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
  6-13.4.12, No. 418  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Bilateral Issues

Switzerland is favored European country for Chinese tourists (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
Switzerland tops the list as the most desirable European destination among Chinese travelers, according to the latest survey by Ctrip.com, China's largest online travel service provider. The online survey, covering purpose, demand and difficulties during travel, showed that 80 percent of respondents aged between 20 and 45 wanted to travel to Switzerland, followed by France, Greece, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Seventy percent of respondents said they wanted to take trains to visit Europe, while 16 percent preferred airplanes, 7 percent buses and 5 percent rental cars. Self-service travel came in as the most popular form of travel. However, the main barriers keeping visitors at home included difficulties obtaining visas, high costs and a lack of local knowledge. In recent years, European nations have focused promotions on attracting Chinese tourists opting for individual trips instead of group travel packages. The cost of individual trip packages includes air and train tickets and hotels, and the trips can range from three to 21 days. ^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

China calls for lifting of sanctions against Myanmar (Xinhua)
2012-04-06
China on Thursday called on all relevant parties to comprehensively lift sanctions against Myanmar as soon as possible. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on the successful holding of parliamentary by-elections in Myanmar on April 1. [...] China hopes that the by-elections will advance the process of domestic political reconciliation as well as national stability and development in Myanmar, he noted. "China's position on relevant issues is consistent," said Hong when responding to whether the international community should ease sanctions against Myanmar. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Austria pledge law enforcement cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-04-07
Senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang met Friday with visiting Austrian Federal Minister of Justice Beatrix Karl and pledged to enhance cooperation between the two nations on law enforcement. Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said China is facing a lot of problems while achieving conspicuous development through reform and opening up. The Chinese government has unswervingly adhered to the principle of ruling the country by law, Zhou said, adding that the latest revision of the Criminal Procedure Law epitomizes China's feat of democracy and construction of its legal system. China is willing to exchange experiences on law enforcement, deepen pragmatic cooperation and work with Austria to combat transnational crimes, according to the Chinese official. Karl said she had taken note of China's revision of the Criminal Procedure Law, featuring obvious innovation and progress. The Austrian minister noted the revision of the law also brought new challenges for her Chinese colleagues, including how to secure balance between protecting the rights of victims and those of suspects. Austria is willing to boost cooperation with the Chinese side, she said. [...]. ^ top ^

China extends economic assistance to Zimbabwe (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-08
The Chinese government on Thursday signed with the Zimbabwean government several economic and technological cooperation agreements worth 1.141 billion RMB yuan (180 million U.S. dollars). The agreements were signed during a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu. The agreements signed are an 80 million RMB yuan (12.7 million U.S. dollars) grant on economic and technical cooperation, a 31.5 million RMB yuan (5 million U.S. dollars) agreement for provision of an outside broadcasting van for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, 4.5 million RMB yuan (about 715,000 U.S. dollars) for neonatal equipment and a loan agreement for upgrading of Victoria Falls Airport worth 1.025 billion RMB yuan (164 million U.S. dollars). [...] Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru said Harare valued the support it received from China. China had defended Zimbabwe on the international fora when other world powers wanted the country slapped with United Nations sanctions, she said. [...] She said Zimbabwe adheres to the one-China policy and expected the people of China to work together for economic prosperity, hailing China's stance on conflict resolution in Africa. She said China had maintained a strong policy that conflict in any African country should be solved without external interference. Chinese Vice Premier Hui said Zimbabwe-China friendship enjoyed a solid foundation laid during Zimbabwe's struggle for political independence. [...] Hui commended the social stability and economic growth in Zimbabwe over the last three years following the formation of an inclusive government by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions [...].The Chinese vice premier has also met with Zimbabwe's Acting President John Nkomo and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. ^ top ^

Chinese, Japanese, ROK FMs meet on trilateral cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-04-09
Foreign ministers of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) met Sunday for talks on trilateral cooperation in China's east coast city of Ningbo. The Sixth Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting among the three nations, chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, was also attended by Yang's Japanese counterpart Gemba Koichiro and ROK counterpart Kim Sung-Hwan. The ministers "held an in-depth exchange of views on the progress and future direction of the trilateral cooperation, preparations for the Fifth Trilateral Summit Meeting, and regional and international issues of common interest," according to a press release issued after the meeting. The trilateral summit is expected to be held in Beijing later this year. "We shared the view that, as important countries in Asia and beyond, China, the ROK and Japan need to strengthen cooperation as this helps to advance the social and economic development in our countries and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world at large," China's Yang told reporters after Sunday's meeting. Yang said the ministers decided to take more concrete and effective measures to further increase political mutual trust, intensify practical cooperation and expand social and cultural exchanges to upgrade the three nations' "future-oriented comprehensive cooperative partnership." During the meeting, the ministers also agreed to jointly support the development of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to the release. [...] "We reaffirmed our commitment to the early signing of a trilateral investment agreement," said the Chinese foreign minister. The three nations sealed a long-discussed trilateral investment agreement last month intended to pave the way for closer business ties between them. [...] The three ministers agreed to launch FTA negotiations at an early date and building a China-Japan-ROK circular economy model base at a faster pace, according to the release. During the meeting, the foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula situation, including the announcement by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to launch a satellite. China expressed its concern about the development of the situation and called on all parties concerned to take a broad and long-term perspective, remain calm and exercise restraint, and seek proper solutions to the relevant issues through diplomatic channels and by peaceful means. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese FM thanks Iran for rescue operation (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-09
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has expressed gratitude to Iran for its successful rescue of a hijacked China-linked freighter and the 28 Chinese crew members on board. In a letter delivered Saturday to his Iranian counterpart Ali-Akbar Salehi, Yang said that China is ready to work with Iran to further promote the development of their friendly and cooperative relationship. Panama-registered cargo ship Xianghuamen was hijacked on Friday morning by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Oman near Iran's southern port of Chabahar. At an urgent request of the Chinese embassy, Iran swiftly dispatched warships to the waters and carried out a successful rescue mission. ^ top ^

Trade, power top talks with Wen (Global Times)
2012-04-10
Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday in Beijing, agreeing to facilitate trade and nuclear power cooperation. "Against the backdrop of continuous instability in West Asia and North Africa as well as the sluggish growth of the global economy, the two nations should step up strategic coordination to maintain regional peace and stability, deepen cooperation and realize common development," Wen told Erdogan, who is on the first official trip to China by a Turkish prime minister in 27 years, Xinhua reported. To facilitate bilateral cooperation, Wen proposed to make medium and long-term plans for two-way trade, push forward bilateral infrastructure projects regarding railway and bridge, and expand cooperation in high-tech areas such as nuclear power, aerospace and electronics. Beijing marks Erdogan's second stop of his four-day trip to China, following a visit to Urumqi, capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Sunday. Chinese President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo and Vice President Xi Jinping will also meet with Erdogan. [...] Erdogan said Turkey firmly adheres to the one-China policy, and will never allow any anti-China secessionist activity by anyone in his country. "The main purpose for Erdogan's visit in Xinjiang is to tighten the business relationship between China and Turkey," Hou Hanmin, publicity director of the Xinjiang government, told the Global Times. According to Hou, Erdogan's visit in Xinjiang will not only promote cooperation between companies in China and Turkey but also enhance cultural and educational communications between both countries. "The connection of railways between Xinjiang and Turkey might be realized as well," said Hou, who added that Turkey is planning to establish an industrial park in Xinjiang. In 2009, relations between China and Turkey were at a crossroads, as the latter criticized China for what it deemed a heavy-handed response in dealing with Uyghur separatists after the July 5 riots. [...] In another development, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China has asked Japan not to host an annual meeting orgnized by the World Uyghur Congress, AFP reported. "We have launched a representation for the Japanese side to take measures to prevent such an organization from using Japanese territory to engage in activities aimed at splitting China," Liu said Monday. ^ top ^

Tourism, sovereignty claims main reasons for Xisha development (Global Times)
2012-04-10
Yexiang Princess, the first cruise ship with official approval to sail between Hainan Province's Sanya and the Xisha Islands, finished its journey and successfully returned to Sanya yesterday morning. Its successful maiden voyage led to wider calls to open the Xisha Islands to broader public tourism. Sovereignty claims from neighboring countries, such as Vietnam, on some islands in the South China Sea, have raised more curiosity toward the little-known islands. [...] The Yexiang Princess, belonging to Hainan Strait Shipping, set off from the tourist city Sanya toward the Xisha North Reef on Friday evening. A Weibo user on board, who calls herself Nancy, charted her journey through photos and tales online. According to her posts, the ship arrived at North Reef on Saturday morning after sailing for 12 hours. [...] Later, the ship headed for Yagong Island where mobile phone signals were available, allowing Nancy to post. [...] Though media reports have conflicted with each other on the opening of the Xisha Islands to the public, the Yexiang Princess was designated as the sole ship allowed to sail the new route. In November, Hainan Strait Shipping secured approval from the Hainan Provincial Department of Communications to open a new ecological tourism route from Sanya to Xisha North Reef and nearby islets, with a one-year preparation period. [...] Though some believe that such development would damage the local environment, more people support this opening-up, both for tourism and sovereignty reasons. Given that Vietnam and the Philippines have long been conducting tourism development on parts of the Nansha Islands and oil exploitation in surrounding waters, China's moves are far less radical, online comments have said. [...]. ^ top ^

