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
  22-29.6.12, No. 429  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Cambodia won't extradite French architect to China (SCMP)
2012-06-24
Cambodia has decided not to extradite French architect Patrick Devillers, linked to the family of ousted Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, to China. The decision was announced by Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong late on Thursday. Cambodian officials said earlier that they detained Devillers at China's request, but needed more evidence of wrongdoing before they would hand him over. [...] Devillers, who has not been charged with any crime, was detained in Phnom Penh on June 13 for possible links to the death of British businessman Neil Heywood in Chongqing in November. He is still being held by Cambodian police and Hor Namhong said investigations were continuing. Cambodian police said on Tuesday that Devillers had been arrested and France warned Phnom Penh not to take any action against him without a clear legal basis. [...] Details of Devillers' connection to the Bo family drama remain unclear, but it has been reported that he helped Bo rebuild Dalian in the 1990s. Devillers was also reportedly a partner of a company set up by Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, to select architects for Chinese projects. [...] China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the investigation of Bo's family would not be affected even without the extradition. "Under the Chinese legal system, it is not difficult to find Gu guilty. Extraditing the Frenchman will just make the evidence more solid," he said. Lau said the Chinese authorities were separating the handling of the cases of Bo and Gu. [...] Du Jifeng, a Southeast Asian affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it appeared that Phnom Penh believed that the damage Devillers' extradition could do to Sino-Cambodian ties would not be as significant as the damage to its ties with its former colonial ruler, France. Cambodia has friendly ties with China and recently signed deals for about US$430 million in loans from China. The two countries also signed a military co-operation agreement last month. ^ top ^

Rio+20 outcome 'substantive' (China Daily)
2012-06-25
RIO DE JANEIRO, The Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil wrapped up on Friday with more than 100 heads of State and government adopting an outcome document that will shape the world's future action in promoting economic, environmental and social prosperity. Officials were relatively satisfied with the balance reached among countries after three days of intensive consultations and three rounds of negotiations ahead of the summit, while some civil society groups said the outcome document lacked ambition in addressing environmental and sustainability threats. In response to the criticism, Sha Zukang, secretary-general of the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, said on Friday at a news conference that the summit has adopted a "substantive" outcome document. "This is an outcome of intergovernmental negotiations, in full consultations with all nine major groups, including business and industries," he said. "This is an outcome in which no one is happy. Our job is to make everyone equally unhappy. Equally unhappy means equally happy," Sha said. [...] Du Ying, head of the Chinese preparatory committee for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, told reporters on Friday in Rio de Janeiro that one of the successes of the summit was that it didn't backtrack on the principles of the Rio Declaration, such as the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". "The concerted efforts made by developing countries have greatly pushed forward the progress of the negotiations," Du said. The attendance of Premier Wen Jiabao showed the significant amount of attention that China has paid in promoting global sustainable development. Speeches delivered by Wen at the summit expressed China's willingness and resolution in promoting global sustainable development along with international communities, and it also highlighted China's image as a "responsible and committed" large developing country, Du said. [...] The outcome is obviously a compromise among all parties, with a rather weak commitment and implementation power, said Yong Rong, head of external and public affairs at Greenpeace East Asia. [...] Practical actions related to decisions in the approved document will be implemented immediately, said Du, of the Chinese delegation. ^ top ^

China urges ASEAN to be independent (China Daily)
2012-06-25
BEIJING, China has urged members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not to be a bystander or "a tool of major powers" to cope with the new challenges in the current global political and economic atmosphere. "ASEAN should exercise its independent judgment to move this region forward. If ASEAN takes sides, it would lose its relevance," Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Fu Ying told The Nation in an exclusive interview over the weekend. [...] She said relations with ASEAN countries are of "unquestionable priority" for China. China will continue to support ASEAN's "centrality" in East Asian cooperation, she said. Fu was in Bangkok over the weekend to meet Thailand's Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow. In July, Thailand is to take over the role of ASEAN's coordinator with China for the next three years. [...] Asked about the United States' decision to "rebalance" its forces in Asia and the Pacific, Fu said: "China has no problem accepting the US presence and its positive influence in the Asia Pacific. We welcome a constructive US role in regional affairs." She noted, however, that there is growing concern from media and academics in China over the heavy US emphasis on security in the region. [...] Asked whether Beijing is concerned about Washington's possible "containment policy" against China, she said: "The US has loudly denied any intention to contain China. We will just take them at their word." [...] Fu said China's industrialization is "only halfway" complete. Its huge population means that China's per capita GDP would remain low for a long time to come. "We are still a developing country working hard to address the imbalances and the uncoordinated and unsustainable aspects of the economy," she said. Regarding the South China Sea disputes, the vice-minister reiterated that China wants to handle the disputes peacefully through direct negotiations between countries concerned. [...] China and ASEAN countries signed the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002. Central to the DOC is a commitment by all parties to "exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability". [...]. ^ top ^

Hu congratulates Morsi on election as Egyptian president (Xinhua)
2012-06-26
BEIJING, Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday congratulated Mohamed Morsi for his victory in Egypt's first presidential election since former President Hosni Mubarak resigned early last year. In a congratulatory message, Hu said the two countries have seen sound and stable development of bilateral ties ever since the establishment of diplomatic links 56 years ago. China respects the Egyptian people's choice of their own political system and path of development, and supports the Egyptian side's efforts to maintain social stability and promote social and economic development, he said. The Chinese president believed the Egyptian people will achieve new progress in nation-building under Morsi's leadership. He added that China has always viewed and handled its relationship with Egypt from strategic and long-term perspectives, and would like to work with Egypt to promote China-Egypt strategic cooperative relations to higher levels so as to better serve the two countries and peoples. ^ top ^

Wen advocates South America trade deal (China Daily)
2012-06-27
A free trade deal between China and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, was proposed on Monday by Premier Wen Jiabao. Analysts said that the deal, if signed, will carry a number of benefits for the highly complementary economies. "We share extensive common interests and we have great potential for further cooperation, which will increase the power of developing countries," Wen said in Buenos Aires where he met Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and held a video conference with the presidents of Brazil and Uruguay. "We should carry out feasibility studies on a free trade area between China and Mercosur," Wen said. He also set a target to raise trade between China and the bloc to $200 billion in 2016, double the trade value of 2011. All the regional leaders agreed on the benefits of a trade pact. [...] Mercosur, also known as the South American Common Market, groups Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Trade links have blossomed in the past decade between China and Mercosur. China is Mercosur's second-largest trade partner and export market. The bloc is the major exporter of agricultural products, such as soybeans and meat, to China, with total trade between them reaching $100 billion in 2011. [...] The proposed free trade deal could be discussed during Mercosur's meeting in Mendoza, Argentina, this week. [...] Wen held talks with Fernandez at the Rose Palace in Buenos Aires on Monday. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Chile to establish strategic partnership, boost trade (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
SANTIAGO - China and Chile agreed Tuesday to upgrade their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership, and double trade in three years. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced Tuesday the establishment of China-Chile strategic partnership and the completion of negotiations on investment-related supplementary deals to a bilateral free trade agreement. During their talks, Wen urged speedy signing and ratification of these supplementary deals and called for the finalization of the China-Chile free trade area. Wen called on the two nations to expand trade in goods, promote trade in services and mutual investment, and double bilateral trade in three years. The Chinese leader also said the two countries should enhance cooperation in mining, expand farm product trade, and promote cooperation in farm product production and processing and agricultural technology. China would like to be actively engaged in Chile's infrastructure construction and work with Chile to promote the development of transportation networks in Latin America, said Wen. Meanwhile, Wen suggested that the two sides launch currency swaps and expand settlement in China's renminbi. He also urged polar, oceanic, space and seismic cooperation and the promotion of people-to-people, cultural and youth exchanges and tourism so as to step up understanding and friendship between the two peoples. [...] He added that China is willing to closely work with Chile to promote China's relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Pacific Alliance. [...].

