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
  9-15.6.12, No. 427  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China Focus: China, Afghanistan become strategic partners (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
China and Afghanistan announced that they will establish a strategic and cooperative partnership, after the talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday. The partnership will serve the fundamental interestes of the two nations and contribute to the peace, stability and development in the region and beyong, according to a joint declaration issued after the leaders' meeting. The two sides expressed firm support to each other on issues concnering national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and agreed not to allow their respective territory to be used for any activities targeted against the other side, according to the declaration. The Afghan side reaffirmed that it is committed to the one-China policy, and [...] expressed its firm support for China's positions on the Taiwan, Tibet-related, Xinjiang-related and other major issues concerning China's core interests, the declaration said. Meanwhile, the Chinese side reaffirmed its commitment to respect Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity, and reiterated its respect for Afghan people's choice of development path suited to their national conditions, and its support for the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan. The two countries also expressed "strong rejection" of all forms of terrorism, extremism, separatism and organized crime. They agreed to intensify exchanges and cooperation in security by way of jointly combating such transnational threats as terrorism, illegal immigration, illegal arms and drug trafficking, and enhancing intelligence exchanges and border management. The Chinese side firmly supports Afghanistan's efforts in combating terrorism and drug trafficking and safeguarding national stability, the declaration added, calling on the international community to support this cause. The two sides also agreed to continually strengthen the pragmatic cooperation in such fields as resources and energy development, infrastructure development, engineering and agriculture. China announced that it will provide a 150-million-yuan (23.8 million U.S. dollars) grant to the Afghan government during 2012. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese president advocates Iranian nuclear dialogues (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Beijing on Friday and told him that it is China's persistent policy to solve Iranian nuclear issues through dialogues and cooperation. New progress has been made during the talks in Baghdad, Hu said, adding that China hopes the Iranian side can weigh up the situation, take a flexible and pragmatic approach, have serious talks with all six related nations, and enhance dialogues and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency so as to ensure the tensions can be eased through negotiations. He also said China will continue to play a constructive role in settling the issue through peaceful means. [...] China would like to work with Iran in strengthening exchanges between the two nations' top leadership, governmental bodies, legislatures and political parties, he added. Hu suggested the two countries also promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and maintain contacts and coordination on major international and regional issues so as to preserve regional peace and stability, and enable common development. [...] Iran would like to strengthen its friendly ties with China, expand cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, agriculture, as well as infrastructure, and boost people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The Iranian president also introduced his nation's nuclear policies and said Iran hopes to ease tension over the subject through negotiations, adding that it would make further efforts and continue to maintain contacts with all sides. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Libya vow to cooperate in Libyan reconstruction (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
China and Libya on Monday vowed to boost cooperation concerning Libya's reconstruction. The pledge came out of a meeting between Vice President Xi Jinping and visiting Libyan Foreign Minister Ashour Ben Khayil at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing. "China will encourage its companies to participate in Libya's reconstruction," said Xi, adding that political and economic reconstruction in Libya has entered a crucial period. He spoke highly of the progress made by the Libyan interim government in maintaining the country's stability, resuming economic development and promoting national reconciliation. He said the Chinese side sincerely hopes that Libya will achieve long-term stability and prosperity. Khayil said Libya appreciates China's "fair and responsible" stance concerning Libya. He said Libya attaches high importance to its relations with China and welcomes China to join in Libya's reconstruction. Xi said China-Libya relations have withstood the test of global change, adding that developing reciprocal cooperation conforms with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world. China is ready to join hands with Libya to beef up exchanges and promote friendly cooperation, the vice president said. Khayil said Libya will make common efforts with China to push forward reciprocal cooperation in all fields. Prior to the meeting, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held a talk with Khayil on Monday morning. [...]. ^ top ^

China to loan Malaysia pandas (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
KUALA LUMPUR - China will loan Malaysia two pandas in yet another gesture to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, Malaysia's Natural Resources and Environment Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The deal was initiated by China Wildlife Conservation Association and the Malaysian government. Under the agreement, the pandas would be on loan for 10 years to Malaysia to mark the 40 years of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations in 2014. The ministry said the cooperation would allow Malaysia to conduct conservation research on the giant panda and the public to appreciate the biodiversity and learn about panda conservation undertaken by China. [...] The ministry added that the close relationship between Malaysia and China that started during the tenure of current Malaysian prime minister's father Abdul Razak Hussein had spurred the country's economy and boost foreign investment. ^ top ^

China issues regulations to protect overseas workers (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
The Chinese government has issued new regulations for the management of foreign labor service enterprises to protect workers sent overseas and boost the development of foreign labor cooperation. The regulations, which will go into effect starting on Aug. 1, were posted on the central government's website on Monday. Foreign labor service enterprises will each be required to create a bank account containing no less than 3 million yuan (47.62 million U.S.dollars) to be deposited in banks designated by authorities in order to cover potential risks, according to the new rules. The funds will mainly be used to cover service fees, wages, compensation for losses and emergency expenses when labor service enterprises fail to pay, the circular said. Foreign labor service providers are not allowed to charge any service fees or ask for deposits or financial guarantees from the workers they have signed labor contracts with, the circular said. Foreign labor service corporations should not allow other companies or individuals to recruit workers on their behalf or allow their employees to work for businesses related to gambling or pornography, it said. Foreign labor service corporations should also buy personal accident insurance for their workers, except when foreign employers have promised to cover insurance fees, the circular said. Foreign labor service companies should send administrative staff to accompany teams of overseas workers consisting of more than 100 people, according to the regulations. They should also help workers protect their legal rights, the regulations said, adding that companies will be obliged to provide compensation that foreign employers fail to provide. ^ top ^

China rejects U.S. unilateral sanctions on third country (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said here Tuesday that China will not accept unilateral sanctions by the United States on a third country. Spokesman Liu Weimin made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked about China's response to the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports. "China opposes any country imposing unilateral sanctions on another country pursuant to its domestic law," said Liu, adding that China will not accept the practice of saddling unilateral sanctions on a third country. The United States will exempt seven economies from Iran oil sanctions under its National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday. She said the seven economies -- India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan -- have "significantly" reduced their oil imports from Tehran. The sanctions, which the United States may impose starting June 28, aim to strangle Iran's nuclear program by cutting funding from its oil industry. Among key oil importers, China is not included among the 18 countries exempt from the U.S. sanctions. Liu said China imports oil from Iran through normal channels in an open and transparent manner, and the trade is "legal and rational." China's oil imports are based on its economic development needs, and the oil imports do not violate relevant UN Security Council resolutions or undermine the interests of a third party or the international community, stressed the spokesman. ^ top ^

Airbus supports China's opposition to EU carbon emissions tax (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
Airbus fully supports China's stance in opposing the European Union's plan to tax international airlines under its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), one of the company's executives said Tuesday. Airbus shares China's stance on the matter and believes that the EU practice is improper even though the ETS was designed to reduce carbon emissions, John Leahy, a chief operating officer at Airbus, said. [...] The EU's move is unacceptable to other countries and must be corrected, Leahy said at the 68th annual conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Leahy said a global solution under the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization should be worked out. Chinese and U.S. aviation authorities and industry associations have repeatedly voiced opposition to the ETS, urging the EU to take a global and comprehensive approach to the issue. Tony Tyler, chief executive and director-general of IATA, said the administration is calling on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN agency, to finalize a global solution to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry. The EU's carbon charges are not a step forward, but a move that could trigger disputes or even a trade war in the industry, Tyler said. Airbus, which delivered about 20 percent of its products to China last year, will continue to take the country as an important civil aviation market, according to Leahy. The company plans to deliver more than 100 aircraft to the Chinese market this year. [...]. ^ top ^

'Zheng He' ship visits Spain (People's Daily Online)
2012-06-13
The "Zheng He" oceangoing training ship of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) performing the "Harmonious Mission - the 'Zheng He' ship's round-the-world voyage" arrived in Cadiz, Spain, on the morning of June 9, 2012 to start a 6-day-long friendly visit. According to the briefing, the "Zheng He" ship will hold a reception on the deck and open the ship to the staff of the Chinese Embassy in Spain, the Chinese-funded institutions, Chinese nationals and overseas Chinese as well as the officers and men of the Spanish Navy during the visit. In addition, in order to make relevant preparations for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, the "Zheng He" ship will organize its officers and men to conduct an all-round inspection and maintenance on the ship equipment and facilities. The "Zheng He" oceangoing training ship wrapped up its visit to Italy on June 4. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier vows to boost strategic partnership with Myanmar (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin on Wednesday, pledging to boost the two countries' all-round strategic cooperative partnership. "Amid complex and profound changes in the regional and global situation, it is of vital importance to further consolidate and enhance China-Myanmar relations," Li said. China would like to work closely with Myanmar to maintain relations and take a long-term perspective to develop bilateral ties based on the fundamental interests of both sides, he said. [...] Li called on the two countries to expand substantial cooperation, properly settle existing problems and protect the legitimate rights of enterprise to ensure smooth progress of bilateral cooperative projects. U Wunna Maung Lwin, who is on his first China trip as Myanmar foreign minister, said his government highly values its relations with China and will facilitate major cooperative projects between the two countries. Myanmar will continue its support for China on issues regarding China's core interests, he added. [...]. ^ top ^

