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
  4-10.8.12, No. 435  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

US 'using islands dispute to muddy waters' (China Daily)
2012-08-06
Three Chinese officials, in the space of 24 hours, slammed US criticism of Beijing's decision to set up a military garrison in the South China Sea, a rare gesture analysts said showcases Beijing's determined stance on the territorial issue. The US, trying to take advantage of the worsening South China Sea situation, may damage ties between the world's two largest economies, experts said. Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng called in Robert Wang, the US embassy's deputy chief of mission on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website. US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said on Friday that China had raised tension in the region with the announcement last month that it had established a city and garrison in the South China Sea. Zhang said that US State Department remarks "completely ignored the facts, deliberately confounded right and wrong, and sent a seriously wrong signal, which is not conducive to the efforts safeguarding the peace and stability of the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific region". [...] Also on Saturday, Qin Gang, spokesman for the ministry, accused the US of "selective blindness" as "certain countries" escalated disputes by opening oil and gas blocks, threatening Chinese fishermen, and illegally appropriating territory. [...] The Philippines also recently offered oil and gas exploration contracts in Chinese territory in the South China Sea and Vietnam has passed a law falsely claiming Chinese islands. [...] On Sunday, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Fu Ying said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency that China is ready to enter into discussions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a code of conduct in the South China Sea when conditions are ripe and that the issue should be addressed and solved only by parties directly concerned. [...] Bonnie Glaser, China security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the US, said that the US State Department statement came after Washington became concerned about escalating tension over the past month. [...] Jia Xiudong, a senior researcher on international affairs at the China Institute of International Studies, said he believed the US statement was aimed at hyping the South China Sea issue to "catch fish in troubled waters", an approach, he said, that Washington has followed in the past two years. [...] Despite the fierce dispute, the US does not want to see other nations further provoke China, Maurice Fermont, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, said at a seminar on the US role in East Asia at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing on Sunday. [...]. ^ top ^

Four countries start fifth Mekong River patrol (Xinhua)
2012-08-06
Another joint patrol on the Mekong River was kicked off on Monday by Chinese police and their counterparts from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, according to local public security authorities. The joint patrol is the fifth of its kind since last December. The patrol fleet set sail at 6:30 a.m. from Guanlei Port, which is located in Xishuangbanna prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Joint patrols and reinforced cooperation have effectively safeguarded stability and shipping safety in the Mekong River area, said a statement released after a Sunday meeting of the four nations' joint commanders. Although the area is safe for the time being, further law enforcement cooperation is still needed, the statement said. Senior cabinet members from the four countries met in Beijing last October and agreed to take joint action to crack down on cross-border crime and secure transportation along the Mekong River following the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the river. In May, Naw Kham, a drug lord suspected of masterminding the attack on the Chinese sailors, was detained and sent to Beijing. ^ top ^

China's new ambassador presents credentials to ASEAN Secretary-General (Xinhua)
2012-08-06
New Chinese Ambassador to ASEAN Yang Xiuping presented credentials to ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan here on Monday. During the talk following the presentation of the credentials, Surin extended welcome to Yang as the new Chinese ambassador and highly praised the positive growth in volume of trade between ASEAN and China and the steady development of bilateral relations. Yang, who is China's third and also the first resident ambassador to ASEAN, said China's deployment of a permanent mission to ASEAN reflects the importance of relations with the Southeast Asian group. [...] The two leaders updated each other on ASEAN-China cooperation, and pledged to work closely to further strengthen the strategic partnership. Both the Secretary-General and the Ambassador are optimistic that total two-way trade will surpass the 500 billion U. S. dollar mark by 2015. [...] Yang arrived in Jakarta on July 27. Prior to this assignment, Yang severed as ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. ^ top ^

Sri Lanka releases 37 Chinese fishermen (China Daily)
2012-08-07
Thirty-seven Chinese fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan navy on Sunday night were not involved in illegal fishing, and the detention was a misunderstanding, Yuan Baisheng, a consul of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka, told China Daily on Monday. According to the embassy, the fishermen are employed by two trawlers owned by a Sri Lankan shipping company. The fishermen have been released, the Chinese embassy confirmed on Monday. [...] The details about the reason the fishermen were detained need to be further confirmed, Yuan said. Sri Lankan navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya was quoted by Xinhua News Agency on Monday as saying that the Chinese were arrested for illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters and would be handed over to police for further investigation. [...] The trawlers, YU 6177 and YU 6178, are registered with Sri Lanka's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and have permission to engage in fishing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sri Lanka, the navy said on its website. [...] According to the website of illegal-fishing.info, marine fisheries are of considerable importance in Sri Lanka. Fishing contributes 2 percent to the nation's GDP, and approximately 1 million people are sustained by the fishing industry. In recent years, the fishing industry has emerged as an important source of foreign exchange through the export of high-value products, such as frozen tuna, as well as shrimp, lobsters, shark fins and sea cucumber. The key markets for Sri Lankan seafood exports are the EU, China, Japan, Singapore and the US. ^ top ^

Chinese-invested agricultural project benefits poverty-stricken families in Africa (Xinhua)
2012-08-08
Rosann Monga, a 37-year old farmer and his 6-member family in Eastern Province of Zambia has been benefited from a Chinese-invested agricultural project in the southern African country. In a 1.2 hectare private land, Monga and his wife Mudenda as well as his four children enjoyed the harvest season for cotton, which make the poverty-stricken family live a better life. Monga is one of the 200,000 farmers in Africa who signed contract with China-Africa Cotton Corporation and earn a life by planting cotton for the company. "I plant cotton in my land with free seeds, farming instruments and fertilizer from the Chinese investor, which will also buy all harvested cotton back from me," Monga said, adding that the income from planting and selling cotton reaches about 800 U.S. dollars per year, a sum enough for daily cost of his family and even can be part of education fees for his children. According to local agricultural department, farmers in the province earn an average of 200 U.S. dollars per person. Grace Lubanwa, an economist in the Lipade Research Institute, said that the arrival of Chinese enterprises in the country has injected energy into Zambia's economic progress and social development. The income from the Chinese investors is very important for the poverty-stricken families, especially in rural area, who lack chances for jobs with monthly salary, she said. Following the establishment of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000, China-Africa Development Fund was launched in 2007. According to official statistics, China has so far signed bilateral agreements on investment promotion and protection with 33 African countries and is constructing economic and trade cooperation zones in 6 countries on the continent. Wang Hongwei, general manager of Bank of China (Zambia) Limited, said in a recent interview with Xinhua that Chinese investors in the southern African country have come to agree that the only way to promote their projects is to seek win-win cooperation with local communities. [...]. ^ top ^

Cambodia inaugurates China-funded road in northern provinces (Xinhua)
2012-08-08
Cambodia on Wednesday inaugurated a 128-kilometer China-funded national road No. 62 in an effort to boost social and economic development in northern provinces. The road, from Kampong Thom province's Kampong Svay district to the provincial town of Preah Vihear province, cost about 52 million U.S. dollars under a soft loan from the Government of China and was built by the Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company. [...] "The road is a new achievement resulted from the good and close relationship between Cambodia and China," the premier said. "The road will help promote tourists to Preah Vihear temple and flows of goods in rural areas." "On behalf of the government and people of Cambodia, I'd like to express sincere thanks to the government of China and its people for providing both grants and loans to Cambodia for social and economic development," he said. [...] So far, China has funded the construction of more than 2,000 kilometers of roads and bridges in Cambodia, he said. "China saw Cambodia as a close and honest friend and it will still continue supporting this country in infrastructure development," the ambassador said. The ambassador stressed that the government of China always sticks to its foreign policy in strengthening and expanding good cooperation with its neighbors and emerging economic countries. ^ top ^

Ocean-lapped Japan wary of China's continental power (Global Times)
2012-08-09
Japan's foreign policy has seen some adjustments recently. Japan is stressing the importance of its alliance with the US, both regionally and globally. As a result, Japan has taken a hard-line on the Diaoyu Islands. It also raised the issue of boosting military capabilities in the southwest island chains in its latest Defense White Paper, which considered China to be Japan's biggest security threat. Japan has also pushed forward military cooperation agreements with the Philippines and South Korea, though the process has encountered some setbacks. These national strategic adjustments are linked to Japan's status as an oceanic nation, surrounded by the sea. Scholars of geopolitics have raised the idea that oceanic countries and continental countries naturally tend to confront each other. The core of the idea is that oceanic countries form alliances to counter the threat of the greater land strength of continental countries by controlling the "rimland," the maritime fringe of a continent. The sense of sea power, though challenged by the concepts of Greater East Asia and East Asian Cooperation after World War II, still plays an influential role in Japan. In Japan's eyes, China, a continental country, will threaten the security of oceanic countries. Since the Democratic Party of Japan took office in 2009, it has defined China as "a matter of concern" for Asia and the international community. Japan has also listed its southwest island chains closest to China as a key point for national defense, shifting its strategy southwestward. The chains include the Diaoyu Islands. That's why Japan has made a fuss in the region recently. Meanwhile, Japan is trying to get closer to the US. Despite its size, the US is an oceanic country, projecting its power into the world's two great oceans, and there's a common diplomatic idea that oceanic countries should form an alliance to contend with continental countries. ^ top ^

