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
  28.7-3.8.12, No. 434  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Japanese PM's remarks 'irresponsible' (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday expressed China's "grave concern" and "strong displeasure" over the "highly irresponsible remarks" made by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda regarding the Diaoyu Islands. "Nothing can shake China's firm resolve and determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty," spokesman Hong Lei said, adding that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands have been part of China's inherent territory since ancient times. China has taken note of the willingness expressed by Japan to solve the issue through diplomatic efforts, Hong said. "Japan should make concrete efforts to properly solve relevant issues while fully considering the overall condition of Japan-China relations," Hong said. Previous media reports stated that Noda said the Japanese government would use force if necessary to resolutely respond to any illegal activity that occurs within Japan's borders, including the "Senkaku Islands," as the Diaoyu Islands are referred to in Japan. ^ top ^

New rocket engine tests successful (Xinhua)
2012-07-30
China successfully conducted tests on its new 120-ton-thrust liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene engine on Sunday for its new generation carrier rocket, the Long March 5, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The test was conducted in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The engine was tested to 20,000 revolutions per minute and a high temperature test of 3,000 C that lasted 200 seconds, China Central Television reported. The high-performance engine is non-toxic, pollution-free and highly reliable. The engine is much more powerful than the 75-ton-thrust engines of the launch vehicles used to launch the Shenzhou spacecraft. It also makes China the second country in the world, after Russia, to grasp the core technologies for an LOX/kerosene high-pressure staged combustion cycle rocket engine. The large-thrust carrier rocket under development, the Long March 5, is expected to make its maiden voyage in 2014. ^ top ^

Moon landing next year (Global Times)
2012-07-31
The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said that China's moon orbiter Chang'e 3 is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2013, China Radio International reported on Monday. The administration said the plan is going smoothly. According to the report, the lunar explorer will land on the moon, and carry out surveys of its surface. In 2007, China launched its first moon orbiter, the Chang'e 1, named after a lunar goddess. The second lunar orbiter was launched in 2010. ^ top ^

Chinese fishermen to return home (China Daily)
2012-07-31
Chinese fishermen detained by Russia earlier this month will be returning home soon, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The diplomatic departments of the two countries are closely cooperating with each other to arrange for the detained Chinese fishermen to return home as soon as possible, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a news release. The two countries also pledged to discuss Russia granting China some fishing quotas in exchange for compensation. Experts said the incident will not have a negative effect on China-Russia ties. Sun Chuanjiang, a consul with the Chinese Consulate-General in Khabarovsk, Russia, told China Daily that the Chinese fishing boats will be sent back after all necessary procedures are finished, but he refused to give a specific date. Two Chinese fishing boats were detained on July 15 and 16 by Russia for entering its economic zones. On July 25, two more Chinese fishing boats were seized by Russia for the same reason. All four were sent to Russia's Nakhodka port. China and Russia have remained close communication since the incidents, and Chinese consulate officials who visited the sailors in Nakhodka confirmed that all of the crewmembers were in good condition. Hong said China and Russia agreed to establish a security cooperation mechanism on maritime law enforcement as soon as possible, to prevent illegal fishing. [...]. ^ top ^

China, ROK vow to further military exchanges (Xinhua)
2012-07-31
Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Monday met with Lee Yong-gul, vice defense minister of the Republic of Korea (ROK), pledging to boost military exchanges. Liang hailed the current state of bilateral military relations, saying that they constitute a significant part of bilateral ties. The two countries have maintained high-level military exchange visits, established strategic defense talks and set up direct hotlines connecting the naval and air forces of both sides, Liang said. China highly values its partnership with the ROK and will work with the ROK to further the state-to-state and military relations, Liang said. Lee, who is in China to attend the second China-ROK strategic defense talks, said the ROK stands ready to work with China to reinforce exchanges in all fields and protect regional peace and stability. The first strategic defense talks was held in 2011. ^ top ^

China refutes Japan's annual defense paper, urging it to introspect (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman refuted groundless criticisms on China's national defense policy made by a newly-released Japan's annual defense white paper, urging the country for serious introspection. "China strongly opposes to the groundless criticisms on China's normal national defense development and military activities, and the irresponsible remarks on China's internal affairs made by Japan's annual defense white paper," spokesman Hong Lei said in a written statement released Tuesday in Beijing. According to Hong, China has already made solemn representations with Japan on that matter. Hong also noted that Japan has caught wide attention from regional and international communities by making various excuses for its continuous arms expansion, reinforcement of military alliance and distorting facts on regional security issues in recent years. [...] The spokesman also urged Japan to seriously re-examine itself and introspect whether such actions could be conducive to the regional peace and stability. Japan on Tuesday released its annual Defense of Japan report, expressing concern over Chinese naval vessels' activities in the Pacific Ocean. The report noted that China is likely to expand its sphere of maritime activities, and conduct operations and training as routine practices in waters near Japan including the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the South China Sea, which Tokyo is increasingly worried about. ^ top ^

Ministry of Defense: outside intervention not welcome (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
A military spokesman on Tuesday warned foreign countries to avoid interfering with territorial disputes between China and its neighbors regarding the South China Sea. On the eve of the 85th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese government held an unprecedented press conference by inviting five senior officers with the PLA's four headquarters to meet the press. "We oppose any country outside the region intervening in these disputes," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the sidelines of the conference. "Any intervention by countries outside the region will complicate the problem and even deteriorate the situation," Geng said, calling for bilateral dialogue and negotiations to solve disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. [...] Tensions have risen in the South China Sea, where China, Vietnam, the Philippines and other several countries in the region have made overlapping territorial claims over multiple islands. [...] According to the spokesman, a regular combat-readiness patrol system has been established in waters under China's jurisdiction. "The Chinese navy is justified in protecting the country's interests, and it is groundless to equate such a justified action with tough foreign policy," he said, denying that China is shifting to a more assertive diplomatic approach. Geng also said the recent establishment of the Sansha garrison in the South China Sea was in line with the country's regulations for local administration and structure of its armed forces. "China always advocates the peaceful settlement of international disputes and resorts to dialogue and negotiation on the basis of equality to resolve conflicts and problems, while it opposes the application of force," Sr. Col. Wu Xihua, vice director of the emergency response office of the PLA's General Staff Headquarters, said [...]. Col. Lin Bai with the General Armament Department of the People's Liberation Army noted that China will not engage in an arms race. "We will develop armaments appropriately in accordance with the needs of safeguarding state sovereignty and territorial integrity, as China will continue to take the path of peaceful development," said Lin. [...] Sr. Col. Wang Yongsheng from the PLA's General Political Department said the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has remained an unswerving fundamental principle since the founding of the PLA. [...] Wang said criticism by other countries has spread some erroneous ideas, such as suggestions that the military should have no political affiliation. ^ top ^

Fishing fleet on 'risky' mission (SCMP)
2012-08-02
Nearly 9,000 Chinese fishing boats set off from southernmost Hainan province yesterday towards disputed waters in the South China Sea as a summer fishing break ended. Analysts say the massive push is another step by Beijing to strengthen its sovereignty claims over the contested waters and is likely to further fuel tensions in the region. "A new round of rows over fishing and territorial disputes will potentially be triggered in the near future, but Beijing is still in the most advantageous position," said Fu Kuen-chen, a Taiwanese expert in maritime law. The fleet embarked as the provincial government said it was trying to boost the fishing industry in the region, including around Sansha city on Woody Island, which is known as Yongxing Island in Chinese, the Hainan Daily reported. The city was recently established to oversee two disputed island chains - the Spratlys and Paracels - and an undersea atoll. Senior Colonel Li Jie, a researcher with the navy's military academy, said that the fleet's deployment was a move to further advance China's maritime territorial claims, following the beginning of regular military patrols in the South China Sea last month. "China has now decided to change its previous passive stance and adopt proactive measures that include deeper involvement in exploiting the fishing resources in the South China Sea, which it believes is its own territory," he said. The provincial government is also helping local fishermen build more advanced ships for deep-sea fishing, and organising ships to visit the contested areas. The newspaper, under the control of provincial authorities, said Sansha's establishment necessitated these types of measures to develop the fishing industry. Fu said equipping Hainan fishermen with better boats would encourage them to go to disputed deep-sea areas en masse, assuming there would be safety in numbers if they were confronted by foreign ships. [...] The thousands of trawlers had been restricted to ports during a fishing moratorium, which began on May 12 and ended at noon yesterday. Fu said that Hainan's encouragement of local fishermen to play a part in developing the fishery industry around Sansha was in line with a "legal, moderate and unswerving decision" by the central leadership in Beijing. [...]. ^ top ^