China open to political proposals on Syrian conflict (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
China is open to proposals on convening an international conference on Syria or establishing a contact group on Syria, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said here Thursday. Spokesman Liu Weimin made the remarks at a regular press conference when asked to comment on proposals raised by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kofi Annan, the joint UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria. [...] "China advocates the international community adhering to the general direction of seeking a political resolution to the Syrian conflict," said Liu. He called on the international community to provide full support for Annan's mediation efforts and promote the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions as well as Annan's six-point plan. "China is willing to maintain contact with all relevant parties on the above proposals," he said. China has repeatedly said that it has no intention of siding with any Syrian party, and the Syrian people have the right to decide Syria's development path and political system, Liu said. As long as consensus is made among different parties in Syria through political dialogue and can be accepted by all Syrian parties and the international community, China will be open to it, he noted. On one hand, China hopes Annan's mediation efforts will make more progress as soon as possible. On the other hand, China calls for patience and international solidarity, given the complicated situation in Syria, said the spokesman. [...] "China disapproves of one-sided sanctions or pressure in the settlement of the Syrian conflict," he added. ^ top ^

Li pledges to help solve debt crisis (China Daily)
2012-06-15
China will help solve the European debt crisis through various channels and firmly supports the euro and EU integration, said Vice-Premier Li Keqiang as the crisis worsens with Spain's borrowing costs hitting record highs on Thursday. Li made the remarks when meeting visiting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reyners at Zhongnanhai, the central government compound. "China firmly supports the euro and EU integration, and will go on joining hands with the international community to solve the European debt crisis through various channels," Li told Reyners, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry. "China believes the EU is capable of having member nations reach consensus and that they will make efforts to stabilize the financial situation, promote growth and employment and properly handle the debt issue," Li said. [...] The Belgian is the longest-serving minister of finance in the EU, and warned on May 25 that central banks and companies would be making a grave error if they were not preparing for Greece to leave the eurozone. [...] "The situation in the eurozone is very serious. With problems emerging in Spain, hopes for other countries of saving Greece have further faded," said Zhang Jianxiong, an expert on European studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Li's remarks reflect Beijing's attitude at the moment — it does not want to see the eurozone come apart and will help in its own way." "It's the responsibility of a major country. The EU is China's largest trading partner. The deteriorated financial situation there will overshadow China's exports and its economic growth," Zhang said. Reyners arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a four-day visit. He also met Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi earlier on Thursday. [...]. ^ top ^

Joint SCO military drill concludes in Tajikistan (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
KHUZHAND, Tajikistan - The ninth counter-terrorism joint military exercise conducted by Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members concluded here Thursday. The exercise, code-named "Peace Mission 2012," involved about 2,000 military personnel from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, and was the first of its kind held in Tajikistan. Participating troops topped off the drill with a series of military maneuvers, including air and ground strikes, encirclement and suppression as well as pursuit and vertical interception. [...] The observers said the troops demonstrated superb military and counter-terrorism capabilities in the successful drill, which would play a significant role in deterring and crushing the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism. The exercise, which started Saturday, would also help deepen defense and security cooperation within the SCO and promote the member countries' ability to jointly confront new threats and challenges, they said. They also noted that the drill further improved the training and coordination of the armed forces of the SCO members, making them better prepared to maintain regional peace and stability. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Party members in performance review (Global Times)
2012-06-11
A total of 102 members of the Communist Party had their membership revoked and 120 others were put on probation in Shouguang, East China's Shandong Province, according to the China News Service Sunday. The members were found to have breached various regulations, including the family planning policy that limits most families to one child. A member who lost his membership was accused of seeking revenge after losing a village election. The review of the city's Party members has been underway since February and more than 60,000 members will have their performance as Party members reviewed. The review's result will be reported to the city committee of the CPC. According to the Jinan-based Dazhong Daily, 68 of the Party members had their membership revoked in April after they were found to have violated laws and regulations including the family planning policy. Thirty-four of the 102 were removed from the membership rolls for failing to fulfill their duty and getting fewer votes than required at a review-board hearing, the report said. The 120 members, who were put on a one-year probation, were accused of inappropriate behavior, and received less than 60 percent votes from the board, the report said. Some members were removed for failing to set an example for other members and losing public trust, the organization department of the city committee of the CPC was quoted by the newspaper as saying. The Shouguang City Committee of the CPC began in 2009 to require Party members to submit a written report every six months. [...]. ^ top ^

China marks Chairman Mao's sports slogan with various activities (Xinhua)
2012-06-11
Tens of thousands of citizens took part in various sports activities around China on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of late Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong's classic sports slogan for physical exercises nationwide. The slogan of "Promoting physical culture and sports; strengthening the people's physique" set by Chairman Mao in 1952, still looks practicable in the country, which has witnessed a great leap from shortage of sports facilities and national weak physique. From "sick man of Asia" to the top on the Olympic gold medal list, China presents the world with the progress it has made in both promoting national fitness and training athletic talents. [...] In Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, tens of thousands of citizens took part in a walking race to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the slogan. Zhao Rongfu, the director of the Hangzhou Sports Bureau, said the city has held the similar walking race event many times in the past two years and he hoped the activity can attract more people into the National Fitness Program. [...] Getting more of China's 1.3 billion people involved in sports was one of the legacy aims of the Beijing Olympics, where China topped the medals table with 51 golds. The National Fitness Program was started at this background and the Chinese people began to pay more attention to the popularity of sports and fun of sports instead of the results of competitions. ^ top ^

China publishes new action plan responding to human rights challenges (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
The Chinese government on Monday publicized its second national plan for human rights protection, promising to address challenges and work for the happiness and dignity of every citizen. The new plan, which addresses human rights protection work from 2012-2015, was published by the State Council Information Office and follows the previous one that covered the 2009-2010 period. Due to the influences and limitations of natural, historical and cultural factors, as well as the current level of economic and social development, China is still facing many challenges in the development of its human rights cause and it has a long way to go before fully allowing people to enjoy human rights, the document says. [...] The 2012-2015 period will be a crucial time for the country to improve its human rights situation while implementing the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015), deepening reform and opening-up and accelerating the transformation of the country's economic development pattern, it says. [...] [...] Liu Huawen, an expert with the Human Rights Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua that an action plan for human rights protection can be regarded as a sign that the state attaches great importance to human rights issues. [...] "The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights held by the United Nations in Vienna in 1993, urged countries to adopt such national plans," he said. "However, many countries, including those frequently pointing fingers at China, did not respond to the call." All targets and tasks set by the action plan for 2009 and 2010 were fulfilled as scheduled. [...] Over the past three years, China has made considerable progress in human rights protection. [...] In the plan, the country promises to observe more stringent judicial procedures for issuing the death penalty and the supreme court's review of cases in which the death penalty is issued. [...] Measures will also be adopted to protect the rights of the citizens involved in lawsuits and law enforcement activities. [...] It will also step up efforts in investigating and punishing officials who abuse their power and violate citizens' rights in cases such as those involving illegal detention. [...] In the plan, the Chinese government pledges to protect religious activities in accordance with the law. [...] The government will provide financial support for the construction of new school buildings in the Buddhist Academy of China as well as the expansion and improvement of the China Islamic Institute. More money will be budgeted for rebuilding and expanding religious venues in Tibetan-inhabited areas in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces. [...] In a bid to protect the people's right to be informed, the government will work to make government affairs public and push forward the disclosure of government information, the document says. [...] The country will also steadily push forward the disclosure of auditing information, especially the results of investigations of major cases. It will establish a system of informing the public of leading officials' appointments and dismissals, the document says. Vacant leadership positions and related job responsibilities, as well as basic information of the candidates for such posts, will be announced within an appropriate span of time. ^ top ^

Courts more cautious on death case (China Daily)
2012-06-12
The percentage of death sentences being overturned by the Supreme People's Court has fallen sharply since 2007, due to tighter court procedures, Hu Yunteng, the top court's director of research, said. There has been a steady decrease in the percentage over the last five years after the top judicial authority reinstated a review of all sentences carrying the death penalty. Just 7 percent of cases ordering capital punishment were rejected last year, compared with 10 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2007, according to figures from the top court. Hu declined to reveal how many people were executed annually, but said the total number was falling each year. There had been a decrease last year in the number of people committing crimes punishable by death, such as murder, violent robbery, rape and kidnapping, he said. "Courts have mastered uniform policy, including procedural and evidence norms, for cases in which the death penalty could be a possibility," Hu said. Consequently, the number of death sentences overturned due, for example, to mistakes in gathering evidence were significantly lower, he said. Sentences that were overturned were mostly due to procedural flaws, inappropriate sentences or crimes related to finance. [...] According to the top court, about 95 percent of death sentences approved in China are for serious crimes, such as homicide, robbery, serious injury, rape, drug trafficking and kidnapping. [...]. ^ top ^

