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
  19-25.5.12, No. 424  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

UNDP chief praises China's achievements (China Daily)
2012-05-19
China has made tremendous strides in sustainable development, and its successful experience in economic growth and poverty elimination could be shared with underdeveloped economies, a senior United Nations official said on Friday in Beijing. "China has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and has learned many lessons along the way," said Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Program. "It is important that we work together to share these experiences in a way that is most beneficial to developing countries, and I have been encouraged by China's willingness and commitment to do so." [...] China is much less dependent on outdated, carbon-intensive methods for growth, she said. It provides an opportunity for the world's biggest developing economy to promote a new development model of inclusive growth, which is vital to human development in the fight against poverty and inequality, she said. [...] Despite the huge achievements China has made in economic growth and poverty elimination, Clark also pointed out the challenges the world's second-largest economy faces to balance its development and improve energy efficiency through sustainable practices. [...] Premier Wen Jiabao met Clark on Thursday and said China will cooperate more closely with the agency and will unremittingly strive for the common development of all countries and regions around the world. [...] As China prepares for the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June, Clark's visit signals the importance she attaches to China, UNDP said in a news release. [...] The Rio+20 Conference should inspire nations by enabling leaders to share experience on what works in their countries, Clark added. [...]. ^ top ^

China slams US military report (Xinhua)
2012-05-20
A Foreign Ministry spokesman has expressed "firm opposition" to a Pentagon report that misrepresents China's military development. Hong Lei on Saturday said that "China's justified and normal military development" had been unjustly criticized in the US side's irresponsible remarks. China has firmly adhered to its peaceful development path and adopted a defense policy which is defensive in nature, he said, adding that China is committed to the maintenance and promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole. The development of China's limited military force is completely concerned with safeguarding China's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and targets no other country or specific target, according to the spokesman. "So long as a country is not hostile to China, it will show no doubt or worry over such development," he added. China demands the United States "respect facts, change its mind-set and stop its wrongdoing in issuing similar reports year after year," and the U.S. side "should do more to promote China-US military relations and mutual trust and cooperation, not vice versa," he said. The US Defense Department issued the annual report "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" on May 18. ^ top ^

Lukashenko says Belarus, China reach unprecedented mutual trust (People's Daily)
2012-05-22
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus and China have reached an unprecedented level of mutual trust and support. "Belarus and China have attained an unprecedented level of mutual trust and support in the bilateral relations," Lukashenko said while meeting with Lu Yongxiang, Vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China on Monday in Minsk. Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is proud that China has been Belarus' strategic partner and staunch ally for many years. According to him, Belarus is also very grateful to China for assistance at the international level in all areas. "We want to continue the buildup of political, trade and investment cooperation and to have efficient contacts in science, military-technical and humanitarian affairs," Lukashenko said, welcoming the establishing of the Belarusian-Chinese commission on cooperation in high technologies. Lu Yongxiang emphasized the pivotal role the leaderships of Belarus and China play in the advancement of bilateral relations. [...]. The Chinese official stressed that the bilateral trade has increased 20 times since the diplomatic relations were established 20 years ago. ^ top ^

Beijing 'to build two aircraft carriers' (SCMP)
2012-05-22
Taiwan's intelligence chief says that the mainland government plans to build two aircraft carriers in addition to the first in its fleet, a refitted former Soviet carrier now undergoing sea trials. "Indeed the Chinese communists have decided to build two aircraft carriers on their own," Tsai Teh-sheng, head of the island's National Security Bureau, told parliament yesterday. Tsai said construction of the warships was slated to start next year and in 2015 respectively, with delivery dates of 2020 and 2022, and they would be conventionally powered. [...] "Initially it may simply serve for training purposes but it can be transferred for battles when necessary in the future," Tsai said. The ship's trials have sparked international concern about Beijing's widening naval reach amid growing regional tensions over maritime disputes and a US campaign to assert itself as a Pacific power. [...] In response to the mainland's naval build-up, Taiwan is arming more of its warships with its new "carrier killer" anti-ship missiles and building a fleet of 12 corvettes designed with "stealth" technologies. [...] In his inauguration speech on Sunday after winning re-election in January, Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou said his administration would maintain an "effective deterrent", while pursuing détente with the mainland in the years ahead. Cross-strait ties have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Ma became president in 2008, vowing to adopt a non-confrontational policy towards the mainland. [...]. ^ top ^

China to push forward China-Africa relations: FM (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
China will work with African countries to promote a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Tuesday told visiting Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo. Yang invited Mushikiwabo to attend the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in Beijing this July, according to the press release provided by the Foreign Ministry. China and African countries, including Rwanda, will discuss new approaches and new initiatives to fully deepen the China-Africa friendship and cooperation at the conference, Yang said. Mushikiwabo said African countries together with China have achieved positive results through pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the FOCAC, and Rwanda will actively participate in the Beijing conference. Mushikiwabo thanked China for its support for Rwandan economic development, noting that the Rwandan side regards China as an important partner. Yang said China is ready to work with Rwanda to further develop bilateral friendly and cooperative relations. ^ top ^

Hunchun to build int'l cooperation zone (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
China is to build an international cooperation demonstration zone in Hunchun, Jilin Province, with the aim of boosting exchanges, cooperation and stability in Northeast Asia, officials said in Beijing Monday. The zone in Hunchun, a port bordering Russia and North Korea, will cover 90 square kilometers and enjoy national preferential policies ranging from taxes and land use to financial support and talent pooling, according to the press conference held by Jilin government. "The central government's approval of the establishment zone symbolized the joint development of the Tumen River by China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Mongolia entering a new stage," said Shen Xujian, deputy regional development director under the National Development and Reform Commission. Li Longxi, mayor of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, where Hunchun is located, revealed at the press conference that local authorities would also simplify visa procedures to allow more tourists to visit North Korea and Russia via Yanbian. The State Council officially approved the project in April as part of an international development and cooperation plan in Tumen River that straddles the borders of China, Russia and North Korea in Hunchun. [...] Hunchun, with a population of 250,000, is dubbed Northeast China's "golden gateway" to Japan, east coast of South Korea, North America and North Europe through waterways. A number of facilities are being built or expanded for the project. The Sino-Russian Hunchun-Kamyshovaya railway will resume operations in June, after being suspended in February 2000 due to changes in the Russian railway management system. A 488-kilometer high-speed railway from Changchun to Hunchun has been built. Neighboring airports are also being expanded, according to the press conference. In 1990, the United Nations Development Program sought to raise $30 billion within 20 years and develop the region along the Tumen River into a world-class transport, trade and financial hub through joint efforts by neighboring countries. [...]. ^ top ^

China's top legislator, Luxembourg's prime minister pledge to deepen ties, cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
Luxembourg City - Wu Bangguo, China's top legislator, and Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg pledged during a meeting Wednesday to advance ties and cooperation between China and Luxembourg. [...] Noting that Luxembourg is among the world's important international financial centers, Wu said the two countries could focus in general on cementing cooperation in the financial sector. The two nations, he said, should especially make a point of strengthening coordination in the improvement of laws and regulations, operations and management and human resources training. He also suggested the countries' two central banks establish exchanges in the future. Wu said enterprises from the two countries could step up cooperation in emerging fields, such as high-end manufacturing, cutting-edge technologies and modern services. Beijing supports Chinese enterprises in beefing up investments in Luxembourg so as to bring into full play the latter's role as a major transit hub for Chinese companies looking to expand their presence in European markets. Wu also expressed hope that Luxembourg could provide more favorable conditions for China when it comes to financing, visas and staff recruitment. For his part, Juncker said the two countries, with different national conditions, do not always see eye to eye, but their differences have not hindered the development of bilateral ties. That's because the two sides also share the same or similar stances on many international and regional issues and enjoy broader common interests, he said. Luxembourg, the prime minister said, puts a premium on improving its relationship with China. [...] Juncker reiterated that his country adheres to the one-China policy, respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and discourages any efforts to foment the break-up of China. [...] Achieving a strong economy and sustainable growth is the way to solve the European debt issues, which should also be based on the efforts of the EU itself, Wu said, adding that China will, as always, support the stability of the euro. [...] China also hopes that the EU could recognize China's market economy status as soon as possible and relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese VP vows closer party-to-party links with Myanmar (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
Vice President Xi Jinping met with Secretary-General of Myanmar's ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) U Htay Oo on Tuesday, vowing to boost party-to-party ties. "China has always handled its relations with Myanmar from a strategic perspective," Xi told U Htay Oo at the Great Hall of the People. He said China is ready to work closely with Myanmar to fulfill the goals set in the joint statement that established the China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, which was created during Myanmar President U Thein Sein's China visit in May last year. [...] Xi said cementing political trust and win-win cooperation between both sides is not only in the fundamental interests of both countries, but will also contribute to development and stability in the region. Xi urged the ruling parties of both countries to make joint efforts for the greater development of bilateral ties in the coming years. U Htay Oo expressed appreciation for China's support for Myanmar's development over the years. He said Myanmar will maintain friendly policies toward China, adding that the USDP hopes to enhance exchanges and cooperation with the Communist Party of China (CPC). ^ top ^

