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
  18-24.8.12, No. 437  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Nepal, China shall boost business ties: envoy (Xinhua)
2012-08-17
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan said Friday at a seminar here that Nepal and China should boost bilateral business ties. At a meeting of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Energy Development Council on strengthening relations between Nepal and China, the Chinese ambassador said, "China will continue to encourage qualified Chinese enterprises to participate in the economic construction and social development of Nepal." Yang, however, underlined that some Chinese enterprises are hesitant in investing in Nepal. "These problems in the way can be solved through amicable negotiations and enhanced communications," he said. Nepal's top businessmen along with representatives from the Chinese Embassy and businesspeople have participated in the meeting. During the meeting, the two sides emphasized on the need for convenient procedures for business and investment activities between the two nations. The two sides also touched upon the potential of Nepal's hydropower industry and the possibility of Chinese investment. Chairman of CNI Binod Chaudhary on the occasion stressed the need for relevant organizations to build positive pressure on both sides to strengthen business ties between the two nations. ^ top ^

ASEAN, China should strengthen ties, maintain regional stability (People's Daily)
2012-08-18
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China should work together to strengthen strategic partnership and jointly maintain stability in the region as strong bilateral ties and peaceful environment have already brought mutual benefits to both sides, experts here said. In an interview with Xinhua, Director-General for ASEAN Cooperation I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja said ASEAN needs to establish a mutually beneficial and equal relationship with China. "The peace and stability of East Asia and Southeast Asia are very important and we need a good relations and cooperation to maintain the environment," Puja said in remarks during an affair at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Wednesday. "During the visit of Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi to Indonesia last week, Mr. Yang expressed China's commitment to see a strong, prosperous and united ASEAN and respect for the centrality of ASEAN. This is what ASEAN wants and we are very grateful," I Gusti said. He said that with Mr. Yang's commitment, ASEAN can be assured of continued cooperation from China in the future, adding that certainly this would benefit the region. I Gusti stressed the importance of bringing whatever disagreement among countries in the region to the negotiating table. "Of course, we have our national interests, but sometimes our national interests don't match others, especially on border issues but we have to sit together, try to solve the dispute and friction amicably, peacefully and diplomatically," he said. Regarding to the U.S. plan to "rebalance" its forces in the Asia-Pacific, I Gusti said that the U.S. has to help maintain stability in the region which is vital for international transportation and trade. "We expect the U.S. to help solve the problem, we hope everybody will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem," he said. "If we want to maintain the peace of this region, everybody should contribute in a positive way. This is an important area and keeping this area peaceful is of upmost interest to everybody. We cannot allow a situation of conflict to develop in our region," I Gusti said. Ibrahim Yusuf, chairman of the executive board of Indonesia's Council on World Affairs (ICWA) also said that good relations between ASEAN and China should be maintained. "For the South China Sea issue, there should be more dialogues and ASEAN members that are not claimant countries should play an important role in resolving the dispute," Yusuf told Xinhua. Former Indonesian ambassador to China Sudrajat said ASEAN and China should be open and transparent and should develop high- ranking exchange visits to strengthen ties. Sudrajat stressed that good communication, either formally or informally, is the key to ease tension and the best way to resolve conflicts. He said that if parties do not communicate, tension will become stronger and it would be more difficult to resolve. Beijing has maintained that it wants to resolve the territorial dispute in the South China Sea peacefully through bilateral, not multilateral, negotiations with the concerned parties and without the intervention of other parties. ^ top ^

Japanese rightists' landing on Diaoyu Islands infringes Chinese sovereignty (Xinhua)
2012-08-19
The landing on China's Diaoyu Islands by a pack of Japanese rightists on Sunday was the latest of a series of provocations that flagrantly infringed Chinese sovereignty. The move, under the so-called excuse of "mourning war dead in World War II," blatantly harmed the long-standing and hard-won China-Japanese ties and hijacked the public opinion in Japan. It is illegal for them to step onto the Chinese islands without approval. It actually was even not approved by the Japanese government. Recently, Japanese rightists have repeatedly tested China's patience by supporting a high-profile landing on the Diaoyu Islands in July by two right-wing politicians from Ishigaki, Okinawa, and later by staging the "islands-purchasing" farce. There is ample historical evidence to show that the Diaoyu Islands have been Chinese territory since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The fact is recorded in many historical documents. Even a map published by Japan between 1783 and 1785, which marked the boundary of the Ryukyu Kingdom, labelled the Diaoyu Islands as Chinese territory. The islands were unfortunately seized by Japan during the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese war and had since been under its occupation until its defeat at the end of World War II. However, they were not returned to China, its rightful owner, and were wrongly assigned to the then U.S.-controlled Ryukyu zone under an illegal treaty signed between Tokyo and Washington in 1951, which has never been recognized by the Chinese government. Sunday's landing, along with a barrage of other provocations, has poisoned the atmosphere of the Sino-Japanese relations and constituted another setback for both countries' efforts to further their political and economic ties. The Japanese rightists should immediately stop any action that undermines Chinese territorial sovereignty and be barred from fuelling the tension between the two neighbors. To this end, the Japanese government should act with great responsibility and proceed from the overall interests of the Sino-Japanese relations to seek a peaceful settlement of any disputes. ^ top ^

