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
  21-25.11.11, No. 398  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China to continue to be active player in East Asian cooperation: assistant FM (Xinhua)
2011-11-21
China will continue to be an active participant and partner in East Asian cooperation, said Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin here on Saturday. Liu made the remarks at a press briefing on the sidelines of the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesia. Describing the summit as "fruitful," Liu said all parties concerned maintained the theme of "solidarity, cooperation and development." He added that leaders reiterated that the EAS should continue to serve as a leaders' strategic forum, and maintain the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). According to him, the discussions covered such issues as how to enhance connectivity among and beyond ASEAN, disaster relief and prevention and food safety. A special session was held over the slow recovery of the world economy. East Asia has maintained a good momentum of economic development, Liu said. "How to maintain the good momentum has been a common aspiration of East Asian leaders," he added. At the two-day series of summits, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao put forward several "practical proposals" aimed at further enhancing East Asian cooperation and China-ASEAN cooperation, he said. The proposals include the establishment of a committee on connectivity cooperation, an additional 10-billion-U.S.-dollar credit to ASEAN countries, a maritime fund of about 30 billion yuan (4.7 billion U.S. dollars), and a free trade area between ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea, he said. "We are looking forward to enhancing cooperation with ASEAN countries and all members of the East Asian summit," Liu said. Prior to the EAS, Wen attended the 14th China-ASEAN summit (10+1), the 14th summit between ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea (10+3), and a trilateral summit between China, Japan and South Korea. [...]. ^ top ^

Don't meddle in ASEAN: Premier (Global Times)
2011-11-21
China opposes any form of outside interference in its internal affairs and maritime disputes between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stressed Friday, after the US reasserted its ambition to expand its engagement in the region and to back up nations in disputes. "China respects ASEAN countries' independent choice of development path and values, supports ASEAN in handling disputes in its own way and opposes outside interference in ASEAN's internal affairs," Wen said at the 14th ASEAN-China Summit in Bali, Indonesia. [...] Premier Wen met with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. Wen said he was confident China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, would see better cooperation in the future and urged the two to work hand-in-hand, Xinhua News Agency reported. Singh told Wen that India was committed to developing the "best of relations" with China, the Times of India reported on Friday. Separately, the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) was officially launched Friday by leaders at the 14th ASEAN-China Summit. "The center is a one-stop information bank and activities center to serve ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture," Ma Mingqiang, the Secretary-General of the ACC, told a press briefing in Bali, Xinhua reported. According to Ma, the Center is headquartered in Beijing. But in the future, affiliated centers will be set up in ASEAN countries and other parts of China. ^ top ^

Asian giants inch toward major FTA (Global Times)
2011-11-21
Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea pledged to speed up work on a free trade agreement (FTA) over the weekend. Experts said the joint cooperation by the three major economies in Asia would lay the foundation for greater economic integration and also act as a counterbalance to the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The consensus was reached by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Bali. Wen proposed that joint studies by governments, industries and experts on the FTA from the three countries be completed by the end of this year and that formal negotiations on the trade pact begin next year. Accounting for about 70 percent of the Asian economy and about 20 percent of the global economy, the trilateral FTA would be the third-largest economic cooperation in the world with 1.5 billion consumers, following the North American Free Trade Agreement and the EU. [...] Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea. [...]. ^ top ^

China, DPRK vow to strengthen military cooperation (Global Times)
2011-11-21
China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have said they would strengthen military exchanges and cooperation. The two sides vowed to do so during an official goodwill visit from Nov. 15 to 18 to the DPRK by a senior Chinese military delegation led by Director of the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Li Jinai. During a meeting with Li, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Il said the military relationship is an important part of the ties between the two countries. He said he hoped the two militaries would continue to improve their ties so as to help consolidate and develop the China-DPRK friendship. Li said the Chinese military, in accordance with the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, is willing to work with the DPRK in the new historic era to enhance understanding and mutual trust and strengthen practical exchanges. This would promote the all-round development of China-DPRK relations, which are neighborly and friendly, he said. [...] The Chinese official reiterated the Chinese government's principles and stand on issues related to the Korean Peninsula, and expressed China's willingness to make joint efforts with the DPRK to maintain regional peace and stability. [...]. ^ top ^

Work with us on global recovery, Beijing tells US (SCMP)
2011-11-22
An unbalanced recovery is better than a balanced recession when faced with a bleak global economic outlook, Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said yesterday at the Sino-US trade talks. Wang, Beijing's top finance and trade official, also appealed to the US for more co-operation to revive the global economy, emphasising the need to work together towards shared goals instead of getting entangled in disputes over currency and other issues that divide them. "Global economic conditions remain grim, and ensuring economic recovery is the overriding priority," Wang said at the start of the second day of the China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. "An unbalanced recovery would be better than a balanced recession." He said stable economic growth in China and the United States, the world's two biggest economies, would make a positive contribution to global recovery. In earlier comments, made at the weekend, Wang warned that the global recession would last a long time and said China must focus on its domestic problems. Analysts said Wang's advice to the US delegation to put aside trade and currency disputes and focus on promoting domestic growth would result in a continued trade imbalance between Beijing and Washington. [...] The US commerce secretary, John Bryson, said his government welcomed expanded trade and investment, on balanced terms. "But a reality also is that many in the US, including the business community and the Congress, are moving towards a more negative view of our trading relationship, and they question whether the JCCT is able to make meaningful progress," Bryson said. Wang asked the US side to "make substantive progress" in relaxing controls on hi-tech exports to China and to "exercise caution" in taking action against exports, a key driver of the mainland economy. He also called on the US to ensure a level playing field for Chinese companies seeking to invest in America. [...] The agenda for this week's meeting of the JCCT, which meets twice a year, includes trade and investment, agricultural products and quality inspection, technology and standards and intellectual property rights. [...]. ^ top ^

Brunei energy deals inked (China Daily)
2011-11-22
A number of energy agreements were signed on Monday as Premier Wen Jiabao wrapped up his visit to Brunei, the first by a Chinese premier to the Southeast Asian nation. A memorandum of understanding covering energy cooperation between the two governments was among the documents signed at Brunei Palace. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) also signed a deal with Petroleum Brunei for "gas and oil commercial cooperation". [...] Though it has a territorial dispute with China over a small area in the South China Sea, Brunei has maintained a low-profile stance on the issue and stressed it should be settled through mutual consultation. Other cooperation documents ranged from forestry to health. The premier and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah officiated at the signing ceremony. [...] During a speech at Universiti Brunei Darussalam shortly after his arrival in Brunei on Sunday, Wen proposed deepening economic ties with Brunei, including cooperation in offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as upstream and downstream energy cooperation. China has insisted that territorial disputes in the South China Sea should be settled through negotiations between countries directly involved. It has also proposed to "put aside disputes and engage in joint exploitation" in the disputed area. [...] Luo Yongkun, a Southeast Asian studies fellow with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said China is consistent in its stance toward exploiting resources in the South China Sea: any operation should be mutually beneficial and not destabilize the region. [...]. ^ top ^

Positive signal in climate battle (SCMP)
2011-11-23
Beijing's top climate negotiator says China will remain committed to playing a constructive role in keeping alive a weakening UN regime tackling global warming at climate talks in South Africa. The remarks by Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, were a positive sign of China's willingness to play a leadership role in pushing forward the long-deadlocked climate talks, despite limited expectations, analysts said. As negotiators gather for the biggest annual UN conference on climate change, to be held in Durban next week, leading parties remain locked in a row over whether the Kyoto Protocol [...] should be renewed. [...] China and other developing nations have insisted on extending the 1997 pact, the first commitment period of which expires next year, calling it a matter of political trust for future talks as well as international collaborations. [...] Xie reiterated China's stance, calling on developed nations to make clear emission-reduction targets through to 2020 and on developing nations to make greater domestic efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Noting that China had become the world's largest carbon emitter, and that its carbon emissions would continue to grow rapidly in the coming decade, Xie said the country would step up its own efforts to curb pollution, cut carbon intensity and promote renewable energy sectors. But he declined to give a specific prediction about when the nation's carbon emissions would peak [...]. On China's refusal to accept legally binding targets for carbon cuts, Xie said the government would be ready to consider further commitments beyond 2020 after the next international review of global efforts dealing with climate change, which is due in 2014. [...]. ^ top ^

Colleges recruited in 'go abroad' push (SCMP)
2011-11-23
Mainland universities will be given state funding to help extend the overseas reach of Chinese academic research, the latest initiative in the nation's soft-power push abroad. The funding will come via the "Go Abroad" initiative, which aims to give greater overseas exposure to Chinese research, particularly in the social studies. The Ministry of Education would contribute money to the initiative, which would include translation and publication of Chinese academic works and the creation of international think tanks, said Zhang Donggang, the deputy head of a ministry department overseeing teaching and research in social science. The effort is part of a joint blueprint for the next decade issued by the ministries of education and finance. "These initiatives will allow China a greater say in international academic circles and will greatly expand the influence of Chinese academic research overseas in the next 10 years," a campaign statement said. The effort is also the latest by the central government to boost its so-called soft power, to match its rising economic status. Since 2008, the government has spent billions of yuan to develop a global media network to polish the country's image overseas. Top policymakers have also made the development of the cultural industry - an umbrella term for theatre, publishing, film and television - a top priority to serve this purpose. More than 350 Confucius Institutes have been established in 105 countries since 2004. National funding for social sciences has risen from 270 million yuan (HK$330 million) in 2006 to 800 million yuan this year. [...]. ^ top ^