Second icebreaker planned for polar research (China Daily)
2012-04-10
A new icebreaker is scheduled to join Xuelong, the country's only Antarctic research vessel, in 2014, highlighting China's ambition for further exploration and scientific study in polar regions. At a news conference in Shanghai on Sunday to mark the return of Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, from its 28th Antarctic expedition, officials said the new vessel is being designed and will undergo tests starting in two years. One Arctic expedition and two Antarctic expeditions are planned by 2015. [...] It will be designed to break through sea ice more than 1.5 meters thick, topped with 0.2 meters of snow. According to Zhao Ping, an official with the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, China will partner with the world's leading icebreaker manufacturers in producing the vessel. [...] According to an earlier report, the new vessel will have a cruising radius of 20,000 nautical miles (37,000 kilometers) and cost about 1.25 billion yuan ($198 million). China has been active in polar exploration and scientific research since 1984 and has built four polar research stations: Arctic Yellow River Station in Svalbard, Norway; Great Wall Station in the Shetland Islands, west Antarctica; Zhongshan Station in the Larsemann Hills, east Antarctica; and Kunlun Station, located on Dome A, the highest place in Antarctica. In its latest expedition starting in October, Xuelong delivered supplies to the country's Antarctic stations and conducted various scientific research tasks, including a polar environmental survey and the installation of a survey telescope. Other major achievements during the 163-day expedition were the installation of a 100-meter deflection tube for deep core drilling at Zhongshan Station and the drilling of a 120-meter ice core, catapulting China to a leading role in glaciology studies. Officials said China plans to add two more survey telescopes on Antarctica in future. ^ top ^

China to boost overseas Chinese-language education (China Daily)
2012-04-10
The Chinese government will expand overseas Chinese-language education to better cater for rising interest in China and its language worldwide, according to a speech by an official on Monday. The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council (OCAO) will cooperate with foreign education authorities to position Chinese-language education as a mainstream education choice abroad, said Li Haifeng, the OCAO director, at a meeting attended by overseas Chinese social organizations from across the world. The OCAO will train more teachers for overseas Chinese-language education, striving to integrate it with local cultures and develop more online and multi-media teaching materials to meet the diversified demands of overseas youngsters, said Li. Chinese-language education is an important way to inherit Chinese culture, the official said. The OCAO has trained nearly 17,000 teachers for overseas education since 2010, and has helped more than 270 overseas schools or education organizations improve teaching facilities. In the next five years, the OCAO will invite 100,000 overseas Chinese youths back to China to participate in summer or winter camps and "seek their roots," said Li. Such camps have attracted more than 40,000 overseas Chinese youths since 2010, he added. ^ top ^

PLA Daily commentary stresses political discipline (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-11
A commentary published Tuesday by the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has stressed strict political discipline and the Party's absolute leadership over the army. It is essential to ensure the Communist Party of China's (CPC) absolute leadership over the army is the core of the army's political discipline, and also the supreme political discipline of the army, the commentary in the PLA Daily said. Political discipline, which safeguards the political orientation and principle of the Party, is the most important and essential part of all the Party disciplines, the commentary said. Party organizations at all levels and Party members should listen to the Party command, it urged. They should, earnestly and without delay, convey and study the Party's theories and policies, as well as the instructions of the CPC Central Committee, the Central Military Commission and Chairman Hu Jintao, and carry out them to the letter. Strictly observing Party discipline is essential to maintaining the advanced and pure quality of the Party and to enhance the cohesion and combat effectiveness of the PLA. The commentary also emphasized organizational discipline and adherence to anti-corruption rules. Every Party member and cadre should firmly obey decisions, orders and instructions and unconditionally put themselves under the leadership of the organizations in question. ^ top ^

China provides 2-mln-USD humanitarian aid to Syria (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
China has provided 2 million U.S. dollars in urgent aid to Syria through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday to help improve the humanitarian situation in the unrest-torn country, a Chinese official said. Liu Zhenmin, permanent representative of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, said China has been paying great attention to the humanitarian situation in Syria, and asked the ICRC to purchase basic goods and materials with the fund and distribute to the Syrian people. ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger thanked China for the donation, and said the money would be mainly used to purchase food and medical care. He said intense fighting still posed the biggest obstacle for the ICRC work in Syria. ^ top ^

Chinese FM holds phone talks with Annan over Syria (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan exchanged views on the situation in Syria in a phone conversation Thursday. Yang, who is attending the 11th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China, Russia and India in Moscow, said China welcomes the announcement of a comprehensive ceasefire made by the Syrian government, which will be conducive to easing the current tension. China also applauds Annan's constant efforts to work with the Syrian government and the opposition, he said. Yang said it is important to urge the Syrian government and the opposition to fulfill their commitments, take visible and practical actions to cooperate with Annan in his mediation efforts to de-escalate the intense situation and start a political settlement process. [...] Yang said China has been engaging with parties in Syria, particularly the government to find a solution to the crisis. He urged Damascus to fulfill its commitments to ceasefire and withdrawal of troops, continue to support Annan in his mediation, demonstrate its flexibility in accepting ceasefire supervision mechanism and opening political dialogue, and implement the six- point proposal. Yang stressed that China will continue to give full support to Annan's efforts and maintain a close coordination with all other parties in searching for a fair, peaceful and proper solution of the Syrian issue as soon as possible. Annan briefed Yang on the latest development in Syria. The commitments to ceasefire made by the parties in Syria were encouraging, he said, adding that the priority now is to consolidate the ceasefire, stabilize the situation as soon as possible and open the process of political dialogue. The special envoy thanked Yang for China's support to his mediation mission and said China's constructive efforts on the Syrian issue have led to positive results. He expressed the wish to maintain a close contact with China and work together for the solution of the Syrian issue as soon as possible. ^ top ^

Philippine ship leaves Huangyan (Global Times)
2012-04-13
A Philippine warship that was in a standoff with Chinese surveillance boats near Huangyan Island in the South China Sea after trying to stop Chinese fishing boat crews has left the area. Thursday afternoon, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China urged the Philippines to withdraw its vessels from the waters near Huangyan Island immediately. Liu said ships dispatched by the Chinese government were not navy vessels and that they were law enforcement ships sent to safeguard the safety of Chinese vessels and crew, as well as allow them to continue their legitimate fishing activities. News later reported that Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario said Thursday afternoon that his country withdrew the warship for an "operational reason" after Chinese surveillance boats and a coast guard boat arrived at the area, according to the People's Daily. He said that he expected to see a breakthrough about the issue before flying to the US on the weekend. [...] However, Philippine navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the warship's departure was not a retreat or concession of any kind to China, according to AP. Twelve Chinese fishing boats were in the lagoon of Huangyan Island to shelter from harsh weather conditions on Tuesday when a Philippine warship blocked the entrance to the lagoon. Twelve Philippine soldiers, six of whom were armed, entered the lagoon and harassed the Chinese fishermen, according to a statement by the Chinese embassy in Manila. China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said it ordered Haijian-84 and Haijian-75, which were in the area carrying out regular patrols, on Tuesday to protect the Chinese fishermen. The two ships arrived and managed to sail between the warship and the fishing boats to prevent the arrest of any fishermen. A standoff then took place until the Philippine vessel left the area. ^ top ^

China urges Sudan, S. Sudan to swiftly end conflicts (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
China on Thursday urged Sudan and South Sudan to exercise restraint, immediately end military actions and resume negotiations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin made the remarks at a regular press briefing in Beijing when asked to comment on the recent conflicts between the two nations. Concern has been growing over reports of clashes along the two countries' shared border, with the UN Security Council recently warning that the fighting could reignite conflicts between the two nations. [...] "China is very concerned about the armed conflicts between Sudan and South Sudan along their shared border," said Liu. As neighboring countries, Sudan and South Sudan should live in peace with each other, he said, noting that current tensions will deal a severe blow to the social stability and economic development of both nations as well as regional peace and security. He called on the two sides to exercise maximum calmness and restraint, swiftly end military actions and resolve their disputes through negotiations. China will make joint efforts with the international community to ease the situation, said Liu. He also expressed hope that Sudan and South Sudan could honor their commitments of protecting the property and personnel safety of Chinese enterprises in the two countries. [...]. ^ top ^

