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
  28.11-2.12.11, No. 399  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Chinese warships visit Kuwait to boost military ties (Xinhua)
2011-11-28
Two warships from China on Sunday docked at Kuwait's Shuwaikh port to start a five-day official visit to the Gulf Arab emirate. The tour by the destroyer "Wuhan" and the frigate "Yulin" marked the first visit by Chinese naval vessels to Kuwait since the two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago. […] The flotilla was part of the ninth Chinese naval convoy to conclude its escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia. Commander of the flotilla Guan Jianguo hopes the visit would enhance mutual cooperation between the two navies, which in turn would contribute to boosting bilateral relations. The flotilla would visit Oman after its stay in Kuwait. ^ top ^

Xi vows to reinforce ties with Myanmar (SCMP)
2011-11-29
President-in-waiting Xi Jinping yesterday pledged stronger relations with Myanmar during a visit by its military chief. It was a gesture said by analysts to show Beijing's eagerness to bolster relations amid uneasiness with its neighbour's growing engagement with the United States. The meeting in Beijing came just two days before Hillary Rodham Clinton is to embark on a visit to Myanmar - the first by a US secretary of state in more than 50 years. Xi, China's vice-president and a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, told the commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, Min Aung Hlaing, that "China will work with Myanmar to further bolster the comprehensive strategic partnership of co-operation", Xinhua reported. Observers say Beijing has reasons to feel uneasy about Clinton's Myanmar visit - it symbolises the beginning of American re-engagement with the repressive regime it once shunned and may help wean the isolated nation off its dependence on China. […] The Obama administration has been keen to foster ties with Myanmar and to push for reforms as part of its goals for a broader regional engagement amid China's rise. And a series of moves taken by Myanmar's new, nominally civilian government since March seem to indicate that it is beginning to warm to the West while easing its dependence on China. These include the opening of dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the freeing of 200 political detainees and a decision to suspend work on an unpopular US$3.6 billion Chinese mega-dam project on the Irrawaddy River. […] China invested US$8.17 billion in Myanmar last year, with energy projects forming the bulk of the investment. It also gains access to the Indian Ocean via Myanmar for imports of oil and gas. ^ top ^

Pakistani FM briefs China, Russia on NATO attacks, gov't decisions (Xinhua)
2011-11-29
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Monday briefed her Chinese and Russian counterparts on NATO attacks and the decisions taken by the Pakistani government following the strikes which reportedly killed 24 Pakistani troops and injured 13 others, according to APP, a government-run news agency in Pakistan. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar spoke to the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Monday to brief him on the NATO/ISAF attacks and the decisions taken by the Defense Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) on Saturday. The Foreign Minister had a 40-minute conversation in which she informed her Chinese counterpart of the extreme outrage in Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi expressed deep shock and strong concern over the incident and extended condolences to the aggrieved families. He said that Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. He also called for a thorough and serious investigation into the matter. […]. ^ top ^

China calls for second commitment of Kyoto Protocol (Xinhua)
2011-11-29
The UN climate conference currently under way in Durban, South Africa, should clearly establish the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the Chinese delegation said here on Monday. The second commitment should ensure that developed country parties to the Kyoto Protocol "should undertake quantified emission reduction commitments," said Wei Su, deputy head of the Chinese delegation attending the COP 17, formally the 17th Conference of Parties to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Su was speaking on behalf of China, Brazil, South Africa and India, known as four "basic nations" in efforts to address climate change. "The Kyoto Protocol is the cornerstone of the climate regime and its second commitment period is the essential priority for the success of Durban Conference," he said. […] He voiced hope that the Durban Conference should achieve "a comprehensive, fair and balanced outcome to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and fulfilling the mandate of Bali Roadmap in the two-track process of negotiation." […]. ^ top ^

EU arms ban against China is political prejudice: diplomat (People's Daily Online)
2011-11-30
A senior Chinese diplomat on Tuesday called for early resolution of the issues concerning the arms embargo of the European Union (EU) against China and China's market economy status. "Arms embargo against China, along with the market economy status issue, in essence, are symbols of political prejudice and inequality," Hua Chunying, counsellor of the Department of European Affairs at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "To further the China-EU relations, we need to build up real trust between us and get rid of the cold-war mentality," Hua said at a forum on China-EU relations titled "Europe and China: Rivals or Strategic Partners?" […] "We have been very patient, and we could be even more patient. But early resolution of the two issues might be a small step towards resolving many issues in China-EU relations," said Hua. "We are living in a globalized world and China and Europe are so interdependent with each other. To further China-EU partnership is not a matter of choice but strategic necessities," she added. […] Meng Xiangqing, deputy director of Strategic Research Institute at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army, said China's intention of asking for the EU to lift the weapons ban had been widely misinterpreted in Europe. "When we ask the EU to lift the arms embargo, some people tend to think that we are eager to buy more advanced weapons from Europe, but this is not true," said Meng at the forum. […] China has established its own national defense system mainly with weapons as a result of its own research and development, and the country's defense budget is limited, according to Meng. "In the eyes of many of my colleagues, the arms ban is a purely political problem which embodies political discrimination and inequality," said Meng. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese premier sends congratulatory message to UN meeting on solidarity with Palestinian people (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent a congratulatory message on Tuesday to a UN meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at the UN headquarters in New York. "On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I extend warm congratulations to the meeting on behalf of the Chinese government," Wen said in his message. […] Stressing that the Palestinian issue is the core of the Mideast problem, Premier Wen said the Chinese government staunchly supports the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights. The Chinese government also supports the establishment -- through peace talks -- of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with full sovereignty and East Jerusalem as its capital, Wen said. The Mideast peace process currently is at a new crossroad and the Chinese government understands, respects and supports the Palestinians' presentation to the United Nations of the issue on establishing an independent Palestinian state, said the Chinese premier. China hopes that the Palestinians and Israel would stick to the path of peaceful negotiations, restart peace talks soon, and find solutions through political and diplomatic channels on the basis of related UN resolutions, the "Land for Peace" principle, the roadmap for Mideast peace and the Arab peace initiative, so as to eventually realize the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine, he added. […] As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to support the United Nations in playing an important role in solving the Mideast problem, and will make unremitting efforts to work along with the international community for a fair settlement of the Palestinian issue and the promotion of peace, stability and development in the Middle East, Premier Wen said. ^ top ^

Carrier conducts 2nd trial (Global Times)
2011-11-30
China's first aircraft carrier held its second sea trial on Tuesday morning amid speculation that take-off and landing experiments for carrier-based jet fighters would be part of the test. After its maiden voyage in August and follow-up refitting and testing, the vessel left its port in Dalian, Liaoning Province again to conduct scientific research and experiments, said a statement from the Ministry of National Defense. […] This time, carrier-based aircraft are likely to run landing and take-off tests, as the ship had been repainted with a landing zone and guiding signs on the deck, the Beijing-based Legal Daily reported, citing anonymous military sources and witness accounts. However, Bai Wei, the former deputy chief editor of Aviation World Monthly, told the Global Times that on Tuesday's trial might just involve take-off and landing of the helicopters, although tests for carrier-based fighter jets are possible in the next six months. […] on Tuesday's trial came shortly after US President Barack Obama announced a military boost in Australia earlier this month to support Washington's role in the Asia-Pacific region. The US side also expressed an intention to intervene in territorial disputes in the South China Sea […]. Meanwhile, the new trial was launched amid an annual drill by China's navy in the Pacific, which drew close attention from Japan. A senior naval research expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the carrier's second trial was just a routine practice scheduled by the Chinese navy and had no connection with the increased US presence in the region. When asked about the purpose of the second sea trial, Hong Lei, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "China sticks to the path of peaceful development and upholds a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China will always be a major force in safeguarding regional and world peace." […]. ^ top ^

Liaoning sends drones over East China Sea (SCMP)
2011-11-30
Chinese marine authorities began drone patrols for the first time over water and islands in the East China Sea close to North Korea last week. Liaoning's marine department said it had set up an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) deployment and control centre in the coastal city of Dalian and would send drones on frequent missions to monitor sensitive ocean, coastline and island regions facing North Korea, gathering remote sensing data and high-definition photos. Professor Li Ziwei, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Remote Sensing Applications who has participated in military drone projects, said the Liaoning scheme was run by the civilian government without the use of military-grade equipment. She warned that unless operated carefully, the drones may easily fly into other countries' territory and cause disputes. […] Chinese fishermen operating in the East China Sea have often been arrested and fined by South Korean marine authorities, while Chinese officials are keen to upgrade marine patrols in case of a sudden flow of refugees from North Korea. Li said the drones used by the People's Liberation Army were among the best in the world, able to climb tens of thousands of metres and stay in the air for almost 24 hours without refuelling. But she said the model being used by the Liaoning authorities - with a camera only able to pick out objects no smaller than 50cm - almost certainly came from the civilian sector: "Military UAVs wouldn't be used for daily tasks such as border patrols - they're too expensive." The Liaoning marine authorities said the drones would patrol 150,000 square kilometres of water, with more than 500 islands and islets. ^ top ^