Beijing summit to approve SCO mid-term development strategy plan (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
The upcoming Beijing summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will approve the mid-term development strategy plan of the organization, Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a press conference on Wednesday. The objective of the plan is to build the SCO into a practical and highly effective platform for cooperation, Cheng said, noting that it will be the first plan for the SCO's future development direction, and it shows the determination of the member states for long-term development of the SCO and their highly consensus on issues concerning overall strategic situation. This year marks the beginning of the second decade of the SCO, Cheng said, noting the organization has developed from combating terrorism, separatism, extremism, towards comprehensive cooperation. The SCO has played an important constructive role in maintaining regional stability, promoting the development of its member states and pushing the international order towards a more just and rational development direction, Cheng said. [...] The summit will issue a declaration on establishing a harmonious region with lasting peace and common prosperity and some other documents on cooperation, Cheng said. The summit will also review Afghanistan's application for observer status and Turkey's application for dialogue partner status, Cheng said. [...] The 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO will be held in Beijing June 6-7 [...]. ^ top ^

Sustainable development goals should be based on MDGs: Chinese UN diplomat (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
United Nations - The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), giving the priority to poverty eradication and striking a balance among economic, social and environmental aspects, a Chinese UN diplomat said here Tuesday. Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, made the remarks when he addressed the General Assembly thematic debate on "Road to Rio+20 and Beyond." Wang noted that SDGs should be applicable to all countries, taking into full account of various conditions, capacities and development policies of different countries. "The developed countries should be the first to change unsustainable consumption and production models," he said. The diplomat also said SDGs should be guided by the Rio principles and represent the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the principle of equity. "The setting of SDGs should include methods to help the developing countries achieve the goals and be conducive to monitoring and pushing developed countries to fulfill their international obligations," he said. [...] The upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, is scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro on June 20-22, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit in the Brazilian city. The conference is expected to provide the world with an opportunity to change its development model and set a new standard on sustainable development and green economy. ^ top ^

China says U.S. directive on Confucius Institutes "may harm friendship" (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
An official with the headquarters of China's Confucius Institute on Thursday said a U.S. government directive asking the institute's Chinese teachers on American campuses to leave may harm the Sino-U.S. friendship. The official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the headquarters regrets the U.S. directive, and all of its centers around the world, including those on American campuses, were voluntarily requested by foreign partners, approved by the headquarters and jointly operated with Chinese colleges. [...] The directive sent by the U.S. Department of State on May 17 to universities which sponsor Confucius Institutes states that any academics at university-based institutes who are teaching at the elementary- and secondary-school levels are violating the terms of their visas and must leave at the end of the current school term in June. It said that after a preliminary review, the State Department has determined that the institutes must obtain American accreditation in order to continue to accept foreign scholars and professors as teachers. [...] Confucius Institutes around the world are non-profit public institutions jointly established by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, or Hanban, and Chinese colleges and high schools with foreign educational institutions. The institution aims to teach the Chinese language and promote cultural exchanges overseas. [...] Confucius Institutes have been opened in more than 350 educational institutions in 106 countries, and the amount of Confucius Classrooms in elementary and secondary schools have increased to more than 500. The United States currently has the largest amount of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms around the world, with 81 institutes and 299 classrooms in 48 states. [...] Gaston Caperton, president of the U.S. College Board, said in April in Washington that China has played an increasingly important role in the international community and the American people, especially the young generation, need to know about China's economy, culture and folk customs. [...] "Those Chinese teachers went to the United States with friendliness toward the American people, but they might return feeling the hurt, which is a kind of harm to the friendship between the American and Chinese people," said the Chinese official. ^ top ^

China continues opposition to EU emissions scheme (China Daily)
2012-05-24
China's civil aviation authority on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the European Union's imposition of an emissions trading scheme on global aviation, despite a threat from the EU last week to punish Chinese airlines for not cooperating. As talks have so far proven futile, the parties involved expect that a framework of market-based measures, which will be submitted next year to the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly for review, might put an end to disputes over the issue. Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on Wednesday that Chinese airlines have not provided emission data to the EU and will not do so even though the EU warned about punitive measures. "The air transport industry is a global industry... Any regional policy should not stand in the way of global economic development," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 2012 China Civil Aviation Development Forum that started on Wednesday. [...] All flights departing or landing at EU airports have to participate in the emissions trading scheme starting Jan 1, 2012. Airlines that exceed their carbon dioxide limit will have to buy unused quotas from more energy-efficient businesses or face a fine. [...] China is not the only country opposing the scheme. Susan L. Kurland, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs of the US Department of Transportation, said at the forum that the move to include non-EU airlines in the emissions trading scheme is the wrong way to achieve the right objective. She said the US will continue to urge the EU to halt the application of the scheme to non-EU airlines. [...] Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, president of the International Civil Aviation Organization Council, said on the sidelines of the forum that in June the council would consider market-based measures and recommend one or two to the assembly. But the market-based measures are not a mandatory solution to address the aviation emission issue, insiders said. ^ top ^

Irish president meets CPC delegation for further cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-05-25
Ireland is willing to develop more extensive exchanges and cooperation with China, said Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a meeting with a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) here on Thursday. The delegation was led by Wang Gang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. [...] During the meeting, Wang said politically, China and Ireland enjoy mutual respect, equality and take care of each other's major concerns, while economically the two countries draw on each other's useful experiences and become "good friends and good partners." [...] The mutually beneficial strategic partnership forged in March this year has lifted the bilateral ties to a new high, Wang said, adding that China will work with Ireland to continuously enrich and expand the strategic cooperation so as to further develop their relationship and better benefit the two peoples. The CPC delegation arrived here on Wednesday for a friendly visit to Ireland, the last leg of its four-country tour. Prior to Ireland tour, the delegation visited Myanmar, Namibia and Jordan. ^ top ^

China, Spain vow to step up parliamentary exchanges (Xinhua)
2012-05-25
China and Spain on Thursday pledged to step up their parliamentary exchanges in a bid to facilitate the comprehensive and strategic partnership between the two countries. The pledge was made during talks between China's top legislator Wu Bangguo and President of the Spanish Congress Jesus Posada. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), arrived in Madrid Wednesday on a six-day official goodwill visit to Spain. Wu noted that the two parliaments should carry out substantial exchanges on governing a state, global financial system reform and dialogue among different civilizations to increase mutual understanding and reach more consensus. [...] On bilateral cooperation, Wu said China encourages the enterprises to exploit the market in Spain and at the same time welcomes Spain to expand export of competitive and high-tech products to China. [...] Wu expressed thanks for Spain's support on issues concerning China's core interests like Taiwan, Tibet and human rights, saying China appreciates Spain's push for the European Union to recognize China's full market status and to lift arms embargo. China supports Spain's efforts to stabilize financial market and restore economic growth, and will continue to provide help within its capacity, said Wu. Posada, for his part, said Spain values relations with China and the new Spanish government and parliament will keep the policy unchanged and continue to develop friendly cooperation with China. Posada expressed his appreciation for China's help, saying China's support has given the country confidence to overcome difficulties. ^ top ^

Beijing strengthens alert off island (China Daily)
2012-05-25
Beijing on Thursday warned that Manila's recent provocations have forced Beijing to strengthen the level of alert in the waters off Huangyan Island and doubt its sincerity in seeking a proper solution to the island impasse. The Philippines urged China to withdraw vessels from the island and increased its effort to drag third parties into the island standoff, which began on April 10 when a Philippine warship harassed Chinese fishermen in the waters off the island. Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez on Wednesday demanded that China immediately withdraw vessels from the waters around the island. [...] The Philippine side is still taking provocative actions in the related waters, which "forced China to strengthen its alert on the site", Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news conference on Thursday, in response to Hernandez's statement. Hong stressed that the Chinese public service ships currently in the waters are providing services and administration to the Chinese fishing boats. [...] "China urged the Philippines to pay due respect to China's sovereignty, stop further provocations and demonstrate tangible sincerity to embark on diplomatic dialogue with China," Hong said. Meanwhile, Manila has recently attempted to involve third parties, including the United States and United Nations, in the situation, which was firmly opposed by Beijing earlier in the week and is believed to be leading to further escalation. [...] Although Washington in early May publicly refused to take a stand on the island impasse, the Philippines said recently that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had pledged to honor the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty. Bonnie Glaser, Asia-Pacific security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told China Daily that the treaty, signed in 1951, predated the Philippines' claims in recent years to those particular reefs and shores in the South China Sea. [...]. ^ top ^

