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
  7-13.7.12, No. 431  
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DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

President of Xinhua urges world media to make historical choices amid challenges, reshuffles (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
MOSCOW - Facing severe challenges in the media industry and the fast-changing world as a whole, major international news organizations should make historical choices, President of China's Xinhua news agency Li Congjun said here Friday. Speaking at the second World Media Summit (WMS), Li, as WMS executive president, called on world media colleagues to make "historical choices" amidst changes, competition, integration and reshuffles in the industry that will reshape the future media landscape. The four choices, as Li elaborated, included promoting peace and common prosperity of the world, serving the public good and fulfilling social responsibilities, implementing restructuring with new technology and upgraded modern communication system, and strengthening collaboration toward a cooperative mechanism. "The fate of the media is closely connected to that of the world, and the media's development must keep pace with the development of the times, " Li said. To fulfill their missions and tackle challenges of today's world, news organizations and reporters should provide "accurate, objective, fair and impartial" news to readers, bridge the communication gap between races, cultures and countries, adapt to the application of digital technology and the trend of media integration, and foster cooperation at various levels. ^ top ^

Xi urges world to seek peace together (China Daily)
2012-07-08
China calls for all nations to abandon the old "zero-sum" mentality and work together to tackle challenges in regional security and strive for world peace, Vice-President Xi Jinping said at a forum in Beijing on Saturday. "Faced with complicated and multiple security challenges, no country can easily stay out without being affected, or achieve so-called absolute security single-handedly," Xi told the audience at the opening ceremony of World Peace Forum 2012, the first non-official high-level forum on international security held in the country. All nations in the world should be cooperative, innovative and responsible and make joint efforts in pursuit of a win-win situation, he said. Xi proposed that international security should be achieved through upholding the following principles: common development, equality, mutual trust, dialogue and cooperation, and innovation in security on the world stage. The forum, being held at Tsinghua University from Saturday to Sunday, was also attended by many former foreign leaders - such as Yukio Hatoyama, former Japanese prime minister; Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former Malaysian prime minister; and Dominique de Villepin, former French prime minister - as well as diplomats in Beijing. [...] During his speech, Xi said China is pursuing development characterized by peace, openness and cooperation, and that "practice has proved that China has become an active participant and constructive force in contributing to the international system." China will keep adhering to the path of peaceful development and will not seek hegemony even when it becomes more developed in the future, Xi said. [...] China's position on South China Sea has been "clear and consistent", according to Wu Shicun, president of Hainan-based National Institute of South China Sea Studies. "Setting aside disputes and embarking on joint development is the most effective way to solve the issue," he said. ^ top ^

Navy plans drill near Zhoushan (China Daily)
2012-07-10
The Chinese navy will soon launch a drill in waters near Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang province, as part of its annual exercise plan, the Defense Ministry said on Monday. [...] The People's Liberation Army issued two announcements on July 2 prohibiting all vessels from entering its designated exercise area during the period, and urging them to follow naval ships' instructions to guarantee safety. According to the announcements, the exercise area is a bit bigger than before, but it is not in the disputed waters between China and its neighbors, and it is far away from the Huangyan and Diaoyu islands. [...] The forthcoming drill is not a counteraction against the ongoing one between the Philippines and the US, said analysts. But it still drew attention due to the intensive drills conducted by the US and its Asian allies recently as well as Tokyo's plan of "nationalizing" part of the Diaoyu Islands. The live-fire drill is part of an annual exercise conducted in the East China Sea, regularly held around the same time and in the same area, Song Xiaojun, a military affairs commentator, told China National Radio. [...] On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's statement that his government was negotiating with a "private owner" to "nationalize" part of the Diaoyu Islands triggered a strong reaction over sovereignty from China. On the same day, China's Foreign Ministry responded on its website that China's territory is not allowed to be bought or sold by anyone, and the country will continue to take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the islands' sovereignty. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin on Monday reiterated the stance at the daily news conference, saying that the ministry and the Chinese embassy in Japan on Saturday lodged solemn representations to Tokyo over its latest move. [...]. ^ top ^

China, EU pledge to set good example of international cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
China and the European Union (EU) pledged Tuesday to set a good example for international cooperation in the 21st century. The two sides made the pledge in a joint press release issued after the third China-EU high-level strategic dialogue. The dialogue was held in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday and was co-chaired by State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Catherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs and the European Commission's vice president. [...] China and the EU share broad common interests and are increasingly interdependent in a changing world, the release said. Both sides agreed to "be open to new ideas for working together effectively and remain committed to being a good example for international cooperation in the 21st century," it said. In the release, China and the EU vowed to continue to consolidate their comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. "China reaffirmed its support for European integration, Europe's efforts to solve its debt crisis and the stability of the eurozone," said the release, adding that the EU reaffirmed its support for China's peaceful development and respect for China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two sides agreed that they will address their differences and concerns in a constructive manner, the release said. China and the EU will intensify dialogue on global and regional issues of common concern, including regular consultations at all levels, as well as increase contacts between special representatives and special envoys, said the release. During the dialogue, the two sides also agreed to hold regular talks on defense and security policy and stressed their willingness to strengthen cooperation in protecting ships from pirates, according to the release. "The China-EU relationship has witnessed positive progress in recent years, which has become a successful example of exchanges and cooperation between nations with different social systems and historical and cultural backgrounds," said Premier Wen Jiabao as he met with Ashton. Wen said the efforts to address the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis have helped the relationship between China and the EU to become more mature and stable. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese leaders meet French FM, vow stronger partnership (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday, vowing to boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. "China attaches great importance to its ties with France and the two nations share identical or similar views on many issues of global and strategic significance," said Premier Wen. Wen told Fabius that China is willing to work with the French side to enhance understanding and cooperation and boost exchanges regarding humanitarian issues in order to boost the China-France bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high. China is considering importing more value-added products from France and introducing the country's advanced technology to promote the balanced growth of two-way trade, Wen added. Fabius, the first minister from France's newly-formed cabinet, said the French government will continue to maintain high-level exchanges with China and look for new areas of cooperation and promote the advancement of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit. During his meeting with Fabius, Li said China is ready to work closely with the new French government to strengthen political mutual trust, cement substantial cooperation and enhance coordination in global affairs. Li called on both countries to enhance cooperation in aviation and nuclear energy and to boost the progress of new energy cooperation. The vice premier expressed the hope that France will ease restrictions on exports of high-tech products to China. [...] He called on France to continue playing a positive role in cementing China-EU ties. [...]. ^ top ^

Myanmar president meets Chinese state councilor on security, law enforcement cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
NAY PYI TAW - Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu here Tuesday.The two leaders vowed to strengthen security and law enforcement cooperation. During their talks, Meng spokes highly of the achievement made recently by China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand in security and law enforcement cooperation, citing the capture of Sai Naw Kham, key culprit of Mekong armed drug trafficking gang. [...] The Myanmar side attached importance to its cooperation with the Chinese side in security and law enforcement to enhance bilateral cooperation, he said. Meng said that as friendly neighbors, China highly values the development of China-Myanmar comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership, respecting Myanmar people's choice of path of development based on its specific national conditions, and is happy to see that Myanmar is expanding its international exchange. Meng also said maintenance of peace and stability of China- Myanmar border areas are in the common interest of the two countries. China respects Myanmar's sovereignty and territorial integrity and supports Myanmar government's efforts to properly handle national reconciliation issue by peaceful means through coordination and negotiation. U Thein Sein briefed Meng on Myanmar's domestic and international situation and its foreign relations. He thanked China for its valuable long-term support to Myanmar 's socio-economic development and values the Myanmar-China Paukphaw friendship. He expressed wishes to make joint efforts to promote Myanmar- China comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese VP calls for advancing China-Africa strategic partnership (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said Tuesday China is willing to join hands with African countries to further develop the new-type of strategic partnership. Xi made the remarks in a keynote speech titled "Promoting New Development of the New Type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership", delivered at the opening ceremony of the second China-Africa People's Forum. China-Africa relations are at a new starting point, Xi told the forum held in Suzhou, a tourist resort and economic hub in east China. He proposed five proposals for advancing the relations. Firstly, both sides must carry forward good traditions and safeguard common interests. "The population of China and Africa put together accounts for about one third of the world's total. Therefore, without peace and development in China and Africa, it is impossible to see prosperity and progress in the whole world," according to the vice president. He said China and Africa must continue to consolidate unity and cooperation, facilitate common progress, and help build a more just and rational international political and economic order in order to strengthen the political basis for China-Africa cooperation. Secondly, both sides must keep abreast of the times and keep blazing new trails. [...] Thirdly, both sides must persist in pragmatic cooperation for mutual benefit. [...] Fourthly, both sides must increase solidarity and jointly build a harmonious world. Both China and Africa are staunch forces safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, according to Xi. They need to collaborate more in international affairs and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, the vice president suggested. Lastly, both sides must seek all-round cooperation for an all-dimensional development of China-Africa relations. [...] About 300 delegates from China and 35 African states are attending the forum, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first China-Africa People's Forum was held in Nairobi, Kenya, last year. ^ top ^