SCO security councils' 7th secretaries meeting held in Beijing (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
The seventh secretaries meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) security council was held here on Thursday, and participants exchanged views on further security cooperation during the next decade of the SCO's development. Representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China attended the meeting and all parties signed meeting memos based on the outcome of the meeting. [...] All parties noted that the SCO is facing more difficult tasks in safeguarding regional peace and promoting common development as hot international and regional issues exist and new conflicts and challenges emerge. They agreed to improve the SCO's capacity to react to threats and challenges under the principle of not interfering with each other's internal affairs and respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of member states. [...] They all agreed that regional peace and stability largely lies in the resolution of Afghanistan's problems. The independence, integrity of sovereignty and territory of Afghanistan should be respected and its people's efforts for peaceful construction deserve support. All parties emphasized the grave threat of drug smuggling in the region and agreed to enhance drug control cooperation and assistance as well as pragmatic cooperation in specific departments so as to better defeat the drug threat. All parties noted disruptive activities launched by terrorist, separatist and extremist forces via the Internet and the activities' threats to the security and stability of member states, agreeing to further promote cooperation in safeguarding international information security. [...] Chinese State Councilor Meng Jianzhu presided over the meeting as China is the rotating chair of the SCO. [...]. ^ top ^

China to provide 19.3 million USD of aid to Egypt (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
China will provide an aid worth 19. 3 million U.S. dollars to Egypt in a support of the latter's economic projects, according to two agreements signed here on Thursday. Under the economic and technological cooperation deal, China will offer 90 million yuan (about 14.3 million U.S. dollars) of financial aid to fund a number of Egyptian projects, said Chinese ambassador Song Aiguo. Under another agreement, China will build a park in southern Egypt's Luxor city, an investment of some 32 million yuan (about 5 million U.S. dollars). Song said the agreements manifested the friendship between the two countries and that China will continue to work with Egypt to promote bilateral cooperation on a win-win basis. Egypt's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Mohamed Naga expressed his appreciation for China's numerous aid to Egypt in different sectors for the past few decades. The trade between China and Egypt is increasing rapidly in recent years. In 2011, the bilateral trade hit 8.7 billion U.S. dollars, 26 percent up year-on-year. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Principle drafted on user info protection (Global Times)
2012-04-06
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) along with 30 other departments jointly drafted a guideline for enterprises to protect Web users' personal information. The guideline is expected to come into being in the first half of this year, the ministry told Xinhua Thursday. "There is an urgent need for a guideline to protect users' information as many hackers have illegally profited from accessing people's personal information," Zhu Xuan, assistant director of the China Software Testing Center (CSTC) under MIIT, told the Global Times Thursday. "The principle will offer a reference to enterprises so that they can voluntarily set up systems to protect users' information." Zhu added that there are currently few laws and regulations protecting personal information, and the establishment of this guideline will also help to expose enterprises that do not protect their users' information properly. The study of personal information protection began in 2009 after more and more personal information was leaked in China, said Zhu. According to Huang Zihe, deputy director of CSTC, the move will require websites to record as little information as possible from users, the Beijing News reported. Personal information will be categorized as "normal" or "sensitive," with the latter, such as a person's medical record, not being allowed to be passed to others without the person's authorization. [...] However, according to Zhu, it is only a recommended guideline for enterprises rather than being mandatory. It will mostly be put into use in fields like financial agencies, telecommunication facilities, travel agencies, recruiting websites and online personals sites. "We should first do marketing research to gauge public reaction to this," Zhu said. "And we are trying our best to pass a law concerning personal information protection." [...]. ^ top ^

Skipping hearings forbidden (Global Times)
2012-04-06
China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has issued a new rule requiring that all summary criminal procedures have procurators present. Chinese procurators are required to adapt under a two-phase plan, according to a statement issued Thursday by the SPP. Current Criminal Procedure Law says procuratorates may choose not to send procurators to attend simplified court hearing procedures, but a newly adopted amendment makes it a compulsory duty for procurators to be present in all hearings. Chinese legislators believe that such a move will help ensure justice in performing prosecutions and enhance the procuratorates' supervision on court proceedings. As the revised law is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013, the SPP made a two-phase plan for the adaptation to meet the deadline. Procurators' presence rate for summary has to reach 50 percent by October 1 and 100 percent by the end of the year, said the statement. ^ top ^

Leaders hail nationwide manhunt achievements (China Daily)
2012-04-07
Chinese President Hu Jintao has praised a high-profile nationwide hunt for fugitives between May and December last year, labeling it a significant move in bolstering social stability and guarding the rights and interests of the public. Hu made the remarks in a recent written instruction, which also echoed views from Premier Wen Jiabao and another senior leader He Guoqiang, according to an official statement released Friday on the campaign, which ran for more than 200 days and brought closure to more than 45,000 lingering cases. Zhou Yongkang, secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Friday also urged police organs to use their experience from the manhunt to better serve social stability and economic development. [...] China will continue its fight against crimes that damage public security, namely offenses involving mafia mobs, serious violence, property infringement, phone fraud and unsafe food production and distribution, according to Zhou. He said police should make greater efforts to vanquish loopholes in their work to maintain social order and further the drive toward a harmonious police-citizen relationship. The core values of "loyalty, for the people, fairness and honesty" should be widely promoted across police ranks, Zhou said, urging police officers to improve political awareness and discerning ability, and maintain a high level of political unity with the Party Central Committee with Hu as the general secretary. ^ top ^

Top court targets forced demolitions (Global Times)
2012-04-10
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) released a regulation Monday aimed at protecting property owners' rights during the expropriation of houses on State-owned land. Analysts regarded the move as a step forward in dealing with illegal forced demolitions, but warned that loopholes remained, still leaving room for abuses of power by local governments. The regulation addresses questions concerning applications made by local governments to local courts for the forced expropriation of houses on State-owned lands. It stipulates that the organization ordering the forced expropriation should be independent from the one enforcing it, so as to prevent abuses of power. Local courts should not rule in favor of a forced expropriation if the applications violate seven requirements, including lacking supporting facts for a forced demolition, lacking fair compensation measures, damaging the legal rights of house owners, seriously harming public benefits and violating legal procedures, according to the regulation. It also requires local governments to submit opinions from people who were directly affected by the expropriation, as well as an assessment on the demolition's impact on social stability. "This is the first time that the SPC has clearly stipulated the separation of the power of ruling and enforcement concerning house expropriations on State-owned lands," Jiang Ming'an, a law professor with Peking University, told the Global Times. [...] However, analysts warned that the relationship between local governments and courts may pose challenges to implementing the new rule. "The president of a local court is appointed by the local People's Congress, and the local court is financially supported by the local government. In some cases, we have seen local courts that did not take any action against forced demolitions by local governments," Jiang said. [...] Forced demolitions have happened frequently in many parts of China in recent years. Some even led to the deaths of house owners or social unrests. [...] On Friday, hundreds of people in uniform took home owners and their relatives away in order to demolish two houses in Qilizhuang village in Beijing's Fengtai district. Local residents complained that they did not agree with the offered compensation plan, the Beijing Times reported. [...]. ^ top ^

Food fears spike as new scandal dogs companies (Global Times)
2012-04-10
Authorities' credibility was again challenged after two detection results on spirulina products from the State drug regulator were reported to be contrary due to public relations tactics from companies involved. The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) released the detection result of a batch of healthcare products on February 29 and March 5, showing the name list of 13 enterprises that were found to produce spirulina products with excessive content of lead and arsenic. However, on March 30, the SFDA released another detection result, on which 12 spirulina product enterprises on the previous list disappeared, the Economic Information Daily reported. According to the report, some people from the problematic enterprises said their U-turn from "unqualified" to "qualified" enterprises is attributed to their public relations tactics toward the authority. It was reported that the SFDA applied the standard of "2.0 mg/kg lead in the spirulina products" in the latest result release while applying the "0.5 mg/kg" standard in the result release earlier. The SFDA could not be reached yesterday. The report said procuratorate organs in Beijing have started investigating SFDA officials. [...]. ^ top ^

Fake monks slammed for disrespecting Buddhism (Global Times)
2012-04-10
The spokesman of the Buddhist Association of China, Master Puzheng, Monday denounced the fake-monk scandal at a press conference in Beijing that introduced the first spokespersons among religious associations in China. [...] Puzheng criticized the behavior of the two men as blasphemous and as having hurt the feeling of the mass of Buddhism followers. It is also against Chinese laws concerning religion, he said. The images of the two men posing as monks while drinking alcohol on the subway and checking into hotels with women were posted on Sina Weibo recently, arousing public reprehension and criticism from the field of Buddhism. The pair were detained by police on Saturday afternoon at Fayuan Temple in Beijing's Xicheng district. The spokespersons of national religious groups attending the press conference were from the Buddhist Association of China, the Chinese Taoist Association, the Chinese Islamic Association, the Bishops' Conference of Catholic Church in China and Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the China Christian Council, the China Young Men's Christian Association and the China Young Women's Christian Association. The spokespersons reported their work plans for this year, and answered questions from the media. In recent years, China's religion groups have become increasingly keen on connecting with the media and have taken steps to do so, such as establishing a press release system in December. [...]. ^ top ^