PLA agency aims to give military a confidence boost (SCMP)
2011-11-23
The Central Military Commission has set up a strategic planning agency which analysts said would help better define the People's Liberation Army's role, amid the need to rebuild its "self-confidence" on the global stage with China's rise. Speaking at the agency's inauguration yesterday, commission vice-chairman Guo Boxiong said the new agency would "improve the strategic management of the military". He urged the agency to establish smooth and efficient co-operation with central government ministries and local authorities, it was reported on the PLA Daily website yesterday. Xinhua said the portfolio of the agency, affiliated with the army's general staff department, includes studying strategic issues, charting plans for the army's development and reforms, making proposals on allocation and control of resources, co-ordination among different departments and cross-sectoral issues. [...] Ni Lexiong, a Shanghai-based military expert, said the agency would also deal with economic, trade, energy security, cultural and even diplomatic issues. "[It] will help the PLA learn how to play as a great country's army. For example, what could we do when our sovereignty in the South China Sea is challenged by other countries?" he said. "The PLA feels it has lost the initiative at home and overseas, making it not feel like a great power's army." [...]. ^ top ^

China, Turkmenistan sign key gas agreement (China Daily)
2011-11-24
Energy-rich Turkmenistan will increase its natural gas deliveries to China by two-thirds under an agreement signed on Wednesday, with leaders of the two countries vowing to establish a long-term and stable strategic energy partnership. The agreement, signed by President Hu Jintao and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov after a meeting on Wednesday morning, will increase annual gas deliveries by 25 billion cubic meters a year, bringing the annual total to 65 billion cubic meters "in the near future", Berdymukhamedov told reporters after the signing ceremony. The figure - 65 billion cubic meters - is equivalent to more than half of China's entire natural gas consumption last year. During their meeting, Hu also pledged to deepen energy cooperation with Turkmenistan and establish "a long-term and stable strategic energy partnership" following the success of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries, which became operational in 2009. China, the world's second-largest economy, has been diversifying and expanding access to energy needed to power its fast-growing economy and reduce its reliance on heavily polluting coal. Turkmenistan has adopted a diversified energy export strategy to shake off its dependence on sales to Russia. [...] The gas agreement was one of 14 signed following the leaders' talks on Wednesday. Others cover loans for the purchase of oil and gas drilling equipment, public security cooperation, recognition of degrees, combating money laundering and tackling terrorism. [...] Considering China as a top-priority strategic partner of Turkmenistan, Berdymukhamedov, who is in China for a four-day visit, told Hu his country appreciates China's respect for Turkmenistan's neutral status. Both sides agreed to enhance security and law enforcement cooperation, promising joint efforts to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism, and cross-border crimes. China became Turkmenistan's largest trade partner in 2011, with bilateral trade rising to $3.56 billion in the first three quarters. ^ top ^

Japanese propose plan to avoid maritime conflicts (SCMP)
2011-11-24
Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba yesterday proposed to China the setting up of a "crisis-management mechanism" to avoid conflicts over disputed waters that often plague bilateral relations. Gemba sought China's endorsement of the mechanism in talks with Premier Wen Jiabao during his one-day stay in Beijing, which was aimed at laying groundwork for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's trip to China next month, Kyodo reported. [...] Japanese media earlier reported that the mechanism was mainly about communication involving foreign ministries on both sides, coastguards and other relevant agencies. Gemba also sought to resume negotiations on the joint development of natural gas fields in the East China Sea - development that was suspended after a Chinese captain was detained by Japan when his fishing boat collided with Japanese coastguard vessels in September 2010. In his meeting with Wen, Gemba gave a positive assessment of Sino-Japanese ties, hailing Wen's visit to Fukushima in May as a sign of support to the country's post-earthquake reconstruction efforts. Wen described Gemba's visit - his first trip to China since becoming Japanese foreign minister in September - as significant. [...] "I hope you can co-operate with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to make Noda's trip a success, as he is visiting China for the first time as a Democratic Party prime minister." Yang told Gemba his trip would be useful for improving strategic ties. [...] "It is not correct [to say we are containing China]. We should seek joint development in the Asia-Pacific region, and co-operation is a path we should choose," Japanese Foreign Ministry press secretary Yutaka Yokoi said before Gemba's meeting with Chinese officials. [...]. ^ top ^

China calls on int'l community to create conditions to ease tension in Syria (Global Times)
2011-11-24
China on Tuesday called on the international community to create conditions for the easing of tension in Syria as exerting pressure through country-specific resolutions is not conducive to resolving differences. Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks after the UN General Assembly Third Committee vote on the draft resolution on the human rights situation in Syria. "China has always believed that constructive dialogue and cooperation is the only right approach to the promotion and protection of human rights," Wang said in his explanation of vote, "While exerting pressure through country-specific resolutions is not conducive to resolving differences." China abstained from the vote of the draft resolution, which was adopted with 122 states voting in favor, 13 against, 41 abstained. The resolution "strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities." Stressing that China attaches great importance to the current situation in Syria, Wang said China calls on parties in Syria "to immediately put an end to violence and launch as early as possible the inclusive and balanced political process in order to restore as soon as possible national stability and social order." China welcomes the mediation plan of the League of Arab States, Wang said. "The international community should play a constructive role in order to create conditions for the easing of tension in Syria," he added. ^ top ^

P.L.A. navy tests the water in drills (SCMP)
2011-11-24
The navy plans to conduct regular annual exercises in the western Pacific - a move that military experts see as China flexing its military muscle to the United States and neighbours who dispute its territorial claims. A PLA Navy fleet is set to conduct training drills in international waters in the western Pacific, a statement posted on the Defence Ministry's website said yesterday. "This is an annual, planned, routine drill. It is not directed at any specific country or target and is in keeping with relevant international laws and practices," it said, adding that "China's freedom of navigation and other legal rights should not be obstructed". [...] But Japan's NHK television network said yesterday that six Chinese naval vessels, comprising one surveillance ship, a missile destroyer, a supply vessel and three others, had moved into the Pacific, passing between Okinawa and Miyako islands at about midnight on Tuesday. It said the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force believed the Chinese navy was preparing for another round of naval drills and was closely monitoring their activities. The PLA Navy also sent 10 vessels to the same area for a military drill in June, including two submarines, a rescue ship and three destroyers. [...] Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong said the naval drill was a response to recent US moves in the Asia-Pacific region. "Beijing was very unhappy to see the US get involved in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea by joining with Vietnam and the Philippines to challenge our territorial sovereignty," Ni said. "Now even India is working with Vietnam on oil exploration in the South China Sea to challenge our national interests. [...] With China's national interests having expanded from Asia to the Pacific Ocean over the past two decades, especially in regard to the security of energy shipments in international waters, Beijing-based navy expert Li Jie said the PLA Navy needed to conduct more blue-water drills. [...]. ^ top ^

China-Venezuela joint commission holds 10th meeting (Global Times)
2011-11-25
China-Venezuela High-level Joint Commission held the 10th meeting here Wednesday. The meeting was jointly presided by Venezuelan Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani and Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice chairman of China's National Commission for Development and Reform. Since the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership for common development in 2001, friendly cooperation between the two countries has enjoyed fast development and made significant achievements, Zhang said. It is important to expand cooperation from the field of energy to other sectors, he added. [...] Bilateral trade is expected to reach 17 billion US dollars in 2011, doubling that in 2010, Giordani added. The meeting will end later in the day with the signing of a series of new bilateral cooperation agreements. The joint commission is an important mechanism for the Chinese and the Venezuelan governments to have communication and coordination on cooperation in various fields. ^ top ^

China to enhance trade cooperation with Sudan: official (Global Times)
2011-11-25
China will continue to enhance economic and commercial cooperation with Sudan and encourage Chinese companies to intensify cooperation with their Sudanese counterparts, a Chinese official said here on Wednesday. "China and Sudan have achieved positive results in economic and commercial cooperation. The Chinese government will continue to encourage the commercial and economic exchange between the two countries," Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Yaoping said during his visit to the African country, where he met with Sudanese leaders and officials. "The Chinese government will support Chinese companies to cooperate with the Sudanese companies in energy, agriculture, mine industry, infrastructure and other important fields," Jiang said. Jiang also noted that China would provide assistance within its power to Sudan to help the African country enhance economic and industrial development. Jiang met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha during his visit to the country. He also held talks with a number of Sudanese ministers. Meanwhile, the Chinese vice minister signed a number of agreements with the Sudanese finance minister on China's offer of fresh economic assistance to Sudan. [...] China has become Sudan's largest trade partner and an important partner in investment and construction. ^ top ^