Anti-Japan fury erupts on mainland (SCMP)
2012-08-20
Major anti-Japanese demonstrations broke out in several mainland cities yesterday as Japanese nationalists raised flags on the disputed Diaoyu Islands. Protests took place in Guangzhou, Jinan, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Changsha, Wenzhou, Harbin and Shenzhen. The demonstration in Shenzhen was the largest and turned ugly in the afternoon. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at Japanese restaurants and overturned dozens of Japanese brand vehicles, including one police car. At least three restaurants were severely damaged, with windows and billboards shattered, even though none was actually Japanese-owned. There were no official statistics about the number of protesters, but a Shenzhen police source said almost 20,000 took to the streets during the seven-hour demonstration. The police did not intervene until protesters began to overturn cars. Riot police kept the crowd hemmed in as people gathered in a public square near the Japanese department store Jusco. Traffic chaos was caused when thousands of officers blocked main roads leading to crowded areas. Security guards near Jusco said dozens were detained and claimed some were "roughed up". Reporters from the local media were stopped from reporting on the protests. In Hong Kong, 1,000 took to the streets in a protest organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, marching from Wan Chai to the Japanese consulate in Central. The protests came as 10 Japanese nationalists raised flags on the Diaoyus - known in Japan as the Senkakus - amid intensifying territorial disputes with China. The move further escalates tensions on both sides after 14 activists sailed to the islands from Hong Kong last week. Hong Kong Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong said yesterday the action by Hong Kong activists was "a successful attempt" and showed Hong Kong's civic power. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement yesterday that China strongly opposed the Japanese landing on the Diaoyus and urged Japan to stop seeking to undermine China's territorial sovereignty. Meanwhile, Japan's deputy foreign minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi was said to be planning a trip to Beijing to address the escalating tensions. The Japanese ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa, called China's Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying yesterday and urged Beijing to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and enterprises on the mainland. In Guangzhou, more than 500 protesters gathered outside the Consulate General of Japan near the Garden Hotel. They burned Japanese flags and demanded an apology from the Japanese government. A 24-year-old protest organiser said he started appealing for support on the internet on Friday. "The officials were very nice, helping us to pave ways and plot routes for marching while maintaining order," he said. ^ top ^

Chinese state councilor speaks on Sino-Russian ties, Syria (Xinhua)
2012-08-20
Visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo described Sino-Russian ties as flourishing and outlined China's stance on Syria in a newspaper interview Monday. Dai told Russian state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta the two counties had witnessed a healthy development in bilateral ties in the 10 years since they forged their strategic cooperative partnership. During Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Russia last June, both sides affirmed they would commit to develop the Russia- China comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership. Leaders of the two countries also forged a blueprint for bilateral ties development in the next decade, which would guide the way for their long-term development, he said. [...] Looking into the future of the bilateral relationship, Dai said the focus would be implementing the agreements that Hu and Putin reached during their visits, which had emphasized increasing mutual political support on core issues, such as safeguarding national sovereignty and security. Dai said the two countries should strive toward raising bilateral trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation and enhancing coordination in global affairs. Regarding the current civil war in Syria, Dai said China had denounced any kind of terrorism and violence targeted at innocent civilians. China believed the key to fundamentally ending the Syria crisis was to stick to a political approach and urge all sides to exercise an immediate and full-scale ceasefire, he said. Dai stressed China has no self-interest in dealing with the crisis, and had always maintained an objective and just stance. "We respect the choice of the Syrian people and do not take sides. What we are against is interfering with internal affairs," he said. China was willing to strengthen communication with all sides and support the UN's effort to end the crisis in a peaceful, just and appropriate way. Dai also commented on the U.S. strategy of pivoting toward the Asia-Pacific region, saying China hoped the United States could keep up with the main theme of our time --maintain stability, boost cooperation and seek common development. He also said the U.S. should respect the reasonable interests of Asia-Pacific countries and commit itself to promote regional stability and prosperity. Dai said China had increased exchanges with Russia's Far Eastern region in recent years, and Chinese commodities had met the needs of the local markets and people. Moreover, the Chinese people living there had contributed greatly to the social and economic development of the Far Eastern region, and their efforts had been recognized by the local governments and the public, he said. He said the Chinese government had always educated its citizens to abide by the law of the host country, respect local customs, and get along with local people, adding that China hoped the host country could protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese people. To safeguard the overall friendship between the two nations and the two peoples, he said both countries should properly handle and resolve any possible problems in bilateral contacts through friendly consultation. Speaking on China's economic growth, Dai said China had achieved tremendous success since its reform and opening-up and now became the world's second largest economy. He said a more open and dynamic China would bring about increasing investment opportunities and offer a huge market to the world. China was still a developing country with a large population and poor economic foundation, he said, adding that China's GDP per capita, at 5,414 dollars, was still one third of Russia's and ranked No. 89 worldwide. Moreover, he said, China's impoverished population amounted to 128 million, close to Russia's total population. Thus, it was imperative for China to focus on development. Dai said China was willing to work with all countries, including Russia, to make unremitting efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society. [...]. ^ top ^

