mayor have been ordered to put control over the rule and to report to the cabinet every June about a course of works for reducing air pollution. It has been calculated that MNT 2.5 billion will be required for this year's discount for 90,700 families, and MNT 5.9 billion--the next year. ^ 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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