US sanctions against bank 'target' China (China Daily)
2012-08-02
Washington has attempted to put more pressure on China over the Iranian nuclear issue by placing sanctions on the country's Bank of Kunlun, with China expressing its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the measures on Wednesday. The United States is unhappy about China's role in the Iran issue, because they do not think China is putting enough pressure on the country, said Zhang Xiaodong, an expert on Middle East studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Although the White House didn't say its decision is directed at a third country, the sanction obviously targets China," said Zhang. The sanction harms the interests of Bank of Kunlun, which belongs to China's largest petrol producer China National Petroleum Corporation, and its main clients include large State-owned enterprises, companies and staff members in the petrol and petrochemical industries, Zhang said. The US attempted to warn China with its sanction, but it does not want to create direct conflict with China on the Iran issue either, Zhang added. [...] The White House on Tuesday announced penalties to be imposed on the Bank of Kunlun and an Iraqi bank, blaming them for helping Iran evade international sanctions on its oil exports. [...] A Xinhua News Agency editorial said the sanction does not have a strong legal basis. "The new measure, purportedly designed to curb Iran's nuclear program, in fact lacks legal grounds... as sanctions on the Chinese bank and international transactions were made pursuant to the US domestic laws," the editorial stated. Xinhua said the bilateral economic activities between the Bank of Kunlun and six Iranian banks were conducted in line with a string of UN Security Council resolutions and other international standards. On Wednesday China hit back at Washington's decision, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang releasing a statement saying the sanction seriously violates the international norms and harms China's interests, and China will lodge solemn representation to the US. China and Iran enjoy normal bilateral relations and have normal, open and apparent business dealings that are not involved with the Iranian nuclear program, and do not violate resolutions of the Security Council or harm the interests of any third party, Qin said. "China has a consistent and clear position on the issue of non-proliferation, firmly maintains the principals of international non-proliferation system and commits itself with relevant parties including the US to solve the Iranian nuclear issue," the spokesman said. "But the US ignored China's concerns and repeatedly imposed sanctions on Chinese enterprises and banks — this will yield a negative influence on Sino-US bilateral cooperation," Qin said. Qin urged the US to correct its erroneous decision, lift the unprovoked sanction against the Bank of Kunlun and stop harming Chinese interests and the Sino-US relations. [...] "Washington's sanctions on the Chinese bank would lead to nothing but a hindrance to bilateral cooperation," Xinhua said. [...] On June 28, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington's last-minute decision to exempt China and Singapore from sanctions over imports of Iranian oil because the two countries had reduced oil purchases from Iran significantly. [...]. ^ top ^

China regrets Kofi Annan's resignation: FM (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
China expressed regret and understanding over Kofi Annan's decision to resign as UN-Arab League Special Envoy for the Syrian issue, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Thursday. "We understand the difficulties Mr. Annan has encountered in negotiation work and we respect his decision," spokesman Hong Lei said, adding that China appreciates the active and constructive role Annan has played in pushing forward the political process of the Syrian issue. Hong said China is committed to the peaceful, fair and appropriate resolution of the Syrian issue, and that the international community should stick to the political settlement of the issue. "China is open to any proposal that can help politically solve the Syrian issue, and China supports the United Nations to continue to play an important role in achieving the resolution," Hong said. ^ top ^

China refutes U.S. criticism on its religious freedom (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday refuted the U.S. State Department's criticism of its religious freedom situation. "The Chinese people are best qualified to judge China's religious situation," spokesman Hong Lei said, urging the United States to discard prejudice, respect the facts and view China's policy on religion and its religious freedom situation in an objective and impartial way. The Chinese government protects citizens' freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law, he said, adding that people of all nationalities in the country are lawfully guaranteed full freedom of religious belief. Hong urged the United States to stop using religious issues to interfere in China's internal affairs and not act in ways that damage bilateral relations, mutual trust and cooperation. The U.S. State Department on Monday criticized China and some other countries' religious situations in its annual report on international religious freedom. ^ top ^

Chen Guangcheng lashes out at Beijing from Washington (SCMP)
2012-08-03
The dissident who was at the centre of a stand-off between China and the United States accused Beijing of failing to live up to its promises as US lawmakers rallied behind him. Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist who was jailed after exposing abuses in the one-child policy, has lived in New York since May 20 after a dramatic escape from house arrest to the US embassy in Beijing. Visiting Congress on Wednesday in his highest-level contact yet with the US government, Chen voiced concern for his nephew, who was arrested soon after the dissident fled the eastern province of Shandong for Beijing. "The Chinese central government explicitly promised me that it would thoroughly investigate the extended oppression and abuse that I endured in Shandong province," said Chen, flanked by US lawmakers. "The government further promised to provide for the security of my family. However, it has been more than three months and I have not received any news on the progress of this investigation or even whether it has commenced." Chen complained that no Chinese official had contacted him since he arrived in the US. China had said that it was allowing Chen to go abroad with his family to study, but some analysts say the main motivation was to get rid of Chen. They doubt he will be able to return. Authorities have charged his nephew, Chen Kegui, with attempted murder. The dissident said that his nephew was defending himself with a kitchen knife after thugs linked to the local government broke into his home. Speaking before a meeting with US lawmakers, Chen said the rights situation was deteriorating in China, but that change was inevitable as citizens made their voices heard. "I sincerely hope that the United States and all other nations that embrace the fundamental values of constitutionalism, democracy, freedom and the rule of law will support and assist with a smooth transition in China," Chen said. Chen enjoyed a rare bipartisan welcome in the polarised US Congress, meeting top Democrats and Republicans, including House Republican leader John Boehner. Boehner said the US should speak out over human-rights abuses in China, including its "reprehensible" one-child policy. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

China to tighten security ahead of Party congress (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
China will "tamper down and consolidate" a security belt in Beijing before the city hosts a crucial Communist Party of China congress during which a new generation of leaders will be elected. The Ministry of Public Security on Friday ordered police across the country to initiate overall management and control measures and increase street patrols to ensure stability. In a national teleconference hosted by the ministry, Huang Ming, vice minister of public security, asked police to ramp up efforts to settle disputes, resolve conflicts and address prominent petitions. Huang also pledged to crack down on online gun trade and use police campaigns to target gun-related crime, gang crime, telecom fraud, the abduction of women and children, pornography and gambling. ^ top ^

Body of former CPC publicity chief cremated (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
The body of Ding Guangen, a former publicity chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was cremated at Beijing's Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery on Saturday. Ding died of illness at 83 on July 22 in Beijing. President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and other senior leaders including Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang paid their final respects to Ding at the cemetery. Ding was an alternate member of the Political Bureau and member of the Secretariat of the 13th CPC Central Committee. He was also a member of the Political Bureau and member of the Secretariat of both the 14th and 15th CPC central committees. Ding was lauded in an official statement as "an excellent Party member and long-tested, loyal Communist, as well as a prominent leader for the CPC's cause of publicity, ideology and culture." [...] Appointed Minister of Railways in 1985, Ding shifted the focus of railways development from manufacturing to operation. As a result, the comprehensive transportation capacity of the country's railroads was greatly improved thanks to upgraded projects for key lines and technology innovation campaigns. In 1992, he became the head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee. During his tenure, he devoted himself to improving the country's overseas image by urging domestic media to expand services in foreign grounds and strengthen exchanges with renowned international media groups. Ding's other posts included vice director of the State Planning Commission (now known as the National Development and Reform Commission), director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office and head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committe, among others. ^ top ^

China allocates 189 million USD for emergency flood relief fund (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
China's fiscal authorities have set aside 1.2 billion yuan (189.57 million U.S. dollars) in emergency flood relief funding since Sunday after heavy rains that hit north China, the Ministry of Finance said Friday. Half of the funds will go to the cities of Beijing and Tianjin and Hebei province, which are still dealing with the aftermath of heavy rains that have struck the regions since last Saturday, the ministry said. The other half will be used for flood control and relief efforts following the arrival of typhoon Vicente in southeast China, the ministry said. The allocation brings this year's total disaster relief funding up to 12 billion yuan, the ministry said. On Thursday, Beijing's flood control headquarters updated the death toll from last weekend's downpour, with 77 deaths attributed to the storm thus far. In addition, more rain has been forecast for northeast China over the next three days. Eastern Beijing, Tianjin and northeastern Hebei can expect to receive up to 130 mm of precipitation from Friday to Sunday morning, according to the National Meteorological Center said. ^ top ^