Chile would like to work with China in promoting friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in various sectors, and strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs with China, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

Representation lodged to Tokyo over islands (China Daily)
2012-06-27
Beijing has lodged a solemn representation to Tokyo over local Japanese lawmakers' activities in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Media reports said eight Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members departed on Monday night to conduct a so-called survey in the waters off the islands in the East China Sea. The representation was the second in a month. Beijing lodged an official protest earlier in the month over a fishing campaign held by a group of conservative Japanese politicians and political activists on June 10 in waters near the islands. "China has lodged solemn representations with Japan, demanding that Japan stop creating new disturbances and safeguard the overall interest of China-Japan relations with concrete actions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news conference. Hong reiterated that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times, and China has indisputable sovereignty over them. "Any unilateral move taken by Japan over the Diaoyu Islands is illegal and invalid," he said. [...] In April, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said his city prefecture was negotiating with the "owner" of the islands in the hope of "buying them by the end of this year". Ishihara said at a news conference on Friday that the islands purchase plan "should not be given up halfway". He even indicated that he intended to win the following re-election to finish his plan, Kyodo News Agency reported. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visited the 11th regional headquarters of the Japan Coast Guard in Naha City, Japan, on Saturday to encourage officers who patrol the waters surrounding the islands, Japan's Jiji News Agency said. [...]. ^ top ^

China providing help to fleeing Myanmar residents: FM spokesman (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China has been providing help out of humanitarian considerations to Myanmar residents who have fled across the country's border to escape recent violence, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a Tuesday press briefing. Hong made the remarks in response to a media report claiming that Chinese authorities have forced some Myanmar refugees back into the country. Hong denied the accusations, stating that those who went back to Myanmar were not refugees. Hong said violence has broken out between Myanmar government forces and the armed forces of some minority groups, causing some Myanmar residents to flee to China to seek help from relatives and friends. They went back after the violence abated. ^ top ^

China hails signing of WIPO Audiovisual Treaty (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China on Tuesday hailed the signing of an international treaty in Beijing by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on protecting audio-visual performers' rights. Vice Premier Wang Qishan voiced congratulations on the successful holding of the WIPO Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, hailing the signing of the "Beijing Treaty" on audiovisual performances as an important outcome of the event, as he met with Francis Gurry, the WIPO director general. Under the national strategy of intellectual property that has been implemented in recent years, China has made great advances in creation, adoption, protection as well as management of intellectual property, he said. [...] "China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other nations in promoting the development of intellectual property industry," added Wang. [...] Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing that China appreciates the positive efforts made by the WIPO Secretariat and delegations from all WIPO member countries. [...] He expressed China's pleasure in hosting the conference and contributing to the signing of the treaty, which has demonstrated sound cooperative relations between China and the WIPO, as well as China's willingness to promote international IPR cooperation. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese President talks with astronauts aboard Tiangong-1 (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
Chinese President Hu Jintao came to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Tuesday and spoke with astronauts currently implementing the space mission aboard the conjoint Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 orbiter. The President was accompanied by senior leaders Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Hu extended his sincere greetings to the three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut. "You have spent nearly 10 days in space, we care about you. How are you feeling?" asked the president. Mission commander Jing said they were in good condition and told the president, "Chinese astronauts have their own home in space now. We are proud of our country!" [...] Jing said that all work was going smoothly, the manual docking had been completed successfully and the crew members were doing scientific experiments as planned. Hu praised the astronauts for their excellent performance in China's first manual rendezvous and docking mission, which showcased the country's full command of space docking technologies. [...] The success of the procedure shows that China has completely grasped space rendezvous and docking technologies and the country is fully capable of transporting humans and cargo to an orbiter in space, which is essential for the country's plans to build a space station around 2020. [...] The three astronauts, 343 km away from Earth, and the Chinese oceanauts from the Mariana Trench, 7,020 meters beneath the Pacific Ocean, where they just broke the country's dive record in a manned submersible, also exchanged greetings on June 24. [...]. ^ top ^

Wen urges enhanced cooperation (China Daily)
2012-06-28
Beijing has proposed establishing a China-Latin America cooperation forum, and both sides should strive to increase trade volume to $400 billion within five years, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday, calling for enhanced political mutual trust and strategic cooperation. Wen made the remarks in a speech delivered to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean during his visit in Santiago, Chile's capital. [...] Making economic and trade cooperation a priority, Wen also called for the expansion of common interests between China and Latin America. He said China is willing to set up a regular foreign ministers' dialogue mechanism and discuss the establishment of a regular meeting among Chinese and Latin American leaders. [....] Wen announced that Chinese financial institutions will initiate a China-Latin America cooperation fund of $5 billion to support investment in manufacturing projects, technology innovation and sustainable development. He said China will also extend a $10-billion special loan to support infrastructure cooperation between the two sides. China is also ready to discuss and sign currency swap agreements with more ECLAC countries, Wen said. [...] China has proposed to launch a forum for Chinese and Latin American agriculture ministers, a China-Latin America mechanism for emergency food reserves of half a million metric tons and an agricultural cooperation and development special fund, Wen said. Meanwhile, China is willing to build research and development centers for agriculture technology, demonstration industrial parks for farm product processing and development zones for agriculture investment in Latin America, Wen said. He also urged further people-to-people and cultural exchanges to strengthen the China-Latin American friendship. The Chinese government has encouraged the opening of Chinese culture centers in Latin America and will offer 5,000 scholarships to Latin American students over the next five years, he said. Wen also proposed to establish a forum for technological innovation to enhance cooperation in aviation, space, new energy, the environment, as well as oceanic and polar sciences and research. [...]. ^ top ^

China pledges to protect maritime sovereignty (China Daily)
2012-06-29
A military presence may be set up in Sansha, a newly established city that administers Chinese territory in the South China Sea, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday. Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a news conference that setting up a military body in the city is being studied by the military. The move is a strong indication of China's determination to protect its maritime sovereignty in response to provocation from neighboring countries, analysts said. The State Council on June 21 approved the establishment of the prefecture-level city of Sansha to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea. The government abolished a county-level administration office for the islands that was previously stationed on Yongxing Island, part of the Xisha Islands. On the same day, June 21, Vietnam passed a law claiming sovereignty and jurisdiction over Xisha and Nansha islands. The islands are within Chinese territorial waters. Asked to comment on Vietnamese overflights in the skies above Sansha recently, Geng said on Thursday that Beijing will "resolutely oppose any military provocation". "The Chinese military has already set up a normal, combat-ready patrol system in seas under our control to protect national sovereignty and our security and development interests," he said. Having established a regular patrol system in its territorial waters, China's armed forces have the resolution and will to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty, sea rights and interests, Geng said. "We will resolutely fulfill our duties in accordance with the State's arrangements." [...] Geng said China is keen to solve disputes through peaceful means and promote military exchanges with major players in the Asia-Pacific region, including the United States and Japan. A maritime defense consultation between China and Japan was held in Beijing on Thursday. A mechanism to enhance maritime trust was discussed, Geng said. Concerning recent exercises between the US and its Asian allies, Geng said that the cause of regional peace and stability was not served well when countries intentionally strengthened military alliances by holding exercises. Shortly after concluding a drill with Japan and the Republic of Korea on the Yellow Sea, the US joined the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises in Hawaii, involving most Asia-Pacific countries. Geng said these actions were at odds with the issues of the times, namely peace, development and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula. [...] The US is beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. [...] Deliberately highlighting the military and security agenda and deploying more military forces in the Asia-Pacific "go against the global pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, as well as trust among nations in the region", he said. [...]. ^ top ^

China reaffirms support for political solution in Syria ahead of Geneva meeting (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
China on Thursday reaffirmed its support for a political solution to the Syrian conflict ahead of an international conference on Syria to be held on Saturday in Geneva. "China has always stood for a political solution," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a regular press briefing. He said the international community should aid the mediation efforts of Special Envoy Kofi Annan, encourage all parties in Syria to halt the violence and to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council and Annan's proposals, as well as launch a political dialogue with no attached preconditions or predetermined outcome. The spokesman also reiterated that China will work with the international community to promote a peaceful and appropriate solution for the Syrian conflict. Annan said Wednesday that he has invited the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States -- and Turkey to participate in Saturday's international conference. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Senior leader stresses efforts to solve key social issues (Xinhua)
2012-06-25
A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has urged social management workers to focus on solving key issues that might affect social stability. Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark Thursday while presiding over a meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensive Social Management. Six teams dispatched by the committee to several regions to evaluate local social management efforts delivered their reports at the meeting for the committee members to discuss. Zhou identified several key social management issues, such as helping migrants adjust to urban life and increasing social acceptance for special groups, as well as boosting the management of information network services, social credibility and infrastructure construction. "These difficult issues must be solved one by one by analyzing the sources of the problems and exploring innovative and effective measures," Zhou said. Zhou suggested summarizing innovative social management experiences from local governments and promoting successful methods, as well as incorporating them as part of long-term policies. According to Zhou, social management should give priority to people's livelihoods and social services with consideration given to the specific characteristics of different cities and regions. Zhou called upon the CPC and government officials to boost communication with local residents, make more efforts to solve community-level issues and properly handle emergencies. ^ top ^

China's healthcare reform tasks completed: report (Xinhua)
2012-06-26
BEIJING, Missions set in a three-year plan for China's healthcare reform program in the 2009-2011 period have been completed on schedule, according to a new official report. The report said the reform efforts have brought about progress toward giving all the country's citizens access to basic medical services. It was recently submitted to the State Council by the healthcare reform office under the State Council, according to a statement issued by the office on Monday. Between 2009 and 2011, China's central government invested 450.6 billion yuan (70.79 billion U.S. dollars) in the country's medical care services, the report said. It also promised more government investment in this field in the 12th Five Year Plan period (2011-2015). The three-year plan missions included establishment of a basic medicare insurance system, implementation of the basic drug system and improvement of grass-roots medical services. By the end of 2011, over 95 percent of the country's population were covered by basic medicare insurance programs designed for employees, urban residents and rural residents, according to the report. The annual government subsidy for urban and rural residents' insurance was increased from 80 yuan per person in 2008 to 200 yuan in 2011, and the sum will be raised to 240 yuan this year, its authors found. Central government invested 63 billion yuan between 2009 and 2011 in the construction and improvement of 33,000 hospitals at grass-roots levels. Furthermore, reform programs have been launched in over 2,000 public hospitals across the country, the report noted. ^ top ^