Natural disasters leave 66 dead, missing in Q1 (People's Daily Online)
2012-04-10
Natural disasters left 66 people dead or missing, and affected some 21.78 million people in the first quarter in the Chinese mainland, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and National Disaster Reduction Committee (NDRC) said Monday. Natural disasters resulted in direct economic losses of 9.63 billion yuan (1.53 billion U.S. dollars) from January to March, according to a joint statement issued by the MCA and the NDRC. Bad weather detrimentally affected more than 2.4 million hectares of crops and caused the collapse or damage of 200,000 homes, the statement said. Drought, extremely low temperatures, snow, quake and landslides were the main natural phenomena during the period, but the overall damage inflicted by the disasters was not as serious as in previous years, the statement said. ^ top ^

Bo gets suspended from key Party post (China Daily)
2012-04-11
As Comrade Bo Xilai is suspected of being involved in serious discipline violations, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has decided to suspend his membership of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and the CPC Central Committee, in line with the CPC Constitution and the rules on investigation of CPC discipline inspection departments. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC will file the case for investigation. Police set up a team to reinvestigate the case concerning British citizen Neil Heywood who was found dead in Chongqing on Nov 15. Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun made allegations concerning the case, Xinhua News Agency learned from authorities. Wang entered, without authorization, the US general consulate in Chengdu on Feb 6 and stayed there for one day. Police gave the case priority and set up a team to reinvestigate the case to uncover the facts. According to the reinvestigation, Bogu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, and their son were on good terms with Heywood. However, they had a financial dispute. According to the reinvestigation, evidence indicated that Heywood died by homicide, and Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at Bo's home, are highly suspected. Bogu Kailai and Zhang have been transferred to judicial authorities as suspects in the crime of intentional homicide. According to senior officials from related authorities, China is a socialist country ruled by law, and the sanctity and authority of law shall not be trampled on. Whoever has broken the law will face justice, no matter who is involved. A commentary piece by the official People's Daily on Wednesday says Wang Lijun's unauthorized entry into the US general consulate in Chengdu is a serious political incident that has caused repercussions both in China and the world. The commentary, which was released early Wednesday morning by Xinhua, said the death of Heywood is a "severe criminal case that involves families and close staff of a leader of the Party and the State". What Bo has done has seriously violated Party discipline, brought loss to the Party and the country, and tarnished the image of the Party and the country, it said. The resolute decision of the CPC Central Committee to thoroughly investigate and deal with the case, as well as the timely release of relevant information, is a firm endorsement of the socialist rule of law, the commentary added. Facts show that the Party represents the interests of the people and is supervised by the people, it said. The Party has zero tolerance of corruption and will investigate all violations of law and discipline, the commentary said. No citizen stands above the law. Under no circumstances do Party members stand above the law. No one can interfere with the enforcement of justice. People who break the law will not escape the consequences of their actions and will face punishment, according to the commentary. With facts as the basis and the law as the yardstick, the Wang Lijun incident, the death of British citizen Heywood and serious discipline violations by Bo Xilai will be investigated thoroughly. Only by doing this can the public witness the determination of the Party to safeguard Party discipline and the rule of the law, it said. The commentary said the country should focus on development and strive to maintain the current progress of reform, development and stability to greet the 18th National Congress of the CPC later this year. ^ top ^

Dissident Ni Yulan jailed 32 months over protest (SCMP)
2012-04-11
Disabled land-rights activist Ni Yulan was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail by a Beijing court yesterday on charges including fraud and inciting a disturbance. Ni's husband, retired teacher Dong Jiqin, was also jailed for two years on the first charge. They were detained last April when authorities rounded up dozens of activists amid anonymous internet calls for rallies on the mainland inspired by the "jasmine revolutions" sweeping the Arab world. Ni, a lawyer and herself a victim of a Beijing land seizure, has been offering legal advice to victims of land evictions and in housing rights cases for years. This is the third time she has been convicted by a court and jailed. She was sentenced to a year's jail in 2002 and for two years in 2008. Amid a heavy police presence outside the Xicheng district court, the sentencing took just 10 minutes, said their daughter, Dong Xuan, 27, who was present when the verdict was handed down. "My parents looked very weak. [...]" Defence lawyer Cheng Hai plans to meet Ni, 52, this week to get her signature to file an appeal. Rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong said Ni was arrested last year because the authorities were concerned about her ability to draw the attention of domestic and foreign media. "More petitioners turned to her and gathered around her at times in Beijing, which is what the authorities most feared," he said. The couple were convicted of failing to pay a 69,972 yuan (HK$86,000) bill at a hotel where police forced them to stay for 10 months from June 2010. Their stay at the hotel started after Ni had attracted media attention by offering legal advice to people. She was then living in a tent at the Huangchenggen Relics Park in Beijing after her release from jail in April that year. The couple were convicted of fraud for accepting a 5,000 yuan donation from a woman who later disappeared. "She is innocent and the accusations are unfair," Cheng said. Ni has been confined to a wheelchair since 2002, when her kneecaps and feet were broken while in detention, according to Amnesty International. Her house was demolished in 2002. ^ top ^

China vows to maintain low birth rate (Global Times)
2012-04-11
The State Council, or cabinet, on Tuesday issued a guideline vowing to maintain the country's low birth rate so to limit its population to within 1.39 billion by 2015. "From 2011 to 2015, the country's working-age population will peak, while the aging population will grow at an unprecedented rate. And the urban population will remain greater than that in rural areas," according to the guideline on the country's population development 2011-2015. The document sees these five years as "a major transitional period" for the population growth in China posing both opportunities and challenges. "Training coverage for employees should be expanded, and the quality of that workforce should be greatly improved," said the guideline, adding that more employment opportunities, higher incomes as well as optimized population distribution will be ensured. According to the document, the overall population growth rate will be kept below 0.72 percent per annum. Meanwhile, the average education period for citizens above the age of 15 will rise to 9.3 years, with 13.3 years for newly-added working people. The education durations for those above 15 and people new to the workforce were nine and 12.4 years respectively by the end of 2010. Also, the average life expectancy will reach 74.5, up one year from 2010, with strengthened measures to lower mortality rates of newborns as well as pregnant women. [...]. ^ top ^

People's Daily calls for stability after Bo's case exposed (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
A commentary to be published Thursday by the People's Daily calls for maintaining reform, development and stability after China's leadership announced a decision Tuesday to investigate Bo Xilai for serious violations of discipline. [...] The commentary says the central authority's decision and the reinvestigation have aroused "strong reactions" among Party members and the society, and government officials and the masses firmly support the decision. The central authority's decision is based on facts and respects the rule of law. It conforms to the Party's will and public opinion, and embodies the Party's political courage to seek truth from facts and strong will to maintain the Party's purity and socialist rule of law, the commentary says. It urges the Chinese to understand the significance of the central authority's decision, and consciously act in line with the CPC Central Committee -- with Comrade Hu Jintao as the general secretary. Currently, China is in a critical period of building a well-off society and deepening reform as well as speeding up transformation of the economic development pattern, the commentary says. To maintain reform, development and stability, the Chinese must unify their thinking and action in line with the central authority's decision. The Chinese should firmly support the CPC Central Committee's decision, and unite closer around the CPC Central Committee to push forward the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the commentary says. ^ top ^

Chongqing supports CPC decision to investigate Bo Xilai (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
Residents of Chongqing have expressed support for the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's decision to investigate the recently-fired Party chief of the southwestern municipality. On Tuesday, the CPC Central Committee announced a decision to investigate Bo Xilai for serious violations of discipline, and the police authorities announced the reinvestigation of Neil Heywood's death and transferred suspects to judicial organs. Zhang Dejiang, the current Party chief of Chongqing, stressed at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee Tuesday they will firmly support the decision of the CPC Central Committee. The municipal authorities will spare no effort to maintain social stability in Chongqing, according to Zhang. All members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee have reached the agreement that the CPC Central Committee's decision fully displays the respect for fact and rule of law. The cadres and masses in Chongqing said they have observed the CPC Central Committee's determination to safeguard Party discipline and the country's laws. "I will resolutely support the CPC Central Committee's decision," said Xia Yang, chief procurator with the People's Procuratorate of Yuzhong district in Chongqing. There is no privileged citizen before the law. No one can interfere with law enforcement and anyone who violates the law can not be at large. The leading cadres of the CPC should set an example to obey the law and accept supervision consciously, Xia said. Some cadres said the case serves as a warning for the CPC members and cadres to guard against corruption. [...] College teachers and students have spoken highly of the efficient and timely release of the CPC Central Committee's decision. Liu Weidong, a teacher at Chongqing Normal University, said the news being published in a transparent way reflects the CPC's highly responsible attitude toward the people. [...]. ^ top ^