Listen to protesters, authorities told (SCMP)
2012-07-31
The top Communist Party mouthpiece yesterday urged authorities to listen to people's concerns about pollution, after fears over a new industrial waste water pipeline sparked weekend riots. "The public's awareness of environmental issues and their rights is increasing at a rapid pace," said a signed commentary in People's Daily. The mainland should strive to "establish an open and transparent decision-making mechanism, and build a tolerant environment for public opinion", it said. Authorities in Qidong, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, agreed on Saturday to cancel plans to build the pipeline after thousands of local people took to the streets, overturning cars and ransacking government offices. They were concerned that the pipeline, from a Japanese-owned paper factory, Oji Paper, would pollute a nearby fishing port. The mainland's dependence on manufacturing for economic growth has left the country struggling with a legacy of industrial pollution, and the riots in Qidong were only the latest in a series of environmental protests. People's Daily said the growing frustration with pollution from industrial projects provided an opportunity to shift away from low-end manufacturing towards less-polluting industries. Many of the projects that have been the focus of citizen protests had been approved by the local government without sufficient consultation with residents, it said. Such high-profile protests highlighted the need "to promote interaction between citizens and government" when assessing the environmental impact of proposed industrial projects, the commentary added. "Being a responsible government means to make oneself independent of the specific entanglements of economic interests and become the implementer of the public interest, and the balancer of economic interests," it said. The Global Times, a tabloid affiliated with People's Daily, even blamed bad decision-making as the main reason for Qidong's protest and compared it with another massive violent protest over environmental concerns in Shifang, Sichuan. "An irrational decision-making process is the main reason why the Shifang and Qidong governments experienced mass incidents," the paper said. In a development likely to cause concern in Beijing, some demonstrators in Qidong said they were inspired by the events in Shifang, where the protests were widely seen as having forced the local government to cancel a refinery project. The spread of a "Shifang-Qidong Model" of violent protest would damage social stability "and present an unprecedented challenge to China's future development", the Global Times warned. Oji Paper yesterday said it was "deeply concerned" about the weekend's demonstration. It denied that the paper factory's waste water would contain carcinogens. Meanwhile, Qidong police have arrested a local internet user, surnamed Sun, for allegedly spreading rumours online on Saturday that police officers from Nantong city, which administers Qidong, "trampled a nine-year-old girl to death, followed by the beating of an 18-year-old college student to death in the afternoon". Police said in a weibo statement that Sun would be detained for 10 days and fined 500 yuan (HK$613). ^ top ^

CPC local committees reshuffle (China Daily)
2012-07-31
Thirty-one provincial committees of the Communist Party of China reshuffled their respective leaderships through internal elections from the fourth quarter of 2011 to early July, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said Monday. The Party committees of 374 prefectures and cities, 2,789 counties and urban districts, and 33,368 townships across the Chinese mainland had elected their new leading officials from December 2010 to April this year. The department described the local Party-committee leadership reshuffle as a success, saying the process had been running in an "orderly, sound and steady manner". "The leadership change in local Party committees occurred in the country's crucial period of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, deepening reform and opening up and speeding up the transformation of economic development. It was a significant event in the Party's political life," a department statement said. Local Party committees, discipline inspection organs and organization departments promoted democracy, pushed forward reform and strictly enforced discipline amid elections, so as to ensure a successful leadership reshuffle, according to the statement. According to the organizational rules of the CPC, standing committee members, who constitute the core of leadership in local Party committees, are elected by delegates at a regional Party congress. Those from the CPC central committee are elected at a national congress. At the provincial level, 404 standing committee members have been elected nationwide. They are on average 54 years old, and 105 of them are younger than 50, the statement said. Among them, 37 are female and 50 are from ethnic groups. About 98 percent completed college studies, and 72 percent had either a master's degree or a doctorate. Also, 63 percent of standing committee members of provincial Party committees had the experience of working as Party or government heads of lower-level cities or counties. A large number of the newly elected officials are familiar with Party affairs and government work and, in terms of age, experience, skills and personalities, they have contributed to a balanced and effective provincial leadership, the statement said. [...]. ^ top ^

Rail ministry under fire over 7m yuan film kickback (Global Times)
2012-07-31
Shortly after an audit report showed the Ministry of Railways had spent 18.5 million yuan ($2.91 million) on a disappointing publicity short film, the public was shocked again to learn that a huge chunk of the investment might have been pocketed by ministry officials. An insider disclosed that at least 7 million yuan was used as kickbacks in the expensive film that involved Zhang Yimou, the famous Chinese director who oversaw the 2008 Olympic Games' opening ceremony in Beijing, the Economic Information Daily (EIC), run by the Xinhua News Agency, reported Monday. The five-minute promotion film, Chinese Railways, shot in 2010, was brought into question after the State Audit Administration in late June revealed the cost of the film and commented that it "failed to produce its desired effects." Few people saw the movie until the scandal broke. The ministry assigned the film to Beijing New Time Film and Culture Company, which signed a contract with Zhang with a consultancy fee of 2.5 million yuan after tax, the EIC reported. An anonymous insider from the intermediary film company told the newspaper that in addition to the film production cost of between 6 and 7 million yuan and Zhang's payment, "someone took the remaining 7 million yuan as a kickback." The insider also admitted the company won the contract without going through a public bidding process. According to related regulations, government procurement worth more than 1.2 million yuan should go through a bidding process. Zhang told the EIC that he only provided some advice and did not agree to have his name used with the film, according to his contract with the film company. Zhang admitted that he charged 2.5 million yuan after tax as the consultancy fee. The railways ministry told the EIC that it spent 18.5 million yuan on the film because of Zhang's fame and it wanted his name on the film, but the intermediary company must have cheated the ministry, and will be held legally responsible. The ministry also said it would "check thoroughly who took kickbacks." After the audit report in June, Chen Yihan, deputy secretary-general of the ministry's literary and art association, and her husband, Liu Ruiyang, deputy director of the vehicle department, were put under investigation, Caixin magazine reported. Prosecutors found the ministry had transferred 14 million yuan to Beijing New Time, and the shortfall of more than 4 million is under further investigation, the EIC reported. [...]. ^ top ^

Citizens to speak at summer Davos summit for 1st time (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
A group of ordinary citizens will deliver keynote speeches at the summer Davos summit for the first time. Eight citizen representatives are set to speak at a sub-forum of the 2012 summer Davos summit, slated for Sept. 11 to 13 in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin, the forum's preparation office announced Monday. The move is aimed at better integrating the host city and the summit as well as promoting civic engagement, said He Ronglin, vice-chairman of the Tianjin Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The citizen participants will be selected from a pool of applicants who are permanent Tianjin residents that have made contributions to a certain field and possess good presentation skills, according to the office. It noted that non-locals who have been working regularly in Tianjin,including non-Chinese citizens, are also welcome to join the competition. In addition to speaking at the sub-forum, the selected citizens will also attend the opening and closing ceremonies and some closed-door meetings of the event. During the 2010 summer Davos summit held in Tianjin, five citizens were invited to the event as visitors. ^ top ^

China to shut hundreds of mines over safety concerns (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
The government said Tuesday it will close hundreds of small mines over the rest of the year in order to improve the industry's safety. "We should use the opportunity afforded by excess coal supplies to intensify our crackdown on small coal mines and eliminate outdated mines," said Yang Dongliang, head of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS). Chinese demand for coal, which fuels three-quarters of the nation's power plants, has slowed with the cooling of the economy. At least 625 small coal pits will be sealed off, Yang said during a national work safety video conference. He specified Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces as places where many small mines will be closed, asking local authorities to prioritize their closure. He called for efforts to actively promote the merging and integration of coal producers to improve efficiency. Scientific management should be implemented in coal-producing enterprises and production structures should be be improved, he added. ^ top ^

China removes safety hazards in railway sweep (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
Railway authorities said Tuesday that they have removed more than 300 safety hazards from the country's railway system in an overhaul launched after a fatal high-speed train crash last summer. Authorities uncovered 359 problems that posed potential risks to rail safety and solved 324 of them over the past year, the Ministry of Railways said in a report. The remaining hazards will be eliminated by the end of this year, the ministry noted. The report came about one year after a high-speed train slammed into a stalled train near the eastern city of Wenzhou on July 23, 2011, leaving 40 people dead and 172 injured. The incident was blamed on faulty signaling equipment and mismanagement. Fifty-four officials were punished and 54 trains supplied for the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai were recalled for modifications. Signaling equipment on other railways was checked and lightning diffusion equipment was reinforced at more than 1,000 stations, the ministry said in its report. Lightning caused the signal failure that resulted in the crash in Wenzhou, a previous official probe found. The ministry imposed stricter standards for high-speed rail construction and equipment, ordered high-speed trains to run slower and beefed up emergency response preparations after the deadly accident. [...]. ^ top ^