China willing to further ties with Kyrgyzstan: Chinese envoy (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
China is willing to work with Kyrkyzstan to enhance the ties between the two countries, a visting Chinese envoy said here on Wednesday. The friendly and cooperative relations of good neighborhood between China and Kyrgyzstan have kept a good momentum of development since the two countries established diplomatic ties nearly 20 years ago, said Ismail Tiliwaldi, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC). China is willing to work closely with Kyrkyzstan to further consolidate mutual trust, strengthen cooperation of mutual benefit, and boost communications between the peoples of the two countries to push ahead relations between the two countries, Tiliwaldi said during a meeting with Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Akhmatbek Keldibekov. China appreciates Kyrgyzstan's staunch support of China on the Taiwan and Tibet issues and the crackdown on the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, said Tiliwaldi. The envoy arrived here on Wednesday to attend the inauguration for newly elected Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on Dec. 1 as a special envoy of President Hu Jintao. […] Keldibekov said China-Kyrgyzstan relations have developed soundly since the two countries established diplomatic ties. […] As Kyrgyzstan goes through a peaceful transition of power, the country will now focus on economic development, and it is important to strengthen cooperation with China in that respect, the parliament speaker said. He added that Kyrgyzstan will continue to enhance cooperation with China in combating the "three evil forces" to safeguard regional stability and security." [...]. ^ top ^

China turns frosty on US-Australia upgrades (SCMP)
2011-12-01
China's military denounced the United States and Australia yesterday for upgrading defence ties, warning that such moves could erode trust and fan cold war-era antagonism. Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng made the warning about a plan unveiled in mid-November by US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to form a de facto base in north Australia for up to 2,500 US Marines. Geng's comments came on the same day Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was reported supporting the formation of a security pact with India and the US, another step that could fuel China's worries of being fenced in by wary neighbours. "Military alliances are a product of history, but we believe any strengthening and expansion of military alliances is an expression of the cold war mentality," Geng said at a monthly news conference. "This is not in keeping with the tide of the era of peace, development and cooperation, and does not help to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between countries in the region. [It] could ultimately harm the common interests of all concerned. "We hope that the parties... will do more that is beneficial to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and not the contrary," he said. […] Although falling short of full-throated condemnation of the US-Australian move, Geng's words were tougher than an earlier reaction from China's Foreign Ministry, which said Washington and Canberra should focus on co-operating with Beijing. Geng said US and Australian plans to advance "integrated air and sea combat" amounted to "trumpeting confrontation". ^ top ^

Country urges rational view of recent military exercises (Global Times)
2011-12-01
China yesterday called for an objective and rational view toward its military exercises and training over the past few months. "Recent exercises and training sessions conducted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were routinely arranged. Therefore, we expect related parties to take an objective and rational view," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a monthly press briefing yesterday. The exercises and training sessions Geng referred to included a China-Australia rescue and disaster relief drill this week and an ongoing PLA naval fleet exercise in the west Pacific. "Some exercises and training sessions are based on the PLA's annual training program, while others are arranged by Chinese and foreign militaries," Geng said. Geng also referred to the second sea trial of China's aircraft carrier beginning Tuesday as a "routine arrangement." As a complicated and systematic project, the aircraft carrier's construction involves a number of weapons, equipment and facilities, which all require various tests, Geng said. "The tests the aircraft carrier will carry out and the time during which it will carry them out depend on the procedures involved," Geng said. […]. ^ top ^

Pandas set for stay at French zoo (SCMP)
2011-12-02
China and France have agreed a high-level deal for Beijing to lend two giant pandas to a French zoo for 10 years from early next year, the zoo's director said on Wednesday. The pair will be the first pandas sent to France since the death of Yen Yen in 2000, who was given to former French president Georges Pompidou in the 1970s along with another panda, who died shortly after arriving. "Last Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao officially announced to [French counterpart] Nicolas Sarkozy that he was entrusting the giant pandas to the Beauval zoo for a conservation and research programme," said Rodolphe Delord, director of the zoo in central France. He said an official agreement on the programme would be signed in the next few days between French and Chinese zoo officials in Beijing, after five years of negotiations. […] China is famed for its "panda diplomacy". After years of top-level negotiations, a deal on the pandas was to have been announced at the G20 summit in the French resort of Cannes last month, but the announcement was delayed as leaders dealt with more pressing matters. ^ top ^

Hi-tech vessel boosts push in deep seas (SCMP)
2011-12-02
A hi-tech oceanic research vessel was launched in Wuhan, heralding a push into deep-sea areas of the world's oceans. The Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the completion of the 100-metre-long Ke Xue (Science) on its website yesterday. Costing more than 500 million yuan […], it features state of the art design and cutting-edge equipment. Its maiden cruise is scheduled for the western Pacific in June, where it will explore deep-sea areas. Professor Wang Fan, a researcher with the academy's Institute of Oceanology in Qingdao, Shandong, and a member of the design team, said yesterday that when they drew up the blueprint they envisioned Ke Xue as being one of the three most advanced research vessels in the world. […] "The first few missions will be limited to the western Pacific. But soon, our cruises will go global to more distant areas such as the Indian Ocean and Atlantic. "With the best multibeam echo sounder and Doppler scanners on board, we can see deep, really deep, into the ocean." As the world's biggest factory and fastest growing major economy, China has grown increasingly hungry for oil and minerals. The central government, driven by depletion of domestic land-based resources, has encouraged offshore projects with generous funding in recent years. […] Professor Chu Fengyou, a researcher with the State Oceanic Administration's Second Institute of Oceanography and a veteran of Chinese explorations, said that despite the cutting-edge technology of the Ke Xue, China was still alarmingly far behind countries such as Japan and the United States in terms of the hardware needed in the fight for deep-sea resources. […] All the equipment was dedicated to scientific research and had no military applications, he said. The vessel would also be used by scientists from other countries. ^ top ^

China launches 10th satellite for independent navigation system (Global Times)
2011-12-02
China successfully launched a satellite into space at 5:07 a.m. Beijing Time Friday, the 10th one of its indigenous global navigation and positioning network known as Beidou, or Compass system, the launch center said. […]The basic structure of the Beidou system has now been established, and engineers are now conducting comprehensive system test and evaluation. The system will provide test-run services of positioning, navigation and time for China and the neighboring areas before the end of this year, according to the authorities. More satellites will be launched before the end of 2012 for the Beidou network, and its coverage area will be expanded with upgraded services. The global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with 30 satellites orbiting the earth. Started in 2000, the Beidou satellite navigation system is designed to break China's dependence on the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS). ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Civil service exam attracts nearly one million (Global Times)
2011-11-27
Nearly one million people on Sunday completed the two-day civil service exam for the central government, with some 53 candidates on average competing for one post. Although the test is still one of the most fiercely competitive exams in China, the number of qualified candidates has dropped. According to official statistics, this year's round of exams saw some 1.33 million qualified candidates, while previous year's figure was 1.4 million. Hu Yuanyuan, a senior civil service exam researcher with the Beijing-based Sunland Self-study Examination College, told the Global Times on Sunday that the drop in potential candidates was a result of the more difficult and detailed requirements. […] An official who helps manage national civil servant employment told the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday the usual attention associated with applying for the exam has dropped overall, and the candidates' choices for certain posts have become more reasonable. "Very few posts remained unapplied for, which was a result of rational thinking from potential candidates," said the official. However, Hu said the lower number does not indicate a new decreasing trend. "We see that fewer candidates apply for some posts because more requirements are needed in order to be eligible," she said. […] But she agrees that candidates today are more rational and focused when it comes to choosing a post. […]. ^ top ^

Official denies discrimination in civil service recruitment (Xinhua)
2011-11-27
A government official on Sunday refuted an accusation that discriminations widely exist in the country's civil service recruitment process. Nie Shengkui, director of the examination and recruitment department of the State Administration of Civil Service (SACS), said that the recruitment process is always based on the principles of justice and fairness, which has promoted the upward mobility of people from the grassroots. The ratio of recruited male and female applicants is around 6 to 4 in last year, equal to the ratio of the male and female applicants, and more than 92 percent of the recruited are from the ordinary families in the grassroots, including 29 percent from the rural areas, according to Nie. Nie's words came after a survey report published earlier last week, accusing the authorities of having discriminatory requirements in civil servants recruitment. Conducted by the Constitutionalism Research Institute of China University of Political Science and Law, the survey report said that without publicly acknowledging any form of discrimination, many public offices don't hesitate to hide their preferences on age, gender, education and state of health in recruitment. Nie defended that it is necessary to set some requirements in the recruitment in a bid to guarantee the future civil servants can carry out there duty competently. "Civil servants recruitment is a process of choosing talents for the government to manage the country, not for promoting employment," said Nie, "so there is nothing to do with employment discriminations." […]. ^ top ^

