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
  7-11.11.11, No. 396  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Positive, balanced outcomes achieved at 6th G20 summit: Chinese spokesman (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-07
China said Saturday that positive and balanced outcomes were achieved at the sixth summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) [...]. Ma Zhaoxu, spokesman of the Chinese delegation [...] mentioned the Declaration, the Communique and the Action Plan issued after the meeting as "three outcome documents" of the G20 Cannes summit. [...] The Cannes Action Plan approved at the summit was meant to coordinate the macro-economic policies of all the members to endorse economic recovery and summon market confidence, said the spokesman. "It (the passage of the Action Plan) fully displays the resolution of the G20 to work hand in hand to promote a robust, sustainable and balanced world economy." Ma also hailed the "important consensus" reached at the summit in terms of the reform of the international monetary and financial system, the vibration of commodity price, international trade and development among others. "It was emphasized at the summit that to address the issue of development is a key task to advance the global economic recovery and growth in the future," he said. [...] The continuing economic growth of emerging nations have injected vitality into the stability and recovery of the world economy as the international financial market is striving in turmoil, he said. Developing countries, represented by the emerging ones in the G20, have become constructive participants of global economic governance, said the spokesman, "which is a great progress of the era and indicates an in-depth readjustment and a historic change in the international economic order," he added. ^ top ^

Chinese top political advisor's European tour promotes friendship, cooperation (Xinhua)
2011-11-07
China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin's official goodwill visit to Greece, the Netherlands and Germany has deepened the friendship, promoted cooperation and enhanced understanding between China and the three nations, [...] said Wang Shenghong, vice secretary general of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Jia, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, had in-depth exchanges of views and reached broad consensus with government and parliament leaders of the three countries on issues related to bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common interest [...]. During his visits, Jia also witnessed the signing of 15 inter-governmental agreements and commercial contracts, had extensive contact with people from different walks of life and visited some big-name companies. [...] Jia made a number of proposals to leaders and business people of the three countries for expanding trade and two-way investment and said China would work with them to explore new areas of cooperation. In Greece, Jia said the two sides should make vigorous efforts to promote cooperation in marine transport, tourism and new areas including new energy. In the Netherlands, he said the two countries should raise the the level of cooperation in modern agriculture and expand cooperation in energy-saving and environmental protection. And in Germany, Jia called for closer cooperation in electric vehicles, standardization, architectural energy-saving and the construction of low-carbon ecological cities. [...] During his stay in the three countries, Jia made extensive contact with people from various walks of life. [...] At meetings with leaders of the three nations, Jia gave a detailed explanation of China's multi-party cooperation and political consultation systems under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese premier calls for further cooperation among SCO members (Xinhua)
2011-11-08
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members should expand cooperation in trade, agriculture, energy and other areas. The Chinese premier made this proposal in his speech at a SCO prime ministers' meeting opened here Monday. Wen said SCO member states should grasp the opportunity brought about by their economic restructuring and take positive steps to promote trade cooperation. The premier suggested SCO members build a multi-level and multi-channel financing cooperation system to provide support for regional economic cooperation projects. They should also expand cooperation in currency swap and in the use of their own currencies for settlement and enhance macroeconomic and financial policy coordination, said Wen. SCO countries should also move faster toward the interconnection of their infrastructure facilities for transport, energy and telecommunications so as to lay a solid foundation for regional trade and economic cooperation, said Wen. The Chinese premier urged the promotion of clean energy resources such as nuclear, solar, and wind power among SCO members to diversify their energy supply. Wen asked SCO members to improve mechanisms for cooperation in food security through the establishment of a SCO "seed bank" for the promotion of fine crop varieties, and through more agri-tech training and enhanced prevention and control of animal and plant diseases and epidemics. Wen also asked SCO members to boost their ability to handle public health emergencies through the establishment of an information sharing mechanism and a joint prevention and control system for human diseases and epidemics. [...] As the world is undergoing profound changes, the SCO should not only be able to weather severe tests but also seize the opportunity to grow so as to benefit the peoples in the region and make due contributions to a fair and equitable new international political and economic order, said Wen. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian PMs reach consensus on major issues (Xinhua)
2011-11-08
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held talks here Monday on major issues of common concern, including bilateral relations and the current international political and economic situation. [...] In face of complicated international political and economic situations, China and Russia, as neighbors and world powers, should further strengthen their strategic coordination and consolidate friendship, Wen said. Sound China-Russia relations are not only in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also of significance to global peace and development, he added. Both China and Russia are in favor of diversity of the world and against dominance of world affairs by any power or group of powers, Wen said. [...] The two countries should work together to push for the democratization of international politics and for a new fair and just international political and economic order, he said. The Chinese premier noted that both economies are in good shape and have respective advantages. Russia owns advanced technology and rich natural resources while China enjoys a good momentum of development and serves as a huge market. [...] The two countries should seize the opportunity and strengthen planning and coordination to further promote cooperation in trade, investment, finance, science and technology, he said. [...] The two countries have broad common interests and face same challenges, said Putin. [...] Russia is willing to work with China to implement consensus reached by the two countries' leaders, continuously strive for new progress in bilateral ties and contribute to world peace and development, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

Nepali president meets with visiting Chinese leader (Xinhua)
2011-11-08
Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav meets with visiting Chinese leader Liu Qi in capital Kathmandu on Monday. Yadav said the Nepali government firmly adheres to One-China policy and will not allow any force to engage in anti-China activities by using Nepali territory. Yadav expressed thanks for China's help for the development of Nepal, saying that Nepal is willing to strengthen high-level exchanges, expand pragmatic cooperation with China and deepen people-to-people communication to raise the comprehensive partnership to a new level. Liu, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC, said China and Nepal are good neighbors, good friends and good partners. He said China always attaches importance to China-Nepal relations from strategic and long-term perspective and China is willing to make join efforts with the Nepali side to strengthen the bilateral ties and the friendship between the two peoples, as well as cooperation in various areas. [...]. ^ top ^

Pay heed to soldiers' complaints: PLA paper (SCMP)
2011-11-08
The People's Liberation Army's official newpaper has published a rare article urging officers to heed suggestions and complaints from rank-and-file soldiers. The article in Sunday's PLA Daily said soldiers were becoming more serious about officers' breach of army rules, including those on the use of the internet and mobile phones. And increasingly, soldiers are filing complaints if they see such violations. Unlike in the past, young soldiers now tend to speak out if they learn their superiors have done something inappropriate, according to the article. The change is "an inevitable result of social development and of improvement in people's cultural and awareness about democracy", the article said. The most recent cases that have aroused soldiers' indignation include some officers surfing the internet, in violation of a recent ban, as they have separate offices or dormitories. Some solders have filed complaints and urged officers to be strict with themselves while also being strict with others. In June, the army's Central Military Commission released new regulations prohibiting its 2.3 million soldiers from using internet services, including blogging, because of concerns that they may reveal military secrets. [...] Soldiers have also been very active in giving feedback on issues that are closely related to their own interests, such as competition for promotions, rewards for deeds of merit, and adjustments of jobs. When things happen that they believe are unreasonable, more soldiers will either file a complaint to a relevant department or post them on a local intranet, according to the article. "Undoubtedly, this shows young soldiers' sense of being a master [of the army], as well as their wish to care for and protect the army," the article said. ^ top ^

China urges EU to drop aviation emission scheme, lawsuit looms (Xinhua)
2011-11-09
China's aviation watchdog on Tuesday urged the European Union to drop a plan that would require global airlines to buy carbon emission permits, while Chinese aviation industry reportedly plan to sue the EU over the unpopular scheme. "We hope the EU will avoid this unilateral move, solve international aviation emissions issues on the basis of mutual respect and consensus, and promote the sustainable development of the industry," an official with China's Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) said on condition of anonymity. The CAAC welcomes and supports a resolution adopted by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding the issue, the official said. The ICAO resolution, adopted at a meeting in Montreal last week, opposes the EU plan to force non-EU airlines to take part in the bloc's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). [...] The EU's move is unilateral in nature and violates a cardinal principle of state sovereignty, the resolution said. China firmly opposed the EU plan at the meeting, saying the action contravenes international laws and ignores efforts made to tackle aviation emissions by other countries, especially developing countries. [...] China has held many rounds of talks with the EU side but could not reach an agreement, a Chinese industry group told local media. China Air Transport Association (CATA) will join several major Chinese airlines to file a lawsuit against the EU over the issue, CATA Deputy Secretary General Chai Haibo was quoted by the China Economic Weekly in a story published Monday. [...]. ^ top ^