China, Latin American and Caribbean States Troika launch regular foreign ministers' dialogue (Xinhua)
2010-08.09
China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Troika agreed Thursday to set up a regular foreign ministers' dialogue mechanism and hold the first round of dialogue in September. The decision was made during talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and senior Troika diplomats, including Alfredo Moreno Charme, Chilean foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro Moros, Venezuelan foreign minister and Rogelio Sierra Diaz, Cuban vice foreign minister. They agreed that establishing relations and conducting dialogue and cooperation between China and CELAC Troika were in the interests of both sides and would contribute to the comprehensive relationship between China and Latin America, which features equality, mutual benefit and common development. Both sides agreed to promote China-CELAC Troika dialogues and exchanges so as to expand the pragmatic cooperation between China and Latin America and establish the China-Latin America cooperation forum. Also Thursday, Yang held bilateral meetings with his Chilean and Venezuelan counterparts, respectively, on bilateral relations and issues of common concern. On Thursday afternoon, senior Chinese legislator Jiang Shusheng also met with the Troika delegation at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing. [...] He said China is ready to conduct dialogues and friendly cooperation with the CELAC based on equal footing, and continue to promote their cooperative partnership through joint efforts. The Troika diplomats echoed Jiang, saying the CELAC attaches high importance to the friendly relations with China and Latin America will work with China to push forward their bilateral ties to a new high. [...] The CELAC, a new leading regional bloc, was formed in December 2011. It was proposed by Latin American leaders in February 2010 in Mexico, more than 60 years after the start of the Organization of American States (OAS). It consists of 33 sovereign states of Latin America and the Caribbean region. Chile currently holds the rotating chair of the CELAC. ^ top ^

China seeks to boost Southeast Asian ties (China Daily)
2012-08-10
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi embarked on a three-stop visit to Southeast Asia on Thursday, in which the South China Sea issue is expected to top discussions. Chinese experts believe Yang will seek understanding from the island nations on the territorial issue, including Indonesia, which plays a leading mediating role in discussions inside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The foreign minister will also focus on building better bilateral relations during the trip, as Beijing does not want to see its broad ties with the region dominated by the issue. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Wednesday that Yang will pay official visits to Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia from Thursday to Aug 13, at the invitation of his counterparts from the respective countries. [...] China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have claims over some islands and waters in the South China Sea. During his visit, Yang will also co-chair, with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, the second meeting of the joint committee for bilateral cooperation between the two governments. [...] Indonesia has played an active mediating role in discussions on the South China Sea dispute after foreign ministers of the 10-member ASEAN last month failed to issue a joint communique at their meeting in Phnom Penh because they could not agree on a paragraph about territorial disputes. Natalegawa then embarked on a 36-hour “shuttle diplomacy” tour to the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore that resulted in ASEAN member states agreeing on a joint statement outlining ASEAN's six key principles on the issue. [...] Peking University's Yang Baoyun said the key point on which to achieve consensus in any code of conduct, is that the proposal cannot challenge China's sovereignty. He said it seems that differences on the South China Sea issue among the Southeast Asian countries have deepened and now dominate their relations with China. [...] US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said on Aug 3 that China raised tensions in the region last month by establishing a city and garrison in the South China Sea. Three Chinese officials, in the space of 24 hours, slammed the US criticism, with one official summoning a senior US diplomat to the US embassy in Beijing, a rare gesture analysts said shows Beijing's determined stance on the territorial issue. [...] Recent development in the South China Sea issue also drew attention from other neighboring countries, such as India. [...] Also on Tuesday India's Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma ruled out any active deployment in the South China Sea claiming that India's primary area of focus remains the Indian Ocean. “At this point of time, the Pacific and South China Sea are of concern to the global community, but in terms of any active deployment from our side, it is not on the cards,” Verma said. ^ top ^

Washington pushes China to get serious about sanctions (People's Daily)
2012-08-10
Chinese officials have been protesting US penalties against China's Bank of Kunlun for Iran-related activities. According to the US Department of the Treasury, the bank has conducted significant financial transactions for sanctioned banks in Iran as well as making payments for an affiliate of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The penalties, which affect the bank's ability to conduct business in the US, were imposed under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. The handwriting is on the wall. China is Iran's largest remaining trading partner. And China National Petroleum Corporation, which owns the bank, and other Chinese entities have invested billions of dollars in Iran's petroleum sector, now the focus of international pressure. This latest round of penalties follows sanctions earlier this year against Zhuhai Zhenrong Company, China's largest importer of Iranian crude oil. The company allegedly exported gasoline to Iran in 2010 and 2011. Given Iran's heavy reliance on oil revenue, there is finally evidence of real economic pressure mounting. Historically, the US has been reluctant to impose sanctions on third parties. [...] Yet since 1997, US law has required imposing penalties on foreign entities for related activities. Under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act passed that year, the US president had the authority to bar foreign entities from US government contracts if they invested more than $20 million in the Iranian petroleum sector. [...] Financial restrictions have proven to be useful roadblocks in changing behavior in a limited way, as in the case of North Korea. China has been reluctant all along on the issue of sanctions, so it is not surprising it should protest these latest penalties. [...] It is easier to justify targeted sanctions, such as those specifically designed to slow down acquisition of sensitive equipment and technology. [...] Efforts to widen sanctions are often criticized for their overall impact on the population at large. [...] Shaping a balance that reflects the best outcome for all may require some short-term sacrifices of many countries. China supports nuclear nonproliferation. It should support all efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table. ^ top ^

Australia urges deeper Sino-US ties (SCMP)
2012-08-09
Australia said on Thursday it was "optimistic" about the emergence of China as a world power but said strong and peaceful ties between Beijing and the United States would be key to regional stability. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the US, China and India would be the world's three “super powers” by the second half of this century and Australia wanted Beijing to play a “full and constructive role” in the region. [...] Australia has important ties with both countries – China, a major market for its natural resources, is its top trading partner, while it has a long-standing military alliance with the US that has just been expanded. Some 2,500 US Marines will be stationed in northern Australia in years to come and deeper aerial and naval co-operation is being planned as Washington makes a major shift towards the Asia-Pacific region. Smith said there was “nothing inconsistent with a comprehensive and growing relationship with China and our military alliance with the United States”, playing down Australia's importance in the historic pivot of power eastwards. [...] Fears about the US presence in Australia were really just fears about US-China ties, he added, “and that's why we say to China, and... the United States the most important thing is to get your bilateral relationship right”. General James Amos, Commandant of the US Marines and one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the first deployment of troops to Australia's Northern Territory Thursday and said the move was not designed to intimidate China or others. [...] “There is a lot of opportunity to work together: humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, training together and to actually have an influence on... responsible behaviour in the Asia-Pacific area.” [...] Though China and India would rise, Smith said Australia believed the US would “continue to be the single most important strategic actor in our region for the foreseeable future”, both independently and through its alliances. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

TV controls likely to be turn-off (SCMP)
2012-08-04
Mainland television viewers will be relying more on the internet for their programmes after the top broadcast regulator ordered a series of new content rules, including a ban on remakes of foreign shows. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) has told broadcasters to cut back on conflicts and jokes in historical serials and more clearly distinguish between heroes and villains in dramas about the Communist revolution, The Beijing News reported. [...] The orders were seen as the latest attempt to rein in popular culture ahead of this autumn's national congress, when the party plans a once-in-a-decade change of power. Content restrictions on television serials have been repeatedly tightened in recent years. Earlier this year, Sarft banned imported television series from airing during prime time and relegated foreign-made television serials to runs of no longer than 50 episodes. [...] The new directive was expected to drive more mainland viewers to get their entertainment from the internet, especially programmes from abroad. [...] Sarft first announced its directives during a national satellite television conference in Harbin late last month, attended by executives from 35 satellite television channels, according to industry insiders. [...] Sarft also issued an order to curb "excessive entertainment" during prime time last year and required broadcasters to reduce the number of entertainment shows aired each week to 38 from the previous 126. China is the world's biggest producer of television serials, and churned out 469 television serials with nearly 15,000 episodes last year. ^ top ^

China clarifies ownership of rural land (China Daily)
2012-08-05
Ownership of about 78 percent of China's collectively-owned rural land had been clarified by the end of June in a government campaign to protect farmers' land rights, the country's land watchdog said Sunday. Local authorities should step up their efforts to certify ownership of all collectively-owned land in the countryside by the end of 2012 as planned, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a statement on its website. Vice Minister Hu Cunzhi warned that authorities should not approve the expropriation or transfer of collectively-owned rural land that remains unidentified as of the end of this year. The lack of legal proof of who owns rural land has left farmers' interests poorly protected. Land in China's countryside is either state owned or collectively owned. The government proposed a plan in 2010 to identify and register the ownership of all collectively-owned rural land by the end of 2012, in a bid to better protect the interests of its 680 million farmers. ^ top ^