Nigerian authorities release 60 Chinese nationals arrested in Nigeria (People's Daily)
2012-05-25
At least 60 Chinese who were arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Tuesday have been released, a top immigration source told Xinhua Thursday. The NIS on Tuesday arrested about 100 Chinese nationals in southwest Lagos and northwest Kano cities for economic scavenging. The Chinese Consulate General in Lagos made urgent representations with the Nigerian side after the incident occurred, the source added. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Chen arrives in US to study in New York University (Global Times)
2012-05-21
Chinese blind activist Chen Guangcheng arrived in the US on Saturday and will begin his studies in New York University (NYU), while observers said Chen may face a tougher life than anticipated. "I'm very grateful for the assistance of the US embassy (in Beijing) and also (for) receiving a promise from the Chinese government for protection of my rights as a citizen over the long term," Chen said through an interpreter outside an NYU building in Manhattan's Greenwich Village upon his arrival with his wife and two children, according to Reuters. The activist said he believes that the promise from the Chinese government is "sincere." Chen, who has reportedly expressed his concerns over the fate of his relatives left at home, will study at the US-Asia Law Institute (UALI) during his stay at NYU. The Chens received their passports from Chinese officials shortly before they boarded a United Airlines plane, The New York Times reported. Chen was accompanied on the flight by two Chinese-speaking officials from the US embassy in Beijing and was met at the airport by officials from the US Department of State and Jerome Cohen, co-director of UALI. "We express our appreciation for the manner in which we were able to resolve this matter and to support Chen's desire to study in the US and pursue his goals," said Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the State Department. Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that the Chinese government had shown its flexibility in dealing with this incident. Ruan added that Chen may encounter a harder life than expected, and some of the dissidents before Chen had found themselves "devalued" after going abroad. [...]. ^ top ^

4.18b yuan in irregularities unearthed (Global Times)
2012-05-21
The audit office of Shandong Province recently said that it has found irregularities totaling 4.18 billion yuan ($660.56 million), based on an audit of 7,171 local government-invested projects involving 283.81 billion yuan. Since the beginning of 2008, the local audit office has uncovered 53.82 billion yuan worth in errors concerning irregular management practices at 57 key projects, which involve, among other things, the renovation of rural and dangerous housing units and highway construction. According to Huang Liming, deputy director of the audit office, the local government accepted a total of 4,338 advisory notices during the audit, in a bid to enhance the management of project construction. ^ top ^

Bo police chief in treason trial (SCMP)
2012-05-21
The former Chongqing police chief whose flight to a US consulate in February triggered China's worst political crisis in more than 20 years will be tried for treason as early as next month, according to sources who have been briefed on the case. A special legal team has already been set up for the trial of Wang Lijun, who is at the centre of the political storm which brought down his former boss and one-time Communist Party high-flyer, Bo Xilai. The trial will take place in Sichuan province's capital, Chengdu, home to the US consulate where Wang fled. It remains unknown whether the trial will be open to the press or the public, the sources said. Wang could face the death penalty. If the trial goes ahead as reported, it will serve as a good indication that the outcome of two other connected cases, those of Bo and of his wife Gu Kailai, a murder suspect in the mysterious death of a British businessman, will also be known shortly. Analysts say the central leadership intends to wrap up the political scandal before an important party congress slated for later this year, as Bo's downfall has given rise to endless speculation on a split in the top echelon of the Communist Party. The 18th Communist Party Congress, which will see a once-in-a-decade leadership transition, was even rumoured to have been postponed until next year because the top leaders could not agree on how to deal with the Chongqing scandal. The multi-layered scandal is being dealt with by three party or state organisations. The Ministry of State Security has been on Wang's case since early February. Bo, the former Chongqing party chief and Politburo member, is being investigated by the party's top disciplinary agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). And the Public Security authorities are looking into the alleged murder of British citizen Neil Heywood in which Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, is a prime suspect. [...] Another source in Chongqing said earlier that Wang, despite his defection attempt, had been acknowledged to "have made a major contribution" to investigations into the Bo scandal. [...]. ^ top ^

Xi urges CPC organs to better serve the people (Xinhua)
2012-05-22
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has urged the Communist Party of China (CPC) organs at all levels to better serve grassroots people. Xi made the remark at a meeting held on Monday in Beijing for research on maintaining the Party's advanced nature, in which Party organs should improve grassroots CPC members' ability to serve the people. The Party's 90-year history proves that only by keeping and developing the Party's advanced nature and purity can the Party gain popularity among the people, said Xi, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Party organs at all levels should enhance education for Party members to solidify their belief in communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics, and enhance organization construction in grassroots organs, he said. Party organs at all levels should also establish a long-term mechanism to contact and serve the people, as well as solve problems for the people with stricter self-discipline, Xi said. ^ top ^

China reports 260m with chronic diseases (China Daily)
2012-05-22
China currently has 260 million patients with chronic diseases, and these illnesses have resulted in some 85 percent of the country's total deaths, figures from the Ministry of Health show. According to a 2012-2015 blueprint on chronic disease prevention and control released by the ministry on Monday, as a result of fast urbanization and industrialization in an aging society, chronic diseases are becoming more prevalent and have taken up some 70 percent of China's total treatment costs. The major chronic diseases include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, virulent tumors and respiratory diseases, among others. The blueprint, which was jointly set down by 15 government organizations, including the ministries of health and education and the National Development and Reform Commission, set goals of reducing the adult smoking rate to below 25 percent and promoting at least 32 percent of citizens to engage in "constant" physical exercise. Meanwhile, the document plans to limit the adult obesity rate to within 12 percent and set up major cancer treatment projects in high-prevalence areas. According to the guideline, the government will increase budgets for treating chronic diseases and release favorable policies to impoverished patients in underdeveloped regions. Other efforts include building more green areas and using the media to promote healthy lifestyles. ^ top ^

Tighten up rules on foreigners, says online survey (Global Times)
2012-05-23
Foreigners coming to China should be scrutinized to find out whether they have sufficient cash funds, a property or a job, said 94.4 percent of voters in a survey on Sina Weibo. The survey was started by Beijing writer Zheng Yuanjie, often referred to as "King of fairy tales." It did not differentiate between different types of foreign visitors, such as students, tourists or those employed in China. [...] Anti-foreign tensions online are running high, following two recent high-profile incidents in which foreigners behaved badly. Russian cellist Oleg Vedernikov lost his job at the Beijing Symphony Orchestra on Monday following an incident on a train, and the British man, arrested for indecency two weeks ago in Beijing, is still in police detention. Last week saw the onset of a 100-day campaign targeting the "three illegal foreigners," illegal immigrants, visa overstayers, and those working without an appropriate visa. [...] CCTV host Yang Rui also weighed into the debate last week, saying on his microblog: "The police should clean out foreign trash, protecting ignorant young women. Catch foreign hooligans, especially in Wudaokou and Sanlitun." Yesterday, in a comment in the Global Times, he said that the majority of expats obeyed and respected Chinese culture and society, and he was reacting to online videos he had seen. Around 600,000 foreigners have resided in China longer than six months, said People's Daily Online on Monday, and there are thought to be around 200,000 living in Beijing. Around 20,000 illegal foreigners were caught in China in 2011, the report said. [...]. ^ top ^

President Hu stresses armed forces' loyalty to Party (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday urged the armed forces to constantly reinforce their loyalty and obedience to the Party. When meeting with delegates to a conference of Communist Party of China (CPC) members in the Beijing Military Area Command, Hu said the armed forces should be equipped with the theories of the socialism with Chinese characteristics and Marxism and better implement the Scientific Outlook on Development. The president also urged great efforts to develop the military culture and strengthen the will of officers and soldiers to serve the country and the spirit of being brave to fight for victory. Efforts should be made to improve the capacity of systematic operations based on the information system, raise combat ability and emergency response and prepare the armed forces for defense and non-war military actions, said Hu, also chairman of the Central Military Commission. Hu also called for improving the management of officers and soldiers so as to ensure the safety and stability of the army. Hu said the Beijing Military Area Command is of strategic importance, and has a good record of implementing orders from the CPC Central Committee and fulfilling important tasks. Vice President Xi Jinping also attended the meeting. ^ top ^