China holds reception to mark 85th anniversary of PLA founding (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
China held a grand reception Tuesday evening in Beijing to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), with President Hu Jintao and other top leaders in attendance. All the other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, together with over 1,800 Chinese and foreign guests, attended the gathering at the Great Hall of the People. Addressing the reception, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said the PLA, founded on August 1, 1927, should "focus on boosting defense and military capabilities, work vigorously to build a more revolutionary, modernized and professional army and enhance its capability to perform diverse military tasks, especially its capability to win local wars in the information technology era." "We will always give top priority to enhancing political awareness and unswervingly follow the basic principles and system of the Party's leadership," said the defense minister. Liang said the armed forces will continue to improve their preparedness and promote independent innovation to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development. The PLA will firmly adhere to the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and continue to oppose and deter secessionist activities to safeguard the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and achieve complete reunification of the country, Liang said. "This is a year of special significance in the development of our Party and our country," he said, adding that the armed forces must work "responsibly, diligently and unremittingly" to fulfill the mission entrusted to them by the Party and the people and make preparations to ensure the successful convocation of the 18th CPC National Congress. ^ top ^

Xi criticises cadres for personal excess (SCMP)
2012-08-02
Vice-President Xi Jinping has criticised cadres for putting the pursuit of personal power and individual gain ahead of their duties and warned that such extravagances could weaken the Communist Party's six-decade hold on power. The remarks - published yesterday in Qiushi Journal, the party's leading policy magazine - come ahead of Xi's expected elevation to the party's top post this autumn at the 18th national party congress. They were widely seen as a response to corruption scandals, including the saga surrounding former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai. Some party leaders, Xi said, had followed their pursuit of personal gain into an "abyss of corruption", and called for a strengthening of provincial party organisations. "Numerous experiences in history have taught us that a country or family can either succeed for its austerity or fail for its luxury," said Xi. "We communists should heed this warning." In the article - titled "Always Maintaining and Giving Full Play to the Party's Unique Advantages" - Xi said he believed the party could overcome deteriorating morals among some officials and continue to lead a nation that it had helped build into the world's second-largest economy. But Xi emphasised the need for more so-called intraparty democracy, which has included giving lower-level members more say over who holds certain posts. "[We must] resolutely overcome the phenomenon of individuals [in regional party committees] making arbitrary decisions and taking peremptory actions and being feeble and slack, which goes against the principle of democratic centralisation," Xi said. The article comes at a critically sensitive time as top retired and current leaders are gathering to hammer out the final leadership line-up before a key transition of power at the party congress. Analysts said the prominence the magazine gave Xi's speech suggested the incoming party leader was seeking to consolidate his position. [...]. ^ top ^

Post-swapping officials told to boost local law enforcement (Xinhua)
2012-08-02
Zhou Yongkang, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has urged provincial police chiefs to improve local police departments, as well as their own leadership, as part of a campaign to make them head departments in different regions. Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during a symposium attended by heads of several provincial-level police departments who have been assigned to swap posts with each other, according to a statement released Wednesday. Zhou said post-swapping is expected to boost the vigor of local police departments and improve officials' leadership by expanding their horizons, eliminating the influence of friends and relatives and promoting a clean work style. Zhou described the campaign as "a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee to strengthen the construction of police forces in a new era." Zhou urged law enforcement officials to stick to the Party's guidance and learn to "cope with complex situations with political wisdom, as well as laws and policies." Post-swapping officials were told to deepen investigations and set an example by following laws and regulations while managing law enforcement affairs through innovative and scientific measures. Stressing an uncorrupt nature as a basic requirement for police officials, Zhou called upon them to serve the people and boost local police officers' ideological knowledge, capacity and discipline. Presiding over the event, Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, stressed that self-improvement should be an important part of post-swap experiences. Li said it will be realized gradually in the future that all police departments should be headed, in general, by law enforcement officials from other regions. ^ top ^

Chinese premier calls for improved flood control (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
Premier Wen Jiabao has called for intensifying flood control efforts and ensuring the safety of the public amid recent severe flooding in several areas. Wen made the remarks during a two-day tour of Henan and Hubei provinces, where he inspected local flood control facilities and water control projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam. Coastal regions in southeast China are gearing up for approaching typhoons Saola and Damrey, which will hit the coast Thursday night or Friday morning. He urged local authorities to ensure safety and conduct evacuations in a timely manner, adding that observatories and hydrologic monitoring stations should enhance monitoring and guard against possible disasters. Efforts should be made to prepare for severe floods and ensure the safety of reservoirs and dams, he said. He also urged local authorities to improve the construction of infrastructure such as flood control facilities and sewage networks, which he said have been overlooked in many cities. He ordered local officials to draw up emergency response plans to minimize losses in the event of severe flooding. Wen also asked for more efforts to be made to enhance drought relief work on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. A massive downpour swamped highways, homes and farms in Beijing on July 21, killing 77 people. ^ top ^

Party membership dues allocated for disaster relief (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has allocated 10 million yuan (1.59 million U.S. dollars), taken from paid membership dues, to fund disaster relief work in nine regions hit hard by recent torrential rains and floods. The money has been sent to Inner Mongolia and the provinces of Hebei, Jiangxi, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou, as well as the cities of Chongqing and Beijing, to help locals combat flooding and take care of basic necessities, according to a Thursday statement from the department. The statement encouraged all CPC members and officials to aid in the disaster relief work. Severe downpours since July 27 have left 76 people dead and 30 missing across China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Thursday. As of Aug. 2, flooding, mudslides and windstorms triggered by downpours have affected over 9.25 million people in 23 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, according to the ministry. Many regions in China, especially areas in the northeast and the southwest, have seen unusually severe downpours this summer. A massive rainstorm left at least 77 people dead in Beijing on July 21. ^ top ^

NAO report shows extensive misuse of funds in social security system (Global Times)
2012-08-03
The first national audit report on the social security network by the National Audit Office (NAO) Thursday revealed misuse of funds in the system reached 1.7 billion yuan ($273 million). The audit, which covered social security funds and social assistance, aims to make the social security system more transparent to the public so they can understand its benefits. According to the report, China had basically established a social security network with 1.3 billion people covered by 2011, 3.77 times the number of people covered in 2005. It also found that by the end of 2011, 1.7 billion yuan in social security funds had been misused by related departments to balance their budgets, purchase vehicles for officials, and housing for civil servants and employees at related institutional units. Meanwhile, over 1.38 billion yuan earmarked for social assistance was provided to people who did not qualify for the minimum living standard allowances, said the report. The audit also found that 22,100 people had received the minimum living allowance in both urban and rural areas and officials in committees of 210 villages decided who received the subsistence allowance, without referring to the regulations. Jia Hongbo, deputy director of the Institute of Social Security at the Beijing-based Beihang University, told the Global Times that the direct consequence was that many people who should be entitled to the social assistance could not receive it while those who didn't need the subsidy were "over-subsidized.". ^ top ^

China punishes 16 officials for deadly school bus crash (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
Sixteen local officials in a northwest China city have been punished for a deadly school bus crash that killed 19 kindergarten students late last year, authorities announced Thursday. The high-ranking officials among those punished include Zhang Longjie, the head of Zhengning county in Qingyang city, Lu Huadong, Qingyang's education chief, and Zhang Yufeng, former head of Qingyang's traffic police, according to a statement issued by the provincial government of Gansu. It said the punishments ranged from warnings to revocations of Party and government posts, but did not specify the punishment meted out to each official. Those who were also found to be legally responsible will face criminal charges, the statement said. Nineteen preschoolers and two adults died after the school bus they boarded -- a nine-seat van carrying 64 passengers -- collided head-on with a coal truck in Zhengning last November. The accident garnered national attention, prompting authorities to order a school transportation overhaul, especially in rural areas where safety rules are not usually well enforced. Li Jungang, board chairman of the Little Doctor Kindergarten as well as the owner of the school bus, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a local court on July 20. The driver of the truck was found to have shared minor responsibility, and he was released after serving one month in detention. ^ top ^

Red Cross Society promises reforms (China Daily)
2012-08-03
In a bid to regain diminished public trust, the Red Cross Society of China has promised a series of reforms, including an online donation tracking system that is expected to be in place by year-end. Zhao Baige, the society's executive vice-president, outlined the plans at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. The news conference follows the State Council's Tuesday release of guidelines on developing the country's Red Cross missions. "The document, for the first time, clearly defines the nature, position, role, and responsibilities of the Red Cross in China today, which should be an open and transparent humanitarian organization, not just a fund-raising charity group," she said. The guideline recognized the Red Cross as an indispensable auxiliary to the government in the humanitarian field, and as such, one that requires a favorable environment of law, policy, and public opinion. "That's recognition and support from the government for the Red Cross, which previously suffered a credibility crisis," said Deng Guosheng, a professor specializing in philanthropic studies at the School of Public Policy and Management with the Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Red Cross faced such questions of its credibility last year after Guo Meimei, who claimed to be a manager of a Red Cross-related organization, flaunted a lavish lifestyle over the Internet. That sparked mass speculation about possible corruption in the society. [...] Creating transparency tops the reform agenda. The Red Cross Society at various levels must provide information related to fundraising, financial management, tenders, procurement and distribution of donations. Donors and the public have the right to know the details, the guidelines said. To facilitate that, an efficient, transparent and normative system of management, information and supervision, including a donation-tracking system, will be established within three to five years, Zhao said. [...] The guidelines also outline a fund-management plan for the society. The costs for carrying out humanitarian tasks supported by donations can be disbursed but must be publicly publicized, the guidelines said. "That's in line with international practice, and we need an operation mechanism that correspond with both the socialist market-economy system and international humanitarian values to sustain our work," Zhao said. A spokesman system will be introduced to better communicate with the public and help secure transparency, she added. [...]. ^ top ^

