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
  12-16.12.11, No. 401  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China continues to pursue peaceful development,opening-up: foreign minister (Global Times)
2011-12-10
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Friday that 2011 marks a year of great progress for China's peaceful development course. He made the remarks in an address at a New Year Reception hosted by the Foreign Ministry. Noting that the world is moving toward multi-polarization, economic globalization and social informationization, Yang said countries in the world are becoming increasingly interdependent. At the same time, as world economic recovery remains fragile and imbalanced, and some global challenges are becoming increasingly prominent, it is an irresistible trend for countries to seek for peace, development and cooperation, he said. [...] In this year, China enhanced coordination with all major powers, deepened good-neighborly friendship with its neighbors, and consolidated traditional friendship with a vast number of developing countries, Yang said. China also actively participated in the reform of global economic governance, pushed forward the cooling down and resolution of hot issues, and promoted extensive cultural exchanges with other countries, the official said. ^ top ^

Research copter crashes in Antarctica (Global Times)
2011-12-10
A Chinese scientific expedition in Antarctica was halted Friday by a heavy transport helicopter crash, causing a delay of the full research mission. The helicopter, called Xueying, or Snow Eagle, crashed shortly after midnight Friday on its way back to the icebreaker ship Xuelong after finishing a mission to the China Zhongshan Scientific Exploration Station, according to China National Radio (CNR). The flight crew lost control after failing to execute a forced landing on ice but all members escaped, with only light injuries to report. According to Qu Tanzhou, director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration office, the expedition team has been ordered to suspend all scientific activities for now to focus on investigating the possible causes of the accident. [...] The crashed Ka-32 helicopter was the first heavy transportation helicopter that China bought from Russia in 2008 and could carry 14 people. It joined the polar expedition in 2009 and was on its third tour there. [...] According to Shen Quan, captain of the Xuelong Icebreaker, the full research mission was due to last through the winter until April 2012, but this timetable will now be pushed back due to the accident. ^ top ^

Chinese envoy: Preserving peace, stability in the interest of Sudan, South Sudan (Xinhua)
2011-12-11
China's Special Envoy for African Affairs Liu Guijin has said that preserving peace and stability between Sudan and South Sudan is in the interest of the two countries and China encourages them to stick to the peaceful option, the Chinese embassy in Khartoum said Sunday. The Chinese envoy held talks with Sudanese First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha in Khartoum on Saturday and they exchanged viewpoints regarding the current situation between Sudan and South Sudan. [...] For his part, Sudanese First Vice-President Taha expressed his appreciation of the efforts being made by China to push the peaceful endeavors between Sudan and South Sudan, saying that " China is a real friend to Sudan," according to the statement. Taha reiterated that Sudan would positively deal with the mediation efforts of the international community and expressed his country's hope that China would play a positive role to push the efforts to resolve the outstanding issues. Liu arrived in Khartoum on Thursday after visiting Juba, capital of South Sudan, where he held similar talks with South Sudan's officials, including President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Foreign Minister Danial Deng, Minister of International Cooperation Deng Alor and Minister of Petroleum Stephen Dhieu Dau. The Chinese envoy's visit to Sudan and South Sudan came as part of China's endeavors to push the two sides to end their difference in the sharing of oil resources produced in South Sudan and exported via Sudan's pipelines. [...] Sudan and South Sudan are expected to resume their talks in Addis Ababa in about a week to settle a number of outstanding issues, including the oil dispute. ^ top ^

China an active supporter to European crisis settlement: Vice FM (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-11
China is one of the active supporters of the international community to European crisis settlement, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said here on Saturday. Attending the fourth World Policy Conference, she voiced the hope that Europe could expand the mutually beneficial cooperation between Europe and China, and create a favorite condition for attracting investment from developing countries including China. [...] Asked if China and other BRICS countries should "rescue" Europe or not, she said that the word "rescue" often used by the European media could be misleading. She said that as the world's largest economy, the European Union (EU) has strong real economy and much higher living standard than developing countries. Europe does not need a "savior" but international partners with a win-win relationship. [...] The EU is China's largest trading partner and one of the main sources of technology and investments. The settlement of crisis in Europe is closely related with not only the world but also China. China has been expressing its confidence in the European economy and the euro, believing that Europe is able to find out solutions to the problems, she said. [...] China sticks to the foreign policy of promoting peace, development and cooperation, and has no intention to control European countries through financial tools, she said. [...] In addition to the cooperation in the financial sector, China also expands its imports, exploring ways to strengthen the investments in Europe and helping create jobs and restore economic growth, according to her. [...] After World War II, European countries learned from their mistakes and started the integration process to create lasting peace. The EU has been successful in maintaining regional peace and promoting economic prosperity. The governance experience in Europe is useful to other regions of the world. However, the European experience should not be completely copied by other regions due to their unique history and real situations. ^ top ^

Chinese delegation hails progress made at Durban climate conference (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-11
The Chinese delegation said here Sunday that the just-concluded United Nations climate change conference produced "progressive and balanced outcome." After 14 days of gruelling talks, the conference passed a package of decisions on such subjects as the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the Green Climate Fund and a new process to arrange emission-cutting pledges after 2020. Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation, told Xinhua that the outcome is fully in accordance with the mandate of the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Roadmap. The outcome, he added, is also in line with the two-track negotiation process and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. "The conference made decisions on the arrangement of the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, which is the most concerned issue of developing countries," Xie noted. "Also, there is an important progress on the finance issue, the establishment of the Green Climate Fund," he added. However, Xie said, the Durban conference did not accomplish the completion of negotiations under the Bali Roadmap. "The implementation of the Cancun Agreements and the Durban Outcome will not be achieved in a short run," Xie said. "A heavy load of work ahead on the post-2020 arrangement needs to be done in order to enhance the implementation of the Convention." Xie also cautioned that some developed countries are reluctant to reduce emissions and support developing countries with financial and technical aid. "The lack of political will is a main element that hinders cooperation on addressing climate change in the international community," he said. "We expect political sincerity from developed countries next year in Qatar." Xie stressed that China will make further contributions to the global cause of tackling climate change by taking stronger domestic actions and continuing to play an active role in relevant international talks. ^ top ^

Joint patrol vessels escort cargo ships in Golden Triangle area (Xinhua)
2011-12-12
Five Joint Patrol Vessels escorting 10 cargo ships along the Mekong River sailed into the troubled waters of the Golden Triangle area Sunday. Police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand started joint patrols Saturday to maintain security on the Mekong River, a major transport passage in the region. The joint patrol marked the restoration of international shipping services on the river that had been suspended since deadly attacks on Chinese cargo ships on Oct. 5. [...] The patrol boats are equipped with heavy machine guns and 10cm-thick protective walls, while the police officers are equipped with automatic rifles and bullet-proof life jackets. The patrol vessels were on "Red Alert" while moving over the shoals of the Golden Triangle, where water can be as shallow as only one or two meters deep, making it very dangerous for the vessels to pass. A small boat was sent to test the water, and then it led the whole fleet passing through the shoals. [...] The river plays a crucial economic role throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It also serves as a major bond of the economic cooperation between China and the GMS nations and one of the key transport passages in the China-ASEAN free trade zone. [...] The four countries decided to launch joint police patrols in late October, weeks after two cargo ships were attacked on Oct. 5, resulting in the murder of 13 Chinese sailors. The headquarters for the initiative was established in Xishuangbanna, while liaison offices were set up in the other three countries Friday to share intelligence and coordinate operations. China has selected more than 200 officers from the country's border police force to form a special police team for the joint patrols along the Mekong River. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official discusses bilateral ties with Kissinger (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-13
A senior official of China's ruling party, the Communist Party of China (CPC), met here on Monday with seasoned U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger, to discuss the latest developments in Sino-U.S. relations. Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, briefed Kissinger on the fourth high-level dialogue between the CPC and the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties held in Washington. Wang said that the China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefits has bright prospects. He told Kissinger that the Chinese side is willing to work with the U.S. side, including the government, political parties and friends from all walks of life, in implementing the important consensus reached by the presidents of both countries, to enhance mutual trust, deepen communication and exchange, expand cooperation, and benefit the two peoples. Kissinger [...] said that U.S.-China relations are the most important bilateral relations in today's world, and that the U.S.-China cooperative partnership is in the interest of people of both countries and the world at large. [...]. ^ top ^