Former vice provincial governor expelled from Party for corruption (Xinhua)
2012-06-26
BEIJING, Huang Sheng, former vice governor of east China's Shandong Province, was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for severe disciplinary and legal violations, said the CPC's disciplinary watchdog Monday. He was also dismissed from all government posts by the State Council, said the Central Commission for the Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC in a statement. Huang has been found using his position to seek interests for others, taking a large amount of bribe, and causing massive economic losses, the statement said. The statement also said Huang was "morally corrupted." Huang's illegal gains will be confiscated and his case has been referred to prosecutors, according to the CCDI. ^ top ^

China's top legislature discusses law drafts (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China's top legislature on Tuesday started reading several draft amendments to laws covering the budget, labor contracts, and securities investment funds. The draft amendments were submitted at the session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee that runs from Tuesday to Saturday. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, presided over the first plenary meeting of the session on Tuesday. The draft amendments to the budget law presented for the first reading had included an article allowing local governments to issue bonds within a quota set by the State Council and approved by the NPC. The bill for the second reading, however, removed this article and reinstated the regulation in the current law that bans local governments from issuing bonds. According to the bill, the financial department of the central government can issue bonds on behalf of local governments only in accordance with laws and regulations issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet. Lawmakers reviewed for the first time draft amendments to the Law Guaranteeing the Rights and Interests of Senior Citizens as China's ageing population gives this issue more prominence. [...] Legislators reviewed for the first time the draft amendment to the Law on Securities Investment Funds that would impose new regulations on the country's privately offered funds, a move aimed at preventing illegal fundraising and trading. Other documents deliberated at the meeting included draft amendments to measures for the People's Liberation Army to elect deputies to legislatures above county level and the country's top legislature, as well as draft amendments to measures for selecting the chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region and forming its legislative council. [...]. ^ top ^

China Focus: China faces drug control challenge (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China still faces a severe challenge in drug control and has enhanced its crackdown on drug-related crimes, Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu said Tuesday. Meng issued a report on China's drug control situation at a bimonthly legislative session that opened Tuesday, also the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Police have cracked 329,000 drug-related criminal cases over the past four years, apprehended 378,000 suspects and confiscated 22.5 tonnes of heroin, 36.9 tonnes of methamphetamine, 3.7 tonnes of opium and 15.5 tonnes of ketamine, Meng said. In 2011, China's courts nationwide concluded trials of 69,244 drug-related criminal cases, a rise of almost 80 percent from 2007, said Sun Jungong, spokesman of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Tuesday. [...] The Golden Triangle, one of Asia's two major illicit opium-producing areas, is still the most notorious source of drugs in China, according to Meng's report. [...] Sun said the SPC has ordered courts to give no lenience when sentencing those found guilty of serious drug-related crimes. The SPC also published six typical cases of drug-related crimes, including one where Liu Fucheng, who led a criminal gang of 52 people and organized HIV-positive people and juveniles to traffick drugs, was sentenced to death. [...] China has about 1.19 million registered heroin addicts, or 63 percent of the country's total drug users, Meng Jianzhu said, adding that 655,000 Chinese were using synthetic drugs or stimulants. About 922,000 Chinese participated in compulsory isolation for drug rehabilitation over the past four years, Meng said. [...] The government has helped more than 40,000 recovering drug addicts return to society following rehabilitation through various programs, including employment assistance programs, according to Meng. [...] Medical conditions in drug rehabilitation centers should be improved so that treatment for HIV-infected drug addicts can be strengthened, he said. The Minister of Public Security said China will further deepen cooperation with the neighboring countries of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, so to reduce the influence of the Golden Triangle. Drug control cooperation with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and Kazakstan will also be strengthened in order to enhance crackdowns on drug trafficking in the Golden Crescent, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

Ministry urges schools to stop corporal punishment (China Daily)
2012-06-27
The Ministry of Education is proposing that schools wipe out corporal punishment, according to a proposal for public discussion published on the ministry's website on June 25. Comments are being requested by e-mail until July 10. According to the proposal, schools should guarantee and avoid the violation of students' rights, root out corporal punishment or disguised forms of corporal punishment, as well as avoid illegal restrictions of personal freedom and arbitrary charges. A series of cases of violence against students has caught public attention recently. On May 20, a primary school teacher in Shaanxi beat one of her students in front of 50 other students because the student didn't take his ID card to school. [...]. ^ top ^

Auditor's report details litany of financial abuse (SCMP)
2012-06-28
The mainland's top audit office says 300 central government officials, including some department chiefs, abused funds totalling almost 4.4 billion yuan (HK$5.4 billion) last year. Liu Jiayi, auditor general of the National Audit Office, said several ministries or ministry-level agencies had mis-stated their revenue or violated fiscal regulations, including the Ministry of Finance. Liu delivered his findings in his annual report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress yesterday. He found that the abuse of public funds involved 50 central ministries and agencies and reached 4.39 billion yuan. The auditor general said there was a growing trend of corrupt officials taking bribes through middlemen, such as by requiring individuals or businesses to apply for government approval or bid for tenders through consultancies linked to the officials. The audit report also raised concerns about unreported items of central- government income and expenditure. It cited 6.2 billion yuan of income and 1 billion yuan of expenditure, both related to foreign aid since 2008, that do not appear in the books of the commerce, health and agriculture ministries. Liu said the Ministry of Finance had made an inaccurate report to the NPC in its budget implementation report last year, claiming 1.92 billion yuan less in revenue than it actually had. Liu said the Ministry of Railways had illegally shortened the application period for companies bidding on infrastructure projects on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway. [...] Liu said serious loopholes existed in the regulation of how public funds were spent on receptions, overseas trips and vehicle use. Officials' indulgence in lavish banquets, expensive trips abroad, extravagant gifts and the use of limousines has fuelled accusations from the public of rampant corruption. Finance Minister Xie Xuren also made a report yesterday to the legislature, saying that officials from central government departments spent 9.34 billion yuan on receptions, overseas trips and vehicle use last year. Meanwhile, expenditure on public safety and defence reached 103.7 billion yuan and 583 billion yuan respectively last year, Xie told the legislature. Overall, income for the central government last year reached 5.13 trillion yuan, while it spent 5.64 trillion yuan, resulting in a deficit of 650 billion yuan, 50 billion yuan less than forecast. ^ top ^

China's pension fund balance: 1.95 trln yuan (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
China's fast-growing national pension fund had 1.95 trillion yuan (309.52 billion U.S. dollars) in its accounts by the end of 2011, a report on the nation's social security fund showed Wednesday. By the end of last year, the fund has covered 283.91 million working people, retirees and beneficiaries, an increase of 26.84 million from a year earlier, according to the report released by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS). Among them, 41.4 million were rural migrant workers, 8.56 million more than the year before. In 2011, the fund collected 1.69 trillion yuan in revenue, up 25.9 percent year-on-year. The expenditure rose 20.9 percent from 2010 to 1.28 trillion yuan. The government has raised the per capita monthly pension for retired corporate employees for eight consecutive years to 1,511 yuan. The report also showed the national social security system which covers the pension fund, medical insurance, work injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance had 3.02 trillion yuan in assets. ^ top ^

Drinking water issues seen solved by 2015 (China Daily)
2012-06-28
Millions of residents living in China's rural areas still don't have access to safe drinking water. However, the issue is expected to be solved by the end of 2015, according to a report released by the State Council. About 323 million rural residents had no access to safe drinking water in 2004. Meanwhile, about 221 million people managed to solve the problem by the end of 2010, the report said. In addition to the people still waiting for safe drinking water, more new rural residents have joined the group, such as villagers living in areas where water sources deteriorated or those who moved to a new place without safe drinking water, said Du Ying, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission at an ongoing meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on June 27. "Though the number has increased in recent years, local governments will make efforts to guarantee that all of these people have safe drinking water during the 12th Five-Year Plan," he said. Rural residents are usually scattered in large areas, and require a lot of equipment and water infrastructure to guarantee safe drinking water. However, complex geographical environments and less developed economies add an extra layer of difficulty to the projects. In addition, many rural areas face serious water pollution issues, due to the discharge of industrial effluents. "The central government has put more focus on improving the drinking water quality in rural areas since 2011," Du said. However, local governments should be also be responsible for the task and their performance in it will be an important part of their assessment system. More funds will be allocated to these projects, and preferential policies, such as tax deductions, will be implemented. ^ top ^

Top political advisor stresses ethnic unity (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
A written instruction from China's top political advisor to a meeting on ethnic unity held from June 26 to 27 has suggested common struggle, prosperity and development for all ethnic groups as the main theme for the country's work in the area. Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, wrote, "Various regions and departments should summarize experiences from past ethnic work and promote successful examples so as to map out more effective measures to boost the equality, unity, interdependence and harmony of socialist ethnic relationships." At the meeting, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu stressed that ethnic work is a "major task that concerns national unity and long-term stability," describing ethnic unity as "where the future, power and life of the Chinese nationality lie." Hui urged departments involved to encourage ethnic groups and regions to seek faster development while promoting job opportunities for people of ethnic groups. "Solving conflicts with ethnic factors should be an important mission... and education on ethnic unity must be strengthened in the whole of society to promote mutual trust and respect," the vice premier added. ^ top ^