Latin America benefits from China's development (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-25
China's development provides opportunities for Latin America, the minister of foreign trade of Costa Rica told People's Daily on Nov. 21. It was also the sentence heard most frequently by the reporter on the site of the Fifth China-Latin America Summit of Enterprisers. The theme of the summit was "Inclusive Development: New Chapter of China-Latin America Cooperation." On Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, more than 1,000 government officials, entrepreneurs and scholars from the Inter-American Development Bank, Andean Development Bank, Peruvian government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and other organizations of China and Latin America gathered in the capital of Peru Lima and discussed many subjects, including how China-Latin America cooperation should be expanded in the new international context. [...] The bilateral trade volume of the two sides in the first quarter of 2011 increased by 44 percent year on year. China has turned into Latin America's second largest trade partner in the world, and the current China-Latin America economic and trade relations show a very good momentum. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese foreign minister holds talks with special envoy of South Sudan's president (Xinhua)
2011-11-25
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held talks here on Thursday with Joseph Lual Acuil, special envoy of President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit. Yang said a sound start has been made in developing China-South Sudan relations since the two countries forged diplomatic ties, as they have witnessed increasingly close contacts at all levels and developing cooperation in all areas. South Sudan declared independence on July 9 this year, and China recognized its status as an independent country on the same day. China attaches importance to furthering friendly ties with South Sudan, and is ready to push forward bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy, agriculture, mining and infrastructure, Yang said. China is also willing to bolster exchanges with South Sudan in various fields, including education and culture, he said. [...] Lual, South Sudan's minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, said South Sudan's government highly values China's role, and is willing to advance a pragmatic cooperation of friendliness with China, so as to push forward bilateral ties. He expressed appreciation for China's contributions to South Sudan's social and economic development, and notified Yang of the current situation in South Sudan and Sudan. Yang said South Sudan and Sudan are both China's friends, adding that China always firmly supports the peace process, and hopes the two African countries can actively cooperate with the mediation by the African Union and the United Nations, so as to properly solve differences through negotiations. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Kindergarten to close after bus tragedy (SCMP)
2011-11-21
The kindergarten in Gansu province that operated a crowded, makeshift bus that crashed last week, killing 19 children, has closed and a new public school will open at the same location today, state-run media and city government officials said. News of the school's closure came as an educational expert told a television station that accidents involving school buses had been more deadly in the past year than those involving the mainland's high-risk coal-mining industry. [...] The bus, originally a nine-seat van, was carrying 62 children and two adults when it crashed head-on with a truck in the northwestern province on Wednesday. A teacher and the bus driver also died, and all 43 surviving children - aged between two and six years old - were injured. [...] The bus was on its way to the privately run Little Doctor Kindergarten in a rural area overseen by the Qingyang city government. The city government said in a statement that the kindergarten had been closed, and that the public school opening at the same site would have a 45-seat bus donated by an oil company. It also said parents of each child killed would receive 436,000 yuan (HK$533,000) in "compensation and consolation" money. [...] The city government previously said that police had detained the kindergarten head, Li Jungang, on suspicion of causing a serious accident due to negligence, and the coal truck's driver, Fan Jungang, on suspicion of causing a traffic accident. [...] China National Radio said the kindergarten had previously been penalised for overloading its buses. The Qingyang city government reportedly said it had ordered the school to rectify its transport arrangements on three occasions. [...] Such overcrowding on school buses is common on the mainland. Commentators say closures of rural schools have exacerbated the problem, as children are forced to travel farther to get an education. The Qingyang city government said on Friday that it would build 200 public kindergartens in the next three years, at a cost of 680 million yuan - including an extra 100 million yuan after Wednesday's crash - to accelerate the development of preschool education. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese top political advisor urges more efforts for ethnic unity (Global Times)
2011-11-21
China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Friday called for more efforts to maintain ethnic unity and promote common prosperity in the country's minority regions. Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remark at a meeting on ethnic policies held in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China. Jia called for greater efforts to ensure and improve people's livelihood and address the most practical problems of the greatest and most direct concern to the people, to let people of various ethnic groups share the fruits of development. Authorities should introduce measures to speed up infrastructure construction, industrial development and poverty eradication to promote social progress in ethnic areas, said Jia, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau. Jia also stressed that problems relating to ethnic factors should be properly handled to secure the unity and harmony. When addressing the meeting, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu highlighted the development of the country's minority regions while promoting environmental protection and ecological advancements. ^ top ^

Massive fake-drug network busted (SCMP)
2011-11-21
Mainland police have cracked a massive crime network that bought used drug packages and bottles from hospital cleaners across the nation and sold them for the production of fake drugs, according to the Ministry of Public Security and local media. The discovery is believed to be just the tip of the iceberg - a huge fake-drug market on the mainland. A nationwide crackdown that ended on Thursday busted 350 phoney-drug rings and resulted in 1,770 suspects being detained, although so far only the one syndicate has been found to be using recycled packaging to deceive customers. A statement by the ministry said the fake drugs they seized could have fetched 2 billion yuan (HK$2.44 billion) if sold at the market price for genuine drugs. [...] The syndicate mainly targeted packaging for expensive imported drugs for cancer treatment, which cost tens of thousands of yuan, the report said. Fake-drug producers would put their products - containing cheap medicine, salt water and fake tablets - into recycled containers and sell them online. The CNR report said the syndicate supplied packaging for fake versions of cancer-treating drugs such as MabThera, used to treat lymphoma; Trastuzumab for breast cancer; and Tarceva for lung cancer. Authentic products cost at least 10,000 yuan or more per pack. The report said four main players were involved in the supply chain: hospital cleaners who sold the packages, the hospital agents who bought them, the wholesalers of the containers and finally the fake-drug makers. [...] The Ministry of Public Security's statement said fake drugs were being sold via the internet, clinics and pharmacies, and some of them could cause serious illnesses or death. They sometimes include harmful chemicals that may cause addiction, diabetes and kidney damage. ^ top ^

Villagers out in force in protest over land grab (SCMP)
2011-11-22
As many as 5,000 Wukan villagers from Lufeng city in Guangdong were estimated to have surrounded a local government building yesterday morning in protest at what they said were unfulfilled promises by authorities over illegal land seizures without compensation. The protest came two months after villagers and police squared off in a massive riot over the same issue. [...] In the wake of the riots, Wukan residents were promised that a government-led task force would look into their appeals. But villagers say the response was insufficient. The villagers had accused local officials of seizing more than 400 hectares of farmland since 1998. Yesterday, villagers marched seven kilometres to the county-level city government office in Lufeng. They chanted slogans and held banners and flags targeting what they said were greedy and corrupt officials. The villagers spoke out against the lack of democratic elections in the village. They said their farmland had been destroyed and sold off without any compensation being paid to the 12,000 residents. They gathered outside the city government building for nearly an hour and dispersed peacefully after they were promised a speedy reply by Lufeng party secretary Yang Naifa, who vowed to look into their three appeals - for an official democratic village election, compensation for land illegally taken and a full disclosure of the village's financial records. Some people who took part in yesterday's protest put the number of villagers at between 3,000 and 5,000, but Liu Jingmao, a spokesman for the Shanwei city government, which oversees Lufeng, put the number closer to 400. He said the villagers' appeals would be thoroughly investigated. [...]. ^ top ^

Ai Weiwei's fans stage 'mass nude' protest (SCMP)
2011-11-22
First it was money folded into paper planes that were flown over the walls of dissident artist Ai Weiwei's home. Now mainland internet users' latest show of solidarity with Ai has taken the unlikeliest form of protest: mass nudity. By Monday afternoon, some 70 people had posted nude photos of themselves on a website called "Ai Wei Fans' Nudity - Listen, Chinese Government: Nudity is not Pornography" - a rare form of protest in a country where public nudity is still taboo. They uploaded the photos after Beijing police questioned Ai's videographer on Thursday for allegedly spreading pornography online by taking nude photographs of Ai and four women. Supporters of Ai, whose 81-day secret detention earlier this year sparked an international outcry, say the questioning over the nude photographs is China's latest effort to intimidate its most famous social critic. The videographer, Zhao Zhao, said Beijing police interrogated him for about four hours on the motives behind the photographs. "They said: 'Don't you know that the photos that you've taken are obscene photos?'" Zhao said "I said: 'I didn't know that' and said 'how can they be considered obscene?' They said they've characterised them as such." [...]. ^ top ^