Navy looks at offer from Seychelles (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-13
The navy is considering taking on supplies in the Seychelles while conducting escort missions to tackle piracy. Military experts stressed that the move did not equate to establishing military bases. "According to escort needs and the needs of other long-range missions, China will consider seeking supply facilities at appropriate harbors in the Seychelles or other countries," the Ministry of Defense said in a statement on its website on Monday. The statement was in response to a recent report that the Seychelles invited China to establish a military base in the Indian Ocean archipelago to crack down on piracy during a visit by Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, the first by a Chinese defense minister, earlier this month. [...] Li Jie, a professor at the Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told China Daily "as China will not send troops to protect the supply stop in the Seychelles, by no means can it be called an overseas military base". Beijing has repeatedly confirmed that its policy of not stationing troops abroad will not be altered. It stands alone among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council in not having overseas bases. [...] Navy ships have used facilities in Djibouti, Oman and Yemen to take on supplies, according to the Ministry of Defense. "It is international practice for navies to take on supplies at the closest port of a nearby state during long-distance missions," the ministry said. Peng Guangqian, a Beijing-based military strategist, said facilities allowing ships to take on supplies cannot be called military bases because "China respects the host's sovereignty and internal politics, and no political conditions are attached". [...] The Defense Ministry statement said that during Liang's visit the Seychelles expressed appreciation for China's efforts to ensure safe navigation on the Indian Ocean, as well as general support China had given to the Seychelles. "The Seychelles also invited China's navy to re-supply in the country during escort missions," the ministry said. The US has a drone base in the Seychelles which is used to combat piracy. [...]. ^ top ^

China to further support buiding Confucius Institutes (China Daily)
2011-12-13
A senior Chinese official said Monday that China will continue to support the building of Confucius Institute to futher promote cultural exchanges. While addressing the opening ceremony of the sixth conference of Confucius Institutes in Beijing, State Councilor Liu Yandong said Confucius Institutes have helped bring the Chinese language to the world and introduce foreign langauges into China. The Chinese government will continue to support the construction of Confucious Institute and give full play to its role in promoting cultural exchanges, said Liu, also president the Confucius Institute Headquarters council. The Confucius Institute, named after ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is a non-profit public institution which aims to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries. According to the Confucius Institute Headquarters, more than 350 Confucius Institutes and 500 Confucius Classrooms have been founded in 101 countries and regions. Li Changchun, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, also attended the opening ceremony of the annual conference. ^ top ^

China, Mongolia pledge closer law-enforcement cooperation (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-14
Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu held talks Tuesday with his Mongolian counterpart and pledged to enhance cooperation on law enforcement between the two countries. "China and Mongolia are not only friendly neighbors, but also important partners," Meng said during his talks with Tsendiin Nyamdorj, Mongolia's Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs. Cooperation on law enforcement and security constitutes an important part of the bilateral ties between the two nations, Meng said. Over the past few years, the two countries' law-enforcement authorities have stepped up their cooperation to combat cross-border crimes, safeguarding stability and pushing ahead with the economic and social development of the border areas, Meng said. "We hope that the two sides will further exchanges and deepen pragmatic cooperation on law enforcement in order to safeguard the security of border areas and boost the friendship between the two peoples," said the Chinese official. Nyamdorj said the Mongolian government attaches great importance to the friendship with China and is willing to further law enforcement cooperation to make more contribution to the stability of the two nations as well as the region. After their talks, the two ministers signed a memorandum on law enforcement. ^ top ^

China warns U.S. to stop interfering in internal affairs (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-14
China on Tuesday urged the U.S. to stop interfering in its internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues. China is willing to engage in dialogues with the U.S. on human rights issues based on equality and mutual respect, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said. "But we are firmly against the U.S. interfering in our internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues," Liu said, adding that the U.S. should stop "finger-wagging" over human rights and reflect more on its own human rights problems. The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the fundamental rights of people of all ethnic groups and protecting the religious freedom of its citizens according to the law, and it is obvious to all that China has already made great achievements in human rights protection, Liu said. Liu's comments came after the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about issues including human rights and Internet freedom before the Human Rights Day. Gary Locke, the U.S. ambassador to China, also recently urged Beijing to improve its human rights record, pointing to Liu Xiaobo's case as an example where China falls short. China is a legal state that deals with legal cases according to law, and the U.S. has no right to interfere in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty, Liu said. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of the Internet and it regulates the Internet according to the law, Liu added. ^ top ^

Largest patrol ship makes first trip to East China Sea (Global Times)
2011-12-14
China sent its largest patrol ship to the East China Sea for its maiden voyage yesterday in a bid to guard the country's waters and marine interests there. The 3,000-ton-class Haijian 50 will visit Rixiang Rock, Suyan Rock and the offshore oil and gas fields of Chunxiao and Pinghu, as well as China-Japan joint development zones, said Liu Zhendong, head of the East China Sea fleet of China Marine Surveillance, a paramilitary maritime law enforcement agency. The Chinese-manufactured vessel, a heavyweight compared to the more commonly used 1,000-ton-class patrol ships, set sail from Shanghai port yesterday. The Haijian 50 will conduct the joint patrol together with the Haijian 66, a 1,350-ton vessel deployed on March 1. The latter has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. It set sail at the same time yesterday from a dock in Xiamen, capital of East China's Fujian Province. Officially deployed on July 23, Haijian 50 is equipped with China's most advanced marine technology and is capable of accommodating China's Z9A helicopters, Liu said. China has 32,000 kilometers of coastline. The total area of its territorial seawater, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, which is recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is 3 million square kilometers. [...]. ^ top ^

Coast guard officer death 'isolated case'(China Daily)
2011-12-16
China believes the death of a Republic of Korea (ROK) Coast Guard officer in a clash with Chinese fishermen was an isolated incident and will not affect bilateral ties, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. At the ministry's daily news briefing, spokesman Liu Weimin once again expressed China's regret over the death of ROK Coast Guard officer Lee Cheong-ho, whose funeral was held on Wednesday. Liu said: "This is an isolated case, and we believe it will not hurt the overall situation of the two countries' relationship." Liu also said that the Chinese government had beefed up security outside the ROK embassy in Beijing and its consulates in other cities, after the ROK embassy in Beijing informed the ministry that a bulletproof window at the embassy was suspected of being hit by a metal ball allegedly fired from an air gun on Tuesday. Nobody was injured. After preliminary checks at the embassy, the possibility of gunfire could be ruled out, said Liu. An investigation into the incident is continuing. [...] Liu asked the ROK government to take measures to protect the safety and guarantee the smooth operation of the Chinese embassy and consulates in ROK cities. Lee, 41, was allegedly stabbed to death by a Chinese fishing boat captain during a clash over "illegal fishing" in the Yellow Sea. But the 42-year-old Chinese captain denied the accusations, according to coast guard officials. The Chinese embassy in the ROK sent staff to see the Chinese crewmembers now in custody, and China would like to actively cooperate with the ROK and take steps to resolve the issue, according to Liu. [...]. ^ top ^

China vows to make South China Sea safe (Xinhua)
2011-12-16
China expects friendly cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make the South China Sea safe, a Foreign Ministry official said Thursday. Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin made the remarks during an international seminar on implementing the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and maintaining the navigational freedom and security of the sea. [...] "Politically mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation have been strengthened between China and ASEAN countries," Liu Zhenmin said, adding that each side's economy and social development have been promoted. As an important pathway for China's foreign trade and energy transportation, the navigational freedom and security of the South China Sea is critical for the country's economy and opening up. [...] Pitono Purnomo, Indonesia's ambassador of its Foreign Affairs Ministry, said the seminar reflects the determination of China and ASEAN to increase mutual understanding and cooperation. "ASEAN countries will push the cooperative projects under the framework of the DOC with China," Purnomo said. [...] During the seminar, the representatives discussed the current situation in the South China Sea. It was widely accepted that navigational security has been effectively maintained. [...] The seminar demonstrates that China and ASEAN countries have the ability and wisdom to maintain the navigational freedom and security of the South China Sea and boost regional prosperity and stability, the representatives noted. [...]. ^ top ^

Gunman opens fire at Chinese consulate in L.A. (Xinhua)
2011-12-16
An unknown gunman fired a couple of shots at a downtown office building of Chinese Consulate-General Thursday afternoon, and nobody was hurt in the incident, a spokesman for the Chinese diplomatic corps told Xinhua. The man fled after opening fire for multiple times at the front door of the building around 2:15 p.m. local time (2215 GMT). Consulate officials soon called in local police and demanded anyone responsible for the shooting be held accountable according to the law. The consulate-general also made solemn representations to the U.S. State Department's office in L. A. over the incident, demanding necessary actions be taken immediately to ensure the safety of the consulate's compounds and its personnel. [...]. ^ top ^

China's friendliness with Zambia to continue under African country's new government (Xinhua)
2011-12-16
No matter how the situation develops, the policy of friendly cooperation with Zambia will not change, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo said here on Monday. Meeting with Guy Scott, vice president of the new Zambian government in Beijing, Dai said the traditional friendship between the two countries, created by their former leaders, was hard-won and should be cherished. China will work with the new Zambian government to further enhance mutual trust and deepen cooperation, so as to promote better, faster development of bilateral ties, Dai said. Scott, who is also vice chairman of the ruling Patriotic Front that won the presidential election in September, said the new government is willing to conduct candid and open communication with the Chinese government and promote bilateral cooperation. Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, held working talks with Scott on Thursday morning, in which the two sides pledged to further strengthen exchanges. [...] Scott also reiterated Zambia's adherence to the one-China policy. [...]. ^ top ^