Landmark lawsuit demands compensation for pollution victims (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
In a landmark lawsuit, two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have demanded compensation of 10 million yuan (1.58 million U.S. dollars) from companies which dumped toxic chemicals in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Friends of Nature (FON) and the Chongqing Green Volunteer Association exchanged evidence with the defendant, Luliang Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. and Luliang Peace Technology Co. Ltd. in court on Wednesday. If the the NGOs win the case, the compensation will be used for environmental rehabilitation in the polluted areas in Qujing city, said Guo Jinghui, a spokeswoman of FON. Qujing city's environmental protection bureau also joined as plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed last September and accepted by the city's Intermediate People's Court in October 2011. The court has set up a special environmental protection tribunal, but the trial date has not been confirmed, said Guo. [...] Experts believe the civil case will be a landmark in China as it is the country's first public interest litigation (PIL) filed by grass-roots NGOs, following the country's mulling of including PIL in the Civil Procedure Law. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, read a draft amendment to the Civil Procedure Law for the first and second time last October and this April. According to the draft, "legally-registered organizations and social groups" are entitled to file lawsuits in cases of environmental pollution and other behavior infringing public interest. [...]. ^ top ^

China to survey protection measures for core military facilities (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
China will begin a new round of security checks concerning the protection of core defense research and production facilities on Friday, according to a press release from the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Inspectors are scheduled to visit the provinces of Hunan, Zhejiang and Sichuan, where they will work to coordinate local economic construction efforts and military facility protection. The inspection team consists of representatives from the PLA and the ministries of public security, finance, state security and housing and urban-rural development, as well as representatives from China's legislature. In 2011, inspectors concluded their first round of security checks in seven provinces and municipalities, deciding afterward to erect billboards that differentiate military zones from public areas. China created its law on military facility protection in 1990. Under the law, both military organs and local government administrations are obligated to protect military facilities. Local governments are required to take note of military facilities while working on development or tourism projects. ^ top ^

China says no anti-foreigner trend (China Daily)
2012-05-24
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday said there was no "anti-foreigner trend" in China. [...] The opening-up policy will continue and the country's society is inclusive and harmonious, he said at a press briefing. "Meanwhile, we ask foreigners in China to abide by Chinese laws and regulations, and respect the culture and customs of Chinese," he said. Beijing police on Thursday said the recent crackdown on illegal foreign residents has not changed the city's friendly attitude toward foreigners. Beijing police last week launched a 100-day campaign targeting foreigners who have entered, lived or worked in the city without the proper paperwork or permits. [...] "Beijing will stick to the policy of reform and opening up, and we sincerely welcome foreign friends to work and live in Beijing," the spokesman said, adding that police will continue to protect foreigners' legitimate rights and provide conveniences for their time living here. The spokesman said the campaign was part of the effort to battle foreigner-related crimes, as police found that most such offenses are committed by foreigners lacking legal status. [...] Since kicking off on May 15, the campaign has trained the spotlight on a series of misconduct by foreigners visiting or living in China. [...] However, there have also been voices against the reaction to, and excessive interpretations of, criminal and ethical cases involving foreigners, which some fear could lead to xenophobic sentiments. [...]. ^ top ^

Publicity body holds open day (Global Times)
2012-05-25
Diplomats from 49 countries and the European Union Thursday caught a rare glimpse of the function and daily work of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in its first-ever open day event. The program is seen as an effort by the Party to boost transparency ahead of its 18th National Congress expected in the later half of this year. During the 150-minute event, 51 diplomats, including 42 ambassadors, toured the once little-known compound along Chang'an Avenue in central Beijing. [...] Founded simultaneously with the Party in 1921, the Publicity Department is responsible for tasks such as "equipping people with scientific theories, providing them with proper media guidance, imbuing them with lofty ideals and inspiring them through excellent cultural works," Liu said. China is undergoing a social transformation, and as a result, the publicity department is expected to build a good environment for public opinions, he said. [...] At the ensuing Q&A session, the diplomats raised questions on various topics ranging from China's soft power and misunderstandings about Sino-African cooperation by the international community to preserving the cultural development of ethnic minorities. [...] Italian Ambassador Attilio Massimo Iannucci, who raised a question about Internet freedom, told the Global Times that he was satisfied with the short dialogue that followed his question. Liu said China supports the free flow of information on the Internet, but stressed the flow must be healthy and orderly. [...] Liu expressed hopes of enhancing exchanges with foreign diplomats and learning from foreign parties and governments' experiences in state governance. [...] During the past two years, the CPC Central Committee's International Department, Organization Department, discipline watchdog and the Party School opened their doors to foreign diplomats and press in a gesture of greater transparency. In June 2010, spokespersons from 11 departments of the CPC made an unprecedented group debut in front of the media. ^ top ^

Ban on sex testing to help balance girl-boy ratio (Global Times)
2012-05-25
Wang Xia, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), Thursday said authorities will crack down further on illegal prenatal gender tests and selective abortions, which are believed to be the primary causes of the gender imbalance plaguing most Chinese provinces. Authorities have investigated 15,000 cases and punished 13,000 people for violating family planning laws since the launch of a campaign in 2011, Wang said. The government aims to bring China's gender ratio below 115 newborn males for every 100 females by 2015. In 2008 the girl-boy ratio reached a record level of 120.56. The target for mid decade will not be easy to reach, said Wang. [...] The bias against females in economic, social and cultural fields is still the root cause of the current gender imbalance, Wang said. A natural gender ratio at birth is somewhere between 103 and 107 boys to every 100 girls. The gender imbalance began to soar in the 1980s, when ultrasound exams became widely available and reached its peak in 2008. The gender ratio stood at 117.78 in 2011. ^ top ^

Banned book campaign (Global Times)
2012-05-25
The National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office Thursday announced a new campaign targeting sellers and printers of illegal publications. The campaign will focus on Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hebei, Henan and Gansu - six provincial-level regions characterized by "active markets and obvious problems," according to Jiang Jianguo, a senior official with the office. "During the crackdown, relevant local anti-illegal publications offices should spare no effort in investigating photocopy shops, kiosks and mobile vendors that print or sell illegal publications," Jiang said at a meeting. Last month, authorities in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions destroyed more than 29 million copies of illegally-produced documents. Authorities confiscated more than 38 million unauthorized publications between April 2011 and March this year. ^ top ^

Chen's brother flees guarded village (SCMP)
2012-05-25
The brother of activist Chen Guangcheng fled his closely guarded village to seek legal advice yesterday in Beijing on how to protect his son from what their supporters call retaliation by local officials, an attorney said. Chen sought protection of US diplomats last month after escaping virtual house arrest in his hometown, sparking a stand-off between Beijing and Washington and highlighting the extralegal measures taken by local officials to suppress dissent. [...] His nephew, Chen Kegui, has been arrested and accused of attempted murder during a clash last month with local officials who burst into his home looking for Chen after his escape. Chen Guangfu - the activist's brother and the father of Chen Kegui - met yesterday in Beijing with attorney Ding Xikui to discuss his son's case, the lawyer said. Ding says he and another attorney were authorised by Chen Kegui's wife to defend him. However, police at the Yinan detention centre where Chen Kegui is being held have told the lawyers that government-appointed attorneys will be representing him instead. [...] "We are still in negotiations with the local authorities" on Chen Kegui's case, Ding said. Two other rights lawyers said that Chen Guangfu called them once he left the village. One of them, Jiang Tianyong, said Chen Guangfu described the security situation in his hometown as having become tighter since Chen Guangcheng escaped the village a month ago. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

High PM2.5 linked to deaths (Global Times)
2012-05-21
Researchers from Peking University say minute particle pollution as indicated by high PM2.5 readings will cause a spike in the mortality rate of patients suffering heart and lung diseases. The researchers from the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Center for Environment and Health at the university published their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Whenever a reading of PM2.5 rises to 103 microgram per cubic meter, the mortality rate among those with risk factors will increase 2.29 percent, according to the study, which examined data from the city of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province. [...] Fine particles including metals, pollution caused by engine combustion and secondary components are responsible for the acute attacks suffered by heart and lung patients when PM2.5 readings are high, said the study. [...] Zhou Zijun, professor with the School of Public Health of Peking University, told the Global Times yesterday that apart from burning coal in winter to run the heating system, vehicle emissions are also a major problem in cities like Beijing. "People across the country should be on a high alert to the mortality rate caused by high PM2.5," Zhou said. "PM2.5 is only one of the indices that measure the air quality," said Zhou. [...]. ^ top ^