14th Australia-China human rights dialogue held in Canberra (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
CANBERRA - China and Australia held the 14th round of human rights dialogue Tuesday at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. The dialogue has become a wide-ranging discussion between delegates including parliamentarians and senior officials from a range of agencies from both countries. Dr Heather Smith, deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that through the dialogue, both governments have an opportunity for a frank and constructive exchange of views at a senior level on a range of human rights issues, including progress in human rights technical cooperation. Cui Tiankai, vice minister of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leader of Chinese delegation, said in a press conference after the dialogue that both countries have attended the human rights dialogue for over a decade, which has contributed much to bilateral trust and cooperation. [...] When answering questions from the Xinhua correspondent, Cui said some Western media prefer to pick the negative part to make news stories, especially in the human rights area. "But China has an open mind and confidence to deal with real problems in our society. We are grateful for their suggestions and different opinions." "People of my generation have experienced very hard times in China, but things have changed a lot nowadays. Changes are taking place in China everyday, the Chinese people are living a better life day by day. This is the fact no one can deny," said Cui. "And perhaps it is not China that could not keep up with changes in the world, it is rather some people in the world that can not keep up with changes in China," he added. The Members of the Chinese delegation are from the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the All China Federation of Trade Unions, the All China Women's Federation, the State Council Information Office and the State Administration of Religious Affairs. The Chinese delegation also had meetings with Australian non- government organizations on Monday. ^ top ^

Mutual trust, cooperation essential to formulation of COC: Chinese FM (Xinhua)
2012-07-13
PHNOM PENH - China calls for shelving disputes and seeking joint development on the South China Sea issue, and hopes all parties will do more to enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation for the formulation of a code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC), visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here at the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers' Meeting Thursday. Yang pointed out that China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters is supported by ample historical and legal evidence. Yet given the complexity of the South China Sea issue, China has always called for shelving disputes and seeking joint development. China and ASEAN countries had candid discussions and reached broad consensus on the South China Sea issue 20 years ago and signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in Phnom Penh ten years ago. An important principle of the DOC is to let sovereign states directly concerned resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means through friendly consultations and negotiations, Yang noted. Yang also said China is "open" to launching discussions on COC on the basis of full compliance with the DOC by all parties, adding it is "essential that all parties exercise self-restraint in keeping with the spirit of the DOC, and refrain from taking moves that will escalate and complicate the disputes and affect peace and stability." "China hopes that all parties will do more to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation, and create necessary conditions for the formulation of COC," Yang made the remark in response to the remarks by some countries at the meeting on the issue. The foreign minister stressed that the South China Sea is an important shipping route for China as 60 percent of its external trade goes through it. Thus China attaches great importance to the freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea, and China will continue to work closely with the littoral countries to ensure smooth sea lanes in the South China Sea. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese FM meets Clinton in Cambodia (China Daily)
2012-07-13
China hopes the United States will respect the interests and concerns of China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Thursday. Yang made the remarks as he met US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Cambodia. The region is where the interests of China and the US are the most intertwined and where the two countries most frequently interact, said Yang, who met Clinton on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh. China and the US should establish a pattern of interaction in the Asia-Pacific that features win-win cooperation, Yang said. Yang was also quoted by Reuters as saying that Beijing was ready to work with Washington "to expand our common ground, respect each other, properly handle differences on sensitive issues and push forward" relations. Clinton said that the US is committed to developing a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship with China, adding that the US-China relationship is very important. Ahead of the meeting with Yang, Clinton told reporters that the two countries "not only can, but will, work together in Asia". The US has no territorial claims in the region and will not "take sides in disputes about territorial or maritime boundaries", Clinton told the foreign ministers gathered in Cambodia's capital. She said the US has "an interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea". But experts said China has repeatedly claimed that all countries enjoy full freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. [...] Clinton's tone, which expressed a willingness to cooperate, is in line with Washington's neutral stance over the maritime disputes between China and some of its Southeast Asian allies, said Shen Yamei, a researcher on American studies with the China Institute of International Studies. [...] Clinton arrived in Cambodia on Wednesday from Laos, where she was the first top US diplomat to visit in nearly 60 years. Her extensive tour of Asia also covers stops such as in Mongolia and Vietnam. [...] Southeast Asian countries were divided on Wednesday over how to deal with recent disputes with Beijing as the Philippines is leading a push for a united ASEAN to propose to China a code of conduct for the South China Sea, AFP reported. Thailand will not allow disputes in the South China Sea to obstruct cooperation between ASEAN and China, Thailand's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, according to the Bangkok-based newspaper The Nation. ^ top ^

Fishing vessels set off for Nansha Islands (China Daily)
2012-07-13
A joint oceangoing fishing operation involving 30 boats set sail for the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea on Thursday from South China's Hainan province. It is one of the largest fishing activities in Hainan's history, according to the local fishery authority. Their destination for the 20-day fishing operation is near the waters of Yongshu Reef. According to local fishery authorities, the fleet consists of a 3,000-ton supply vessel and 29 fishing boats. Among them, 18 belong to the Sanya Haiyu Fishers' Association and 11 are from the Sanya Yufeng Fishers' Association. They will be divided into several teams when fishing. The fleet has a chief commander, three deputy commanders and a control team that will arrange and coordinate the operation of each team, said Zhang Huazhong, director of the Sanya marine and fishery bureau. Ships patrolling the waters around the Sansha area and related departments will be prepared to meet urgent situations for the fishery operation, he said. "The vessels are totally different from the old ones. They have the Beidou Navigation System, and the sailors in the vessels are professional," Lu Guangxian, the captain of Qiong Sanya 72029, one of the 29 fishing vessels, told China Daily. [...] The waters around Sansha have a potential fishery volume of 5 million metric tons every year. But currently Hainan has only 80,000 tons of fishing production. In late June, China established Sansha city to administer the three island groups of Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha. The new city also covers the islands' surrounding waters. China is considering setting up a legislative body in the newly established city. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese patrol ships encounter Japanese vessels near Diaoyu Islands (Xinhua)
2012-07-13
Three Chinese fishery patrol ships engaged in a verbal confrontation with Japanese Coast Guard ships in waters near the Diaoyu Islands on Wednesday, fishery authorities said Thursday. The Yuzheng-202, Yuzheng-204 and Yuzheng-35001 patrol ships encountered the Japanese vessels early Wednesday during a routine patrol, according to a statement from the East China Sea Fishery Bureau. The Chinese vessels arrived at about 2 a.m. The Japanese ships were spotted at 9:45 a.m., when the Yuzheng-204 sent administrative staff to a Chinese fishing boat anchored nearby to conduct a safety inspection. "The Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets have been part of Chinese territory since ancient times. Our fishery patrol ships are conducting normal duties in protecting fishery activity in Chinese waters. Please do not interfere and leave immediately," the Chinese ships said via radio when asked by the Japanese ships to leave the area. The Chinese vessels have regrouped and are continuing to patrol the area. The China Fishery Administration Bureau has included areas near the Diaoyu Islands as part of regular patrols since 2010. Chinese fishermen have welcomed the patrols and hope to receive protection from the ships while fishing in the area, the statement said. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Heroic teacher congratulated on CPC membership (Xinhua)
2012-07-08
Officials from the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee have congratulated heroic teacher Zhang Lili on becoming a party member and urged all other members to learn from her. Zhang, who lost her legs in the act of saving two students from an onrushing bus on May 8 in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, joined the CPC on July 1, the Party's 91st founding anniversary. While visiting Zhang in Harbin on Friday, the officials spoke highly of her self-sacrificing spirit and extended regards to her on behalf of the department. Zhang, a 29-year-old teacher at the No. 19 Middle School in the city of Jiamusi, was crossing a road outside the school's main gate when she saw two students standing in the way of an oncoming bus. She successfully pushed the students out of harm's way, but was unable to avoid the bus herself. ^ top ^

Jiangxi lead poisoning sees 12 plants temporarily shut (Xinhua)
2012-07-09
Twelve industrial plants in east China's Jiangxi province have been temporarily shut down after more than a dozen children were found to have excessive lead levels in their blood, or more than 100 mg of the material per liter of blood. A seven-year-old boy from a village in the city of Ji'an was found to have lead levels of 117 mg per liter of blood when his mother took him to see a doctor to treat his uncomfortable throat in early June. The consultation led the mother to believe that pollution from a nearby industrial park in Qingyuan district of Ji'an, home to over 30 plants, may be the source of the poisoning. This prompted more parents in Futan village to take their children for tests at a local hospital and a further 15 were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood, with the worst case recording 299 mg per liter. Amid fears about the effects of lead poisoning, about 100 villagers demanded the closure of polluting enterprises. [...] In response to the panic, local authorities on Saturday ordered the temporary closure of 12 enterprises at the industrial park. The plants are mainly involved in copper, recycled paper and petrochemical products.However, none of the 30 companies at the park have business involving the heavy metal lead, the city government said in a statement. Meanwhile, tests on samples of ground and underground water, as well as air, taken from the park and the village have returned normal results. The results of soil tests will be available in a few days, according to the statement. Also, only two of 205 child residents near the industrial park examined during government-organized blood tests at another hospital were found to have over-high concentrations of lead in their blood. More children are to be tested, the statement added. Explaining the discrepancy between the voluntary and official tests results, Liu Zhongkai, deputy director of the city's health bureau, said the official testing method is more scientific with more advanced equipment. Villagers can take further tests at other hospitals if they do not trust the official results, said Long Xin, deputy governor of Qingyuan district. ^ top ^