President Hu pins hope on innovations (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday that innovations were key to the country's development, at a conference attended by more than 1,200 esteemed scientists and engineers. They attended the biennial conference of the country's two top think tanks with research capacities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), advising the government and industries on key scientific and technological issues. More innovations would be needed as the country transformed its development pattern, restructured the domestic market and boosted domestic demand, Hu spoke to the conference. [...] To fuel economic growth, the key was to foster "home-grown" innovations and achieve significant scientific and technological advance through efforts of the Chinese scientists and engineers, Hu said. The president asked top scientists and engineers to focus on looking for solutions to major global challenges and ways to free up China's development bottlenecks as the country modernizes. The country should also set up a "more scientific, vigorous and efficient" mechanism to boost innovations, so as to solve urgent problems that had been choking innovations, he said. The president encouraged the top scientists and engineers to find and train more promising researchers of younger generations and provide a favorable academic environment for their research careers. Meanwhile, he said he expected the members of both academies to keep academic integrity and professional ethics, and avoid any academic fraud. Also present at the opening ceremony of the conference were other state leaders Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang. [...]. ^ top ^

Another banking chief in custody (SCMP)
2012-06-12
In yet another embarrassing scandal involving the mainland's banking system, Tao Liming, president of the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC), was taken into custody on suspicion of having committed economic crimes. The investigation, coming close on the heels of the detention of a senior official at Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), underlined the importance of cleaning up the mainland's banks, some of which have been plagued by reckless loans and misappropriation of assets. Beijing-based PSBC, the nation's seventh-largest lender by assets, said in a statement yesterday that Tao, along with Chen Hongping, chief of an asset operation division, were assisting investigations into suspected economic crimes. Two weeks ago the Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog detained Yang Kun, an executive vice-president of ABC - one of the country's Big Four lenders - as part of an investigation into illegal gambling operations and corruption. Tao was placed under shuanggui - a disciplinary system for party members outside the legal system - according to a person close to the PSBC, adding that "no signs are showing that his problem is related to Yang's case". Shuanggui, equivalent to house arrest, is normally initiated against a senior government or state-owned company official after the anti-graft body collects sufficient evidence of any wrongdoing. He Juxin, an official with China Minsheng Banking Corp, has also been detained by Beijing police in connection with Yang's case. The investigations reflect Beijing's intensified crackdown on irregularities in the country's banking sector, which one person familiar with the inquiries said was spurred by the once-in-a-decade reshuffle of top leaders set for the autumn. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese leaders attend opening of minority art festival (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders on Tuesday attended an opening ceremony for the fourth Minorities Art Festival of China at the Beijing National Stadium. Also present at the event were Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun, all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Prior to Tuesday night's performances, Hu and other senior leaders met with representatives for the performers, including renowned folk artists from ethnic regions, as well as those coming from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Hu urged the artists to continue to perform for the mainstream theme of ethnic unity and progress and make more contributions toward the prosperity and development of minority art. A playbill for the opening ceremony included dance performances, singing, acrobatics and other forms of ethnic art. The festival is being jointly sponsored by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Culture, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Beijing municipal government. More than 6,700 ethnic performers will participate in the festival, which will last from June 7 to July 6. ^ top ^

Senior Chinese leader asks police to safeguard Party leadership (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
Senior leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Zhou Yongkang on Tuesday called on China's police officers to unswervingly safeguard the Party's leadership and the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Loyalty is the political nature of police officers and the cornerstone of their core values, which include "loyalty, serving the people, fairness and honesty", Zhou said at a ceremony held to celebrate the release of a book about the core values. Zhou, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, asked police officers to remain sober-minded and take a firm and clear-cut stance on cardinal issues of right and wrong. At any time and under any circumstance, police officers should maintain a high level of political unity with the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the general secretary, said Zhou, also secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the CPC Central Committee. Zhou called on police officers to persistently safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the masses. He said they should put people first and tackle issues that people are most concerned about, such as public security, the protection of rights and interests, social fairness and justice. Zhou also urged the police to rule by law in order to safeguard social fairness and justice, which he described as the "lifeline" of the country's political and legislative work. The official also asked police officers to increase their knowledge of the law, improve the credibility of law enforcement and avoid corruption. ^ top ^

Crackdown on illegal weapons slashes crime (China Daily)
2012-06-13
Police in 150 Chinese cities destroyed more than 100,000 illegal guns on Tuesday, as part of an ongoing crackdown that officials say is dramatically reducing gun-related crime across the country. As Ministry of Public Security officials also prepared to dispose of a further 250 tons of illegal explosives in the next few days, Vice-Minister of Public Security Huang Ming said the incidence of both crimes has been declining rapidly. Gun-related crime has fallen 46 percent year-on-year, while the number of explosive crime has also dropped by 39 percent, according to the ministry. A large portion of the guns destroyed on Tuesday were seized by police during raids, while others were handed in by citizens, police said. Half of the guns were confiscated during the national campaign targeting illegal guns and explosives, which started in February and which continues until December. So far, police have smashed more than 180 criminal organizations and detained 7,800 suspects involved in the illegal possession of guns and explosives in the crackdown. [...] In one particular joint initiative by police from China and the United States, 26 suspected gun smugglers were caught and 105 guns, a large quantity of gun parts, and at least 50,000 bullets were seized. [...] "China is currently one of the countries with the lowest incidences of firearms crimes, compared with many other countries," added Liu Shaowu, director of security management at the Ministry of Public Security. In the United States, more than 30,000 residents are killed and another 200,000 were injured in firearm violence on average annually, he said. ^ top ^

Farmers outraged over violent land grab (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
The summer harvest is drawing near, but farmer Wang Xiaofeng won't have much to show for it. Her field is now barren, with just a few large ruts and some ruined wheat plants left to rot. Wang is one of 12 villagers in Yimen township of Binxian county, located in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, who had their crops wiped out by the local government to make room for a new agricultural processing center. The farmers said they tried to communicate with the government multiple times about the issue, questioning the legitimacy of the land acquisition and bargaining over resettlement and compensation. But the farmers said they were ignored, with the loss of their crops adding insult to injury. [...] Twenty-five-year-old Xu Jianglong had to go to a local hospital after being attacked while trying to save his family's crops. He recalled arguing with the forklift drivers, with several men in camouflage coats ending the argument by coming up to him, throwing him onto a nearby road and beating him. Another three injured villagers, all female, are also receiving treatment at the hospital. The incident is not the first of its kind in the county. Last winter, local farmers had their fruit trees cut down by township officials over a similar land grab. [...] Yang Feng, head of Yimen township, said she was at the site of the land grab on May 18. She said the forklifts were driven by a construction team hired by the government. Yang admitted that some villagers were injured when the police were "keeping order" after the operation of the forklifts was interrupted by the villagers. It was the government officials who carried the injured villagers to the ambulances, Yang added. [...] To ensure grain security, Chinese authorities require the total amount of arable land to constantly remain above 1.8 billion mu (120 million hectares). However, the country is facing growing challenges in preserving arable land due to rapid urbanization and massive infrastructure construction. Data from the Ministry of Land and Resources showed that the country is already edging dangerously close to the arable land limit, with just 1.826 billion mu available as of the end of 2009. ^ top ^

Two detained for internet claims over yellow cloud (SCMP)
2012-06-13
Two men have been detained in Wuhan for spreading rumours online that an unusual yellowish haze enveloping most of the city on Monday was generated by a furnace explosion or leak from a chemical plant. Authorities insist it was caused by the burning of corn stalks. The online rumour spread quickly in the city of 9 million residents, many of whom complained about the stench and suggested it was smog. Authorities in Wuhan said the air pollution from burning corn stalks had come from across Hubei province as well as neighbouring Anhui and Henan provinces. A senior engineer at the Hubei Environmental Monitoring Centre, Tian Yiping, said yesterday that high temperatures and low wind speeds had contributed to the dense haze. But authorities ruled out the possibility that the haze was caused by industrial pollution. However, Wu Feng, an associate professor of environmental chemistry at Wuhan University, said that while corn stalk smoke would contribute to the problem, there was only a slim possibility that it alone would cause haze on such a large scale. [...] Many residents have complained on the Sina Weibo microblog. "Is this the end of the world?" asked microblogger Greengreenfish2011. "My head has been reeling for the entire day. The air made me want to vomit." Another, tagged "A linsainly", said: "Every one is wearing a face mask... the entire city of Wuhan is enveloped in haze and it looks like everyone in city is burning stoves." The haze had eased yesterday over the city. [...]. ^ top ^

Ministry urges efficient use of donated blood (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
The Ministry of Health on Tuesday issued a regulation to promote the efficient use of donated blood amid increasing pressure on the country's blood reserves. The regulation, to become effective August, will help to reduce wasting of blood resources and promote the capability and accessibility of medical services, said Guo Yanhong, vice director of the ministry's medical administration division. The regulation banned acts such as hospitals calculating its income from blood transfusions as a gauge of work performance and stipulated fines and other punishments for violators. Guo also called for more blood donations from the public. Official statistics show that about 2.99 million people made voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations from January to March in the Chinese mainland, excluding Tibet, marking a year-on-year rise of 6.6 percent. However, the country's blood reserves are still under pressure as demand for blood in medical services is increasing rapidly, Guo said. [...] It is estimated that by 2015, the country will need about 60,000 to 70,000 new blood donations every day to satisfy blood demand in medical services, the official said. The World Health Organization recommended 100 to 300 out of every 10,000 people in a country donate blood, whereas on the Chinese mainland, only 90 of every 10,000 people donate. In Beijing, over 4 million people have donated blood since the promulgation of the current law on blood donation in 1998, said Liu Jiang, director of the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center on Tuesday. Two out of every 100 Beijing residents have donated blood, and the blood center also registered over 500 foreigners making blood donations in Beijing, Liu said. ^ top ^