Parents protest school policy (People's Daily)
2012-05-25
Nearly 50 parents protested outside the Tongzhou district education bureau, asking for equal rights for their children to attend a public school. The parents, whose children do not have a Beijing hukou or resident's permit, submitted an application to the bureau early this week and were informed they would receive the final decision yesterday. The parents stood outside the bureau with a banner saying "firmly requesting equal rights for students' access to free compulsory education." However, their request was turned down. [...] According to Beijing's education enrolment policy amended in 2010, primary and secondary school students without a Beijing hukou have the same education rights as Beijing residents. However, Changping and Tongzhou districts are exempt from the policy, so parents still have to contact primary or high schools themselves and reportedly pay tens of thousands of yuan in "sponsorship" fees to enroll their children, parents claimed. Responding to the parents' protest, Tongzhou education bureau said that the number of school-age children from outside Beijing eligible for free education in the district had now surpassed that of students with a Beijing hukou, and the bureau has had to take measures to ensure students with a Beijing hukou were equally protected. [...] A child is eligible to study in the capital for free as long as the parents have five certificates, including a temporary residence permit, employment certificate and a certificate proving the child does not have a guardian in the hometown. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Yu returned as Shanghai party chief (SCMP)
2012-05-23
Yu Zhengsheng was re-elected Shanghai party boss yesterday - a move that reaffirms his potential to join the country's highest ruling body - as he highlighted the city's role in national reforms. The 67-year-old Yu, a princeling who has been on the Politburo for 10 years, stands an even greater chance of rising to the supreme nine-member Standing Committee after his selection by Shanghai's party leadership. The city's party committee also named Vice-President Xi Jinping as its delegate to the 18th Party Congress in autumn, a once-in-a-decade gathering when all top party leadership posts will be filled. Xi is widely expected be named to succeed President Hu Jintao as the party's top leader. "We must stick to the directions by the central leadership, ensuring Shanghai will live up to their expectations," Yu told reporters after his re-election as party secretary. "Shanghai will play an important role in the country's reform and development to help maintain stability." The post has long been seen as a stepping stone to top leadership, a reflection of Shanghai's role as a financial centre and its status as the nation's most populous city. All but one of Shanghai party secretaries since 1989 have been promoted to the standing committee. Those include Xi, former Premier Zhu Rongji and former President Jiang Zemin. The notable exception is Chen Liangyu, who was sacked and jailed following the city's pension fund scandal in 2006. Yu's political pedigree makes him a likely candidate to ascend the ranks. His father, Yu Qiwei, also known as Huang Jing, was once married to Mao Zedong's third wife, Jiang Qing. She was also the first mayor of Tianjin and head of the Ministry of Machine-Building Industry in the 1950s. Yu's mother, Fan Jin, was director of the Beijing Daily. Early last month, the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, praised Shanghai's steady development over the years. The front-page coverage was widely seen as a nod to Yu and his chances of promotion. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Senior CPC official on cultural industry development (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has said more innovative ways must be adopted to boost the growth of cultural industry, a national development strategy. Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark during a tour in the southern province of Guangdong from Thursday to Sunday. Li visited hi-tech enterprises, media and cultural companies, and a cultural industry fair in cities of Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. When visiting various enterprises and research institutes in Zhuhai, Li urged the companies to enhance independent innovation capacity to create more products with own intellectual property rights and brands. [...] Li said private capital should be encouraged to enter cultural industry and mainstream media organizations should cooperate and use new technology to increase their influence. Li also visited the ongoing International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen, saying the fair should play a bigger role in helping domestic cultural product providers explore overseas markets to enhance global influence of Chinese culture. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

1,000 Tibetan monks, nuns sign motherland petition (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
About 1,000 monks and nuns in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have initiated a signature campaign to express love for the country and religion. They signed their names on Monday at monasteries of counties in Shannan Prefecture, resolving to comply with law and dharma, choose right from wrong, advocate harmony and pursue peace. The number of participants exceeded 80 percent of the total registered monks and nuns in the prefecture, said Dawa Tsering, head of the prefecture's Buddhism association, organizer of the event. "A Buddhist should never forget himself or herself as a votary for the Buddha, and should take it as responsibility for well-beings of the religion, the human beings and the country," said Dawa Tsering who led the signature-signing at Samye Monastery, in Chanang County. Losang Khedrup, a monk with the monastery said, "We voluntarily signed our names to better promote the tradition of loving our country and our religion." Built more than 1,000 years ago, Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet and the birthplace of the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Since the beginning of 2010, the central government has earmarked nearly 80 million yuan (12.7 million U.S. dollars) to repair the ancient site. Located nearly 200 km from the capital of Lhasa, Shannan Prefecture is dubbed the origin of the Tibetan ethnic group, with numerous monasteries in the prefecture. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Programs help Uygur women to self-reliance (China Daily)
2012-05-22
Ayigul may work for a domestic services company, but she is no housekeeper. Perfectly made-up, immaculately groomed and speaking fluent Chinese, she looks like a textbook example of a white-collar professional. The 30-year-old Uygur woman works as a mentor at a Shenzhen-based domestic help company in Kashgar, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [...] In May 2011, Ayigul got a chance to receive free training from the company to learn housekeeping services. Thanks to her hard work and excellent record as a trainee, she was hired full time to teach other Uygur women vocational skills, such as senior care, home care for the sick and baby-sitting. [...] Before she joined the company, her life had been different. Soon after graduating from Kashgar Health School in 2006, she married a truck driver, and she has "worked for a total of three months in the past five years". [...] As the custom goes, we Uygur women can't work outside the home. We're supposed to stay at home, cooking and caring for the families. But I've learned to rely on my own hands and live independently. [...] Training programs like these are part of an overall strategy to spur growth in the area. In 2010, the central government introduced a plan to make Kashgar into an economic development zone and a prosperous trading post for China's Central Asian neighbors. But poor infrastructure has been a constant obstacle, said Zhu Tingfeng, chief of Shenzhen's department for assistance to Xinjiang. [...] "The unprecedented rapid development in Kashgar has also brought difficulties, such as a lack of laborers. So we bring designing and construction teams from Shenzhen to Kashgar, wishing to bring developed ideas and techniques to the area," said He Ru, director of project office of the department. [...] Since May 2010, when the central government called for 19 developed provinces and cities to assist Xinjiang, 187 experts from Shenzhen have been sent to Kashgar, and a total of 1.25 billion yuan ($197 million) has been poured into its economic development. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong tops ranking of Chinese cities' competitiveness: report (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
Hong Kong topped the list ranking the competitiveness of cities in China, followed by Taipei and Beijing, according to a report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Monday. Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Qingdao and Changsha rounded out the top 10, according to the "Report on the Competitiveness of Chinese Cities in 2011." The report analyzed the competitiveness indices of 294 cities in the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. Those indices include the overall growth, size and effectiveness of the economy, development costs, industry levels and quality of life, among other factors. ^ top ^

Sichuan may return HK donation (SCMP)
2012-05-25
Authorities in Sichuan have agreed to consider a Hong Kong government request for the return of a HK$2 million donation used to rebuild a school, after admitting they did not seek Hong Kong's consent before the demolition of the HK$4 million building. Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung said Sichuan officials had made the comments yesterday during his visit to the provincial capital, Chengdu. He said the authorities had also promised a further investigation into why the demolition of the Mianyang Bauhinia Ethnic Secondary School had gone ahead without Hong Kong being consulted. Lam said he had asked that the HK$2 million be returned to the HK$2 billion trust fund set up by Hong Kong to support reconstruction in the southwestern province after the 2008 earthquake that claimed more than 80,000 lives. [...] He said there had been no discussions with Mianyang officials about the possibility of demolishing the school, which local authorities said was only ever meant to be temporary, before a permanent replacement was built. [...] The school was demolished on Saturday by the site's new owner, construction group Wanda, which plans to build a complex of luxury flats on the land. [...] There have been conflicting statements on the demolition in recent days. On Monday, the Mianyang government said the new school was too small and would have to be moved. But a day later, Li Ze, an officer at the Mianyang Investment Promotion Bureau, told a mainland newspaper that the demolition was "a selfish move" by the developer, and that authorities had "no idea it was going to happen", adding that "penalties may be announced". But the deputy planning chief, He Lintai, was reported to have said the school was rebuilt for "urgent use" and was not intended to be a long-term replacement. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Ma Ying-jeou urges further cross-Strait cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
Taipei - Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said on Sunday that both sides of the Strait should open new areas of cooperation and continue to promote peace, prosperity and mutual trust in the next four years. Ma made the remark at the inauguration ceremony as he took office for a second term on Sunday. In the past four years, Taiwan has improved cross-Strait relations and reduced cross-Strait tension. This had brought peace and prosperity and won broad public support, he said. "We have promoted cross-Strait ties in accordance with the principles of putting 'pressing matters before less pressing ones, easily resolved issues before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones'," he said. Ma noted that this approach has yielded unprecedented success in the areas of economic and trade ties, transportation, public health, culture, education, judicial assistance, and financial services. He said in the next four year, he will strive to enhance the drivers of Taiwan's economic growth, bolster Taiwan's competitiveness in creating employment and realizing social justice, develop an environment with low carbon emissions and high reliance on green energy, build up cultural strength, and improve Taiwan's capacity of cultivating, recruiting and retaining talents. [...]. ^ top ^