Huge organ-selling ring busted (SCMP)
2012-08-05
Mainland police have busted a highly sophisticated network of organ-trafficking syndicates across 18 provinces and municipalities, making 137 arrests and rescuing 127 would-be organ donors. The 137 suspects come from 28 trafficking gangs across the country. Police say the gangs stayed in close contact over the supply of and demand for organs; 18 of those detained are doctors who conducted illegal transplants, according to the Ministry of Public Security, which co-ordinated the raids late last month. Police also discovered a high degree of specialisation among the gangs, state television reported. [...] The suspects are believed to have divided their efforts into recruiting prospective organ donors from the internet, guarding donors to prevent them from escaping, sending them to hospitals for check-ups and surgery, as well as locating and making deals with patients. [...] Police said organs from healthy candidates were illegally transplanted to patients, while most of the money paid by the patients went to the organ traffickers. Although it did not reveal the exact amounts pocketed by middlemen, state television said the lucrative endeavour underscored the severe shortage of legally donated organs on the mainland. Each year, 1.5 million Chinese patients require organ transplants, official figures show, but only 10,000 of them can receive transplants. Despite the shortage, the central government only made organ trafficking a criminal offence last year. The worst offenders face at least five years' imprisonment and fines. [...] Mainland media reported in May that healthy donors who sold their kidneys to organ traffickers would be paid about 35,000 yuan, while patients who received the kidney transplants had to pay traffickers between 200,000 and 500,000 yuan. ^ top ^

China's first CCS project captures 40,000 tonnes of CO2 (Xinhua)
2012-08-06
China's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project sealed off more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 15 months in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, operators told Xinhua Monday. As an environmental protection project of China's megaton direct liquefaction coal project, the CCS project was listed as a national key technology project and was implemented by China's leading coal company Shenhua Group Corporation Ltd, located in Wulanmulun, Erjinhoro Banner, Inner Mongolia. The project proved China as the first country able to realize the entire process of capturing carbon dioxide and sealing it in saline aquifers, said Shu Geping, general engineer of China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co., Ltd. Experiments and research are still underway and the goal of sealing 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide is expected to be realized in June 2014, Shu said. The underground saline aquifers in Ordos Basin in Inner Mongolia can store tens of billions of carbon dioxide, and this kind of basin is quite common in China, which means the demonstration project will greatly contribute to reducing China's carbon emissions, said Zhang Dongxiao, dean of the Clean Energy Research Institute of Peking University. About 80 percent of China's carbon dioxide emissions come from coal burning. China made a promise to the United Nations that by 2020 the country would reduce carbon dioxide emissions per gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent, based on levels observed in 2005. Researchers with Shenhua said the current CCS technology only stores carbon dioxide but can not generate profits. To popularize the technology, carbon dioxide needs to become a resource that can be utilized, and Shenhua has started relevant research, Shu said. ^ top ^

Henan lawyers face restrictions (Global Times)
2012-08-06
The justice department of Central China's Henan Province recently issued guidelines to tighten supervision of lawyers dealing with three categories of lawsuits, which experts say will further restrict the rights of local attorneys. The three categories are "important" cases that involve "many clients or defendants of special identities or those who have committed serious crimes with widespread influence," and "sensitive" cases that may "give rise to mass incidents" and then cause "negative effects on social stability," as well as "massive" cases that involve more than 10 clients, according to the guidelines, which were posted on the website of the lawyers association of Sanmenxia city in western Henan. Cases involving land expropriation and housing demolition are included in the three categories. Lawyers dealing with these cases are required to submit a written report to judicial authorities within two days, outlining their client's defense against the charges. This is not the first time that guidelines have been developed for the supervision of lawyers. In 2006, similar guidelines were drafted by the All China Lawyers Association, according to Wang Cailiang, a lawyer with the association who was one of the drafters of the older guidelines. [...] According to the Henan guidelines, local judicial departments are required to strictly enforce supervision over lawyers and anyone who violates the guidelines can receive administrative punishment. [...] A lawyer in Henan who asked to remain anonymous confirmed his law firm had received the guidelines, and he would try to avoid the three categories in the future to protect himself. "A lot of us now choose to provide legal consultancy services only, rather than defend clients in court in order to stay out of trouble," he told the Global Times. The province says the guidelines were issued to "maintain social stability and improve social harmony" leading up to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China scheduled for this fall. [...]. ^ top ^

Massive petro plant likely to spur protest (Global Times)
2012-08-07
Apparently inspired by recent riots in eastern and southwestern China, people in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, are considering launching an anti-pollution protest against the establishment of a large petrochemical project which is estimated to be worth 80 billion yuan ($12.5 billion). Reports said that in what amounts to a huge industrial project, the petrochemical plant would be located in Taizhou and significantly boost the local economy while improving livelihoods. The joint project, being launched by the China National Petroleum Company, Qatar Petroleum International and Royal Dutch Shell, includes a refining complex that could process 20 million tons of crude oil and produce 1.2 million tons of ethylene annually, and a crude terminal capable of docking 300,000-ton tankers. Zhao Sheng, a publicity official from the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC), told the Global Times that the NDRC had authorized the local government to start "preliminary work" consisting of infrastructure projects such as the construction of railways and expressways, but the project in its entirety hadn't been approved by the NDRC as yet. [...] The project has not been welcomed by locals, many of whom believe a petrochemical plant of this size could have dangerous ramifications. "They've published no detailed information on the possible consequences or the dangers the project might cause to the environment," Ke Ben, a local citizen told the Global Times. Some opponents have been rallying others online, calling on local residents to take action before it is too late. [...] In July, construction of a molybdenum copper plant in Shifang, Sichuan Province was halted after thousands took to the street and confronted riot police. Also in July, thousands of people stormed government buildings in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, forcing authorities to announce a permanent halt to the construction of a discharge pipeline. "We should break the trend of using violent protests to meet the environmental protection demands of the people," Ma Jun, from the Institute of Public and Environment Affairs, an environmental protection NGO, told the Global Times. "To avoid further losses, the government should respect people's right to know and participate in the process of environmental assessments and decision making," Ma said. ^ top ^

18 measures to alleviate poverty released (China Daily)
2012-08-07
The Ministry of Land and Resources released 18 measures to help alleviate poverty in China's major poverty-stricken areas on Tuesday. According to the statement, the 18 measures include increasing the annual land supply to the major poverty-stricken areas, strengthening the mineral resources exploration and development and giving preferential policy in building industrial zones for mineral resources production. Besides boosting local economic development, it also emphasizes establishing a geological disaster forecast and relief system. Most of the poverty-stricken areas are concentrated in 11 mountainous regions that are prone to geological disasters. To guarantee the implementation of these measures, the ministry will regularly send expert teams for supervision and guidance. However, the details of the 18 measures were not provided in the statement. In June 2011, 680 counties in 21 provinces and regions were mapped into the country's latest 10-year (2011-2020) strategy on poverty alleviation and development. As the national poverty line rose in November, about 128 million people in rural China with an annual income less than 2,300 yuan ($364) were counted as poor. ^ top ^

Experts received by Xi, urged to mark Congress 'with excellent works' (Global Times)
2012-08-07
Vice President Xi Jinping Sunday met a group of renowned experts and grass-roots talents at Beidaihe, a popular northern seaside resort close to the Chinese capital, prompting speculation by overseas observers that a critical meeting at the seaside resort attended by top Party leaders is underway. The 62 experts and talents invited this year are from across the country, including scientists in defense technology, renowned educators, artists, workers, village teachers, and rural medical staff. [...] A seminar was also held Sunday for the experts to give suggestions on the country's human resources programs. [...] During the meeting with the experts, Xi asked them to mark the opening of the 18th National Congress of the CPC with excellent works. The appearance of Xi in Beidaihe has triggered speculation from overseas media on traditional informal meetings of the CPC leadership at the resort. The Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao reported that there is a tradition for high-level CPC officials and retired leaders to spend a summer holiday and hold informal meetings in Beidaihe. It also quoted anonymous observers as saying that the informal meetings are expected to be a prelude to the 18th National Congress of the CPC, which will be held in the fall, and critical issues such as personnel arrangements will be discussed at the gathering. [...]. ^ top ^

Accidents in mines covered up in July (China Daily)
2012-08-08
Four coal mine accidents in July, three of them fatal, were covered up, a State report released on Tuesday said. The State Administration of Work Safety report on Tuesday said that on July 4, flooding at the Qielichong Coal Mine in Leiyang, Hunan province, trapped 16 miners. The owner concealed the accident and fled, delaying the rescue for 12 hours. Eight people died. Thirteen days later, a gas blast that killed three people at Puxijing Coal Mine in Chenzhou, also in Hunan, went unreported. On July 25, a shaft collapse at Anlilai Coal Mine in Pu'an county, Guizhou province, trapped five miners. Bosses failed to report the accident to authorities and attempted to organize a rescue on their own, but a second collapse then trapped 53 rescuers. Victims of both collapses were saved after local residents called emergency services, the report said. On July 26, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Yangquan, Shanxi province, killed seven miners and injured 30 others. The owner concealed the accident and, after being reported by residents, still withheld the number of casualties. [...] According to the Criminal Law, anyone who conceals an industrial accident gets a three-year sentence. Those involved in accidents under "serious circumstances" get up to seven years in prison. So far this year, six coal mine accidents that killed 46 people were concealed, information from the administration indicates. ^ top ^