Rampant discrimination in civil service recruitment (SCMP)
2011-11-22
More than half of job vacancies at central government agency headquarters are reserved for applicants affiliated to the Communist Party, according to a new study about discrimination in the recruitment of civil servants on the mainland. The report, released on Sunday by the Institute for Study on Constitutionalism at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), underscores rampant discrimination in government departments. Researchers examined the recruitment requirements for 9,762 government jobs available this year, including those at agency headquarters, and found rampan discrimination on the basis of age and health. The survey comes just five years after Beijing ratified a 1958 International Labour Organisation convention concerning employment discrimination. And it is three years since the mainland's Employment Promotion Law came into force. The report shows that 15.6 per cent of job offers were discriminatory on the basis of gender, and 11.5 per cent of them carried requirements on social origins, including where an applicant was born and where his or her household was registered. Discrimination on the basis of political affiliation was a particular issue in civil service recruitment over the past two years, as 19.1 per cent of jobs were open only to members of the Communist Party and its offshoot, the Communist Youth League. And nearly 57 per cent of the 686 jobs available at the headquarters of central government agencies this year were reserved only for those with party affiliation. The report's chief author, Liu Xiaonan, a CUPL professor, said the discriminatory clauses were only the tip of the iceberg. "More forms of discrimination lie in the process of appraisals of applications, job interviews and career opportunities in workplaces," Liu said, adding that those factors are often more detrimental to applicants. [...]. ^ top ^

China to rein in extravagance of government offices (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-22
China on Monday introduced a draft regulation on the management of government offices to rein in extravagant government expenditures. The draft regulation, published by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, obliges government agencies above the county level to integrate official overseas visits, public vehicles and maintenance, and official receptions into their budget control, and devise spending plans on these three items. According to the draft regulation, if government offices are involved in excessive spending on overseas visits, public vehicle purchases and maintenance and official receptions, those responsible will be subject to punishments as severe as downgrading or dismissal. Other offenses include borrowing from the budget for overseas visits, public vehicles and official receptions, or asking enterprises or affiliated organizations to pay bills for them or purchase luxury goods, services or office buildings, among other things. In response to public outcry for more transparency in the use of public funds, earlier this year the State Council, or China's Cabinet, ordered 98 ministries and governmental organs to make public their budgets and expenditures on official overseas visits, public vehicles and official receptions. Government expenditure on those three items, commonly referred to as the "three public expenditures," have long been viewed as major sources of squandering and corruption. A Ministry of Finance report in June revealed that the "three public expenditures" at the national level totaled 9.47 billion yuan (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) last year, with spending on service vehicles reaching 6.17 billion yuan. [...]. ^ top ^

Cover-up feared after inquiry 'deadline' passes (SCMP)
2011-11-22
Public anger has resurfaced over the Wenzhou high-speed train collision and the continued delay in releasing the findings of an investigation into the disaster nearly four months ago that claimed 40 lives. The renewed outrage came from internet users responding to mainland media reports yesterday that the investigation had passed its 120-day "deadline" on Sunday but was no closer to being made public. The Beijing Times also suggested that "poor management" and shoddy maintenance were to blame for the July 23 crash, rather than a design flaw in signalling equipment as had previously been widely reported. The apparent backpedalling was met with a furious reaction on blogs and internet forums. "It looks like this accident will never be cleared up," one anonymous internet user wrote on the China News website. [...] The story had drawn nearly 90,000 comments on the popular 163.com news portal, most appearing to be critical of the authorities' handling of the crash and the investigation. [...] The Beijing Times quoted Wang Mengshu, deputy technical director of the 34-member investigation panel, as saying the main cause of the accident lay in the poor management of the local railway administration, and that investigators had "found no design flaws in the signal system after investigation and a simulated recreation of the accident." [...] When contacted yesterday, Wang said he had been misquoted but declined to clarify how the story was inaccurate other than to deny the investigation had a 120-day deadline. Last week, Wang said the technical report had been submitted to the State Council, and the central government was going through the process of "apportioning blame", but yesterday he declined to make any comment on the process. The Beijing Times article had been removed from its website by yesterday afternoon but remained available on other news portals. Related internet searches appeared to be being blocked by mainland servers. ^ top ^

China issues white paper on addressing climate change (Xinhua)
2011-11-22
The Chinese government on Tuesday issued a white paper on its policies and actions for addressing climate change, highlighting a range of major policy measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change and its remarkable results during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period. The white paper, titled China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change, was released by the State Council Information Office. The white paper introduced China's policies and actions for addressing climate change, and the positive results achieved during that period, as well as China's overall arrangements to address climate change and its related negotiating position. In 2006, China set forth the compulsive goal of reducing its per-unit GDP energy consumption in 2010 by 20 percent from that of 2005. In 2007, China became the first developing country to formulate and implement a national program to address climate change. Two years later, China put forward the goal of action to reduce the per-unit GDP greenhouse gas emission in 2020 by 40 percent to 45 percent as compared to that of 2005. The white paper said China accelerated the transformation of its economic development mode during its 11th Five-Year Plan period, and achieved remarkable results in controlling greenhouse gas emission by promoting industrial restructuring, energy restructuring and energy conservation, improving energy efficiency, and increasing carbon sink. According to the white paper, China accomplished its energy conservation goals listed in the 11th Five-Year Plan -- China's energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped 19.1 percent from that of 2005 accumulatively, which is equivalent to a reduction of 1.46 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions. ^ top ^

Chinese president urges writers, artists to produce "great works" (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-23
Great times call for great writers and artists, and the people expect great literary and artistic works, President Hu Jintao said Tuesday while speaking to an audience of 3,300 who represent the country's literary and art circles. Writers and artists should be aware of the sacred mission assigned to them by the times and the people, Hu said at a joint inaugural ceremony for the Ninth National Congress of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC) and the Eighth National Congress of the China Writers' Association (CWA). Other senior leaders present at the inauguration, held at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing, included Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang. In his speech, the president called on Chinese writers and artists to persist in the principles of "Serve the People and Serve Socialism," "Let All Flowers Bloom Together" and "Let Hundreds of Schools Contend." He advised them to get close to the realities and lives of the masses, uphold the spiritual torch of the Chinese nationality, and produce a greater number of excellent works that live up to the history, the times and the people. He expected the writers and artists to create a new dawn for literature and art, and use their wisdom and power to promote the development and prosperity of the socialist culture, noting that artistic undertakings are an important part of the socialist cause with China's own characteristics and a major part of socialist culture. [...] Hu urged literary and artistic circles to study and implement the essence of the recent 6th plenary session of the 17th CPC Central Committee, while upholding the great banner of socialism with China's own characteristics, taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Important Thought of "Three Represents", and carrying out the Scientific Outlook on Development. China is facing rare and historic opportunities in developing its literature and art as the world is in a critical period of readjustment and the country is witnessing prosperous development of socialism with its own characteristics, the president said. He urged the writers and artists to persist in the correct orientation and to be more self-conscious and active in bearing the historic responsibility of leading social progress with the socialist advanced culture. The leader went on to emphasize the Party's role in developing art and literature, by urging Party committees and governments at different levels to be fully aware of the importance of artistic pursuits under the new circumstances. Writers and artists must be trusted politically, supported in their work and cared for in their daily life, Hu said, hoping that there will be a boom in the number of talented writers and artists and a burst of creativity among these people. [...] The congresses, which are scheduled to last until Friday, will hold hearings on reports regarding the work of the CFLAC and the CWA in the past five years, and examine and approve new five-year plans for the two organizations. ^ top ^

Majors with weak job prospects to get axe (Global Times)
2011-11-23
The Ministry of Education announced on Monday that college majors with bleak employment prospects will be phased out, amid increasing difficulties for the country's college graduates to find a job. For any college majors, if the employment rate of its graduates stand below 60 percent for two consecutive years, their enrollment quota will be reduced till they are phased out completely, according to a policy published by the ministry on its website. According to statistics, there will be 6.8 million college students ready to graduate and enter the country's job market in 2012. The ministry has ordered education authorities at all levels to take measures which can help graduates find jobs. The measures include offering tuition-waivers or repayments for loans to graduates who work in remote areas or the countryside. ^ top ^

China starts carbon emission rights trading scheme (China Daily)
2011-11-23
China's top economic planner confirmed on Tuesday that it has approved seven provincial regions to start a pilot greenhouse gas emission rights trading scheme in an effort to encourage carbon emission reductions. The municipalities and provinces involved are Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Hubei and Guangdong, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission told Xinhua under the condition of anonymity. However, the official refused to elaborate on the pilot scheme. Details such as how it will work and how long it will last are not available. According to a statement posted on the official website of the Chongqing municipal government (www.cq.gov.cn), the pilot is an important means to realize China's emission reduction targets, while minimizing costs. [...] According to a white paper China issued on Tuesday, the government will prioritize global climate change during its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015). ^ top ^

Xi Jinping stresses training of "new brooms" (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-24
Senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping on Wednesday stressed the training of newly inaugurated officials during this year's local leadership reshuffling. As officials at local levels were reorganized this year, a number of new leaders took office. It's imperative to build their leadership capacity as well as to make them excellent Party members, Xi, who is the member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said while talking with some 60 students at a symposium. Xi added that as China stands at a critical juncture of deepening its reform and opening-up drive as well as restructuring its economy, officials should face difficult problems head on and live up to their responsibilities. Xi also stressed that personal integrity is the most important criterion for selecting officials, and those who always hold on to their principles and never shy away from duties are preferred. ^ top ^