Jailed former Taiwan leader faces new charge (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian faces a new charge of illegal possession of classified documents. Chen, already jailed for corruption, was charged on Monday of taking away with him classified documents when he left his post as the island's leader, according to the special investigation division under the island's prosecutors office. Investigators of the special investigation division seized more than 1,300 pieces of documents with sensitive contents at Chen's office in September 2008, while investigating him on graft charges. In 2010, the Taiwan leader's office notified the prosecutors office about documents taken away by Chen, which led to a new raid on Chen's office, where 688 pieces of documents, including classified files, were seized, according to the special investigation division. Chen was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for corruption and money laundering during his tenure as the leader of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008. Chen began serving his sentence in December 2010. ^ top ^

China opposes US lawmakers' push to sell F-16 jets to Taiwan (Global Times)
2012-05-22
China Monday voiced its opposition to a defense spending bill passed last week by the US House of Representatives that pushed for sales of F-16 jets to Taiwan. "To push for weapons sales to Taiwan severely violates the one-China policy and the three joint communiqués between China and the United States, which severely interferes with China's internal affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. During the regular briefing, Hong urged "some US lawmakers" to get rid of their Cold War mentality. Also Monday, Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng expressed "strong dissatisfaction" and "firm opposition" to a Pentagon report that misrepresents China's military development. Geng said China's "justified and normal military development" has been unfairly depicted in the report, adding that China has made representations to the US over the report's content. He also denied US accusations of China engaging in cyber attacks. Geng said the US' efforts to discredit China go against the country's promise to build healthy, stable, reliable and sustainable military ties with China. ^ top ^

Taiwanese financial industry eyes capturing mainland opportunities (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
Members of Taiwan's financial industry on Wednesday called for quickened efforts in boosting financial exchanges between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. This includes setting up a cross-Strait currency clearing scheme, a move which is significant in facilitating their explorations of the mainland market. Jia-Dong Shea, chairman of the Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable, an association of the island's financial institutions, said at a seminar that the mainland will remain a major market for Taiwan's financial industry as demand for financial services is sluggish on the island. Shea expressed the hope that Taiwan and the mainland can quicken follow-up negotiations to their landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which has greatly bolstered cross-Strait economic and trade ties since it took effect in September 2010. He urged both sides to open up their financial markets more for each, a move which he says will facilitate Taiwanese financial providers' efforts to capture mainland opportunities. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China to revise copyright law draft amendment (Xinhua)
2012-05-19
The National Copyright Administration (NCA) will revise a draft amendment to copyright law that has stirred controversy since being circulated to seek public opinion, it was announced on Friday. The NCA has received 1,560 pieces of feedback concerning 81 articles in the draft amendment since it was published on March 31, according to the administration. It will therefore revise it based on opinions from the public and a committee of experts and try to publish it again to seek public opinion by the end of this month, an NCA official said. The draft amendment has triggered heated discussion among members of the public. It also drew wide attention from trade organizations and businesses from the United States, the European Union, Britain and Japan, as well as from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Public feedback mostly concerned statutory licensing, collective management of copyright, the review obligations of network service providers, the legal liability of non-exclusive license users, compensation for damages and registration of copyright and related rights. Chinese music writers have also expressed their anger as they believe the draft will diminish their professional rights if passed. [...] Industry insiders have also expressed worry that the provisions will make record companies less willing to invest in music record promotion. [...]. ^ top ^

US ruling on solar panels 'unreasonable' (China Daily)
2012-05-20
China on Friday rejected a US anti-dumping ruling against Chinese solar power equipment, calling it "unfair" and "unreasonable", as Chinese manufacturers warned that possible higher tariffs might hurt efforts to promote clean energy. Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, condemned the US anti-dumping tariffs as trade protectionism. "By deliberately provoking trade friction in the clean energy sector, the United States is sending the world a negative signal about trade protectionism," Shen said in a statement. The two governments have pledged to cooperate in developing renewable energy but have accused each other of violating free-trade pledges by subsidizing their own manufacturers. Thursday's preliminary ruling by the US Department of Commerce said Chinese producers sold solar cells and panels below fair price and hurt American producers. If that ruling is upheld, tariffs averaging 31 percent could be imposed on Chinese solar-panel imports. Also on Friday, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association said that China is requesting the US Department of Commerce to "recheck the facts and make the right decision" without being affected by the US election. [...] According to the US Department of Commerce, imports of solar cells from China in 2011 were valued at an estimated $3.1 billion. [...] The European Union is considering whether to launch an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of Chinese photovoltaic solar panels. [...] China exports more than 90 percent of its photovoltaic solar cells to the US and European markets. [...] With the presidential election drawing near, US President Barack Obama is getting tough on Chinese exports. The US announced it would set up a cross-agency trade enforcement unit to crack down on unfair practices of its trade partners, including China. ^ top ^

Wen urges more support for growth (China Daily)
2012-05-21
Premier Wen Jiabao called for greater efforts to support growth, through more monetary fine-tuning and fiscal incentives, amid signs of the economy further cooling. While economic growth is still on track, development will face more complex domestic and global hurdles, Wen said during a weekend inspection tour to Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province. "The relationship between maintaining growth, adjusting economic structures and managing inflation, must be properly handled," Wen said in comments reported by Xinhua News Agency. "We should continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy while giving more priority to maintaining growth." The government, he said, will continue to carry out anticipatory adjustments and fine-tuning, boost domestic consumption and promote steady and relatively fast economic growth. Wen visited several local enterprises during his visit and exchanged views with company representatives. Wen's comments came as a series of lower-than-expected economic indicators showed that the economy is facing further downside risks. [...] Wen said China will continue implementing structural tax cuts and replace sales tax with value-added tax. Loans to key projects will be increased and credit support boosted for small and medium-sized enterprises, he said. [...] The premier has again encouraged more private investors to be involved in monopoly sectors. [...] Some companies Wen visited are facing difficult business conditions due to weakening demand in developed economies and rising costs at home. [...]. ^ top ^

China reports spike in agricultural trade with Africa (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
China-Africa trade on agricultural products has gone through years of fast growth and the trade volume reached 4.78 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, a Chinese official said Saturday. The figure marked a 40.2-percent rise from the trade volume of the previous year and was 7.7 times that of 2001, said Wang Ying, the director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture. Wang delivered a speech during the China-Africa Business Cooperation Forum, which was held Saturday to encourage further cooperation on agriculture between the two sides. China exported 2.45 billion U.S. dollars in agricultural products to African countries in 2011, up 35.7 percent year-on-year, and imports increased 45.2 percent to reach 2.33 billion U.S. dollars, according to Wang. To help Africa raise local agricultural productivity and enhance food security, China has also set up 25 agricultural demonstration centers and trained more than 4,000 agricultural technicians and practitioners there since 2006. [...] China is now Africa's largest trading partner, as well as the continent's top FDI source. The bilateral trade value exceeded 160 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, according to a document presented at the forum. ^ top ^