Distraught mother's detention reviewed (Global Times)
2012-08-09
The Hunan Reeducation-through-labor Management Committee Wednesday said it will review the 18-month detention order of a mother who pestered officials to deliver justice to a gang that had forced her daughter into prostitution six years ago. Tang Hui, whose daughter was 11 when she was abducted in Yongzhou, was sent to a reeducation-through-labor center on August 2. The administrative order by local authorities accused Tang of causing a disturbance by confronting local officials and petitioning the local court for tougher sentences that had been handed to five of seven men found guilty in the case. Two of the men have been sentenced to death. Gan Yuanchun, Tang's attorney, said that Yongzhou police exaggerated Tang's activities. Gan said Tang wept by the side door of Hunan Provincial Public Security Department, which police described as disturbing their work. The application to free Tang said local authorities had abused their power to detain someone under reeducation-through-labor regulations, failing to hold a hearing prior to issuing the detention order, and unreasonably using the reeducation-through-labor system. [...]. ^ top ^

Hu eyes promotion of ally 'Little Hu' to retain clout (SCMP)
2012-08-09
President Hu Jintao is manoeuvring to promote one of his closest allies to the Communist Party's inner sanctum, two independent sources said, in a bid to retain clout and preserve his legacy. Hu Chunhua, party boss of the northern region of Inner Mongolia, is a rising political star among the next generation of senior leaders. He is seen as a reformer and a close ally of Hu Jintao, although the two are not related. Under the constitution, the president, 69, has to stand down early next year in a once-in-a-decade leadership transition. "Hu Jintao regards Hu Chunhua highly and is determined to promote him," a source with ties to the leadership said. He wants "Little Hu", as the younger man is popularly known, to be either catapulted straight into the party's supreme-decision making body - the Politburo Standing Committee - or at least promoted to the prestigious post of party chief in Shanghai, China's fast-growing financial capital, or Beijing. [...] If elevated, Hu Chunhua, 49, would be the youngest member of the standing committee. ^ top ^

PLA names 300 delegates to party congress (SCMP)
2012-08-10
The People's Liberation Army and its affiliated People's Armed Police yesterday released a list of its 300 delegates for the upcoming 18th national party congress. The announcement indicates that preparation for the congress has entered its final stage. The army was the last constituency to decide on its delegates. A list of the delegates' names was published by the PLA Daily and the People's Daily. Several generals with "princeling" backgrounds and a PLA soldier who won Olympic gold in swimming at the London Games are among the selected delegates. The People's Armed Police will send 49 delegates while the PLA will send the rest. Military observers say they are pleased to see open-minded generals on the list. They include General Liu Yuan, political commissar of the General Logistics Department, who heads an anti-corruption campaign within the army; General Liu Yazhou, political commissar for the National Defence University, who once warned his hawkish military colleagues that China must embrace American-style democracy or accept a Soviet-style collapse; and General Zhang Qinsheng, 64, a deputy director of the General Staff. [...] "It is a good sign that so many liberal-minded top generals have been allowed to take part in the upcoming 18th party congress," said Antony Wong Dong of the Macau-based International Military Association. "But it might merely be an attempt by Hu to try to build a liberal image for the PLA." The list showed that the grandsons of revolutionaries Mao Zedong and Zhu De, Major General Mao Xinyu and Major General Zhu Heping were chosen. Twenty-eight generals from the PLA's four main departments were also on the list. [...] Xu Guangyu, a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association in Beijing, said the delegates were chosen to represent the various PLA departments, including those that oversee politics, medicine, sports, culture and other sectors. "All the delegates were elected from different military departments under negotiations and voting in their own party congresses early this year," Xu said. "They will speak for their own department in the upcoming party congress as the army has actually become a diversified fighting force." [...]. ^ top ^

'Grave' safety problems on fast rail link (SCMP)
2012-08-09
Multiple high-speed railway lines in operation or under construction in China have “grave” quality problems, a state newspaper said on Thursday, a year after a deadly crash sparked public outrage. The Southern Metropolis Daily, citing an internal Ministry of Railways report, said cracks had been detected in tunnels, some of which had been built without the steel bars needed to reinforce them. Wiring at the Wenzhou South Station, which is on the line where the deadly bullet train collision took place in July last year, was also discovered to be substandard. At least 40 people were killed and hundreds injured in the July last year accident, which has since been blamed on design flaws and poor management. It followed the dismissal of former railways minister Liu Zhijun in February last year. He is facing prosecution for corruption after reportedly taking bribes of more than 800 million yuan during his time in office. China's high-speed rail network, the largest in the world, has been plagued by graft and safety scandals following rapid expansion. The newspaper, which has a reputation for its outspoken reporting, said the railways ministry had ordered “complete correction” to the shortfalls by certain deadlines that should “leave no more potential risks”. In March, a section of a new high-speed railway in central China's Hubei province collapsed following heavy rainfall. [...] China's state auditor said last year that construction companies and individuals siphoned off 187 million yuan (US$29.4 million) in funds for the construction of the flagship high-speed railway line between Beijing and Shanghai. ^ top ^

Bogu Kailai stands trial for intentional homicide (Global Times)
2012-08-10
The intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun began Thursday in the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court in Anhui Province. Prosecutors said Bogu and her son, surnamed Bo, had conflicts with British businessman Neil Heywood over economic interests. Worried about the threat Heywood posed to her son's personal security, prosecutors alleged Bogu decided to murder Heywood. The prosecutors went on to say that Bogu asked Zhang Xiaojun, the other defendant, who was then an employee of the general office of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to invite Heywood to Chongqing in Southwest China and to accompany him from Beijing. [...] The court heard claims that on November 13 last year, Bogu met Heywood in his hotel room for a drink and that after Heywood was drunk, he vomited and asked for water. The prosecutors said that this was when Bogu added poison, which Zhang had brought along to the hotel room, leading to Heywood's death. The prosecution said the facts surrounding the circumstance of the poisoning were clear and the evidence is substantial. Their behavior has violated Article 232 of the Criminal Law code; therefore, the two defendants should be held criminally responsible for intentional homicide, according to the prosecution. The case is a joint offense with Bogu as the principal and Zhang as the accessory, the prosecutors said. [...] The court instructed the defendant's lawyer to meet the clients and gave the lawyer access to the entire case file, fully ensuring the legal rights of Bogu, Zhang and the close relatives of the victim. The Hefei court began the public trial on Thursday, after following the legal procedure of issuing a notice before the trial and making a public announcement. [...] Gu's lawyer did not challenge the charge, but said she had "made significant contributions by reporting offences by other people" and her cooperation should be taken into account, court official Tang Yigan told journalists, according to AFP. [...] More than 140 people attended the trial. They included relatives and friends of Bogu, Zhang and Heywood, diplomats from the British embassy and consulates in China, representatives from the media, deputies to China's legislature, members of China's political advisory body, as well as people from all walks of life. After Thursday's court session, the court announced an adjournment and that the judgment will be announced on a day to be decided. Four other police officers, who were suspected of covering up Bogu's illegal conduct during the investigation into Heywood's death, will be tried on Friday on charges of bending the law to achieve personal benefit. ^ top ^

Bo's ex-ally to face trial next week, sources say (SCMP)
2012-08-10
The trial of former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun will open next week in Chengdu, Sichuan, two sources say. A Chengdu-based source said Wang will be charged with treason, which carries the death penalty. But the source said a lenient sentence would be handed down because Wang earned "merits" during the investigation. Another source, close to the Chongqing government, confirmed that Wang's trial would open in Chengdu in a few days. Wang, the former right-hand man of disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, fled to the US consulate in Chengdu in February, triggering the biggest political crisis in China in decades. Wang reportedly held incriminating information about Bo and feared for his personal safety after his relationship with Bo turned sour. […] The four policemen will face trial in the Hefei Intermediate People's Court in Anhui for trying to protect Gu "from being pursued for criminal responsibilities" after the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, Xinhua reported yesterday. The four policemen are former deputy Chongqing police chief Guo Weiguo; former Chongqing criminal investigation squad head Li Yang; the former police chief of Chongqing's Yubei district, Wang Pengfei; and the former deputy police chief of Chongqing's Shapingba district, Wang Zhi. "The trials and everything related to Bo is going on according to the script written by the authorities," said political analyst Johnny Lau Yui-siu. "The authorities want to first handle Gu and then other related cases, well before the start of the party congress, avoiding any impact on the leadership transition." […] Earlier reports suggested that Li was involved in the initial investigation of the death of Heywood, and Wang Pengfei was believed to have helped arrange the car in which Wang Lijun fled to the US consulate. […] "The authorities are making every effort to avoid implicating Bo in the death of Heywood," Lau said. "The local and international community would be shocked if a Politburo member was involved in a murder case. For that purpose, the authorities may change the charges against related people.". ^ top ^