China urges ROK to ensure safety of Chinese embassy staff (Xinhua)
2011-12-16
China on Thursday expressed serious concern over demonstrations by non-governmental groups in the Republic of Korea (ROK), urging the ROK to guarantee the safety of the Chinese embassy in Seoul and of other Chinese institutions in ROK. "We have lodged complaints over demonstrations and radical behavior in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said during a regular press briefing. According to Liu, the ROK said it respects China's concerns and regrets the aggressive behavior displayed outside the embassy. The ROK promised to take further action to protect Chinese people and organizations in the country, Liu said. Several groups and individuals have protested in front of the embassy this week after crew members on a Chinese fishing boat reportedly clashed with two ROK coast guards on Monday, leaving one coast guard dead and the other injured. ^ top ^

Chinese ambassador met with Aung San Suu Kyi (Global Times)
2011-12-16
The foreign ministry confirmed yesterday that the Chinese ambassador to Nay Pyi Taw has met with Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the first such contact in two decades. Ambassador Li Junhua "met with Suu Kyi in response to her repeated requests to have a meeting with China, and the ambassador listened to her views," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters, without revealing the exact time and location of the meeting. Pointing out China is always committed to developing Sino-Myanmar relations, Liu said Beijing supports Myanmar's efforts to promote economic and social development as well as domestic reconciliation. "Based on the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, China will engage in communication with all sectors of Myanmar society that support the China-Myanmar friendship," Liu said. Suu Kyi's chief of staff, Khun Tha Myint, told Reuters the meeting happened on December 8 at the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's residence and lasted just over one hour. "The meeting went very well," he said. "It was very cordial and friendly." [...] Cheng Ruisheng, who served as Chinese ambassador to Myanmar from 1987 to 1991 and met Suu Kyi several times during his tenure, told the Global Times that China has always kept in touch with Myanmar's opposition party. "Our stance at the time was to not interfere in the disputes in Myanmar's politics and to take a neutral stance. After recognizing the military government, we still kept contact with the opposition because it was an important political force in the country," Cheng said. "As long as the party is a legitimate one, there is no reason for us to avoid a meeting." [...] Meanwhile, China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo is set to visit Nay Pyi Taw next week to attend the 4th Summit of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation Program, the foreign ministry said. [...]. ^ top ^

China to improve militia management (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-16
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday pledged to improve militia management so that civilian soldiers can better serve the country's economic and defense needs. Members of the militia should play a better role in the country's economic and social development, especially in the emergency response system, Wen said at a meeting on the country's militia work. They should be able to serve the people in peaceful days, respond to contingencies and fight during war, Wen said. Local governments should ensure maintenance funds for militia services and protect the rights and interests of those serving in the militia, he said. Over the past three decades, the militia has contributed greatly to the country's border control, economic development, social stability, and rescue and relief work in natural disasters, he said. China had 8 million militia members, down from 10 million five years ago, Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie said in a 2010 interview. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

More than 200 microblog accounts shut down for spreading porn (Xinhua)
2011-12-09
Authorities have shut down 206 microblogs for distributing pornographic and vulgar content following investigations that were spurred by public tips, according to the State Internet Information Office (SIIO). All of the accounts were registered at four of China's largest microblogging sites (Sina.com.cn, Sohu.com, 163.com and QQ.com), with 130 accounts set up through Sina, according to a statement released Friday by the office. "Relevant departments have criticized these sites for their slack management and have warned them to rectify their misconduct," the statement said. The SIIO has urged the country's microblog providers and Internet portals to fulfil their legal and social obligations and "refuse to be used as a platform to spread obscene material." "The SIIO and other departments will strengthen supervision over microblogs and other technology-based content in accordance with laws and regulations," the statement said. ^ top ^

Laureates call for Liu Xiaobo's release (SCMP)
2011-12-10
Five Nobel Peace Prize winners have launched a campaign for the release of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, a fellow Nobel recipient. The plea came a day before this year's Nobel Peace Prize presentation in Oslo and a year after Liu's award ceremony. His empty chair at that ceremony is still a symbol of Chinese government repression, and web search engines on the mainland have blocked the phrase "empty chair" in an attempt to shut down discussion of his case. The group of five, calling themselves the International Committee of Support to Liu Xiaobo, said yesterday Liu is the only Nobel laureate in prison and accused the international community of forgetting his plight. Liu co-authored a manifesto in 2008 calling for an end to single-party rule in China and was detained the same year. His call for peaceful political change resulted in an 11-year jail sentence on charges of "inciting subversion of state power". "Unfortunately, the sentencing to 11 years in prison seems to be forgotten, slowly but steadily, outside China," the group said, calling for Liu's "immediate and unconditional release". The campaign includes Nobel winners Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Desmond Tutu. The announcement of Liu's Nobel prize last year infuriated the government in Beijing, with dozens of Liu's supporters harassed and detained by authorities in the weeks that followed. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has largely been held incommunicado, effectively under house arrest, watched by police, without phone or internet access and prohibited from seeing all but a few family members. ^ top ^

Senior Chinese official urges to strengthen management of online culture (Global Times)
2011-12-11
A senior government official has urged authorities to "strengthen the construction and management of online culture" and work to foster a "healthy and positive" online environment. Wang Chen, head of China's State Internet Information Office, made the remarks at a two-day national meeting that ended on Saturday. The meeting was attended by leading officials from provincial-level publicity departments, information offices,telecommunications regulators as well as public security organs. Wang told the participants to use "more forceful and effective measures" to build and manage cyber culture and propel the development of cyber culture in a "healthy and orderly" way. Wang, also deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, asked local governments to place the construction and development of the Internet onto a more prominent position while pursuing economic and social development. He urged the officials to use the Internet to guide public opinions and promote positive social values. In addition, Wang vowed to further crack down on pornographic and obscene contents as well as vulgar information on the Internet. Wang's remarks came after his earlier admission in late September that social networking sites had brought both conveniences and challenges for social management. Social networking sites, generally referring to microblogs and Facebook-like services in China, have become major platforms for social associations and information-sharing in China. Sina Weibo, the most popular microblog service in terms of registered users, now has more than 200 million users. With more than half a billion Internet users, China is home to the world's largest number of registered Web users. The rising popularity of microblogging has allowed segments of the population to voice their opinions in a way that has never been seen before in China. ^ top ^

More non-political newspapers switch to market-oriented modes (Xinhua)
2011-12-13
More than 1,600 non-political newspaper and periodical publishing houses have been transferred into market-based enterprises as the country strives to reform its cultural industry, according to the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP). The central government first issued its guideline on deepening the reform of non-political newspaper and periodical publishers in May. It set a goal of completing market-oriented reforms of all non-political newspapers and periodicals by the end of September 2012. The restructuring is being carried out in phases and is based on the conditions of newspaper and periodical publishers, according to previous reports citing Li Dongdong, deputy head of the GAPP. GAPP figures show that China has 11,833 newspapers and periodicals from 4,591 publishing organizations. Most of these publications focus on non-political issues. ^ top ^

Environmental tax gets approval (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-13
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has approved an environmental tax and officials are now allowing the proposal to undergo scientific debate and evaluation, the Legal Mirror reported. The tax will be levied on carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, wastewater and solid waste. The petroleum and petro-chemical industries that consume high amounts of energy will be the main targets, the Beijing-based newspaper reported on Saturday. The MOF is preparing to evaluate the proposal with the State Administration of Taxation and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the report said. Xu Wen, a tax policy expert from the MOF, told the newspaper conditions for the introduction of the environmental tax are ripe. According to Xu, the tax is changing an already existing fee into a tax. [...] The tax rate was a critical factor regarding whether the environmental tax will be effective, Xu said. "The current pollution discharge fee is too low. Enterprises pay the fee rather than treat and control pollution," he was quoted as saying. [...] In a statement issued on October 20, the State Council officially declared that it is actively promoting reform and research on environmental taxation, as well as developing a national emissions trading market. ^ top ^