Dagong accepts request to credit rate Belarus (Xinhua)
2011-11-09
China's Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd. said Tuesday it will credit rate Belarus as requested by the European country's government. It was Dagong's first request by a government for a sovereign credit rating. Dagong's rating will be a true reflection of Belarus' sovereign credit. It will provide a correct development picture of its economy to the global capital market and guide global investment in the nation, said Rudy Kiryl, Counsellor of Embassy of Belarus in China, when signing the deal with Dagong. The world needs rating agencies that can offer objective and fair evaluations over sovereign credit rather than serving the interests of any group, he said. He blamed western rating agencies' unobjective practices for the outbreak of the global financial crisis. Jin Yongshou, Dagong's managing vice-president, said Belarus' trust gave the agency confidence as it pushes ahead with reforms in the global credit rating system. "Dagong hopes to provide an objective and fair rating services for more nations to expose credit risks and to do its own bit to promote global economic recovery," he said. Dagong unveiled its first credit rating report in July last year, becoming the first non-western rating agency to assess the world's sovereign credit and risks. It has so far conducted ratings for 68 nations. ^ top ^

Armed Chinese force set to patrol Mekong (SCMP)
2011-11-09
China will station up to 1,000 armed officers to patrol the Mekong River as it prepares for the resumption of navigation by its ships on the waterway following the killing of 13 mainland sailors last month. Officials from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand reached an agreement in Beijing on October 31 on joint law enforcement and patrols on the Mekong after the sailors were attacked. [...] Details of the operations have not been announced by the central government, but Fang Youguo, general secretary of the Lancang shipowners' association, said the Chinese armed patrol team could eventually total 1,000 people. [...] China had bought five ships to be refitted for the patrols and was also delivering speedboats from Wuhan for the unprecedented operation, Fang was quoted as saying by the Yunnan Information Daily. He said the joint operation by the four countries would only cover certain sections of the Mekong, and that Chinese officers would be stationed at key locations. "They will provide protection to all legal cargoes travelling along the river with the law enforcement authorities of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar," he said. Analysts said the operation would allow armed Chinese vessels to enter the waters of the three countries, a move that showed China's determination to protect its citizens overseas, although it may spark unease about it exerting political influence in the region. [...] Fang said the Chinese patrol team may be under the People's Armed Police border detachment in Sipsongpanna prefecture in Yunnan province. [...]. ^ top ^

China issues first use right certificate for uninhabited island (Xinhua)
2011-11-09
The Chinese government on Tuesday issued the first certificate for the use of an uninhabited island to a private company, a move to promote control and development of unpopulated islands under China's jurisdiction of territorial water. The uninhabited Danmenshan Island is located off the coast of Ningbo of east Zhejiang province. Ningbo Longgang Industrial Co., Ltd. acquired the certificate at a price of 3.44 million yuan (529,000 U.S. dollars), which authorized the company to run a tourism business for fifty years [...]. "The certificate for the use of Danmenshan Island is a new beginning for China to protect its islands in accordance with law and also an example for exploration and the use of other uninhabited islands," said Lv Caixia, director of the islands management office with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). According to China's newly revised law on islands, individuals and companies can apply for use of uninhabited islands within the country's territorial waters. With government-issued certificates, individuals and companies can explore uninhabited islands for tourism, transport, storage, fishing, and public services. On April 12, the SOA published a list of 176 uninhabited islands throughout Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other coastal provinces and autonomous regions. [...]. ^ top ^

Hotline set up, says 7th Fleet commander (SCMP)
2011-11-10
A senior US naval official yesterday highlighted recent improvements in Sino-US military relations, and confirmed that a top-level command hotline had been established. While Vice-Admiral Scott Swift, the new commander of the US Seventh Fleet, said he was not worried about a major conflict in the region, he did warn of "brush-ups" in disputed areas such as the South China Sea that could trigger "tactical miscalculations". "I'm very encouraged by the advancements that are being made," he said of the Sino-US relationship. "There is a very structured and thoughtful path forward... but it is at the strategic level and will eventually move forward down to the operational level." He said following the visit to Beijing in July by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, a hotline had been established to the top level of the PLA from Mullen's office. [...] "There is a direct communication between the PLA now and [Mullen]... Chairman Mullen's visit was specifically directed at furthering those relationships," Swift said at a briefing following the arrival in Hong Kong of the USS George Washington aircraft carrier and support ships for a port visit. [...] Swift repeatedly cast the Sino-US military relationship in the context of the need for improved security relationships in East Asia, both between individual countries and regionally. He acknowledged China's prerogative in building a military to help protect its growing international interests. But he also said the US wanted more transparency from China to better understand its military build-up - and regional countries repeatedly told him of similar concerns. [...]. ^ top ^

Disaster for Mars moon probe (SCMP)
2011-11-10
A Russian probe bound for a Martian moon, and carrying hi-tech equipment developed by Hong Kong and mainland scientists, veered off course yesterday in what Chinese experts called a "disastrous misstep". Engine failure appeared to be the cause. The experts said the incident complicated the politically sensitive first joint space venture between China and Russia, and added uncertainty to China's independent Mars-exploration efforts. The Chinese scientists involved expressed disappointment, concern and disbelief. [...] The craft held a soil-sampling device from PolyU and a mainland-designed Mars orbiter, the Yinghuo-1. Russian space agency chief Vladimir Popovkin said that after restoring communication and doing some analysis, they narrowed the problem down to the spacecraft's main thruster. "The engine did not fire - neither the first nor the second burn occurred," said Popovkin, at Russia's Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan, according to Interfax. Popovkin said Russian space authorities would try to reset the craft's computer to ignite the rocket, but if they failed to complete the task in three days, batteries would die. [...] A senior satellite designer of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, who helped plan China's Chang'e lunar-exploration programme, said yesterday that the incident would cloud Sino-Russian Russia space joint ventures. [...] Professor Jiao Weixin, a space scientist at Peking University, said China should begin its own Mars exploration project as soon as possible, regardless of the fate of the Phobos-Grunt. "Space scientists have reached a consensus and submitted a proposal for action to the central government," Jiao said. ^ top ^

Chinese leaders watch DPRK-adapted opera of renowned Chinese legend (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-10
Li Changchun, a leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Wednesday evening watched an opera staged here by a troupe from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and adapted from Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers. Li, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, welcomed the artists from the DPRK Phibada Opera Troupe and praised the performance as an example of closer cultural communication and cooperation between China and the DPRK. The opera, which began a three-month tour of China in the northeast city of Changchun on Oct. 25, is based on the tragic story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, whose names also form another title of the story, abbreviated as Liang Zhu. It is often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Li Jinai, director of the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army, also watched the performance. [...]. ^ top ^

China says sanctions no solution to Iran nuclear issue (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-11
China on Thursday said sanctions cannot fundamentally resolve the Iran nuclear issue, after some countries called for sanctions against Iran after a recent United Nations watchdog report said Iran has engaged in the development of nuclear weapons. "We, as always, believe that dialogue and cooperation are the only effective approaches for properly resolving the Iran nuclear issue. Imposing pressure and sanctions cannot fundamentally resolve the issue," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing. Hong's comments came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday said in its latest report that credible evidence shows Iran has engaged in projects and experiments relevant to the development of nuclear weapons. Hong said the top priorities are stepping up diplomatic efforts, promoting dialogue between Iran and six countries -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany -- and seeking substantive progress from the cooperation between the IAEA and Iran. Hong called on the IAEA to take a fair and objective stance, commit itself to working with Iran to clarify related issues and resolve those issues within the IAEA framework. ^ top ^

Chinese leaders warn of deteriorating Euro debt crisis, stress IMF reform (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
Top Chinese leaders have warned of the dangers of a deteriorating European debt crisis, vowing to participate in reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a two-day visit to China by the mechanism's chief, Christine Lagarde. [...] During the visit, Lagarde discussed the world economy and the European debt crisis with Premier Wen, Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. "China supports the counter measures taken by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF in coping with the sovereign debt crisis," Wen said. [...] During a Wednesday speech in Beijing, Lagarde said the global economy has entered a "dangerous and uncertain phase," and there is a possibility for "a lost decade of low growth and high unemployment." She urged advanced economies to undertake polices to restore confidence and lift growth while praising China's policy-making and economic performance. China's steady and fast economic growth is of "irreplaceable significance" to world stability and development, she told Wen during the 50-minute meeting. "The Chinese government will run its own affairs well. And the country is committed to ensuring steady and fast economic growth," Wen said. Zhang Hanlin, a professor on the study of the World Trade Organization, said China's policies of stimulating imports amid the global financial and economic crisis have contributed much to the world economy. [...] Chinese leaders also stressed the importance of reform of the IMF to the world economy, an issue highlighted in President Hu Jintao's speech on the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in Cannes last week. [...] As an emerging economy and developing country, China has repeatedly advocated for increasing the voice of countries of its kind in world economic governance. "The reform of the Special Drawing Right and the appointment of Zhu Min as deputy managing director of IMF are progress made in this direction," Vice President Xi said. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing on board for a rising yuan, IMF chief says (SCMP)
2011-11-11
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said after talks with senior Chinese leaders yesterday that Beijing is ready to let the yuan rise. "My understanding is that authorities are prepared to let the appreciation continue in the months and years to come," Christine Lagarde told reporters yesterday after meeting People's Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan. "Certainly from our perspective, with the goal of stability and the solid, balanced and sustainable growth that we pursue, clearly that's welcomed and encouraged," she said. The Group of 20 nations last week welcomed "China's determination" to increase foreign exchange flexibility in line with market fundamentals. Lagarde said yesterday it was too early to include the yuan in the fund's Special Drawing Rights unit, an interest-bearing international reserve asset that includes the euro, British pound, Japanese yen and US dollar. "I don't think the time has yet to come," she said, adding, "but there is a clear understanding that it will come in due course and that it will be a factor of the internationalisation of the currency." [...] Lagarde also met Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Xi Jinping during her visit. In his meeting with Lagarde, Wen said China would focus on maintaining a stable and rapid economic growth, and support measures taken by the IMF, European Union and European Central Bank to handle the crisis. Wen said China would support the reform of the IMF, and facilitate the co-ordination of macroeconomic policies among different countries. [...]. ^ top ^