China wants U.S. policies on renewable energy corrected (Xinhua)
2012-08-20
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) is demanding the United States to remove supporting measures for its renewable energy industry, accusing it of violating the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. After an MOC investigation, it was decided that six renewable energy programs introduced by the U.S. government have breached article three of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, as well as article three of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the ministry said in a statement issued on Monday. The six programs on wind, solar and hydroelectric energy in the five states of Washington, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey and California have had a knock-on effect on international trade and caused a barrier for exports of Chinese renewable energy products, the ministry said. The MOC said it will take relevant legal measures and is demanding the US remove measures so to give equal treatment to Chinese companies. Last November, the ministry started an investigation upon an application filed by the China Chamber of Commerce for Imports and Exports of Machinery and Electronic Products, and the new energy chamber under the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. The applicants requested the elimination of any negative influence from the U.S. government's policy of support and subsidies in order to maintain a fair trade environment. The ministry said in a preliminary conclusion released on May 24 that the six US policies had violated WTO rules. ^ top ^

Cuba, China to promote exchange of commercial information (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
Cuba and China signed an agreement here on Monday designed to promote export companies from both countries and boost their exchange of commercial information. The accord was inked after a meeting between Xu Bing, deputy general director of the Chinese Center for Foreign Trade affiliated with China's Ministry of Commerce, and Secretary General of Cuba's Chamber of Commerce Omar Fernandez. It is aimed to promote export companies of both countries and enhance the exchange of commercial information, but not cover trade per se, Fernandez told reporters after signing the document. He said that his meeting with Xu was also meant to introduce business opportunities to Cuban companies in China. China, Cuba's second largest trade partner after Venezuela, has developed important cooperation with the Caribbean nation in such areas as sugar and nickel production, biotechnology, healthcare, transportation, agriculture and education. Bilateral trade reached 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2010. ^ top ^

Peru, China to boost bilateral ties (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
Peru's President of the Council of Ministers Juan Jimenez and China's Vice Commerce Minister Li Jinzao met here on Monday to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries. They discussed ways to consolidate the diplomatic, commercial, political and cultural ties between Peru and China, reviewed recent mutual cooperation, and coordinated measures to strengthen friendship between the two countries. Jimenez and Li evaluated an initiative to reactivate the Peru-China Joint Cooperation Commission to improve bilateral cooperation, obtain financial cooperation for projects and build a convention center. The Peruvian authorities also asked the Chinese government for cooperation in building a National Emergency Operation Center as part of Peru's National Civil Defense Institute. In recent years, China has become one of the main countries to carry out cooperation projects in Peru. Li attended several official events on Monday, including the launching ceremony of the construction of Chinese-Peruvian Friendship Center. The 1,316-square-meter center, designed by Chinese engineers and technicians, has a 296-seat theater, an auditorium, a multipurpose hall, spaces for art exhibitions and several recreational areas. ^ top ^

China calls for dialogue in solving Kosovo issue (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
China Tuesday called on relevant parties to solve the Kosovo issue through dialogue and avoid any move to deteriorate the current situation in the region. Speaking to an open Security Council meeting on Kosovo, Wang Min, Chinese deputy permanent representative to the UN, said the situation in northern Kosovo continues to be tense in recent times and the number of voluntary returnees of displaced persons has declined remarkably. "China expresses its concern in this regard," he said. "The relations between ethnic groups in northern Kosovo is sensitive and complex. We hope that the parties concerned will adopt prudent approach with a view to promoting national reconciliation and maintaining the stability of the region by resolving their differences through dialogue and avoiding any action that may further complicate or escalate the situation," he said. China has always maintained that mutually acceptable solution on the Kosovo issue should be sought within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1244 and on the basis of dialogue among various parties. Wang said that China congratulates on the establishment of the new Serbian government and hopes Belgrade and Pristina to continue and promote dialogue process. "It is not only in the interest of the parties and the well- being of their people, but is also conducive to the peace and stability of the Balkan region and the whole Europe at large," he said. Serbian parliament approved a new government led by Prime Minister Ivica Dacic at the end of July. [...]. ^ top ^