Fears for new bishop after 'defection' (SCMP)
2012-07-10
The new auxiliary bishop of Shanghai's Catholic diocese, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, has not been seen in public and is banned from carrying out his duties since announcing on Saturday that he was quitting the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. The Catholic news service ucanews.com said yesterday that Ma was in Shenshan, near Shanghai. Quoting local sources, the portal said Ma, 44, had freedom of movement but authorities had restricted him from exercising his ministry. Ma is the first mainland bishop to announce he is giving up his association posts. He was vice-chairman of its Shanghai branch and a member of its national standing committee. He said at his installation on Saturday that he wanted to focus on his ministry. "Therefore ... it is not convenient for me to be a member of the Catholic Patriotic Association," Ma said at St Ignatius Cathedral in Xuhui, to lengthy applause from the 1,000-member congregation. Ma was installed with Vatican and Beijing approval. He was appointed auxiliary bishop by the Holy See but coadjutor bishop by the government. A coadjutor bishop automatically succeeds as bishop upon a bishop's retirement or death. Priests and nuns of the Shanghai diocese received a text from Ma last night saying he felt "mentally and physically exhausted" and needed "a break and a personal retreat", ucanews.com reported. A member of the cathedral's staff said yesterday there were "about a hundred" police at the cathedral over the weekend but they only questioned the clergymen. One member of the congregation said: "I'm worried about the safety of Bishop Ma and I will pray for him." He said it was very brave of Ma to say he did not want to hold office in the association. [...]. ^ top ^

Police chiefs attend seminars on maintaining social stability (Global Times)
2012-07-10
Police chiefs from county and city-level public security bureaus nationwide are receiving training in special seminars to improve their law enforcement capability, including how to deal with mass incidents. The seminars, held by the Ministry of Public Security and lasting from June 26 until July 31, will train 1,400 local police heads appointed after 2010. Yang Huanning, Vice Minister of Public Security, said during the opening ceremony that it is public security organs' "primary political mission" to create a "harmonious and stable" social environment for the upcoming 18th CPC National Congress, describing the training as a good opportunity to recharge their batteries for the mission. The participants will learn how to improve their law enforcement capabilities, cope with online information and promote the relationship between the police and the public, among other aspects, which will be provided by ministry officials and experts from a diverse range of fields, the Beijing News reported. [...] It is the third year after 2009 and 2010 that the ministry has held such seminars, which have trained more than 3,000 county-level and 500 city-level police chiefs during those two years. How to maintain social stability while boosting local economic development has become a focus for the participants from different cities. Heng Xiaofan, Fengtai district police chief of Beijing, said economic disputes involving demolitions have mushroomed in the district following large-scale infrastructure construction, bringing a great deal of pressure on efforts to maintain stability, according to the Beijing News. Yang pointed out during his course that the key to balancing local development and stability is to properly meet the interests of the parties involved. He also discussed ways of coping with mass incidents, which have been widely seen across the nation. Earlier this month, when residents in Shifang, Sichuan Province protested against plans to construct a heavy metal refinery, local police officers resorted to tear gas to deal with demonstrators, prompting public outrage. Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times that the police chiefs will gain a great deal of useful knowledge through case studies at the training. "They will become more skillful in coping with emergencies, such as when and to what extent they should use police force," said Zhu, adding that the officers will further realize their responsibilities through the training. ^ top ^

Measures to manage online programs (China Daily)
2012-07-10
The country's broadcasting and Internet watchdogs will step up their management of online programs, including website-produced shows and micro films, to ensure healthy development of the Web environment. Good Web series and micro films can help develop a positive Web culture, and the country encourages more productions that are in good taste, according to an announcement jointly released by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the State Internet Information Office on Monday. "But some online programs contain seriously vulgar and violent content. A few shows even use lewd and gory scenes as a publicity stunt, stirring up controversy on the Internet," said a spokesperson for the administration. "Netizens urged the government to protect child viewers from those disturbing and misleading pictures," the spokesperson said. "So the intention is to build a healthy environment for online programming." Under the new directive, video sites and Internet portals should be responsible for the serials and micro films that are broadcast on the sites. The directive also requires video sites to arrange censorship before airing programs. Uncensored programs are prohibited from being shown. Players in the online video industry are encouraged to form an association of censors, the members of which should have training programs and tests to become qualified examiners, according to the statement. Punishments will be handed out to video sites that are found not to carry out the censoring task, the announcement said. [...] According to the 2011 China and Foreign TV Industry Report by the vice-president of China International Television Corporation, Zhang Haichao, the number of China's online program viewers is up to 40 million. [...]. ^ top ^

New rule to rein in govt spending (China Daily)
2012-07-10
Officials face removal from their posts if they are found overspending on vehicles, receptions and overseas trips, according to new regulation released on Monday. The regulation issued by the State Council are the first legal documents that ask authorities above county level to include spending on the three items in budgets. The rules will take effect from Oct 1. The regulation is the latest in a series of moves the central government has taken in recent years to promote transparency and fight abuse of taxpayers' money amid public complaints. Liu Jiayi, head of the National Audit Office, said earlier that the "three expenses" concept, as it is known, is still not clear among government officials. Also, many ministries and their affiliates have spent more than allowed on those items. According to the regulation, anyone who overspends on the items or misappropriates funds from other budget items to cover them will be demoted or even removed from their posts in the case of "serious" violations. The same punishment will be applied to other misconduct, such as retaining more official vehicles than the allowed quota, spending more than allowed on cars and interior decoration, and building luxurious office facilities. Governments will have to regularly publish numbers and categories of official vehicles, according to the regulation. It also asks governments above county level to set up a system, standards and cost ranges for official receptions. Government authorities should also make available the goals and schedules of overseas trips and limit the number of people in the delegations and the duration of the trips, the regulation said. Experts and legislators said the regulation might be a "deterrent" to overspending if strictly carried out. Ye Qing, a deputy to the National People's Congress, who has proposed reforms on car use by officials to the top legislative body over the past years, said that "the regulation promotes transparency and has many important measures". Ye said he is especially impressed that the regulation defines the Government Offices Administration of the State Council and local governments as responsible parties — which were absent in the past — to monitor the expenses. [...]. ^ top ^

China maintains low birth rate in 2011: report (Xinhua)
2012-07-10
China had a birth rate of 4.79 births per 1,000 people in 2011, with 16.04 million newborns, according to a Monday report from the National Population and Family Planning Commission. The birth rate has remained stable and low, the report said. The gender ratio among newborns, which is used to calculate gender imbalances, dropped for the third year to 117.78 male infants for every 100 females born in 2011, the report said. The commission attributed the gender ratio reduction to improved family planning services. The report said the number of married women of child-bearing age reached 277.69 million in 2011, an increase of 4.42 million over 2010. The report said efforts have been made to improve family planning services for migrant workers, with more than 85 percent of the country's migrant population having access to free family planning services in 2011. ^ top ^

China to improve accessibility of disabled (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
The central government issued a new regulation on Tuesday to improve accessibility environment for disabled people. Parking lots, commercial centers, living quarters, transportation facilities and other public infrastructure facilities must be accessible for disabled people, according to a regulation posted on the central government's website. The regulation, which goes into effect on Aug. 1, encourages public venues to offer free services for the disabled. [...] Under the regulation, government administrations above the county level will be required to create renovation plans that call for the installation of disabled-friendly facilities in public venues. In addition, the regulation orders government administrations above the county level to give priority to development of special education organizations, as well as rehabilitation and social welfare institutions. Given the country's rural-urban development gap, villages and townships will be given time to catch up with counties and cities. Construction standards in townships and villages should gradually come to resemble those specified in the regulation, it reads. Official statistics show that China has 85 million people with some form of disability. Last year, the government issued a five-year blueprint for improving the lives of the disabled. ^ top ^

Ban on gay blood givers unnecessary (Global Times)
2012-07-11
Many people are upset that men who have had sex with men are still banned from donating blood in China according to the newly-revised blood donation regulation posted on the Ministry of Health's website. The ban on homosexual blood donors, enacted in 1998, has been lifted on lesbians effective this month. "Although gays are more exposed to HIV/AIDS than other groups, the ban is discriminatory," said Li Dun, a Tsinghua University professor and an expert from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. According to the Chinese HIV/AIDS Evaluation Report in 2011 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, homosexuals account for 17.4 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in 2010 and, over half were gay men. [...] "There is a check of each donation, including checks on many infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and the results are released in about one minute," Li Xingwang, director with the department of infectious disease in Beijing Ditan Hospital, told the Global Times. "There's no need to exclude gay people, as long as the sample testing is well done," Li said. "Personally, I think the testing to some extent helps secure the quality of blood source," said Jiang Hui, director of the Beijing-based Aibai Culture and Education Center, a gay and lesbian rights NGO. "If the ban is lifted, the public will panic, as people still lack knowledge of HIV/AIDS," Jiang told the Global Times. The US has also prohibited men who have had sex with other men from donating since 1977. ^ top ^