Austrian central bank to invest in China's yuan-denominated bonds (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), Austria's central bank, signed an agreement with the Chinese central bank in Beijing on Thursday to invest in yuan-denominated bonds in China. According to the deal, OeNB will invest in China's inter-bank bond market via the People's Bank of China (PBOC), said the PBOC in a statement on its website. The agreement enables OeNB to invest in yuan-denominated assets and was the first agreement of this kind signed by the PBOC with a non-Asian central bank, OeNB said in a press release posted on its website. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Barbados pledge to strengthen ties (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, met with Chen Changzhi, visiting senior Chinese lawmaker here on Wednesday, with both sides pledging to strengthen bilateral ties. Stuart pleasantly recalled his goodwill visit to China in June, when he met with Chen Changzhi, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China. As a reliable friend of the Chinese people, Barbados said that he feels happy and proud about China's modern construction achievements, and that he would like to strengthen practical cooperation with China in such fields as agriculture, tourism and clean energy, Stuart said. [...] The two sides have made continuous progress in various fields and maintained intensive cooperation on international and regional issues, Chen said, adding that Beijing appreciates Barbados' firm adherence to the one-China policy. [...] Chen also met with the Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington, and exchanged views on bilateral relations and legislature exchanges between the two countries. Chen arrived in Barbados for a goodwill visit Sunday. On this trip, he has visited Surinam and will visit Antigua and Barbuda. ^ top ^

Silence over PLA deserters raises questions (SCMP)
2011-11-11
The desertion of four soldiers from a PLA base in Jilin province after stealing an automatic rifle with almost 800 bullets has sparked speculation about the reasons for their escape and how they carried it off. Both the People's Liberation Army and the provincial government remained silent on the incident. It took police a day to track down the four after they absconded from the base in Shulan on Wednesday. Three of the soldiers were shot dead, and the fourth was wounded and captured. Analysts said that while there been occasional cases of individual PLA soldiers going absent without leave, this incident was a special case as the four had acted as a group. [...] Three of the soldiers were shot dead as they traded gunfire with police near Yingkou, the hometown of two of the group in neighbouring Liaoning province. Mainland internet users complained yesterday that authorities had begun deleting or blocking all information and reports concerning the incident. [...] Internet users called on the PLA and Jilin police to inform the public of the reasons for the soldiers' actions, but a Shanghai-based senior colonel, who declined to be named, said it would be impossible for the authorities to reveal the truth to the public because of the serious implications on the incident. "At the end of each year, when the army decides who should stay, be promoted or leave, farmer soldiers without upper-level connections are always the first to be dismissed even if their performance in the army has been outstanding," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Top web firms back official clampdown (SCMP)
2011-11-07
The heads of China's largest technology companies have endorsed Beijing's aim to intensify controls of online social media, pledging to "stop the spread of harmful information" on the web, Xinhua said yesterday. Ten top executives, including Sina Corp's Charles Chao, Baidu's Robin Li Yanhong and Alibaba [...] 's Jack Ma, participated in a three-day discussion that ended on Saturday in Beijing hosted by the State Internet Information Office, a state internet regulator. Web companies and operators "reached a common agreement" they would "conscientiously safeguard the broadcasting of positive messages online", the report said. "Resolutely curb the spread of rumours online, online pornography, internet fraud and the illegal spread of harmful information on the internet," the report said. The meeting was presided over by Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, the government's propaganda and information arm. The minister of industry and information technology, Miao Wei, said internet companies must increase their investment in "tracking surveillance". The pledge by the private and state-owned companies backs efforts by the government to tighten its grip over the internet, which has become a platform for mainlanders to express their opinions and frustrations. [...] The government has repeatedly criticised microblogs for irresponsibility in spreading what it calls unfounded rumours, but analysts said the government was unlikely to shut down what has become an important valve for monitoring and easing social pressures. [...] Sina and other microblog operators deploy technicians and software to monitor content and block and remove comment deemed unacceptable, especially about protests, official scandals and party leaders. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing marks 80th anniversary of founding of Chinese Soviet Republic (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-07
Vice President Xi Jinping on Friday urged all members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to learn experience from the revolutionary history and apply them to promoting the socialist modernization drive. Xi, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the call in Beijing while attending a symposium marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of Chinese Soviet Republic and the central revolutionary base. Xi asked all Party members to uphold the time-honored traditions and working style of the Party and incorporate them with the ongoing socialist modernization Xi said the fundamental tenets of Marxism should always be combined with the actual practices of China. He urged all Party members to firmly hold faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics as well as in Communism and make efforts in building a relatively well-off society in the country. He said all Party members must persist in putting people first and serving the fundamental interests of the people. Xi also called for greater efforts in beefing up the country's cultural construction and carry forward the fine traditions nurtured in revolutionary bases. ^ top ^

Xinhua News Agency celebrates 80th founding anniversary (Xinhua)
2011-11-08
China's state-run Xinhua News Agency held a high-profile ceremony Monday to mark the 80th anniversary of its founding. Held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, the ceremony was attended by the country's major publicity officials, leaders of important news organizations, and representatives of the staff of Xinhua. The ceremony recalled Xinhua's 80-year history with a documentary, saluting those staff members who sacrificed their lives or made great contributions to the agency. The documentary also showed the present Xinhua, highlighting its extensive reach, with Xinhua's correspondents reporting the major issues in China and around the world [...]. Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, praised Xinhua's 80 years of service during the ceremony, urging Xinhua to build a modern, top-ranking news agency of global influence. [...] Headquartered in Beijing, Xinhua was founded on Nov. 7, 1931 in the city of Ruijin in east Jiangxi province under the name "Red China News Agency." [...] The news agency has evolved from a shabby news room to a multi-media news group with its multi-language news service reaching almost every corner of the world. It also launched a television network both in English and Chinese, which covers 5.5 billion people in more than 200 countries and regions around the world. [...] Xinhua has so far set up 162 overseas branches, and the number will increase to around 200 by 2020, according to the agency's development plan. By the end of August, Xinhua had 2,526 overseas institutional users and a staff of more than 10,000. ^ top ^

Donations to pay Ai's tax bill reach 4.7m yuan (SCMP)
2011-11-08
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei says the overwhelming response from supporters keen to help him foot a 15 million yuan (HK$18.3 million) tax bill is a vote of defiance in the face of government persecution. "They're saying... this is our ticket to vote, this is the only chance we have to express our feelings... [they're doing this] to express their own opinions," Ai said yesterday. Ai, who was detained for 81 days without charge earlier this year, sees the heavy tax penalty as retaliation by the authorities for his relentless criticism of the Communist Party. The 54-year-old artist said he was "very, very touched" by the enthusiasm shown by nearly 17,600 supporters who had donated 4.7 million yuan since he announced a week ago that the Beijing tax bureau was demanding that Beijing Fake Cultural Development, Ai's company, pay 15 million yuan in back taxes and fines. "I'm more than touched - I feel the world is beautiful and our young people are full of imagination, and there is solidarity in people's hearts," Ai said, his excitement palpable over the phone. The donations were a symbolic gesture of "the people's power", he added. Ai said he was treating the donations as loans and promised his creditors that he would repay "every penny". [...] Ai said yesterday he was particularly heartened because his supporters' show of solidarity demonstrated that the official media's attempt to portray him as a man of questionable character had not succeeded. The state-run Global Times newspaper warned in a commentary yesterday, quoting unnamed experts, that Ai could be engaging in "illegal fundraising" by accepting donations to pay his tax bill. Ai said the accusation was groundless and that he was not afraid of the authorities. He added that if they wanted to jail him again they would not need another excuse. [...] "They always make this kind of smoke, but I'm not scared. I really don't care if they just put me in jail... I'm an artist, I'm fighting for the freedom of expression and this is definitely the freedom of expression." [...]. ^ top ^

Health-scare chemical plant to be closed for waste treatment (Xinhua)
2011-11-08
The facilities of a southwest China chemical plant behind recent health scares will be sealed until all its hazardous waste has been properly treated, authorities promised Monday. The stance of the county government of Qujing, Yunnan province, came weeks after media reports accused the scandal-dogged Luliang Chemical Industry Co, Ltd. of ignoring a government ban on operations. A spokesman for Qujing government on Monday defended the company, saying that the part that continued in operation was not covered by the ban because it did not create chromium residues, a carcinogenic industrial chemical suspected of polluting local water supplies over the years. The authorities would strengthen supervision of the plant to properly dispose of about 25,000 tonnes of chromium residues by the end of the year and another 148,400 tonnes in 2012 before lifting the ban, the spokesman said. [...] No human deaths have been attributed to the area's chromium pollution, but at least 14 local residents have been diagnosed with cancer since 2002. Many suspect their illness was caused by contaminated drinking water. ^ top ^