Authorities call time-out on football fraud (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
Chinese authorities jailed eight football officials and players on Wednesday, including two former deputy chiefs of its national football association and four former international players, as part of ongoing efforts to clean up the game. The Wednesday sentencing of the officials and players marked the culmination of a campaign to eliminate graft in the Chinese professional soccer leagues, which have been afflicted with match-fixing, gambling and other illicit behavior. Two former vice chairmen of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), Nan Yong and Xie Yalong, were each given sentences of 10 years and six months for taking bribes. Under the current system, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) runs the professional leagues and supervises its own running, which was regarded by many as the main reason for corruption. Four former national team players and two former national team officials were sentenced by courts in the northeastern province of Liaoning for accepting bribes to fix matches for domestic games. [...] A former CFA official said on condition of anonymity that clubs' rankings in leagues are directly relevant to their sponsorship and revenues in advertising. [...] Football fraud is not endemic to China, but can be observed in countries around the globe. [...] A BBC documentary series broadcast in November 2010 alleged that three members of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) executive committee had been given bribes by a Switzerland-based marketing company. [...]. ^ top ^

China tightens food safety control (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday laid out measures to improve food safety, including tighter supervision and harsh punishments for violators. "It is an onerous task for the government to ensure food safety," as China's food industry is still suffering from unstandardized management and many hidden safety risks, according to a statement released Wednesday after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. The government should enhance supervision by setting up an efficient mechanism that covers all links in the food industry and a rigid food recall and destroy system for defective products, the statement said. The State Council has vowed a "harsh crackdown" on those endangering food safety, saying violators should be ensured penalties in accordance with laws and regulations. Meanwhile, relevant policies, laws and regulations should be revised to increase costs for violators, according to the statement. The State Council urged Chinese enterprise owners to accept primary responsibility in ensuring quality and safety, while government departments should enhance quality and safety monitoring. More efforts should be taken to accelerate the establishment of a complete food safety standard and quality assessment mechanism to improve agencies' capabilities to conduct tests and issue emergency response in case of food scandals, it said. A draft regulation on the management of government offices was also passed at Wednesday's meeting to rein in extravagant expenditures and ensure frugal operation. [...]. ^ top ^

Core state firms aid employment in west China (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
Chinese state-owned enterprises administered by the central government on Wednesday offered more than 3,600 jobs to college graduates from regions where ethnic minority groups are most concentrated. A total of 46 SOEs have offered jobs to graduates from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Tibet autonomous region, and Qinghai province during a job fair in Beijing. Vice chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission Jiang Zhigang said the trial move was aimed at promoting employment as well as boosting development in the nation's less developed west. Among the jobs provided, some were locally based in the western regions, while others were based in Beijing and Shanghai and even overseas. The new recruits would be mainly employed in the construction, resources exploration, machinery, services, and aerospace sectors. [...]. ^ top ^

Forced abortion case investigated amid nationwide outrage (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
Authorities in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have launched an investigation into an instance of forced abortion, pledging that anyone found responsible will be punished according to relevant laws and regulations. Feng Jianmei, 27, was forced to terminate her pregnancy at seven months in a hospital in Zhenping county on June 2. Details of the case, including several photos showing the remains of the fetus lying next to the mother on her hospital bed, were posted on online forums and have since shocked and angered many nationwide. [...] However, it has yet to be confirmed if the photos are genuine, and the photographer has yet to be identified. The Shaanxi Provincial Population and Family Planning Commission, which oversees the family planning work in the province, announced Thursday it has dispatched an investigatory team to Zhenping and ordered the local government to punish any officials who are found to be responsible for the forced abortion. "What the authorities did in Zhenping represents a serious violation of national and provincial policies and regulations on population and family planning, has undermined the reputation of our work and negatively impacted society," the commission said. The commission said most of the descriptions of Feng's case found in online posts were factual. But investigators are still looking into allegations that Feng was illegally detained before the abortion was performed. Authorities in Zhenping said Feng consented to the abortion, adding that Feng was not legally entitled to have a second child. Feng previously gave birth to a girl in 2007. "Feng is not entitled to have a second child, according to policies on family planning. Therefore, local officials brought her to the hospital to receive the abortion," Su Huaichun, a publicity official in Zhenping, said Thursday. However, Feng's abortion took place late in her pregnancy, a practice that is prohibited by China's laws on population and family planning. [...] While rural residents and ethnic minorities are permitted to have more than one child, urban residents like Feng are limited to a single child, according to family planning policies introduced in the 1970s to rein in China's surging population. Local officials and doctors insisted that the abortion was carried out with Feng's consent, a claim that Feng and her family have denied, according to a report in the Thursday edition of the Huangshangbao Daily, an influential newspaper in Shaanxi. [...]. ^ top ^

New probe of June 4 activist's death launched (SCMP)
2012-06-15
Hunan provincial authorities have launched a new probe into the suspicious death of June 4 activist Li Wangyang, calling in a team of criminal investigators. Public pressure for an inquiry has been mounting, especially in Hong Kong, where thousands have staged protests. "Apart from entrusting authoritative forensic experts from outside the province to conduct an autopsy, [we] have launched a further probe by a team of experienced criminal investigation experts," the Beijing-backed Hong Kong China News Agency quoted a spokesman of Hunan provincial public security bureau as saying yesterday. The announcement indicated that authorities no longer considered the death of Li a suicide, as first reported, or accidental, as was later claimed. The spokesman admitted the probe was largely prompted by the persistent attention and concern over Li's death by overseas media and the public. [...] Li's friends and a veteran rights lawyer said they welcomed the announcement of the fresh investigation into the death of Li. But they said it remained unclear whether numerous suspicions surrounding Li's tragic death could be addressed after his body was hastily cremated on Saturday. [...] Meanwhile, in Shaoyang, where Li died, the city's police chief, Li Xiaokui, told his close friends that he "didn't order the killing" of the democracy activist. He also told friends that the Li case "was very complex" and expressed fears that he might be made the scapegoat for Li's death in the Daxiang district hospital on the morning of June 6. The police chief's remarks strongly suggest Li's death was not a suicide, as was claimed by hospital authorities on June 6. A Daxiang district government statement on Sunday had already changed the wording from "suicide" to "accidental death", saying he was "acting weird" a few hours before he was found hanged in his hospital ward, citing his roommate. Relatives and friends of Li, who had recently been released after 21 years in jail, refused to believe he had killed himself. In Hong Kong, outgoing Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen raised doubts about Li's death for the first time during a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council yesterday. He said he had reflected the views of Hongkongers to the central government. But chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying remained silent on whether he had doubts on the claim that Li killed himself, saying only: "My personal feeling on this matter is the same as Hong Kong people's. I too have feelings." He said he would "reflect Hongkongers' opinion", without saying to whom or how he defined such opinion. ^ top ^

Majority of delegates elected for CPC national congress (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
More than two thirds of electoral units have elected delegates to the Communist Party of China (CPC) national congress, which is planned to be held in the second half of this year. Of 40 electoral units for the 18th CPC National Congress, 28 have finished the elections including 24 provincial units and four units at the central level, the People's Daily reported Thursday. A total of 2,270 delegates, elected from 80 million CPC members nationwide, will attend the 2012 national congress, 50 more than those to the 17th congress five years ago. In an effort to better represent its members, the CPC pledged to include more delegates from grass-roots organizations, such as migrant workers, at the upcoming congress. The minimum proportion of grass-roots delegates will be 32 percent, two percentage points higher than that at the previous congress in 2007, while the maximum proportion of leaders at various levels will be 68 percent, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said. Also, worker delegates must take up 10 percent of the total and should be made up of those from public and private enterprises in industrial and service sectors. [...] It is required that candidates outnumber the elected delegates by at least 15 percent. The rule has been followed in the elections that have finished so far. The election process follows five procedures, including nomination of candidates, qualification checks, public notification of the candidates, shortlisting and final voting. The 3.89 million grass-roots CPC units have been mobilized to take part in the elections. [...] During the elections, besides conventional media, the Internet and mobile phones played a bigger part to inform CPC members of election news. [...]. ^ top ^