Henan is last to ease pain of one-child rule (SCMP)
2011-11-27
Efforts to relax the rigid one-child policy have passed a milestone. Henan province, the most populous, has fallen into line with the rest of the mainland by allowing couples a second child if both parents are only children. Already, calls are mounting for families to be allowed two children to counter the rapid ageing of the population - one consequence of the controversial decision more than 30 years ago to limit most couples to bearing a single child. Xinhua reported yesterday that Henan had finally decided to allow couples born into one-child families to have a second baby, more than 20 years after Shanghai became the first mainland jurisdiction to do so. Henan authorities said the one-child policy had prevented more than 33 million births since it was introduced. According to official census data, 94 million people were living in Henan last year, ranking the province third in permanent population after Shandong's 95.6 million and Guangdong's 104 million. But Henan is the most populous if Henan migrant workers in other parts of the mainland are factored in. The province plans to keep its resident population to within 107 million by 2020. […]. ^ top ^

Premier urges protection of women's, children's rights (Xinhua)
2011-11-27
"The social status of the female population indicates the level of social progress (of a nation), while children are the future and hope of a nationality and a nation," Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday. While addressing the fifth National Working Conference on Women and Children, the premier highlighted the importance of women's and children's wellbeing, noting they bear on "the future of the nation and the nationality." China's women and children, who make up two-thirds of the country's 1.3 billion strong population, are an "important force for promoting national development and social progress," said Wen, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. The party and the government have always attached great importance to women's and children's issues, the premier said, noting that China has issued specific laws to protect women's and children's rights, while specific organizations have been set up to carry out government plans regarding the development of women's and children's rights. The government will implement two plans for the development of women and children over the next 10 years, Wen said. He pledged to oppose gender discrimination of any kind and to work hard to ensure that women will have equal footing when participating in economic, political, cultural and social development. The premier urged banning illegal fetus gender identification and illegal abortion. ^ top ^

Vice premier stresses quality, fair distribution of affordable housing (Xinhua)
2011-11-28
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for increased efforts to build and fairly distribute high-quality affordable housing to low-income residents, which he said would benefit both the people's livelihood and the economy. Li made the remarks during a fact-finding tour to Langfang city of Hebei Province on Friday, in which he checked the implementation of the government's affordable housing policies and progress made in Langfang, said a statement released by his office on Sunday. Li said the construction of a total of 10 million units of affordable housing had been started nationwide to meet the goal set by the central government for this year. He urged governments at local levels and stakeholders to continue their efforts to ensure the completion of the projects, according to the statement. The central government has vowed to build 36 million units over the next five years in an effort to give more mid- and low-income households access to housing and stabilize runaway property prices, with 10 million units planned for each of 2011 and 2012. […] China's measures to control the property market are at a critical stage, Li said, stressing that the government should stick to its tightening measures over the property market and consolidate the regulative results it has achieved. More Chinese cities posted monthly home price declines in October following the government's campaign to calm the runaway property market, according to the country's statistics authorities. In October, 34 cities in a statistical pool of 70 major cities saw declines in new home prices from September, compared with 17 in September, data with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. ^ top ^

Statistics process to see sweeping reform (Global Times)
2011-11-29
China will see a significant change in the way it processes statistics starting next year, when a reform of the statistical management system is expected to take place, the top national statistics authority revealed. Under the reform, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will take charge of original data so as to ensure its authenticity, said NBS director Ma Jiantang at a forum held at Peking University on Saturday. "At least 1 million enterprises will directly report their data to the national bureau via the Internet monthly," Ma said in a speech, according to sina.com. According to Ma, the bureau will implement a new nationwide program aimed at increasing data processing efficiency and ensuring statistics are not tampered with. "The reform will largely guarantee statistical authenticity, as the original figures will go directly to the top authorities without any processing at different bureau levels," said Fang Xiangzhong, a statistics professor with Peking University. […] Ma pointed out that fewer administrative restraints will help ensure the authenticity of statistics, so the management system should be reformed to alleviate the burden placed on enterprises. The nation's statistical system has long been criticized by the public, which has expressed doubts over whether its methods are scientific or the data released is authentic. A recent spate of scandals caused by the release of confidential statistics has also dealt a blow to its credibility. Sun Zhen, an official with the NBS, and Wu Chaoming, who worked for the Financial Research Institute of the People's Bank of China, were sentenced to five and six years in prison respectively for leaking state secrets, the Beijing Times reported on Sunday. ^ top ^

Drama turned into a crisis as Sarft bans ads (SCMP)
2011-11-29
The broadcasting regulator yesterday announced a nationwide ban on advertising during television dramas from next year, prompting concerns of huge losses in advertising revenue. Dramas will no longer cut to commercials during episodes to better satisfy viewers, new rules posted on the website of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) said after a week of speculation over the move. […] The new regulation will replace terms issued in 2009 for the management of broadcasting and television advertisements. The current law allows most 45-minute shows to take two 90-second breaks for ads, while 45-minute dramas aired during prime time - from 7pm to 9pm - are allowed one minute-long break. The ban came after Sarft passed new regulations last month limiting the number, frequency and duration of entertainment shows. The move was a swift response to a Communist Party Central Committee meeting at which the nation's leaders discussed boosting the country's soft power and enhancing cultural security, while asserting the party's role as an arbiter of social morality ahead of next autumn's leadership transition. Television, as an important tool for propaganda and the spreading of culture, should guide and educate people, Sarft said, adding that "banning advertising during TV dramas would enhance the plot flow and viewing continuity for audiences, which echoes audiences' wishes". […] The move is expected to have a significant impact on the television market, but predictions vary greatly on estimated losses. […]. ^ top ^

Democracy 'in progress' (Global Times)
2011-11-30
The majority of Chinese people believe that the country is making progress in building a unique democratic model, but nearly half disagree with undertaking radical reforms to achieve democracy and social development, a recent survey found. Among the respondents, 87.2 percent agreed that democracy is a good thing, over 77 percent agreed that democratic systems can take different forms and American democracy is just one of them, while 10.6 percent disagreed. The telephone survey was conducted by the Global Poll Center affiliated with the Global Times from November 25 to 29. It polled 1,009 people above the age of 18 in seven major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. About 65 percent of respondents were confident that China can build a democratic model that is different from those of Western powers based on national conditions, but about 20 percent disagreed. […] Asked whether they agreed that radical reforms would not benefit the country's development and democratic system construction, about 46 percent said "yes," 27 percent said "no" and 27 percent were unsure. Meanwhile, about 42 percent rejected the idea that the Arab Spring, which attempted to eliminate corruption and bring democracy and freedom by toppling their leaders, could bring democracy to the Middle East. However, 16 percent still supported the idea. […] National leaders have also stressed the importance of democracy in the country. "Without democracy there can be no socialism and socialist modernization," President Hu Jintao, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said in a keynote speech at a meeting on July 1 to commemorate the Party's 90th founding anniversary. ^ top ^

Beijing doubles threshold for rural poverty (SCMP)
2011-11-30
The central government is raising the rural poverty line. The threshold will nearly double as part of efforts to eradicate poverty in the next decade, in a move that also reflects the country's rising wealth and the erosion of consumer purchasing power. The definition of rural poverty will cover people with annual per capita incomes of 2,300 yuan (HK$2,810) or less, up 80 per cent from the threshold of 1,274 yuan introduced last year. In 2009 the poverty line was 1,196 yuan. The move could increase the number of people officially regarded as poor in the world's largest developing economy to about 100 million. The new threshold is closer to the United Nations' definition of US$1.25 a day, which is equal to 2,910 yuan a year at the current exchange rate. The announcement came at a top-level meeting to finalise a 10-year poverty alleviation programme, to end in 2020, which was attended by President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Politburo members. […] After the phenomenal economic growth of the past three decades, material life for the general population has never been better, with more than 300 million people lifted out of poverty, an achievement hailed by the World Bank as the biggest poverty reduction effort in history and the country's greatest contribution to world development. However, income gaps between urban and rural areas, rich and poor and different regions have been growing, pushing the Gini coefficient, a gauge of income disparity, to 0.47 in 2009 from 0.21 three decades ago, the World Bank said last year. […] However, the new poverty line will make at least 100 million people eligible for government anti-poverty subsidies, Xinhua quoted experts as saying. Speaking at the meeting, Hu called for "greater resolve, intensified efforts, and more effective actions and measures" in poverty alleviation work "in order to achieve the target of building a comprehensively well-off society by 2020". […] He pledged to reverse the current trend of a widening rich-poor gap. Wen said the government would channel more resources into the campaign in the next decade. He said Beijing had increased spending on poverty reduction from 12.75 billion yuan in 2001 to 34.93 billion yuan last year, representing an average annual growth rate of 11.9 per cent. […]. ^ top ^