Developer gets death sentence for fraud (SCMP)
2011-11-09
A property developer in Zhejiang province has been sentenced to death for illegally raising 5.5 billion yuan (HK$6.73 billion) and for fraud involving 1.47 billion yuan. The severe punishment was meted out as the authorities step up a crackdown on pyramid schemes and underground banking. Citing the verdict by Lishui city's intermediate court, the Procuratorial Daily reported that Ji Wenhua and three relatives illegally raised 5.5 billion yuan from the public between 2003 and 2008 by promising monthly returns of between 15 and 120 per cent. Ji was sentenced to death on Monday, while two relatives were given suspended death sentences. The third relative received life imprisonment. [...] The harsh penalties for the illicit fundraiser and the enormous amount involved offer further insight into the country's underground financing system, which boomed in recent years because of rising demand for funds from small private businesses shunned by state-run lenders. The recent financial crisis in Wenzhou, Zhejiang - renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit - has raised alarm over the country's shadowy banking system. [...] The Lishui court said in a statement the Ji family started raising funds from the public in 2003, despite their property development company losing money. It said the company covered up its financial problems by offering high bidding prices in land auctions and through a media campaign. Ji started raising money using his company as guarantor, promising monthly interest rates ranging from 15 to 25 per cent. Before their arrest in 2008, the Ji family had promised interest rates as high as 120 per cent. [...]. ^ top ^

More than 2 mln still with water difficulties in SW China's ongoing drought (Xinhua)
2011-11-09
More than two million people are having trouble finding drinking water in Yunnan as the province's severe drought continues, according to the latest figures. On Nov. 3, 2.35 millon people in Yunnan were experiencing "drinking water difficulties", said Kong Chuizhu, vice governor of the province, on Tuesday. The average accumulative precipitation recorded in Yunnan between the start of 2011 and Nov. 3 was 841 mm, the lowest figure for an equivalent period in Yunnan since meteorological records began, and 211 mm lower than the year's average figure for the province, he said. [...] The figures also show the extreme weather's toll on agriculture. On Nov. 3, 1.32 million heads of livestock in Yunnan were found to be having trouble accessing adequate drinking water. And 12.32 million mu (about 821,300 hectares) of farmland were classed as affected by the drought. [...] Between the beginning of the drought (autumn 2009) and summer 2011, nine million people in Yunnan had experienced drinking water shortages, or been affected by agricultural or industrial production difficulties caused directly by the lack of water. [...]. ^ top ^

1.8 million jobs open for social workers (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-09
New jobs are on offer. And there are 1.8 million of them. As part of a government plan, 2 million qualified social workers will be employed on the mainland by the end of 2015, said a Ministry of Civil Affairs official on Tuesday. To ensure that happens, the government intends to adopt payment guidelines and other motivation policies. [...] Incomplete statistics from the ministry show that there are about 200,000 social workers in the Chinese mainland. Of them, though, only about a quarter have passed the exams they must take to be licensed to do social work. [...] Every year, 250 higher educational institutions in China graduate about 10,000 students who majored in social work. [...] Social workers' low incomes and the lack of promotion opportunities that they have are the causes of many graduates' decisions to pursue different careers. [...] The central government, recognizing the difficulties social workers face, has decided to offer them assistance. According to a circular released by 18 central governmental departments this month, it has pledged to ensure they have more professional training and education opportunities. The notice also required local governments to put more financial support toward training social workers. Local government departments could purchase the services of charitable and nonprofit organizations, thus encouraging the employment of more social workers. ^ top ^

Human rights studies boom in China (China Daily)
2011-11-10
The study of human rights has experienced a boom in China over the past few years as the government pushes for development of the country's own rights theory, officials said Wednesday. The number of institutes for studying human rights in China has grown to nearly 50 since the first were set up in the early 1990s, said Luo Haocai, president of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, at a workshop held in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The Ministry of Education in April also approved the establishment of human rights education and training centers at three key universities in Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou. Law schools in more than 100 universities and colleges have set up rights courses, Luo said. Dong Yunhu, deputy head of the State Council Information Office, said it is an important principle for the Communist Party of China and the government to respect and protect human rights, which form a key part of "socialist core values." Dong said rights scholars should strive to be innovative and develop China's own rights theory based on its history, cultural tradition and experience. ^ top ^

China urges better protection of farmers' land rights (Xinhua)
2011-11-10
China urged local governments to clarify and provide legal certifications for rural land ownership in its latest effort to protect farmers' land rights. The ownership of all the collectively-owned land in the countryside must be identified and legal certifications should be issued, said Zhu Liuhua, head of the land registration department at the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), at a press conference here Wednesday. The land will be registered as owned by the town, village or villager groups, Zhu said, citing the latest circular issued by the MLR and other government agencies that orders acceleration of the registry work. China proposed in 2010 a plan to identify and register the ownership of all collectively-owned rural land within three years in order to offer legal protection for the land rights of the country's 680 million farmers. The circular provides relative policy and technical details for the implementation of the plan, Zhu said. Rural land in China is state-owned or collectively-owned. As the countryside sees more and more land appropriated or transferred during the country's rapid urbanization, the lack of legal proof on rural land ownership has left farmers' interests poorly protected. [...] China has been striving to crack down on illegal land grabs to ensure sufficient arable land to feed its 1.3 billion people and protect farmers. However, local governments heavily rely on land sales for revenue and have been known to give preferential treatment to property developers. [...]. ^ top ^

Rescuers rush to save 23 trapped coal miners (China Daily)
2011-11-11
At least 20 miners were killed on Thursday in an accident in Southwest China's Yunnan province, local authorities said, and another 23 were still missing late in the day. The deadly accident occurred at 7:20 am when an outburst of coal and methane gas hit the Sizhuang Coal Mine in Shizong county, the State Administration of Work Safety said in a brief statement. Forty-three miners who were working in the shaft were trapped immediately after the outburst. Such an outburst usually occurs when high pressures underground make coal and methane gas billow up and fill mine tunnels. By 3 pm on Thursday, at least 20 miners were confirmed dead. Rescuers were struggling to reach another 23 and were still nearly 100 meters from the position of the trapped miners, Tan Xiaopeng, head of the local fire brigade, said on Thursday afternoon. The search and rescue operation faces great difficulties, said Tan, because gas intensity in the shaft remains so high that it could easily ignite. The local government sent more than 30 ambulances and 100 medical personnel. The number of doctors and nurses will soon rise to more than 300. Local authorities said that the mine had been run illegally, as its safe work license was revoked on Nov 28, 2010, but it later resumed production. Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, ordered local authorities to try every means to save the trapped miners. Zhao Tiechui, deputy head of the State Administration of Work Safety, and Peng Jianxun, deputy director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, have been dispatched to Qujing to oversee the rescue efforts. The private mine, with an annual output capacity of 90,000 tons of coal, has a relatively poor safety record, according to the Yunnan Administration of Coal Mine Safety. [...]. ^ top ^

China's Hollywood aims at leisure industry (China Daily)
2011-11-11
Hengdian World Studios, also known as China's Hollywood, aims to build China's "Las Vegas", said a media executive from the Hengdian Group, the studio's operator, on Wednesday. "We have been testing the waters over the past 15 years. The decision of the Central Committee of the CPC to deepen cultural reforms have consolidated our confidence and activated our passion in the cause," said Zeng Yulin, editor-in-chief of a magazine affiliated to the group. "We are planning to build Hengdian into a Chinese version of Las Vegas, which is well-known all over the world for its gambling and leisure industry. We will attract tourists through show biz and provide them with other leisure services," he added. On the basis of filming and tourism, Hengdian will develop into a high-end leisure destination. A plan shows that the group will invest 3 billion yuan ($220 million)in the construction of shooting bases and a tourism theme park, Oriental Morning Post reported. [...] Since the first film The Opium War was shot in 1996, the town has witnessed 900 films and TV series being shot here, including Hero, The Forbidden Kingdom and The Mummy Ⅲ. [...] Hengdian, which used to be a small and poor village in Dongyang city in East China's Zhejiang province, has become the largest film base in Asia after a dozen years of development. [...]. ^ top ^