U.S. should cease to stoke tensions over Diaoyu Islands (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
As tensions between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands have been gravely heightened by Tokyo's egregious provocations, it is advisable that the United States not fan the flame in the region. On Tuesday, Japanese forces join U.S. Marines in the western Pacific Ocean for a month-long military drill aimed at tackling the scenario of taking back islands occupied by enemy troops. Though no country was named as the imaginary occupier, an official with the Japanese Ministry of Defense hinted that the war game is targeted at China, according to a report by Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun. Given the recent flaring tensions over the Diaoyu Islands, the deliberate decision to carry out such an agitative drill serves nothing but fuels the fire, as it will aggravate the situation and jeopardize any future efforts for a peaceful settlement. The move also gives the lie to Washington's alleged neutral stance towards the China-Japan dispute and gives birth to more suspicion over the United States' true intentions in the Asia-Pacific. For the record, it is not the first time that the United States rats on its own words on matters concerning China's Diaoyu Islands. U.S. State Department spokeswomen Victoria Nuland once said the Diaoyu Islands fall into a security and cooperation treaty between Washington and Tokyo. Her remarks undisguisedly indicated whose side the United States is actually on. As a matter of fact, it was the United States who initially sowed the seeds of the China-Japan spat over the islands decades ago. Intentionally ignoring the articles written in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, which stipulate that Japan must return all lands it usurped during the Second World War, the Nixon administration in 1971 erroneously and unilaterally transferred the administration power of the Diaoyu Islands, an undisputed part of China's territories, to Japan. Over the years, the Chinese government has consistently denied the legitimacy of such a preposterous and ulterior decision by Washington and demanded the return of these islets. Never considering to remedy its profound mistake, the United States, since the Obama administration came to power in 2009, has started to expand its involvement in a series of other maritime disputes between China and some southeastern Asian nations in the South China Sea. By doing so, the United States, despite its denials, is trying to contain China's rapid emergence in the region, and at the same time sending out a clear-cut message that its self-crowned leadership in the Asia-Pacific is never allowed to be challenged. However, if Washington takes a review of China's long history, it should not be surprised to find that the Chinese people have always been strong and steadfast enough to defend their nation's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Thus rather than paying lip service to its commitment of not choosing side in the disputes, the United States should start to truly respect China's sovereign rights and prevent the thorny situation from spiralling out of control. ^ top ^

German Chancellor to visit China (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay an official visit to China from Aug. 30 to 31 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the announcement here Thursday. During her stay, Wen and Merkel will co-chair the second round of Chinese-German intergovernmental consultations. ^ top ^

Belarus to further boost cooperation with China: president (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said here on Wednesday that the country would continue to boost cooperation with China, with a focus on substantial results. Belarus has adopted a right policy to build a strategic partnership with China, and now it's necessary to further promote Belarus-China cooperation in all areas for substantial results, said Lukashenko while introducing the country's new Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei. The president asked the minister to step up efforts in cementing ties with China, citing the establishment of a Belarusian-Chinese Industrial Park as an important opportunity that must not be missed. Since the two countries established diplomatic relations 20 years ago, China has become Belarus' fourth largest trading partner in the world. Makei's predecessor, Sergei Martynov, was removed from office in the wake of a diplomatic row between Belarus and Sweden. Nevertheless, Lukashenko said on Wednesday that "Belarus has not made any serious mistakes in foreign policy," adding that Martynov has done a lot for the country's diplomacy. The European Union has expressed its willingness to work with Makei, despite the fact that the new minister is on the "blacklist " of the regional bloc. ^ top ^

China to cooperate with Russia in WTO: FM (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
China is ready to increase cooperation with Russia under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Office said on Thursday. Russia's accession to the WTO will enhance representation of the organization and inject new vitality to the multiple trade system, the office said. It added that China is willing to share experiences with Russia. China and Russia have had a good negotiation on market access, said the office, adding China will enhance exchanges and cooperation with Russia in economic and trade fields to promote bilateral trade to a new level. Russia officially joined the WTO on Wednesday, becoming the last major economy to accede to the Geneva-based organization. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official meets Russian delegation (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
Wang Lequan -- a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official -- met with a delegation from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and hopes for more cooperation between the two countries. Wang met with a junior cadre delegation headed by Dmitry Noikov, Secretary of the party's central committee, in Beijing on Thursday. Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and deputy secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, said China will work with Russia to promote pragmatic cooperation in all fields and improve the two countries' relations. He called for the two parties to increase communication and cooperation, which will help contribute to nation building, therefore improving the friendship between the two nations. Novikov expressed hopes to learn from China's experience in party construction and nation building and promote the two countries' relations. ^ top ^