Public encouraged to learn from self-sacrifice heroes (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
China's central authority for the promotion of ethics has called on the public to learn from three heroic figures who recently risked their lives saving civilians and state property. According to a statement issued on Thursday, the three figures include middle school teacher Zhang Lili, who lost her legs in the act of saving two students from an onrushing bus on May 8. The authority urged all departments to promulgate their heroic acts via various channels including broadcast, television and newspaper and social media, in a bid to motivate people's awareness of "selfless dedication," which is widely seen as a lofty integrity in China. The authority believes that promoting heroic acts will help to create a social atmosphere of altruism and contribute to building a harmonious society. Zhang is joined by fellow altruism icons Wu Bin and Gao Tiecheng in being cited by the authority. Late bus driver Wu received accolades after saving 24 passengers on May 29. [...] Gao, a young sergeant in Beijing, rushed into a restaurant fire to shut a leaking gas valve and helped save dozens of customers, suffering severe burns in the process. ^ top ^

Baby formula pulled off shelves after mercury tests (China Daily)
2012-06-15
Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, one of China's biggest dairy product manufacturers, suffered a setback when batches of baby formula were found to contain excessive mercury. The company is recalling all formula milk powder for infants in the Quanyou 2, 3 and 4 series produced from November 2011 to May 2012, according to a statement on the company's website. The recall came after samples of those batches were tested with abnormal mercury content on June 12 by food safety inspectors. "At present, the country has no standards on mercury limits in milk powder. But to be responsible to consumers, the company decided to recall all related products," said the statement. [...] The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in an urgent notice on Thursday that it launched a test on 715 samples from all infant milk powder brands in Chinese market, and no sample shows abnormal in mercury content except that from Yili. ^ top ^

Foxconn worker falls to death in SW China (China Daily)
2012-06-15
A young Foxconn employee fell to his death from an 18th-floor apartment Wednesday afternoon in Southwest China's Sichuan province, the public security bureau of Chengdu said Thursday. The 23-year-old worker, surnamed Xie, fell from the apartment at 4:40 pm He was sent to hospital for treatment, but later died in hospital, the public security bureau wrote on its official microblog on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblogging site. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Foxconn, the world's largest maker of computer components, assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia. It was brought into the spotlight after a string of workers committed suicide at its massive Chinese mainland plants -- acts that some have blamed on tough working conditions. The company currently employs 1.2 million people, including about 1 million based on the Chinese mainland. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Public complains of poor taxi service in Beijing (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
Long waits for taxis in the summer heat and the poor attitudes occasionally shown by taxi drivers have led some to complain about the poor state of taxi service in Beijing. The city's vast population means that passengers aren't in much of a position to pick and choose when they want to take a taxi. Cabbies can choose whether or not to pick up passengers, depending on whether their destination will be too long or too short. Microbloggers on Sina.com, a popular Chinese web portal, have posted multiple complaints about the city's taxis. [...] The difficulty in getting a taxi is often blamed on a lack of interest on the part of the drivers. However, the cabbies have struggles of their own. [...] A Monday report by the China Youth Daily alleged that a privileged group with franchise rights has essentially monopolized the sector, demoralizing drivers and taking most of their earnings. Taxi companies in Beijing often charge cabbies more than 5,000 yuan (791 U.S. dollars) as a monthly vehicle rental fee. The cabbies also need to pay for gasoline and extra spending on car maintenance and fines for traffic violations. They say they have to make at least 9,000 yuan per month just to break even. [...] The cabbies' decreased income and long working hours have caused many drivers to completely lose interest in their jobs, which may explain the difficulties many have had in trying to successfully hail a cab, the China Youth Daily report said. The report said taxi drivers used to earn decent incomes in the early 1990s, as licensed drivers usually worked privately without the expense of monthly rental fees. However, this practice changed in 1996, when the municipal government created a policy that aimed to regulate the market by encouraging the establishment of taxi companies. Experts have suggested eliminating the franchise mechanism in order to open up the market for fair competition. [...]. ^ top ^

LGBT center in appeal for new location (Global Times)
2012-06-13
Beijing LGBT Center have appealed for help in finding a new "home for 'comrades' [tongzhi, or homosexual people]," after being evicted twice. The appeal, released yesterday, said the center is once again facing a challenge that "greatly threatens the future of one of the only LGBT community centers in China." The center was asked to move from a community near the North Third Ring Road, Chaoyang district, following neighbors' complaints. They had just finished decorating, after being evicted from the previous location in March. They must leave at the end of July. Local residents claimed that the LGBT individuals in close proximity to their children would impact their children's development, and the landlord was "accused of being a sympathizer with LGBT people," said the announcement. "We told the landlord we're a culture business, but we overestimated the level of tolerance from the local community," said Fan Popo, from the center. [...] Zhang Xun, with Homelink Real Estate, said the center could claim compensation for termination of contract, but said it would be hard to find a new space. "If they decide not to hide the center's purpose, I think it will be a big problem for them to find acceptance from locals in the community," said Zhang. Sun Mingde, a lawyer from Beijing Guolian Law Firm, said that as there are no current anti-discrimination laws, the center itself may fall foul of regulations if they were not open about the purpose of the center. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Residents in Guangdong say no to the garbage plant (Global Times)
2012-06-11
Hundreds of residents from two cities in South China's Guangdong Province again took to the street in the provincial capital of Guangzhou Sunday to show their concern over a plan to build a garbage incinerator, according to several postings on Sina Weibo Sunday. "We do not want the garbage incinerator built in our city, and we have no better option but to stage this rally," a participant surnamed Hu from Qingyuan, a city neighboring Guangzhou, told the Global Times Sunday. Hu said the Fenshui garbage incineration project near the boundary of the neighboring cities of Qingyuan and Guangzhou has vexed residents for its possible impact on resident's health and the environment. [...] The first rally took place on the morning of May 23, when some 200 residents came to Guangzhou to show their displeasure. This time, "There were nearly 1,000 residents joining the gathering that lasted six hours," Hu said. "Burying the garbage will take too much land, while an incineration plant is quite scientific and popular overseas," an official also surnamed Hu with the urban management commission of Guangzhou, told the Global Times. "We have made a thorough argument for picking the site and assessed the impact on the environment." [...] The city government said on May 22 that Guangzhou's population is expected to be 18 million in five years, and they will produce 18,000 tons of garbage a day, far surpassing the city's current handling capacity. ^ top ^

TV station's bikini girls forced to cover up after provoking debate (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
The state-owned provincial TV station of south China's Guangdong Province provoked cheers and outrage on Saturday when it chose to hire bikini models to deliver weather forecasts as part of its coverage of the final tournament of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship over the weekend. Photos and videos depicting the women spread quickly on microblog sites after the Guangdong TV sports channel brought the models out to deliver weather reports for Ukraine and Poland, where the UEFA tournament is being held. CCTV, the national TV station, elected to hire renowned pianist Li Yundi to perform a piece by Chopin as part of its own coverage of the match early Saturday morning. However, online discussion of Li's performance was vastly overshadowed by that of Guangdong TV's bikini models. The women were the topic of more than 100,000 posts on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblogging site, as of Tuesday afternoon. Some of the comments were positive [...]. Other users, however, were incensed. [...] An opinion piece published in the Tuesday edition of the People's Daily said "inviting bikini girls to deliver weather reports is simply an unwise stunt." An opinion poll on the newspaper's website, people.com, showed that 58.5 percent of 3,645 respondents believe hiring the models was a "vulgar" decision and demonstrates a lack of social responsibility. [...] Guangdong TV chose to ask the models to wear t-shirts for their Sunday night coverage of the game. "We accepted suggestions from some netizens and made the change," an anonymous employee of the station said. [...] Women wearing bikinis first appeared on Chinese TV in the late 1980s, when beauty pageants made their debut in the country. They are a fairly common sight now, with bikini models hired to promote everything from auto shows to real estate companies. [...]. ^ top ^

Man sentenced to death for forging banknotes (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
A court in South China's Guangdong province on Thursday sentenced a man to death for producing a huge amount of counterfeit banknotes. Wu Shengyou organized a group that forged 195 million yuan ($30.6 million) in notes from September 2009 to April 2010, when they were caught by police in the provincial capital Guangzhou, said the first-instance verdict issued by the city's intermediate people's court. Seven other members of the group on Thursday received penalties ranging from life imprisonment to a five-year jail term for forging or transporting notes. These fake notes, all in denominations of 100 yuan, were produced in Hunan province and transported to Guangzhou to be sold there, said the verdict. The group sold 128 million yuan of the notes at a price of 3 to 3.5 yuan for each fake 100-yuan note, and the rest were seized by police, it said. Wu said he would file an appeal. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet sees over 1,000 foreign tourists daily (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
Tourism numbers have been increasing for southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, with more than 1,000 tourists visiting the region every day, the Tibet Tourism Bureau said Monday. The bureau said 1,588 foreign tourists from 40 countries, including the United States, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Nepal, visited Tibet on Sunday. The number of tourists from the United States on that day reached 330, the largest group among those from the above-mentioned countries. [...] Andrzej Brozek, a Polish man traveling with a group of tourists, said he visited the Potala Palace on Sunday, adding that he and his group will stay in Tibet for four more days. [...] A tour guide surnamed Yang said his company is getting busier every day. [...] Art stores on Barkhor Street said an increasing number of foreign tourists have visited their stores in recent days to buy artwork. The bureau said Tibet received 1.45 million tourists in the first five months of the year, showing an increase of 25.7 percent year on year. [...] The plateau region earned 1.36 billion yuan (215.87 million U.S. dollars) in domestic tourism revenues during the five-month period, the bureau said. The bureau said Tibet expects 10 million tourist arrivals and 12 billion yuan in tourism revenues this year. [...] The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the Tibet regional government agreed at a June 7 meeting to encourage air travel companies to establish more routes linking the regional capital of Lhasa with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as several southeast and west Asian countries. [...]