CPC paper calls for confidence in anti-corruption efforts (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
An opinion piece in the People's Daily on Wednesday called for consolidated confidence in China's fight against corruption despite the fact that it is a "long-term, complex and arduous task." The flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC) published the opinion piece, warning against new methods of corruption, which make anti-graft work even more difficult. "Some corrupt individuals instruct their spouses, children, mistresses, friends or even relatives to receive bribes on their behalf, or receive remarkable personal bonuses through facilitating third-party business activities," said the article [...]. "Some deliberately commit corruption overseas, transfer embezzled money and assets abroad, or secretly obtain citizenship from foreign countries," the comment-piece alleged. The article said that highly desirable resources, such as land and minerals, have become increasingly popular, while infrastructure projects, state-owned enterprises and financial institutions have long been corruption-prone sectors. Corruption remain stubbornly high in the judiciary along with governmental departments, as they have the power of administrative examination and approval, it said. [...] However, the opinion piece claimed that the public should still have full confidence in the CPC-led anti-corruption work, because the Party has the resolution to succeed, and its strong leadership will prevail. The CPC, according to its nature and mission, does not tolerate corruption in any form, it said. It also called upon the people to personally support and actively take part in anti-corruption efforts by exposing more corrupt officials through Internet-based reporting mechanisms. ^ top ^

China mulls mortality database for health assessment (Global Times)
2012-04-12
China is preparing to set up a national mortality database to obtain cause-of-death information, marking a step toward establishing a monitoring network for health risk factors across the country, an official said Wednesday. Health departments in provinces are ordered to start collecting data and compiling lists on causes of deaths before the Ministry of Health can link up the provincial databases in 2013, said Meng Qun, an official with the statistics and information center of the ministry. Meng told a national health workshop in the eastern city of Fuzhou that mortality information is key data for the government to assess public health, draw up policies and arrange resources. The ministry is considering systems to effectively monitor risks to public health, Meng said, adding that every resident in economically-developed regions and some underdeveloped regions should be able to have a digital health dossier by 2015. ^ top ^

Residents say protests are ongoing (SCMP)
2012-04-13
Tensions in the former Wansheng district of Chongqing remained high yesterday as residents said a massive demonstration, reportedly against the merger of the affluent district with a poorer county, rolled into its third day - presenting a first public test for the municipality's new party boss, Zhang Dejiang, who took over following the recent downfall of Bo Xilai. Meanwhile, the Chongqing Daily, which once showed staunch loyalty to Bo, has become critical of the former high-flyer, printing a commentary accusing him of causing significant damage to the country and the municipality's development. In what appeared to be an attempt yesterday to acknowledge but downplay the demonstrations in Chongqing, the local government posted a statement on an official Chongqing news portal, Cqnews.net saying that 10,000 protestors had gathered during the height of the demonstration, but insisting nobody had been killed. Residents, however, said at least two people died as the protest turned into a riot on Tuesday. The official word out of Chongqing was that the crowd had dispersed and social order had been restored yesterday. But that statement was also at odds with accounts by residents who said the demonstration was continuing, though no violence was reported. In October, the State Council approved the merger of Wanshengwith Qijiang county to form a new district called Qijiang. [...] Qijiang county is considered a less affluent counterpart and Wansheng residents fear the merger will affect their welfare benefits, including pensions. Local residents said roads and shops were closed on Tuesday, and that tear gas was fired to disperse angry crowds, leaving at least 50 people injured. The Chongqing government's statement said rioters threw stones at officers and damaged police vehicles. [...] Although the protest was not specifically about Bo, the merger that sparked the riot was part of the so-called Chongqing development model championed by Bo, who advocated equal growth between urban and rural areas. [...]. ^ top ^

Authorities continue crackdown on rumors (China Daily)
2012-04-13
Authorities will continue to take a hard line on Internet-based rumors and punish those creating fake information, a senior official said on Thursday. Authorities have removed more than 210,000 online posts and shut down 42 websites since mid-March in their latest crackdown on online rumors, said Liu Zhengrong, a senior official with the State Internet Information Office. Fake information or rumors spread through the Internet, especially on micro blogs, have harmed social order and residents' daily lives, he said at a news briefing in Beijing. Before the crackdown, six people who allegedly fabricated rumors about "military vehicles entering Beijing" had been detained and 16 websites closed for disseminating fake online information, according to police authorities. "What we've done and will do is to make sure residents can know what they want to know, say what they think and supervise our management in a reliable and useful network environment," Liu said. Liu disagreed that the Internet can police itself against rumors, and told China Daily that some netizens can't distinguish truth from fiction, "requiring government departments and website companies to take measures". On Monday, the Internet Society of China posted a proposal calling on Internet companies and websites to strengthen self-discipline and prevent the spread of online rumors. In response, three main Internet companies in the country - Sina, Baidu and Tencent - said they will target fake information with advanced technology and invest in manpower to supervise online information. [...] Currently, people who make or spread rumors related to terrorism and securities trading, or information affecting State security and companies' commercial reputations, will face criminal punishment. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijingers to drink Yangtze River water by 2014 (Global Times)
2012-04-08
Beijing residents will have access to water from the Yangtze River within 30 months, as the first-stage construction of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project's central route is expected to be completed in October 2014, an official said Friday. Yangtze River water will reach the northern province of Shandong in December 2013 when the initial stage of the project's eastern route is finished, according to Zhang Ye, deputy head of the project office under the State Council. [...] The massive water transfer project is designed to take water from China's largest river, the Yangtze, to the country's arid northern regions. Water will flow northward via three routes -- an eastern route, a central route and a western route. The central channel is from Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river, a tributary of the Yangtze River, to Beijing. China has invested 141.7 billion yuan (22.49 billion US dollars) in the project since 2002. ^ top ^

Beijing to invest billions in improving microcirculation traffic (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
The Beijing municipal government will invest more than 2.84 billion yuan (about 450 million U.S. dollars) in easing traffic congestion this year by improving the city's microcirculation traffic, an official announced Thursday. A total of 14 kilometers of roads involved in 24 projects will be improved in six districts of Beijing, said an official with the municipal development and reform commission. The projects mainly involve schools, old residential communities and parks, the official said. The construction includes opening up dead-end roads to through traffic and widening narrow roads, the official said. The city invested 1.6 billion yuan in 2011 to complete 12 microcirculation projects. ^ top ^

First oath-taking ceremony held for Beijing lawyers (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
About 200 newly licensed lawyers in Beijing took professional oaths in a ceremony on Thursday, the first of its kind since such processes became compulsory in early March this year. The lawyers swore their loyalty to the country and the public, their professionalism, as well as their support to socialism and the Communist Party of China's leadership. They also vowed to uphold the Constitution and laws. China's Ministry of Justice in March ordered newly qualified lawyers make these commitments. According to the ministry, a person who obtains or regains a lawyer's practice certificate should take the oath within three months of its receipt. The ministry has nominated institutions to organize the ceremonies as well as the time and ways in which a lawyer must take the vows. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Guangdong investigates suspected police criminality (China Daily)
2012-04-10
A number of police officers, including police station heads, have been detained for further investigation after having been suspected of shielding criminal gangs in a southern Chinese province. Guangdong provincial authorities said that police detained an official surnamed Liu, deputy head of Futian township government in Huizhou, in a special action in March. [...] Liu's deputy, surnamed Wu, and a police officer surnamed He were suspected of providing protection for criminal gangs. They were investigated for giving secret messages to criminals ahead of police operations over a number of months. In [...] The director surnamed Li, of the food and drug supervision authority in Zhongtang township, in Dongguan, was detained after he was investigated for providing protection to local counterfeiters on March 7. Li was investigated for taking bribes from a local, unlicensed, cured meat processing center that provided poisonous cured meat in the township last year. A director of land and resources in the Yuancheng district of Heyuan was detained in March for further investigation. The director, surnamed Zeng, was investigated for taking bribes valued at 50,000 yuan ($7,900) to provide protection for local unauthorized buildings. According to sources with the provincial office of anti-commercial bribes, Guangdong detained 17 Party and government officials, who were investigated for providing protection to unlawful local elements. Earlier this year, Wang Yang, Party chief of Guangdong, urged relevant departments in the province to fight economic crimes, in order to ensure a better business environment, create a favorable market environment and maintain normal market order. He said that criminal activities damaged social stability, threatened people's lives and property and were loathed by the public. Experts said the crackdown was the right move to effectively target one of the main causes of market and social disorder. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet to build more roads to monasteries (China Daily)
2012-04-09
Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region will earmark 1.5 billion yuan ($238 million) on road construction for easier access to the region's monasteries, traffic authorities said Sunday. By 2015, asphalt roads will to be extended to more than 70 percent of the region's monasteries with the help of the funds, said a written statement issued by the region's traffic transportation department. Road access to every monastery of the region is expected to be available by 2020, the statement said. Tibet has more than 1,700 registered monasteries and venues for religious activities with about 46,000 monks and nuns, government statistics show. [...]. ^ top ^