"New colonialism" accusation against China unfair: Chinese official (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
The so-called "new colonialism" allegation that China has exploited Africa's resources is unfair, given that China has made great efforts to help the continent's development and benefit its people, a Chinese official said here Thursday. "Some countries spread the rumor that China has conducted colonialist resource-grabbing in Africa, or the so called 'new colonialism.' It is an unfair accusation," Sun Zhenyu, chairman of China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said at the second China Overseas Investment Summit (COIS). "Oil export to China accounted for 13 percent of Africa's total over the past century and more, while the figures for the United States, and the European Union was 30 percent and 37 percent, respectively," said Sun, adding that China has helped the continent build more than 2,000 km of railway, over 3,000 km of roads, over 100 schools and more than 60 hospitals. Sun meanwhile said that Chinese enterprises must abide by relevant laws and regulations in their overseas investment, as irregular practices will have negative consequences and deteriorate the overall investment environment. Chinese companies also need to pay attention to ecological environment protection and handle properly local labor relations, he said. China pledged 20 billion U.S. dollars of credit line to African countries in July, which will assist the development of infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and small and medium- sized enterprises in the continent. Africa has become one of China's top investment destinations, with more than 2,000 Chinese enterprises investing in the continent. Accumulated investment from China has surpassed 40 billion dollars by the end of 2011. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Gu Kailai given commuted death sentence (SCMP)
2012-08-20
A court in Hefei on Monday sentenced Gu Kailai to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve after finding her guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, in a crime that triggered the divisive downfall of Gu's ambitious politician husband, Bo Xilai, a witness to the hearing told reporters. The sentence means Gu is likely to face life in prison, provided she does not commit offences in the next two years. Gu admitted in court earlier this month to poisoning Heywood last November after a business dispute that she said had led him to threaten her son. The scandal ended the career of Gu's husband, Bo, who ran the southwestern city of Chongqing and was once seen as a contender for a place in China's next Communist Party leadership, which will be announced later this year. Zhang Xiaojun, a Bo family aide who admitted to helping Gu with the murder, received a 9-year jail sentence, the witness said. Non-official media were not allowed in the courtroom. [...] Before entering the court, one of Gu's lawyers, Zhou Yuhao, told reporters: “I hope that the court delivers a fair verdict.” Only a select few reporters from state-run media were allowed inside. Gu could receive the death penalty, along with a family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, who was also tried for the murder. But many lawyers have said Gu is likely to instead receive a long jail term, because official accounts of the case have highlighted her claim that she was trying to protect her son. At a trial on August 9, Gu admitted to poisoning the businessman Neil Heywood, and alleged that an economic dispute between them led him to threaten her son, Bo Guagua, according to official accounts published by state media. Zhang, the aide, has not disputed the murder charge but his lawyer said he was a mere accomplice to Gu. Gu's trial is probably a prelude to formal punishment of Bo Xilai, a brashly ambitious politician under investigation for alleged violations of party discipline – an accusation that covers corruption, abuse of power and other misdeeds. After the party leadership decides on those allegations, Bo could also face criminal charges related to the murder case. “I don't think it's likely that Gu will receive the death penalty,” said He Weifang, a professor of law at Peking University who has followed the case closely. “I think Bo Xilai will also face a criminal trial,” said He. “I don't think it's likely he could claim that from the poisoning in November last year, he had no clue about it, and if he did but tried to hide it or didn't come forward, then that might constitute concealing a crime or obstructing justice.” [...] Bo was sacked as Chongqing boss in March and Gu was publicly accused of the murder in April, when Bo was suspended from the Politburo, a 25-member elite council that ranks below the Standing Committee. He has yet to be expelled from that council. Four Chinese policemen have also admitted to charges that they sought to protect Gu from investigation – a development that could also prove dangerous for Bo. Police sources in Chongqing have said Bo tried to shut down the investigation into his wife after being told she was a suspect. Bo has not been seen in public since March, when he gave a combative defence of his policies and family at a news conference during China's annual parliament session. [...] Gu and Zhang stood trial in Hefei, provincial capital of Anhui in eastern China. The government has not said why it held the trial there, but Hefei is more than 1,000 kilometres east of Chongqing, where Bo remains a popular figure. ^ top ^