Tibet's government chief Padma Choling said that Tibet is striving to build itself into an international tourist destination, with a goal of drawing 15 million visitors annually by 2015. ^ top ^

Chinese Buddhists boycott forum (Global Times)
2012-06-14
Chinese delegates participating in a Buddhist conference in South Korea left abruptly Wednesday, supposedly in protest against attendance by representatives of the Dalai Lama. The Chinese monks and officials were attending the week-long World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) conference, which ends on Friday. A staff member from the organizing committee confirmed to the Global Times Wednesday that the delegates had left but did not specify the reason. The 17 Chinese monks and officials returned home a day after lodging a complaint about the exiled monk's presence, AFP reported. On Tuesday, three Dalai Lama representatives were forced to leave a delegates' assembly meeting after Chinese officials threatened to boycott the meeting, AFP earlier quoted an unnamed spokesperson for the committee as saying. [...] Staff from the publicity department of the State Administration for Religious Affairs said he was not yet aware of the incident. The Buddhist Association of China confirmed that it had sent a delegation of over a dozen people to the conference in South Korea, but could not confirm the reason for their sudden departure. Representatives of the Dalai Lama were indeed invited to the conference. Samdhong Rinpoche, an "ex-prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile" and Pema Chinjor, "minister of religion," attended the conference in Yeosu, South Korea, according to the website of the Tibetan "government-in-exile," an organization led by the Dalai Lama, who is seen by the Chinese government as "a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China secessionist activities in the name of religion," the foreign ministry said earlier. [...] Organizers initially sought to invite the Dalai Lama himself to the Yeosu conference but later ditched the plan out of consideration for China, reported AFP. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Swiss art collector donates 1,463 pieces of Chinese contemporary art to HK (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District Authority said Tuesday that it received 1,463 pieces of Chinese contemporary art from Swiss art collector Uli Sigg. These collections, conservatively estimated for 1.3 billion HK dollars, will be displayed as permanent collections in the M+ visual arts museum which will be completed in 2017. Uli Sigg said, with the help of M+, he completed his desire for a long time to bring these works of Chinese contemporary art back to Chinese land. Chief Secretary of Hong Kong's government, concurrently as the Chairman of the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Stephen Lam thanked for Uli Sigg's donating. He said the modern art collection covers the 30-year period running from 1979 to 2009, reflecting China's Four Modernizations and the launch of the open-door policy. Lam added that the collection will not only strengthen the city's role as a leading cultural hub in Asia, but also strengthen cultural exchanges with museums in Europe, the United States, Asia and those on the Chinese Mainland. He also hoped more cultural exchanges will enhance Hong Kong's position as Asia's world city and place West Kowloon on the international art map. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

New 'office' talk between Taipei and Beijing (SCMP)
2012-06-13
Taiwan and the mainland yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of the resumption of talks through their respective semi-official agencies, with both sides realising they will have to swap representative offices if they are to continue to develop ties. Analysts say, however, that given the sensitivities surrounding cross-strait relations, both Taipei and Beijing will be likely to factor in political calculations in handling the issue. The establishment of representative offices by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (Arats) on either side of the strait has been much-discussed since the two front bodies represented their respective governments in the reopening of talks in Beijing on June 12, 2008. On Monday, Wang Yi, director of the mainland's State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a visiting delegation from Taiwan in Beijing that with the rapid development of cross-strait exchanges it was time for the two agencies to talk about setting up representative offices on each other's territory. He said that while Beijing was in no rush to force the issue, Taipei had been positive about the possibility of swapping such offices. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said last month that the relevant authorities in Taiwan could start to study the possibility of revising the island's Cross-strait People's Relations Act to allow the formation of representative offices. Beijing was the first to raise the issue when the two sides resumed talks in 2008 following the inauguration of the mainland-friendly Ma as Taiwan's president in May that year. [...] The Ma government's response to mainland suggestions that representative offices be set up was initially lukewarm, due to fears that it could lend the pro-independence camp in Taiwan an excuse to accuse Ma of getting too close to Beijing. But analysts say that since winning a second term in May Ma is more convinced of the need to set up such offices and hopes they may be part of his legacy. [...]. ^ top ^

Bank of China gets nod to open Taiwan branch (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
The Bank of China (BOC), the third-largest bank on the Chinese mainland, announced Wednesday that it has gained approval from Taiwan's financial regulator to open a branch in Taipei. The bank said in a statement that it has made full preparations for its Taipei branch, which will officially open in the near future. The BOC's Taipei branch will mainly focus on bank deposits, loans, bill financing, commercial acceptance bills, credit letter issuing and bond investment, as well as corporate bond guarantees and issuance, according to the statement. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

IMF hails monetary adjustment (China Daily)
2012-06-09
China's timely adjustment of monetary policies to stabilize growth and its strong determination to support higher quality growth has won applause from international economists, who are looking forward to a faster reform process to contribute to the rebalancing of the world's economy. "We support the authorities' ongoing effort to promote higher quality growth while at the same time fine-tune macroeconomic policies to help ensure that growth does not slow too much," International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said on Friday. Lipton made the comments after a meeting with Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and a discussion with People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan. As the downside risks are becoming more significant in European economies, which threatens China's economic outlook, the country has space for a "forceful response" but the main line of defense this time should be "on-budget fiscal stimulus", according to Lipton. He said these measures should include raising household incomes, liberalizing the financial system and strengthening the social security system. [...] The IMF predicted that a hard landing is impossible for China's economy with the ongoing policy stimulus, although this year's growth may moderate to about 8 percent amid slowing global demand. In addition, inflation is likely to remain below 4 percent for the whole year barring further shocks to food supply or global commodities, according to the IMF. [...]. ^ top ^

China to cut fuel prices from Sat. (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
China will lower the per-tonne retail prices of gasoline and diesel by 530 yuan (84 U.S. dollars) and 510 yuan, respectively, from Saturday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced Friday. The move, which marks the second cut since October of last year, was made in response to lower crude prices on the global market, said an official with the NDRC. The adjustments will lower the benchmark retail price of gasoline by 0.39 yuan per liter and diesel by 0.44 yuan per liter. NDRC last changed the gasoline and diesel prices on May 10, cutting them by 330 yuan and 310 yuan, respectively. Under China's oil product pricing system, introduced in 2009, domestic fuel prices may be adjusted when international crude oil prices change by more than 4 percent over a period of 22 working days. The NDRC has ordered the country's three major oil companies to ensure the market supply during the summer peak, the official said, adding that price regulators at different levels will keep a close look over local retail prices. ^ top ^

Chinese counties improve fiscal strength: audit report (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
County governments across China are gradually improving their fiscal health and seeing relieved fiscal pressure, according to audit reports released by the National Audit Office (NAO) on Friday. The improved fiscal health of the governments was mainly attributed to steps taken by central and provincial governments to boost fiscal revenues and ease the counties' fiscal crunch, the NAO said in a statement on its website. However, non-tax revenues account for a large part of fiscal income for county-level governments, making the governments less flexible in terms of spending due to the designated use of those funds, the NAO noted. Non-tax revenues collected last year accounted for 60.45 percent of government revenues in 54 counties in 18 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities that were audited from November 2011 to March 2012, the NAO said. [...] The NAO warned that some counties have been relying too much on transfer payments by central and provincial governments for local spending. During the auditing period, the NAO found that county-level governments waived a total of 7.04 billion yuan (1.11 billion U.S. dollars) in taxes or land sales for enterprises from 2008 and 2011, a move that was not in line with state policies. [...]. ^ top ^

China's banking assets tops 105.8 trillion yuan by 2011 (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
Total assets of China's banking sector had risen 19.1 percent year-on-year to 105.8 trillion yuan (16.8 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2011, a report released by the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, showed Friday. The number of business outlets of financial institutes totalled 200,000 as of the end of 2011 and the sector's workforce added 111,000 people from a year earlier to reach 3.19 million, said the report on the country's regional financial operation in 2011. [...] In terms of asset growth, the western regions expanded most in 2011 at a rate of 21.8 percent, followed by 20.4 percent in the east, 18.6 percent in the northeast, and 17.5 percent in the middle parts. Also, due to growing public awareness to asset management and the creation of more finanical products, deposits growth continued to slow, with the expanding rate in the east, middle, west and northeast areas pulling back 3.7, 1.1, 1.6, and 0.3 percentage points, respectively, according to the report. ^ top ^