China-Myanmar border region aims to attract 15 mln tourists (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
China's lush tropical border region Xishuangbanna aims to boost infrastructure development to attract about 15.5 million tourists, including 500,000 foreign tourists, annually by 2015, a local official said Wednesday. Lu Yonghe, deputy head of Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, which borders Myanmar and Laos to its south, said the government plans to make Xishuangbanna a resort region in line with international standards, as the area boasts natural beauty and an abundance of relaxation and hospitality facilities. In the next five years, Xishuangbanna plans to construct more than 10 top tourist destinations and attract more than 10 globally-recognized hotel chains, Lu said. [...] More than 10 million domestic tourists and 290,000 foreign tourists visited Xishuangbanna in 2011, contributing more than 10 billion yuan (1.57 billion U.S. dollars) to the local government's tourism revenue, Lu said. ^ top ^

Abortion father safe in Beijing, his lawyer says (SCMP)
2012-06-29
The husband of a woman who was forced to have a late-term abortion in the northwest province of Shaanxi appeared in Beijing yesterday, four days after disappearing amid allegations of harassment by officials in his hometown. The whereabouts of Deng Jiyuan, 29, had been a mystery since Sunday, as his family had not been able to reach him. But his sister, Deng Jicai, said he called her yesterday afternoon to say he was safe with his lawyer in Beijing. Deng Jiyuan and his family said they had been followed after their plight drew international attention, and Deng fled on Sunday while being followed by a woman on a motorcycle, instead of several people as usual. He had gone to Beijing for a television interview and to seek legal help. Deng Jiyuan's wife, Feng Jianmei, was abducted and forced by local authorities in Zhenping county, Shaanxi, to abort her seven-month-old fetus on June 2. Pictures of the dead baby, seen lying next to Feng, were then posted online. Legal academic Yang Zhizhu, who himself battled with authorities after having a second child two years ago, said yesterday that he and Beijing lawyer Zhang Kai were preparing Deng Jiyuan for a lawsuit. [...] He said Deng planned to seek compensation for emotional stress, as well as for physical harm caused to his wife, who was forcibly given a lethal injection to kill the fetus and induce labour. In the fallout over the scandal, city officials in Ankang, which administers Zhenping, said on Tuesday that the chief of the county's family planning bureau and the head of the Zengjia township government had been sacked, while five other officials, including the deputy county chief, had been given demerits. Ankang promised to offer money to the couple for their "family difficulties", but they and their legal team rejected the offer. "We want compensation for damages, not an allowance for the poor family," Yang said. "We want those responsible for the abortion to be charged with crimes, not receive administrative punishments." Deng Jiyuan is currently declining interviews with overseas media, according to Yang, who cited an incident on Sunday involving a banner-waving crowd in the couple's hometown that branded them traitors for granting such interviews. ^ top ^

Inspectors eye rules for family planning (China Daily)
2012-06-29
The National Population and Family Planning Commission will send 10 teams to 19 provincial-level administrative regions to inspect and ensure lawful enforcement of the family planning policy, said an online statement issued by the commission. It came after several family planning officials in Northwest China's Shaanxi province were punished for forcing a local woman who was seven months pregnant to have an abortion. After being exposed online, the forced abortion, which is prohibited by family planning regulations, kindled public anger. The coming inspection is aimed at guaranteeing the lawful enforcement of the policy by correcting some problems that occur when grassroots officers enforce the policy, said the statement released on Wednesday. Wang Xia, minister of the commission, said on Tuesday the implementation of family planning policies is directly related to people's interests, and the slightest error may cause a negative impact and tarnish the image of the country. She urged inspection officers to find and solve problems of policy enforcement, particularly at the grassroots level. Zhang Jian, information chief of the commission, told China Daily on Thursday that results of the inspection would be publicized after it is finished. Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University, urged the commission to release more details about the inspection and invite a third party to supervise and participate in the process. [...] To correct the situation, the inspection is expected to help prevent "brutal law enforcement and administrative power from intruding on people's rights", according to the statement. [...]. ^ top ^

Call for better investigation of employment crime (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
China's procurator-general has addressed a conference on investigating and preventing employment crime with a call for procuratorial agencies nationwide to improve their work in the field. Investigation should be strengthened to better serve the anti-corruption cause and safeguard economic and social development, Cao Jianming said at the event on Thursday. However, Cao also stressed that the investigations must be conducted legally and properly. Lawyers' rights, including their right to meet clients during the investigation procedure, should be ensured and the procuratorates must collect the evidence in accordance with the law, Cao said. Efforts should be made to ensure the smooth conducting of investigations as well as the legitimate rights of the suspects, he added. The procurator-general also called for better supervision of procuratorates' investigative work to prevent and correct any possible illegal behavior in this process. Protection of the rights of suspects and their defenders should be a special focus in such supervision, according to Cao. ^ top ^

Donations to China Red Cross drop 59 pct in 2011: report (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
Donations to the Red Cross Society of China dropped 59.39 percent in 2011, according to an annual report on public donations published Thursday. The China Charity Information Center said in its report that the Red Cross received about 2.87 billion yuan (451 million U.S. dollars), accounting for 3.4 percent of total public donations last year. In June 2011, a young woman identifying herself as "Guo Meimei" claimed to work for an organization affiliated with the Red Cross. The woman posted photos depicting her lavish lifestyle on the Internet, prompting speculation that she had embezzled money to fund her extravagances. The Red Cross Society of China denied employing her. However, the incident resulted in persistent public calls for the organization to boost its transparency. The scandal negatively affected the public's willingness to donate to charity, according to Liu Youping, deputy director of the charity center. Total public donations dropped to 84.5 billion yuan in 2011, down 18.1 percent year on year. [...] Over 60 percent of all public donations were made through social organizations, while 13.2 percent were made through government channels, the report said. China's philanthropy sector received 68.87 billion yuan from charity lotteries, as well as volunteer services worth 1 billion yuan, in 2011, according to the report. ^ top ^

Govt to axe welfare limits (Global Times)
2012-6-29
Authorities have vowed to remove regional discrepancies in social security programs to facilitate mobility for the country's huge migrating workforce. Public medical insurance plans are designed by local governments under a broad national guideline and vary due to the rural-urban gap. To be entitled to free post-retirement medical care from the age of 60 for men and 55 for women, residents have to register and pay their share of medical insurance for an average of 20 years consecutively in one single place. Such insurance accounts cannot be transferred to other locations. In an outlined reform plan, the State Council announced Wednesday that in order to meet the needs of migrant workers and make the communication of national healthcare information easier, the social security information management standard, related indexes and code systems will be unified. That means medical insurance accounts will become transferable under the same person. However, a detailed timetable to realize the plan was not available. In 2011, only 500,000 people transferred their medical insurance accounts worth 220 million yuan ($31.46 million). More than 473 million people are covered by the urban medical insurance program, including 46.4 million migrant workers from rural areas, according to the figures from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Figures from the National Statistics Bureau revealed that last year there were 158.6 million migrant workers, up 3.4 percent from 2010. [...] An opinion piece carried by the Beijing-based business portal caixun.com said that the diverse standards of medical insurance in China have stalled efforts to unify the healthcare network in the country and makes it a huge project that will take a very long time. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Society Women dismiss dress suggestions from metro firm (China Daily)
2012-06-27
Several women in Shanghai protested a statement from the municipal subway authority that "scantily clad women attract molesters" by holding posters reading: "I can be coquettish, but you can't harass me". "It was a fight against the company's statement on its micro blog. We believe women have the freedom to choose what to wear, and how people dress should never be an excuse for sexual harassment," said a woman who joined the protest and only wanted to be identified as Xiangqi. They covered their heads and faces with black cloth, leaving only their eyes visible, and walked into metro compartments and on platforms on Sunday. She said many passengers nodded and smiled at them. The No 2 subway operating company in Shanghai updated its micro blog on June 20 with a picture of a woman wearing a semi-transparent dress standing on the metro platform. "It would be a miracle if you dress like this in the subway without being harassed. Girls, please be self-dignified to avoid perverts," it wrote on the micro blog along with the picture. Many people said it is rare to see women dressing so scantily in public, and women should not be blamed in this situation. [...] Some supporters of the metro company said the statement is a reminder of goodwill. [...] More women said molesters wouldn't be eliminated even if they put on heavy clothes. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Guangdong to use NGO s in reform move (SCMP)
2012-06-25
Guangdong's provincial government has introduced a mechanism to outsource services including legal consultation and policy research to non-government organisations (NGOs) to reform social management. A draft regulation released this month advises administrative departments to buy services from NGOs in areas such as education, housing, social welfare and legal assistance, according to the Guangzhou Daily. The move is part of social reform policies aimed at stepping up the development of NGOs following recent mass protests in the province. They include the protests in the village of Wukan over illegal land grabs which ended in December, and demonstrations in Guangzhou's satellite city of Zengcheng over harsh police treatment of migrant workers in June last year. Experts and NGO officials say the new mechanism can potentially empower NGOs, but they also warn that the funding channel could be manipulated to strengthen control over such groups or even foster graft. [...] Professor Chan Kin-man, who directs the Centre for Civil Society Studies at Chinese University, said the new regulation was significant because it encouraged public participation and allowed government funds to be channelled back to the grass roots. But he doubted the new policy would result in any major rapid changes. [...] "Many hurdles remain before Guangdong can become a truly civil society." Chan also said that NGOs should be given a stable, long-term funding commitment to protect their independence since government departments could seek to manipulate them by threatening to cancel the contracts. [...] Zhang Zhiru, head of the Shenzhen Chunfeng Labour Dispute Service, an NGO, welcomed the new mechanism but cautioned that not all groups would be treated equally. "The local government doesn't want us to exist as they see us as troublemakers because we petition for labour rights and represent workers in court to fight for what they have lost," Zhang said. "Power supply cuts, harassment of clients, and blocking us from renting office space or staff members from renting apartments in the city are just some common tactics we face on a daily basis." It was good to see the government start to outsource services, Zhang said, but he feared it would only allow NGOs with "good reputation" and ties to the Communist Party to gain. [...]. ^ top ^