Illegal production, selling of "gutter oil" effectively curbed: Chinese police (Xinhua)
2011-12-13
Chinese police believe a nationwide food safety campaign they launched in August has effectively curbed the illegal practice of making and selling "gutter oil." Between the launch of the campaign and November, over 700 suspects had been detained during the investigation of 128 cases in 28 provinces and municipalities, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Security issued on Monday. The number of cases emerging dropped substantially in the three consecutive months, said the statement. The statement also highlighted that 60 major gutter-oil-producing networks had been cracked, with most of them conducting cross-provincial operations. However, the ministry assured the public it would keep up pressure on those flouting food safety laws and seek to establish "permanent mechanisms" to address these issues. Food safety has become a growing public concern in China following a string of scandals over recent years. "Gutter oil" commonly refers to produce illegally made by reprocessing waste oil from restaurants. Such oil could otherwise legally be used in making biodiesel fuel or animal feed in China. In the statement, the ministry revealed that firms in those legal businesses had seen a growth in the volume of "raw materials" they collected as a result of the campaign. ^ top ^

Nanjing holds candle ceremony to commemorate massacre victims (Xinhua)
2011-12-13
Three thousand candles were lit in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu province, on Monday evening to commemorate the victims of the Japanese massacre in the city. Hundreds of Nanjing citizens and friends from Japan gathered on the square of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders to mark the 74th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, which falls on Tuesday. They lit the candles as Chinese and Japanese monks attending the ceremony prayed for perpetual peace. This is the third such memorial held in Nanjing, a city that was occupied on Dec. 13, 1937, by Japanese troops who began a six-week massacre. Records show more than 300,000 Chinese unarmed soldiers and civilians were killed. ^ top ^

Verified official microblog accounts hit 20,000 in China: web portal (Xinhua)
2011-12-13
The number of official microblog accounts has hit 20,000 on Sina Weibo, a major Twitter-like microblog service in China, according to a report issued by Sina Corp., a popular Chinese web portal operator, on Monday. So far, there are over 10,000 verified microblog accounts of government departments and about 9,000 verified personal accounts owned by officials from across the country, according to the report. The number of official microblog accounts quadrupled in 2011, up from 5,000 at the beginning of 2011, it said. The report also shows that more economically developed regions, including eastern, southern and northern China, have more official accounts than areas in central and western China. In 2010, official accounts were mainly registered by officials and departments of public security, tourism, publicity and justice. In 2011, the distribution tended to span more evenly to cover other fields such as education, culture and sports. The top ten government department accounts have 10.3 million followers with a total of 46,000 posted threads, while the top ten accounts owned by officials have 10.8 million followers with 44,000 posted threads, according to the report. [...] The new development is a major breakthrough, as it is no longer propaganda but equal, interactive communication between the government and the people, said Zhao Feng, who is in charge of the "Ping'anbeijing," or "Safe Beijing," microblog account owned by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. ^ top ^

China halves executions to 4,000 a year: rights group (SCMP)
2011-12-14
China has halved its executions since 2007, when its high court began reviewing death row cases, but still puts around 4,000 people to death every year, an American campaign group said yesterday. The exact number of people executed in China every year is a state secret, but according to Amnesty International, China puts more people to death than the rest of the world put together. The rare data, compiled by San Francisco-based campaign group Dui Hua, is partly based on a claim by a Chinese legal scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, that executions have been halved. It comes in the same week China executed a South African woman by lethal injection for drug smuggling after rejecting last-minute pleas for clemency from her government. Dui Hua executive director John Kamm said the figure, which is nearly eight times the 527 Amnesty International says were executed outside China last year - was still far too high. "When officials and the public know the full extent of the death penalty in China, abolition will be achieved more quickly," he said. Beijing has taken measures in recent years to rein in the use of capital punishment, including requiring the supreme court to review all such sentences before they are carried out. ^ top ^

Fishermen's oil-leak suit accepted by Tianjin court (China Daily)
2011-12-14
The Tianjin Maritime Court has accepted a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips China on behalf of fishermen claiming compensation for effects of the oil spill in Bohai Bay. Lawyer Zhao Jingwei is asking the oil company to pay 490 million yuan ($77 million) for economic damage to the 107 affected fishermen in Laoting county, Hebei province. The amount of the compensation was determined from the fishermen's calculations, and further calculations for compensation will be made by a professional assessment agency, Zhao told China Daily on Tuesday. Unlike the earlier lawsuits against the oil spill, Zhao said the lawsuit has been under preparation for several months. [...] It is now the polluter's responsibility to prove the pollution has no connection with the victims' losses, Zhao said. Many affected fishermen suffered losses and were waiting for a solution for their damages. [...]. ^ top ^

Authorities order check of school bus safety after accident kills 15 students in E. China (Global Times)
2011-12-14
The Chinese Ministry of Education issued an order on Tuesday for middle and primary schools as well as kindergartens around the nation to double check school bus safety. The order came after a school bus accident in east Zhejiang province killed at least 15 pupils on Monday, marking the third serious school bus accident to occur in China in less than a month. The ministry also dispatched a work team to look into the accident. At least eight children are still hospitalized, one still in a critical condition. [...] The driver, Hong Xu, who is also the owner of the bus, has been detained for investigation. The county government is now drafting a compensation and subsidy plan for the victims' families. [...] An initial investigation showed that Hong was fully responsible for the accident, police said. The accident, along with other recent school bus tragedies, has once again sparked nationwide outcry and highlighted the need for a comprehensive overhaul of school buses, especially in rural areas, where refitted vans often travel on dirt roads to transport students. [...]. ^ top ^

Teachers banned from using harsh words (China Daily)
2011-12-14
The Ministry of Education has published a series of professional standards for teachers in kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools, including a ban on harsh language and words that might belittle students. The draft standards also ask teachers to effectively communicate with their students and establish good teacher-student relationships. The standards place special emphasis on teachers' moral performance and ethics, according to a statement on the ministry's website on Tuesday. Under the standards, teachers should always be student-oriented, regard the lives and safety of their students as their top priority and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with possible emergencies. The standards for primary school teachers require them to protect students' interests and encourage their curiosity. For middle school teachers, the standards require them to encourage students to think independently and promote the students' ability for innovation. Once put into effect, the standards will be used to educate teachers and provide a fundamental guideline for their professional development, the ministry's statement said. The standards will also be used as criteria for the teachers' hiring, training and assessment, the statement said. According to the statement, a draft of the standards was started in 2004. The writers gathered the opinion of more than 1,000 experts and school and kindergarten principals and teachers, and they made many revisions. The public is invited to comment on the standards in letters and e-mails, which will be accepted until Dec. 30. [...]. ^ top ^

Religious groups set up publicity system (China Daily)
2011-12-14
China's major religious groups have set up their own news publicity system, the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) announced Tuesday. Spokesmen for the religious groups will hold non-scheduled and regular press conferences and briefings, as well as provide press releases and initiate online communication with the press and the public, the administration said in a statement. News of progress and emergencies that occur in religious circles, as well as news pertaining to the major concerns of religious believers and secular people, will also be provided, the statement said. The establishment of the publicity system aims to promote the transparency of religious groups in order to better serve believers, the statement said. According to the SARA, all of the selected spokesmen are knowledgable in religious affairs and the administration will hold training sessions to help them improve their skills. ^ top ^

China to plant 26 billion trees over next decade, increase carbon sink (Global Times)
2011-12-14
China plans to plant 26 billion trees over the next 10 years, or two trees annually for every Chinese citizen, to greatly boost its environmental credentials, a senior forestry official said Tuesday. An average of 650 million people, or half of China's population, will be mobilized every year to fulfil the goal, Zhang Yongli, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration, said at a press conference marking the 30th anniversary of the country's nationwide voluntary tree-planting campaign. In the first 11 months of this year, about 614 million Chinese have participated in voluntary afforestation across the country, planting 2.51 billion trees to cover areas of 6 million hectares, according to the State Forestry Administration. The ambitious plan comes at a moment when China vows to increase its "forest carbon sink capacity," the use of its forested areas to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby helping to address global climate change. According to a white paper released in November, China has planned a series of ecological protection projects, such as the key shelterbelt construction in northern China and along the Yangtze River, and schemes to return farmland to forest, protect existing forests and control sandstorms in the Beijing and Tianjin areas. The government has also pledged to continue broader pilot projects in carbon sink afforestation, including turning grazing area back to grassland, according to the white paper on China's policies and actions for addressing climate change. ^ top ^

Characters and words best representing events of 2011 announced (Global Times)
2011-12-16
Chinese characters and words of the year were announced yesterday. Among them kong (control in Chinese) and zhai (debt) were named the most representative of events in 2011. Kong () has been selected as the character of the year for domestic events. It literally means to regulate and control. It reflects efforts and the public's will to control inflation in the country.