China Focus: Lackluster data point to further stimulus (Xinhua)
2012-06-10
A string of economic data released on Saturday showed China's economy has not yet bottomed out from domestic and external jitters, fuelling calls for more stimulus measures to secure sound growth. China's industrial output grew at a slower-than-expected 9.6 percent year-on-year in May, rebounding 0.3 percentage point from April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Saturday. Despite the slight pick-up, the reading still rest at a relatively low range and was not enough to curb the downward trend of the economy, analysts said, forecasting more actions from the government to spur growth. [...] As the major indicators of domestic demand, China's consumption and investment growth dropped further in May. China's fixed-asset investment rose 20.1 percent year-on-year to 10.89 trillion yuan (1.73 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first five months, marking the third consecutive monthly slowdown, while its retail sales grew 13.8 percent in May, down from the 14.1-percent growth registered in April. [...] In May, China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, slowed to a 23-month low of 3.0 percent from a year ago, weakening further from 3.4 percent in April and 3.6 percent in March. [...] Wang Yuwen, a researcher with Bank of Communications, estimated that inflation reading for the year at around 3.3 percent -- well below the government's target of 4 percent. [...]. ^ top ^

China foreign trade growth rebounds in May (Xinhua)
2012-06-11
China's foreign trade growth trumped market forecasts to post double-digit rates in May, boosted by slightly-improved external markets and more working days in the month. China's foreign trade rose 14.1 percent year on year to 343.58 billion U.S. dollars in May, rebounding from the 2.7-percent growth registered in April, data with the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed Sunday. The figure replaced the monthly trade record set in November 2011, when foreign trade amounted to 334.11 billion U.S. dollars, the GAC said. Both imports and exports reached record highs in May, with exports climbing 15.3 percent from a year earlier to 181.14 billion U.S. dollars, and imports rising 12.7 percent to 162.44 billion U.S. dollars. In May, the trade surplus hit 18.7 billion U.S. dollars, slightly higher than the 18.42 billion U.S. dollars seen in April. [...] The data have added a touch of brightness to the lackluster economic data released Saturday, which showed barely any improvement in investment and consumption, the country's other two economic drivers. [...]. ^ top ^

China yuan lending rises in May (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
China's new yuan-denominated loans rose to 793.2 billion yuan (125.9 billion U.S. dollars) in May, 241.6 billion yuan up from the same period last year, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), or the central bank, said Monday. The figure was in line with market estimates of around 800 billion yuan, as the government has moved to relax its grip on credit controls to buoy the slowing economy. PBOC data showed that new yuan-denominated loans in May were higher than 681.8 billion yuan in April. New loans stood at 1.01 trillion yuan in March, 710.7 billion yuan in February and 738 billion yuan in January. With borrowing demand dampened by an economic slump both at home and abroad, the PBOC approved the first interest rate cut since December 2008 on Friday, as well as three cuts in the reserve requirement ratio for banks, to add fuel to the economy. [...] M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, increased 13.2 percent year-on-year to 90 trillion yuan at the end of May. The growth was faster than the 12.8-percent rate a month earlier, but lower than the 14-percent annual target set by the government for 2012. [...] In May, cross-border trade deals settled in yuan reached 216 billion yuan, while yuan-denominated cross-border direct investment totaled 19 billion yuan, according to the PBOC. ^ top ^

China to boost air transport capacity (Xinhua)
2012-06-12
China will build more airports and expand airline fleets, as the number of air trips in the country is expected to double by 2020, a top civil aviation official said Monday. Chinese will make 700 million air trips in 2020, as the civil aviation industry will maintain strong growth momentum over the next one or two decades, according to Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). China will have over 240 airports for civil aviation use by 2020, up from 180 in 2011, while 100 existing airports are planned to be renovated or expanded in the 2011-2015 period, Li said at an annual conference of the International Air Transport Association. In 2015, the number of airports for civil aviation use will exceed 230, with passengers set to reach 450 million, Li added. He projected the country's number of passenger planes to reach 2,700 by the end of 2015, up from 1,764 at the end of 2011. China's civil aviation industry lags behind in infrastructure and capacity and major airports are running at full capacity, Li noted. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines will see their international markets overshadowed by the worsening European sovereignty debt crisis and growing downside risks in the world economy, said Wang Changshun, chairman of Air China, the country's flagship carrier. China's civil aviation industry had 500.1 billion yuan (79 billion U.S. dollars) in revenues in 2011, up 21.2 percent from 2010, according to CAAC figures. However, profits in 2011 dropped 13.9 percent year on year to 36.3 billion yuan as passenger flow slowed and jet fuel costs increased, the figures showed. ^ top ^

Cross-border trade to be settled in yuan (Global Times)
2012-06-13
The People's Bank of China (PBC) announced yesterday that all importers and exporters in China will be able to settle cross-border trade in yuan, after it put more than 9,000 Chinese exporters on a special supervision list, a decision reaffirming the central bank's resolve to fully roll out cross-border yuan settlement in an orderly fashion. A total of 9,502 companies will be put under special scrutiny in settling cross-border trade of goods and services in the yuan, so that they are restrained from depositing their yuan incomes overseas, the PBC said in a statement on its website. [...] In a statement in March, the bank said those that flouted customs, financial and trade rules to evade taxes and defraud the export tax rebate over the past two years will be put under special supervision. All companies in the country qualified for foreign trade activities can conduct cross-border export settlement in yuan from the date of the release of the list, the statement said. "The announcement of the list reaffirmed the PBC's policy to expand a pilot program of cross-border trade settlement in yuan nationwide and make the supervision efficient, without stalling the country's drive to boost the use of the yuan in cross-border trade deals," Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times yesterday. [...] "The extension is part of the country's efforts to internationalize its currency," Bai said. [...]. ^ top ^

Pressure from trade frictions on rise: official (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
Pressure from trade frictions has continued to increase this year for Chinese enterprises, while further challenges are expected in the future, a commerce official said. Li Chenggang, head of the Department of Treaty and Law under the Ministry of Commerce, said at a Tuesday Forum that with the global economy remaining weak, the number of trade disputes has increased and the disputes will likely apply to more areas in the future. In the first five months of this year, 10 applications to investigate Chinese enterprises were filed in the United States under Section 337 of the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930, which allows the U.S. to shield domestic industries from unfair competition. To fight protectionism, China has formally challenged U.S. countervailing duties on 22 categories of Chinese products in late May, accusing the United States of abusing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules in a case involving products worth 7.29 billion U.S. dollars. More disputes within the WTO framework are expected between China and the United States or the EU, Li said. Issues related to market access, WTO rules, the exchange rate of the yuan and intellectual property rights will continue to create challenges, he added. ^ top ^

China sees fewer IPR infringement, counterfeit cases (Xinhua)
2012-06-14
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday China reported fewer cases of making and selling counterfeits from January to April this year due to consistent law enforcement activities. Chang Xiaocun, director of the Market Order Department with the MOC, said commerce law enforcement departments investigated and punished those involved in 78,773 cases of intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement and counterfeits, or an average of 645 cases per day, in the first four months of this year. During the period, people dealing in fake goods worth 1.81 billion yuan (287.3 million U.S. dollars) were probed in a concerted effort to crack down on copyright infringement and counterfeiting, Chang said. "We have continued our crack-down efforts since we launched a special law enforcement campaign last year," he said, adding, "the number of counterfeits is now declining." The MOC official did not provide the figure of the same period of last year, however, or make an annual comparison. He said government departments will continue to clamp down on violations pertaining to trademarks, copyrights and patents while strengthen supervision over the sales of medicine, cosmetics, farming materials and auto parts. [...]. ^ top ^

China gets praises, expectations in WTO trade policy review (Xinhua)
2012-06-15
GENEVA - The World Trade Organization's (WTO) fourth trade policy review (TPR) of China concluded here on Thursday. While most WTO members commended China's more important role in the world economy, some also raised higher expectations and believed China should take more responsibilities. During the two-day review, WTO members conducted a collective evaluation of the full range of China's trade policies and practices and their impact on the functioning of the multilateral trading system. Yu Jianhua, head of the Chinese delegation and assistant minister of commerce, told members about the macro-environment for China's economy and trade, trade and investment development and related policies. Eduardo Munoz Gomez, chairman of the Trade Policy Review Body, said in his concluding remarks on Thursday that this review of China has taken place against the background of the lingering effects of the global financial and economic crises and the difficult economic situation that continues to prevail. "Members were encouraged to note that China has kept its markets open and resisted protectionist pressures during this difficult period," he said. [...] Many members said China has been among their top three trading partners and they have tight and all-round economic and trade relations with China. [...] Yu said the Chinese government has firmly and steadily pushed forward reforms in key areas with greater determination and courage in the past two years. He reiterated China's unwavering determination of reform and opening up and the direction for it will not change. [...] Yu said many questions raised by the WTO members have been in line with next steps China will take to deepen reforms and the direction of its 12th Five-Year Plan. The questions will be delivered to relevant departments of Chinese government, which will provide solutions to them, while for some questions in which misunderstanding exists, China will try to make more clarifications, remove doubts and enhance mutual trust. Some members expected China to play a greater role in the WTO during the review. [...] "China will continue to contribute to the world economy and the multilateral trade system according to the national conditions and our own capacity," Yu said. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