First land warfare weaponry and equipment development forum held (People's Daily)
2012-08-10
The first Land Warfare Weaponry and Equipment Development Forum was held on August 4 and 5, 2012 in Beijing. At the forum, more than 400 military and civilian leaders, academicians and experts held an in-depth discussion on the development, transformation and construction of land warfare weaponry and equipment. The forum is geared to the requirements of future wars and battlefields, aims at the needs of China's national security and national defense security and focuses on the discussion on such major issues as the form of future land warfare, the key technologies of land warfare weaponry and equipment as well as the land warfare equipment construction system. The forum is co-hosted by the Army Building Research Department of the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Ordnance Science and Research Academy of China, the Military Product Department of the China South Industries Group Corporation and the China Ordnance Society. Han Yanlin, deputy director of the Scientific and Technological Committee under the General Armaments Department (GAD) of the PLA, and Ren Haiquan, vice president of the AMS of the PLA, were present at the forum. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Newspaper flood report upsets city officials (SCMP)
2012-08-07
A leading newspaper that ran an investigative report on Beijing's recent deadly floods has been accused by the city's authorities of "violating press regulations" and now faces the risk of its operations being suspended. The city's cultural enforcement agency yesterday raided the Economic Observer's headquarters and removed its sign outside the office. Sources said the raid on the business weekly came two days after its latest edition was pulled from newsstands by the municipal authorities, which accused it of violating a ban on newspapers from reporting outside of the jurisdiction where they are registered. The management at the Observer, which is registered in Shandong province, refused to comment on the raid, but a reporter said enforcement officials, under the direction of the cultural authorities, sealed off the newspaper's office before removing the front sign. The reporter, who asked not to be named, said the crackdown was directly related to the paper's investigative reports on last month's floods, but the reporter was not sure which report angered the authorities. The July 21 storm, which left 79 people dead, triggered a huge public outcry over the sad state of Beijing's drainage system. Another reporter, who also declined to be named, said they were raided because their reports revealed that more flood victims were still unaccounted for. He said the management was in talks with the authorities to resolve the situation. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

Haikui continues to threaten East China (China Daily)
2012-08-10
The third typhoon to hit China in a week, Haikui snuck into inland Anhui province on Wednesday night after shattering the coastal area with strong winds and torrential rain, killing at least four and forcing 2.14 million residents in East China to evacuate. As of 8 pm on Thursday, Haikui affected more than 6 million people in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, Xinhua News Agency quoted the latest figure released by the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Thursday night. It lessened to a storm and then a tropical depression - the lowest level of a tropical cyclone - at noon Thursday near Anhui's Chizhou. Its center was near Anqing at 5 pm on Thursday, packing up winds up to 16 meters per second. [...] "More than 24 hours after it landed, Haikui still remained a storm and that shows it is very powerful," the center said. It also forecast that rainstorms would continue to batter parts of Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian and Shandong provinces on Friday with rainfall reaching 200 millimeters. In Anhui, 1.35 million residents have been affected by the storm and 156,000 residents evacuated as of Thursday as winds and rainstorms destroyed crops, damaged roads and threatened the area with floods and mudslides. Haikui also destroyed 53,000 hectares of crops, damaged 13,700 houses and caused direct economic losses of 670 million yuan ($105 million) in the province. [...] The provincial government has banned outdoor group activities unrelated to flood control and demanded strengthened management on people traveling outdoors. [...] In Shanghai and Zhejiang, where the influence of Haikui has greatly subsided, urban centers slowly came back to life, though the typhoon has pushed up the price of some commodities. The two airports in the financial center of Shanghai resumed operations Wednesday night, and prolonged operations to transport nearly 2,000 stranded passengers. [...] Meteorologists said that the typhoons that landed on the Chinese mainland this year outnumbered and were more powerful than those in previous years. [...] Ye Dianxiu, chief weather forecaster at the administration, told the newspaper 12 tropical cyclones have formed since the beginning of this year. Of the 12 storms, five landed on the mainland. [...] In July, 61.8 million residents were affected by natural disasters in China, with 402 people killed, 91 missing and 4.6 million people relocated or needing emergency relief, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Crackdown planned on illegal river sand mining (China Daily)
2012-08-08
The Guangdong provincial government has vowed to crack down on illicit mining of river sand, a senior water official said. "We have had achievements in regulating river sand mining in the past few years, but illicit mining continues despite harsh punishments," Huang Boqing, director of the provincial water resources department, said at a news conference on Tuesday. "The demand for river sand in Guangdong's market still far exceeds the supply. Those engaged in illicit river sand mining can make a very good profit," Huang said. Wang Jiancheng, deputy director of the department, estimated that the market demand this year will be more than 100 million cubic meters while the supply will be only 15 million. The department limits the total amount of river sand that can be mined in a year and miners in different cities have to get permission from local water resources departments before they can start mining. [...] People who mine river sand without the government's permission used to be fined between 10,000 yuan ($1,570) and 100,000 yuan. New regulations adopted this year have raised the fine to between 30,000 yuan and 300,000 yuan. Those caught illegally mining twice or more can be fined as much as 1 million yuan. Dong Zhigang, who owns a sand mining company, said he welcomes the move because he has been forced out of business because of the rampant illicit mining. [...] "Honestly, I had been losing money. I spent several million yuan to bid for the permission so I needed to sell a cubic meter of river sand at about 30 yuan to make ends meet. However, I was forced to dump my price to less than 10 yuan because the illegal miners were able to sell their sand at such a low price since they did not pay the fees," Dong told China Daily. To regulate the river sand market, Guangdong government has launched a large-scale crackdown on illicit river sand mining gangs this year. As of June 6, 116 boats engaging in illicit mining have been caught. The government has also been encouraging construction companies to use substitutes for river sand, according to Wang from the water resources department. "It's almost impossible to supply the market with enough river sand since we have to limit the amount of river sand that can be mined to ensure waterway security," he said. ^ top ^

Guangdong to webcast live meetings, court trials (Global Times)
2012-08-10
South China's Guangdong Province will broadcast live trials involving major intellectual property, foreign-related commercial and maritime cases through Weibo and television, underlining Guangdong's efforts to promote transparency. The announcement was made during a video conference hosted by judicial officials on Wednesday, reported the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News. According to the video conference, the number of such cases has increased sharply, bringing new challenges to local courts. The webcasts provide a new platform for government to communicate with the public and promotes public participation, said judicial officials. Xu Chunjian, deputy head of the Guangdong Higher People's Court, was quoted by the Information Times as saying that the court should promote judiciary transparency and establish an image of impartiality. [...] The court's move is in line with Guangdong's recent vow to push citizen participation in government affairs. Legislators in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, last month broadcast their recent meeting online for the first time in the city's history, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The fourth session of the Standing Committee of the 14th Guangzhou City People's Congress, was made available to the public in the form of a webcast, giving Web users the opportunity to learn about the city's decision-making process. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Indian consulate proposal for Lhasa denied (Global Times)
2012-08-06
Experts expressed concern on Sunday over the Indian government's "political motives" they believe are behind its wish to establish a consulate in Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Hindustan Times reported on Friday that Beijing recently rejected New Delhi's request to open a consulate in Lhasa. [...] Indian media reports said India raised the request in response to China's intention to open a consulate in Chennai, a newly-emerging coastal city in South India. Beijing offered Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, as an alternative location to Lhasa, reports said. [...] Madhav Nalapat, director of the School of Geopolitics at Manipal University in India, insisted both India and China should increase the number of consulates in other countries to deepen bilateral relations and boost mutual trust. [...] However, Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said India is motivated more by politics than economic interests in this case. "The Indian government hopes to closely watch, observe, and infiltrate the Tibetan area after the opening of a Lhasa consulate," said Zhao. [...] India now has three consulates under the Beijing-based Indian embassy in China, separately located in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Currently, only Nepal has a consulate in Lhasa. In a response in May to India's request for a Lhasa consulate, a foreign ministry spokesman made clear China valued the development of mutual relations and for both sides to maintain unimpeded communication on the opening of consulates, Xinhua reported. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Xinjiang mosque monitoring claims rejected (Global Times)
2012-08-08
Officials on Tuesday denied a website report that accused government agencies in Xinjiang of dispatching firefighters to mosques in an attempt to monitor religious activities during Ramadan. A routine training session on how to eliminate fire hazards was being conducted amongst large crowds, government officials from the Uyghur autonomous region said. The Uyghur Online, a website hosted on overseas servers which is believed to be engaged in separatist activities, reported that the Xinjiang government dispatched the firefighters to mosques claiming they were there to train local imams on fire control knowledge, but in reality were using them to monitor religious activities being conducted within the mosques from July 20. [...] Liang Si, a publicity official from the firefighting department in Yili, said that training sessions at the mosques had no political motive and were just necessary precautionary measures during Ramadan, as the influx of worshippers might increase fire hazards. [...] Aside from dispatching firefighters to mosques, "we also send them to residential neighborhoods, schools and government departments to teach and train them in fire control knowledge, to eliminate fire hazards," Liang said.[...] The local government has strengthened supervision over fire prevention, as the number of fire disasters have increased in recent years. [...] The Uyghur Online's accusation followed recent US government criticism, which said that the Chinese government "characterized Uyghur discontent, peaceful political activism, and some forms of religious observance as terrorist activity." Li Hua, a publicity official in the Xinjiang government, said the Uyghur Online has sensationalized the fire department's routine inspections and training. "We respect and protect legal religious activities in accordance with Chinese laws," Li told the Global Times. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Mainland, Taiwan jointly bust human-trafficking rings (Xinhua)
2012-08-06
A total of 30 suspects were taken into custody by police in the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in a joint raid against human-trafficking and forced prostitution, the Ministry of Public Security said Monday. Among them, 26 are from the island and four from the mainland, said a ministry statement. Police in southeast China's Fujian province and their counterparts across the Taiwan Strait jointly conducted the operation at 11 a.m. Monday and rescued nine victims, the statement said. It revealed that the criminal rings were found to have deceived mainland women to enter the island for forced marriages and then compelled them into prostitution. The mainland police opened investigations shortly after Taiwanese immigration authorities informed them of such activities in February, the statement said. The joint operation marked the first police cooperation in fighting human trafficking across the Strait since the establishment of a mutual assistance mechanism in 2009, it added. ^ top ^