Fair treatment for private capital in railway investment (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
China's recent move to give private capital equal treatment in investing in the country's railway projects is expected to inject new vitality into the long-monopolized railway sector amid concerns of an economic slowdown. According to a guideline issued by the Ministry of Railways (MOR) on Friday, equal market entry access will be created for all investors and private capital will be exempt from additional requirements. [...] The guideline stated that private investors are allowed to participate in almost every category of railway projects, including the construction of backbone lines, passenger lines, inter-city lines and regional lines. Eligible investors will also be allowed to participate in the design, construction, supervision, consultation, equipment purchasing and bidding processes. The guideline, which is by far the most open and detailed regulation in terms of the railway industry's market entrance to date, is expected to diversify investment channels to help ease the sector's debt that has brought some construction projects to a halt. After years of torrid growth, construction and investment in China's railways cooled remarkably, as the government tightened credit to cap inflation and a train crash last July that killed 40 people exposed the sector's weaknesses. [...] According to the guideline, the MOR should separate its government functions from enterprise management and reform its administration mechanism to let enterprises be the principal market player. The guideline also underlined the need to reform the investment and fundraising systems for railway projects. [...] Private investors are also welcome to make innovations in advanced and environmentally-friendly technologies and facilities, it said. The government has repeatedly vowed to break the state monopoly and encourage private investors to participate in domains such as the railway and financial sectors -- a move aiming to push market-oriented reforms and tap inner growth potential. [...] During an inspection tour last week, Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will focus its energy on expanding domestic demand to increase the stability of the economy, reiterating support for private capital in investing in the railway and several other sectors. ^ top ^

Nestle to build dairy farm in Inner Mongolia (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle has signed an agreement with a county government in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region to build a new dairy farm in the area. The government of Old Barag Banner (county) confirmed on Tuesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nestle to build a 2,000-cow dairy farm by the end of 2013. The county is located near the Hulunbuir grasslands, where Nestle built a dairy plant in Ergun Banner in 2007. According to the agreement, Nestle will not have ownership of the farm, but will help the owners manage it. The company collects fresh milk from some 25,000 farmers and herdsmen on its farm in Ergun to use in its products. Nestle has dairy plants in the cities of Shuangcheng and Qingdao in addition to its farms in Inner Mongolia. The company announced in January that it would spend 2.5 billion yuan (about 395 million U.S. dollars) over the next five years to train managers and improve the quality of the milk produced at the plant in Shuangcheng. ^ top ^

China to allow private investment in more sectors (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
China will issue specific guidelines on encouraging private investment in more industries after opening the way for private capital to flow into the railway and health sectors, an economic official said Tuesday. Drafting of detailed rules for private investment in the heavily state-controlled and monopolized electricity, oil and natural gas sectors is underway, said an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner. And government departments responsible for housing and construction, water resources, securities market and state-owned assets are also writing rules aimed to boost private investment in those sectors, an unnamed official said. The NDRC will also release a series of rules in May or June regarding better monitoring and analysis of private investment and improving engineering consulting services for private investment, he said. [...] The State Council, or China's cabinet, in February said encouraging private investment in previously state-controlled sectors would be a priority. [...] Detailed rules regarding private investment must be released within the first half of the year, the State Council said. The Chinese government published policies to support private capital in 2005 and in 2010, but progress has been slow in heavily state-controlled areas such as finance and energy. Private investment accounted for 61.9 percent of China's fixed-asset investment in the first quarter, up 4.6 percentage points from the same period last year, said Wang Xiaotao, head of fixed-asset investment at the NDRC. However, shares of private investment in sectors such as electricity, education, health care, finance, transport and water conservancy remained low, ranging from about 7 to 14 percent, said Wang. [...]. ^ top ^

Gov't urges stability; analysts fear further slowdown (Xinhua)
2012-05-24
China's Cabinet on Wednesday sought to shore up economic weakness in the country, pledging more attention to "stabilizing economic growth" amid fears that the world's second-largest economy may slow further in coming months. Authorities should give more priority to stabilizing growth and actively boost domestic demand as the economy faces "increasing downward pressure," the State Council said Wednesday. The government should "place stabilizing growth in a more important position and carry out preemptive policy adjustments and fine-tuning more forcefully according to the changing situation," according to a statement issued after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. [...] It noted that China's economy is generally stable with an economic growth rate being kept within the expected target set at the beginning of the year. However, the environment at home and abroad is becoming more complicated, making the world economic recovery more uneven and more difficult, the statement warned. [...] In the first quarter of 2012, China's GDP growth slowed to 8.1 percent from 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, raising concerns that the world's second-largest economy may decelerate further in coming months amid weak external demand and renewed worries over sovereign debt default in Europe. The statement repeated the government's stance to properly maintain a balance between ensuring steady and robust economic development, adjusting the economic structure and managing expectations on inflation. [...] Responding to the latest changes in the economy, the statement emphasized that efforts be taken to make policies more targeted, more flexible and more foresighted and expand domestic demand. [...] Analysts expect China's economic growth to slow further, judging from April's leading indicators on exports, fixed-asset investment and domestic consumption, which are considered as three major engines powering the economy. [...]. ^ top ^

Communist party expands presence in thriving private sector (Xinhua)
2012-05-25
The Communist Party of China (CPC) has been swiftly expanding its presence in the private sector, tripling its grassroots Party committees in non-public companies in the past decade. More than 300,000 CPC grassroots committees have been set up in the country's private sector, up from less than 100,000 about 10 years ago, according to data released by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on Thursday. The CPC grassroots committees among the non-public sector covered all 210,000 large private companies across the country and recruited more than 3.5 million CPC members, according to the SAIC. The number of CPC members currently exceeds 80 million, which means that about six in every 100 Chinese people have joined the CPC in a country with a population of 1.3 billion. The private sector, which includes more than 10 million private enterprises and nearly 40 million self-employed businesses, contributes to over 60 percent of the gross domestic product of the world's second-largest economy and creates about 90 percent of the country's new jobs, the SAIC data showed. The rapid development of the private sector has posed new challenges for the CPC, as most of the non-public enterprises lack grassroots organizations to mobilize Party members. [...] "It is an increasingly pressing task for the Party to consolidate its class base and widen its public impact among the private sector," Chen Xiangqun, an official from the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, said at a conference on Party-building in the private sector, which was held Thursday in Lanzhou, capital of northwest Gansu province. [...] Chen said the building of CPC organizations in private enterprises has consolidated the CPC's ruling basis in China and helped facilitate the "healthy development" of those enterprises. [...] Party building in small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), however, remains challenging, as only about one-fifth of SMEs and less than 1 percent of individually-owned businesses have CPC grassroots organizations, according to the SAIC data. Zhou Bohua, head of the SAIC, said industry and commerce departments should seek to build community Party committees for individually-owned businesses to increase CPC coverage over more people. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

South Korea and US hold joint military drill (Xinhua)
2012-05-19
The South Korean and the United States air forces are currently holding a joint aerial drill. They say they are practicing search and rescue missions in case of war between the South and the North. [...] This annual joint aerial exercise began on May 7th and will last 12 days. The mission includes air combat simulations, in-flight refuelling, and ground attacks to neutralise air defence systems. [...] Once again, the DPRK has denounced the exercise and threatened "special action" against South Korea. However, it was not immediately clear what action, if any, would be taken. Some observers believe that Pyongyang could conduct its third nuclear test in the near future following its failed rocket launch last month. The United States said on Monday it has no plan to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea as that would further fuel tensions. ^ top ^

Detained Chinese fishermen, vessels released: DPRK authorities (Xinhua)
2012-05-21
Pyongyang - All detained Chinese fishermen and their vessels had been freed, the foreign ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Sunday. Counsellor Jiang Yaxian with the Chinese embassy to Pyongyang told Xinhua that the DPRK foreign ministry had notified the embassy of the latest development. The vessels and the crews have been on their way back home, Jiang said. Jiang said Friday that the detained Chinese fishing crews were in "sound health condition with sufficient food and healthcare," and that "part of the detained vessels and crews have already been back to China." Ambassador Liu Hongcai and other Chinese diplomats have been working actively on the detention of the Chinese fishermen along with their vessels "through negotiation and close contact." [...] It was reported that the fishing boats and their crews were held in custody by the DPRK on May 8. ^ top ^

Pyongyang denies intention to conduct nuclear tests (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
Pyongyang - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had no plan to conduct nuclear tests alongside its peaceful satellite development program, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry was responding to a declaration by the recent Group of Eight (G8) summit in the United States, which the DPRK said violated its rights to launch satellites and develop nuclear deterrence for self defense. The declaration urged Pyongyang to comply with its international obligations, and abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a "complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner." A ministry spokesman said in the statement the DPRK only planned to develop satellite technology for peaceful use and had no intention of carrying out nuclear tests or any other military actions. The nuclear test allegations fabricated by the United States and other powers only revealed their continued hostile policy toward the DPRK, he said. The "window still exists" to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through negotiation if the United States shows its willingness to abandon its hostile policy toward Pyongyang first, the spokesman said. [...] Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative on the DPRK, said after meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts Monday, "it is very important that the DPRK not miscalculate again and engage in any future provocation". Some experts and government officials have said the DPRK appears to be ready to conduct a third nuclear test and is only awaiting a political decision. Its previous two satellite launches, in 2006 and 2009, were followed by nuclear tests. ^ top ^