No-bribery agreement to be signed in hospitals (China Daily)
2012-08-03
Patients and doctors will need to sign a mutual no-bribery agreement before hospitalization, a draft guideline released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Health. The agreement is a commitment between patients and doctors. After signing the agreement, the patients should not bribe the doctors while the doctors should not receive patients' red envelops. The agreement will be included in the patients' health record. The draft guideline aims at guarding against any corruption in public hospitals. It is part of the effort to build clean hospitals in the second half of this year. It also proposed some measures to halt excessive medical treatment and illegal medicine and medical equipment supply. A mutual commitment to refuse bribe is the basic request for medical organizations and their personnel, and the implementation of the measure can effectively curb the bribery phenomenon that has been widely criticized by the public, said a staff member from a public hospital. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing reflects on emergency management after rain disaster (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
A top municipal government official said Friday that a recent rainstorm in Beijing that has resulted in at least 77 deaths has exposed multiple loopholes in urban planning, construction, infrastructure and emergency management. Guo Jinlong, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee, mourned those who lost their lives in the disaster during a trip to Fangshan district, which was hit the worst by the rainstorm. "We must seriously reflect on these lessons and always bear them in mind," Guo said. Guo, who was elected secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee on July 3, pointed out that the disaster has taught "profound lessons and exposed many loopholes." Acting Mayor Wang Anshun, who joined other city officials at the mourning ceremony in Fangshan, said he appreciated the public's criticism and suggestions concerning the government's handling of the disaster. "The municipal government will consider the public's criticisms openly and constantly improve its efforts to prevent such a tragedy from happening again," he said. A late update regarding the storm's death toll sparked public criticism. Municipal authorities reported 77 deaths Thursday evening, four days after the first report of 37 deaths. Friday coincided with the seventh day following the victims' deaths. In Chinese tradition, the seventh day following death is a day to mourn and pray for the deceased. Guo led city officials in bowing for several minutes on the bank of Juma River, where flooding incurred heavy casualties and losses of property. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing on rocky road to disaster (Global Times)
2012-07-31
Results of an official investigation released on Monday have revealed 478 places at risk of geological disaster in Beijing, of which 196 were added after the heavy rainstorm on July 21. The five-day investigation was completed on Saturday and covered 10 suburban districts and counties, including flood-hit Fangshan and Mentougou districts, said Zhang Jianguo, director of the geological environment department of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources. "Collapses and debris flows are the most common risks, with 321 sites vulnerable to a geological collapse and 81 to debris flow," he told the Global Times Monday. "Both human factors and natural factors can be responsible for geological disasters," added Zhang. He said that most collapses occurred because of road construction around mountainsides, although it is possible for natural collapses to occur as well. Zhang said that rainfall can cause rocks and soil to become saturated with water, increasing the potential for rock-falls, landslides or debris flows. "We have notified local governments in these areas and are asking them to identify dangerous spots and set up warning signs. We are distributing more than 10,000 disaster prevention cards listing dangers and evacuation routes," he said. Zhang added that in the past, similar measures have been taken in vulnerable areas. "Statistics that we have are still incomplete, but suggest that more than 90,000 residents were successfully evacuated during the rain storm. I think the measures we took, to some extent, worked," he added. Flooding and landslides caused by the rainstorm on July 21 left 77 people dead and caused 11.6 billion yuan ($118 million) in property damage across the city. Cai Xiangmin, head of the Beijing Institute of Geological Survey, told the Global Times that it is hard to evaluate the destructive potential of disasters in risk areas. [...] To avoid casualties and property damage, he suggested that village officials launch 24-hour inspections during rainy seasons and keep local residents informed of emergency procedures. "People would also be wise to move away from disaster-prone areas," he said. Urban areas of the city are also thought to be at risk from sinkholes in the wake of flooding. Since the heavy rain on July 21, at least six sinkholes have appeared across the city [...]. ^ top ^

12,000 Beijing residents relocated amid heavy rains (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
Authorities in Beijing relocated 12,186 people in 45 suburban villages as of Thursday morning to avoid possible geological disasters following recent rains. The city has been hit with heavy rains since Monday, creating risks for some people living in the city's mountainous regions, the Beijing flood control headquarters said. The rains have caused sections of some roads to cave in. No deaths have been reported in connection with the rain. A massive rainstorm killed 77 people in the Chinese capital on July 21. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

S China city webcasts legislative meeting (Xinhua)
2012-07-31
Legislators in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong province, broadcast their Monday meeting online for the first time in the city's history, local authorities said. The fourth session of the Standing Committee of the 14th Guangzhou City People's Congress was held on Monday. Chen Jianhua, mayor of Guangzhou, reported on the government's work for the first half of the year and introduced a work plan for the second half during the meeting, which was webcast on the official website of the Guangzhou City People's Congress, as well as several other local websites. Chen said construction on an expansion of the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport will begin next month, adding plans will be made to build another airport in southern Guangzhou. It was revealed at the meeting that construction on a seven-line subway network for the city has been approved by the National Reform and Development Commission. The broadcast will help citizens better understand the People's Congress system and make the government's work more transparent, said Zhang Guifang, director of the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou City People's Congress. Zhang said the Guangzhou City People's Congress will webcast 15 such meetings this year. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Panchen Lama gives blessing, care to Tibetans (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, a Tibetan Buddhism spiritual leader, showed his care for the people by visiting homes and welfare institutions during a visit to Lhasa this week. The Panchen Lama visited the family of farmer Anu in Thonga village of Yamda township in Lhasa on Friday and chatted with Anu and his family members. After learning that Anu's family earns over 200,000 yuan (31,000 U.S. dollars) a year and Anu also helps his fellow villagers increase their earnings, the Panchen Lama said, "It is a very good thing that you also help others to be better-off." He encouraged Anu to continue in his efforts. The Panchen Lama was also told that one of Anu's children is working as teacher and another is still studying in medical school. "Both occupations are very good, as they can benefit the people by doing what they do," said the Panchen Lama, who later chanted Buddhist scripture at the family hall for worshipping Buddha, a blessing for Tibetan Buddhism believers. The Panchen Lama began this year's Lhasa visit on Monday. He visited Jokhang Temple -- the most revered monastery in the "holy city" of Lhasa -- on Tuesday, paying homage to statues of Buddhas and leading a prayer service. On Wednesday, he visited senior citizens, orphans and children with disabilities in Lhasa to bless them with a touch on their head and send them daily supplies. In 1995, at the age of six, the 11th Panchen Lama was chosen as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Erdeni in Jokhang through the traditional method of drawing lots from a golden urn. He is vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and a member of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

21 killed in Xinjiang mudslide (Xinhua)
2012-08-02
The bodies of three additional victims have been pulled from an iron ore mine that was buried by a mudslide in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 21 thus far, local authorities said Wednesday. Seven people remain missing in the mine, according to Xue Weichang, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) committee of Xinyuan county. The fatal mudslide, which occurred at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the township of Araltobe, Xinyuan county in the Kazak autonomous prefecture of Ili, trapping 28 workers in the mine. More than 500 rescuers are working to carry out search and rescue operations. A survey conducted by the local land resource authorities found that the disaster was a result of downpours that hit Xinyuan on Sunday. The local meteorological department said heavy rains will continue to pound the region from Aug. 2 to 4. ^ top ^