Taipei calls for renewed US trade talks (SCMP)
2012-08-06
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday called for the resumption of stalled trade talks with the United States after the island recently lifted a six-year-old ban on some US beef imports. “We hope the Taiwan-US economic and trade negotiations can be placed back on the right track as soon as possible,” Ma said while meeting US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez. Negotiations between the United States and Taiwan on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), seen as a precursor to a full-fledged free-trade agreement, have been dormant since 2007. This was caused by a dispute over imports of beef containing any residual ractopamine, a growth drug used in animal feed to promote lean meat. But with the removal of the ban, Taiwan feels that the barrier to the talks with the island's third biggest trading partner is gone, Ma said, according to a presidential office statement. [...] Ma said he hoped the much-anticipated TIFA talks would pave the way for the island's entry into an ambitious proposed trans-Pacific trade pact. [...]. ^ top ^

Taiwan vice-president to make US transit (SCMP)
2012-08-07
Taiwan's vice president plans to make a stopover in the United States on his way to the Dominican Republic next week, officials said on Tuesday, in a tour seen as a test of a 'diplomatic truce' with Beijing. Wu Den-yih is scheduled to depart on Monday and make a transit in New York before traveling on to the Central American ally, the presidential office said in a statement. Wu will take part in the presidential inauguration of Danilo Medina, it said, adding the 12-day tour will also include a visit to Belize. Wu's visit, aimed to cement ties with Taiwan's allies in the region, is expected to ruffle China's feathers as Beijing has insisted that Taiwan is part of its territory and opposes any overseas visit by Taiwanese officials. Observers see the trip as a test of Ma's policy of maintaining a “diplomatic truce” with Beijing, aiming to end a decades-old rivalry that saw the two former rivals seeking to lure allies away from each other. [...] Only 23 nations formally recognise Taipei over Beijing. China repeatedly protested to Washington over the US transit stops made by President Ma Ying-jeou's predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who angered Beijing with his pro-independence rhetoric. But relations have improved dramatically since Ma, of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang, came to power in 2008 on a platform of beefing up trade and tourism links. He was re-elected in January for a second and last four-year term. ^ top ^

DPP fails to appear at anti-mainland protests (SCMP)
2012-08-09
Taiwan's main opposition party, known for its pro-independence stance, was absent yesterday from protests that greeted the mainland's top negotiator upon his arrival to the island. The Democratic Progressive Party's lack of participation in the protest follows a decision by its new chairman, Su Tseng-chang, to reopen its mainland affairs office in Taipei last week, five years after the office was closed. [...] Chen Yunlin, chairman of Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (Arats), is in Taiwan to sign a key investment pact with the island. Other pro-independence activists have promised to follow Chen everywhere during his three days in Taipei, and dozens of protesters from the Taiwan Solidarity Union and other civic groups were seen yesterday at several locations along the route of Chen's itinerary, from Taoyuan International Airport to his hotel, to the Taipei Zoo, and then to the scenic Maokong Gondola. [...] DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien, explaining Su's decision not to protest during Chen's visit, said that Su, seen as a more moderate politician, preferred to "closely monitor the eighth round of talks in a rational and pragmatic manner". [...] The DPP's anti-mainland stance was seen as a major reason behind the party's defeat in the March presidential election, as voters doubted the party's ability to maintain cross-strait stability. Chen will meet his Taiwanese counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), today in their eighth round of talks, delayed since June over a failure to reach consensus on the terms of an investment-protection agreement and a customs co-operation pact. Both are expected to be signed. [...] However, Kao Wei-pang, chairman of Victims of Investment in China, said it would be even more important for the agreement to include protection for all Taiwanese on the mainland. "Without inclusion of this [protection], the agreement would be nothing but a joke," Kao said. According to the agreement, mainland authorities will be required to notify the family members of any businessmen arrested on the mainland, within 24 hours, except when they are believed involved in security-related or terrorist activities. ^ top ^

Chinese mainland, Taiwan sign investment protection, customs cooperation pacts (Xinhua)
2012-08-09
Chinese mainland and Taiwanese negotiators on Thursday signed two cross-Strait agreements on investment protection and promotion, as well as customs cooperation. The two pacts were signed by Chen Yunlin, president of the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), at their eighth round of talks held since 2008. In the long-awaited investment protection and promotion agreement, the two sides pledged to offer "just and fair treatment" to their respective investors and investment projects and provide full protection and security. They also agreed to gradually remove restrictions on investment projects, create a fair environment and promote two-way investment. The two sides also agreed on a dispute settlement mechanism that offers several settlement options, including negotiations between disputing parties, local dispute settlement authorities, the investment division of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) and local courts. [...] In the agreement, the mainland and Taiwan promised to provide equal, if not preferential, treatment for investors from both sides. Each side will treat investors from the other side the same way it treats those from other countries or regions, if not preferentially, the agreement said. [...] In addition, the two sides published a statement of common understanding on personal freedom and safety issues related to the agreement. According to the document, after detaining a Taiwanese resident who works for a Taiwan-invested company on the mainland, mainland police will be required to inform his or her relatives of the detainment within 24 hours. If the relatives do not live in the mainland, police should inform the detainee's employer. The same rules will be applied to Taiwanese police. [...] In terms of cross-Strait customs cooperation, the two sides will simplify customs procedures, improve the efficiency of customs clearance and enhance the effective supervision of cargo for cross-Strait trade in order to facilitate the implementation of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The agreement also aims to boost the convenience and safety of cross-Strait trade, the application of information technology and the development of paperless customs clearance. [...] A workgroup under the cross-Strait economic cooperation committee is responsible for handling related issues concerning the agreement and customs cooperation in general. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China mulls over plan on employee stock ownership (Xinhua)
2012-08-05
China's securities regulator on Sunday issued a draft regulation for listed companies that offer shares to their employees, a move aiming to make more staff benefit from stock ownership. According to the draft released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) allows listed firms to buy their own stocks on the secondary market through an assets management agency with a designated part of their employees' cash compensation. Employees can participate in the plan on a voluntary basis, and get share entitlements according to a distribution agreement, said the draft, which is open for public opinions till Aug. 17. The ESOP, which will help increase efficiency and comprehensive strength of a listed company, is a widely-employed mechanism in mature securities market. China had previously introduced plans that encouraged only senior executives to own stakes in listed companies. According to the draft, the fund drawn from an individual worker should be no higher than 30 percent of his past 12-month cash compensation, which include salary and bonus, and in the meantime less than one-third of the employer's household financial assets. The stocks have to be held for at least 36 months, the draft said. The ESOP fund can hold no more than 10 percent of the stake in a listed company, and an individual worker can only have less than 1 percent stake, according to the draft. The draft also states that listed companies should strengthen insider information management and entrust ESOP fund to an independent and eligible assets manager. ^ top ^

Budget law amendment draws debate (Global Times)
2012-08-05
Special accounts set up by finance authorities should not be legalized under the latest draft amendment to the budget law as it would cause corruption and affect the country's financial stability, legal experts argued before the draft was closed for public comments Sunday. [...] "The aim of the budget law is to prevent governments from engaging in random expenditure and revenue collection, which deserves more attention from taxpayers," Ma Jinghao, a visiting professor at Central University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times. The money should be used properly under taxpayers' supervision and the government budget plans should be published with more details that make it easier for taxpayers to understand, Ma said. One of the controversial items in the latest draft is the legalization of special accounts opened by finance departments in commercial banks. In the draft, local departments should deposit their budget revenues in both the national treasury and finance departments' special accounts. Meanwhile, under the current budget law, the central bank manages the national treasury. The new draft removes this provision. The drafted amendment has increased finance departments' power, which would increase risks to the country's financial system, Shi Zhengwen, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said at a seminar on the amendment to the budget law Friday. [...] Special accounts lack supervision from the country's legislature and the central bank, so the mechanism is likely to cause corruption, experts said. [...] Another hotly discussed item is whether local governments could issue bonds on their own behalf. In the latest draft, the top legislature removed an article that appeared in an earlier draft which allows local governments to issue bonds directly. "China has made efforts to legalize local governments' financing systems for years, but the legislature's latest decision has changed all of that," said Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science, noting that allowing local governments to issue bonds will help improve their fundraising transparency. ^ top ^