Kong also means complex. The word, used to refer to those who are obsessed with something, reflects the lifestyle of today's Chinese people. Shangbuqi (), which means "cannot be hurt," was listed as the other word of the year for domestic events. Chinese people have been enjoying better lives, but have also witnessed more tragedy and social injustice. The word is a reflection of people displaying their scars, as well as their call for equality and social justice. Zhai () and ouzhaiweiji () have been selected respectively as the character and word of 2011 for international events. Both zhai (debt) and ouzhaiweiji (debt crisis in eurozone) reflect people's attention to the financial crisis. The selection of yearly Chinese characters, initiated in 2006, was organized by the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center, the Commercial Press, Sina Corp and China Youth Daily. All results are based on online votes. Zhang (to rise), geili (give power), luan (chaos) and junyan (military drill) made the list last year. All these words are meant to capture the spirit of China over the past year, and often closely relate to current events. [...]. ^ top ^

China / Society New law on movies offers incentives to investors (China Daily)
2011-12-16
China on Thursday began soliciting public submissions on a draft law aimed at spurring the development of the country's movie industry by offering more incentives to movie producers and reaching out to a wider audience. The draft law on movie promotion, published on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, or China's Cabinet, lowered the threshold for movie sponsorship by allowing both enterprises and individuals to invest through simplified procedures. State-owned and private enterprises will both be able to apply for filmmaker licenses after releasing at least two movies that do not violate Chinese law, according to the draft law. Overseas enterprises can participate in China's movie-making operations via cooperations with their Chinese counterparts, according to the draft law. The state will increase its investment and offer financial incentives, such as tax breaks, in the movie industry, while employing "forceful measures" to tackle movie-related copyright infringements, the draft says. [...] Movies screened in China last year took in more than 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) at the box office, an almost 64-percent increase from 2009, according to the SARFT. However, the movie industry's success has largely been in cities, with the country's vast rural areas lagging behind in the rapid expansion of cinemas. In a bid to reach out to more audiences in both urban and rural areas as well as more age groups, the draft law proposes screening at least one free film each month in every rural village, and including at least two films each semester during students' compulsory education period. It also says that local governments could subsidize cinema tickets for young or low-income groups to meet their basic culture needs. While emphasizing the growth of the movie industry, the draft law, authored by the SARFT, is more strict in regards to movie content. [...] The draft law is available at www.chinalaw.gov.cn, and feedback via online posts, letters and e-mails will be accepted until Jan. 15, 2012. [...]. ^ top ^

Social order is key to script in new film rules (SCMP)
2011-12-16
A draft film industry promotion law released by the State Council yesterday proposes a ban on movie content that "disturbs social stability and promotes religious fanaticism", the latest attempt by Beijing to tighten control over cultural products. Films must not harm national honour and interest, incite ethnic hatred, spread "evil cults" or superstition, or propagate obscenity, gambling, drug abuse, violence or terror, according to the draft law posted on the website of the State Council's Legislative Affairs Office for public comment until the middle of next month. It bans 13 types of content. The draft law was revealed after a Communist Party Central Committee meeting in October which vowed to promote "advanced socialist culture". Analysts said they expected the law to be approved at next year's National People's Congress meeting. Compared to the Regulations on Administration of Films that took effect in 2002, the draft law plans to censor a wider range of subjects for movies made and screened on the mainland. They will be forbidden from promoting religious fanaticism, disturbing religious harmony, hurting the feelings of religious people, damaging unity of atheists and religious people, distorting national history, hurting national feelings, playing up terrorism, spreading criminal methods, invading privacy and breaching legal rights and harming the growth of juveniles. [...]. ^ top ^

Emissions key culprit for smog (China Daily)
2011-12-16
A majority of the country's most hazardous airborne pollutants are coming from industrial sources, according to a newly released report by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. Known as PM2.5 pollutants - hazardous particulates smaller than 2.5 microns - such pollution can travel deep into the lungs and damage people's respiratory systems. According to the study, China emitted 13.2 million tons of PM2.5 in 2007, among which more than 9 million tons came from industrial sources such as petrochemical plants, cement kilns, and iron and steel smelters. The transportation sector was responsible for nearly 600,000 tons of PM2.5 emissions that year, while residential activities contributed to 2.7 million tons of the fine particulate matter, according to the report, which cited a study on China's pollution inventory in 2007. Such findings show industrial pollution is still the nation's biggest culprit for the worsening haze and smog in China's economically well-off eastern region. "Therefore, curbing pollution from industrial sources is still the key in reducing PM2.5 and improving the nationwide air quality in the long run," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. "Anyway, clear regulations and restrictions already exist for curbing pollution from industrial sources, so it's relatively easier to start with fixing the industries first," he said. But for major cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, where polluting factories have been moved out of the urban areas, emissions from vehicles play a bigger role in their worsening PM2.5 levels, making it more difficult to tackle in the short run, said Ma. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official stresses role of united front in maintaining stability (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-16
Top political advisor Jia Qinglin has urged the united front circles of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to contribute more to the country's economic and cultural development as well as social stability. Jia, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, made the remarks Thursday at a meeting held for officials of the CPC's united front system. Jia, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, urged officials working in the line of the united front to accurately analyze conflicts and problems emerging in the course of the country's reform and development and create a sound environment for next year's 18th National Congress of the CPC. According to Jia, the united front should focus their work on innovative ideas and people's livelihoods and make contributions to the country's cultural prosperity as well as social stability. Jia stressed the need to select and make full use of non-communist representatives who have both excellent political quality and the ability to participate in and discuss political affairs. In addition, Jia called for more education and training programs to boost the performances of non-communist cadres. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Defiant villagers stage new protest after leader's death (SCMP)
2011-12-15
Thousands of residents of a Guangdong village rallied yesterday in defiance of police, who sealed off the area to contain a long-running feud over land grabs and anger over the death of a village leader in police custody. The death on Sunday of Xue Jinbo, 42, fanned tensions in Wukan after riot police fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands of stone-throwing villagers, who say hundreds of hectares of land have been acquired illegally by corrupt officials colluding with developers. Xue's relatives allege that he was a victim of police brutality, claiming that his body showed heavy bruising and other signs of abuse, though government officials said an examination this week concluded that the bruising was postmortem discolouration. [...] A witness said villagers gathered in front of a poster of Xue yesterday and chanted slogans denouncing corrupt officials. [...] "This is getting so serious now," Huang said. "This is collusion between officials and businesspeople. So much land has been ruined... more than half of all we have." [...] Late last week, police started blocking roads leading to Wukan, a fishing village of about 20,000 people in Lufeng, and food was prevented from entering, said Qiu Yankun, who sells farm tools there. On Monday, some food was allowed in, but police had continued to prevent fishing, and supplies were running low, Qiu said by phone. "Nobody dares to leave the village now. If you want to leave, you have to sign your name. We don't know what that means. Most of us are just too scared to go out," Qiu said, adding that children who normally went to school in a nearby town were staying at home because school buses were not allowed to enter the village. Qiu said village officials fled during protests in late September, and police officers fled a few days ago. "There's not even a single cadre at the village hall now, not even a shadow. They all left without a trace from September," Qiu said. "The building is all empty.". ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Qinghai-Tibet grid interconnection project begins trial run (Global Times)
2011-12-10
China's Qinghai-Tibet grid interconnection project, which is expected to ease power strains on the frigid plateau, began a trial run Friday. The project ends Tibetan power grid's isolation -- making the power system on the Chinese mainland fully integrated and providing a solid base to sort out power shortages in Tibet, Vice Premier Li Keqiang said at a ceremony in Bejing. It plays a very important role in improving people's lives and protecting the environment in Tibet, Li said. The 1,038-kilometer-power lines were laid at the plateau with an average altitude of 4,000 meters, which makes it the world's highest power project. The project consists of three phases: a 750 KV transmission line from Xining, capital of Qinghai, to Golmud in the center of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; a 400 KV transmission line from Golmud to Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region; 220 KV of grid facilities within Tibet. Li extended appreciation and greetings to the construction workers for their devotion in overcoming harsh conditions and technological barriers to complete the project with no casualties. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Off with long beards and Muslim veil (SCMP)
2011-12-16
A city in the heavily Muslim Xinjiang region has begun a campaign to discourage veils and long beards so as to "dilute religious consciousness", media reports said yesterday. The notice by the government in the city of Yining was uploaded by several mainland news websites and by Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, though it then vanished from the Yining government's website, www.yining.gov.cn. Many Uygurs, Muslims native to Xinjiang, resent the rule of Beijing and controls on their religion, culture and language. The region has seen sporadic cases of violent unrest. The notice said the government in the Dunmaili district of Yining had decided to "further implement the party's activities to dilute religious consciousness and advocate a civilised and healthy lifestyle". One of the campaign's aims, it said, was to end "the abnormal phenomenon" of ethnic minority people wearing Arab dress, growing long beards or covering their faces in veils. Women who had "been transformed" would be invited to hold talks to discuss their experience, as would women who had launched successful careers. Yining government officials declined to comment. Hou Hanmin, a Xinjiang government spokeswoman, said she was not aware of the notice but that generally people in the region, including ethnic minorities, were free to wear what they wanted. "However, for certain jobs and in education there are rules about what you cannot wear, simply as a matter of convenience," she said by phone. [...] Parts of Xinjiang have become more conservative and Islamic over the past few years, despite government efforts to reverse that trend. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Tables turned - Leung lags Tang in top job bid (SCMP)
2011-12-13
Leung Chun-ying found yesterday that public popularity does not necessarily translate into support among those who have a say in who will be the next chief executive. The opinion poll-dominating candidate for the top job and his allies suffered setbacks in the voting for sub-sector representatives on the 1,200-strong Election Committee - his known supporters winning 58 seats, little more than a third the tally for rival Henry Tang Ying-yen. Results yesterday from Sunday's voting showed Leung scraped in last for the main seats in his own sub-sector, for Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference members. [...] Former chief secretary Tang saw more than 170 of his known supporters gain seats, while the pan-democrats' tally was 205. But with most of the members still playing their cards close to their chests, the outcome remains uncertain. Leung said he would deliver his preliminary policy platform soon, while Tang declined to comment. Release of the results came after more than 10 1/2 hours of counting. A provisional figure from the electoral office showed 27.5 per cent of the 237,000 registered voters cast ballots. The findings of a survey commissioned by the South China Morning Post and published on Thursday showed Leung led Tang in popularity ratings by a big margin. Some 47.3 per cent of 1,012 respondents polled by the University of Hong Kong picked Leung. Tang was backed by 23.8 per cent. The outcome of the subsector poll shows again the city's political elite and big business think very differently from the public. If the election results were any guide, Tang would win by a landslide in March. But more than 700 members remain publicly undecided and their preferences will depend on indications from Beijing. Sub-sectors of the committee inclined to back Tang include commercial, finance, financial services, wholesale and retail, industrial and tourism, and real estate and construction. [...]. ^ top ^