Crackdown nets 146 officials in Shenzhen (SCMP)
2012-06-28
Shenzhen has released preliminary details on the local impact of a province-wide crackdown on corruption, claiming 146 government officials have been arrested since February on suspicion of involvement in cases of graft totalling 150 million yuan (HK$184 million). Delivering an interim report to the standing committee of the city's people's congress on Tuesday, vice-mayor Lu Ruifeng said those arrested included 36 high-ranking officials - four at bureau head level and 32 at department head level - according to a report on the Shenzhen government's official website. The crackdown in Guangdong, launched in February, will help provincial Communist Party secretary Wang Yang build up political credit ahead of this autumn's national party congress, at which he is expected to be a strong contender for promotion to the powerful Politburo Standing Committee. Those arrested in Shenzhen include the former directors of several sub-districts, which are home to thousands of factories. Shajing sub-district party secretary Liu Shaoxiong was sacked and arrested in February over alleged illegal land sales and links with gangsters. Liu was found to have close links to the head of the Shenzhen branch of Hong Kong's Sun Yee On triad. With Liu's support, the gang is alleged to have illegally controlled several industries in Shajing for years, including waste collection, gas supply and real estate development. [...] More than 1,000 party cadres and civil servants across the province have been investigated for graft so far. They include: Xie Pengfei, a former provincial deputy secretary general; Wei Jinfeng, a deputy head of the province's financial bureau; Li Zhizhen, former director of Guangzhou's civil affairs bureau; and Wu Huasen, former head of the province's Bureau of Coal Geology. ^ top ^

Efforts needed to fight corruption: Wang (China Daily)
2012-06-29
Resolute courage and persistent efforts are needed to fight corruption and guard the outstanding and pure nature of the Communist Party of China, said Wang Yang, Party secretary of Guangdong province. He made the remarks at a provincial conference on June 28 to mark the 91st anniversary of the CPC, reported the China News Service. Guangdong is in a crucial period for comprehensively deepening reforms and the opening-up process and accelerate transformation. However, some Party members have a weak sense of risks and corruption exists, Wang said. Some Party members and officials violate Party laws and rules, while others shield criminal gangs, as seen in the ongoing campaign against economic crimes in the province, he said. A highly export-oriented economy, Guangdong has been affected by the international financial crisis and faces an urgent task of economic transformation, Wang added. Since the reform and opening-up process, and with the rapidly growing economy, rising social conflicts and mounting social administration tasks, the building of a "happy Guangdong" has become a major topic, he said. Wang said that concrete measures are needed to enhance the social building, with a focus on improving people's livelihoods. He urged continuous efforts to perfect the anti-graft system in Guangdong, with the supervision to be strengthened from inside the Party, outside the Party, in specialized organizations and in the public opinion. ^ top ^

Migrant worker arrested for blog post (SCMP)
2012-06-29
A 31-year-old migrant worker in Guangdong's Zhongshan city has been arrested in the wake of demonstrations by migrant workers, which led to the lockdown of the Shaxi township for at least two days. Police said the man, originally from Chongqing, was detained for spreading incendiary rumours on his microblogging account. They said the worker went online on Tuesday evening to accuse police of beating a teenager to death. "An amazing scene to have up to 1,000 police officers maintaining order," the worker wrote. The accusation followed the authorities' announcement earlier that evening that the migrant workers' unrest had been quelled. Police said the worker was trying to boost his popularity, but he later showed remorse for his action. Prior to the unrest, a Chongqing teenager was fighting with a local primary school student on Monday. While being restrained by local police, the teenager suffered facial injuries. That evening, about 30 displeased relatives of the teenager had gathered outside the police station of Longshan village in the township. By 10.30pm, the crowd outside the police station had swelled to about 300 people. They subsequently clashed with the police, with some throwing rocks and bricks. Media reports suggested that there were several thousand Sichuanese embroiled in a bloody battle with the police, with dozens of people injured and police and private cars overturned. On Tuesday evening, some microblog posts said there were at least 1,000 people involved in the clash, with hundreds of police deployed. Provincial media later published an interview with the Chongqing teenager to prove he was alive. As of yesterday, many weibo posts containing pictures and negative comments about the unrest have been removed. The remaining posts extol police efforts at maintaining the peace and stability in Zhongshan. Shaxi residents said order had been restored by yesterday and that the streets were very quiet. But some witnesses said the atmosphere remained tense at night. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Beijing plans tourism in southeastern Tibet (SCMP)
2012-06-24
China's state media say authorities will invest 400 million yuan (HK$491 million) to develop tourism in southeastern Tibet. The official Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday that Beijing plans to make Nyingchi county, 320 kilometres southeast of the Tibetan capital Lhasa, into an international tourism town. It is nestled in a region known for its forests, snow mountains, valleys and rivers. Beijing has for decades tried to grow the Tibetan economy in hopes of winning over ethnic residents, but its heavy-handed rule has drawn criticism. About 40 ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the past year. Since early June, Beijing has not allowed foreign tourists to visit Tibet, though it remains a popular destination for domestic travellers. ^ top ^

Dalai Lama connected with CIA's support of Tibetan secession: media report (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
BERLIN - Despite his frequent claims of peace, the Dalai Lama knew much more about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s support of Tibetan secessionists in the 1950s and 1960s than he admitted, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported recently. A report titled "Seemingly Sacred," which shed light on the relationship between the Dalai Lama and the CIA, said a shadow of violence falls on the divine king. The report said an emissary of the Dalai Lama first contacted the U.S. through its embassy in New Delhi and consulate in Calcutta in 1951, and both sides discussed U.S. military and financial aid to Tibetan separatists. One of the Dalai Lama's elder brothers also attended the meetings. In the same year the U.S. Defense Department gave the Dalai Lama a letter, in which "light weapons" and "financial aid" were promised to the Tibetan separatist movement, it said. The Dalai Lama also received 180,000 U.S. dollars a year from the CIA, which was described as "monetary aid for the Dalai Lama" in confidential documents. The report said the CIA launched "St. Circus Operation" in 1956, which trained Tibetan guerrillas on a South-Pacific island to kill, shoot, lay mines and make bombs. The CIA also made air drops that provided the guerrillas with machine weapons, ammunition, medicine, and propaganda materials, among others, it said. According to the newspaper, "The Dalai Lama clearly stood closer to the CIA and knew significantly more than he let on." Though the Dalai Lama had always claimed that he only came to know the operations afterwards, it should be no later than 1958 when he was aware of the paramilitary training given by the CIA that was closely linked to poison, killing and other violent acts, it said. The report said a U.S. movie director, Lisa Cathey, had conducted more than 30 interviews in her shooting of a documentary, CIA in Tibet. One of those interviewed was a retired CIA agent named John Kenneth Knaus, who was in charge of CIA operations in Tibet and had preserved documents that recorded the training. The Dalai Lama had met with Knaus twice, once in 1964 and again in the 1990s. The Dalai Lama apparently hasn't been honest on whether he knew the CIA's support to the Tibetan separation, the paper said. Now that with more truth on the Dalai Lama's relationship with the CIA revealed, a shadow of violence falls on the divine king, it added. The report called the Dalai Lama "a chess piece of the CIA during the Cold War" and his direct CIA connection does not match his "supreme moral authority.". ^ top ^

China Exclusive: China to build airport in poor Tibetan prefecture (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
Authorities in northwest China's Qinghai province plan to build an airport in the province's poorly-developed Golog Tibetan autonomous prefecture to boost the local economy and help the government better cope with emergencies, local officials said Wednesday. Construction on the Dawu Airport, located near the prefecture's government seat, is expected to start in 2013, said Wu Ziqiang, deputy head of the prefecture government. The project is estimated to cost 1.17 billion yuan (186 million U.S. dollars). The airport will be the fourth one being built in Amdo, a sprawling Tibetan-populated area that spans parts of the provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai. The other three airports -- two in Sichuan and one in Gansu -- will be put into use in 2013. China has started building a number of airports in its Tibetan regions over the past few years. In the Tibet autonomous region, six airports are in operation, with construction on the world's highest airport in Nagqu -- 4,436 meters above sea level -- starting this year. [...] The airport will significantly improve transportation to Golog, whose main town is a six-hour drive away from the provincial capital of Xining, Wu said. Golog borders Yushu, a Tibetan prefecture hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in 2010 that killed 2,698 people. Officials said that if not for an airport that was built near the prefecture's main town of Gyegu before the disaster, the death toll could've been much higher. The airport helped cut the travel time from Gyegu to Xining from 10 hours to just one. About 2,133 injured people were airlifted out of Yushu, while flights sent 17,051 rescuers and more than 2,100 tonnes of relief materials to the quake zone in a timely fashion. Golog remains the least-developed among China's ten Tibetan autonomous prefectures, all outside the Tibet autonomous region, in terms of both economic activity and income. [...] The average annual income of rural residents and herdsmen in Golog was only 2,964 yuan in 2011. Golog officials have vowed to boost the region's development by fast-tracking large infrastructure projects and developing a high-end tourism industry. The provincial tourism bureau said it will spend 200 million yuan to develop the Mt. Nyanpo Yutse region in south Golog into a "world-class" plateau resort. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