Art or porn? CCTV is not sure (China Daily)
2012-07-11
The Statue of David, completed by Italian artist Michelangelo in 1504 and exhibited in Beijing on July 9, had his genitals covered with digital mosaics in footage shown by a China Central Television news program. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of China on July 9, the museum exhibited 67 masterpieces of renowned artists, mostly famous works from the Renaissance period. CCTV covered the genitals of the statue with digital mosaics while broadcasting images of the exhibition at 11:48 am on July 9. The move stirred debate on the Internet, with netizens mocking CCTV's alleged lack of respect toward the work. The keywords "CCTV adds mosaic to statue" became one of the top three searching results on July 10 on Sina's micro blogs. CCTV removed the mosaics when it rebroadcast the program at about 3:54 pm on July 9. As of the morning of July 10, CCTV had not offered any explanation for adding or removing the mosaics. ^ top ^

Family compensated for forced abortion, case "settled" (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
The family of a young Chinese woman forced to have a late abortion has reached an out-of-court settlement with the government, getting around 70,000 yuan (11,023 U.S. dollars) in compensation, officials said Wednesday. Feng Jianmei and her husband Deng Jiyuan signed an agreement with the township government of Zenjia, Zhenping county in northwest China's Shaanxi province, late Tuesday to close the case, an official with the county government told Xinhua. Beijing-based lawyer Zhang Kai, who represents the Dengs, said the family had dropped a lawsuit seeking state compensation after the signing of the agreement. "The signing of the agreement means neither party should raise any questions related to the issue again," said the official who declined to be named. [...] On Monday Deng said his family was seeking an out-of-court settlement after visiting his sick mother in Nanjing. "Private settlement is not by any means a bad way of solving this case. I wish the family well," according to the family's lawyer. The Zenjia township government is committed to providing needed support to the Dengs should any member of the family encounter future difficulties in their life and at work. The government will also provide assistance for the medical treatment of Deng's mother, the official said. Feng, 23, was forced to abort her baby seven months into her pregnancy at a local hospital on June 2 as the family refused to pay 40,000 yuan demanded by local family planning officials as a guarantee for clearing the legal ground for her to have a second child. Like most urban residents in China, Feng is not legally entitled to have more than one child. But the extremely crude means of law enforcement sparked a public uproar and a government probe later found that the guarantee claim was illegal and officials had violated a ban stipulated in national and provincial family planning rules on late pregnancy abortion. [...] "Though the family dropped the civil lawsuit, local prosecutors can still bring criminal charges against the officials involved," Zhang said. "It is a crime to force a woman to abort seven months into her pregnancy." [...]. ^ top ^

China to introduce more correctional methods for inmates (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
Judicial authorities is planning to introduce personalized correctional services and evidence-based practices for offenders in an effort to help them return to society. Zhang Sujun, Vice Minister of Justice, said Wednesday at a meeting held in the city of Changsha in central China's Hunan Province that the two new correctional methods will be practised on trial in some cities in the second half of the year. According to the ministry's institute of crime prevention, personalized correction and evidence-based practices will complement other methods of correction and help offenders readjust to society after being released. The ministry's statistics show that community corrections services have thus far been provided to inmates in more than 98 percent of China's cities, with a total of 1.02 million inmates receiving community corrections. The recidivism rate for all criminals in China who have received community corrections remains at 0.2 percent. Community corrections refers to a range of alternative punishments for non-violent offenders that are designed to help offenders boost their employment potential and ability to function in society after being released. Since the community corrections system was established by an amendment to China's Criminal Law in May 2011, the amount of offenders receiving the service has increased by 8,000 to 10,000 monthly on average, according to the ministry. ^ top ^

Plant's gas leak puts 28 in hospital (Global Times)
2012-07-13
Twenty-eight people remain hospitalized after a sulfur dioxide leak Thursday morning at a chemical plant in East China's Jiangsu Province, local authorities said. Around 10 am Thursday, a small amount of sulfur dioxide leaked in a chemical plant belonging to Jiangsu SOPO Group Co Ltd in the city of Zhenjiang, according to an investigative report released by the environmental protection bureau of Jianbi county, where the plant is located. The leak lasted for about five minutes, according to the report. Shortly after the spill, dozens of plant employees and local residents began complaining of an "uncomfortable" feeling and were sent to a local hospital. [...] The 28 patients who remain in the hospital are under observation and are not in imminent danger. The plant shut down a sulfuric acid production facility that was linked to the accident. Song Qinhua, chairman of Jiangsu SOPO, apologized on a local website, saying an initial investigation shows that the accident was caused by negligence. Some seven air quality monitoring stations are set up surrounding the plant, of which two showed micro amounts of sulfur dioxide Thursday, while another monitoring station in the city's Jiangsu University found a level of sulfur dioxide within the legal limit. [...]. ^ top ^

Probe repeats suicide verdict on Li (SCMP)
2012-07-13
A month-long probe by Hunan's provincial authorities into the mysterious death of June 4 dissident Li Wangyang has upheld the previous official verdict that the frail rights activist committed suicide. Lengthy reports on the investigation into Li's death, which sparked a public outcry and mass protests involving tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong, were released by the provincial police authorities last night through the Beijing-backed Hong Kong China News Agency instead of more popular channels such as Xinhua. Li Xiaokui, the police chief of Shaoyang, the city where Li Wangyang was found hanged in a hospital ward on June 6 also confirmed the verdict of suicide. "The result [of the provincial probe] is out and Li was found to have ... committed suicide," Li said yesterday. The reports said Li, who was blind and deaf and could barely walk after being tortured during the 21 years he spent in jail for his involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, tore a strip from his bed sheet which he used to hang himself from the window while his roommate slept. However, that conclusion contradicts one of "accidental death" in a previous statement by the city's Daxiang district government, which was released shortly after about 25,000 people protested in Hong Kong on June 10, demanding an open inquiry into the case. In an apparent bid to defuse mounting public anger over Li's death and the hasty cremation of his body, the reports, running to a total of more than 10,000 words, go into great length to justify how Li could hang himself with his feet on the ground. "[The joint investigation team] confirmed Li hanged himself with a strip of cloth from his own bed sheets. The handling of the scene of Li Wangyang's death, the autopsy ... and the cremation were all handled properly," the investigation report said. In Hong Kong, activists and a medical expert questioned the report's findings, saying it failed to dispel concerns that Li was killed. A spokesman for the Hong Kong government declined to comment. The Hong Kong China News Agency claimed Li's younger sister, Li Wangling, and her husband, Zhao Baozhu, accepted the verdict on Wednesday. It also released a handwritten note allegedly signed by Li Wangling more than a month ago saying that her brother's case was settled and that they did not want to contact the outside world - an apparent response to mounting suspicion caused by the disappearance of Li Wangling and Zhao after they protested about his death on June 8. One of the reports was compiled by a team of forensic and criminal investigation experts to address "heightened attention from some overseas media". The other two were compiled by Hunan police. However, with the cremation of Li's body, the second probe was mainly based on a review of documents from the initial police investigation, the "completely videotaped" autopsy and interviews with medical staff and other patients. In an apparent bid to dismiss widespread concerns about the possibility that Li was murdered by security officers who kept him under close surveillance, the reports said closed-circuit cameras showed no one entered his ward apart from medical staff and his roommate. The reports also insisted the cremation was carried out "at the request of relatives" and in the presence of Li Wangling and Zhao. Li's friends said they were not surprised by the result but were outraged. They said the latest probe failed to address public doubts surrounding the circumstances of Li's death and lambasted increased efforts by the Hunan authorities to stifle Li's friends. They also asked for public access to surveillance camera tapes and about the whereabouts of Li's relatives and many friends. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

American stabbed to death in downtown Beijing (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
Police have confirmed that a man who was stabbed to death in downtown Beijing on Wednesday afternoon was from the United States. The 62-year-old victim, named Howard Thomas Mills, was killed at 3:20 pm at the entrance to Qudeng Alley in Xicheng district, according to a written statement issued by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau on Wednesday night. Mills arrived in China on July 3 with an ordinary passport, said the statement. The suspect, An Libo, was apprehended by police officers who were on patrol near the scene of the attack. An, 35, is a native of Zhaozhou county in the city of Daqing, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province. He arrived in Beijing on Wednesday morning by train from his hometown. Believed to suffer from a mental disorder, An was found to have attacked and robbed people using a knife in Shanghai in January and then sent back to his hometown, said the statement. Further investigation is underway. ^ top ^