China stresses to boost multi-party cooperation (China Daily)
2011-11-24
China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Wednesday called for greater efforts in the training of non-Communist talents so as to boost the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks while addressing delegates at a meeting on training non-Communist people of influence. Training should be conducted to promote the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the socialist core value system among non-Communist talents, said Jia, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Jia stressed using educational and training efforts to forge a rank of non-Communist talents -- the backbone of which are from the administration, corporate management and technology sectors -- in order to facilitate the long-term development of the country's multi-party cooperation cause. This training should aim to guide non-Communist talents to keep abreast with the CPC for the country's development, Jia said. ^ top ^

New pollution figures on way... in five years (SCMP)
2011-11-24
The mainland's top environmental watchdog has finally unveiled a timetable for long-awaited reform of outdated air pollution standards amid mounting public pressure. But instead of directly answering calls for immediate public access to official data on smog-related fine particles, the environmental ministry set a distant deadline of 2016 for its mandatory release. The latest development, the culmination of weeks of debate between environmental authorities and increasingly environmentally aware urbanites, is disappointing. It seems the public, yearning for the truth about pollution, will have to wait years for answers. Environmentalists have said that the repeated delays in expanding the pollution-monitoring perimeters to include tiny airborne particles of less than 2.5 microns in diameter, known as PM2.5, exposed official abhorrence of the truth and continued to give a back seat to the environment and public welfare. They also explain why Beijing is facing a mounting credibility crisis. [...] Medical experts tend to agree that, although smoking remains the top cause for lung cancer, deteriorating air quality has increased the risk of cancer among the general public, according to New Century magazine. [...] And there is another interesting footnote that may help illustrate the grave impact of poor air quality on the mainland: breathing polluted air in the capital is supposedly the equivalent of smoking 21 high-tar cigarettes a day. [...]. ^ top ^

Micro blogs open a world of communication (China Daily)
2011-11-24
It has been less than two weeks since Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, launched her account on Sina Weibo, and already she has more than 140,000 followers. She is in fine company, too, as China's micro blog services have seen a host of foreign celebrities, athletes, political figures and organizations sign up this year. At the last count, there were 8 million accounts "based overseas", according to figures provided by Sina. These include 97 foreign government agencies, embassies and consulates, as well as many less-authoritative groups, such as 75 tourism bureaus. With an estimated 40 percent of China's 458 million netizens using micro blogs, it is not hard to understand the reasons behind the demand: it is a chance to speak directly to the masses. [...] Sina and Tencent, the country's biggest social network companies, both forecast even more foreigners and organizations will start posting on Chinese sites in the months to come. "It's become a trend," said Xu Yangfan at Tencent. "Compared with social networks overseas, our micro blog is a window for foreigners to understand China, rather than something that merely meets the basic demands of social interaction and information exchanges." [...] Media analysts say foreign micro-bloggers show how effective the new channel can be in direct official-civilian communications. A recent example is the appeal from environmental authorities for suggestions on how to revise air quality standards, which came just days after a controversial post by the United States embassy claimed Beijing's air is poor because of an unreported concentration of particulate matter. [...]. ^ top ^

Executives punished for four accidents (SCMP)
2011-11-25
The State Council punished 64 people for four accidents at top energy group China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC [...]) including a pipeline explosion in the northeast port of Dalian last year that caused a major oil spill. Top CNPC executives, including chairman Jiang Jiemin and several of his deputies, received warnings or "demerit" marks affecting their chances of promotion, Xinhua said yesterday. Among the 64 people punished, 14 were suspected of criminal acts and had been handed over to the judicial departments for criminal charges [...]. Those among the 14 included officials from local firms that provided services to CNPC's oil facilities when the explosions occurred. Since July last year, Dalian, an oil and petrochemical hub, has come under the spotlight after a string of explosions and fires at oil facilities operated by PetroChina [...], CNPC's listed vehicle. Regulators have struggled to keep up with the country's rapid industrial growth and have sometimes been powerless and slow in enforcing laws that could help prevent accidents and pollution. [...] On July 16, last year, two crude oil pipelines in Dalian port operated by PetroChina blew up after a crude vessel discharged oil into the pipes causing a huge oil slick in the sea and forcing the port's temporary closure. The accident, which killed and injured several, caused a direct economic loss of 223.3 million yuan (HK$272.6 million), Xinhua said. In the long list of executives being punished, Wang Lihua, president of PetroChina International, PetroChina's oil trading arm, received an "administrative" demotion, affecting some of her benefits, and a severe warning, Xinhua said. ^ top ^

New boss appointed to head CCTV (SCMP)
2011-11-25
Beijing yesterday named a new head of the government-run China Central Television (CCTV) network, state media reported, a month after the Asian giant said it wanted to increase its soft power abroad. Hu Zhanfan, chief editor of the state-run national newspaper the Guangming Daily, would lead an expansion by the flagship broadcaster, Xinhua said. Hu, whose appointment is the latest in a string of recent leadership changes in organisations controlled by the Communist Party, takes the helm weeks after reports that the broadcaster was planning a major global expansion. Beijing has earmarked 45 billion yuan (HK$55 billion) to fund the expansion of state-owned media groups including CCTV, Xinhua and China Radio International, according to previous reports. Last month, Beijing called on the culture industry - a broad term taken to include the media - to raise its game and promote the nation abroad. CCTV said recently it already reaches 210 million households in 156 countries outside China, after launching channels in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to its overseas Chinese-language and English services. Hu replaces Jiao Li, a former vice-minister for propaganda who served CCTV for just over two years. [...]. ^ top ^

Court serves up penalties for food (China Daily)
2011-11-25
More than 700 people have been sentenced amid a nationwide food safety campaign, the top court said on Thursday, but none of them were officials. Experts said the new Criminal Law - which subjects officials to criminal penalties if they turn a blind eye to the production and distribution of unsafe food - still needs time to be implemented. An unclear division of responsibility among agencies also makes it hard to identify crimes for officials. Of the 726 people sent to jail since 2008 for producing and selling tainted food, the highest penalty was a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, Sun Jungong, spokesman for the Supreme People's Court, said on Thursday at a news briefing. The court, nevertheless, has filed no cases against food safety watchdogs and other officials responsible for supervising food safety for duty dereliction, said Pei Xianding, president of the No 2 Criminal Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court. "As far as I know, courts of all levels across the country have received no lawsuits against officials flouting the law. It may because the amendment was just enacted for half a year and the police officers are still investigating such cases," Pei explained. [...]. ^ top ^

China moves to reform personnel management in public institutions (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-25
China on Thursday started to solicit public input for a regulation that will change the way personnel management is conducted in the country's public institutions. Posted on the official website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, the draft regulation stresses efforts to streamline the recruitment and evaluation of personnel in public institutions in a more transparent and efficient manner. According to the draft rules, posts in public institutions will be filled through open recruitment from the outside, while selection from the inside will be based on merit and competition. The work of employees of public institutions will be evaluated according to surveys of those served by the employees, the draft said. Promotions and raises for employees will be handed out according to the employees' moral standing, professional skills and work achievements, according to the draft. China has more than 40 million employees in some 1.26 million government-run public institutions. Government-sponsored public institutions, including schools, research institutions, hospitals and publishing houses, are the backbone of public service providers across the country. For a long time, individuals recruited by public institutions had very secure jobs, receiving a regular salary and working at the institutions until their retirement, regardless of performance. In the next five years, China plans to complete its transformation of public institutions that perform administrative functions, turning them into government agencies. Public institutions that conduct commercial activities will be transformed into enterprises. Government-run public institutions left after the restructuring will focus on providing public services in a non-profit fashion. The government will improve oversight regarding these institutions, the draft said. ^ top ^