'Red tourism' to flourish in NW China city (China Daily)
2012-06-26
Shihezi, an industrial city built in the Gobi Desert, is now extending its ambition to become a major tourist destination with its unique attractions. "We are proud to present a clean, beautiful and civilized city to visitors. Its history and culture make it stand out as a unique red tourism destination," said Wang Xike, member of the Standing Committee of Shihezi Municipal Committee of the CPC at a news briefing on June 23. Located almost in the middle of nowhere, Shihezi is located in the central northern part of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, about 150 kilometers northwest of the capital city Urumqi. Some 50 years ago, there was little here but a vast stretch of desert. In 1950, the People's Liberation Army stationed the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp in the city to consolidate border defense and develop the local economy. Now known as "a shining pearl in the Gobi Desert", the city never fails to surprise guests with its expanse of green in China's dry northwest. It is the only city awarded the Dubai International Award for Best Practices in Improving the Living Environment in Northwest China. The Shihezi Army Reclamation Museum, Beihu Lake Park, the Monument to Premier Zhou Enlai, and Desert Park are the major tourist attractions in the city. However, Wang admits that to attract more foreign visitors, the city needs to do more to promote the army reclamation culture, which is a relatively new concept to foreigners. ^ top ^

China-central Asia, Europe motor transport routes opened (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
China has opened motor transport routes to central Asia and European countries as six fully loaded trucks headed for France on Wednesday from Helgus port, the biggest land port in west China. The opening of the routes will reduce the time it takes to transport cargo between China and Europe, giving businessmen home and abroad a safe, efficient, lower-cost and convenient logistics channel, said Abdusalam Sadek, mayor of Yining city of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which borders Kazakhstan. The motor transport routes were initiated by the Yili WIL-CAN Cargo Group from China and France's Comex Holdings International Ltd.. A total of 50 trucks containing products from China are expected to be sent to central Asian, Russia and European countries every day by road from the end of this year, according to Cao Ganyun, executive director of the Yili WIL-CAN Cargo Group. By 2014, 500 trucks of products will be transported every day, he said. China's trade with central Asia and Europe has boomed in recent years. There is a huge demand for motor logistics in the region as shipping takes a much longer time. Yining is 90 km from the Helgus port and is one of China's gateway cities to central Asia. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

HK, Guangdong, Macao unveil 1st plan on building quality living area (Xinhua)
2012-06-26
Hong Kong and neighboring Guangdong province and Macao jointly announced the publication of the first Regional Cooperation Plan on Building a Quality Living Area on Monday, the Hong Kong city government said in a statement. Undersecretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong city government Kitty Poon said it was the first regional plan jointly compiled by Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao, with a view to enhancing its overall competitiveness and attractiveness. The plan covers long-term cooperation in five major areas -- the environment and ecology, low-carbon development, culture and social living, spatial planning, and green transportation systems. The plan recommends strengthening regional cooperation on air emission reduction control. [...] The plan also recommends the three sides to jointly promote low-carbon development and take forward regional cooperation in combating climate change, according to the statement. ^ top ^

C.Y. challenged over 'false' election claim (SCMP)
2012-06-26
Incoming chief executive Leung Chun-ying faces a legal challenge to his March election victory over the controversy of illegal structures at his home on The Peak. The Democratic Party aims to file an election petition or a judicial review - or both - after accusing Leung of making false statements during the campaign when he claimed he had no illegal structures at his home. Last week it was revealed there were six illegal structures at his two houses at No 4 Peel Rise. The scandal has prompted Democrat chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, a defeated candidate in the race for the top job, to ask the High Court to approve late requests for a legal challenge to the result. [...] According to the law, Ho should have filed a petition within seven working days or a review within 30 days after the result was declared on March 25. But he said the court could use discretion to accept late requests, particularly where a judicial review was concerned. Whether he could file the writ before Leung takes office on July 1 depended on when his legal advisers, who include senior counsels Martin Lee Chu-ming and Hectar Pun Hei, could complete the paperwork. [...] Leung offered another public apology yesterday, but insisted that he never intended to cover up the illegal structures at his home. "I am very disappointed in myself too and I feel sorry for letting my supporters down," he said. "After I bought the house, my knowledge was that it contained no illegal structures. So I had never thought about checking my house when society discussed various illegal structure cases." [...] Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen commented on the case for the first time, saying Leung "has tried his best to be candid" in explaining the case. ^ top ^

Yuan trade settlements encouraged in SAR (China Daily)
2012-06-28
The central government said on Wednesday that it will encourage foreign investors to use China's currency to conduct trade settlements and investment in Hong Kong. The central government will also push forward joint ventures for stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, as well as introduce exchange-traded funds on both the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets. The moves are part of a package of policies for Hong Kong ahead of the 15th anniversary of its return to China on July 1. The development of Hong Kong's offshore yuan businesses accelerated rapidly last year, as the total yuan trade settlement value in Hong Kong increased more than four times over 2010, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said in a document released in late February. As a prime platform for offshore yuan trade settlement, Hong Kong's banks handled a record 1.91 trillion yuan ($300 billion) in such trade last year, up 419 percent from 369.2 billion yuan a year earlier, said the city's de facto central bank. In 2011, China's trade settled in yuan amounted to 2.08 trillion yuan, which was about 9 percent of the country's total imports and exports for the year, according to the People's Bank of China. [...] Meanwhile, the long-awaited issue of ETFs that track Hong Kong shares and those that are linked to A-shares are widely expected with an initial quota of 20 billion yuan each. Analysts said that they don't believe the ETFs will be able to boost stock markets single-handedly. They said the move is more of a policy signal rather than a decisive factor for the markets. [...]. ^ top ^

New HK gov't team vows to improve people's livelihood, maintain stability (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
Hong Kong Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying and his newly appointed governing team made debut on Thursday, vowing to improve people's livelihood, seek changes while preserving stability of the city in the coming five years. "It is our common wish to devote ourselves to changing the prolonged sluggishness of our economic and social development," said Leung, while meeting press with principle officials of the fourth-term government, which had been appointed by the central government earlier in the day. Leung hoped that in five years' time they will have seen continuous improvement in people's quality of life and have a more harmonious society. "Our city will be more charming than ever and everyone in our community, including the new generation, will see hope and embrace a new vision." Speaking of his newly formed team, Leung said it comprises existing directors of bureaux, who are "very experienced" and made tremendous contributions over the past five years or more, and new faces "full of enthusiasm and vision". "It gives me great pleasure to have them in my leadership team, " he said. Apart from principal officials, Leung also saw civil servants as his "key partners." "Hong Kong has an excellent civil service known for integrity and efficiency. For many years, the civil service has been delivering services to the public diligently and dedicatedly," Leung said. Leung said his governing team and he will continue to cooperate fully with civil servants. "I will ensure that the civil service system will remain intact and the civil service stable." Leung also believed solidarity is the prerequisite for effective policy implementation and it is vital to narrow the distance between people from different districts, strata and sectors. "To this end, we will strive to build a people-oriented government, listen to the views of the people, amass social wisdom and strengthen social cohesion." After the swearing in on July 1, Leung and his team will embark on territory-wide district visits, meeting the public to understand their needs and listen to their views. "In the next five years, we will make prudent adjustments and seek changes while maintaining stability. We will safeguard the core values that we have treasured for years, resolve deep-seated conflicts, improve the livelihood of our people and work towards the harmony and stability of our society," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

News Analysis: Hong Kong striving for RMB offshore business center (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is now taking shape as a premier offshore renminbi (RMB) business center and serves as an important platform for the development of RMB business around the globe, according to Donald Tsang, chief executive of the HKSAR. This month, China's Ministry of Finance will issue 23 billion yuan-denominated sovereign bonds (about 3.64 billion U.S. dollars) in Hong Kong, setting aside 2 billion yuan bonds specifically for central banks and monetary authorities outside the Chinese mainland. China's Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced the issuance here Thursday morning in an effort to support the city's economic development. The issuance is the fourth and largest of its kind, following the sale of 6 billion yuan in yuan-denominated treasury bonds in 2009, 8 billion yuan in 2010 and 20 billion yuan in 2011. [...] According to a memorandum of cooperation signed by MOF and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), yuan-denominated sovereign bonds can get listed in HKEx. "The issuance of RMB sovereign bonds in Hong Kong for the fourth time demonstrates clearly the central government's support for Hong Kong's development as a offshore RMB business center," said the city's Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury K C Chan. Chan said that it is the first time for arrangement was made for the special placement of the RMB sovereign bonds to foreign central banks, "which serves as a showcase for issuing bonds to overseas investors in the future." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