China to intensify financial auditing of foundations after embezzlement scandals (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
China plans to intensify financial auditing of domestic foundations after a series of embezzlement scandals hit charity organizations, impacting upon donations. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Civil Affairs are now soliciting public opinions on new rules that will require domestic foundations to hire accounting firms to audit their financial statements and publish reports, according to a joint statement issued by the two ministries on Tuesday. Under the new rules, domestic foundations' annual financial reports, and details of financial situations during management reshuffles must be subject to accounting firms' auditing. The requirements will also apply to certain donation programs, such as those accounting for more than 10 percent of the foundation's received annual donations or involving natural disaster relief. […] The new rules, expected to come into effect on Jan. 1 of next year, also lay down specific qualifications for accounting firms that can audit foundations. […] During the January to October period of this year, the country's civil-affairs authorities received a total of 4.36 billion yuan (685.53 million U.S. dollars) in public donations, less than one third of that for the same period of 2010, according to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs. […]. ^ top ^

China pledges nationwide checks, more spending on school bus safety (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
China is starting a nationwide schoolbus safety check and pledging to spend on buses in wake of a recent schoolbus accident that claimed the lives of 19 preschoolers, the country's safety watchdog said on Tuesday. In an online statement, the Work Safety Committee Office under the State Council, or China's cabinet, urged local education departments to conduct inspections of school commuting programs and immediately close any existing safety loopholes. Local governments should increase spending on schoolbuses and offer more subsidies from local public financiers while creating detailed safety regulations and standards for the country's schoolbuses, the statement said. Twenty-one people, including 19 preschoolers and two adults, died and 43 others were injured earlier this month when a nine-seat school bus illegally carrying 64 people collided head-on with a coal truck in northwest China's Gansu province. The accident has revealed problems in the country's schoolbus management, including regulatory loopholes, unimplemented safety measures and a failure to carry out government responsibilities, said the office. The office pledged to severely punish those responsible for the accident and work to improve schoolbus safety. Efforts will also be made to promote safety education for both students and bus drivers, it said. Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that relevant government departments should "rapidly" create safety regulations and standards for the country's schoolbuses while further improving the design, production, upgrading and distribution of the vehicles. Central and local governments will bear the cost of bringing the buses up to standard, Wen said. ^ top ^

Chinese airline vows to improve crew's English after alleged "unauthorized takeoff" in Japan (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said Wednesday it will strengthen its pilots' English language competence two days after one of its flights was accused of taking off without clearance in Japan. A spokesman with the airline said the company will further regulate the flight crew's ability to communicate in English in order to eliminate communication barriers between pilots and foreign air traffic controllers during international flight operations, but he did not mention whether the alleged unauthorized takeoff was caused by communication misunderstandings. The airline will fully cooperate with Japanese aviation authorities to investigate the case, said the spokesman. […]. ^ top ^

Central Committee of Chinese KMT Revolutionary Committee meets (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-02
The Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) Revolutionary Committee held its fifth plenary session Thursday, studying and implementing the essence of the recent Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Zhou Tienong, chairman of the Central Committee of the Chinese KMT Revolutionary Committee, delivered a report on behalf of the Standing Committee to review its work in 2011 […]. The year 2011 is an important one for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, Zhou said. He urged his party members to study and implement the instructions on China's reunification by Hu Jintao, the state president and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. This year, Zhou's party has carried out a series of activities to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the CPC and the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution. Next year, it will further study ideology and help promote the peaceful reunification of China. The Central Committee of the Chinese KMT Revolutionary Committee is one of the eight non-communist parties in the mainland of China. ^ top ^

Premier Wen vows more aid to AIDS patients (China Daily)
2011-12-02
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday pledged new measures to help people living with HIV/AIDS obtain affordable drug treatment, enjoy fair job and education chances and avoid being discriminated. State Council, or the Cabinet, will soon send inspection teams to some regions with high HIV/AIDS prevalence to oversee the implementation of the central government's AIDS policies, he said. Wen made the remark in Beijing during a discussion with a group of people representing HIV carriers and AIDS patients, doctors and AIDS researchers on the World AIDS Day, which falls on Thursday. He said the State Council had decided to roll out special medical aid next year in regions with high HIV/AIDS prevalence to help ease heavy financial burdens of patients caused by anti-AIDS treatment. "Detailed measures are being drafted by relevant departments," Wen said, adding that some AIDS drug will be included in the nation's essential medicine system, which means drug prices are under control and the cost could be covered by basic health insurance. The premier also promised that the government will increase financial aid to families impoverished by AIDS. Measures will include raising allowance and providing subsidized housing to shelter homeless HIV/AIDS victims. The actual number of people living with HIV/AIDS in China is predicted to hit 780,000 by the end of 2011, with 48,000 new infections and 28,000 deaths this year, according to the Ministry of Health. […] The government is also working on measures to help children orphaned by AIDS, to ensure basic standard of living, equal eduction opportunities and accessible medical treatment, he added. […] Wen said it is necessary to amend laws and regulations that have the nature of discrimination against HIV/AIDS victims. […] "Subsidies and salaries of people directly involved in HIV/AIDS treatment will be included in government's fiscal budget," he said. […]. ^ top ^

China probes outbreak of Hepatitis C, unclean needles blamed (China Daily)
2011-12-02
Health authorities are investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis C in east and central China in which the reuse of needles by an unlicensed doctor is suspected as the cause. A group of experts dispatched by the Ministry of Health are tracing the outbreak in Anhui and Henan provinces after more than 100 people in two neighboring townships were found infected with the Hepatitis C virus, according to provincial health officials. Guocheng County of Anhui has reported 76 infection cases, while 104 people in Yongcheng City in Henan have also tested positive for the virus in a preliminary screening. Investigators are focusing on an unlicensed village clinic doctor in Maqiao Township of Yongcheng who is suspected of having caused the outbreak by reusing needles. Residents said Wu Wenyi, the clinic doctor, seldom changed needles, and he is known as the "miracle doctor" for his ability to alleviate patients' fever and diarrhea through injections and a few tablets. […] Feng Lizhong, a spokesman with the Anhui Provincial Health Department, said that further investigations are still needed to determine if Wu's clinic was the infection source. […] The county government of Guoyang is considering offering medical subsidies to the patients, said an official. […]. ^ top ^

China / Politics China shows determination in fighting poverty (China Daily)
2011-12-02
China on Thursday officially unveiled its poverty-reduction plan for the next decade -- in which it pledged to provide adequate food and clothing for poverty-stricken people while ensuring their access to compulsory education, basic medical services and housing by 2020 -- showing the government's determination to fight poverty. In the Outline for Poverty Reduction and Development of China's Rural Areas (2011-2020), the government said ensuring sufficient food and clothing for the impoverished and helping them become prosperous will be a priority over the next decade. The outline is the third state-level poverty-reduction plan and is part of the government's efforts to build a well-off society in an all-around way by 2020. […] The outline said the government will focus on helping poverty-stricken areas that lie in vast and contiguous stretches shake off poverty over the next decade. […] Meanwhile, some rural residents easily fall back into poverty once struck by natural disasters and economic changes. […] The country also said in the outline it will continue to improve its social security network and make social security "a basic measure" for solving the problems of insufficient food and clothing. […] With the outline's implementation, China will be more committed than ever to eliminating poverty and pursuing common prosperity over the next decade, analysts said. […]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing police crack down on black jails (Global Times)
2011-12-02
The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau launched a campaign Wednesday to crack down on rogue security contractors, which have been found to be committing crimes such as illegally intercepting and detaining petitioners. Zhang Bing, a deputy director of the bureau, told reporters that more than 130 companies and 300,000 security guards make up the capital's security market. Yet, nearly half of these contractors operate without a license, and many of the guards do not have a job certificate. "The city's security market is in complete chaos. Some companies have been operating outside the law and against regulations, and a few have even allowed their security guards to impede the flow of government work and to participate in illegal activities such as detaining people and setting up black jails, all of which will be covered in the campaign," Zhang said. In one of the cases, a former security guard and 15 collaborators were arrested in August for running an illegal detention center in Changping district. They were paid by five provincial and city governments to hold people who came to Beijing to submit petitions to higher authorities, in the name of "maintaining social stability," Zhang revealed. […] Most of the saved petitioners reported suffering physical abuse. […] Yu Jianrong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the exposed cases of illegal detentions are merely the tip of the iceberg, but he applauded the bureau's campaign as "encouraging." "That means the government has started to focus on this problem. There has been a chain of interests behind the control of petitioners, involving government officials, security organs and many such contractors," Yu told the Global Times, warning that a short-term campaign was not enough to end the problem. "Local governments also need to fulfill their obligations and resolve people's petitions," Yu added. In January, Premier Wen Jiabao visited the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, the top government department dealing with petitions from the public, and heard complaints from rural farmers and migrant workers who come to Beijing decrying illicit home demolitions, unpaid wages and poor injury compensations. Wen said the government should expand channels for the public to make suggestions and create conditions for the people to criticize and supervise the government. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Shenzhen to raise minimum monthly pay (Xinhua)
2011-11-27
China's southern economic powerhouse Shenzhen is planning to raise the minimum monthly pay by 15 percent in January 2012 to attract more labor, local regulators said Sunday. The city bureau of of human resources and social security said the plan would be subject to approval of the city government. The proposed increase to 1,500 yuan (238 U.S. dollars) for each month is likely to be effective in January, the bureau said. The rise is aimed at attracting workers ahead of the lunar new year holidays when there is often more demand for workforce, the bureau said. Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, raised the minimum monthly pay by 20 percent in April to 1,320 yuan, the highest nationwide. Severe labor shortages and rising living costs in cities prompted a round of wage hikes last year in China and a new round this year. Twenty-one provinces and municipalities had raised the minimum monthly pay by 21.7 percent on average by October 2011, Yin Chengji, spokesman of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said earlier. ^ top ^