Power plants fined for fake pollution data (SCMP)
2011-11-25
Eight big power plants have been penalised for violating pollution standards, and six of them have also been fined for fudging emissions data, amid warnings that China's annual targets on cutting pollution and energy waste are slipping out of reach. [...] Four of the biggest power companies - China Power [...] Investment (CPI), China Guodian, China Huadian and China Datang - were involved in the latest scandal of falsifying crucial pollution data on sulphur dioxide, according to a statement from the environment ministry and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Tuesday. [...] The plants were ordered to pay unspecified fines and to fix their problems by the end of the year. [...] While the authenticity of the country's data, from gross domestic product figures and other key economic statistics to pollution readings, has often been questioned, analysts warn that the scandals underscore the severity of the problem and Beijing's failure to curb data fabrication over some years. [...] Energy experts have warned that China looks set to miss the annual target of a 3.5 per cent decrease in energy consumption per unit of GDP. [...] Experts said failure in the opening year of the 12th five-year plan would fuel doubts about Beijing's ability to cut energy intensity 16 per cent by 2015 and carbon intensity 17 per cent. The environment ministry warned earlier that emission of important pollutants had shown little sign of coming under control in the first half of this year, making pollution-control targets that the government announced in March extremely difficult to meet. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Minimum wage increase on the way (Global Times)
2011-11-25
The lean pockets of the working class will get a little fatter in Shanghai. The city's vice mayor, Jiang Ping, said Wednesday the local minimum wage will be raised next year. Shanghai already boasts the highest minimum wage in the country at 1,280 yuan ($201) per month after an increase from 1,120 yuan in April. The wage is six times that of 1993 when the minimum wage standard was first established, Jiang said [...] adding a new minimum wage will be set in accordance with social and economic development and what employers can afford. [...] A total of 21 regions across China adjusted their minimum wage in the first three quarters of the year, with an average overall increase of 21.7 percent over last year's figures, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said in October. According to the ministry, the minimum wage increase rate will remain at above 13 percent per year across the whole country. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Professional bodies face reform (Global Times)
2011-11-24
Guangdong Province is to restructure its social organizations and has developed a draft of proposed changes, the Southern Daily reported on Wednesday. The province said the plan will make its industry, charity and commerce associations run better through competition. The reform will change the units in charge of organizations from administrative roles to guiding roles as opposed to direct management. Then a competition mechanism will be brought in along with new social structures to help them adapt to socialist market development trends, according to the paper. Guangdong officials discussed a draft of the idea to further develop and standardize social organizations at a meeting on systematic reform Tuesday. The reform will mainly focus on public affairs, charity, social services, chambers of commerce, urban and rural grass-roots groups and social and foreign organizations, said Liu Hong, head of the Department of Civil Affairs in Guangdong. Liu Runhua of the Social Work Committee said the plan will make such groups more competitive and therefore improve their services. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Pension plan for Tibetan monks to boost stability (SCMP)
2011-11-25
The Communist Party in Tibet says it will start paying pensions and offer social welfare benefits to monks and nuns in an apparent effort to improve "social stability" in the restive region. Monks and nuns over 60 in Tibetan-inhabited regions would receive 120 yuan (HK$147) a month retirement pay from next year, an announcement released by Xinhua said. The government would also pay a maximum of 50,000 yuan per person per year in medical expenses, it said. "It is a major approach to improve Tibetan people's livelihoods," Xinhua quoted Wu Yingjie, Tibet's deputy party secretary, as saying. The measures follow a series of self-immolations by Tibetan monks and nuns, with at least a dozen people setting themselves on fire to protest against control of religious activities. [...] Beijing rejected criticism from rights groups and exiled Tibetans and has condemned the self-immolations as destructive and immoral. Beijing has sought to pacify the discontent among Tibetans through heavy investment in infrastructure in the region and handsome handouts to help the poor. The government said it aimed to lift the per capita net income of rural Tibetans to close to the national average by 2020. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Thousands of special police transferred to Urumqi (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-25
Thousands of special police had been transferred to Urumqi, capital city of China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, from the regional public security department as of Wednesday. Sources with the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) confirmed on Thursday that thousands of special police from the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams of the Xinjiang regional public security department are put under the administration of the Urumqi city's Public Security Bureau However, the exact number of police officers involved in the maneuver is not specified. A regulatory body in the Public Security Bureau of Urumqi will be established to take charge of the overall management of the special police teams across the city. Following the transfer, about 1,000 special police officers will be dispatched to strengthen traffic police, and another 1,000 are expected to work in community-level police stations, according to the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the CPC. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

More suspected election abuses found (SCMP)
2011-11-23
More possible abuses have been found in district council voter registrations, following a spate of recent vote-rigging claims that have prompted an official investigation. In one case - discovered and dealt with before the November 6 council elections - a voter listed an abandoned cinema in Southern District as his address, while in another an elector claimed to live on the 32nd floor of a 21-storey building. The Democratic Party said it had found at least 33 problems in three of the 412 constituencies, while pan-democrats are still checking records to gather a full picture. Critics say the problems stem from loopholes in the voter registration system that have yet to be plugged, despite years of complaints from lawmakers and election candidates. The loopholes include no requirement for proof of residence when registering, too little time for the public to check the provisional registers and a long process to remove existing voters from the provisional and final registers. Electors are also not required to bring their poll cards when casting votes and there is no cross-checking of personal particulars between the Registration and Electoral Office and other government departments. Democratic Party vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said the party would collate the dubious electoral cases at a meeting on Saturday, and then discuss possible follow-up action with other pan-democratic groups. Anomalies listed in earlier media reports, which are now under investigation, included a number of voters with different surnames giving a single flat in Mei Foo Sun Chuen as their official residence. [...] More than 2,000 complaints about this month's polls have been lodged - about the same as in the 2007 election. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing gives yuan boost to HK (SCMP)
2011-11-23
The mainland has doubled its currency swap arrangement with Hong Kong to 400 billion yuan (HK$490 billion) - a move that will consolidate the city's role as a major offshore yuan trading centre. The new agreement between the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) will supersede the accord signed in January 2009 for another three years. Essentially, it gives Hong Kong greater access to the mainland central bank's yuan pool and will encourage more businesses to use the yuan as an invoicing currency. This will in turn help Beijing to make the currency global. The move comes at a time when the offshore yuan market has been hit by global financial volatility since late September. Standard Chartered bank economists attribute the volatility partially to the exhaustion of the trade conversion quota for offshore yuan. The latest move would produce a "useful psychological and potential physical cushion", market experts said. HKMA chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam yesterday said the new agreement "is crucial in helping us to provide liquidity, when necessary, to maintain the stability of the offshore renminbi market in Hong Kong". The swap line with Hong Kong is the biggest among the dozen that Beijing has signed with other economies since 2008 to promote the use of the yuan. The result has been a surge in the use of yuan in trade and investment, particularly in Hong Kong. More than 9 per cent of China's total trade has been settled in yuan this year, up from just 0.7 per cent a year ago. And of all China's yuan-based trade in the first half of this year, 84 per cent was carried out by Hong Kong banks, up from 73 per cent over the whole of 2010. The yuan business has become increasingly important for local banks and businesses. The government has listed developing offshore yuan as a strategic direction for the city's future economy. The explosion in yuan trade has boosted yuan deposits in Hong Kong to 622 billion yuan as of the end of September, totalling more than 10 per cent of total deposits, up from around 1 per cent in January last year, HKMA data shows. [...]. ^ top ^

HK official: European crisis has no direct threat to HK (Xinhua)
2011-11-24
Hong Kong's banking sector does not have a high level of exposure to European countries with severe sovereign debt problems, but volatility in the global financial markets may still adversely impact the local banking sector, Hong Kong's Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury KC Chan said Wednesday. Chan told legislators the aggregate exposure of Hong Kong's banking sector to European countries facing serious sovereign debt problems - including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal - is less than 1 percent of the sector's total assets. This risk exposure will not give rise to capital financing needs by local banks. [...] He said the Monetary Authority of Hong Kong will continue to monitor banks' risk exposure through its day-to-day supervision, and has requested banks strengthen risk management and maintain adequate capital and liquidity to address the potential systemic risk arising from the global financial turmoil. To address the potential credit crisis arising from the global financial market turmoil, the Monetary Authority stands ready to provide liquidity assistance to individual banks if needed and on a case-by-case basis, through the use of foreign-exchange swaps and term repos. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Vice Premier urges efforts to deepen financial reforms, prevent risks (Xinhua)
2011-11-21
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on Saturday called for intensified efforts to deepen financial reforms and prevent financial risks. The world economy is likely to slump into a long-term recession given current global economic challenges, Wang said at a meeting with financial official in Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei Province. Against the backdrop, China must give full play to the basic role of market forces in allocating resources, adopt prudent monetary policies while making them more targeted and flexible, optimize credit structure, increase financial support to micro- and small-sized enterprises and improve financial services, Wang said. Wang noted that "some structural problems" exist in the country's financial industry. "City banks, rural credit cooperatives, village banks and micro-credit companies should prevent blind expansion and put more focus on improving their development quality and efficiency," he said. Preventing risks is the eternal theme of the financial sector. More efforts should be made to monitor new developments of international and domestic financial markets, crack down on activities such as usury, illegal find-raising and illegal transactions, in order to ensure the country's financial stability, Wang said. He also urged the country's financial authorities including the People's Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to "increase exchanges, coordination and cooperation with local governments", and try their best to help solve difficulties and problems faced by local governments and enterprises. ^ top ^

Shenzhen to launch I.P. index (SCMP)
2011-11-21
Shenzhen is set to launch Asia's first equity index on technology patents next year - a step ahead of Hong Kong, which has been fighting to become the region's trading hub on intellectual property assets. Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based merchant bank that is helping the Shenzhen government to set up the index, said two cities - one from Europe and another from Asia - would emerge in the next two years as the region's trading centres of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and franchises. [...] In Asia, Hong Kong is competing with Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Middle East cities to become the region's centre. But while Hong Kong says it has an advantage because of its rule of law and existing role as a financial hub, the city lags Singapore and Beijing in its ability to grant patents. [...]"By this time next year, there will be a much clearer indication of the anchor points of the triangle," said James Malackowski, chief executive of Ocean Tomo. [...] Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index, or OTPAT, is the world's sole patent equity index provider, offering investors the opportunity to trade technology patents held by conglomerates such as Boeing, Microsoft and Adobe. However, Shenzhen will soon become the world's second city to have such a system. "The US Patent Office has been around for 200 years, and it files three-quarters of a million patents a year. China's patent office was founded in 1985, but this year it has already filed more patents than the United States," Malackowski said. "In five years, certainly no less than 10 years, the biggest component of our business will no longer be in the US but in Asia, with a special focus on China." [...]. ^ top ^