First mainland bank branch opens in Taiwan (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
TAIPEI - The Bank of China officially opened its Taipei branch on Wednesday, making it the first Chinese mainland bank to start commercial operations in Taiwan. An opening ceremony was held in downtown Taipei and attended by Wu Poh-hisung, honorary chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang, Chiang Pin-kun, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, and Li Lihui, president of the Bank of China, as well as senior executives from the island's major financial holding companies and other distinguished guests. "The Taipei branch opening marks a major step in the Bank of China's development as well as a milestone in deepening economic and financial cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan," Li told the audience at the event. He said the Bank of China will follow the rules of both the mainland and Taiwan and contribute more to cross-Strait economic and financial cooperation through its corporate banking, personal banking and other services. Services available at the branch are mainly those associated with corporate finance. As the first mainland bank to establish cooperative relations with Taiwanese banks and offer services to Taiwanese business people, the Bank of China has entered into business cooperation agreements with 10 Taiwanese banks and established corresponding banking relationships with 29 Taiwanese banks, according to Li. The banking chief said the total credit that the Bank of China has offered to Taiwan-funded companies over the past three years is worth more than 160 billion yuan (around 25 billion U.S. dollars), and the bank plans to arrange 200 billion yuan more in credit to support the development of Taiwan-funded companies over the next three years. [...]

The mainland's Bank of Communications, whose branch opening application has been approved by Taiwan authorities, has yet to officially open its branch in Taipei. The mainland has so far approved the application of 10 Taiwanese banks to set up on the mainland, of which at least eight have already opened the branches. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Bohai oil spills worth $264m (Global Times)
2012-06-25
BEIJING, US energy giant ConocoPhillips China (COPC), operator of the Penglai 19-3 oilfield in the Bohai Bay, is fully responsible for two major oil spills that occurred since June last year that caused 1.683 billion yuan ($264.44 million) in ecological damage, according to a report by the State Ocean Administration (SOA). The severe oil spills have polluted 6,200 square kilometers of water, an area about nine times the size of Singapore. Some 870 square kilometers were heavily polluted and huge losses in aquatic farming industries of Liaoning and Hebei provinces were caused, the SOA said in an online statement. [...] Under a damage compensation agreement signed between the SOA, COPC and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), COPC is to offer 1.09 billion yuan for ecological losses, while CNOOC and COPC paid 480 million yuan and 113 million yuan, respectively, for environmental protection efforts in the country's Bohai Bay. [...] The Penglai 19-3 oilfield is one of the country's largest offshore oilfields, with daily production of about 160,000 barrels. The COPC operates the Penglai 19-3 oilfield, in which CNOOC, China's largest offshore oil producer, holds a 51-percent stake while ConocoPhillips holds 49 percent. ^ top ^

China to accelerate shale gas industrialization (Xinhua)
2012-06-26
BEIJING, A senior Chinese official on Monday called for the country to speed up mass production of shale gas with its own technologies to ensure adequate energy supply. Efforts must be made to achieve early breakthroughs in the appraisal, exploration and development of shale gas resources, as well as to come up with measures to ensure environmental safety, Liu Tienan, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a meeting. Liu, also head of the National Energy Administration, underlined the necessity to manufacture key mining equipment with indigenous Chinese technology. Factories should increase investment and production to guarantee success in meeting the national output target of 6.5 billion cubic meters for 2015. [...] China's rich reserves of shale gas are estimated to amount to 31 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to the total amount of conventional natural gas. The Sichuan Basin, the Ordos Basin, the Tarim Basin, the western Hubei-Eastern Chongqing area, and the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan boast huge stores of the substance, a survey by the Ministry of Land and Resources has showed. ^ top ^

China, Ukraine sign currency swap agreement (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
The central banks of China and Ukraine Tuesday signed a currency swap contract worth 15 billion yuan, or 19 billion hryvnyas (2.38 billion U.S. dollars). The agreement is for an initial three-year period and could be extended with the consent of both sides, the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, said in a statement on its website. The move aims to step up bilateral financial cooperation, promote trade and investment, and safeguard regional financial stability, according to the statement. Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, China has signed currency swap agreements worth at least 1.5 trillion yuan (238 billion U.S. dollars) with a dozen of countries, including the Republic of Korea and Malaysia, to support its trade and investment with these economies. ^ top ^

China's non-financial ODI jumps 40 pct (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China's outbound direct investment (ODI) in non-financial sectors surged 40.2 percent year-on-year to 28.52 billion U.S. dollars during the first five months, the Ministry of Commerce announced (MOC) Tuesday. Of all Chinese ODI during January-May period, about 39.3 percent, worth about 11.2 billion U.S. dollars, went into mergers and acquisitions, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a regular press briefing. In the first five months, Chinese investors made investments in 1,709 overseas companies based in 115 countries and regions. The flow of ODI into Hong Kong, the United States and the European Union dramatically increased, up 50.9 percent, 45.9 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively, Shen added. As of the end of May 2012, China's non-financial ODI amounted to 350.6 billion U.S. dollars. [...]. ^ top ^

China's foreign debts total 751 bln USD (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China's outstanding external debts totaled 751.26 billion U.S. dollars by the end of March, the country's foreign exchange regulator said Tuesday. In break down, medium and long-term foreign debts totaled 193.56 billion U.S. dollars, while short-term debts stood at 557.7 billion U.S. dollars, figures released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange show. Of the registered external debts, which stood at 480.16 billion U.S. dollars, 76.67 percent were U.S. dollar-denominated debts, while 7.05 percent and 8.23 percent were yen- and euro-denominated debts, respectively. [...]. ^ top ^

News Analysis: PBOC injects liquidity to buoy economy (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
China's central bank on Tuesday launched a third round of reverse repurchase (repo) operations, aiming to ease the market squeeze and buoy weaker-than-expected economic growth. The 14-day repo operations worth 95 billion yuan (15.08 billion U.S. dollars) came after the People's Bank of China (PBOC), or the central bank, conducted rounds one and two in January and May, injecting at least 400 billion yuan of liquidity into market. The latest move meant the banking liquidity remained tight and the world's second-largest economy needed a cash injection to boost its slower-than-expected growth, analysts said. Wang Tao, an economist with UBS AG, attributed the tight liquidity in the banking system to less inflow of foreign exchange and increased lending demand. [...] Despite the central bank's consistent liquidity injection in the past three weeks, lending rates posted a slight increase which indicated strong demand for cash. [...] If open market operations fail to ease the tight money supply, analysts expect the PBOC will lower the bank's Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) further, and the monetary policy might shift from prudent to relatively easy. [...] The PBOC has lowered the RRR twice this year, releasing at least 800 billion yuan of liquidity. It also cut lending and deposit rates to spur growth, the first such move in nearly three years. China's economic growth slowed to a near-three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter, dampened by sluggish exports and a self-geared cool-down in the real estate industry and other fixed-asset investment projects. ^ top ^

China to clean up local gov't debt (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
China will strengthen local government debt management and strictly control new borrowing to prevent fiscal risks, its finance minister vowed on Wednesday. The nation will continue to clean up and regulate local government financing vehicles and bar them from incurring new debt, Xie Xuren said in a final report on the implementation of the 2011 budget to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. China has intensified efforts to clear the massive debt of its local governments, which amounted to 10.7 trillion yuan (1.7 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of 2010, in an effort to prevent widespread defaults from destabilizing growth in the world's second-largest economy. Xie ruled on Tuesday that local governments are prohibited from issuing bonds directly except as otherwise prescribed by laws or the State Council, a strong signal that the country will try to limit local government debt and contain fiscal risks. China will improve its local government debt management system, Xie said, while calling for a risk warning mechanism to protect against local debt defaults. ^ top ^

China to issue hefty local gov't bonds (Xinhua)
2012-06-28
The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that it will issue 47.8 billion yuan (7.59 billion U.S. dollars) worth of bonds on behalf of local governments next month, in a bid to ease financing pressures and create more funding channels for local governments. On July 9, the ministry will auction off 23.9 billion yuan in three-year local government bonds on behalf of seven provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, according to a statement posted on the ministry's website. The seven provincial-level governments include Qinghai, Shanxi, Beijing, Fujian, Ningxia, Heilongjiang and Jiangsu. The ministry will also issue 23.9 billion yuan in five-year bonds on behalf of the seven governments on July 16, the statement said. [...]. ^ top ^

Bus drivers union signs collective wage contract (China Daily)
2012-06-29
The Trade Union of Shenyang bus drivers signed the first collective wage contract with a representative of local public traffic companies on Thursday in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province. The contract, which will benefit about 15,000 bus company workers, set a minimum monthly wage of 1,200 yuan ($188.73) and linked workers'annual pay increases to the company's profits. "It's so great that we can have a say in the decision on salaries. The most important thing is that there is an annual growth," Li Ping, a female bus driver, told China Daily. Statistics from local authorities show the average pay of bus drivers is about 1,100 yuan per month. Their wages have remained relatively stagnant over the past decade. The Shenyang Federation of Trade Unions, the biggest driving force behind the contract, praised the agreement. "Under this contract, bus drivers have more bargaining power to earn a better life," said Duan Yang, vice-chairwoman of the Shenyang Federation of Trade Unions. ^ top ^