Xinjiang denies suppressing Islam (Global Times)
2012-08-03
Officials and experts raised strong objections on Thursday to a new US report that criticized China's counterterrorism efforts and accused the Chinese government of suppressing Uyghurs under the pretext of fighting against terrorism. The US is in no position to make these groundless accusations, which are based on a double standard and the US' political needs and interests, said experts and an official with the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region yesterday. The annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, issued by the US Department of State Tuesday, alleged that last year the Chinese government "characterized Uyghur discontent, peaceful political activism, and some forms of religious observance as terrorist activity." Hou Hanmin, spokesperson of the Xinjiang government, said the US is using a double standard to assess China's efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism that have been threatening regional security and residents' safety. "We are only cracking down on those who conduct terrorist activities, not the Uyghur people," Hou told the Global Times. According to a local media report on Thursday, 20 people received punishments from the Xinjiang Higher People's Court for organizing and participating in terrorist activities and splitting the country. The suspects, from five cases, were found to have been using the Internet or mobile storage devices to spread terrorist concepts and their so-called holy war. An AFP report on Wednesday said China restricts Ramadan fasting for Uyghurs in Xinjiang, including banning Party members, government officials and students from fasting or participating in religious activities during Ramadan. Hou said the authorities do encourage residents to eat properly for study and work purposes, but do not force people to eat during Ramadan. Turgunjan Tursun, a Uyghur scholar from the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that people can freely practice fasting in areas such as Turpan and the regional capital Urumqi, but in places such as Hotan and Kashgar in southern Xinjiang, where terrorist attacks have occurred frequently in recent times, government policies tended to be tighter. "Religious extremism is closely related to violence and terrorism, and cracking down on these is one of our top priorities," said Hou. In some areas where religious extremism is common, children were reportedly forced to learn the Koran at underground camps, while some were abused or beaten to death if they refused to study it. In June, authorities in Hotan raided an illegal Koran teaching camp holding 54 children. The suspects started a fire with explosives, injuring 12 children and three policemen. [...] The Xinjiang government has been enhancing security and anti-terrorism measures after a spate of violent incidents, particularly in southern Xinjiang. [...] "The central government's policy on Xinjiang is based on maintaining social stability, ensuring long-term development and promoting ethnic unity and stability," Zheng Liang, a scholar from Xinjiang University, who was born in Xinjiang. He said the US has ulterior motives when judging the Chinese government's anti-terrorism policies. Even though the US government has been flaunting its own counter-terrorism policies throughout the world, its endorsement of the World Uyghur Congress and misleading statements to the international community regarding China's anti-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang will, in reality, encourage further terrorist activities in northwestern China, Zheng told the Global Times. The Chinese government has made it clear that the World Uyghur Congress is closely related to terrorists in and out of China. The violent terrorist activities in Xinjiang in recent years have been backed by religious extremism, which have increasingly been infiltrating people's lives at a grass-roots level and anti-terrorism measures have become necessary, Tursun said. However, the local governments have to be very careful and ensure they don't affect the normal religious activities of local people, he said. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Mainland courts handle 135,022 cases involving Taiwan, HK, Macao in 15 years (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
People's courts on the Chinese mainland handled a total of 135,022 cases concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao from 1997 to 2011, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) said on Friday. The SPC said mainland courts have handled 53,281 cases related to the three regions since 2008, with an average annual increase of 11 percent. The SPC said it has issued 14 judicial explanations related to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Courts at all levels have treated people from the three regions with equality, it said. The SPC is pushing forward a package of regulations between the mainland and Hong Kong concerning the recognition and implementation of civil and business cases, as well as making arrangement with Hong Kong concerning marriages and family cases, it said. The SPC is also pushing forward a series of arrangements with Hong Kong and Macao regarding criminal cases, it said. ^ top ^

Patriotic education stirs protest (Global Times)
2012-07-30
More than 30,000 people took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday, urging the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to cancel a controversial patriotic education course it plans to introduce in local primary schools this September. Organized by the Alliance of Anti-patriotic Education in Hong Kong, the protest started at 3 pm at Victoria Park. The protesters, including parents with baby strollers and young adults, marched on to government offices, holding banners saying "Stop the red brainwashing." The number of protesters reached 32,000 at its peak, Radio Television Hong Kong quoted the police as saying. The patriotic education program is designed to introduce Hong Kong students to the political system and historic background of the mainland. Some Hong Kong people are worried that the course will "brainwash" their children from an early age and hamper their independent thinking, according to Hong Kong media. "We have around 3,000 teachers responsible for the program in Hong Kong. How can we control 3,000 teachers to teach the same method and same content? I don't think people should worry about the problem of brainwashing," Ng Hak-kim, chief officer of Hong Kong Education Bureau, told the Ta Kung Pao newspaper. Ng told the Hong Kong media that he supports Hong Kong people's core values which are important to them. "It's my responsibility to stick up for them. Any brainwashing would violate our values, and be completely unacceptable." Ng met with parent and teacher groups in Hong Kong on Saturday to discuss the patriotic education program. He told Wen Wei Po that the Hong Kong government would be open to different opinions and will continue communicating with schools and parents. Chen Junli, professor at the Center for Studies of Hong Kong, Macao and Pearl River Delta of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, told the Global Times that the main purpose of the patriotic education program is to widen Hong Kong students' view of the mainland's political system. "People need to respect a political system that is different from theirs," Chen said. Zhang Dinghuai, a professor at the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute at Shenzhen University, told the Global Times that there are historical reasons why some Hong Kong people oppose the patriotic education program. "When it comes to patriotic education, people's first thought immediately goes to the Cultural Revolution (1966-76)." A recent poll found the number of Hongkongers who consider themselves Chinese hit a 12 year low at 17% in 2011. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Eighth cross-Strait forum concludes, 17 joint proposals adopted (Xinhua)
2012-07-30
The 8th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Culture Forum closed Sunday in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang province, with the adoption of 17 proposals for promoting cross-Strait ties. "The most prominent feature of this forum is that the two sides, for the first time, held comprehensive and inclusive discussions on the development of cross-Strait relations," Wang Yi, the Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief, said at the closing ceremony. Previous forums, however, had generally focused on discussions of individual topics, said Wang, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Cross-Strait relations have realized a historic turn and saw breakthrough development in the past four years, he said. Authorities from both sides should seize the opportunities to overcome the difficulties ahead of us, as cross-Strait ties are facing both "bright prospects and various challenges" in the future, he said. The joint proposals acknowledged that "peaceful development" is the correct path for furthering cross-Strait relations, he said, adding that such development is also in line with the common interests of people on both sides of the Strait as well as the Chinese nation. Participants from the mainland and Taiwan urged authorities from the two sides to enhance communication and dialogue and shelve differences on the basis of opposing "Taiwanese independence" and adhering to the 1992 Consensus. Academic circles from both mainland and Taiwan are encouraged to probe and discuss issues regarding the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and mechanisms of cross-Strait mutual trust,according to the proposals. Participants from the mainland and Taiwan called on authorities from the two sides to expand common ground and consolidate mutual trust, and create conditions to resolve "deap-seated" problems in cross-Strait relations. They also propose the exchange of offices for non-governmental cultural organizations. "The proposals adopted at the forum will play an important guiding role in pushing forward policies concerning relations between the mainland and Taiwan," Wang said. In the proposals, participants urged the two sides to speed up follow-up discussions on the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which took effect in 2010, and strive to conclude negotiations on the service trade agreement by the end of this year. The participants also urged the two sides to ink the agreement on investment protection and promotion at an early date and set up a cross-Strait currency settlement mechanism as soon as possible so as to boost two-way balanced investment development across the Strait. Participants also called on the two sides to further push forward cooperation in such sectors as tourism, culture, finance, agriculture, investment, education and youth exchanges, as well as publishing and film cooperation. Jia Qinglin, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, spoke highly of the forum as he addressed the closing ceremony. [...] Most of the 100-plus joint proposals adopted at the forum have been turned into practical policies or measures for authorities in the mainland and Taiwan, said Jia, also chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The peaceful development of the cross-Strait relationship has entered a new stage of consolidation, and it has deepened from the initial start-up period, Jia said. The two sides should stick to the appropriate track of peaceful development for the cross-Strait relationship and push forward cross-Strait ties to make new achievements to benefit people on both sides, he said. Wu Poh-Hsiung, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party, said at the closing ceremony that authorities should resolutely promote things which will benefit the people or cross-Strait relationship. Wu said the two sides should join hands to tackle challenges posed by the hazardous global economic situation and actively promote the ECFA's negotiations. The two-day forum, which was sponsored by the CPC and the KMT, attracted hundreds of senior officials from both parties, government officials and scholars as well as representatives from the trade, financial, tourism, education, publishing, film and television industries. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Major Chinese industrial firms' profits drop 2.2% in H1 (Xinhua)
2012-07-28
Profits for major Chinese industrial companies fell 2.2 percent in the first half of 2012 from the same period last year, China's statistical authorities said Friday. The drop was 0.2 percentage point slower than that in the first five months of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement on its website. Total profits for the largest industrial companies, or those with annual revenues of above 20 million yuan (3.2 million U.S. dollars), stood at 2.31 trillion yuan during the first six months, the NBS said. In June alone, industrial profits decreased 1.7 percent year on year to 468.2 billion yuan, according to the statement. ^ top ^