China's imports and exports of mineral products account for 35% of total foreign trade (Global Times)
2011-11-21
China's imports and exports of mineral products accounted for nearly 35 percent of the country's total foreign trade, said Xu Shaoshi, minister of land and natural resources. Although the development of the country's mineral industry remained generally good, supply and demand disparities still escalated, due to rapid urbanization and industrialization, Xu said at a meeting. Currently, China relies on imports for 50 percent of its supplies of oil, gas, iron ore, copper, lead and zinc, Xu said, adding that the global demand for mineral products will soar in the long-run, despite current world economic turmoil. During the past five years, China has intensified its efforts to consolidate its mining industry. The number of operating mines fell from 288,000 in 1994 to 113,000 last year, but the output rose to 9 billion tonnes in 2010 from 5.8 billion tonnes in 1999, Xu said. ^ top ^

China to continue crackdown on hot money influx: forex regulator (Xinhua)
2011-11-22
China's top foreign exchange regulator said on Monday that China will continue to crack down on the influx of hot money as a result of complicated economic conditions at home and abroad. "Outstanding achievements have been made in the country's campaign against hot money inflows," Deng Xianhong, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said in a statement on SAFE's website. SAFE investigated 1,865 cases of foreign exchange irregularities in the first half of this year, involving more than 16 billion U.S. dollars in illegal funds, up 26.2 percent and 26.9 percent year-on-year, respectively. Deng attributed the "outstanding achievements" to the country's investigations into illegal foreign fund inflows, as well as an investigation and supervision system that covers all foreign exchange transactions under both current account and capital account. He noted that SAFE will continue improving the system while enhancing its monitoring of abnormal foreign capital outflows, adding that SAFE has the ability, means and confidence to win in the battle against illegal foreign fund inflows. ^ top ^

World Bank projects 8.4 pct growth for China in 2012 (Xinhua)
2011-11-23
The World Bank on Tuesday projected a growth of 9.1 percent for China in 2011, followed by a slower growth of 8.4 percent in 2012. The developing East Asia as whole is expected to grow by 7.8 percent in 2012, down from 8.2 percent this year as the growth continues to moderate on weakening external demand, the bank said in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update. [...] Bert Hofman, the bank's chief economist for East Asia and Pacific, said the leading indicators projected further softening for China in the coming six to 12 months but "do not signal an immediate hard landing." Nevertheless, the growth is expected to slow as external demand weakens and China pushes forward its own structural adjustment towards economic growth driven more by domestic demand. "While the central projection is for a gradual deceleration of growth, the risks are tilted to the downside. The global outlook has become increasingly precarious as advanced economies growth turned more sluggish than previously anticipated and uncertainties continued to loom over the euro area sovereign debt," the report said. [...] Hofman said he saw the risks in China in the banking system and the property market, but nevertheless the Chinese authorities were aware of the risks and that they were under control. The process of structural adjustment is likely to reduce headline growth over the medium term, but will place the country's longer-term prospects on a more solid footing, he said, adding that experiences of other countries show it is still possible for China to achieve multiple years of high growth going ahead at the current stage. [...] China's demand for imported consumer goods has been increasing, presenting "an opportunity for the region's exporters," the bank said. "As its trade surplus declined, China's imports for domestic needs grew faster than imports for processing and re-export. Its exports of consumer goods have also been growing rapidly," the report said. [...] China's trade balance with developing East Asia improved in East Asia's favor during the recovery, the report said. [...]. ^ top ^

Vegetable prices rise for second week: China's commerce ministry (Xinhua)
2011-11-23
Vegetable prices rose for the second consecutive week last week and will likely continue to rise, as production will diminish during the winter, the Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday. The average wholesale price of 18 staple vegetables rose 1.5 percent last week, the ministry said in a statement on its website. The rise marked the second straight week of price gains following four weeks of declines. [...] "With vegetable production decreasing during the winter, vegetable prices will continue to increase in the near future," the statement said. [...] Pork prices decreased by 1.7 percent last week and by 9.8 percent cumulatively since mid-September, according to the statement. [...] Food prices have a one-third weighting in the calculation of China's consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of inflation. China's CPI eased to 5.5 percent last month, down from 6.1 percent in September. ^ top ^

Vice Premier urges sound policy implementation to promote SMEs' development (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-23
Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang on Tuesday urged local governments to soundly implement policies introduced by the central government to promote the healthy development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The operations of SMEs remain generally healthy, and they still boast great growth potential given increased government support, the broad domestic market and huge demand as well as competitive products, Zhang said at a SME meeting in Nantong, a city in east China's Jiangsu Province. However, Zhang said SMEs also face a lot of challenges and that local governments should adopt more effective measures to help them address the difficulties. Zhang asked local authorities to soundly implement favorable fiscal and tax policies designed for SMEs, and perfect related policies and measures in a timely manner. Local governments should improve the business environment, provide low-cost but quality services for SMEs and help them strengthen their innovative capacities, explore overseas markets, and encourage college graduates to work for them, he said. Meanwhile, Zhang noted that SMEs must improve their management, enhance their ability to self-innovate, strengthen competitiveness and raise production efficiency. SMEs should also enhance brand-building and honesty, shoulder social responsibilities, protect workers' legitimate rights and ensure safe production, Zhang said. [...]. ^ top ^

Over half of China's luxury consumption takes place overseas: report (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-23
More than 50 percent of luxury purchases by Chinese consumers take place overseas, of which half take place in duty-free shops, according to a report issued on Monday. The 2011 China Luxury Report was jointly released by the Research Center for Luxury Goods and Services at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Fortune Character, a lifestyle magazine targeted at wealthy people. One-hundred and fifteen products from 65 international luxury brands in both domestic and overseas markets were monitored to create the report. The results indicated that most of the luxury products sold in Chinese markets are more expensive than those found in international markets. The price gaps, which have encouraged China's wealthy to spend large amounts of money outside of the country, are partly caused by taxes and additional charges generated during the circulation and sales process, said Yu Wenlong, the China region general manager at Buben & Zorweg [...]. "Actually, Chinese consumers can buy luxury goods in domestic duty-free shops quite conveniently," said Zhou Ting, executive director of UIBE's Research Center for Luxury Goods and Services. "The development of domestic markets needs support from the government, urban planning from city authorities and a shift in the buying habits of Chinese consumers," Zhou said. Domestic duty-free shops are currently operating on a trial basis in the cities of Sanya and Haikou in south China's Hainan province. [...] According to the research done by the World Luxury Association (WLA), Chinese consumers ranked first in terms of overseas consumption of luxury goods in 2010, and the WLA estimates that China will overtake Japan to produce the largest number of luxury-goods consumers in 2012. ^ top ^

China-Africa trade to hit record high in 2011 (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-24
China-Africa trade volume rose 30 percent from a year earlier to 122.2 billion U.S. dollars during the first three quarters of 2011, which is only a few billion shy of the 126.9 billion U.S. dollars in total trade for all of last year, Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, said at a routine press conference. China-Africa trade volume is likely to hit a record high in 2011. "China has become Africa's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade growing 28 percent per year from 2001 to 2010," Shen said. China invested nearly 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in non-financial sectors in Africa during the first three quarters of 2011, up 87 percent from a year earlier. Overall, China's Africa-bound investment has maintained substantial growth momentum. "China-Africa cooperation in various sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, tourism, and aviation, has shown great growth momentum," Shen said. Many Chinese financial institutions have expanded into Africa, and many airlines on both sides have opened direct flights between China and Africa. Furthermore, bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction is also well underway. As of the end of 2010, the value of construction contracts completed by Chinese enterprises in Africa totaled 132.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 30 percent of the accumulated value of completed contracts for China's foreign contracted projects. During the first three quarters of the year, Chinese enterprises signed contracts totaling 25.2 billion U.S. dollars in Africa, with the accomplished turnover standing at 23.7 billion U.S. dollars. ^ top ^

China's logistics costs up 18.7% from Jan.to Oct. (Xinhua)
2011-11-24
China's logistics costs surged 18.7 percent year-on-year from Jan. to Oct. to 6.4 trillion yuan (1.01 trillion U.S. dollars), rising in tandem with rapidly increasing transport costs, according to a report issued Wednesday. The logistics volume by October reached 131.7 trillion yuan, showing year-on-year growth rate of 13.3 percent, 3.2 percentage points lower than the same period in 2010, China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said in a report on its website. The growth rate of total logistics costs was flat when compared with the first three quarters, but maintained a high speed momentum, the CFLP said. Meanwhile, transport costs rose 15.6 percent year-on-year to 3.3 trillion yuan, 0.2 percentage point higher than the increase in the first three quarters of 2011, CFLP said. China Logistics Information Center (CLIC) attributed high transport expenditures to rising oil prices and labor costs. In October, gasoline and diesel prices jumped 17.3 percent and 21.8 percent, respectively, while storage and management costs rose 23.4 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively, over the same period a year earlier, the report said. The report also said that along with the country's policies carried out to boost the development of logistics, this sector is experiencing favorable operation state. Revenues for the logistics sector climbed by 15.6 percent year-on-year, and the profit margin hit 4.5 percent in the first nine months, 2.4 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively, higher than that of the first eight months, according to the report. However, for logistics enterprises, costs will continue growing faster than revenues in the near future, the CFLP said. ^ top ^