Activist accuses West of 'failing' jailed dissidents (SCMP)
2011-11-11
Mainland dissidents have remained in prison because foreign governments have not exerted enough pressure on Beijing to release them, a spokeswoman for a New York-based rights group said yesterday. Beijing has seen through Western governments' fear of jeopardising their economic relations with China, as well as their lack of consistency over human rights issues, Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, told a press conference in Hong Kong. "The Chinese government got very good, very quickly at figuring out how to ignore or resist... international intervention on human rights," she said in an interview afterwards. "I think the logical response for governments that claim to be genuinely serious about this is to be more co-ordinated, more creative and not to abandon the fight." She cited the case of artist Ai Weiwei, whose detention on April 3 drew widespread condemnation. That outcry contributed to his release on bail in June, she said. But many activists remained illegally incarcerated by the authorities, such as rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and legal activist Chen Guangcheng, because leaders from the United States or the European Union have not mounted enough pressure on China by speaking publicly about their cases. Gao has not been seen for more than a year, while Chen is confined at home after his release from jail last year. [...]. ^ top ^

Crackdown on use of online news sources (SCMP)
2011-11-11
The central government is tightening rules on journalists, saying it is part of a campaign to curb fake news, but journalists say it is another move to step up censorship. New regulations issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication (Gapp) require local reporters to "guard against using rumours as sources for their reports", Xinhua said. Reporters "must insist on doing their reporting in the field and not rely on unverified hearsay or other non-first-hand information in their reports", the regulations say. Xinhua said reporters will have their press cards revoked for at least five years and could face being barred from journalism for life if they are found to have fabricated stories that result in "serious consequences". News organisations risk having their reporting licences revoked or services suspended if they publish false or inaccurate stories. [...] Xinhua said the new regulations are aimed at increasing the credibility of Chinese news organisations. Citing a Gapp spokesman, it said the reputation of some media had been tainted by inaccurate reporting. "There must be at least two different news sources in critical reporting, and reporters must keep evidence to ensure truth, accuracy and objectivity," the new rules say. Analysts questioned whether Gapp's new administrative measures were the right way to increase reporters' integrity and professionalism, while worrying that press freedom could be further restricted. Zhan Jiang, journalism professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said: "The regulation is possibly the result of pressure on Gapp by local governments or powerful enterprises to limit critical cross-regional reporting of large incidents." Stories embarrassing to provincial governments are often broken by reporters from other areas. A reporter at the Oriental Morning Post said the regulations would cause problems with cross-regional reporting. [...]. ^ top ^

China launches 12 talent programs (China Daily)
2011-11-11
China has launched 12 major programs for recruiting talents and experts, in various fields and at home and broad, to meet the nation's huge demand for top-notch personnel. The programs are aimed at attracting talents to work in such fields as enterprise operation and management, health care, modern agriculture and culture, according to the personnel management office under the Organizing Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Thursday. These programs are written in the country's National Medium and Long-term Talent Development Plan (2010-2020) unveiled last June, which is a blueprint for China to create a highly skilled national workforce by 2020. [...] Among the programs, the 1,000 Plan or the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, is a special plan aiming at recruiting overseas "innovative" talents, especially Chinese studying abroad. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Candidates harassed as voters go to polls (SCMP)
2011-11-09
Beijing's district and county people's congress elections took place yesterday, with estimates of about nine million people casting votes, amid allegations of harassment of "independent candidates" standing without official endorsement. [...] Results are expected to be announced in the middle of this month. [...] Leaders also voted yesterday, including President Hu Jintao, who voted in the Zhongnanhai area in the capital's Xicheng district [...]. This year's voting attracted more attention than usual because of a wave of online campaigns by "independent candidates" - including academics, journalists, bloggers, lawyers and farmers. They attracted widespread support and mounted serious campaigns but some said the authorities had disrupted their campaigns or harassed them. The official media said voters enjoyed their legal rights in the selection of delegates who they trusted. Guo Yuying, the chief of the Xidajie electoral district in Chongwenmen, said that they had put up candidates' details and organised campaigns so voters could know more about who was standing. Voters were given guidance on how to vote when they arrived at the station. [...] But some "independent candidates" said yesterday that they had been harassed or tailed by police. [...] Xu Xiangyu, 59, an official candidate in Yinmajing village, Huangcun town, in Daxing district, has been fighting for proper house demolition compensation for villagers since 2006. She became the only officially authorised candidate among nearly 60 people who announced their candidacy in Beijing online. [...] Independent candidates, nominated by other voters and not affiliated with the Communist Party, can only become official candidates, with their names printed on ballots, after being approved by district election authorities. If they fail to get on the ballots they can still be elected if enough voters write down their names underneath the official candidates' names. ^ top ^

City gets tougher on overuse of antibiotics (SCMP)
2011-11-11
Beijing's municipal health department will downgrade hospitals that overuse antibiotics, making the capital the first known city to get tough on the rampant abuse of such drugs. Among the problems of antibiotics overuse are that it leads to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria - so-called superbugs. Overuse could prove globally disastrous for infectious disease control. The department website said reasonable use of antibiotics would be considered when it began reassessing hospitals' qualifications next year. Those that fail to reach acceptable standards will be downgraded. There are three classes of hospital on the mainland, with class three being the highest, and each class subdivided into three levels. The ranking depends on a long list of criteria, from the number of beds to the qualifications of doctors and nurses. The heads of all the hospitals in the capital and the heads of its district health bureaus have signed pledges to reduce the use of antibiotics. Medical experts have long warned about the abuse of antibiotics on the mainland. Zhao Minggang, vice-director of the health ministry's medical administration department, has blamed the problem on poor knowledge of pharmacy among some doctors, together with overprescription encouraged by hospital surcharges of about 15 per cent for medicine. [...] The amount of penicillin mainlanders took each year is almost three times the global average. And 70 per cent of mainland inpatients get antibiotics, but the World Health Organisation says it should be 30 per cent. The health ministry has issued documents over the years to try to regulate the use of antibiotics but has achieved little. It solicited public opinion on a draft guideline on the clinical use of antimicrobial drugs, which include penicillin and tetracycline, in September that stipulated severe penalties for doctors and hospitals that overused them. The draft said doctors who prescribed unnecessary antibiotics could have their prescription rights cancelled. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Non-locals are 52.6% of workforce (Global Times)
2011-11-08
The non-local Chinese workforce has for the first time surpassed the local workforce, with 52.6 percent of the entire city's workforce, or 6.73 million people from outside provinces employed in the city, according to a new report released Monday from the Shanghai Municipal Statistics Bureau that was based on the latest census figures from last year. The report said that the number of non-local Chinese workers in the city has risen by 13.1 percent since the last census was conducted in 2000. [...] But, while the growing number of non-local Chinese employees in the city has placed added challenges on the local welfare system, the demographic has helped to ease pressures caused by a shortage of young talent in the city, according to the report. Local Chinese, however, are on average better educated than their non-local counterparts in the city, the report said, showing that 32.7 percent of local employees hold at least a high school diploma, while only 17.1 percent of the non-local Chinese employees have the same level of education. More than 28 percent of employees in the city's entire workforce hold a post-secondary education, up 14.5 percent from 2000, and dominate information, finance, education and research fields in the city, while those with no more than a high school diploma tend to work in labor-intensive industries, such as construction, agriculture and catering, the report said. A little more than half of the city's entire workforce, or 54.5 percent, meanwhile, account for employees in the service industry; the remaining 42.6 percent and 2.9 percent work for secondary and primary industries, respectively, the report added. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Factory bosses protest at pay rise (SCMP)
2011-11-09
Hong Kong factory owners in Guangdong are protesting about a proposed rise in the minimum wage, which they say is poorly timed and threatens the survival of the manufacturing industry. Guangdong announced last week it intended to raise the minimum wage by up to 20 per cent on January 1, the second increase in 10 months. Caught off guard by the short notice of the rise, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong and the Toys Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong decided to write to the city's Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong to lobby against the move. "We want a freeze on the plan," Federation of Hong Kong Industries deputy chairman Stanley Lau Chin-ho said yesterday. [...] If the pay rise - which will vary from region to region - is implemented, the minimum wage will have risen over 42 per cent in 10 months. Lau said the proposal to raise wages could not have come at a worse time as Hong Kong exporters expect overseas shipments to drop up to 30 per cent, depending on product type, in the year to June 30. [...] Manufacturers expect minimum wages to be raised by an average of 20 per cent a year up to 2015 under the current five-year plan, among the aims of which is to increase workers' spending power and spur domestic consumption. [...] Lau, of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, reiterated his forecast that roughly 30 per cent of some 50,000 Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta, would be forced to go out of business by the end of this year. Manufacturers have been struggling as the Guangdong authorities push factories to upgrade. [...]. ^ top ^