Prostitution crackdown (Global Times)
2012-07-13
Beijing police raided 180 hair salons and foot massage parlors used as prostitution fronts, detaining 660 suspects since they launched the latest anti-prostitution drive on June 26, the Beijing Evening News reported Thursday. Double the number of prostitutes were arrested, and the number of establishments raided has increased almost five times compared with statistics from the same period last year, police said. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Weibo account of US Shanghai consulate goes down (Global Times)
2012-07-13
The official Sina Weibo account of the US Consulate General in Shanghai became "inaccessible" since Thursday morning for unknown reasons, a diplomat has told the Global Times. "We discovered our Consulate Shanghai's official Sina Weibo page cannot be accessed since the opening hour of business at 8 am on Thursday morning. We're now trying to find out why," Wylita Bell, an information officer for the US Consulate General in Shanghai, said. US diplomats have contacted the operator, Bell said. "Sina is very busy and we are still waiting for additional information." Staff at Sina Weibo did not offer any explanation for the apparent malfunction. Mao Taotao, a spokesman at Sina Weibo, declined to confirm whether the company had received calls from US officials as he claimed his unit was waiting for replies from the operator's technical department. "We plan to resume normal operations as soon as possible," said a statement by the US Consulate General in Shanghai posted on its Tencent microblog account later on Thursday, which remained operational. [...] Speculation appeared online suggesting that a post by the US Consulate General in Shanghai, which was responding to a Weibo user, "Shenzhen Laocui," who appeared to have ridiculed and challenged the findings of a fire accident in Tianjin, could have been one possible reason for the problem. Officials said a department store fire in Jixian county in Tianjin on June 30 killed 10 people. Police have punished several Web users for spreading rumors online exaggerating the death toll. The speculation could not be confirmed by US diplomats on Thursday. According to latest Sina regulations that took effect in May, any accounts that published more than five pieces of sensitive information that violate Chinese laws, contain rumors, or leak national secrets will be asked to delete the information and be punished by being barred from posting for over 48 hours. For those who maliciously post sensitive information, their accounts will be shut down. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Most sewage discharged into rivers (China Daily)
2012-07-10
Nearly 76 percent of the sewage generated in Guangdong province last year was directly discharged into local rivers, the province reported on Monday. The Guangdong Provincial Department of Water Resources published the findings in the Bulletin of Guangdong's Water Resources in 2011. The amount of sewage discharged in the southern province reached 12.53 billion metric tons in the previous year, up 110 million tons from 2010, the bulletin reported. Industrial wastewater represented 55 percent while domestic sewage accounted for the remaining 45 percent of the sewage discharged in Guangdong in 2011. More than 9.5 billion tons of the sewage, or 75.8 percent of the total, was directly discharged into local rivers, the bulletin said. [...] According to the year-end report, the water quality of rivers in eastern Guangdong is the worst, with 30 percent of them heavily polluted. Because of the serious pollution, the water quality of major rivers within Guangdong province is poor, threatening the health of local residents who live along the province's riverbanks, the bulletin said. And the water quality has become even worse in the Pearl River Delta region, which borders Hong Kong and Macao. More than 54.8 percent of the sewage that has directly been discharged into rivers in 2011 was reported in the affluent Pearl River Delta, one of the economic engines on the Chinese mainland. The cities of Guangzhou, the Shenzhen special economic zone, Dongguan and Foshan each discharged more than 500 million tons of wastewater into local rivers annually, according to the bulletin. [...] Chen Guangrong, deputy director of the provincial department of environmental protection, said the Guangdong provincial government has promised to improve the water quality over a larger area in the future. Chen said Guangdong will increase its daily sewage treatment capacity by 1 million metric ton this year and build another 1,000 kilometers of sewer networks. "Our goal is a daily sewage treatment capacity of 22 million tons and 12,000 kilometers of sewerage networks by 2015," Chen said. [...]. ^ top ^

China's economic powerhouse faces slowing growth: governor (Xinhua)
2012-07-13
The economic slowdown in Guangdong during the first half of the year was more severe than expected, according to the governor of the southern province, China's economic powerhouse.

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP), investment, expenditure, foreign trade and financial revenue were all lower than the targets for the full year and the national average level, Zhu Xiaodan told a seminar on the provincial economic situation on Wednesday. Guangdong's GDP in the first half year was expected to reach 2.67 trillion yuan (423 billion U.S. dollars), or up 7.4 percent from the same period of last year, according to Zhu. [...] Zhu said a long-term structural problem and economic fluctuations were to blame for the slowdown. Guangdong is considered a weather vane for China's economy as it generates more than a 10th of the country's GDP. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

China Exclusive: Over 1 million Tibetan nomads choose settlement (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
China's urbanization drive has reached as far as the "roof of the world," the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, a Xinhua investigation has found. More than 1 million Tibetan herders, mostly in the past few years, have bid farewell to centuries-old nomadic lifestyles and settled in concrete homes in Tibetan-concentrated towns and cities across the region, latest figures reveal. The nomad settlement campaign began as early as the 1990s but its pace notably picked up in the past decade as part of government efforts to boost welfare and living standards for Tibetan herders. The plateau pastureland stretches across Tibet autonomous region, most of Qinghai province, and parts of Gansu and Sichuan provinces. In Tibet autonomous region, the government invested 1.2 billion yuan (189 million U.S. dollars) for the settlement campaign from 2001 to 2011, helping 400,000 nomads settle in towns with decent housing, herding facilities, water and electricity supplies, said officials with the regional agriculture and animal husbandry department. The government has allocated another 400 million yuan for use by the campaign by 2015 and aims to help 13,400 herding families settle, they added. More than 270,000 nomads have settled in Qinghai, another Tibetan-concentrated province, in the three years since the campaign accelerated in 2009, according to Kong Qingxiu, head of the provincial government's nomad settlement office. Kong said government investment in the initiative amounted to 3.4 billion yuan from 2009 to 2012. "We not only improve the herders' living standards, but also provide them with easy assess to education, medical resources and more freedom to choose ways of living," Kong said. A team from China's Minzu University conducted research on the community of settled herders in Maqu in 2008, and found that a significant number of families agreed to the settlement program primarily for their children's education. [...] Indeed, most settlement communities are comprised of the elderly and school children, while adults continue herding on the grassland. But there are also herders who decide to break away from the traditional way of living. [...]. ^ top ^

Revamp begins on landslide-prone Tibetan highway (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
Work began on Friday to repair a pivotal Tibetan highway that has regularly been cut off by landslides and other geological disasters. The repair will turn the road, which links the plateau region with neighboring Sichuan province, into a safer, cement blacktop road in three years, promised Qin Yizhi, deputy vice-chairman of Tibet's regional government. The work, the final stage of a highway revamp project in Tibet, would cover two sections of the Sichuan-Tibet highway totalling 24 km in length. These sections are most prone to being hit by landslides, flash floods, and cave-ins, said Tashi Gyatso, chief of Tibet's transport department. He said the revamp, which is expected to cost 1.46 billion yuan (229 million U.S. dollars), also includes building six new bridges and five tunnels. [...]. ^ top ^

Tibet welcomes 2.81 mln tourists Jan-June (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
More than 2.81 million tourists from home and abroad have visited Tibet in the first half of 2012, bringing a tourism revenue of 2.4 billion yuan (381 million U.S. dollars), local authorities said on Tuesday. According to statistics released by Tibetan Tourism Bureau, about 2.81 million tourists from across the world traveled to Tibet from January to June, up 25.3 percent year on year. The bureau said, of the total number of tourists, 32,384 were from overseas. The plateau region earned nearly 19 million U.S. dollars in overseas tourism revenues during the past six months, it added. The total tourism revenue in the six months totaled 2.4 billion yuan, up 30.3 percent year on year. The bureau said Tibet, which experiences an annual tourism peak from May to September, expects 10 million tourist arrivals and 12 billion yuan in tourism revenues this year. To build Tibet into an international tourist destination, its government has make great efforts to improve transportation, by building airports, railways and roads. The government said Tibet is working hard to realize a goal of drawing 15 million visitors annually by 2015. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Rio Tinto in talks with China's Xinjiang (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
Global mining giant Rio Tinto is in talks with China's resources-rich Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region for mining cooperation on "advantaged resources," according to an announcement on Friday. Rio Tinto chief executive officer Tom Albanese met Xinjiang's top official, Zhang Chunxian, on Thursday in the regional capital of Urumqi. A government statement quoted Albanese saying that Xinjiang is full of opportunities and Rio Tinto is willing to enter into win-win cooperation. [...] Zhang, secretary of the Xinjiang committee of the Communist Party of China, has committed to Albanese that there is "no change" in the government's policy in attracting foreign investment. "Xinjiang is willing to cooperate with the world's leading companies to concentrate advanced business ideas and technologies here," Zhang said. "Whatever situations we face, there is no change in the 'opening-up' attitude." Zhang's pledge came after a foiled plane hijacking in Xinjiang last week caused widespread concerns. [...] On Thursday, Xinjiang's airport operator and airlines said security measures have been strengthened and officials maintained that the incident will not affect Xinjiang's role as a regional air traffic hub. [...] Government officials said executives of U.S.-based Peabody Energy visited Xinjiang last month to advance an open-pit coal mine project that is expected to produce 50 million tonnes of coal every year. The contract for the joint project was inked in July last year. Xinjiang's development is not limited to mining. German carmaker Volkswagen AG's joint venture in China -- Shanghai Volkswagen -- laid the foundation for its new factory in Urumqi on May 28. [...]. ^ top ^