Hong Kong is No 1 financial centre (SCMP)
2011-12-14
Hong Kong has leapfrogged the United States and Britain to top the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Financial Development Index for the first time, after coming fourth last year. Hong Kong took the No1 spot ahead of a list of 60 countries. It scored 5.16 on a scale of 1 to 7, based on a vast amount of data intended to set standards for the world to follow. "This is the first time ever for an Asian financial centre to be given the top spot," said Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah. Tsang said he was pleased that the WEF had acknowledged the city's strengths in access to capital, business environment and banking financial services, such as initial public offerings. [...] Analysts said Hong Kong's explosive listing volume, low tax rates and status as the key offshore yuan trading centre had boosted its ranking. [...] Out of the seven components in which various financial centres were assessed, Hong Kong ranked first in financial access, and third in business environment and banking financial services. Institutional environment, financial stability, non-banking financial services and financial markets were also put under the microscope. The US ranked second overall, Britain third, and Singapore fourth. China was in 19th place. China, Canada and Singapore were singled out for praise for having increased their overall scores consistently since the index began in 2008. ^ top ^

Chinese mainland, HK sign eighth supplement to CEPA (Xinhua)
2011-12-14
The Chinese central government and the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) signed a supplement to an important trade agreement on Tuesday to give the city's firms preferential measures in trade in goods, trade in services, as well as trade and investment facilitation. The Supplement VIII to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), representing the eighth expansion since 2004, was signed by John Tsang, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, and Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping in Hong Kong at a ceremony witnessed by HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang. The new supplement provides for a total of 32 services liberalization and trade and investment facilitation measures, including 23 liberalization measures in 16 service sectors, and strengthens cooperation in areas such as finance, tourism, innovation and technology. Both sides also agreed to enhance origin criteria under trade in goods, and relax the definition and related requirements of Hong Kong service suppliers. [...] Donald Tsang told the signing ceremony that the new supplement fully reflected the support of the central government to Hong Kong 's development over the years.

"Amid dramatic external economic changes, Hong Kong's economy will be faced with a lot of challenges next year. Economic and trade cooperation between the two sides is of great significance in stabilizing confidence of Hong Kong's firms so as to tackle future economic up and down," Tsang said. ^ top ^

 

Macau

Chinese mainland, Macao sign eighth supplement to CEPA (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-16
The Chinese central government and the government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) signed a supplement to an important trade agreement on Wednesday, in an effort to grant Macao better access into the Chinese mainland market in various sectors. The Supplement VIII to the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), representing the eighth expansion since 2004, was signed by Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping and Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macao SAR, Tam Pak Yuen, at the SAR's Government Headquarter. The new supplement, which will become effective on April 1 next year, mainly comprises new measures concerning the trade and investment facilitation and trade in services. According to the agreement, the mainland will expand the areas of trade in services measures to the sectors of manufacturing, culture, and research and development, bringing the total number of liberalized service sectors under the CEPA from 43 to 46, involving a total of 281 liberalization measures. Meanwhile, further liberalization will be implemented in mainland's 11 existing service sectors such as banking, tourism, securities, insurance, etc. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

More than 1.6 million Chinese mainland tourists visit Taiwan in past 11 months (Xinhua)
2011-12-14
About 213,100 Chinese mainland tourists visited Taiwan last month, up 29.13 percent year on year and a record monthly high, the island's tourism department said Tuesday. The department said more than 1.6 million mainland tourists visited Taiwan from January to November, up 6.23 percent year on year. The mainland is currently the largest source of tourists for the island. [...] On the whole, Taiwan saw around 619,000 overseas tourists in November, a record monthly high that is expected to bring the island a step closer to its goal of attracting 6 million overseas tourists this year, the department said in a press release. It said that nearly 5.44 million overseas tourists visited Taiwan in the past 11 months, a year-on-year increase of almost 8 percent. The figures are encouraging for Taiwan's tourism and hospitality industry, and the local economy has also benefited from the boom, it said, adding that overseas visitors bought around 10.26 billion New Taiwan dollars (about 340 million U.S. dollars)-worth of goods between January and November. ^ top ^

US official ends closely watched visit to Taiwan (SCMP)
2011-12-16
US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman has ended a three-day trip to Taiwan, in a closely watched visit seen by pundits as Washington's renewal of its strategic interest in the island. Poneman, the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 11 years, left the island on Wednesday after a high-profile visit. He not only met Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and other key officials, but also made a public speech that was rare given the absence of formal ties. Besides strong media coverage of his visit, Taiwanese authorities took heart over Poneman's meeting with Ma and Foreign Minister Timothy Yang, describing it as a strong proof of US commitment to strengthen its relations with the island. In his meeting with Poneman on Tuesday, Ma especially mentioned a statement by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Honolulu last month that Washington would "stick to a strong relationship with Taiwan, which is an important security and economic partner" of the United States. In a speech at National Taiwan University shortly after his meeting with Ma, Poneman also made public the US approach to the Asia-Pacific region and its "broader bilateral partnership" with Taiwan. [...] He said as America moved to strengthen its position as a Pacific power, "Taiwan is one of our most important economic and security partners in the region" despite a lack of formal ties. Pundits said Poneman's trip, which followed that of US Agency for International Development administrator Dr Rajiv Shah at the start of the month, reflected US determination to return to Asia. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China's retail sales up 17% in first 11 months (Xinhua)
2011-12-09
China's retail sales grew 17 percent year-on-year to reach 16.35 trillion yuan (2.58 trillion U.S. dollars) during the first 11 months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday. After deducting inflation, actual growth stood at 11.4 percent, the NBS said in a statement on its website. In November, the country's retail sales increased 17.3 percent from one year earlier to hit 1.61 trillion yuan. After adjusting for inflation, November's actual growth rate was 12.8 percent. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 1.27 percent last month, according to the statement. Urban retail sales increased 17.3 percent year-on-year to 1.4 trillion yuan last month, while rural retail sales climbed 17.2 percent to hit 216billion yuan. In November, the nation's catering sector generated sales of 186.5 billion yuan, a rise of 17.7 percent from a year earlier, while commodity retail sales increased 17.2 percent to 1.43 trillion yuan. Auto sales rose 11.4 percent to hit 189.7 billion yuan during the same period. The growth rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than that in October, the NBS said. Sales of home appliances and audiovisual equipment climbed 25 percent to 44 billion yuan last month, while sales of furniture rose 34.4 percent to 12.1 billion yuan, according to the statement. ^ top ^

Corporate income tax for micro-sized firms halved (China Daily)
2011-12-09
China's Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Friday that it will cut corporate income tax by half for micro-and-small-sized enterprises to facilitate their growth amid financial strains. The ministry deems enterprises with annual corporate income of no more than 60,000 yuan as micro-and-small-sized companies. After the adjustment, their tax base will be cut by 50 percent while the tax rate remains 20 percent, the ministry said in a statement on its website. The new policy will take effect between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015. The government announced a raft of measures this year to boost cash-strapped small businesses, including raising the threshold of value-added tax and exempting administrative fees. ^ top ^