Enjoy sex, build happy Guangdong (China Daily)
2011-11-11
A provincial official has promised to make efforts to further develop the sexual culture to help build a happy Guangdong province. "There will not be a happy Guangdong without local residents having happy sex lives," said Zhang Feng, deputy secretary-general of Guangdong provincial government. Zhang said more than 20 percent of single people suffered from a feeling of sexual repression in the province. Zhang, who is also director of Guangdong provincial commission of population and family planning, and chairman of Guangdong Sexology Association, was speaking to the local media in Guangzhou on Thursday, the eve of Singles' Day, and two days ahead of the opening of the Ninth Guangzhou Sexual Cultural Festival. According to statistics from the commission, on an average, Chinese people are now getting married at 30, compared to 20 in the beginning of the previous century. But people are attaining sexual maturity at an earlier age. [...] Local psychologist Chen Yunxiang said more psychiatric consulting centers should be set up to help guide single people suffering from a feeling of sexual repression, disseminate sexual knowledge and promote the idea of having healthy sex lives. "Those who suffer from sexual repression easily break the laws and rules unless they can find a place to let off their sense of frustration," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Senior Chinese official highlights achievements of Tibet (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
A senior Chinese official highlighted here on Thursday the achievements made by China's Tibet towards modernization and social development in the last 60 years. Wang Chen, head of the Chinese State Council Information Office told the opening ceremony of the third forum on the development of Tibet that Since Tibet's peaceful liberation in 1951, the region has made great strides towards modernization and ushered in a new era of social development. "Thanks to the continued attention of the central government, support from other parts of the country, as well as concerted efforts by all ethnic groups in Tibet, Tibet has undergone great changes and made unprecedented progress in all aspects over the past six decades," Wang told the forum. [...] Wang said the living standard of the local people in Tibet has been dramatically improved with their average life expectancy rising to 67 years from the pre-liberation level of 35.5 years. "It is indeed a miracle that the ancient and mysterious plateau region has taken just decades to achieve what would have taken others a thousand years," said Wang. Wang said the snow-capped plateau is now enjoying a golden era of development, with a growing economy, an evolving society, a prosperous culture, a higher standard of living, coexistence among different religious and ethnic groups, and a happy working and family life enjoyed by local people. "The region has aligned itself with the pace of national development and has, because of its unique advantages, shown great potential for future growth," said Wang. The forum is jointly sponsored by China's State Council Information Office, the Chinese embassy in Greece and the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries to enhance the world's understanding of Tibet and strengthen international co-operation on the development of Tibet. [...]. ^ top ^

Panchen Lama receives worshippers in Beijing (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
The 11th Panchen Lama received Buddhist worshippers at the High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China in Beijing on Thursday. More than 300 Buddhist followers attended the ritual, including 11 monks who on Wednesday had graduated from the college and acquired the "Tho Ram Pa" degree, one of the highest academic degrees in Tibetan Buddhism. The monks were awarded the degree, which is equivalent to a doctorate degree, after taking a six-day exam on Tibetan Buddhist sutras, passing a dissertation defense and being interviewed by a judging committee composed of respected monks. Another 28 monks were qualified as instructors of the college after passing the exam. To date, 77 graduates from the college have received the degree since the degree system was launched in 2004 in an effort to improve the study of Tibetan Buddhism and the training of outstanding monks. The 11th Panchen Lama asked the monks to love the country and follow religious disciplines, and hoped for them to make outstanding achievements in the study of Buddhism. Monks from the country's Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan regions also paid homage to the 11th Panchen Lama. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Pro-Beijing camp achieves landslide in district polls (SCMP)
2011-11-07
The pro-Beijing camp scored a landslide victory in Sunday's district council elections – with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) and Federation of Trade Unions winning 146 of the 412 seats. In contrast, the pan-democratic camp suffered an even worse defeat than it had experienced in 2007. The Democratic Party won only 47 seats, while the Civic Party won seven. A record turnout of 1.2 million people voted on Sunday in the most hotly contested district council elections in Hong Kong history – which saw 839 candidates contest 336 constituencies. Some 76 councillors were returned. Of the 2.9 million eligible voters, 41.4 per cent cast their ballots – compared with a turnout of 38.8 per cent in the 2007 district council polls and 44.06 per cent in 2003 – when there were nearly 500,000 fewer registered voters. [...] DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him defeated Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrat (LSD). Ip received 2,723 votes, while Leung, also known as “Long Hair”, only got 973 votes. Ip said this showed voters were unwilling to back radical politicians. [...] Civic Party leader Alan Leong Ka-kit said the goal of achieving full universal suffrage would be more difficult after the landslide defeat. [...] Radical pan-democratic group People Power – whose goal was to punish the Democratic Party and Association of Democratic and People's Livelihood for backing the government's reform package for the 2012 elections – was the biggest loser. Of its 62 candidates, only one achieved a victory. [...]. ^ top ^

HK's unique strengths offer opportunities for world: Chief Executive (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-11
Hong Kong's unique strengths and China's continuing economic growth will present enormous opportunities for the world including the United States in the years ahead, said HK Special Autonomous Region Chief Executive Donald Tsang on Wednesday. "It is clear that the drive to open up and reform will continue (in China)," said Tsang when attending an event organized by the Washington-based think-tank Brookings Institution. "There will be a greater emphasis on developing the domestic economy and domestic consumption." He said Hong Kong and the United States have a long-standing, strong and broad-based relationship. The United States remains Hong Kong's second largest trading partner and a major investor. [...] Tsang noted that according to China's 12th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong will continue to develop its role as a global financial, banking, logistics and business service hub. It will also boost the region's role as an international asset management center and an offshore Renminbi business center, which will bring opportunities for U.S. financial services. "We have been given a spearhead role in the internationalization of the Renminbi," which will not only help China's development, but will provide an additional monetary resource that will help address some of the imbalances that have surfaced in the U.S. and more lately in the debt crisis striking European countries. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China to inject 1tr yuan into money market (SCMP)
2011-11-07
China is likely to inject more than 1 trillion yuan (US$158 billion) into the money market in the next two months via annual subsidies from the Ministry of Finance, the official China Securities Journal on Monday quoted a research report as saying. The injection will help improve liquidity, which has been impacted by the government's tight monetary policy in place since October last year, the newspaper quoted the report by China International Capital Corpotation (CICC) as saying. The Finance Ministry typically offers subsidies to various industries and sectors in the last two months of each year as part of distribution of the government's annual tax income. The ministry does not publicise these subsidies but the market estimated they totalled 1 trillion-2 trillion yuan last year. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) has not raised interest rates or bank reserve requirement ratios (RRR) since July in a sign that the government may be considering loosening its tight monetary stance amid the market turmoil sparked by the euro zone debt crisis. The central bank previously instituted a slew of rate and RRR hikes as inflation repeatedly hit three-year highs. Those steps offset the impact of liquidity injections via Finance Ministry subsidies late last year, but the market widely expects the PBOC will leave the subsidies to improve market liquidity this year, traders have said. ^ top ^

Surge in mining industry investment (Global Times)
2011-11-07
China's investment in the mining sector increased by 27.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 from the same period a year ago, a senior official said Sunday. A total of 2.6 trillion yuan ($410.03 billion) was invested in China's mining industry in the first nine months of 2011, Wang Min, deputy minister of Land and Resources, said at the 2011 China Mining Congress & Expo, which opened in Tianjin Sunday. The coal mining industry took the lead, growing by 24.6 percent in the first three quarters. Investment in mining of other minerals also maintained steady growth. Smelting and processing, especially of nonferrous metals, saw a remarkable growth in investment, said Wang. "The rising investment in the sector is caused by increased demand for raw materials, such as iron ore and rare earth, which indicates that the energy-intensive economic growth pattern continues to dominate in China," Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times Sunday. The prices of most minerals in the global market are still fluctuating at a high level, including coal and precious metals. Prices of gold and silver have also risen to record highs, Wang noted. [...]. ^ top ^

Freeze on nuclear power projects annoys investors (SCMP)
2011-11-07
The long-term impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis on the mainland's development of nuclear power remains unclear, but investors say they are frustrated that construction projects have been halted since then. Zhao Chengkun, vice-chairman of the China Nuclear Energy Association, said recently that the State Council had failed to approve any nuclear plant projects since the accident at the Fukushima plant in March. "In past years, the central government has approved eight to nine projects every year," Zhao said at this month's China International Nuclear Symposium in Hong Kong. The Fukushima accident occurred soon after Beijing announced in its latest five-year plan that nuclear energy would play a key role in lifting the share of mainland electricity produced by non-fossil energy to 15 per cent by 2020. In its wake, the State Council ordered a nationwide inspection of existing nuclear power plants and construction sites amid widespread public concern about the safety of nuclear power. [...] He said the shutdown had affected the nation's entire nuclear energy industry, with contracts for nuclear energy projects - especially those involving the purchase of nuclear equipment from overseas - being suspended or cancelled. [...] At least 27 reactors have been built, with 50 more planned. [...] Li Yongjiang, vice-chairman of China Nuclear Energy Association, said the industry's target of producing 5 per cent of the mainland's electricity by 2020 would have to be postponed or even scrapped. [...]. ^ top ^

Nation to prohibit regular lightbulbs in five years (Global Times)
2011-11-07
It'll be lights out for the old bulbs as China on Friday unveiled its five-stage roadmap for phasing out incandescent lightbulbs, aiming to save energy and reduce emissions. November 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 will be a transitional period and as of October 1, 2012, imports and sales of ordinary incandescent bulbs of 100 watts or more will be prohibited, Xie Ji, a deputy director with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Friday. The first phase will be followed by a ban on 60-watt-and-higher incandescent lightbulbs starting in October 2014. By October 2016, all incandescent lightbulbs will be banned in China. [...] "This endeavor will promote structural optimization of the lighting industry. The government will provide funds to energy-saving bulb producers and guide them to save costs, so poor people can afford them," Xie said. [...] The NDRC is working on a draft plan for energy-saving LED lighting, and output of the industry is expected to quadruple in five years, Xie said. Lightbulbs account for 12 percent of China's power consumption. China is a major producer and consumer of incandescent bulbs, he said. "Meanwhile, China is also world's largest producer of energy-efficient bulbs, with its global market share from 20 percent in 1996 to 85 percent in 2010.". ^ top ^