Anti-terrorism exercises in Urumqi show might (Global Times)
2012-07-10
Police authorities in Urumqi, capital city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, staged two anti-terrorism exercises over the past weekend, in the wake of a foiled airline hijacking attempt in the region on June 29. The exercises codenamed "Bofeng 2012" were held on Saturday and Sunday in suburban Urumqi and Dabancheng district in the outskirts of the city. Special unit police officers demonstrated their shooting and combat skills during the exercises. A simulated terrorist hijacking of a bus also tested their skills. The police officers also staged a drill on how to handle mass incidents. Local news portal iyaxin.com quoted Tong Hongjun, deputy chief of Urumqi's Public Security Bureau, as saying that the exercises were a test of the capabilities of the special unit, which is responsible for maintaining stability throughout the region. Tao said the drills come in advance of the opening of the second China-Eurasia Expo, which will be held in Urumqi in September, and the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China later this year. "The success of the drills once again proved that the police in Urumqi are capable of safeguarding people's lives and property," Tao said. [...] Xinjiang is in the forefront of the country's fight against terrorism. On July 5, 2009, a deadly riot incited by overseas separatist groups left 200 people dead and about 1,700 injured in Urumqi. Zhang Jiadong, a professor with Fudan University, told the Global Times that the counter-terrorism situation in Xinjiang is becoming more complicated, as a result of Washington's shift away from the global war on terror. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Australia, Hong Kong explore ways in RMB trade, investment (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
HONG KONG - Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan and Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang here on Wednesday announced a new high-level dialog between senior business leaders from the two economies on renminbi (RMB) trade and investment. Giving a keynote speech at the RMB cross-border trade and investment forum held in Hong Kong Wednesday morning, Swan said the dialog will be private-sector driven with representatives from the banking sector and firms participating in cross-border trade and investment. According to him, the initiative will start in Sydney, Australia next year, and will continue in Hong Kong in 2014. It will be facilitated by the Australian Treasury, the central bank of Australia and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. [...] Tsang said at the forum that as the offshore RMB business center, Hong Kong will continue to be at the front and center of RMB liberalization process, playing a role as a feedback mechanism for the mainland's financial reforms and a bridge to overseas markets. "In space of 8 years, we have build a stable platform for developing offshore renminbi business supported by three sturdy pillars, namely renminbi banking, bond issuance and trade settlement," said Tsang, adding that "we welcome Australian companies and financial institutions to make good use of Hong Kong 's established platform in developing offshore renminbi business through this three pillars." As the largest country for Chinese investment outbound flow, Australia has taken significant steps to promote greater trade and investment in RMB. In November last year, the Australian dollar became one of nine world currencies to be allowed to trade in the Chinese mainland, becoming convertible against RMB via the U.S. dollar. In March 2012, China and Australia signed a 200 billion RMB currency swap agreement between their respective central banks. [...]. ^ top ^

Credibility crisis engulfs Leung (SCMP)
2012-07-13
After less than two weeks in office, Leung Chun-ying has lost a minister and seen his administration engulfed in several governance crises. Political parties and academics said yesterday's resignation of secretary for development Mak Chai-kwong, over the possible abuse of a civil service rent-subsidy scheme, had weakened the administration's credibility and ability to rule. The chief executive still faces questions over illegal structures found at both his own house on The Peak and the home of health chief Dr Ko Wing-man. Now a media report has raised questions about tax evasion involving Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung. Human rights groups have criticised Lam Woon-kwong's decision to serve as both Executive Council convenor and chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, citing the potential for conflicts of interest. [...] Four days before Mak resigned, Lam said "I have no doubts about his integrity." [...] Pan-democrats called Mak's case a question of integrity. Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said: "As far as we know, Mak has quite a good reputation in the civil service. It is a serious matter that he faces an investigation." People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip believed Mak's departure had dealt a severe blow to the authority of Leung's administration. [...] Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan said Leung must thoroughly explain the illegal structures at his home: "If he fails to convince the public, resigning is the only way out." On the pro-government side, Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin said Mak's case "is definitely not good for the [government's] image and has dealt a serious blow to its authority". [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Tianjin mayor starts week-long Taiwan tour (Xinhua)
2012-07-09
TAIPEI - A Chinese mainland delegation headed by Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo arrived Sunday afternoon in Taipei, starting a seven-day tour to boost economic cooperation and cultural exchanges between Tianjin and the island. During a meeting with Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party who was accompanied by top political aides and business executives, Huang said the northern port of Tianjin, which is home to more than 2,000 Taiwan-funded enterprises and has attracted 11 billion U.S. dollars worth of investment from Taiwan, welcomes more investors from the island. [...] Economic and cultural ties between Tianjin and Taiwan are close, Huang said, noting that special events have been held in Tianjin since 2008 to facilitate mutual investment, promote products from Taiwan and boost cross-Strait cultural exchanges. [...] Mayor Huang said port business cooperation as well as exchanges on urban planning and construction and community management would be discussed during the stay of his delegation, which is also scheduled to pay their respect to Matsu, goddess of the sea. ^ top ^

Two missiles miss, drone crashes in 'successful' drill (SCMP)
2012-07-10
Taiwan's military flexed its muscles yesterday, testing the ability of various missiles to hit their targets in a major annual drill. However, in addition to two missiles missing their targets, a drone crashed into a small town in the east of the island, creating a large crater and scaring residents. Adding to the confusion, a fishing boat reportedly sailed into the controlled area for exercise and a US refuelling vessel passed through waters near the drill. The live-fire drill, involving the navy, air force and army, was held in Chiupeng, a tightly guarded missile base facing the Pacific Ocean in Pingtung county in southern Taiwan. Drill commander Air Marshal Ma Chih-yung said it involved 26 missiles, including Tien Chien 2 (Sky Sword 2) air-to-air missiles, Hsiungfeng 2 (Brave Wind 2) ship-to-ship missiles, Tien Kung 2 (Sky Bow 2) surface-to-air missiles, Maverick air-to-surface missiles and the Hawk surface-to-air missiles. However, one Tien Kung 2 missile was unable to be launched because a drone failed to release its target in mid-air. And another drone, supposed to have been intercepted by a Hsiung Feng 2, went out of control and crashed in a town in Taitung, eastern Taiwan. No-one was injured, but nearby residents were shocked when they heard the loud explosion and found a big hole in the road. Two missiles - a Tien Chien 1 and a Hsiung Feng 2 - also missed their targets when fired, officers said. [...] Ma said the exercise was "rather successful", given that 24 of the 26 missiles hit their targets. [...] Yesterday's drill did not feature US-made Sparrow missiles, which saw misfires in January last year during an exercise inspected by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. Meanwhile, the island is ready to return a list of fighter upgrade options to the US before the end of this week, officials said. The defence ministry has completed its review of the list, proposed by the US to overhaul the Taiwanese air force's ageing F-16 A/B jet fighters. The entire package, including upgrading 145 of the planes and the installation of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars and AIM 9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, would cost US$3.8 billion. ^ top ^

Cross-Strait cooperation called for in South China Sea (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan on Tuesday called for deeper cooperation between the two sides in the South China Sea at a seminar held in the southernmost island province of Hainan. Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said at the seminar that two sides should set up a cooperative mechanism to facilitate search and rescue operations for fishermen who become lost at sea. Wu said rescue bases should be established on several islands, including Taiping Island, the Xisha and Dongsha Islands. Wu said the mainland and Taiwan should enhance cooperation in scientific research and other matters in the South China Sea. Over 50 experts and scholars attended the 10th Cross-Strait Workshop on the South China Sea Issue, advocating closer cooperation between the two sides. The two-day seminar started on Tuesday in Haikou, capital of Hainan. The annual cross-Strait seminar was established in 2002 and is sponsored by the institute and Taiwan's Chengchi University. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Foreign firms become larger in China (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
Foreign-funded enterprises have become larger in terms of registered capital in China this year but their number is shrinking, according to data released by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) on Friday. China had 439,300 overseas-funded enterprises at the end of May, 7,200 fewer than last year-end, but their registered capital had expanded to 11.6 trillion yuan (1.83 trillion U.S. dollars), up 700 billion yuan from last year-end, the SAIC said. The SAIC blamed the declining number of foreign business in China on the ongoing global financial crisis. "But the Chinese market remains very attractive to foreign businesses, since overseas-funded enterprises are boosting their financial strength in the country with more registered funding," said a spokesman for the SAIC. Meanwhile, more Chinese are opening up businesses in the country, with the number of domestic enterprises reaching 12.54 million at the end of May, 3.67 percent higher than last year-end, according to the data. Also, China had 38.61 million self-employed businessmen at the end of May, while the number of farming cooperatives rose 11.6 percent from last year-end to 582,200 units. ^ top ^

Overseas focus remains key for nonferrous metals (China Daily)
2012-07-07
China will accelerate the overseas exploration of nonferrous metals to meet growing domestic demand, senior industry officials said on Friday. "Chinese companies have accelerated their exploration of overseas nonferrous mining resources in recent years, making the country an important driver of the global nonferrous metals industry's development," said Shang Fushan, vice-chairman of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association. According to the association, China had overseas mining rights for 80 million metric tons of copper, 30 million tons of lead and zinc, and 6 million tons of nickel by the end of last year. These mining rights have an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons of copper, 35,000 tons of nickel and 900,000 tons of lead and zinc. "China's rapid urbanization and industrialization will support the growing demand for nonferrous metals," Shang said. "However, the domestic proven reserves are far from enough to meet the increasing demand." He called for continued investment in the mining industry to improve the quality of its products and increase the output of copper, aluminum, lead and zinc. "The nonferrous metals industry is facing severe international competition," said Chen Quanxun, chairman of the association. [...] In 2011, China's overall output of six major nonferrous metals — copper, lead, zinc, nickel, stannum and stibium — was 8.25 million tons, up 18 percent year-on-year. The growth rate was almost double the average annual growth rate of the output of the six nonferrous metals during the 11th Five-Year-Plan (2006-10). "As a new group of mines will be put into production soon, the output of major nonferrous metals products will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the years to come," Shang said. He said China has formed major resource bases such as those for copper in central area of the Tibet autonomous region, and for nonferrous metals in western Yunnan province, the central-eastern area of Tibet, and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [...]. ^ top ^