China's outbound tourism continues to surge (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
China's outbound tourism continued to surge this year, with the total number of overseas trips made by Chinese travelers growing 19.52 percent year on year in the first five months, a tourism official said Thursday. Chinese tourists made 32.33 million trips overseas from January to May, said Zhu Shanzhong, deputy head of the National Tourism Administration. "China's steady economic growth has contributed to the rapid development of the country's outbound tourism, which has become a stable source of growth for global tourism," Zhu said. He called for greater protections for the safety and rights of Chinese travelling overseas, as well as the establishment of emergency rescue and insurance systems for travelers. Chinese travelers made 70.25 million overseas trips in 2011, up 22.4 percent from the previous year, according to official figures. ^ top ^

Radio, film and TV industries generate 46 bln dollars in 2011 (Xinhua)
2012-06-29
China's radio, film and television industries generated 289.4 billion yuan (45.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011, a 17.7-percent year-on-year increase, according to a report released by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) Thursday. The strong growth was mostly driven by the advertising and cable network sectors and surging box office revenue, according to Pang Jingjun, director of the SARFT R&D center and chief editor of the report. Advertising revenue amounted to nearly 112.3 billion yuan last year, up 19 percent from the previous year, while an increase of 16 percent was seen in the cable network sector, which grabbed 56.37 billion yuan, said Pang. By the end of January, Chinese cinemas boasted 9,600 screens, the second-most in the world, Pang said. Box office revenues in the Chinese mainland hit 13.1 billion yuan last year after marking 30-percent average annual growth in the past nine years. In 2011, exports of Chinese film and TV products totaled 156 million U.S. dollars, according to the report. Last year, 469 TV drama programs went into production, yielding 14,942 episodes -- the most in the world. Meanwhile, 791 films were produced, including 55 that clinched 2.04 billion yuan in overseas box office revenue and scored 82 international awards. The report also said that 356 million Chinese surfed the Internet on their mobile phones as of the end of 2011, and more than one-fifth watched online videos on mobile phones. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK vows to bolster up nuclear deterrence as U.S. persists in hostile policy (Xinhua)
2012-06-25
PYONGYANG, The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday denounced U.S.-South Korea joint drills as severe provocation, and vowed to bolster its nuclear deterrence for self-defense. A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement slamming the largest ever U.S.-South Korea joint drill on Friday in the area south of the Demilitarized Zone, which even perpetrated firing at the DPRK flag, according to the official KCNA news agency. "It is an extremely grave military action and politically- motivated provocation to fire live bullets and shells at the flag of a sovereign state without a declaration of war, the statement said. The drill once again proved that the commitment which the U.S. made in the February 29 DPRK-U.S. Agreement that they would not antagonize the DPRK was a sheer lie, whose recent hostile policy towards the DPRK has gone beyond the tolerable limit, it said. The spokesman said that the DPRK will further bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense as long as the U.S. persists in its hostile policy towards it. On Friday, South Korea and the United States staged their largest ever live-fire drill northeast of Seoul, aimed at checking solid military preparedness and war-fighting capabilities, according to the South Koreas Defense Ministry. A spokesman for the National Peace Committee of Korea denounced the joint military exercises as an intentional act to provoke war, which has pushed the Korean Peninsula and the rest of Northeast Asia to the edge of armed conflict. U.S. President Barack Obama last Monday decided to extend for one year the sanctions against the DPRK, citing the "unusual and extraordinary threat" posed by the Asian country to U.S. national security, foreign policy and economy. ^ top ^

Chinese economic cooperation with DPRK developing smoothly: FM spokesman (Xinhua)
2012-06-27
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that China's economic and trade cooperation with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is developing well. "China-DPRK economic and trade cooperation is currently in good shape in terms of development," spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine press conference, adding that the two countries' efforts to develop the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone are going well. The zones were established on June 9 last year. Japan's Kyodo News reported on Monday that China wishes to put the Hwanggumphyong joint development project on hold, citing its poor economic value. "The report is groundless and irresponsible," Hong said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Every citizen to own preference stock of Erdenes MGL Company (Montsame)
2012-06-26
At a regular meeting, the cabinet made decision on granting to every citizen a preference stock of the Erdenes MGL Company. Before this decision, the cabinet has decided to hand 1,072 units stocks of the Erdenes Tavantolgoi LLC to citizens. The Erdenes MGL Company possesses two associated companies--the Erdenes TT and the Oyutolgoi that own three special licenses of the strategically-important "Shivee-Ovoo" brown coal deposit. In accordance with the above decision, citizens are enabled to have dividends from the strategic mineral deposits. Owner of the preference stock of the Erdenes MGL has a special right to have the dividend prior to the government and the shareholders. "This is an expression of the cabinet to realize its policy of equally distribute benefits of the natural resources to every person," the Prime Minister S.Batbold stressed. The Erdenes MGL Company owns 100 thousand units of common stock and 3 million units of preference stock. Thus, it is possible to distribute the stock to every person who is listed in the state registration. In accordance with the related law, the preference stock owner shall not sell the preference stock or present it to others. It is also illegal for the owner to inherit it to someone or to pawn it for something. ^ top ^

Minister approves number of students to be enrolled in 2012 (Montsame)
2012-06-26
The Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Yo.Otgonbayar approved a upper limit of numbers of students to be enrolled from local areas for bachelor level studies at some state universities in 2012-2013 academic year. For example, the State University of Education will enroll 1304 students from local areas and 796 students from from Ulaanbaatar, the National University of Mongolia 2865 from local areas and 1250 from Ulaanbaatar, the University of Art and culture 405 from local areas and 795 from Ulaanbaatar, the State university of Agriculture 1899 from local areas and 321 from the capital city, the Science and Technology University 2397 from aimags and 2113 from Ulaanbaatar, the Medical Science University 1051 from rural areas and 349 from Ulaanbaatar this year. ^ top ^

Foreign media and election observers in place for election (UB Post)
2012-06-27
2012 Parliamentary Election and the City Council or the Capital City Representative Khural will be carried out at the same time in the every corner of Mongolia from 7am to 8 pm. Tomorrow, Mongolia will choose the candidates and the political party which we believe will change life for Mongolians and brighten the future of Mongolians. The official registry of candidates for the 2012 Parliamentary Election for electoral districts and by party name was released by the General Election Commission (GEC). According to the GEC, 354 people are running for the electoral districts and 84 of which are female candidates. There are 26 independent candidates running for the election for electoral district and 5 of them are women. In total, 190 candidates are running in the election by party name and 90 of them are females. The youngest candidate is 26 years old while the eldest one is 71 years old, according to Speaker of Parliament, D.Demberel. As of today, about 30 people from nine foreign organizations have been officially recorded by the GEC to observe the upcoming parliamentary election. Another 37 people have been registered to report on the election as well. N.Luvsanjav, head of the GEC, said the election commission is granting permission certificates to foreign reporters and observers – underscoring that the GEC has taken all the necessary measures to organize this. The head of the GEC passed on these figures to the media at a press conference held on Tuesday to the heads of diplomatic missions and permanent representatives of international organizations in Mongolia. This refers to participants and observers interested in matters on the election system in Mongolia, the process of running the parliamentary election with help of automatic devices and its importance, the system of solving problems in case of an argument related to the automatic devices, the date of announcing the parliamentary election results and tackling requests and complaints about the election. According to N.Luvsanjav, a total of 1.8 million have been registered in the official list of voters, for 1,905 parliamentary election sub-committees nationwide. A total of 15,549 state servants are working in the sub-commissions, and 130 people are working within 26 IT teams and 2,625 are working as assistants to the sub-committees. A total of 2,446 machines to count voting ballots have been transferred to the sub-committees as well. On the same day, the GEC retested the devices and introduced them it to representatives of the political parties and coalitions running in the election, as well as to observing NGOs. ^ top ^

No alcoholic beverage to be sold on voting day (Montsame)
2012-06-27
Trade of alcoholic beverages in the city will be banned on June 28-29 when the elections of parliament and the Citizens' Representative Khural will run. The order on this matter was made on Wednesday by G.Monkhbayar, the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city in respect of the laws on the administrative units and their governance, on the parliamentary election, on the election of the Citizens' Representative Khural of Ulaanbaatar city and on the legal status of the capital city. According to the order "Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network" company, the "Information and Communication" state-owned company, and the Public Transport Department were assigned also to take required measures so as to provide the city's administrative organizations, election constituencies and sub-committees with reliable conditions for running their activities and to carry out the public transport services in normal condition on the day of voting. ^ top ^

Some people will vote today (News.mn)
2012-06-27
The parliamentary election will held tomorrow, on June 28. In total 1 million 833 thousand 478 voters will vote for parliamentary election. Voters who cannot come to polling station by various reason, mostly people who had a health treatment in hospital will vote today. But by today the General Election Commission haven't get exact number of people who will vote. Workers and observers from polling station will deliver voting box to the place where needed than box should be sealed and will count tomorrow with other voters electorat list. ^ 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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