Traders in clash over rent increases (SCMP)
2011-11-29
Two incidents of people protest have erupted in Guangdong. Thousands of small-business owners in Zhaoqing confronted riot police in a protest against a sharp rent increase. […] A jade shop owner in Zhaoqing said yesterday that the clashes with police started on Friday. "A few thousand vendors at a local jade market went on strike, took to the streets, blocked the traffic and smashed the market's property management office before confronting police on Friday and Saturday to vent their anger against the tripling of their rent," the shop owner said. He said traders were angry because costs had shot up over the past few years but their retail prices were almost unchanged. […] Both traders said the clashes had stopped, order had been restored and business in the market resumed yesterday morning. Riot police were still patrolling. A post on mainland chat rooms said that violence had erupted and police had used pepper spray to subdue the protesters, some of whom were injured or detained. Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that between 300 and 400 residents of a village in Heshan, western Guangdong, had protested outside the Guangdong provincial government office and the Communist Party's provincial headquarters early yesterday. Petitioners complained that Feng Weigen, the head of their village, had illegally sold collectively owned shops built on their farmland, the report said. Feng and some subordinates were accused of selling the publicly owned real estate, said to be worth hundreds of millions of yuan, for around 60 million yuan (HK$73 million), petitioners said. Feng and his subordinates have been detained and are under investigation but villagers gathered at the government offices when they heard he was to be released. The cases follow online speculation that Guangdong party secretary Wang Yang ordered the provincial publicity department to stop imposing restrictions on news reports. […]. ^ top ^

Shenzhen works on first 'Good Samaritan law' (SCMP)
2011-11-30
Shenzhen may become the first mainland city to give Good Samaritans a reason not to be afraid of getting into trouble if they help others in need. New draft regulations were issued on Monday offering protection to those who help others out of altruism, saying that, in principle, they would be exempted from legal liability for any damage they cause during the course of rescue. The draft, being circulated for public consultation, would become the mainland's first "Good Samaritan law" if passed. Eighteen passers-by ignored a toddler who was run over by two vehicles in nearby Foshan last month. She was eventually rescued by an elderly scavenger but died in hospital eight days later. Many mainlanders were quick to condemn the passers-by as apathetic and having low moral standards. But the girl's death also underlined other factors behind a prevalent reluctance on the mainland to help strangers, including widespread scams and the possibility that a rescuer could be accused of being the perpetrator. The draft regulations attempt to address both these points. They say a rescuer would be exempted from bearing legal liability for the consequences of their rescue efforts, unless they were grossly negligent. The burden of proving any such negligence would rest with the rescued party. The draft regulations also say the rescued party would be made to apologise or be punished if they lie about the circumstances of the rescue and falsely accuse the rescuer of causing damage. If fraud is discovered, the rescued party could face criminal prosecution. Other measures are designed to encourage altruism. If rescuers are injured or die during efforts, they or their families would be entitled to government compensation. Rescuers would also be able to apply for legal aid if they are sued, and witnesses who testify about a rescue would receive rewards. […]. ^ top ^

Sensationalism a 'worrying trend' (SCMP)
2011-12-01
Guangdong party chief Wang Yang warned yesterday of "a worrying trend" of sensationalism in reports by the local media, generally considered the most progressive on the mainland. The comment was widely seen as an attempt to rein in speculation that controls on the media were being loosened and that the provincial publicity department had been ordered to stop imposing restrictions on news reports. The speculation followed a series of surprisingly outspoken news reports, including a story by Xinhua on Monday about hundreds of villagers from Heshan protesting outside the provincial government headquarters in Guangzhou. Last week, the Nanfang Daily, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party's Guangdong provincial committee, ran a story about a protest against illegal land sales by about 400 people from Wukan village in eastern Guangdong's Lufeng county. During a work meeting on cultural reform, Wang told cadres on Tuesday that he fully supported the media playing a watchdog role but it should also give guidance. "[The media] should report more on good people with positive outcomes instead of running sensationalised reports to magnify the dark side of society," Wang said. "After all, a good social atmosphere is induced by praise. "Otherwise, in the long run, readers will be desensitised by eye-catching stories and this will also reflect adversely on the media's class and taste. […]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet streamlines (Global Times)
2011-11-29
The Tibet Autonomous Region plans to invest 5.9 billion yuan ($926.8 million) in improving urban infrastructure from 2011 to 2015, an official with the region's department of housing and urban-rural development said Monday. The plan will cover seven types of projects, including highways and bridges, urban water supply and pipeline networks, said Zhang Jinke, director of the department's urban construction office. From 2011-15, Tibet will make efforts to construct an urban system with Lhasa and other major cities, tourism towns and border towns. Tibet will also help the region's urbanization rate reach more than 30 percent by the end of 2015, and improve the moderate population concentration, he said. ^ top ^

Tibetologist says self-immolation runs counter to Buddhist precept (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
Threcent self-immolations by monks and nuns in Tibetan areas of southwest China's Sichuan province have seriously e violated the fundamental precept of Buddhism, said a renowned Tibetologist in a signed article on Tuesday. Those who set themselves alight and killed themselves in a cruel and extreme manner breached the Buddhist tenet of not killing and delivering all living creatures from suffering, said Li Decheng, director of the Institute for Religious Studies under the China Tibetology Research Center, in the piece, published by Xinhua. Buddhists should abstain from taking life, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech and drinking fermented beverages, principles which are known as the "Five Precepts" and constitute the basic code of ethics for all Buddhism followers, according to Li. Li quoted Buddhist scriptures as saying that taking no life is a fundamental precept that must be observed, and of all forms of killing, taking human life is the most serious sin. "Taking life, killing others and committing suicide included, are the most sinful of all sins, and not killing is the most noble of all acts of benevolence," Li said. Most of the self-immolation attempts were reported in Aba county of Sichuan's Aba Tibetan-Qiang autonomous prefecture. Nearly all the victims were current or former clergy of the Kirti Monastery. […] Quoting Buddhist scriptures, Li said killing oneself or others, or instigating such killing, constitute "grave sins," and those who commit sins of this kind "must be expelled from the Buddhist circle, disqualified as a monk or nun and condemned to hell." […] Cherishing life and opposing suicide have become principles upheld worldwide and countries across the world have participated in fighting religious extremism and terrorist and violent acts in the name of religion, Li said. Therefore, self-immolations by monks and nuns must be stopped, Li said. Violations of Buddhist precepts should be prohibited to ensure the sound and lasting development of the religion. ^ top ^