Lhasa temples gain access to TV (Global Times)
2012-04-12
Radio and television services have been extended to all 231 monasteries in the Tibet Autonomous Region's capital Lhasa as of this week, the local government said Wednesday. A grand ceremony was held at Ganden Monastery in the suburbs of Lhasa Tuesday to mark full access to TV and radio programs, indicating that the project had been completed in the city. [...] Huang Haishan, an official with Tibet's radio, film and television bureau, told the Global Times Wednesday that the project was aimed at enriching the cultural lives of monks and nuns. "The monks and nuns will have access to all the TV and radio programs enjoyed by other people," Huang said, "We don't only provide Buddhism-related programs." [...] The move was part of a massive campaign launched in March 2009 to improve the cultural lives of monks and nuns by promoting TV, radio, films and publications. Zhang said many monasteries in Lhasa have also set up their own movie projection teams to enable monks and nuns to see films. The Tibet government has launched the "nine haves" project in the region's temples, meaning that all temples should have the portraits of former and current State leaders displayed, have the national flag, roads, water supply, electricity supply, radio and television, films, libraries and newspapers. Fu Gang, the founder of the website Chinese Buddhist Network, told the Global Times Wednesday that he supported the policy. "It is a good channel for Buddhists in the monasteries to better understand the outside world, which will help them better serve society," Fu said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Identity of wanted terrorists revealed (Global Times)
2012-04-07
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) released a list of names for six terrorists and froze their funds and assets, according to the website of MPS on Friday, a move analysts said is of more significance in securing international cooperation against terrorism than actually preventing terrorist acts. The six terrorists are Nurmemet Memetmin, Abdulkyum Kurban, Paruh Tursun, Tursunjan Ebibla, Nurmemet Raxit, and Mamat Imin Nurmamat, said the statement from the MPS. All of the listed are core members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a terrorist group that has plotted and conducted attacks in and outside the country against the Chinese people and government. [...] The ministry also said that it hoped foreign governments would assist in arresting the six and handing them over to Chinese authorities. The detailed crimes of the listed terrorists were also revealed, including a series of murders, bombings and arson attacks in Kashi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in July 2011. [...] It is the third time the ministry has listed terrorists. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Beijing's point man calls for unity (SCMP)
2012-04-10
Beijing's top man on Hong Kong affairs, Wang Guangya, has called for reconciliation and urged Hongkongers to rally behind chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying. The director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office made his remarks in Beijing yesterday while speaking to a 160-member delegation of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. Wang's statement - hours before Leung's own duty call on the capital - made him the first central government official to weigh in on the March 25 election, which had split the pro-establishment camp. Wang acknowledged there were "complications and setbacks" during the election, but said Leung's victory after just one round of voting showed Hongkongers' "recognition, trust and hopes" in the former Executive Council convenor. "Since there were multiple candidates, there were different groups and individuals voicing their support for different candidates," Wang said. "This is normal in an election. "Now that the ballot is over, everyone should look forward and put aside the differences that arose during the election." [...] "[Every one] should help foster reconciliation and unity in Hong Kong, and help the new chief executive and the next government to better govern Hong Kong," Wang said. [...] Before starting his four-day trip, Leung said he would continue to seek reconciliation. "I would invite talent into my cabinet from various sectors ... regardless of their camps," he said. "As long as they share my vision and are committed to serving Hong Kong, I will nominate them for Beijing's appointment." Leung is expected to meet Wang this morning, before his formal meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao. He is also expected to be received by President Hu Jintao and Vice-President Xi Jinping. A government source said he would also visit the Hong Kong government's Beijing office. [...]. ^ top ^

Premier Wen meets HK chief executive-elect (Xinhua)
2012-04-11
Premier Wen Jiabao met with Leung Chun-ying, chief executive-elect of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Tuesday in Beijing. Wen, on behalf of the State Council, awarded the official certificate of appointment as the fourth-term HKSAR chief executive to Leung. Wen also extended his personal congratulations on Leung's appointment.

"The certificate of appointment you have just received signifies your duty and responsibility, and we believe you will live up to the trust of Hong Kong's citizens and the confidence of the central government," Wen said. Wen called on the new Hong Kong administration to prioritize developing the economy and improving people's livelihoods, as Hong Kong is facing challenges in matters such as housing, employment and health care services. He also urged the region to make full use of its advantages in the legal system, its talent pool, as well as in the international finance, trade and shipping industries, to promote its economy's competitiveness and ensure the region's long-term prosperity and stability. "The central government has been giving all-out support for Hong Kong's development, and will enhance the exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and the inland areas in the future," Wen said. Moreover, Wen asked Leung to properly perform his duty as the HKSAR's chief executive, unite Hong Kong citizens from all walks of life and keep closer communication with the people of Hong Kong to solve possible disputes and divergences. He also told Leung to remain honest and uncorrupted in his work. Furthermore, Wen said he hopes Leung will follow the principle of "one country, two systems" under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy and earnestly implement the basic law of the HKSAR. Leung expressed his thanks for the central government's appointment and said he would diligently carry out his duty. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Mainland, Taiwan share S China Sea responsibility: spokeswoman (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait bear common responsibility for safeguarding the country's sovereignty over the South China Sea islands, and their adjacent waters, a Chinese mainland spokeswoman said Wednesday. Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, made the remarks at a routine press conference, at which she also touched on several other issues. Fan said a new measure designed to boost cross-Strait tourism should bring considerably more mainland individual tourists to Taiwan. The measure in question sees residents from 10 more mainland cities approved to travel as individuals to Taiwan, under a deal reached between the two sides. Residents of Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Jinan, Xi'an, Fuzhou and Shenzhen are all now allowed to visit Taiwan as individual tourists. [...]. ^ top ^

China's top Taiwan affairs official on working visit to U.S. (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
China's top official on Taiwan affairs Wang Yi held talks here on Thursday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to have in-depth discussions and exchange of views on the Taiwan issue. Wang, director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told reporters that he has also held meetings with senior officials at the White House, members of Congress and think-tank experts, including former U.S. national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, now a counselor and trustee of the U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. During the meetings, the U.S. side reaffirmed that it will strictly abide by the One-China policy on the Taiwan issue and will not support Taiwan independence, said Wang, who is on a routine working visit here. The U.S. side also highly praised the remarkable progress achieved in the past years in the peaceful development of the cross-straits relations, and welcomed the efforts by the two sides across the Taiwan Straits to further expand dialogue and cooperation in various areas, Wang added. For his part, Wang told the U.S. side that the Chinese mainland will ensure the stability and continuity of its Taiwan policy in order to continue to boost the peaceful development of the cross- straits ties in a gradual and orderly manner. Stressing that the Chinese nation has the wisdom and capability to properly settle all issues related to Taiwan, Wang said he hopes the U.S. will continue to play "a constructive role" in pushing forward the process of realizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. Wang added that he expected that, through the joint efforts of China and the U.S., the Taiwan issue will become a positive factor, rather than a negative one, for enhancing real cooperation and mutual strategic trust so as to further improve the China-U.S. bilateral relations. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China ready for SME private placement bonds (Xinhua)
2012-04-06
China has established the basic institutional framework for the launch of private placement bonds for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to comments made on Thursday. An official with China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said the move aims to ease credit restraint for China's SMEs and find more ways for them to raise funds. This will meet the market demand of high-yield bonds, but such bonds will not be the only type issued. Regulatory permits will not be required for issuing the bonds, but the placement agents should file relevant materials to stock exchanges to keep a record, said the official, who did not give their name. But the filing does not mean any guarantee or judgement for the investment value or credit risk of the bonds, the official said. The SME private placement bonds will not be immediately launched nationwide, as the CSRC is considering running a few trial programs in regions with more SMEs. The bourses will enhance monitoring and cooperation with local governments to keep the market just, fair and open, said the official. In another move to improve financial services for SMEs, the CSRC will also put more efforts into the construction of the over-the-counter (OTC) market, or the "new third board," as one of the priorities for this year, according to the source. The CSRC will prepare for a national OTC market under unified regulation and expand the service to all innovative and growth SMEs that are not yet able to go public, the official said. The "new third board" is an important platform for non-listed corporations to gain direct financing through a share transfer system, which was originally designed for enterprises in the Zhongguangcun Science Park in Beijing. ^ top ^

China's improved bank regulation hailed (China Daily)
2012-04-07
Improvements to the regulation and supervision of China's banking system have won plaudits from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, signaling lenders' strengthened ability to rein in potentially growing risks. Led by the industry regulator, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, Chinese banks have made "significant improvements in risk measurement and risk management", based on high-quality capital and liquidity, said a report released by a team of experts from the IMF and World Bank. The "CBRC is widely respected and has demonstrated its willingness to act in pursuit of its safety and soundness mandate", said the report. "This report has significant reference value for improving China's banking system," said a statement from the People's Bank of China, the central bank, released on its website on Friday. Suggestions from the IMF and World Bank can help accelerate the reform of the financial sector and improve the risk management framework to support stable and sound economic growth, the central bank's statement said. The IMF and World Bank report said "it is on the right track with its reform agenda and needs to persevere in a sustained way in its current direction. It will need the full support of all other parties in the government to succeed in the goals it has set for itself". However, complexities and risks are increasing along with further opening up and innovation in the country's financial market, which requires the top regulator to evolve quickly in the short term and get ready to meet the challenges, said the report. [...] The IMF and World Bank report said that "the framework of laws and guidance" in the Chinese banking sector's risk management system "is generally of high quality, but much of it is relatively recent. Implementation by banks needs to be improved". [...]. ^ top ^