China moves to beef up lending to small firms (China Daily)
2011-11-08
China has implemented a slew of measures to guide banks to loan more to small and micro-sized enterprises, and 27.9 percent of all outstanding loans by September went to those companies, the country's banking regulator said Monday. The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said that outstanding loans made to small and micro-sized companies totaled 14.75 trillion yuan ($2.33 trillion) by the end of September. Shang Fulin, the newly-appointed chairman of the CBRC, said Monday that the commission had made a series of policies to support the development of small and micro-sized companies in recent years. "Effective policy guidance has guaranteed the sustainability of banking services provided to small and micro-sized companies," Shang said. On October 24, the CBRC revealed a detailed plan to encourage financial support for the country's small and micro-sized enterprises in a supplementary notice to its previous support plan for financing small enterprises. The supplementary notice ordered commercial banks to give more support to enterprises that borrow less than 5 million yuan and increase tolerance for non-performing loans to small and micro-sized firms. ^ top ^

China's CPI growth eases to 5.5 pct in October (Xinhua)
2011-11-09
China's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 5.5 percent year-on-year in October, weakening from September's 6.1 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday. The October CPI growth marked the slowest surge since May this year, softening from 6.1 percent in September, 6.2 percent in August, 6.5 percent in July and 6.4 percent in June. On a monthly basis, the cost of living added 0.1 percent in October,said the NBS in a statement at its website. Food prices, which account for nearly one third of the basket of goods in the nation's CPI calculation, moved up 11.9 percent in October from a year earlier but dipped 0.2 percent month-on-month, according to the NBS. Prior to the NBS announcement, many economists expected the October CPI to rise by 5.4 percent year-on-year. China's CPI hit a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July this year, which was far above the Chinese government's full-year target of 4 percent for 2011. China's Producer Price Index (PPI), a major measure of inflation at the wholesale level, rose 5 percent in October year-on-year. ^ top ^

Wen: Proper handling of China's own affairs important (China Daily)
2011-11-09
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said the most important thing for China was to "put our own house in order" in the face of the current grave international economic situation. China had the confidence, resolve and capability to handle its affairs well, Wen said in St Petersbrug on Sunday [...]. The premier outlined the economic situation in China, saying the goal of employment for this year had been achieved, and the eighth consecutive year of agricultural growth had laid a firm foundation for the national economy and people's livelihood. He said the general level of consumer prices had shown an obvious decrease since October, but challenges remained ahead in the winter, when demand normally was high and production, such as vegetable production in northern China, was fairly low. Wen said increasing production was the main means of controlling prices. He also highlighted the need to improve the flow of agricultural products to streamline the connection between production in the countryside and consumption in the cities. On housing prices, Wen said the two-year regulation of the real estate industry and increased construction of welfare housing were set to ease the tension between supply and demand, which would bring down house prices. Wen said the regulation of the real estate industry would not waver. "We aim to lead housing price back to a reasonable level and promote a healthy development of the real estate industry at the same time," he said. On the allocation of this year's increased fiscal income, Wen stressed the need to reduce structural tax to support weak points in the economy so as to help the development of small- and micro-sized enterprises and ensure employment. [...] The premier said China's fiscal deficit and debt balance were of reasonable and controllable proportions of the GDP, and the government would continue to ensure fiscal and financial security. In face of the unprecedented long and complex financial crisis, China's proper handling of its own affairs would be the biggest contribution to the world, Wen said. He promised China would carry out its responsibilities in accordance with international rules, and solve problems one by one in a steadfast way to ensure a bright future for the Chinese economy. ^ top ^

Jan-Sept overseas investment up 12.4% (China Daily)
2011-11-09
Chinese companies invested $40.8 billion in non-financial sectors overseas in the first three quarters, up 12.4 percent from a year earlier, despite the global financial crisis, a senior official said Tuesday. Chinese companies have been investing vigorously in foreign countries this year, despite the global slowdown in international investment activity caused by faltering economic recovery, Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, said at the third China Overseas Investment Fair in Beijing. China's outbound direct investment reached $68.8 billion in 2010, up 21.7 percent from a year earlier, ranking above developing countries and surpassing Japan and Germany to be the world's fifth largest source of foreign direct investment outflows, Zhang said. By the end of 2010, Chinese companies had invested a total of $317.2 billion in more than 178 countries and regions, according to Zhang. [...] The government will continue to support competent Chinese companies in investing abroad in the future, with improved protection mechanism, legal system, services and supervision, Zhang added. The NDRC granted its provincial arms more authority in approving overseas investment in February, a step toward giving enterprises a greater say in investment project decisions. Under the new rule, companies planning to invest less than $300 million in the resource sector, or less than $100 million in other industries overseas, only need approval from provincial economic planners, and not from the NDRC. ^ top ^

China's October foreign trade drops 8.3 pct month-on-month; surplus continues to fall (Xinhua)
2011-11-10
China's imports and exports in October both dropped from September, as uncertainties in the United States and Europe have slashed external demand, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Thursday. China's foreign trade in October fell 8.3 percent from September to 297.95 billion U.S. dollars, but still rose 21.6 percent year-on-year, according to GAC data. October exports weakened 7.2 percent month-on-month to 157.49 billion U.S. dollars, while imports dropped 9.5 percent month-on-month to 140.46 billion U.S. dollars. The October trade surplus amounted to 17.03 billion U.S. dollars, down 36.5 percent year-on-year. On a yearly basis, exports were up 15.9 percent, while imports expanded 28.7 percent year-on-year [...]. During the January-October period, the country's trade surplus narrowed by 15.4 percent year-on-year to 124.02 billion U.S. dollars. [...] Despite the lingering debt crisis in Europe, the EU remained China's top trading partner during the January-October period, with trade amounting to 466.94 billion U.S. dollars, up 20.2 percent year-on-year. [...] A free trade area arrangement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) boosted China-ASEAN trade by 25.7 percent year-on-year to 295.91 billion U.S. dollars during the period. China reported a trade deficit of 21.17 billion U.S. dollars with ASEAN, 59.2 percent greater than a year ago. [...] China's trade with Australia, Brazil, Russia and South Africa grew much faster than average, increasing by 34.6 percent, 37.4 percent, 43.8 percent and 87 percent, respectively. ^ top ^

October fiscal revenue rose by 17% (Global Times)
2011-11-10
China's national fiscal revenue rose 16.9 percent in October from a year earlier to 918.83 billion yuan ($145.38 billion), the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday. The annual growth rate was a pullback from 17.3 percent in September, 34.3 percent in August and 26.7 percent in July. ^ top ^

Wenzhou to tackle SMEs' debt crisis (Global Times)
2011-11-10
The eastern city of Wenzhou announced Wednesday that it has launched a series of financial reforms to help tackle the debt crisis of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The city will set up 100 micro-finance firms, two to four private capital management companies, and a private financing register center to transform the city into a private capital distribution center, the city government said in a statement. These measures will help make private lending transparent and legal, the statement said. The city will also pilot the market-based reform of interest rates, allowing the deposit and lending rates to reach up to four times the benchmark rates, it said. The State Council, or China's cabinet, has cut taxes and ordered State-owned banks to ease the credit squeeze to salvage cash-strapped SMEs in Wenzhou after Premier Wen Jiabao's tour of the city on October 5. [...]. ^ top ^

Telecom giants face heavy fines in monopoly probe (SCMP)
2011-11-10
Authorities are investigating the mainland's two telecommunications giants for monopolising broadband internet services - the first case against big state-owned enterprises since the anti-monopoly law was introduced in 2008. The top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China Telecom [...] and China Unicom [...] accounted for more than two-thirds of the broadband market and had used that dominant position to fix prices. [...] The investigations send a warning that the government will enforce the anti-monopoly law against all companies, whether state-owned, domestic or foreign. Economists yesterday generally saw it as a positive step, although they cautioned against interpreting this as a signal that Beijing was ready to allow full competition between private business and state corporates. [...] Kevin Li Shanyou, a professor at the China Europe International Business School, welcomed the news. "China has an anti-monopoly law but it has been hibernating," Li said. "If it cannot apply to state-owned enterprises that are operating a crude monopoly, what else can it apply to?" [...] "Beijing says these enterprises make huge profits and hails that as an achievement," he said. "But the more profitable these companies are, the worse it is for the industry because they strangle the vitality of small and medium-sized enterprises." The NDRC said revenue from the broadband business of China Telecom was about 50 billion yuan a year, while that of China Unicom was nearing 30 billion yuan. The two companies face penalties of up to 10 per cent of their annual revenue if found violating the law. ^ top ^