China to maintain economic stance but fine-tune policies (Global Times)
2011-12-10
China will maintain its prudent monetary policy and proactive fiscal policy next year, but fine-tune these policies as conditions change, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee announced on Friday. At the meeting chaired by President Hu Jintao, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, it was agreed that the country will make its policy responses more targeted, flexible and forward-looking next year. The country also pledges to maintain control over the intensity, pace and focus of macroeconomic regulation and preset or fine tune policies in light of changes in economic development, according to a statement issued after the meeting. At the meeting it was agreed that China will continue to balance efforts to "ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth, while adjusting the economic structure and regulating inflationary expectations next year." The statement said the country will maintain its unswerving stance on the regulation of the property market next year to make the housing prices return to a reasonable level. Efforts to accelerate the transformation of economic development and adjust the economic structure should be made, while also working to boost domestic demand and ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth while maintaining the stability of consumer prices, according to the statement. [...] "To better deal with the economic work of next year will be of great importance to ensure sound economic and social development momentum and build a good environment for the opening of the CPC's 18th national congress," the statement said. [...] For more than a year, China has been squeezing its banking system in efforts to rein in high inflation. However, the country's central bank this week cut the amount of cash that lenders have to set aside as reserves for the first time in three years, which economists said was aimed to aid growth in the world's second-largest economy. China's economic growth has been slowing all year. Its GDP growth slowed to 9.1 percent in the third quarter from 9.5 percent in the second quarter, and 9.7 percent in the first quarter. Growth of the consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of the country's inflation, eased to 4.2 percent in November from this year's peak of 6.5 percent in July. It was the slowest pace since last September when it rose 3.6 percent. However, even with the sharp fall in November, the country's CPI rose 5.5 percent year-on-year in Jan.-Nov., well above the government's full-year inflation control target of 4 percent. [...]. ^ top ^

Hu promises to end giant trade gap (SCMP)
2011-12-12
President Hu Jintao pledged yesterday to resolve trade imbalances with nations that had huge deficits with China, as the country marked the tenth anniversary of its accession to the WTO. In a speech in Beijing, Hu said China was not intentionally seeking a trade surplus, a bugbear for major trade partners such as the United States who say Beijing's exports are cheap because its currency is undervalued. "We will strengthen economic cooperation with countries that have substantial trade deficits with China, and work together with them to gradually resolve trade imbalances," Hu said in the Great Hall of the People. "We will... actively expand imports to drive the transformation of the foreign trade pattern in a bid to promote the basic balance of international payments. We do not deliberately pursue a trade surplus." [...] On Saturday, official data showed China's trade surplus had narrowed to US$14.5 billion in November from US$17 billion in October. The nation's overall imports outstripped expectations, expanding by 22.1 per cent to US$159.94 billion in November, up from the US$140.46 billion recorded a month earlier, according to the data. Exports also rose year-on-year, but analysts said the rate of increase was slowing, further fuelling concerns that China's export-driven economy will be heavily affected by turmoil in the key markets of Europe and the United States. To counter this, Beijing is pushing to expand its domestic demand. Hu said yesterday that total retail sales in China were expected to grow at an annual rate of over 15 per cent in the next five years, and reach 32 trillion yuan (HK$39 trillion) in 2015, making it one of the world's largest domestic markets. "It is estimated that China's total imports will exceed eight trillion dollars in the next five years, which will bring enormous opportunities to countries around the world," he said. Hu acknowledged that China's decade-long membership of the World Trade Organisation had helped power the country's blistering growth, and said it had also benefited China's trading partners. Hu said China would be more "proactive" in opening up to the outside world. But he also called on China's trading partners to implement measures to help the country, such as relaxing their controls on hi-tech exports to China and facilitating Chinese firms' outward investments. ^ top ^

SASAC to crack down on monopolistic SOEs (People's Daily Online)
2011-12-13
The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) will take oversight measures in a range of aspects such as price, quality of service, cost control, income distribution and resource allocation, aiming to increase corporate transparency and to prevent companies from taking advantage of their dominant market status, Shao Ning, deputy director of SASAC, said during a conference held in Beijing yesterday. Shao also said that SOEs in sectors such as petrol, electricity and telecommunications are the most likely to be identified as monopolies. "Some of them are the only player in the industry," he noted. [...] The announcement from SASAC came after two telecommunication giants - China Telecom and China Unicom - were placed under investigation by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). [...]. ^ top ^

China urges fair report on IPR protection (China Daily)
2011-12-14
A senior official said Tuesday that China has made remarkable progress in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection during the past 30 years and that he hopes foreign media will report on China's IPR protection efforts fairly and objectively. Li Chenggang, director of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference that the country has always taken a firm stance in protecting IPR and made continuous efforts in combating IPR infringement. "If foreign friends don't evaluate China's efforts in a fairly and objectively manner, they will not have confidence in us," he said. Li said China should strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries in the area of IPR protection in order to boost understanding. Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Zengwei said China has set up IPR cooperation mechanisms with several countries, including the United States, Japan, Russia and Switzerland, over the past 30 years. Crackdowns on IPR infringement and counterfeiters will be incorporated into official performance appraisal, and the public is encouraged to report the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit goods to local authorities, Jiang said. However, he said it will be a long-term and complicated task to root out infringement and counterfeiting, and the country will address the problem with a mixture of short- and long-term measures. China will launch a new round of crackdowns on fake farming equipment, medicines, food, cigarettes and pirated software, strengthen inspections of software pre-installation on computers sold in the country, shut down illegal websites and perfect IPR laws, Jiang said. ^ top ^

China cracks down on "covert coffers" to stem corruption (Xinhua)
2011-12-14
China uncovered 2.85 billion yuan (449.5 million U.S. dollars) of illegal off-the-book funds held by government departments and public institutions in the first 11 months of 2011, the Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday. Authorities found more than 8,000 "covert coffers," accounts that are often used to embezzle public funds or become a source of bribery, said the ministry in a statement. From the start of January to the end of November, 2,426 people received administrative penalties for setting up and using such accounts, and 902 were transferred to judicial organs for investigation, according to the statement. China launched a nationwide operation against "covert coffers" in 2009 as part of its efforts to fight corruption. The operation has effectively contained such illegal acts but problems still exist in a small number of departments and institutions, said Minister of Finance Xie Xuren. Xie said in October that the country had unearthed more than 58,000 "covert coffers", involving 26.65 billion yuan, between 2009 and the end of August. ^ top ^

Growth vow amid global woe (China Daily)
2011-12-16
A pledge to maintain stable growth next year against the backdrop of a "grim" global economy while transforming the country's economic model was delivered at a key conference on Wednesday. The annual three-day Central Economic Work Conference, which concluded in Beijing, laid out an economic blueprint for 2012 and agreed to "make progress while maintaining stability". A statement issued after the conference noted the challenges to economic growth and inflation due to the global outlook. The statement described the current global economy as "extremely grim and complicated" as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has worsened and economic recovery in the US remains weak. "Stability means to maintain basically steady macroeconomic policies, relatively fast economic growth, stable consumer prices and social stability," the statement said. China will maintain "prudent" monetary policies and "proactive" fiscal policies, the statement said, despite the easing of inflation. [...] Policymakers stressed the importance of boosting domestic demand to accelerate the transformation of the growth model toward a more consumption-driven one against the backdrop of weak external demand. [...]"Certain new industries as identified in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) will be likely to get more support and tax cuts are also likely to encourage spending," Lam said. [...] Liu noted that the country's bank loans next year will perhaps exceed this year's level of about 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) but will not hit the high level of 10 trillion yuan in 2009. But some economists warned that China should continue to be on alert about inflation and a surge in commodity prices as both Europe and the US have adopted loosening measures to revive their economies. [...]. ^ top ^

Zimbabwe-China joint venture now world's biggest diamond producer (China Daily)
2011-12-16
Anjin Investments is now the biggest diamond producer in the world with only one and a half years of mining in eastern Zimbabwe, an official said on Wednesday. The company's director Munyaradzi Machacha told reporters on a tour of the mine that it now has a capacity of producing 12,000 tons of ore per day and had invested heavily in state-of-the-art machinery. On Thursday this week the company is set to commission two additional processing units acquired at a total cost of 18 million U.S. dollars to the current five that are operational. The new units would boost the company's processing capacity which it hopes will continue to grow in the future. "We are now the largest diamond mining company in the world and the Kimberly Process has confirmed that and we are proud of that," Machacha said, adding the company was poised to play a significant role in the development of Zimbabwe. [...].The company started mining operations in July last year, and has a stockpile of three million carats of diamonds that it intends to sell after getting KP approval recently. Anjin conducted its first sale of diamonds last week and Machacha said marketing of the gems was in progress. He said the mine was currently producing 6,000 tons of ore from its 4,846-hectare concession. [...] And the two new units have a combined processing capacity of 4,000 per day. Meanwhile, Machacha said companies mining diamonds in Zimbabwe do not deserve to be slapped with Western sanctions as they are operating above board. His comments followed this week's move by the United States to slap Mbada and Marange Resources -- two of the four companies mining diamonds in Marange -- with sanctions. "Zimbabwe does not deserve sanctions nor any of the companies that have been placed on sanctions," he said. ^ top ^