S. Korea demands DPRK pay back loan debt (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
SEOUL - South Korea's state-led bank on Friday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to pay back loans offered by the two liberal predecessors of President Lee Myung-bak. The Export-Import Bank of Korea sent a message earlier in the day, reminding the DPRK's Chosun Trade Bank once again of its debt obligations, the unification ministry here said. The bank faxed a similar message last month to the DPRK, which had promised to pay up its debt for 20 years following a 10-year grace period under a 2000 agreement. Pyongyang has remained silent on the issue. The food loans, which covered some 2.4 million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of corn, total 720 million U.S. dollars. ^ top ^

49 DPRK athletes to compete in London Olympics (Xinhua)
2012-06-09
PYONGYANG - DPR Korea will field 49 athletes in 11 sports in the upcoming Olympic Games in London, the official news agency KCNA reported Friday. According to the KCNA, a total of 35 female and 14 male athletes have so far qualified for the July 27 through Aug. 12 Games in women's football, marathon, table tennis, wrestling and weight lifting. The country aims to clinch more medals than before, pinning its hopes on weightlifting and wrestling in particular, the report said, adding that expectations are also high for women's football. The DPRK won four gold medals in the 1992 Olympics, and two gold medals at each of the 1996 and 2008 Games. ^ top ^

DPRK has no plans of nuclear test: FM spokesman (Xinhua)
2012-06-11
PYONGYANG - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Saturday it has no plans to conduct a nuclear test "at present," the country's official news agency KCNA reported. South Korea tried to "rattle the nerves of the DPRK in a bid to cause it to conduct a nuclear test, though such a thing is not under plan at present," a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by KCNA. On May 19, a declaration made by the Group of Eight summit in the United States urged Pyongyang to abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a "complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner" after its failed launch of an "earth observation" satellite on April 13.Responding to the declaration, the DPRK said on May 22 that it had no plan to conduct nuclear tests alongside its peaceful satellite development program. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK to carry forward revolution under Kim IL Sung, Kim Jong IL's guidance: Kim Jong Un (Xinhua)
2012-06-13
PYONGYANG - Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), called on his people to carry forward the socialist revolution cause under Kim IL Sung and Kim Jong IL's guidance, the official news agency KCNA reported Tuesday. The report quoted Kim Jong Un as saying in his treatise published on April 20 that the country's founding father was the most prominent leader in the 20th century. His article, the third published since April, is titled: "The great Comrade Kim Il Sung is the eternal leader of our party and people." He called for carrying forward the idea and exploits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in building the party, state and revolutionary armed forces. He underlined the need to take Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism as the unique guiding idea and permanent guidelines of the Korean revolution and construction cause. In the treatise, Kim Jong Un said Kim IL Sung raised the Juche (self-reliance) idea, had ingeniously combined the socialist cause with national independence and ushered in a new Juche revolution era. It added that under the banner of Songun (military-first), Kim Jong Il, who protected the dignity and supreme interests of the DPRK in reliance on powerful arms, had turned the country into a political, ideological and military power and greatly improved its people's living standard. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

GEC Suspends Enkhbayar as Registered Candidate (UB Post)
2012-06-09
The Justice Coalition has merged with the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and Mongolian National Democratic Party has nominated 28 candidates in their Party list and submitted their documents to the General Election Commission (GEC). The GEC has concluded that the Coalition must provide more clarification for four candidates listed therefore the GEC has denied issuing candidate certificates for them. The first candidate - N.Enkhbayar – requires further discussion from the Coalition about the official note released by the Capital City General Prosecutor and Sukhbaatar District Court. The case must be discussed by the Coalition at their board meeting and they must send the GEC a clarification related to leader of MPRP, N.Enkhbayar. The GEC met on June 6th and discussed whether to register N.Enkhbayar of MPRP and MNDP`s Justice Coalition as a candidate after reviewing inquiries from above mentioned institutions. Instituting article 27.5.2*, 29.10* and 29.11.4* subjects of the 29th article of the Law on Parliament Elections and the 12.3* subject of the 12th article of the Law on the Central Election Committee, members of the GEC have made a decision to reject the registration of the Party candidate N.Enkhbayar from the “Justice” MPRP-MNDP coalition as a candidate running for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections. Former President Enkhbayar checked out of the hospital at 10:00am on Wednesday on June 06, 2012. Although Enkhbayar's health condition has improved, doctors have cautioned him to be physically active and to take care of his health. After checking out of the hospital, Enkhbayar went to the MPRP headquarters at 12:00pm, where he participated in the opening of the election campaign for the 2012 Parliamentary Elections of Mongolia. [...]. ^ top ^

Police commissioners given a 2.6 to 3.5-year sentence (UB Post)
2012-06-09
The trial for police commissioners continued until 11 p.m. on June 6 and resumed at 10 a.m. as a secret trial on June 7 after a short continuance. Though the official of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) came to witness the proceedings, as family members of the accused had informed them that the trial was taking place without an attorney, he was unable to do so due to secret trial rules. Director of NCHR J.Byambadorj stated that “Human rights are being severely violated. We will express our opinions and will discuss the actions to take against this violation after the trial”. The trial that lasted for two days finished at 10:40 p.m. giving Major General Ch.Amarbold and Colonel Sh.Batsukh a six and a half year sentence; O.Zorigt a 5.6 year sentence and Lieutenant Colonel G.Ganbaatar a two-year sentence. After reconsidering their sentences in accordance with the Law of Forgiveness, the sentences of Ch.Amarbold and Sh.Batsukh were changed to three and a half years imprisonment, the sentence of O.Zorigt was reduced to 2.6 years and G.Ganbaatar was put on probation. ^ top ^

President Ts.Elbegdorj meets with President Hu Jintao (UB Post)
2012-06-11
The President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj met with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 7, 2012. President Ts.Elbegdorj attend the Beijing summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Hu Jintao discussed a number of common concerns and exchanged views on ways to enhance ties. President Elbegdorj praised China"s role within the SCO, and congratulated Beijing on successfully completing its term as the SCO"s rotating presidency. China upholds foreign policy which safeguard the security of its neighbors, make friends with and bring properity to them said Hu. Acknowledging Mongolia"s foreign policy of prioritizing its relations with China, Hu said China would like to continuously cement and expand its good-neighborly friendship with Mongolia, while pushing forward bilateral ties. Since the two countries inked their strategic partnership last year, China and Mongolia have enjoyed surging bilateral trade and more frequent personnel exchanges, said the Chinese president. In order to further advance bilateral ties, China and Mongolia should continuously boost political mutual trust, said Hu, adding China will continue to strengthen practical cooperation with Mongolia based on the concept of reciprocality and common prosperity. Hu expressed hope that both sides could utilize respective advantages to upgrade cooperation on mineral resources, infrastructure construction, and finance, so to enrich the bilateral strategic partnership and benefit the two countries and their two peoples. For his part, Elbegdorj said the two nations have developed bilateral relations in a sound way, strengthened political mutual trust and mutual beneficial cooperation, adding that China is the biggest trade partner and investor for his country. Hailing the establishment of strategic partnership as a milestone for bilateral ties, Elbegdorj said the Mongolian side is firmly dedicated to expanding long-enduring, good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with China. Mongolia would like to enhance senior official contacts and communications of parliaments and parties between the two countries, as well as collectively fight drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, while promoting major projects to upgrade economic and infrastructure construction cooperation with China, said Elbegdorj. He also expressed hope that both countries could seize the opportunity of hosting mutual cultural years to improve friendship between their two peoples. As an observer of the SCO that groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Elbegdorj said Mongolia supports the SCO"s development and would like to boost communication and coordination with China on multilateral and regional affairs. ^ top ^

Ex-president N.Enkhbayar's trial postpones again (News.mn)
2012-06-12
Former president of Mongolia Nambar Enkhbayar's trial scheduled at 10 am today (on June 12) postponed again. The first scheduled trial was postponed on May 24 because he failed to arrive at court. Second trial scheduled on June 4 postponed too. On June 4 trial N.Enkhbayar attended. Today's trial postponed because of N.Enkhbayar's lawyer Mrs. B.Oyunbileg. B.Oyunbileg running as candidate in Govi-Altai constituency for parliamentary election on June 28, from MRPR, lead by N.Enkhabyar. And she went to Govi-Altai for the election campaign. Next trial scheduled on June 21. N.Enkhabyar charges of corruption and of misusing property and government power. ^ top ^

Mongolia Investment Congress to be held in Shanghai
2012-06-12
“Mongolia Investment Congress 2012 & Clean Coal Asia Summit 2012” to be held in Shanghai, China, on December 10-13, 2012. The Mongolia Investment Congress is China"s only conference to focus on the investment, business, and finance opportunities this emerging market has to offer. Meet investors, governments, frontier funds, regulators, and many more key players at China""s only Mongolian Investment Conference. The Clean Coal Asia Summit 2012 serve as the information and networking platform for commercializing clean coal technologies in Asia and the world. We will address the most crucial issues that will determine your performance objectives in China and in the world and we strongly believe this conference will generate some valuable advices to assist you to gauge the pulse of this ever-changing industry and grasping the latest and most advanced clean coal technologies. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Gregor Muischneek
Embassy of Switzerland
 

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
 
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