Luxury brands continue to cash in on China market (China Daily)
2012-07-30
China's increasing luxury market was still a growth driver for some main international luxury groups' total revenue in the first half of 2012, despite the slight slowdown in market growth. On Thursday, the French-owned PPR SA, for instance - the world's third-largest luxury group by turnover, which owns Gucci and Bottega Veneta - revealed it generated 1.17 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in sales from the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, in the first half of 2012, an increase of 16.2 percent compared with the same period in 2011. The region - its second best earner after Western Europe - contributed 18 percent to total group revenues of 6.39 billion euros, a 16.7 percent rise compared with the first six months of 2011. The Gucci brand, gained huge popularity in China, said Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix, where sales soared by 35.6 percent across all of China in the first half of 2011, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and 17.2 percent on the mainland in the first half of 2012. At rival LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the leading luxury group which owns a stable of top names including LV, Fendi and Kenzo, revenues were also boosted from Asia. [...] Both luxury giants said that they were optimistic that business in China, especially, will continue to expand. Gucci set up a head office in Shanghai with its own chairman to underline its commitment to the country earlier this year, and Bernard Arnault, the group chairman and CEO of LVMH, said it will continue to pursue further market share. [...] "The market in China is positive in the long term and will keep growing maybe even for 10 years," said Yang Qingshan, a guest researcher on luxury goods and services at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. [...]. ^ top ^

Most non-state Chinese companies have labor unions (Xinhua)
2012-07-31
Most non-state enterprises in China have set up labor unions, a trade union organization said Monday. About 3.44 million, or 82.73 percent, of private and foreign-funded companies in China had established labor unions as of the end of June, Wang Yupu, vice president of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), said at a Monday meeting. In the first half of the year, 99.29 million, or 72.95 percent, of the companies' staff joined the labor unions, Wang said. Wang said the labor unions have been working on promoting collective salary negotiations between enterprises and workers, with the number of enterprises signing wage collective contracts increasing by 56.1 percent from 2010 to the current 1.74 million. ^ top ^

China's PMI at 8-month low (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
China's manufacturing sector expanded at its slowest pace in eight months, with the purchasing managers index (PMI) for the sector easing to 50.1 percent in July, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, according to official survey results published on Wednesday. The PMI data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) and the National Bureau of Statistics suggested the manufacturing sector is still expanding even though the growth has slowed. [...] However, July's PMI reading was below market expectations. Analysts had forecasted that the official data could inch up from one month earlier. [...] "The PMI moderation in July was driven partly by seasonal factors," said Cai Jin, vice president of the CFLP, adding that widespread rain last month slowed progress on many projects, dragging the PMI reading down. "July's PMI slowdown was minimal, which suggested the economy is building up a foundation for stabilized growth," Cai said, but warned that "downward pressure still exists." Manufacturing PMI has kept above the contraction level since November when the reading was 49 percent [...]. "The decline in PMI continued to narrow in July, reinforcing signs that the country's economy is stabilizing," said Zhang Liqun with the Development Research Center of the State Council. [...] The output sub-index for July stood at 51.8 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from June, indicating that the production growth of manufacturing enterprises is still slowing. [...] The sub-index for new orders continued to trend below the boom-bust line for three consecutive months by dipping 0.2 percentage points from June to 49 percent, signifying that the demand for China's manufactured goods is declining, according to the PMI report. [...]. ^ top ^

Stabilizing economic growth remains China's top priority (Xinhua)
2012-08-01
Chinese authorities on Tuesday reaffirmed that they will prioritize stable economic growth and adhere to a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy to weather current economic hardships. The ongoing pace of economic growth is within expectations, but the external environment remains grim and poses difficulties and challenges to growth, according to a newsletter released after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee that was presided over by President Hu Jintao. "We should observe the problems and risks, strengthen risk awareness and make good preparations," read the newsletter. "We should remain firmly confident in our efforts to promote steady and relatively fast economic growth," it said. Dwindling orders from Europe and other trade partners have sapped China's exports and, combined with a cooling property sector, slowed the country's economic growth rate to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. The government has vowed to expand domestic demand, develop the real economy, accelerate reforms and improve people's living standards over the rest of the year. The possibility of a housing price rebound has been looming in some cities. The committee said it will implement cooling policies to curb speculative demand and increase supplies of smaller apartments and subsidized housing. The committee also pledged to cut taxes, maintain moderate credit growth and optimize investment structures to enhance efficiency. The government will beef up support for key projects and implement policies that allow private capital to play a bigger role, the committee said, adding that foreign trade policies will stay consistent. On July 26, Hu called for more efforts to ensure agriculture production and stabilize jobs, adding that authorities must remain alert against economic risks and closely watch changes in the global economy. "Favorable policies should be implemented in order to boost crop output, farmers' incomes and the agricultural modernization drive," Hu said. Hu made the remarks as part of his opinion on the country's economic work for the latter half of 2012 delivered at a symposium with non-communist personnel, according to a statement released Tuesday. While expressing gratitude towards non-communist individuals and groups for offering references for the Party and the government's decision-making, Hu called on them to follow the CPC Central Committee's judgments and policies and deepen research in order to provide more suggestions. [...]. ^ top ^

Private investment encouraged (China Daily)
2012-08-01
China's government said on Monday that it would introduce a number of projects to allow private investment in areas dominated by State-owned enterprises. The announcement, made after an executive meeting of the State Council, said the country must "introduce some projects as soon as possible to allow private investment in the railways, public utilities, energy, telecommunications, financial, health and education industries". The move comes a week after the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning agency, and other central ministries, issued 42 new rules to attract private investment and remove barriers. The NDRC admitted on Friday that there are differences between the new rules and public expectations, and vowed to take concrete measures to boost investor confidence. "The cabinet meeting urged several regions and government departments to take candid and effective measures to implement policies to create an environment that is fair, transparent and predictable to all market players, including private ones," the statement said. The government will study and solve the questions raised by private investors, such as lack of clarity in entry rules, and standards and conditions for private capital. It also promised further overhauls of the administrative examination and approval system. ^ top ^

Number of wealthy Chinese breaks record (Xinhua)
2012-08-02
The number of Chinese worth more than 10 million yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars) broke the million mark in 2011 for the first time, with 1.02 million people now in this elite group, according to the Hurun Report. The group includes 63,500 billionaires, it said. Of these million-plus wealthy individuals, 84 percent are concentrated in the eastern, northern and southern regions of China, with Beijing home to the greatest number, at 179,000 people. Rising property prices and a fast-growing gross domestic product helped drive up the number of wealthy Chinese in 2011, according to the report, which said Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao were not included in the statistics. The Hurun Report, founded by Rupert Hoogewerf, is a magazine best known for its "China Rich List," a ranking of China's wealthiest individuals. ^ top ^

China to properly fine-tune monetary policy: central bank (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
China's central bank said Thursday it will take "the proper time" to fine-tune the country's monetary policy as the faster-than-expected slowing economy needs more cash. Following the government's decision to prioritize stable growth, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) will continue to implement the prudent monetary policy and make the policy more future-focused, targeted and flexible, according to a quarterly report released by the bank's monetary policy analytical team. Efforts should be made to push the financial service sector to benefit the real economy and create a stable monetary and financial environment to maintain stable consumer prices and promote economic restructuring, the report said. The central bank will also steadily push forward the market reform of the interest rates' formation system and improve the renminbi's exchange rate mechanism to strengthen its two-way flexibility, according to the report. Dwindling orders from Europe and other trade partners have sapped China's exports and, combined with a cooling property sector, slowed the country's economic growth rate to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. To cope with the faster-than-expected slowdown, the PBOC has cut its lending and deposit rates twice and lowered the amount of funds that banks must keep in reserve. The central bank is widely expected to further lower interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio amid weakening demand and easing inflation. ^ top ^

Agricultural policy bank's NPL ratio down to 1.26 pct (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
Agricultural Development Bank of China, one of the country's three policy banks, said Thursday that its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio decreased to 1.26 percent by the end of June, down 0.2 percentage point from the end of last year. The value of NPLs fell to 26.08 billion yuan (4.14 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of June, down 1.36 billion yuan from the end of 2011, according to a statement on the lender's website. Operating profits jumped 32 percent from one year earlier to 21.31 billion yuan during the first half, the lender said without elaborating on the causes. The bank's outstanding loans reached 2.07 trillion yuan at the end of June, up 10.67 percent from the start of this year, according to the statement. The lender extended 175.14 billion yuan in loans to support agricultural development and rural infrastructure construction during the first six months. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK denies policy change amid speculation (Xinhua)
2012-07-30
PYONGYANG - An official of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday denied any policy change in his country. The spokesman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said that there cannot be any slightest change in all policies of the DPRK as they are meant to carry forward and accomplish the ideas of past leaders, according to the official KCNA news agency. For decades hostile forces have been "trumpeting 'reform and opening' to impose their corrupt system upon the DPRK", he said, adding that they now have "hallucination that such move is taking place in the DPRK." The spokesman recognized that his country is "putting forward new strategic and tactical policies in keeping with the changing and developing situation," but stressed that the present leadership has not "broken with the past." The remarks were clearly in response to speculation that the DPRK may undergo change under the new leader Kim Jong Un, who was pictured attending a musical show featuring classic U.S. cartoon character Mickey Mouse early this month. The speculation was reinforced by another unusual move, in which the KCNA confirmed that the country's top leader was married and released multiple pictures showing Kim accompanied by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, who was widely believed to be a singer. An editorial in the Korea Times of South Korea said Kim's enjoyment of U.S. music and film may herald the North's change toward reform and openness. Based on this observation the article called on Seoul to "examine" the changes and "work out responses." The article went on to say that "if possible, Seoul should help Pyongyang's reform.". ^ top ^