Warning issued about high debt (China Daily)
2012-08-07
China's corporate debt ratios have reached "dangerous" levels, according to leading economists. Li Yang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank, has warned that further stimulus policies could add to the already heavy burden of corporate debt that is weighing on the world's second-largest economy. China's corporate debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 107 percent in 2011, the highest in the world, Li said at a forum in Zhejiang province on Friday. A ratio that exceeds 90 percent is considered "dangerous", he said, citing a standard set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Li Zhenyu, rating director of China Lianhe Credit Rating Co Ltd, said the figure is likely calculated by taking the total debt Chinese banks carry from loans and other methods of borrowing, such as corporate bonds, and dividing it by the country's GDP. Data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission show China's banking system had 55 trillion yuan ($8.63 trillion) in outstanding loans by the end of 2011. The country's GDP for the same year exceeded 47 trillion yuan. "The figure doesn't reveal the financial positions of particular companies," said Chen Daofu, policy research chief at the Financial Research Institute of the State Council's Development Research Center. [...] Some industries, such as civil aviation, are saddled with especially high debt ratios. [...] The average debt ratio among listed SOEs, he said, is above 60 percent, adding that 70 percent is normally the highest acceptable rate. "A high debt ratio is largely the result of a lack of financing channels," said Wang Yuanjing, a researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission. Wang said equity investment and private investment could provide financing to companies help lower debt ratios. "It's hard to say whether corporate debt ratios are under control," Wang was quoted by China National Radio as saying. "But once these troubles break out in one company, that may cause a chain reaction and lead to a debt crisis." Fan Junlin, a senior analyst at the Agricultural Bank of China, expressed more optimism. [...] Fan said the Chinese government has the financial wherewithal to pay off the debts of companies in the country. [...]. ^ top ^

China's SOEs ordered self-inspection on hidden rules (People's Daily)
2012-08-07
The Discipline Inspection Committee of China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said recently that it would unleash a one-month rectification campaign from July 20 covering five central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) – the China Railway Engineering Corporation, China Railway Construction Corporation, China Communications Construction Company, Power Construction Corporation of China, and China Energy Engineering Group. The campaign is mainly directed at three types of illegal practices: using illegal means such as collusive tendering, tender rigging, and kickbacks to win project contracts, illegally transferring or subcontracting projects, and illegally transferring, lending, or allowing others to use the company's qualification certificates to undertake projects. Most of the five central SOEs and their subsidiaries have participated in railway projects, and some engaged in illegal tendering and subcontracting in the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway and other projects, the National Audit Office (NAO) said in a report. [...] According to the NAO report, nine companies subcontracted projects worth 312 million yuan without the permission of project proposers, and a few construction companies subcontracted projects to unqualified companies, which violated Chinese bidding law. [...] The five central SOEs are ordered to take effective measures to rectify their illegal or immoral market competition practices, such as bribery, illegally subcontracting projects, and illegally transferring or lending qualification certificates, through self-inspection and cross inspection of the railway projects they undertook. ^ top ^

China launches rare earth trading platform on bigger pricing power (Xinhua)
2012-08-08
China on Wednesday launched a physical trading platform for rare earth metals as part of its efforts to regulate the sector and strengthen its pricing power for the resources. The Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co., China's top rare earth producer, and nine other firms and institutions jointly launched the platform with a total investment of 100 million yuan (15.87 million U.S. dollars). Each shareholder invested 10 million yuan and holds a 10-percent stake in the exchange. The rare earth trading platform is located in the city of Baotou in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, home to more than half of the world's light rare earth output. Previously, China's rare earth market was largely opaque, as transactions were not made in public markets and always ran in small volumes. Only limited amounts of pricing and transaction data have been made available to the public. The opaque market and the fact that Chinese rare earth producers far outnumber forein consumers have weakened China in terms of price negotiations with foreign consumers, industry analysts said. [...] As the world's largest producer of rare earth metals, China now supplies more than 90 percent of the global demand for rare earth metals, although its reserves account for just 23 percent of the world's total. Rare earth metals, a group of 17 metals, are vital for manufacturing hi-tech products ranging from smart phones and wind turbines to electric car batteries and missiles. Mining the metals greatly damages the environment. In recent years, China has come down heavily on illegal mining and smuggling, cut export quotas and imposed production caps, stricter emissions standards and higher resource taxes to control environmental damage and stave off resource depletion. However, these measures have irked rare earth importers, who complained about rising prices and strained supplies. The United States, Europe and Japan in March jointly filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China's export policies on rare earths and two other metals. The WTO established a panel last month to investigate the complaints. Zhu Hongren, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said China would abide by any decision made by the WTO, but the country must continue to tighten regulation in the sector. [...] China's rare earth output fell 36 percent year on year to 40,000 tonnes in the first half of the year. Prices of major rare earth products in July remained twice as high as prices at the beginning of 2011, although down from the beginning of the year. ^ top ^

China to raise gasoline, diesel prices after three cuts (Xinhua)
2012-08-09
China will raise the retail prices of gasoline by 390 yuan (62 U.S. dollars) per tonne and diesel by 370 yuan per tonne starting Friday, the country's top economic planner said Thursday. The move, which followed three consecutive cuts from May to July, marks the third such increase this year, due to a rebound in international crude oil prices. The benchmark retail price of gasoline will be lifted by 0.29 yuan per liter and diesel by 0.32 yuan per liter, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website. Under China's oil product pricing system introduced in 2009, domestic fuel prices may be adjusted when international crude oil prices change by more than 4 percent over 22 working days. [...] Although oil consumption has remained weak amid a global economic slump, export bans on Iranian oil and intensifying conflicts in the oil-rich Middle East have driven up crude prices over the past month, analysts said. Unlike previous hikes, the government did not delay the price increase this time because of significantly reduced inflationary pressure and the need to ease refineries' losses, said Chen Qing, an analyst with Zhuochuang Information Services, a commodity information service provider. Official data released early Thursday showed that prices have fallen across the Chinese economy, with the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, up by a 30-month low of 1.8 percent in July from a year earlier. [...] The logistics sector will be affected the most. As transportation fees account for 70 percent of total costs in the logistics sector, the sector will see a 1.79-percent increase in costs after the hike, according to Chen. Opinions were divided on future price changes. Niu Li, an economist with the State Information Center, a government think tank, said continued price rebounds in the global oil market are less likely, as the world economy has shown little improvement. However, Li Hong, an analyst with 100PPI.com, a major Chinese commodity data provider, said there will be another price hike in the domestic oil market in September if the current boom continues in the global oil markets. ^ top ^

New program to boost overseas investment plans (Global Times)
2012-08-09
China's top economic planner said Thursday that it will launch a trial program to simplify approval procedures for outbound investment activities by private companies, a move to encourage them to expand abroad amid the global downturn. For resource investment projects involving less than $300 million or non-resource ones of below $100 million, private companies in certain cities will not be required to submit application reports. Instead they will only need to fill in certain forms, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement, without offering specific details. The trial program is a follow-up to a guideline released by the State Council in July encouraging private companies to invest overseas in key areas such as resources and advanced manufacturing. The guideline also called for domestic banks to provide private companies with credit support, as well as issue yuan-denominated bonds overseas. The guideline was the first of its kind, and came amid a gradual increase of overseas investment activities by private companies. Of a total of $65.1 billion in outbound direct investment from China in 2011, about 44 percent came from private companies, according to the NDRC. [...] Some experts said the guideline lacks details, and that more should be done to simplify approval procedures and facilitate private companies' investment activities. [...] It usually takes more than four months for a private company to get approval from domestic authorities for an outbound investment project worth more than $100 million. Sometimes the project fails because of the long and complicated process, Li Lixin, chairman of Zhejiang-based Lisi Group, complained during the annual "two sessions" in March. [...] China's fast growing overseas investment has led to increasing restrictions and obstruction from foreign authorities, and private companies need to be prepared for potential risks, the NDRC said. ^ top ^

Chinese company to build 600 mln USD ferronickel smelter in Indonesia (Xinhua)
2012-08-10
China's Dafeng Port Group will invest up to 600 million U.S. dollars to build a ferronickel smelter in Kendari, capital of Southeast Sulawesi province, an executive said here Thursday. The smelting plant, occupying an area of around 600 hectares, will produce 200,000 tons of ferronickel alloy a year, said group president Ni Xiangrong. Construction of the plant is expected to be completed at the end of next year. Besides the ferronickel smelter, Dafeng Port Croup also plans to build a coal-powered electricity plant with a capacity of 360 megawatt. Nin Naixuan, president of PT Nobel Mining, Dafeng Port Croup's local partner, said the building of a smelter will surely increase the employment opportunities, promote local economic growth and boost trade between Indonesia and China. Dafeng Port Croup's Ni expressed the belief that building a smelting plant in Indonesia would benefit China, saying, " Ferronickel produced from this project will be an alternative supply for stainless steel producers in China." Nickel, a bright metal that has low conductivity and is resistant to corrosion, is mainly used in the production of stainless steel, magnets, rechargeable batteries, coinage and electric guitar strings. ^ top ^