Statistics head warns against local authority interference (Xinhua)
2012-04-07
Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Friday warned local authorities that they should not interfere with the reporting of data from enterprises. Local governments should ensure that enterprises are reporting economic data to statistical authorities authentically and independently, Ma said in a statement on the NBS website, in response to recent media reports of irregularities and manipulation of data reporting at local level. In a move to avoid falsified data and obtain first-hand information, China in February this year started to collect data directly from about 700,000 companies nationwide through the Internet. Previously, company data would go through as many as four government levels before reaching the National Data Center or authorized provincial data centers. Some local governments are still interfering with operation of the new system overtly or covertly, said Ma, commenting on a 21st Century Business Herald story that exposed such conduct in several regional governments, including ones in southeast Fujian and northwest Xinjiang. The NBS has put the article on its website as a warning for local authorities and urged rectification to make sure that enterprises hand in genuine data, according to organization's head. ^ top ^

China to steadily make yuan convertible on capital account (Xinhua)
2012-04-11
China's foreign exchange regulator said Tuesday it will advance the yuan's convertibility on the capital account in a stable and orderly way, although it is not the fundamental goal of the country's foreign exchange reform. It is a gradual process, and also a systematic project that needs the coordination of many departments to offset external impacts, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement on its website. China has only allowed the yuan's convertibility on the current account. A full convertible yuan is the prerequisite of making it an international reserve currency. According to the statement, China will expand the use of the yuan in cross-border trade and gradually increase the channel for capital outflows. The government will encourage eligible institutions to invest in foreign countries. It will also gradually open the domestic financial market and build up a system to ward against the impacts arising from the free capital flows, it said. SAFE noted it will closely monitor domestic and international economic operations, and keep the convertibility promotion measures in line with the micro-economic environment and financial supervision. While partly loosening the restrictions, it will also improve the oversight to safeguard the country's financial security. China has been progressively and cautiously advancing the yuan's convertibility on the capital account. Since the start of the global financial crisis, China has signed currency swap agreements worth 1.5 trillion yuan with 17 countries and regions to support its trade and investment with these economies. By the end of September 2011, the assets of foreign direct investment in China has totaled 1.62 trillion U.S. dollars. China's overseas direct investment has stood at 345.5 billion U.S. dollars. By March 9, 2012, China had approved 24.55 billion U.S. dollars of investment quotas for the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII), and 75.25 billion U.S. dollars for the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors (QDII). ^ top ^

China back to trade surplus in March (Xinhua)
2012-04-11
China swung back to mark a trade surplus in March from February's deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars, posting a 670-million-U.S.-dollar trade surplus in the first quarter, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Tuesday. The country's foreign trade in March rose 7.1 percent year-on-year to reach 325.97 billion U.S. dollars, with a trade surplus of 5.35 billion U.S. dollars in the month. Exports amounted to 165.66 billion U.S. dollars in March, up 8.9 percent year-on-year, while imports reached 160.31 billion dollars, the GAC data showed. For the first quarter, China's imports and exports expanded 7.3 percent from a year ago to reach 859.37 billion U.S. dollars, with its foreign trade with major trading partners growing in single-digits, according to the GAC. [...] The 7.3-percent growth of imports and exports in the January-March period this year marked the slowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009. The market widely expected China to record a quarterly trade deficit at around 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in the January-March period. [...]. ^ top ^

CNOOC, Eni agree on deepwater block exploration in South China Sea (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
China National Offshore Oil Company Limited (CNOOC Ltd.) announced Wednesday that its parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), has signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Eni China B.V. (Eni) for a deepwater block in the South China Sea. Block 30/27, located 400 kilometers off the coast of Hong Kong with a total area of 5,130 square kilometers, is one of the blocks CNOOC first offered for foreign cooperation in 2011. According to the terms of the contract, Eni will conduct 3D seismic surveying and drill one exploration well in Block 30/27. All expenditures incurred during the exploration period will be borne by Eni. CNOOC Ltd. has the right to participate in up to 51-percent working interest in any commercial discoveries in the block. Eni also has equity interest in blocks 16/08 and 16/19 in the South China Sea and is the operator of Block 28/20. Focusing on oil and gas exploration and production, CNOOC Ltd. is the listed company of CNOOC, China's largest offshore oil company. ^ top ^

China's new yuan lending surges in March (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
China's new yuan loans trumped forecasts to soar to a 14-month high of 1.01 trillion yuan (160.32 billion U.S. dollars) in March, as the government shifted more focus to sustaining growth in the world's second-largest economy. The figure, up 332 billion yuan compared with a year earlier, also jumped from 710.7 billion yuan in February this year and 738 billion yuan in January, the People's Bank of China said Thursday. The higher-than-forecasted lending in March signals a loan demand rebound after reserve requirement ratio cuts in February, said Zeng Gang, a financial researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank. It also indicates that the central bank is easing restrictions on lending capacity at financial institutions in an effort to buoy the economy, Zeng said. The country's financial institutions issued a total of 2.46 trillion yuan in new loans in the first three months, slightly higher than the 2.24 trillion yuan issued during the same period last year. The M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, grew 13.4 percent year-on-year to hit 89.56 trillion yuan at the end of March. The increase was lower than the 14-percent annual target that the government set in early March. [...] By the end of March, the country's foreign exchange reserves, which are the world's largest, hit 3.31 trillion U.S. dollars, compared with 3.18 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of December. [...] The World Bank cut its forecast for China's 2012 economic growth to 8.2 percent on Thursday from 8.4 percent. The revision comes ahead of China's official first-quarter growth report due to be released Friday, which is widely expected to be lower than 8.5 percent and the lowest in 11 quarters. [...] The country's inflation rose a more-than-expected 3.6 percent in March from a year ago as food price rises accelerated. Although picking up from February's 3.2-percent rise, the growth was still lower than the government's inflation control target of 4 percent for this year. In the first-quarter monetary policy report, the central bank said it will balance efforts to ensure stable and relatively fast economic growth, maintain the overall stability of prices and prevent financial risks. It will ensure a reasonable level of social financing as it maintains a prudent monetary policy this year. [...]. ^ top ^

Overseas tourism to hit 78m in 2012 (China Daily)
2012-04-13
The number of Chinese citizens travelling overseas reached 70.3 million in 2011, an increase of 22 percent from the previous year, according to statistics issued by the National Tourism Administration, CRI reported Thursday. In 2011, the number of Chinese citizens visiting America, Europe, Australia and Africa accounted for one third of overseas tourists. The number of people visiting Africa increased by 40 percent, according to the report. Shopping is the main reason Chinese people travel. A survey shows one in three tourists from the mainland thought the cost of shopping was their highest expenditure. Data shows during the 7-day National holidays in 2011, Chinese mainland tourists spent three times the amount of money on luxury goods to the domestic market in three months. But Chinese visitors are less satisfied with the services at their destinations than last year, saying tourism agencies and companies pay too much on consumption and ignore real tourist experiences. In addition, the report estimates more than 78 million Chinese citizens will travel abroad in 2012 and the travel market is expected to hit $80 billion, 16 percent higher than 2011. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK's Huichon power station goes into operation (Xinhua)
2012-04-07
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Friday that its Huichon power station has started operations, which will help ease electricity shortages in the capital. Premier Choe Yong Rim told an inauguration ceremony on Thursday that the Huichon power station was "a brilliant fruition of the wise guidance of late leader Kim Jong Il," official newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported. The power station, located in Jagang Province, will also help protect cultivated land and residential areas along the Chongchon River from flooding, and ensure an ample supply of water to the industrial establishments in Huichon and Namhung areas, according to official media reports. The Central Committee and Central Military Commissions of the Workers' Party of Korea sent a joint congratulatory message to builders and members of shock brigades. The party "will always remember the heroic feats performed by the builders who erected a gigantic structure for the country's prosperity and its people's happiness," the message said. [...]. ^ top ^