US envoy has 'good' talks with Chinese officials about DPRK (China Daily)
2012-05-24
The US special envoy for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea left for Tokyo on May 23 after meeting Chinese officials in Beijing, as tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high. Glyn Davies told reporters at the airport that he held good talks with key Chinese officials, including Fu Ying, deputy foreign minister, Wu Dawei, the special representative for affairs on the Korean Peninsula, and Liu Jieyi, deputy minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. Asked whether the DRPK will go ahead with another nuclear test, Davies said it would be a highly provocative and inappropriate miscalculation. "I certainly hope that they will not go ahead with the nuclear test," Davies said, adding that he will keep contact with Chinese officials. Wu told China Central Television on May 22 that both China and the US are worried about the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. It is the common interest and responsibility of China and the US to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula, and China opposes any action from any party that will make the situation more complicated, Wu said after meeting with Davies. The DPRK's foreign ministry spokesman told the official Korean Central News Agency on May 22 that it would "bolster its nuclear deterrent as long as the United States was continuing its hostile policies". The DPRK planned "countermeasures" following pressure from Washington, KCNA said. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia to promote development of renewable energy (Xinhua)
2012-05-20
Mongolia has begun developing its renewable energy industry which would be considered as the priority of energy sector's development, Mongolian energy minister D.Zorigt said. Mongolian mineral resources and energy minister D.Zorigt made the remarks at the " Mongolian Renewable energy 2012 " international conference which concluded here on Friday. Over 100 specialists, company representatives, government and international organization officials participated the two-day conference and they put forward many advices and technology solutions for Mongolia's renewable energy development. [...] Mongolia's Newcom Group and U.S. General Electric Company are jointly building the country's first wind farm-Salkhit Wind Farm, some 70 kilometers to the east of Ulan Bator. The 100-million U.S. dollar project aims to provide clean energy for Ulan Bator and alleviate the capital city's air pollution. [...] According to specialists' estimates, the country's wind energy generation capacity could reach 2.55 trillion KWH annually. At present, Mongolia's electricity consumption grows between 8 to 10 percent annually and the wind power can provide substantial clean electricity for the country's rapid economic development. ^ top ^

Micro-districts to be connected to centralized heating system (UB Post)
2012-05-21
Last Saturday, a construction started to connect the 9th and 10th khoroo (the smallest administrative unit in the capital city) and the 7th micro-district to the centralized heating system. It is one of the step-by-step works implemented by the government for creating a convenient environment for the city's people and for erecting apartments in ger (national dwelling) areas. At the opening, S.Batbold PM said this work will result in reducing air pollution. He obliged the "Ulaanbaatar dulaan" executor company and other related organizations to complete the work in time with high quality. It is supposed that #39 secondary school in Chingeltei district, the #124 kindergarten, a new sport complex to be erected soon, buildings of entities, the 7th micro-district, and some apartments will be connected to the centralized heating system, and that some 200 heating furnaces will be of no use anymore. With a 3.1 billion togrog from the "Fresh air" fund, the construction will be completed in September this year. ^ top ^

President satisfied with election preparation (UB Post)
2012-05-22
The President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj has introduced the preparation of the upcoming parliamentary and provincial election, scheduled on June 28. The President first visited the State Registration Office, where he was informed by L.Amarsanaa, head of General Authority for the State Registration (GASR), while electors can vote using their previous ID card, another 64 thousand people who lost their documents and who have made a request for new ID will receive a new Smart ID or electronic ID cards. The President commented that the process of issuing new ID should be done within short time. [...] This time the election will be conducted in the proportional system. Mongolians who reside abroad can vote for the election for the first time. The list of voters is based on renewed civil registration. It is the first time parliamentary and Capital City Representatives of the Khural is being conducted at the same time through one ballot paper and the voting and ballot paper will be counted by the automatic counting device. This year 11 parties and two coalitions registered in General Election Committee (GEC) and 1,839,984 people were registered to GASR to vote for election. [...] One of the features of the upcoming election is that ballot papers will be counted by the automatic counting device from American Dominion Voting Systems Company. Twenty-five thousand automatic counting boxes are to be brought from USA, of which 1200 has been brought already. Marketing of the law on election had already commenced by the press and media. [...] Mr. President was introduced to the ballot paper automatic counting device and said, “I wish for a fair election. I hope the GASR and the GEC will do their best to see that the elector's vote doesn't get lost. I've found an answer to my question on fair elections. Now I hope Mongolians will make the right choice”. ^ top ^

Parliamentary spring session takes break (Montsame)
2012-05-23
The Parliament Speaker D.Demberel announced a break of the parliamentary spring session on Wednesday. Before this, the MPs heard a draft resolution of parliament on taking some territories under the special state protection, as well as draft amendments to the laws on the government of Mongolia, on the State Great Khural and on regime of parliamentary session. The MPs also discussed some ten draft resolutions. The Speaker spoke about putting the strategic mineral deposits of Oyu tolgoi and Tavan tolgoi into economic circulation and creating a foundation for developing small- and middle-sized productions and said that all these achievements are the results of forming legal and financial proper environments. The Speaker said an average salary reached this year MNT 500,000--as much as twice against a salary by 2008, a minimum of pension went up 2.2 times, reaching MNT 180,000, students have started taking monthly scholarship of MNT 70,000. "Granting a bounty of MNT 1.5 million to every person has become real, besides, 250 thousand people have been employed," he added. Within the authorized term of four years, the State Great Khural adopted 111 laws, amended 4848 and approved 350 resolutions, 35 policy documents and 59 international contracts and agreements. It is considered that the spring session has solved all targeted issues. ^ top ^

Mongolia sets caps for foreign investment in strategic sectors (Xinhua)
2012-05-23
Ulan Bator - A new law improves rules pertaining to foreign investment and development of the market system based on fair competition, Mongolian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Gombojav Zandanshatar said Tuesday. Zandanshatar, speaking at a conference with foreign diplomats in Mongolia, said mining, banking and finance, media, information and communications are considered strategic sectors under the new law. He said that foreign investment in those sectors that exceeds 100 billion Mongolian tugriks (about 76 million U.S. dollars) must be approved by the government and parliament. An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also told the conference that the law applies to foreign businesses wishing to invest in entities operating in Mongolia and those looking to operate in a strategic sector or to make a transaction with a strategic entity operating in the strategic sector. The Mongolian parliament last week adopted the law "Governing Foreign Investment in Entities Operating in the Strategic Sectors," which raised worries among foreign investors that the Mongolian government may restrict foreign investment in the country. ^ top ^

China sends four endangered horses to Mongolia (News MN)
2012-05-23
Four endangered Przewalski"s horses were sent to Mongolia from west China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Monday, marking the first time for China to send the horses to another country since reintroducing the species 17 years ago, according to Cao Jie, director of the Xinjiang Wild Horse Propagation Center. [...] Przewalski's horses historically live on grasslands that are now part of China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Mongolia. The species faced extinction after rampant hunting that began in the early 19th century. Wild Przewalski's horses went extinct in the mid-20th century. Currently, there are fewer than 1,500 domestically bred Prezewalski's horses in the world. The horses sent to Mongolia underwent a 30-day quarantine to prepare them for their arrival at the Great Gobi B National Park, where they will join 60 other horses. [...] "We are excited to receive horses from China," said Dr. Enkhsaikhan Namtar, office manager of the International Takhi Group, an organization dedicated to saving wild Mongolian horses. He said the horses will first be kept in captivity and gradually released into the wild after becoming acclimated to their new environment. Both China and Mongolia plan to exchange horses with more countries in the near future, including Germany, Britain and the United States, according to experts in the field. ^ top ^

N.Enkhbayar's court hearing postpones (News MN)
2012-05-24
The court hearing of ex-president N.Enkhbayar's case postponed till June 4. The court hearing started at 10 am in Sukhbaatar District court. N.Enkhbayar's lawyers Mr. O.Baasankhuu and Mrs. B.Oyunchimeg came to the court but ex-president N.Enkhbayar didn't appreared. According to the press officer MPRP, headed N.Enkhbayar, ex-president not able to came because of health condition. The source said N.Enkhbayar's lawyers demanded to call to court hearing two more people, which connected to the privatization of the Sukhbaatar printing house- MP Kh.Narankhuu and L.Sergelen. ^ top ^

 

Vincent Laurent
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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