China, U.S. to start countervailing consultations (Xinhua)
2012-07-09
The Ministry of Commerce announced on Sunday that it will soon start formal consultations with the United States on the latter's 22 countervailing measures against Chinese exports. A consultation request was filed by China to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 25. It is the first stage of a formal dispute settlement. According to WTO rules, China can apply to set up a WTO panel to hear and rule on the case, if the two countries fail to produce satisfactory results in the 60 days following the request. The consultation will run from July 18 to 19, the ministry said. Twenty-two product categories, including steel, solar cells and paper, worth 7.29 billion U.S. dollars collectively, are involved, according to the ministry. Li Chenggang, head of the ministry's Department of Treaty and Law, said the case reflects persistent wrongdoing by the United States in violating WTO rules. Under the WTO mechanism, the United States has received 116 complaints from nations including Japan, the Republic of Korea and India, 60 of which are on its trade remedy measures, he noted. "Many WTO members are concerned with how the United States implements WTO rules in the respect of trade remedy issues," Li said, adding that the United States should reflect on its practices, and abide by multilateral rules with integrity. Regarding a U.S. complaint on China's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on cars imported from the United States, Li said it's normal for trade partners to solve disputes through multilateral rules.

[...] In response to a consultation request on the car imports case filed by the United States on Thursday, the ministry said it will properly handle the request in accordance with WTO dispute settlement procedures. [...]. ^ top ^

China issues 23.9 bln yuan in bonds for local gov'ts (Xinhua)
2012-07-10
The Ministry of Finance announced Monday that it will issue 23.9 billion yuan (3.78 billion U.S. dollars) in bonds for local governments in a bid to ease their financing pressures. The ministry will issue the bonds on behalf of seven provincial-level governments, including those of Beijing, Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Fujian, Ningxia and Qinghai. The bonds will have a maturity of three years and will be issued from July 10 to 12, as well as carry a fixed interest rate of 2.75 percent, a statement on the ministry's website said. The interest will be paid annually on July 10. The principal and the interest will be paid in full on July 10, 2015, the statement said. [...]. ^ top ^

507 bln yuan invested in China's affordable housing (Xinhua)
2012-07-10
China invested 507 billion yuan (80.48 billion U.S. dollars) in government-subsidized housing in the first half of this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Monday. In the first six months of 2012, local authorities began constructing 4.7 million affordable housing units, compared to 3.46 million units in the first five months, the ministry said. To date, 2.6 million affordable housing units have been completed, just over half the 5-million-unit target set by the government for the end of 2012, according to the ministry. The government plans to start construction on at least 7 million units this year, the ministry said. China has vowed to build 36 million affordable housing units during the 2011-2015 period in a bid to meet the demands of low-income families and cool the property market. Construction on 10 million units began last year. ^ top ^

China Focus: June export growth slows, suggesting economic weakness (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
In the latest sign of an economic slowdown, China's customs agency announced weak foreign trade data on Tuesday, raising concerns that the world's second-largest economy is certain to have slowed further in the second quarter. The General Administration of Customs (GAC) said China's exports rose 11.3 percent year on year to 180.21 billion U.S. dollars in June, slowing from the 15.3-percent spurt in May. Imports increased 6.3 percent to 148.48 billion U.S. dollars, compared with a growth of 12.7 percent a month earlier. Trade surplus jumped 42.9 percent year on year to reach 31.73 billion U.S. dollars in June, surpassing market expectations, taking the combined trade surplus to 68.92 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of this year, which was 56.4 percent larger than a year ago. In the first six months of 2012, total foreign trade reached 1.84 trillion U.S. dollars, an increase of 8 percent year on year, lower than the 10-percent increase targeted by the government for the whole of 2012. Meanwhile, exports rose 9.2 percent to 954.38 billion U.S. dollars during the January-June period, according to the GAC data. Customs authorities attributed the trade slowdown to the persistent impact of the global financial crisis, saying China's trade with the European Union (EU) and Japan almost stalled in the first half of this year. [...] The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held its position as China's third-largest trade partner, with China-ASEAN trade amounting to 187.82 billion U.S. dollars, up 9.7 percent year on year. [...] In a breakdown of imports, China's iron ore imports rose 9.7 percent from a year ago to 370 million metric tons in the January-June period, with crude oil imports increasing 11 percent year on year to 140 million metric tons, and coal imports surging 65.9 percent to 140 million metric tons. [...]. ^ top ^

China announces 3rd fuel price cut in two months (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
China will slash the benchmark retail price for gasoline by 420 yuan (66.46 U.S. dollars) per tonne and the price for diesel by 400 yuan per tonne starting from Wednesday, the country's top economic planner announced Tuesday. The decreases, equivalent to 0.31 yuan per liter and 0.34 yuan per liter, respectively, mark the third fuel price cut in two months, as crude oil costs have continued to fall since China's most recent price cuts in June. The move was made in response to lower international crude prices and changes in the "conditions of domestic and international economies, as well as the domestic refined oil market," the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website. [...]

The price cuts will help lower enterprises' operating costs, especially those in the transportation, agriculture and fishing industries, said Niu Li, an economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank. The cuts came after recent data showed that prices have fallen across the Chinese economy, with the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rising by a 29-month low of 2.2 percent in June from a year earlier. The news of falling prices and a pledge by Premier Wen Jiabao to continue real estate regulation policies have weighed on the country's stock markets. [...]. ^ top ^

5m greener vehicles on the streets by 2020 (China Daily)
2012-07-11
China has set a target of producing and selling 500,000 energy-efficient and alternative-energy vehicles a year by 2015, and five million vehicles by 2020. The blueprint, announced by the State Council on Monday, has outlined generous subsidies to consumers and producers of the new generation of greener vehicles, as it aims to ease the country's heavy dependence on imported oil, cut emissions, and speed up the restructuring of its automobile sector into a more environmentally sustainable model. According to the details, there will be heavy government investment in the core technology needed to build a strong and globally competitive new-energy vehicle industry. The short-term emphasis will be on developing pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as wider usage of hybrid vehicles and energy-saving combustion engine automobiles. [...] It is hoped that the efforts outlined will reduce the average fuel consumption of passenger vehicles to 6.9 liters per hundred kilometers by 2015, and less than 5.9 liters per km for energy-saving cars. The figure will further be lowered to 5 liter per km for the passenger vehicles in 2020, and 4.5 for energy-conservative cars. [...] According to the Ministry of Finance's website, the central government will also provide as much as 2 billion yuan in annual subsidies, starting this year, to support the manufacturing of new-energy vehicles, as well as encourage research related to energy-saving vehicles. Another focus of the plan is the production of electric batteries. The government said it hopes to have two or three leading batteries enterprises with annual production capacity of more than tens of billions of kilowatt hours, to strengthen the industry from upstream core parts and technology supply. The plan aims to lower the price of batteries used for electric vehicles to 2 yuan for each kilowatt-hour by 2015 and 1.5 yuan a kilowatt-hour by 2020 as part of a stimulus for the new-energy vehicle industry. [...]. ^ top ^

Pests, plant disease endanger China's rice harvest (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
The prospect of a bumper rice harvest this year has been dimmed by a surge in plant diseases and pests this year, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Tuesday. About 350 million mu (23 million hectares) of farmland have been stricken by pests this year, up 21 percent year-on-year, according to data published on a website that monitors plant pests nationwide. Large areas of southern China, where most of the country's rice is grown, are suffering from pests, according to the website. Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces are having their worst problem with agricultural pests in two decades. In addition, various crop diseases have affected thousands of mu of rice, a more serious problem than in recent years. The MOA has warned of further problems in the second half of the year, predicting that farmland invaded by pests and crop diseases may top 1 trillion mu, a surge of 40 percent over 2011. In response, the MOA has ordered agricultural authorities to share knowledge with farmers on how to deal with the problem. ^ top ^

Bank of China opens branch in Sweden (Xinhua)
2012-07-11
STOCKHOLM - The most international and diversified Chinese bank, Bank of China (BOC), opened its branch in Stockholm recently, marking the first Chinese banking facility in Nordic region. As this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of BOC's establishment in 1912, the Stockholm branch aims to provide superior international financial service based on its advantage of global integrative nature, said Guo Xin, head of the Stockholm branch. With the trade volume between China and Sweden growing rapidly over the recent years, BOC will make great efforts to set up a more convenient financial platform for bilateral trades and communications, said Guo, adding that BOC is planning to expand business to other Nordic countries in short term. The Stockholm branch, a subordinate to BOC Luxembourg company, has so far launched saving and loan service, remittance, foreign exchange trading, trade financing and letter of guarantee service, aiming at both corporations and personal customers. BOC is the first Chinese commercial bank which was listed both in Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchange, providing financial service in 32 countries and regions across the world. ^ top ^