Super Ministry of Health is proposed (Global Times)
2012-08-20
The Ministry of Health has floated a plan that calls for the establishment of a super ministry that would better manage public healthcare by amalgamating existing ministries and department into one. The ministry proposed the idea at the China Health Forum 2012 Friday, saying that integrating the ministries into one larger health department would bring better coordination and greater efficiency. It calls for the National Population and Family Planning Commission, Ministry of Environmental Protection, General Administration of Sport and the health insurance department of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to be rolled into the Ministry of Health. Health Minister, Chen Zhu, was quoted by the Southern Metropolis Daily as saying that medical reforms are difficult when the management of medical insurance, medicine and medical treatment are in different departments within the healthcare system. The report said that the different departments are dragging down efficiency and affecting the implementation of the accountability system. Fragmented administrative functions and the decision making process have sometimes been hijacked by the interests of individual departments, Shi Hongxiu, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, wrote in an opinion piece in the Economy and Nation Weekly. Wang Yukai, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said it won't be easy to establish a super ministry of health. "It's possible to merger the National Population and Family Planning Commission into the Ministry of Health, but there is no way of combining the ministries of health and environmental protection," said Wang. "Strengthening cooperation between different departments is urgently needed," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environment Affairs. "But forming a super ministry is still open for discussion." "It is important to share data between departments. Sharing resources and statistics is the first step in cooperation," Ma told the Global Times. ^ top ^

And the verdict on Bo? Expect no-fuss fast exit from party (SCMP)
2012-08-21
Now that his wife Gu Kailai has been given a suspended death sentence, many analysts believe the disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai is unlikely to face any criminal charges himself. Bo's name was not even mentioned during Gu's trial for intentional homicide, suggesting that he will not be implicated and that any action he does face will be designed not to cause more waves in the run-up to the national party congress later this year. Zhang Lifan, a political commentator formerly with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Bo would probably escape criminal charges. The most severe punishment he is likely to face, said Zhang, is having his party membership revoked. "His wife did not contest the charge against her and was co-operative in the investigation, suggesting that some kind of agreement was reached concerning how Bo's case would be handled and that Bo had no plan to resist the authorities," he added. He said the party had obtained evidence during the investigation into Bo's former right-hand man Wang Lijun - who fled to the US Consulate in Chengdu in February - that could implicate Bo for other crimes and would stop him from making a comeback. "The party is holding that evidence, and would use it to purge Bo if he attempted to challenge its authority," Zhang said. "I believe Bo and his supporters also hold some evidence of wrongdoing against his challengers, and they would use this evidence for their personal gain if they felt that Bo's case was being handled too severely." Johnny Lau Yui-siu, a commentator on mainland affairs, said Bo's fate would be wrapped up before the 18th National Party Congress is held later this year to name the country's next leadership. " [...] "The party elites dare not back Bo now." Lau said to minimise the impact on China's international image and internal politics, the party would erase any links between Bo and the confession made by his wife claiming responsibility for the killing of British businessman Neil Heywood. [...] Zhang Ming said the party faced a dilemma over how to deal with Bo - charging him for economic crimes might implicate more officials, triggering more political uncertainty, but letting him go free of any charge was dangerous to the party's credibility. "If Bo wasn't locked up, he might seek a political comeback given that he was so well connected with influential party members, which is something the future leadership does not want to see," Zhang said, referring to Bo's "princeling" background as the son of former vice-premier Bo Yibo. ^ top ^

China to formulate new five-year anti-corruption plan (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
China will implement a five-year plan for eliminating corruption after the upcoming national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), top official He Guoqiang said on Tuesday. He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC, expressed readiness to improve anti-corruption efforts, describing the improvements as a "dynamic and long-term strategic project." The 18th CPC National Congress will find new ways to prevent corruption both now and in the future, said He, who is also head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress should be fully implemented in the formation of the next five-year plan to fight corruption, He said. He said China has always paid great attention to fighting corruption and creating a clean government, adding that the country has created its own unique methods to combat corruption. A sound system for punishing and curbing corruption is an important guarantee for the nation's development, He said. The formation of the new five-year plan should be based on the results of the previous plan, as well as past experience, He said. He urged discipline officials to prioritize solving problems that are widely faced by the public and find new ways to suppress and prevent corruption. ^ top ^