China becomes Russia's 2nd largest trade partner (Xinhua)
2012-08-10
China became Russia's second largest trade partner in the first half of 2012, the Federal Customs Service (FTS) said Thursday. According to an agency report, Russia's trade with China amounted to $42.1 billion, or 12.1 percent of its total foreign trade, compared with $42.6 billion registered in trade with the Netherlands, its first largest trade partner. The country's other top trade partners include Italy, Turkey, the United States, Japan, Poland and France. Russia's total foreign trade in the first six months jumped 5.9 percent year-on-year to to $406.8 billion. Its trade surplus grew by 12 percent from a year earlier, the report showed. In June, Russia's trade representative in China Sergey Tsyplakov predicted that trade between the two giants this year will total $90 billion, nearing the 100-billion target for 2015 set during Russian President Vladimir Putin's early June visit to China. ^ top ^

Inflation hits 30-month low (Global Times)
2012-08-10
The nation's Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July fell to the slowest growth rate in 30 months, driven by dropping food prices, official statistics showed Thursday. Economists predicted a much looser monetary policy over worries of a further slowdown in the economy. CPI, a main gauge of inflation, witnessed an increase of 1.8 percent year-on-year in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced Thursday. The growth rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the figure in June, the NBS data showed. [...] Zuo Xiaolei, chief economist with China Galaxy Securities, said the slowdown of CPI growth was caused by weak demand, and the rate would climb to above 2 percent in some months in the second half of 2012. "With likely increases in oil and raw material prices in the future, along with the impact of natural disasters, the relationship between supply and demand may change, and the CPI is likely to bounce up a bit," Zuo told the Global Times. A continued slip in inflation this year has fuelled speculation that the government is likely to loosen monetary policies to prop up economic prospects. The Producer Price Index (PPI), a key gauge of inflation at the wholesale level, dropped 2.9 percent in July from the same period last year, marking the fifth consecutive month of negative growth, according to the NBS. [...] Caused by sluggish market demand, the growth of China's industrial output slowed again in July. The growth of the industrial value-added output eased to 9.2 percent year-on-year in July, 0.3 percentage points lower than the data in June, the slowest growth rate since May 2009. China's urban fixed-asset investment growth remains flat, as it increased by 20.4 percent year-on-year to 18.43 trillion yuan from January to July this year, statistics from the NBS showed. This is worse than a market consensus of a 20.6 percent increase, Tian said. "The economy is mainly dependent on infrastructure construction, as the prospects for external demand and domestic consumption are bleak. The government should further loosen the monetary policy to deal with the continuous slowdown of the economy." Previously, economists widely expected the stabilization of the economy in the second quarter this year and an 8 percent growth on GDP in the third quarter. "Beijing should increase its investment in infrastructure, and spend more on healthcare and social welfare to boost industrial activity and stimulate the economy," Tian said. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Death toll from DPRK floods rises to 169, with 400 missing (Xinhua)
2012-08-04
The death toll from floods the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had risen to 169, while 400 others remained missing, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday. The number of people injured in the floods, caused by torrential rains from late June to July 31, also had climbed to 144, with the number of homeless advancing to 212,200, the DPRK's official news agency said. In addition, more than 8,600 dwellings so far had been destroyed, 43,770 houses submerged, at least 65,280 hectares of cropland ruined, and more than 1,400 educational, healthcare and factory buildings inundated. Officials across the country were visiting flood-stricken areas to take necessary disaster-relief measures, KCNA said. The heavy rain and flooding has exacerbated the DPRK's already severe food shortage due to a spring drought. The United Nations said Friday immediate food assistance was required to support the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in many affected areas across the country. ^ top ^

Vietnamese party leader meets with DPRK's top legislator (Xinhua)
2012-08-06
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong met with Kim Yong-Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) here on Monday to promote bilateral ties. At the meeting, Trong spoke highly of Kim Yong-Nam's visit to Vietnam, which contributes to consolidating and strengthening friendly relations between the two parties, two countries and two nations. Kim Yong-Nam, for his part, expressed his pleasure to visit Vietnam after 10 years and briefed Nguyen Phu Trong the development of DPRK. [...] The two sides affirmed their desire to consolidate and strengthen the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries, which had been initiated by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kim Il Sung. The two sides agreed to maintain frequent visits and contacts by the two countries' high-ranking officials, strengthen measures to improve bilateral cooperation in all fields. Kim Yong-Nam is on a three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang. ^ top ^

DPRK, Japan Red Cross envoys to hold talks in Beijing (Xinhua)
2012-08-07
Red Cross representatives from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Japan would hold talks in Beijing in the coming days, state media reported Tuesday. The meeting would be held Thursday and Friday, said the Korean Central News Agency, without specifying the topics to be discussed. In April, Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted Song Il Ho, Pyongyang's chief negotiator in the DPRK-Japan normalization talks, as saying a number of Japanese bodies had been found in the DPRK. The DPRK would cooperate with Japan should the latter want to retrieve the remains, which were probably those of soldiers who died during World War II, Song was quoted as saying. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Former President N.Enkhbayar sentenced for four years in jail (UBPost, News.mn)
2012-08-06
Former President N.Enkhbayar sentenced to four years in jail by Sukhbaatar district court, after three days the case hearing. Enkhbayar was arrested on April 12 on the television equipment-related charge, as well as charges of being involved in the illegal privatization of a hotel and a publishing house. The supporters, members of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), established by N.Enkhbayar, and his attorney S.Narangerel are opposing the court decision. And some of the members even abused the police who were protecting the premises of Sukhbaatar District Court. After the trial, S.Narangerel, the attorney of N.Enkhbayar, held a press conference and claimed “The judges didn't accept my proposal to take witness testimonies from D.Choijamts Khamba (Buddhist Bishop) and Kh.Narankhuu, the former Executive Director of Erdenet Factory, at the trial. The judges passed the decision based on only gossip and oral facts.” Headed by the members of the MPRP, E.Bayanselenge and L.Tsog, who were elected to the Parliament from the party list, the delegation of the MPRP have gathered outside the Sukhbaatar District Court and claimed, “We're throwing bouquets of mourning to the judges who buried justice and are offering our condolences. The people of Mongolia have seen the trial for three days on television channels and they know that bad decisions have been made. No one can trick justice. Sentencing the Secretary General of the MPRP was obviously a political persecution. The “Shudarga Yos' (Justice) Coalition of MPRP and the Mongolian National Democratic Party will fight to set Justice in society of Mongolia.” E.Batshugar, the son of N.Enkhbayar, has come to the gathering and stated the decision was a persecution. The gatherers have been swearing and cursing Ye.Sagsai, the Deputy Director of the Ulaanbaatar Prosecutor's Office and Ts.Soyombo-Erdene, the Presiding Judge of the Sukhbaatar District Court. The police and officials from the State Special Security Department have protected the premises of the Sukhbaatar District Court and Ulaanbaatar Prosecutor's Office in order to prevent any possible attack to them. ^ top ^

A master plan of “Sainshand” introduced (News.mn)
2012-08-07
The parliament of Mongolia approved a master plan of Sainshand Industrial complex in June of 2011. On August 3, the National Development and Innovation committee have introduced a master plan of Sainshand Industrial complex. The “Bektel” company of USA as choosen as advisor company to the project. The “Bektel” company finished a plan of development of Sainshand complex and the plan was approved by Government of Mongolia on June 25, 2012. The Sainshand will be center of Mongolian industrial development and has location priority to the infrastructure said in plan. The plan considering to establish coke-chemical and cement and copper melt factory in Sainshand. ^ top ^

Ch.Ulaan becomes Vice Speaker (Montsame)
2012-08-08
A nominated by the Justice coalition (Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and National Democratic Party) Ch.Ulaan MP was elected the Vice Speaker of parliament receiving some 98 per cent votes at a plenary meeting of parliamentary session on Wednesday. Ch.Ulaan graduated from the #28 secondary school of Ulaanbaatar city in 1972, State People's Economics Institute of Irkutsk in former UISSR in 1977, Management Academy of Moscow in 1992. He is an engineer-economist, has defended a doctor degree and professor title. He worked in former State Commission for Planning as expert in 1977-1985, in the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (now MPP) as instructor in 1985-1990, as MP five times including the 2012 parliamentary election. He was also selected as the Minister of Finance in 2000-2004 and 2007-2008. The plenary meeting also approved new heads of two Standing committees. Ms Z.Bayanselenge has become a head of the Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science, and Mr Sh.Tuvdendorj--on justice. A post of the Standing committee on solving people's complaints head is still vacant. ^ top ^

Proposal to nominate N.Altankhuyag submitted (Montsame)
2012-08-09
Representatives of the political parties, which established contracts on forming a coalition government, presented on Wednesday a proposal to the State Head to appoint Altankhuyag Norov as Prime Minister of Mongolia. In accordance with the law, the President must give his response to the proposal within five working days. The Democratic Party got the most seats in parliament, has established preliminary contracts with the Civil Will-Green Party and the Justice coalition, these parties will back N.Altankhuyag it has been agreed, S.Oyun MP, a chairwoman of the Civil Will-Green Party said. The President promised to tackle the matter within the lawful period. Apart of S.Oyun MP, present at the meeting were D.Erdenebat, a head of the DP faction; N.Battsereg, a head of the Justice coalition's faction; Ch.Ulaan, a Vice Speaker of parliament and secretary of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party; and Ch.Saikhanbileg MP. ^ top ^

 

Vincent Laurent
Embassy of Switzerland
 

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