China 2011 central expenditure up 16.8 pct (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
China's central government expenditure last year totalled 5.64 trillion yuan (892.28 billion U.S. dollars), representing 103.8 percent of the year's budget, according to figures released Wednesday by the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The figure was up 16.8 percent from the expenditure in 2010, the MOF 2011 financial statement showed. The central government's total public revenue last year was 5.13 trillion yuan, 111.9 percent of the budget and up 20.8 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said. The actualized central finance deficit was 650 billion yuan, 50 billion yuan less than the budget, the statement said. Minister of Finance Xie Xuren said that the government earnestly carried on a proactive fiscal policy and strictly implemented the budget for the year. "The government has actively brought the functions of central finance into full play and prioritized safeguarding and improving people's livelihoods," he added. Central expenditure on education, health care, social security and employment, affordable housing and culture reached 1.17 trillion, up 30.7 percent from a year earlier, the statement said.. ^ top ^

China has second-most Fortune 500 companies (China Daily)
2012-07-12
China has the second-largest number of companies on the 2012 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest companies by revenue, and energy and financial giants remain dominant, but private enterprises are quickly catching up. The annual ranking showed that China has 73 companies on the list, overtaking Japan's 68, and was only behind the United States, which has 132 companies on the list, according to Fortune magazine. [...] China's runner-up place this year was secured with the addition of 12 companies to the prestigious list, the ninth consecutive year China's position has risen, while the number of US companies has declined for the 10th year, having one fewer than the previous year. [...] In total, the Global 500 companies posted record revenues of $29.5 trillion, up 13.2 percent over 2010, with total profits rising 7 percent to $1.6 trillion. The UK-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC retook the top spot this year, with $484.5 billion in revenues in 2011, up 28.1 percent from 2010, knocking the US retail titan Wal-Mart Stores Inc from first place after two years at the top. Eight energy businesses dominated the top 10, including three Chinese companies — Sinopec Group, China National Petroleum Corp and State Grid Corp of China — whose rankings remained unchanged from the previous year. The Taipei-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, also known as Foxconn, an electronics maker and major supplier for Apple Inc, ranked 43rd on the list. In contrast, the California-based tech giant was 55th on the list, up 56 places from the previous year. China National Building Materials Group Corp, which ranked 365th, was the biggest climber among Chinese companies, rising 120 places. Chinese banks' rankings have also improved significantly, with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China Construction Bank Corp, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd and Bank of China Ltd forming the second tier of Chinese companies on the list. The ranking of each bank rose by 20 to 40 places. [...] Although most Chinese companies on the Fortune 500 list remain large State-owned enterprises, privately owned companies also performed well in the latest fiscal year. [...] "The number of companies on the list reflects the economic strength and competitiveness of a country ... and the increasing number of Chinese companies is to some extent linked to the strong growth of the economy," Zhou Zhanhong, assistant editor-in-chief of Fortune China, told the Chinese newspaper The Mirror. [...]. ^ top ^

ADB lowers China's 2012 growth prediction (Xinhua)
2012-07-13
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday lowered its prediction for China's economic growth to 8.2 percent in 2012 and 8.5 percent in 2013, although a bank official said a hard landing is unlikely. The ADB made the revised prediction in the newly published Asian Development Outlook Supplement. The agency predicted in April that China's gross domestic product would increase by 8.5 percent in 2012 and 8.7 percent in 2013. The ADB said China has seen a fall in net exports, industrial production and fixed asset investment, although government spending on health, education and large infrastructure projects are expected to boost the economy. As the country moves to a more sustainable growth model, growth may slow down more than expected, said the report. "In this case, we're still confident that there will be no hard landing for China's economy," Robert Wihtol, director-general of ADB's east Asia department, said Thursday. [...] "China's economic growth is estimated to moderate in the first half of 2012 and recover later in the year, underpinned by an expansionary policy stance," said Wihtol. China on Monday announced that the inflation rate for the first half of the year was 3.3 percent, with the consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, easing to a 29-month low of 2.2 percent in June, driven by falling food prices. Wihtol said less inflationary pressure allows China's policymakers to focus on stabilizing growth, which will provide room for further stimulus measures. Due to the weak economy, China lowered benchmark one-year interest rates two times in the first half and started work on liberalizing interest rate margins. [...] Premier Wen Jiabao said earlier this week that it is important to promote reasonable growth in investment to stabilize economic growth. [...] But Wihtol stressed that it is also important for the government to keep its eyes on the mid- and long-term target of economic rebalancing and restructuring. China should direct its transformation toward a more sustainable development pattern to avoid the "middle income trap," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Chinese Foreign Minister meet with DPRK Foreign Minister (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
PHNOM PENH - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun on the sidelines of ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meetings here on Wednesday. Yang said that China-DPRK relations are in good shape and bilateral cooperation in various fields progressed smoothly. China highly values its traditional friendship with the DPRK and in the new era and under new circumstances, will work with the DPRK to steadily advance their bilateral ties in the principles of carrying on tradition, looking to the future, developing good- neighborly friendship and enhancing cooperation. Yang said that easing the situation on Korean Peninsula serves the interests of all parties. China will strengthen communication and coordination with all parties and work together to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and create conditions for the resumption of the six-party nuclear talks. Pak Ui-chun said that the DPRK highly values its friendly and cooperative relations with China and the DPRK-China friendship is unbreakable. The DPRK side thanked China for giving valuable support and assistance to the DPRK in its economic and social development over the years and expressed readiness to reinforce friendship and cooperation in all fields and step up communication and coordination with China in regional and international affairs. The DPRK side expressed its confidence about greater progress in the traditional friendship and cooperation between the DPRK and China driven by concerted efforts of both sides. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Newly elected Mongolian lawmakers take office (Xinhua)
2012-07-07
ULAN BATOR - Mongolia's newly elected parliament members were sworn in Friday during the legislative body's opening session. Namsrijavttulg Luvsanjav, president of the General Election Committee of Mongolia, announced the election results during the session. Luvsanjav said the Democratic Party won 31 seats in the election, ahead of the ruling Mongolian People's Party, which gained 25 seats in the 76-member parliament. The Justice Coalition formed by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian National Democratic Party won 11 seats. The remaining five seats went to the Civil Will-Green Party and three independent candidates. The remaining four seats in the parliament still await final results. Two of the seats will be decided in another election because of the candidates' failure to get at least 28 percent of the total vote. After the inauguration of the new parliament, forming a new government has become the top priority. But given the fact that no parties or coalitions have an absolute majority of seats, a coalition government is expected to be formed. The unicameral Mongolian State Great Hural (parliament) is the supreme body of state power and owns the legislative power. Parliament elections are held once every four years. ^ top ^

Mongolia hosts int'l women's forum to promote gender equality (Xinhua)
2012-07-09
ULAN BATOR - The 2012 International Women's Leadership Forum opened here on Sunday to develop a common understanding on the importance of women's participation in political and economic spheres. Over 100 women leaders from governments, private businesses, academia, civic organizations and other fields attended the forum to study ways and best practices to expand women's access to political and economic arenas around the world. In an addressing to the forum, Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold said the Mongolian government will double its support for women who are going to participate in political and economic activities. He said women are more vulnerable to economic crises and unemployment in Mongolia, and there are many single mothers who struggle to sustain their families and children. Batbold stressed the government needs to do more to train women in business so that they can become more resilient. According to a report provided by the organizers, gender imbalance widely exists in political and economic spheres in both developing and developed countries. [...] Over the last three decades, women's participation in the labor force market has increased, yet in both developing and developed countries wage differences between salaried men and women have been extensively documented, says the report. Many international female leaders including former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell and former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva attended the forum, which will conclude on Monday. ^ top ^

U.S. investment helps boost Mongolia's development: president (Xinhua)
2012-07-10
ULAN BATOR - President Tsakhia Elbegdorj said Monday that the growing U.S. investment in Mongolia has boosted the development of his nation's mining, technology, infrastructure and education sectors. The president made the remarks while meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Elbegdorj said Mongolia-U.S. relations have seen rapid all-round development since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties. He said that he hoped Clinton's visit would further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries. During her visit, Clinton also gave a keynote speech at an international forum on women's leadership. In her address, Clinton urged all governments to help women find their roles in their societies. Clinton lauded Mongolia's achievements in promoting women's representation in the government, citing the tripled number of parliamentary seats won by women in the recent election. [...]. ^ top ^

Mongolia holds Naadam festival to celebrate national day (Xinhua)
2012-07-12
ULAN BATOR - Mongolia on Wednesday celebrated its national day with a grand traditional festival at Ulan Bator's Central Stadium. President Tsakhia Elbegdorj, newly elected parliament members and other government officials attended the Naadam festival, which consists of the three competitions of wrestling, archery and horse racing. Elbegdorj extended greetings to all Mongolians, saying this year's Naadam had special significance because of the 850th anniversary of the birth of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, and the recent parliamentary elections. As a traditional Naadam ritual, Mongolian cavalry honor guards escorted banners symbolizing victory from the State Palace to the Naadam and placed them in the center of the stadium. Tens of thousands of people watched numerous artists perform. Hundreds of wrestlers, archers and horse riders from across the country are expected to participate in the competitions. The Naadam festival has been listed as an intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. ^ 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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