Widening wealth gap in rural China nears warning level (Global Times)
2012-08-21
Households in rural China have seen incomes increase on average over the past three years, but the wealth gap in the vast countryside has almost reached the warning level, a top Chinese institute for rural studies said Tuesday. The cash income of rural households grew 14.13 percent from a year earlier to an average of 38,894.4 yuan (6125 U.S. dollars) last year, and the per capita cash income in rural areas rose 11.95 percent to 9,260.6 yuan, according to a survey by Central China Normal University's Center for China Rural Studies. The survey was launched in 2009 and covered more than 6,000 rural households across the country. The figures have not been adjusted to reflect inflation. Leaders put rural issues high up the agenda, where resident certificates of most people are registered in rural areas under a system that classifies 1.3 billion people into two groups, farmers and non-farmers. The institute said in a report released Tuesday that the income growth was fueled by rising wages among farmers who have abandoned rural life to work as migrant laborers outside of their hometowns, mostly in cities. [...] China is experiencing the largest mass migration of people from the countryside to urban regions in history. The nation had 253 million migrant workers by the end of 2011, 10.55 million more than a year earlier, according to official data. The wealth gap among rural households is widening. The Gini coefficient, an index reflecting the rich-poor gap, in rural China stood at 0.3949 last year, nearing the warning level of 0.4 set by the United Nations, the institute said. It also said that the total income of the top 20 percent of the rural households was 10.19 times that of the bottom 20 percent and that the wealth gap in west China was bigger than in the east of the country. "We believe the wealth gap in the nation as a whole is well above 0.4 because the the gap is large between urban and rural areas," Deng told Xinhua. "But as an institute for rural studies, we don't have urban figures." The Gini index, which measures income distribution on a scale of zero to one, indicates a relatively reasonable income gap if the number is between 0.3 and 0.4. A Gini index between 0.4 and 0.5 signals a large income gap. The last time the Chinese government published a Gini index for the nation was in 2000 when it stood at 0.412. But most scholars believe the index is currently between 0.45 and 0.50. [...]. ^ top ^

Bo son and heir not harmed by murder scandal (SCMP)
2012-08-22
Bo Guagua, who was at the centre of the political scandal that brought down his father, former Politburo member Bo Xilai, has emerged unscathed from the murder trial of his mother, Gu Kailai. Analysts said Gu may have used the politically charged trial - which ended with her being given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood last year - to exonerate her only child. They also said the trial, widely labelled a show trial, and the guilty verdict, which Gu chose not to appeal, appeared to be part of a behind-the-scenes deal to ensure Bo Guagua's well-being. The 24-year-old was involved in a family financial dispute with Heywood, which Xinhua said triggered the ensuing scandal and the worst leadership crisis to hit China in decades. Gu, a former lawyer, confessed to the murder of Heywood during a seven-hour trial on August 9 but claimed she was forced to kill the Briton because her son's life was threatened. Bo Guagua, believed to be in the US after recently graduating from Harvard, did not show up at the trial as a witness. Instead, he submitted written testimony - reportedly not accepted by the court - in defence of his mother. "His compliant silence has at least bought relatively merciful treatment for his mum," said Professor Kerry Brown, a specialist in Chinese politics at the University of Sydney. Professor Wang Jianxun, from the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, said Bo Guagua would obviously benefit from the result of the trial given that the court did not probe further into the alleged dispute with Heywood. [...] Before the scandal, Bo Guagua grabbed headlines for his perceived playboy lifestyle in Britain and the US. Professor Hu Xingdou, a Beijing-based analyst, said the trial, which failed to shed light on suspicious circumstances surrounding the murder, protected Gu and her family. "We may never get the answers given the authorities' keenness to put to rest the damaging scandal and bury the truth, including whether Bo Guagua helped transfer a huge amount of family assets overseas, as rumoured," he said. [...]. ^ top ^

China appoints new senior officials (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
The State Council, China's cabinet, announced a reshuffle of several key posts in the central government on Wednesday. Li Dongrong was appointed deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, according to a statement from the State Council. Li, 58, has worked as the governor's assistant since December 2008. He worked in the bank's bureau in south China's Guangdong Province for 18 years before taking the post of deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in 2002. In June, the central bank got another new deputy governor named Pan Gongsheng, the former vice president of the Agricultural Bank of China, China's fourth-largest lender by asset value. In addition, Gu Chaoxi was appointed vice minister of civil affairs while Luo Pingfei and Sun Shaocheng were removed from their posts as vice minister of civil affairs. Wang Zhongwei was transferred from the post of deputy director of the State Council Information Office to become vice minister of culture. Teng Jiacai replaced Zhong Youping as deputy director of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce. Also, Wang Yongqing was removed from the post of deputy secretary-general of the State Council. ^ top ^