First FDI drop in 28 months (China Daily)
2011-12-16
Foreign direct investment (FDI) fell almost 10 percent last month from a year earlier, the first drop in 28 months, as Vice-Premier Li Keqiang called for a boost to domestic consumption on Thursday. Amid the "grim and complicated" global outlook, China needs to strengthen market capacity and growth by encouraging private investment, increasing investment in affordable housing projects and accelerating urbanization, Li said. The vice-premier also called for greater promotion of the service industry, which he said is the largest "employment creator and innovation driver". Experts said a growing and stable Chinese market will help lure foreign investment, and they predicted that the world's second-largest recipient of foreign investment will recover lost ground in the long run. According to the Ministry of Commerce, FDI fell 9.76 percent from a year earlier to $8.76 billion in November. China last witnessed a monthly drop in FDI in August 2009 amid the world's worst financial meltdown in seven decades. [...] From January to November, US investment in China dropped by 23 percent year-on-year to $2.74 billion, and investment from the EU rose marginally by 0.29 percent to $5.98 billion. Shen Danyang, ministry spokesman, said the monthly figure may not reflect the long-term trend, which he described as positive. [...] A number of factors, including stable economic growth and domestic consumption potential, show China's long-term advantages and appeal to foreign enterprises, he said. He also said investment from developed countries will grow over the long term. [...] Shen said China's commitment to opening its market wider will help attract more investment, with high-tech and green industries offering golden opportunities for foreign firms. "China will encourage foreign enterprises in the next five years to invest in modern agriculture and services as well as high-end and the energy-saving and environmental protection sectors," Shen said. [...] Under the agreements China recently signed with eight nations, including Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, enterprises from these countries, especially those in green industries, will increase investment in China. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK enacts law on economic zone (Xinhua)
2011-12-09
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has recently enacted a law on economic zone, the official news agency reported Friday. According to the KCNA, the law on the economic zone on Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa islets in the Amnok River, known as the Yalu River in China, was adopted pursuant to a decree issued by the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly days ago. Meanwhile, the law on the Rason economic and trade zone was amended, the agency said. The DPRK designated Rason, an area bordering both China and Russia, as a special economic zone in 1991 and has tried to develop it into a regional transportation hub. ^ top ^

China hopes U.S.-DPRK contact helps relaunch six-party talks (Xinhua)
2011-12-15
China expressed hopes that contact between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) can create favorable conditions for the restart of the six-party talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China supports the two sides engaging in further dialogue at the daily press briefing Wednesday. U.S. special representative on Korean policy Glyn Davies is currently in Beijing and scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, and Special Representative for Korean Peninsula affairs Wu Dawei during his three-day stay. Li Gun, chief of the American Affairs Bureau of the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also in Beijing. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier vows stronger ties with DPRK (Xinhua)
2011-12-16
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang vowed on Thursday to further exchanges and cooperation with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Zhang made the remarks while meeting with his DPRK counterpart, Han Kwang Bok, who is on a working visit to China. [...] The Chinese vice premier also briefed Han on China's annual Central Economic Work Conference, which concluded on Wednesday, and the sixth plenary session of the 17th CPC Central Committee held in October. [...] Han, the DPRK's deputy premier, spoke highly of DPRK-China ties, adding her country would join hands with China to further consolidate traditional friendship and expand substantial cooperation. She also expressed her hope that the Chinese people would achieve greater success in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. [...]. ^ top ^

US envoy denies nuclear link to Pyongyang food talks (Global Times)
2011-12-16
The US envoy for North Korean policy said yesterday Washington was making no linkage between talks on food aid with Pyongyang and trying to get the nation back to the table to discuss its nuclear program. Robert King, the State Department's special envoy for human rights in North Korea, was meeting with North Korean officials in Beijing to discuss Washington's conditions for resuming aid halted in 2009 amid disagreements over transparency and monitoring. The State Department said the North Korean delegation would include Ri Gun, Pyongyang's deputy negotiator for the stalled Six-Party Talks. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies said that "the short answer is there isn't any linkage between this issue of the provision of nutritional assistance to North Korea and this broader discussion that we hope to have with the North at the right time." US officials have also cautioned that no decision was imminent. North Korea suffered a crippling famine in the 1990s that killed an estimated 1 million people. It has continued to have chronic food shortages, which have been compounded since 2008-09, when the US and South Korea suspended their food assistance efforts. Davies said King's talks in Beijing would center on the "modalities" of providing food aid. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mnt 34 billion in anti-pollution money goes unspent (News.mn)
2011-12-13
The National Committee of Ulaanbaatar Air Pollution Reduction held its regular meeting on Monday and officials discussed implemented projects. At the meeting, committee chairman D.Battulga and Mayor G.Munkhbayar reported that MNT 34 billion that was to be spent on anti-pollution projects was unspent and will be returned to the budget. Fifteen projects for reducing air pollution are planned for next year, with MNT 105 billion allocated for implementation. The next meeting of the committee will be held on January 10, 2012, at which specialists will report on the air pollution situation. ^ top ^

93 schools, 74 kindergartens join strike (News.mn)
2011-12-14
The Temporary Committee of the Teachers' Strike held a press conference at the headquarters of the Confederation of Trade Unions on Tuesday. Officials said 11,570 teachers from 93 secondary schools and 74 kindergartens have joined the strike that began December 12. They also said 36 unions from local settlements' schools, kindergartens, and training centers have submitted their signatures to support the strike. Teachers from schools in the Baganuur and Nalaikh districts are also striking. Also, teachers from Bugant, Khutul, and Saikhan soums of Selenge aimag have held demonstrations in support of the strike. In September, the government agreed to increase teachers' salaries by MNT 80,000 beginning March 1, 2012, and by 23 percent beginning May 1, 2012. But the teachers say they want raises beginning January 1. ^ top ^

About number of employed (Montsame)
2011-12-14
In frames of the Year of Supporting Employment announced by the cabinet, some 70 thousand people got jobs by December 9. Against the previous week, this is the increase by about two thousand. Women made up one third of these newly employed. In terms of regions, 9,081 people have been employed in western aimags, 11,599--in Khangai region, 11,477--in central region and 5,089--in eastern one. In the UB city, 32,630 people got job places--over five thousand in each of Songinokhairkhan, Chingeltei, Khan-Uul, Bayanzurkh and Bayangol districts. Khovd aimag has given jobs to the biggest number of people (2,121 people) in the western region, whereas Arkhangai aimag (2,293 people) has become the leader in Khangai region, Tov aimag (2,349 people)--in the central region, and Dornod aimag (2,265 people)--in the eastern. Accordign to a survey, a majority of the employed--12,673 people--have been working in the construction sector, 12,457--in agriculture, forestry, fishery and hunting, 8,614--in wholesale and retail trade, repairing of vehicles and motorcycles, and 7,175-8,400--in the mining and manufacturing industrial spheres. ^ top ^

Officials discuss meat exports (News.mn)
2011-12-14
A meeting about increasing Mongolia's meat exports was held at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Researchers and meat processors took part and discussed the problems facing Mongolia's meat exporters. Several reports were read at the meeting, including “Meat Quality of Mongolia's Livestock,” “Biochemical Content of Meat and Its Effects,” and “Meat Production, Meat Export, and Meat Products Safety.” Participants also discussed meat market research and recommended cooperation between meat researchers and meat processors. They also discussed the organic meat market. ^ top ^

Mongolia, Switzerland and good governance (Montsame)
2011-12-14
A cooperation memorandum has been established in frames of a cooperation in realizing a program on supporting governance and slackening a centralization. It was signed on Wednesday by D.Battulga, a head of the Presidential Office; D.Nyamjav, a deputy head of the Cabinet Secretariat of Government; D.Battor, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance; and by Felix Fellmann, a country director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). To be implemented with a support from the Presidential Office of Mongolia, the Cabinet Secretariat and the SDC, the program will help self-governance local administrations to have democratic authorities and to reflect views and proposals of localilties' people in decision-making. It is expected also that a new mechanism of direct democracy will be created to transfer the authority to localities by slackening a centralization and by letting the locals control the budget. The memorandum reflects goals such as to build up a responsibility system for state and local administrative bodies, to let the local people put control over implementation of decisions, and to support the governance reform by giving people good public services. ^ 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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