China invests $54m in Tibet's culture (China Daily)
2011-12-02
China's central government and the regional government of Tibet autonomous region spent 340 million yuan ($53.6 million) on Tibet's cultural facilities in the past five years, according to new figures released by the region's department of culture Thursday. The amount was six times more than the total investment made into the region's cultural facility building from 2000 to 2005, said Nyima Cering, head of the region's department of culture. The money helped fund 31 county-level cultural centers and 149 township-level cultural stations which opened to the public free of charge between the start of 2005 and the end of 2010, said Cering. Tibet has also raised subsidies to civil art troupes in a bid to engage them in more shows and performances in rural parts of the southwestern autonomous region, said Cering. Every year between 2005 and 2010, art troupes in Tibet held 1,200 performances and entertained 1.5 million audience members, said Cering. Chen Quanguo, secretary of Tibetan regional committee of the Communist Party of China, said Tibet plans to set up cultural centers, cinemas, and large book stores in every county within two or three years. Newspapers, radios, and television sets will also be present in every Tibetan temple in order to promote advanced cultures there, said Chen. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Senior Chinese leader urges speeding up development of Xinjiang (Global Times)
2011-11-26
Senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang on Friday urged making all-out efforts to achieve faster development and maintain social stability in the country's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the year 2012. Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remark at a conference held in Beijing to map out work plans for the region in 2012. At the conference, reports were made reviewing the region's development in 2011, and plans have also been worked out to propel leap-frog development and long-term stability in the region. Many projects in the energy, transportation, water-conservation and other economic sectors will be launched in Xinjiang to translate the region's abundance of resources into industrial and economic advantages, Zhou said. Zhou urged the construction of two economic development zones, Kashgar and Horgos, so as to inject vitality into the entire region. Other work plans include improving local people's housing conditions, creating jobs, particularly for college graduates, carrying out bilingual education in both Mandarin and ethnic minority languages, empowering community-level Party committees, and cracking down on illegal religious activities, among other things. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Leung joins race with promise of change (SCMP)
2011-11-28
Leung Chun-ying formally kicked off his campaign to be chief executive yesterday, saying Hong Kong needed to change - but not too drastically. A day after former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen entered the race, Leung delivered his declaration speech at a rally at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The former Executive Council convenor said "a long and winding road" had brought him to this point. Against the backdrop of his campaign slogan "One Heart One Vision for Hong Kong", Leung said desire for change was getting stronger by the day in the face of rapid global changes and deep-rooted conflicts. […] He said the city needed to seek change while preserving stability. "We do not need changes that come with a bang," Leung said. "Instead, we need to prudently and diligently carry out appropriate adjustments to our policies... so that our entire society will benefit." […] More than 300 people from various sectors were there to support Leung, including the chairman of Shui On Group, Vincent Lo Hong-sui, Housing Society chairman Yeung Ka-sing, Dr Lo Chung-mau, head of surgery at Queen Mary Hospital, and Hong Kong polar researcher Rebecca Lee Lok-sze. […]. ^ top ^

Tightening up of voter registration rules studied (SCMP)
2011-11-28
The government may tighten up rules for voter registration in the most significant overhaul in a decade. Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said officials were examining whether it was feasible to demand proof of principal home address and to chec on addresses that had too many voters living at them. Amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging in the district council elections this month, the government has been looking at ways to revamp the registration system. […] He said his ministry was studying "whether we should ask new voters to provide address proof of their principal abode during registration, but our initial study shows that some technical obstacles need to be solved. […] Tam said more frequent checks of residential addresses might be conducted in future and investigations launched if an abnormally large number of people with different surnames were registered as living under the same roof. He said the government would seek to enhance voter education when asking people to register or existing voters to update their home address. Tam said earlier a review would be done before next September's Legislative Council election and officials would discuss possible changes with members of the Legco panel on constitutional affairs next month. Several politicians had complained about people using false details to register as voters in the district council elections. One said that in his constituency 11 adults with 10 different surnames had listed the same flat as their residence. […]. ^ top ^

 

Macau

Macao's economy expands by 21.1 pct in Q3 (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
Macao's GDP in the third quarter of 2011 grew 21.1 percent year-on-year, due to the impetus of exports of gaming services, private consumption expenditure and investment, according to figures released on Wednesday by Macao's Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). Analyzed by major components, exports of gaming services surged by 39.8 percent, while total visitor spending (excluding gaming expenses), private consumption expenditure and investment increased by 9.1 percent, 9.0 percent and 5.7 percent respectively in the period, the figures indicated. Merchandise exports continued to register a decrease of 4.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, while merchandise imports increased by 29.5 percent, the DSEC said. Due to further decrease in unemployment rate and marked increase in employment income in the third quarter, private consumption expenditure increased by 9 percent, of which final consumption expenditure in the domestic market rose by 9.4 percent, while final consumption expenditure abroad increased by 7.8 percent. The figures also indicated that private investment during the same period grew by 1.8 percent year-on-year, while government investment increased by 19.8 percent. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Help for joint films and TV shows (SCMP)
2011-12-01
The mainland announced new measures yesterday to enhance co-operation with Taiwan in the production of films and television shows. […] At a news conference in Beijing, Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Beijing would actively encourage joint production between mainland and Taiwanese film and television companies, Xinhua reported. No timetable was given but she said the joint productions would be aired on CCTV at set times. Fan […] added that Beijing would also push for mainland film and television companies to import more television series from Taiwan for broadcast on the mainland. People working in Taiwanese show business would be welcome in various film and television projects and could develop their businesses on the mainland, she said. She said mainland broadcasting authorities would speed up their screening process for joint productions. The announcement was hailed as a positive step by film and television industry associations in Taiwan. It is expected to increase revenue for both production companies and entertainers who want to grab a slice of the vast mainland market. Taiwanese information minister Philip Yang was optimistic about the mainland's decision to speed up its screening process. "Our TV production operators have often complained about the mainland authorities' non-transparent screening process - the completion of which is hard to predict," he told the South China Morning Post […]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China's wealth fund goes down a different road (SCMP)
2011-11-29
China's sovereign wealth fund wants to invest in improving neglected US and European roads and other infrastructure to spur global growth, the fund's chairman said in comments published yesterday. The announcement reflects a shift in strategy for the US$410 billion fund, which was created in 2007. Until now, it has limited its investments mostly to small stakes in publicly traded companies to avoid stirring political opposition overseas. China Investment Corp (CIC) wants to begin in Britain by teaming up with fund managers or investing directly in infrastructure projects, according to its chief, Lou Jiwei. "China is keen to get involved" in improving US and European infrastructure, which "badly needs more investment", Lou said. He cited energy, water, transport, digital communications and waste disposal but gave no indication of possible projects or the size of Chinese investment. Some commentators in both Europe and China have suggested Beijing might use its US$3.2 trillion in foreign reserves to gain leverage on political or trade issues at a time when other governments urgently need investment. […] Lou stressed that the wealth fund was a commercial investor and wanted to make a profit. "[It] believes that such an investment, guided by commercial principles, offers the chance of a win-win solution for all," he said. The CIC chief gave no indication of which other countries the CIC might invest in, but cited an estimate that the United States needed to spend at least US$2.2 trillion in infrastructure repairs or rebuilding. "Free of the inflationary pressure that afflicts many emerging economies, the US and Europe should make substantial investment," he said. "We cannot count on developing countries to deliver a stable economic recovery on their own.". ^ top ^

Govt tries to soothe foreign companies' concerns (Xinhua)
2011-11-29
Foreign enterprises doing business in China are enjoying many preferential investment policies compared with their domestic counterparts, said Vice-Premier Wang Qishan on Monday. "In many sectors, the treatment provided for foreign businesses are still better than those for Chinese domestic companies," said Wang, responding to complaints by foreign companies about the investment environment in China. "If there was anything the Chinese government could improve, it could be market access." Over the last three decades, foreign businesses have enjoyed preferential policies including lower taxes and cheaper land and resources compared with domestic players, Wang told member companies of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment. "China is in a transition period, changing the super national treatment to the national treatment on a gradual basis," said Wang. […] But in line with a regulation to encourage foreign investment issued by the State Council in April 2010, some foreign-funded firms still enjoy preferential treatment ranging from lower land prices to more favorable policies for setting up high-tech companies. […] "Intellectual property rights protection is the biggest concern for all," said Wang, adding that China has been committed to creating a favorable environment for them. […] "We have established our own rules and regulations for copyright protection, but the problem lies in enforcement," said Wang. Chen Deming, minister of commerce, said at the meeting of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment that China will "do a better job in copyright protection, as it is in the interest of companies both home and abroad". In regards to government procurement, Wang said that China, especially its local governments, have purchased quite a lot of goods from either joint ventures in China or companies from overseas. […] So far, China has absorbed an accumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $1.2 trillion, and more than 730,000 foreign enterprises have set up a presence in China. China has been the most attractive destination for foreign businesses among developing nations for 19 years, and global FDI inflow will continue to grow, said Chen. "China's stable policies and political environment, and the huge market potential, will help it maintain its appeal to foreign businesses," he said. From January to October, China's FDI surged by 15.8 percent to $95 billion, almost equal to all of last year. […]. ^ top ^

China targets 600 bln USD of service trade by 2015: MOC (Xinhua)
2011-11-29
China will increase its efforts to boost service trade, targeting an annual growth rate of 11 percent to reach 600 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, the Minsitry of Commerce (MOC) said Monday. The goal, which was set by a five-year plan on service trade unveiled by the MOC on Monday, was made in light of service trade's development situations both at home and in developed economies, said Zhou Liujun, director of MOC's Department of Trade in Services and Commercial Services, at a press conference about the plan. China has long seen an imbalanced development between its service and goods trades, and a growing service trade deficit, said Zhou, adding that despite the expected complex situation over the next five years, the industry will see more opportunities than challenges. According to the plan, the government will give priority to development of 30 service sectors, including both traditional domains, such as tourism and building services that have comparative advantages, and emerging domains such as consulting and computer and information services. To build a trade platform for domestic and overseas enterprises, the MOC will hold an international service trade fair in Beijing each year starting 2012, according to the MOC. In the first three quarters of the year, the country's service trade rose 18.7 percent year-on-year to 308.1 billion U.S. dollars, with 134.2 billion U.S. dollars in exports and 173.9 billion U.S. dollars in imports, MOC data showed. ^ top ^