Liquor firms lead way in race for CCTV advert slots (SCMP)
2011-11-10
Prime-time advertising slots on state broadcaster China Central Television for next year were once again snapped up by liquor brands this week despite new restrictions on alcohol advertising coming into effect next year. The total value of auctioned and pre-sold advertising on CCTV next year hit a record of 14.26 billion yuan (HK$17.46 billion), up 12.5 per cent. The auction in Beijing on Tuesday itself raised 12.25 billion yuan. The CCTV advertising auction is seen as a gauge of corporate spending power and analysts view the results as a key indicator of business confidence across the whole economy. A total of 245 companies from 28 countries and regions joined the 18th auction, with 104 successful bidders, mostly from the mainland. Liquor companies ranked top, spending 3.35 billion yuan on successful bids, up 37 per cent. [...] Professor Zhao Xiao, an economist at the University of Science & Technology Beijing, said the CCTV prime-time advertising auction results were seen as one indicator of the mainland's economy and suggested growing corporate spending power, propped up by growing sales in the mainland market. "Liquor sales are very reliant on branding and advertising because the product is mainly for social intercourse or given as a gift," he said. [...] Eight of the 20 most successful bidders were liquor or beer companies, even though CCTV will restrict liquor advertising from the start of next year, allowing just two liquor advertisements in prime time and up to 12 in any one day on each channel, Nine channels targeting overseas markets and children do not show any liquor advertisements. [...]. ^ top ^

Electric car an idea that may have had its day (SCMP)
2011-11-11
Beijing is having a serious rethink over its ambitious electric vehicles policy. The central government has assembled the top experts and policymakers on electric and hybrid cars at a meeting in Wuzhen, in Zhejiang province, this week. One expert attending the meeting said the government was increasingly concerned about problems in the industry, including its cost-effectiveness, technological difficulties and the uncertain benefits to the environment, according to the 21st Century Business Herald. It said Beijing was reconsidering its support for pure electric cars and may rethink how to spend the 100 billion yuan (HK$122.6 billion) fund set up to develop green vehicles - perhaps by shifting resources to hybrid cars. Beijing is soon to release the final version of its long-awaited green car development plan, which has been under drafting by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology since 2009. [...] The central government announced its ambitious plan to develop a new generation of green vehicles - focusing on pure electric cars - two years ago. [...] Fang Fang, who is general manager of the Innovation Centre for Energy and Transportation's China operation, said that after conducting a national study on the electric car's environmental impact, particularly its carbon footprint, his organisation had submitted a report to the government earlier this year advising major changes to the present scheme. "We have provided the Chinese government with figures showing that electric cars' carbon dioxide emissions would exceed autos on fossil fuel in north China due to the region's heavy reliance on coal to generate electric power," she said. [...] BYD, the biggest electric car manufacturer on the mainland, in which US billionaire Warren Buffett took a 10 per cent stake in 2008, released its all-electric MPV in Shenzhen this month. The official price of the vehicle is 360,000 yuan, with a 120,000 yuan subsidy evenly shared by the central and Shenzhen governments. [...]. ^ top ^

China launches crackdown on illegal fund raising crimes (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
China has launched a special campaign that will last three months to crack down on crimes of illegal fund raising, according to a statement issued at an inter-ministerial joint conference Thursday. Efforts should be made to intensify the supervision over the private financial activities, and local relevant authorities can pilot a register and monitoring system to monitor the sources and flows of the funds and the interest rates in such private financing activities, said Shang Fulin, the newly-appointed chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). Usury activities and flowing of the credit funds from the banks and financial institutions to the private financing market should be strictly prohibited, Shang said. Police will keep a close watch on possible offenses in real estate, energy, financial planning services, financing intermediary and equity investment, said Liu Jinguo, vice minister of public security. The crackdown will be focused on frauds in the fund raising and illegal fund raising cases that involving pyramid schemes or online crimes, Liu said. [...] According to the statement issued at the conference, China had solved over 5,000 cases of crimes of illegal fund raising between 2008 and 2010, and 15 billion yuan (2.36 billion U.S. dollars) of the funds have been recovered. However, the situation is still grave as the first nine months of this year have seen the investigations of 1,300 cases of similar offenses involving some 13.38 billion yuan, the statement said. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK media attack claims of economic meltdown (Xinhua)
2011-11-11
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) official news agency KCNA slammed claims of an "economic meltdown" in the country in a commentary issued Thursday. It accused the United States and South Korea of asserting that DPRK's economy had been in decline for two years and said a document they published recommending investors to be "careful" when investing in the socialist country was a "sophism aimed to distort the true picture of the DPRK's self-supporting economy." The past two years marked "a stirring period" in the country's history, in which unprecedented miracles and innovations had occurred, including the completion of its plans for economic modernization, the commentary said. "Today, the DPRK's economy is at the highest tide of its development ever in history," it said. The U.S. and South Korea's "smear propaganda," said the commentary, "is an absurd and reptile deed intended to hinder other countries' investment in the DPRK and intercept its external economic relations." "It is the disposition and tradition of the army and people of the DPRK to advance with self-pride, full of conviction despite the enemies' despicable smear campaign," it said. The commentary said the DPRK would as ever boost cooperation with nations friendly to it while more strikingly displaying the potential and might of its independent economy. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Shares of "Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi" company will be sold through foreign stock exchanges (Montsame)
2011-11-09
The working group presented ways of selling shares of “Erdenes tavan tolgoi” company at the domestic and foreign markets, choices of Stock exchanges, company structure at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. It has been considered right to sell apart of the shares through Stock exchanges of Mongolia, of London and of Hong Kong and to register the company, who sells the shares, in Great Britain. If to fit there into FTSE index, a demand will grow, as expected, and for this, a company must be creatyed and registered in Great Britain. The Cabinet obliged the authorities of the State property committee and “Erdenes MGL” company to work in this direction. The “Erdenes tavan tolgoi” company's structure will be changed and related laws and rules will be amended. Main advisors and organizers of this issue are Deutsche bank of Germany, Goldman Sacs of the United states America, BNP Paribas of France, Macquarie bank of Australia. There are other international auditors and tax advisers who are cooperating in this matter. A key document on selling the shares has been elaborated as well. ^ top ^

Mongolia and China to cooperate in veterinary sphere (Montsame)
2011-11-07
The first jointl meeting between veterinary services of Mongolia and China ran in November 1-2 in Beijing, China. The meeting has been attended by heads of vet services of Ulaanbaatar city and Bayan-Ulgii, Khovd, Govi-Altai, Bayankhongor and Omnogovi aimags who border China and by representatives of vet and quarantine services of Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Heilongjiang region of China. The sides have exchanged information on present situation of the vet services sphere, on preventing animal diseases. A memorandum on cooperation in the veterinary services has been signed between Department of veterinary and animal breeding of Mongolia and Veterinary bureau of Chinese Agriculture Ministry. Accordingly, a collaboration between the bordering aimags will be set up, and an information will be shared. The gathered have discussed how to prevent diseases and exchanged the collaboration issues. ^ top ^

Government to spend mnt 1.5 billion to repair environmental damage (News.mn)
2011-11-09
The Government has decided to allocate more than MNT 1.54 billion from the Reserve Fund to repair environmental damage caused by gold mining operations in banned areas of river and forest basins. The amount covers travel expenses to 12 aimags where the damage has occurred, environmental repairs, and the closing of 246 mines operating in banned areas. Officials discussed the recovery plan at a meeting of the Nature, Environment Estimation Commission. Relevant organizations also participated in the discussion of how to repair the damaged areas. ^ top ^

Mongolia to distribute mnt 2.4 trillion to citizens (News.mn)
2011-11-09
Parliament's Standing Committee on Budget discussed next year's Human Development Fund (HDF) allowance. The MPP and DP will fulfill their 2008 election promise, meaning MNT 2.4 trillion will be distributed to citizens in 2012. According to Finance Minister S.Bayartsogt's speech, the HDF will allocate an allowance of MNT 128,000 to every citizen by July 2012. Additionally, women 55 and over, men 60 and over, and disabled people will receive a one-time allowance of MNT 1 million, which some 600,000 people will collect. S.Bayartsogt said the remaining 2.2 million citizens will receive their choice of MNT 1 million in cash or an equivalent in shares in Erdenes MGL LLC and 15 other mining companies. The Government predicts half the citizens will take the cash and half will take the shares. S.Bayartsogt noted that political parties have agreed to not promise citizens cash in the 2012 election. ^ top ^

Government repeals excise tax on diesel (News.mn)
2011-11-09
At Wednesday's Government meeting, members decided to repeal the excise tax on diesel fuel because Russia has increased its tax on the fuel by USD 70 per ton. By repealing the excise tax, the Government hopes the price of diesel fuel will not rise in Mongolia. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister D.Zorigt stated that diesel will continue to be sold at its current price. But he said the price of AI-92 benzen will increase by MNT 30 per liter. D.Zorigt said the ministry had requested petroleum importers not to increase the price of AI-92 benzen. ^ 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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