China to launch interbank trading of AUD, CAD against yuan (Xinhua)
2011-11-25
China will launch the trading of the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Canadian dollar (CAD) against the yuan on the interbank foreign exchange market starting from Nov. 28, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) announced Thursday. The move [...] marks the government's latest effort to make the yuan an international currency. The CFETS said in a statement on its website that it will provide quotations for spot, forward and swap transactions between the AUD and the yuan as well as between the CAD and the yuan. On the spot market, the two foreign currencies can trade within 3 percent around their daily central parity rates set by the central bank, said the statement. [...] China now allows interbank trading between the yuan and the U.S. dollar, HK dollar, Japanese yen, euro, British pound, Malaysian ringgit, and Russian ruble. ^ top ^

China's oil output to rise steadily as gas output soars (Xinhua)
2011-11-25
China's oil production will rise steadily over the next 20 years, and its gas output will soar, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday. Combined oil and gas output is expected to rise to 360 million tonnes of oil equivalent by 2015 and 450 million tonnes by 2030, up from 280 million tonnes last year, Peng Qiming, director of the ministry's geological exploration department, said at a press conference, adding that "natural gas will contribute mainly to the growth in oil and gas output." The country has discovered 52 trillion cubic meters of gas, of which, 32 trillion cubic meters can be exploited, according to a report issued by the ministry at the press conference. The report said the country's natural gas output will reach 300 billion cubic meters by 2030. The Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Sichuan Basin in Sichuan province will remain the country's major gas-producing regions. Meanwhile, the country can maintain annual crude output at the level of 200 million tonnes over the next 20 years. China's annual oil production may peak around 220 million tonnes, the report said, without specifying when the peak will be reached. China will step up oil and gas exploration to meet the country's rising energy demands and to ease its reliance on imports, Peng said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

S.Korean minister visits China (Global Times)
2011-11-22
South Korea's Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik arrived in Beijing on Monday for talks with senior Chinese officials about North Korea, amid recent intensive diplomatic efforts among participants in the Six-Party Talks to revive the long-stalled negotiations. [...] Today, Yu is scheduled to meet with China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo in the afternoon, after having talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC, according to the Korea Herald newspaper. Yu will also meet with senior Chinese scholars tomorrow and visit Tang Jiaxuan, a former state councilor, before returning home. The rare visit by Yu, former South Korean ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011, comes on the heels of a trip to the US two weeks ago. He is likely to urge Beijing to take a tougher stance on the North Korean nuclear issue, South Korean observers told the Korea Herald. [...] Yu's visit also comes one year after a deadly shelling of a South Korean border island by the North, in which two soldiers and two civilians died. "We cannot give rice to people who fire a cannon" unless North Korea "acknowledges its wrongdoing in committing the provocations" and promises these will not happen again, Yu said in a meeting with South Korean residents in Beijing on Monday, according to the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency. "The North has so far expressed the most modest willingness to rejoin the stalled talks, and stated it is impossible for Pyongyang to admit any wrongdoing. But the longer the stalemate drags on, the more possibility there is that North Korea will be pushed in the wrong direction," Lü warned. ^ top ^

N.Korea threatens strike on South's Blue House (Global Times)
2011-11-25
North Korea threatened on Thursday to turn South Korea's presidential palace into a "sea of fire" in response to any provocation, a day after Seoul's military held a big exercise near the border. The drills were staged to mark the first anniversary of a North Korean attack on the South's border island of Yeonpyeong. Pyongyang has said its bombardment on November 23, 2010 was a response to a South Korean artillery drill on Yeonpyeong, which it said dropped shells into the North's territorial waters. The North's military Supreme Command said if the South dared to "fire one bullet or shell" towards the North's territorial waters, air space and land, a "sea of fire" would engulf Seoul's presidential palace. Pyongyang on Thursday also rejected a UN resolution condemning human rights abuses by North Korea. A foreign ministry spokesman said that no matter how ferocious the campaigns by "hostile forces", they would not shake the "faith in socialism firmly rooted in people's minds". "The resolution circus... is a typical smear campaign repeated every year by the US and sycophants hostile to us," the spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's official news agency. "We, as always, strongly reject the resolution, a summation of double standards in human rights issues, which is full of falsehood and fabrications.". ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia establishes diplomatic ties with Andorra (Montsame)
2011-11-22
Mongolia has established the diplomatic relations with the Principality of Andorra. The ceremony ran in New York city, USA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. This is one of the works being done within the 50th anniversary of Mongolia's membership in the UN. The countries have agreed that they shall adhere to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the UN Charter and the international law principles as well as norms in order to develop the bilateral ties and collaboration in fields of politics, economics, humanity and other sectors. The joint official document was signed by O.Enkhtsetseg, the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UN, and by Narcís Casal de Fonsdeviela, Andorra's Permanent Representative to the UN. Andorra has become the 155th country to have the diplomatic ties with Mongolia, and the doors are opening for the two countries to cooperate with each other in the bilateral and international organizations as well. ^ top ^

Road projects completed (News.mn)
2011-11-22
Officials with the Ministry of Road, Transportation and Urban Development took part in the opening of new roads in Arkhangai aimag over the weekend. A 59.9-km road from Khanuin Gol Bridge to Khalzan Burgedei Mtn. in Undur-Ulaan soum; a 37.6-km road between Khanuin Gol Bridge and Ikh Tamir soum; and a 29.9-km road connecting Kharkhoring and Tsetserleg cities were all opened. The roads are seven meters wide and have a daily capacity of 2,500 vehicles. Minister for Road, Transportation and Urban Development Kh.Battulga told our correspondent that 1,100 to 1,200 km of new roads have been completed this year, including a 610-km road from Ulaanbaatar to Arkhangai aimag. Road construction work to connect the capital with western aimags will continue in the future. The Minister said that price increases in imported road construction materials have increased the cost of building one km of road to between MNT 420 and 460 million, according to research. Also, he said new road construction work needs to take into account the needs of mining companies, which have vehicles weighing 60 tons, or even 100 or 120 tons, using roads. Kh.Battulga added that a 107-km road between Bayankhongor and Uvurkhangai aimags, a road between Gobi-Altai and Bayankhongor aimags, and one between Khentii and Dornod aimags will be built in 2012. ^ top ^

Russia to resume importing meat from Mongolia (News.mn)
2011-11-22
Russian officials recently informed Mongolia's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry that Russia has lifted its ban on the import of meat and meat products from Mongolia. Russia imposed the ban in 2010, after cases of foot-and-mouth disease were reported in animals in Dornod, Khentii, and Sukhbaatar aimags. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, the Veterinary Board, and the Mongolian Meat Union are planning to resume exports to Russia in December. ^ top ^

Winter preparation for livestock 89.6 percent complete (News.mn)
2011-11-24
Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Minister T.Badamjunai reported on winter preparation work at the Government meeting on Wednesday. He stated that winter and spring preparation for livestock has been 89.6 percent implemented. Excepting Dornogobi aimag (74.9 percent), all other aimags have winter preparation of more than 80 percent. The Minister said that in total 37.1 million heads of animal will winter in 180,000 herder households in the country. Herders have prepared 1,181,200 tons of hay, 18,200 tons of straw, 34,300 tons of green fodder, 47,100 tons of processed fodder, and 46,300 tons of hand-prepared fodder. Aimags and the capital have a 62.8 percent animal fodder reserve and soums and districts have a 78.6 percent animal fodder reserve. ^ top ^

Government gets update on implementation of decisions (News.mn)
2011-11-24
The Government meeting on Wednesday heard a report on the implementation of Government decisions from June to September. Head of Cabinet Secretariat Ch.Khurelbaatar said the Government has implemented 1,840 provisions, or 31.1 percent, of 5,921 provisions resulting from 3,917 decisions. He said that 3,982 provisions are being implemented and about 18 have been stopped. Khurelbaatar stated that 4,050 provisions, or 80.4 percent, of 6,190 decisions resulting from Parliament protocols, presidential decrees, National Security Council recommendations, Government protocols, the prime minister's protocols, and Government meetings have been monitored. He added that 60 provisions, or 22.6 percent, of the decisions have been implemented and 201 are being implemented. Members also heard about the Government's meeting activity in October. It had four meetings and has discussed 53 issues. The Government has submitted seven issues to Parliament, four to lawmakers, two to the standing committees, one to the president, three to the National Security Council, and has postponed seven issues. ^ 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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