China's farm produce prices up after dropping for 6 weeks: MOC (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
China's farm produce prices went up last week, concluding a six-week losing streak, in line with the production of most produce decreasing in winter, the country's Ministry of Commerce said Tuesday in a statement posted on its website. The wholesale prices of 18 staple vegetables were up 3 percent from a week earlier, representing the third consecutive weekly gain. […] Pork prices dropped 1 percent last week, marking a decline of 10.7 percent since mid-September. Mutton and beef prices were slightly up compared with a week earlier. […] 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 ^

Chinese solar panel makers reject U.S. anti-dumping complaints (Xinhua)
2011-11-30
Fourteen Chinese solar panel producers on Tuesday jointly rejected anti-dumping and anti-subsidy complaints filed by some U.S. manufacturers, calling for the U.S. side to abandon "political and emotional interference" while conducting its investigation into Chinese solar firms. "The success of China's photovoltaic (PV) industry in the U.S. lies in the advantages it has gained through technological innovation and benefit of scale," Wang Guiqing, vice president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said on behalf of Chinese firms in a press release. Upon an appeal filed by SolarWorld Industries America and six other undisclosed firms, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) said on Nov. 8 that it would conduct an investigation to determine whether Chinese firms have been selling solar panels in the United States at unfair discounts and receiving illegal government subsidies. The 14 PV companies, including Suntech Power and Yingli Green Energy, who have decided to jointly raise plea in response to U.S. probe, also rejected allegations that they have been receiving illegal government subsidies. […] The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which has the final say on whether any duties will be imposed, will examine the issue and vote on Dec. 5 whether to proceed with the case. […]. ^ top ^

China hikes power tariffs, adjusts coal prices to ease power shortages (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
China on Wednesday announced adjustments for the prices of non-residential power and thermal coal in order to ease power shortages and reduce financial pressure on power companies. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced Wednesday that it will raise the retail price of electricity for non-residential use by an average of 0.03 yuan (0.47 U.S. cents) per kilowatt-hour (kwh) nationwide starting Thursday. The move marks the first nationwide power price hike since November 2009, when the price of electricity for non-residential use was lifted by 2.8 fen (0.4 U.S. cents) per kwh. […] Residential electricity prices will not be raised this time, although China will adopt a gradual power tariff mechanism for residential use, which means prices will increase with consumption, the NDRC said. […] The NDRC also said that it will allow the contract price of major thermal coal to float by no more than 5 percent next year, but the spot price of 5,500-kilocalorie coal should be capped within 800 yuan per metric ton at major shipping ports. The prices will stay in place until thermal coal prices stabilize on a national level, it said. […] The thermal coal price adjustment will offer relief to Chinese power plants, which have been squeezed between surging coal prices and market demand. […] "The increased prices will offset losses and encourage output. At the same time, they will help curb excessive energy consumption and excessive growth in energy-intensive industries," said Xue Jing, director of the statistical department of the CEC. […]. ^ top ^

Draft rules to protect bidding process (China Daily)
2011-12-01
A draft regulation on the implementation of the Tendering and Bidding Law was reviewed and approved at an executive meeting of the State Council on Wednesday, as the government looks to guarantee an open and fair process for procuring public projects. "Passing the draft is dealing with the issues, such as authorities illegally soliciting bids and offering fake invitations to tender, leaders abusing their power to interfere in the process, and bidders colluding (with authorities) to unfairly win projects," read a statement on the gov.cn website. The new regulation forbids applying different standards on qualification checks for bidders. It also stipulates that no specific requirements should be set on patents, brands, suppliers or bidders' earlier performances. As well as protecting the rights and fairness of the tendering process, the draft also clarifies what projects should be subject to public bids, standardizes the bid assessment process and forbids illicit maneuvers between authorities and bidders or among rival bidders. Liu Hui, a government procurement expert and president of the University of International Relations, said that as China has grown economically and fiscally strong, it has invested heavily into infrastructure. "Therefore, the public and bidders are focused on fair competition," Liu said. "They expect better procedures that prevent corruption and the loss of State assets." […]. ^ top ^

Julius Baer eyes rising millionaires (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-02
Swiss private bank Julius Baer aims to open a representative office in Shanghai to tap China's growing number of millionaires which are set to hold more than half of the region's wealth by 2015, its Asia head said yesterday. Its plan for the local office marks its ambition to establish a brand within the mainland market where it predicted in an earlier report that the number of millionaires in the world's second-largest economy will account for about half of Asia's rich and hold over 50 percent of the region's wealth by 2015. Asia's millionaires will more than double in number to 2.8 million, with 1.4 million high net worth people in China, according to the bank's Asia Wealth Report released in September. Chinese millionaires will hold US$8.76 trillion of the US$15.81 trillion that the region's millionaires are expected to have, according to the bank report. ^ top ^

China's fiscal revenues to surpass budget this year: vice minister (Xinhua)
2011-12-02
China's Ministry of Finance has said the country's total fiscal revenues this year will exceed the annual budget of 9.122 trillion yuan (1.44 trillion U.S. dollars) due to an increased tax intake. Both the central and local governments will see their fiscal revenues exceed the budgets as a result of increasing intake from import taxes, corporate income taxes, value-added taxes and consumption taxes, said Vice Finance Minister Liao Xiaojun in a video conference on Wednesday. Imports, industrial profits, industrial added value and consumer prices have reported faster-than-expected growth this year, said Liao. China had budgeted 9.122 trillion yuan of fiscal revenues and 10.022 trillion yuan of fiscal expenditure for 2011. In the first 10 months, fiscal revenues surged 28.1 percent year-on-year to 9.09 trillion yuan, while fiscal expenditure grew 27.2 percent to 7.76 trillion yuan, official data shows. Liao said faster revenue growth does not necessarily bring a rush of spending in November and December, noting that the country had already accelerated fiscal spending in the first 10 months of this year. In the January-October period, fiscal expenditure accounted for 77.4 percent of the annual spending budget, 5.2 percentage points higher than the same period of last year, said Liao. ^ top ^

Manufacturing sector shrinks (SCMP)
2011-12-02
China's manufacturing sector shrank for the first time in 32 months on weakened overseas demand, adding weight to calls for further monetary easing. In a National Bureau of Statistics survey, the Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49 last month from 50.4 in October, falling below economists' consensus forecast of 49.8. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. On Wednesday night the People's Bank of China pared the reserve requirement ratio, the amount of funds banks must set aside when lending. Economists said the earlier-than-expected reduction, the first in nearly three years, signalled the central government's deepening concern the European debt crisis will affect the mainland economy. "The November PMI suggests that China's industrial activities are already heading for a major downturn," Daiwa Capital Markets chief economist Sun Mingchun said yesterday. "Although policymakers have officially changed from tightening to loosening, the slowdown is likely to accelerate in the coming months, as it takes time for the loosening to have a positive impact on the economy." He expects a 200 basis point reduction in the reserve requirement ratio next year. The central bank announced on Wednesday a cut of 50 basis points to 20.5 per cent for bigger banks and to 18.5 per cent for smaller banks effective on Monday. […] The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which compiled the PMI on behalf of the statistics bureau, said new export orders and new orders tumbled last month amid softening demand, tight credit conditions and stagnant property markets. […] Meanwhile, another set of PMI data compiled by HSBC/ Markit dropped to a 32-month low of 47.7 last month from 51 in October, underlining a solid deterioration in manufacturing activity. […]. ^ top ^

China's home prices drop in Nov. for third straight month (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-02
China's residential home prices dropped for the third straight month in November amid government tightening efforts designed to cool the market, according to a report released by the China Real Estate Index System on Thursday. The average price of residential homes across the 100 surveyed cities decreased 0.28 percent month-on-month to 8,832 yuan (1,394 U.S. dollars) per square meter in November, the report said. Prices declined in 57 cities in November while increasing in 43 others. […] On a year-on-year basis, residential home prices across the 100 cities rose 4.06 percent in November, down 1.15 percentage points from October, it said. The report said the average price in 10 first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, fell 0.36 percent month-on-month to 15,663 yuan per square meter from October to November. […] The government has repeatedly stressed its efforts to contain the runaway property market. It has adopted multiple measures to cool prices, including tighter monetary policies, higher down payments, a ban on third-home purchases, price control targets and a trial property tax. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK paper slams U.S. hostile policy (Xinhua)
2011-11-29
A leading newspaper of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday criticized the United States for its hostile policy against the Asian country. A bylined article published on Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of the DPRK, said "the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK is bound to misfire" because the DPRK is the "biggest, dignified and invincible" power and its people could frustrate every U.S. move aimed at stifling the DPRK. The DPRK army and people are united to defend their country and the socialist system and safeguard the dignity and sovereignty of the country, the article said. The Korean People's Army (KPA) is capable of fighting any battles and its soldiers are well prepared. The army equipped with modern military hardware can also launch annihilating attacks on enemies and fight modern and protracted wars, it added. The article warned that if anyone dares to provoke the DPRK, KPA would "obliterate the aggressors wherever they might be." Finally, the article urged the United States to "understand its rival" and drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK. "To do so is the right step and would be beneficial for the United States," it said. ^ top ^