S. Korea to restore dialogue channels with DPRK over family reunions (Xinhua)
2012-07-31
SEOUL - South Korea's Unification Ministry said Monday it will try to restore dialogue channels with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The government will seek a "fundamental solution" for the separated families on both sides of the border by helping them regularly meet and exchange letters, according to the ministry, which oversees inter-Korean relations. The new three-year plan also includes an increase in financial support for privately-arranged reunions held in third countries and a project to help the families record video messages for their relatives. Government-arranged reunion events for some 82,000 South Koreans looking for their long-separated relatives in the North were held more than a dozen times since 2000. The two Koreas have not held a single reunion since 2010 after two deadly border incidents led to the suspension of humanitarian exchanges. ^ top ^

Flood-hit DPRK requests UN to release emergency supplies (DPRK)
2012-08-03
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has asked the United Nations to release emergency supplies after heavy rains have killed scores of people and left tens of thousands more homeless in the country, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Thursday. "Torrential rains across the DPRK have resulted in widespread flooding, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)," said Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at a daily briefing. "The (DPRK) government has requested that the UN release its pre-positioned emergency stocks, including food and fuel," he said. More than 100 people have died and that tens of thousands of people have lost their homes, said the spokesman, quoted reports by state media of DPRK. The DPRK has suffered heavy rains and flooding since the start of the rainy season a week ago when a typhoon reached the country. It is another blow to the country when it is already in food shortage due to a severe drought in the last few months. Earlier this week, the UN agencies took part in a wider mission to assess the damage in some of the country's most affected areas.. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

DP wants to create new standing committee (Montsame)
2012-08-01
At its meeting on Wednesday, the Democratic Party's faction discussed an issue of creating a new Standing committee of parliament on solving complaints and proposals. Worked out by the DP members, a draft law on this matter has been backed by members of the Justice joint coalition (Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and National Democratic Party), the Civil Will-Green Party and independent MPs, and will be submitted to the Parliament Speaker. By the draft law, the State Great Khural will have eight Standing committees. In addition, the DP decided to submit a draft law to the Speaker on making the Standing committees very compact. In accordance with the current law, one MP can belong to two Standing committees only, so the draft states that one Standing committee will be have 10-19 members and one MP can work in three Standing committees at the same time. The faction meeting also considered a matter on an agreement with the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) about which was sounded on Tuesday at a meeting between the MPP chairman O.Enkhtuvshin and the DP chairman N.Altankhuyag. ^ top ^

New parliamentarians take oath (Montsame)
2012-08-01
Newly elected MPs Ts.Tsolmon and O.Baasankhuu took oaths at a plenary meeting of parliamentary session on Wednesday. Then they received congratulations from the Parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold. After this, 39 out of 40 MPs approved a promotion of A.Bakei to the post of head of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure. Present at the plenary meeting were all MPs except for members of the Mongolian People's Party's (MPP) group. ^ top ^

Rio Tinto spends about $1 billion in Ivanhoe issue (News.mn)
2012-08-01
Mining titan Rio Tinto PLC said Monday it has spent nearly $1 billion in accordance with a pact to participate in Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.,s $1.8 billion rights issue, which is aimed at funding the development of the massive Mongolian Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project. Rio Tinto spent $935 million to participate in the oversubscribed rights issue and increased its stake to 51.0% from 50.9% as a consequence. The purchase is in keeping with Rio Tinto's agreement to participate in any Ivanhoe rights issue to fund the Oyu Tolgoi project. Ivanhoe's founder and former chief executive, Robert Friedland exercised his rights to keep his holding in the Vancouver-based mining company at about 13%, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Friedland resigned as chief executive of Ivanhoe in April, not long after losing control of the company when Rio Tinto became its majority owner, a situation he had fought to prevent. "We are pleased with the strong reception our rights offering received from shareholders," said Ivanhoe's new chief executive, Kay Priestly, adding that the project remains on track to process its first ore in the second half of 2012 and begin commercial production in the first half of 2013. Rio said that it has no plans to buy additional Ivanhoe shares at the moment, although it has the ability to exercise warrants that would allow it boost its shares to 54.4% if desired. The Anglo-Australian mining company also has the right to be the first to participate in further equity financing from Ivanhoe up until Oct. 24; it also has antidilution rights to make sure it is able to maintain its current stake in the company in the future. "The purpose of Rio Tinto acquiring additional shares under Ivanhoe's rights offering was to honor its contractual obligations to Ivanhoe and to provide additional funding to Ivanhoe to ensure the timely development of Ivanhoe's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia," it said. The mine holds some of the world's largest unexploited gold and copper deposits, with estimated reserves of 46 million ounces of gold and 81 billion pounds of copper. Rio Tinto's shares closed up 1.6%, or 45 pence, at 29.37 pounds, while Ivanhoe's shares were down 2.4%, or 21 Canadian cents, at C$8.57 a share. ^ top ^

Mott Macdonald supports for Mongolian wind farm (News.mn)
2012-08-02
Construction is underway on Mongolia's first wind power scheme which is being developed at Salkhit Uul, 75km from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Mott MacDonald supported the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and FMO as lender's technical advisor on the scheme which is being developed by Newcom LLC, a Mongolian investment company. The US$100 million onshore wind farm is the country's first independently developed power project and is the first project of any type within Mongolia to be financed by international project finance. It will comprise of 31 General Electric 1.6 XLE wind turbine generators giving a total capacity of 49.6MW. The clean power generated by this wind farm will service customers connected to the Mongolian central grid. It is hoped that the wind farm will promote private sector involvement in the country's energy sector through the development of a green energy power source. The project will also help reduce the impact of power generation in Ulaanbaatar, which is one of the world's most polluted cities. Mott MacDonald's project director Clare Rhodes-James said: “This is a particularly challenging project as the Mongolian environment is quite extreme, with winter temperatures dropping to -50°C and summer temperatures rising to 50°C, while there can also be large diurnal temperature variations. The project is also the first renewable power project to connect to the Mongolian grid, and represents an exciting challenge to the grid operator.” Marc Buiting, senior investment officer at FMO added: “Mott MacDonald is one of the few engineering firms to fully understand how to analyse and report on bankability issues, as demonstrated on the Salkhit project. They also displayed a very welcome open attitude on areas of uncommon ground for any participant involved in the project, such as the cold -weather conditions and their impact on technology and construction management.” Mott MacDonald is monitoring construction of the wind farm which is scheduled to finish by the end of 2012. The consultancy will continue to provide operations monitoring support for up to three years following completion. ^ top ^

Former Mongolian president to serve four years in jail (Xinhua)
2012-08-03
ULAN BATOR - Former Mongolian president Nambar Enkhbayar will have to serve four years in jail and have 25 million tugrik (18,660 U.S. dollars) worth property confiscated after being found guilty of corruption here Thursday. Sukhbaatar district court sentenced Enkhbayar to seven years' jail, three of which will be pardoned, after a three-day trial. The court also awarded Gandan Buddhist monastery 54 million tugriks (40,300 U.S. dollars) as compensation for damage and revenues of TV9 which Enkhbayar owns will be confiscated. Four others, including former government officials and a businessman, were also found guilty of corruption and abuse of power. At the closing of the trial, Enkhbayar said, "The outcome of this trial will show if Mongolia is a truly democratic country or not. State prosecutors twisted actual facts in order to prosecute me for political reasons. They represent old times. I'm not afraid of anyone. I will fight for justice and a new Mongolia." Enkhbayar's trial was broadcast live on some TV channels including his own TV9 and is drawing much attention in Mongolia. Members of his party protested the ruling of the court and wrestled with policemen. His defense lawyers said Enkhbayar should be acquitted because he has done much good for Mongolia. The defense lawyers can appeal the court decision within 14 days. The court ruling may change political landscape in Mongolia. Enkhbayar's Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party or MPRP was poised to join the coalition government with Democratic Party of Mongolia. MPRP leadership said they will consider court ruling and decide whether to join the coalition government. S.Narangerel, chief defense lawyer of Enkhbayar said "decision of the trial shows that there is no independent court in Mongolia. This is repetition of 1937 repression. This is a politically motivated decision. This court decision is aimed to isolate Enkhbayar from political life of Mongolia and remove a major political rival." [...]. ^ 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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