China again calls for launch restraint (China Daily)
2012-04-11
China renewed its call for restraint on Tuesday as Pyongyang said, in a rare news briefing for foreign journalists, that its planned rocket launch is not an act of aggression. Experts said that Pyongyang's unprecedented media openness reflects its intent to play down tension and engage more with the international community. "China urges parties involved to remain calm and show restraint, abide by international law and prevent further tension on the Korean Peninsula," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a news conference in Beijing. China maintains its position on the denuclearization of the peninsula, he said. China has expressed concern over the planned launch on a number of occasions. [...] The US and its allies insist that the launch would be a disguised long-range ballistic missile test that breached a UN Security Council resolution that prohibited the DPRK from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology. In the country's rare news conference for foreign journalists, a DPRK official said in Pyongyang on Tuesday the rocket doesn't have the same "attack capability" as a ballistic missile. "It is a carrier rocket but not a ballistic missile," said Ryu Gum-chol from the DPRK's Committee for Space Technology, adding that the launch is a peaceful program to develop the economy and raise living standards. "The rocket is equipped with a self-destruct system" and will not affect other countries, Ryu, deputy director of the committee's space development department, said. The launch date has not been set as preparations are still under way, he said. The 100-kg satellite will be installed atop the Unha-3 carrier rocket, and the first two stages of the rocket will be jettisoned in designated areas, he said. But the US and its allies said they were still concerned. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that the launch was provocative. [...] The Republic of Korea said on Monday that the country and the US were tightening surveillance as the launch approached, according to a Joint Chief of Staff official. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK ruling party sets up new post of party supreme leader (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) has adopted a decision on revision of party rules, notably setting up a new post of "first secretary" for the party's supreme leader, the official KCNA news agency reported early Thursday. At the fourth WPK conference on Wednesday, Kim Jong Un was elected first secretary of the party. Under the proposed rules, "the new post of first secretary of the WPK will be created and he will represent and lead the whole party as its head and will materialize the ideas and line of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il," said KCNA. The proposal for the revision of the WPK rules presented to Wednesday's conference also defined that late leader Kim Jong Il is the eternal general secretary of the WPK and eternal leader of the WPK and the Korean people. It also said that the WPK is the party of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, "reflecting the unanimous desire and wish of all the party members and other people," said KCNA. The WPK will take Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism as the only guiding idea of the party and hold fast to the policy of modeling the whole society on Kimilsungism and Kimjongilism as the supreme program of the party, according to the proposal. "It (the WPK) will struggle for the victory of the cause of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the revolutionary cause of Juche, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un," said the proposal. ^ top ^

Hu congratulates Kim Jong Un on election of WPK's first secretary (Xinhua)
2012-04-12
General Secretary Hu Jintao of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Wednesday congratulated Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un on his becoming first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). In a message, Hu said it was a comfort to see the people of the DPRK had followed the will of late leader Kim Jong Il and rallied behind the WPK in endeavoring to build a strong and prosperous socialist country under the leadership of Kim Jong Un. China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors, sharing a long border line straddled by mountains and rivers, Hu said, adding the Chinese government and the CPC had remained unswervingly committed to continuously consolidating and developing the traditional friendly cooperation between the two countries. China is willing to join the DPRK in furthering their traditional friendship, expanding pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and promoting lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, he said. Hu sent sincere good wishes for the cause of building a prosperous and strong country. Kim Jong Un and the WPK would lead the DPRK people to accomplish greater achievements in that cause, he said. Kim Jong Un was elected first secretary at the fourth party conference on Wednesday. ^ top ^

UN Security Council to meet on DPRK's rocket launch (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
United Nations - The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet in an emergency session on Friday morning in response to the alleged rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), diplomats said here late Thursday. [...] The DPRK fired a long-range rocket on Friday morning, but the launch appears to have ended in failure, reports said. So far, the DPRK has neither confirmed nor denied the launch. The U.S. UN mission, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency for April, is working on a presidential statement with its intention to get it approved by the council on Friday in a bid to condemn the rocket launch by Pyongyang, diplomats said. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK confirms satellite failed to enter orbit (Xinhua)
2012-04-13
An earth observation satellite launched by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) earlier Friday morning has failed to enter orbit, and scientists and technicians are now looking into the cause of the failure, the official KCNA news agency reported. The Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province at 07:38 a.m. on Friday (2238 GMT Thursday), said the report. "The earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit. Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure," it said. The DPRK's failed launch has aroused international concerns, with the United States, Japan and South Korea all condemning the move, which they viewed had breached relevant UN resolutions. The DPRK has said that its launch is for peaceful purposes and would not harm the region and neighboring countries. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

The president finishes his official visit to Kyrgyzstan (News.mn)
2012-04-10
The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj concluded his official visit to Kyrgyzstan "has been successful". This was said by him in an interview that was broadcasted last Friday through TV channels and radio. The President talked about the Mongolia-Kyrgyzstan traditional relations and history and culture of the countries. He underlined an importance of opening flights in route Istanbul-Bishkek-Ulaanbaatar and of developing the bilateral collaboration in the fields of agriculture, tourism, mining and education. Mr. Elbegdorj stressed that Mongolia backs the new democracy in Kyrgyzstan and that is ready to share experiences with it. He also mentioned about importance of the justice and court reform and an opportunity for women to participate in the politics. Then he hoped that the Mongolia-Kyrgyzstan relations will widen. Roza Otunbayeva, the former President of Kyrgyzstan, has granted the Polaris honor to the President of Mongolia Ts. Elbegdori for his work and devotion to democracy. The award was given during Ts. Elbegdori's recent visit to Kyrgyzstan where he met with the Speaker of the Kyrgyzstan parliament Asilbek Jeenbekov and his deputy Asiya Sasykbayeva. Shortly after their meeting, Ts.Elbegdor has made a speech to the Kyrgyzstan parliament. In his speech he remarked that Mongolia's first astronaut J.Gurragchaa was trained as an astronaut in the beautiful land of Kyrgyz. The President went on to say since the Democratic Revolution of 1989 in Mongolia, the country is successfully working towards democracy and liberty with no resistance. Today, Mongolia is heading the International Democratic Association. The nation has not only successfully become a democratic nation but is also helping other nations to become democratic and strengthen their democracy. “The fight for liberty and freedom will never end just like while the sunlight lightens one part of the globe, the other remains in the shadows. We Mongols had once driven people to build great walls but now we are helping them to take down their walls against liberty and democracy. There is no such thing as small nation or people, but there is such thing as nation and people without freedom. I believe everyone can live with freedom and liberty. It is not possible to restrict freedom forever, this is why we must work together to lessen the days we have to wait until everyone is free,” the President said. ^ top ^

Insurance sector and HDF (Montsame)
2012-04-11
In the first quarter of 2012, some 488 thousand people were registered as the insured. 306.7 thousand or 62.9 per cent of them were from establishments, and 180.8 thousand or 37.1 percent--from government budgetary organizations. Compared to same period of 2011, the number of the insured increased 63.3 thousand or 14.9 per cent--by 54.3 thousand or 21.5 per cent in establishments, and 9.0 thousand or 5.2 per cent--in the budgetary organizations. Social welfare pensions and benefits were granted to 53.7 thousand people, increasing 2.5 thousand people or 4.8 per cent. The total amount of money allocated from the fund went up by MNT 390.7 million or 4.7 per cent against the previous year. Some MNT 181 billion were distributed to 2.6 million people (at duplicated counting) through the Human Development Fund in the first quarter of this year. Two and a half million people, or 98.9 per cent, were those receiving the cash benefit of MNT 21.0 thousand; 2.9 thousand people or 0.2 per cent those receiving MNT 70.0 thousand; and 137.8 thousand people or 0.9 per cent those receiving MNT 10.0 thousand. ^ top ^

DP faction to PM: Reasons why two elections can be run at the same time (Montsame)
2012-04-11
Members of the Democratic Party's faction at the State Great Khural sent on Wednesday to S.Batbold PM their explanation as to why it is not troublesome to run parliamentary and local elections at the same time. The faction considers that running the elections this way has several advantages--"a participation of electors will dramatically increase, a legitimacy of law-making and regional administrative bodies will be strengthened, plus, it will be much easier for people to use one voting paper only because the papers can be counted by one kind of machine," the faction says. As Mongolia is one of the highest literacy-rate countries (98.7%), there is no problem for voters with writing and with their intelligence, the went on. In order not to overload elections sections and not to be bound by exact number of electors for each section and by closing time, as says the law on parliamentary election--soum to have up to 2,000 voters, an aimag center--up to 2,500, the city district--up to 3,000 voters--it is possible to increase numbers of election sections and facilities; besides, there is no need to create constituencies and election committees for each of the elections, the faction says. The ballot papers can be printed in a short time in several versions by utilizing the latest technologies (digital printer), and a distribution of the smart ID cards can be distributed firstly from the most populated areas of aimags and the city "because it will help stop cheating or fraud during the elections", the DP faction thinks. ^ top ^

Some aimags asks for hay and fodder (News.mn)
2012-04-11
The National Emergency Commission (NEC) discussed yesterday some measures to be taken for the spring works and lambing in aimags. Since localities' authorities and people had asked the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry and the NEC to sell them hay and fodder at discount or in a form of assistance, the NEC considered as necessary to sell hay and fodder from the reserved fund at lower price because it is needed to prevent animals loss in Arkhangai, Bayankhongor, Bayan-Olgii, Bulgan, Gobi-Altai, Ovorkhangai, Tov and Uvs aimags. Some 3,904 tons of hay will be given as an aid to these aimags, and 1,696 tons of fodder will be sold with a half price. A difference of MNT 857.2 million will be allotted from the governmental reserved fund. Last autumn, 1.2 million tons of hay was prepared nationwide, and 954 thousand tons of it have been used so far. ^ 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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