North Korea claims uranium progress (Global Times)
2011-12-01
North Korea announced on Wednesday that the country is making rapid progress in enriching uranium and the building of a light-water reactor (LWR) as China again called for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. "The construction of an experimental LWR and the low enriched uranium for the provision of raw materials are progressing apace," a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement, according to Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency. The announcement is expected to put a damper on recent diplomatic efforts to revive the Six-Party Talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang' s nuclear program, last held in 2008. The US has been demanding that Pyongyang shut down its uranium enrichment program and allow inspectors to verify the disarmament process before resuming the six-way dialogue. China on Wednesday again urged "relevant parties" to make joint efforts to resume the Six-Party Talks "as soon as possible." The concerns of "relevant parties" can be discussed within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. […] US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at an aid forum on Wednesday in the southern South Korean city of Busan, called on the North "to take concrete steps that promote peace and stability and denuclearization." […]. ^ top ^

DPRK newspaper accuses South Korea of deteriorating relations (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
A leading newspaper of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday accused South Korea of wrecking peace and deteriorating north-south relations through its recent military exercises. The "anti-DPRK war moves" are "very dangerous in their purpose, nature, content and style," said Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of the DPRK. The continued war exercises and persistent moves for a military showdown with the DPRK are designed to check national unity and reunification and do harm to fellow countrymen by force of arms. "No one can vouch that such maneuvers will not lead to a war of aggression on the DPRK," the newspaper said in a bylined article. South Korean authorities who make such bellicose remarks as "strong chastisement" and "retaliation" to the DPRK were prompted by their plan to irritate the DPRK to take military counteraction and to "ignite a nuclear war for invasion of the DPRK," the article said. The final aim sought by South Korean authorities is to realize "unification under the liberal democratic system," not the independent and peaceful reunification based on national reconciliation and unity, the article added. The article warned that a nuclear war would take place if South Korean authorities continue their military moves against the DPRK. […]. ^ top ^

DPRK media accuses U.S. of slandering DPRK on human rights (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s official news agency KCNA on Wednesday accused the United States of slandering the human rights situation in the DPRK. "This is an imprudent behavior of the worst human rights abuser," KCNA said in an article. It is ridiculous for the U.S., which styles itself a human rights judge in the international arena, to take human rights issues in other countries as it "as it ruthlessly abuses rights of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in the U.S.," the KCNA said. The U.S. aimes to tarnish the image of the DPRK, it said. Stressing the steadfast policy of the DPRK government to promote the well-being of the people, the KCNA said that all people in the DPRK "are fully enjoying genuine freedom and rights." The article urged the U.S. to "immediately stop speaking ill of human rights situation in the DPRK." The United States recently held "a meeting of foreign policy-makers who are concerned about human rights situation in north Korea" in Washington, according to the KCNA. ^ top ^

U.S.' deployment of new type of bombs aims at attacking DPRK: media (Xinhua)
2011-12-01
The Minju Josun newspaper of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said in an article issued Wednesday that the production and deployment of new type of bombs by the United States are aimed at attacking the DPRK. According to the article, the bombs developed and deployed by the U.S. are for "destroying military objects of the anti-imperialists independent countries, including the DPRK." It is the U.S. scheme to stifle the DPRK by force of arms at any cost and thus establish its military hegemony over Northeast Asia and create conditions favorable for realizing its ambition for world supremacy, the article said. It added that to this end, it (the United States) seeks to put its strategy of preemptive attack on the DPRK into practice. "The DPRK has no other choice but to take due self-defensive countermeasures on the condition that the U.S. poses a serious threat to the DPRK", it noted. It is reported that the U.S. conducted a test of ultra supersonic flying bomb some time ago that is capable of striking anywhere of the world within an hour. The United States has begun to deliver bunker-buster, a new-type bomb for destroying underground structure, to its Air Force units. ^ top ^

DPRK says U.S., Japan, South Korea form military alliance against it (Xinhua)
2011-12-02
Rodong Sinmun, a leading newspaper of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said on Thursday that the U.S., Japan and South Korea have formed a "dangerous triangular military alliance" against it. According to an article carried by the newspaper, the joint military exercises between the U.S. and Japan and between the U.S. and South Korea staged on the Korean Peninsula and in its surrounding waters from late October to early November shows that the alliance exists and runs in actuality even though it was not formally declared. The U.S. is trying to use Japan and South Korea as "cannon fodder and shock brigades" in case of emergency on the Korean Peninsula, the article said. It is the U.S. intention to establish its hegemony with ease in the Asia-Pacific region by using its allies, it added. The U.S.-led triangular military alliance is targeted against the DPRK, said the article, and the "military conspiracy" will lead to a touch-and-go situation on the Korean Peninsula. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Rules on announcement of disasters approved (Montsame)
2011-11-30
On Wednesday, the cabinet meeting discussed and approved a rule on informing about disasters. Accordingly, information about disasters will be distributed to the public through all kinds of media facilities including TV, radio and communications such as telephone networks and the Internet. The information is divided as the signal for disaster and the warning information. The signals include announcement of the situations for saving human and animal lives, health, environment and properties and reducing disaster aftermath in case of dangerous phenomena, accidents related to technical stuff, terrorist actions and explosions. The warning information is to be spread to warn people about probable risks or disasters. In addition, the cabinet approved rules on use of force and evacuation measures in case of disasters. Mobilization is to be called in case of technical accidents, earthquakes, explosions or loses of radioactive substances or chemical poisonous substances, also during quarantine of infectious disasters among people or animals, floods, forest, steppe and object fires, and other factors. It will involve special services for disaster protection, enterprisers, citizens, military units and volunteers. Governors of all levels can announce the mobilization on their territories. If the mobilization needs the Armed Forces or domestic troops, it will be tackled under a governmental proposal to the President, the Commander-in-Chief. The cabinet also approved a rule on evacuation of population in case of disasters. ^ top ^

About "100 thousand apartments" programme (Montsame)
2011-11-30
The implementation progress of a programme "100 thousand apartments" was discussed by the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. A list has been approved as well of apartments towns and districts to be built at the first stage in Ulaanbaatar, in centers of zones and of aimags--75 thousand apartments in the city, 25 thousand in the centres of zones and aimags. Relevant ministers and governors of Ulaanbaatar city and aimags have been obliged to make contracts with investors and companies who deal with the housing. ^ top ^

Working plan on air pollution approved (Montsame)
2011-11-30
The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday approved a measures plan on reducing air pollution in Ulaanbaatar city. The Cabinet obliged Ministers L.Gansukh, D.Zorigt and Kh.Battulga to control an implementation of the plan and to present a fulfilment every season. According to the plan, zones are to be set up where the air will be improved, an electricity transmission network in ger areas will be widened, a research will be run seeking ways of improving its capacity, electricity prices will decrease 50 percent for those meeting criteria, a construction will start of the fifth and sixth power stations this year so that to put into use their first units in 2013. Other action are to connect low pressure furnaces to partial heating system, to create a complex of semi coking fuel, to create stoves that work on gas, to issue government bonds or grant soft loans in order to get money needed. Within the parliamentary resolution, the air pollution will be reduced by up to 50 percent in 2011-2012, by 80 percent in 2012-2013, reaching standards in 2013-2014. ^ top ^

60 students awarded presidential scholarships (News.mn)
2011-11-30
President Ts.Elbegdorj has announced that he awarded 60 university students “presidential scholarships” of MNT 1 million each in 2010 and 2011. The president also noted that his suggestion that each university student in Mongolia receive an allowance of MNT 70,000 will take effect in January. Ts.Elbegdorj refused a salary increase last year, while MPs increased their salaries by 30 percent. But the president says he supports students. ^ top ^

Some 10,000 teachers strike for higher salaries (News.mn)
2011-12-01
Some 10,000 teachers from 108 secondary schools in the capital and local settlements went on a one-day strike on Wednesday, demanding salary increases beginning in January. Currently, the teachers aren't scheduled to get raises until March. The strike follows a one-day walkout by kindergarten teachers on Monday that closed 101 kindergartens. Representatives of the teachers were scheduled to meet with Finance Minister S.Bayartsogt, Social Welfare and Labour Minister T.Gandi, and Education, Culture and Science Minister Yo.Otgonbayar at the offices of the Confederation of Trade Unions at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Teachers have warned that if the meeting produces no results, they will strike next week. ^ 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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