Senior official urges improvements in political consultative system (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has urged local political consultative organizations to promote their successful experiences and use them in their daily work. Wang Gang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks on Wednesday at a meeting of local organizations to exchange work experiences. Wang stressed that the local committees of the CPPCC are an essential part of the country's political consultative cause. He said the CPPCC National Committee had been strengthening its ties with them by summarizing and promoting their work experiences across the country. Wang called on officials from the organizations to pool wisdom and offer honest and good advice that focuses on major issues concerning the country's reform, development and stability. Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, attended Wednesday's opening ceremony of the meeting. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier stresses fair distribution of low-income homes (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for local authorities to fairly distribute low-income housing units to those needy families in a transparent way, adding that tightening measures for the country's property market will remain in place. Li's remarks came during an inspection tour of low-income housing communities in Beijing on Tuesday. The vice premier said the country's goal of building low-income housing units this year must be fulfilled in time in order to benefit middle- and low-income households. While ensuring the quantity and quality of low-income housing, the government should also emphasize fair distribution, as fairly distributing affordable homes is the "lifeblood" of the housing program, Li said. He said the distribution of low-income housing units must be strictly regulated to prevent those who do not qualify to live in the homes from occupying them. The government vowed to start construction on more than 7 million low-income housing units this year as part of its plan to build 36 million such units between 2011 and 2015 to stabilize runaway property prices. The vice premier said nearly 100 million people have thus far benefited from low-income housing around the country, adding that construction on more than 70 percent of this year's low-income housing target has already begun. Li said the construction of low-income housing and the renovation of rundown urban areas must continue in order to curb excessively high property prices. He said local authorities should continue to implement property market tightening measures, as well as curb speculation and investment demand in the sector. The supply of ordinary commercial housing units should also be increased to promote the development of the real estate sector, he added. ^ top ^

China faces challenges when supervising government power (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
A senior anti-corruption official has warned of challenges facing the supervision of government power but is confident of an improving situation. There has been an increasing number of corruption cases involving senior officials, especially by those in charge. The amount of illegal money involved in corruption cases has been increasing from a few years ago, Li Xueqin, head of the research division under the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said, in an interview with Xinhua. More than 60 officials at ministerial and provincial levels were among 600,000 people who have faced punishment for violating Party and government disciplines, since the 17th CPC National Congress held in 2007, according to a CCDI report. One of the latest corruption convicts was Liu Zhuozhi, former vice chairman of north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region government, who was sentenced to life imprisonment having received more than 8.17 million yuan (1.3 million U.S. dollars) in bribes between 2002 and 2010. Liu Zhijun, the country's former railway minister, was investigated for serious disciplinary violations including using his position to seek "huge illegal interests" for a businesswoman, though the exact amount of illegitimate money involved is not available. "It shows that the government power has not been effectively supervised and regulated," Li said. In the next few years, China's anti-corruption work will focus on extending the supervision system in every aspect of government work and impose tougher punishments on offenders, he said. The anti-corruption agencies will also continue pursuing corrupt officials. However, Li said the number of cases, investigated by discipline agencies and prosecutors, has gone down since 2004 despite some fluctuations. Anti-corruption measures will work more effectively in the next few years and the problem will be under control, he said. "I believe through persistent efforts the incidence of corruption cases will remain stable and even reduce." The CPC started large-scale efforts to curb corruption among Party and government officials about two decades ago. In a keynote speech in July, President Hu Jintao warned that corruption was one of the growing dangers that confronts the Party and it has become more important and urgent for the Party to police itself and impose strict disciplines on its members. In another speech on July 23, Hu listed fighting corruption as one of the efforts that must be continued to promote Party building. "There is no political party in the world that pays so much attention to anti-corruption as the CPC," Li said. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Tourists need emergency shelters: govt (Global Times)
2012-08-20
Popular tourist areas in the capital must start to provide areas for emergency shelter, following the response to the July 21 rainstorm, authorities have announced. Beijing government said via its microblog Saturday that from now on, large scenic spots in Beijing will gradually designate areas which can be used as an emergency shelter. There will be signs erected to indicate where these emergency areas are located. Zhang Yahong, director with the park and scenic area administration department of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry, would not comment other than saying that designating emergency areas is not mandatory. "The environment of some scenic spots may not be suitable to designate one," she said. But Zhang did tell the Beijing Daily on Friday that many of the 375 parks and scenic spots in Beijing are built in or near mountainous areas, vulnerable to natural disasters. "At present, lots of them haven't designated an emergency shelter," she said. Beijing has two areas at particularly high risk of a natural disaster in the mountainous areas to the northeast and southwest of the urban area. [...] Cai Xiangmin, head of the Beijing Institute of Geological Survey, said that he does not think an emergency shelter could help solve problems brought by disasters like earthquakes, landslides or flood. "The most practical method lies not in designating emergency shelters but increasing both the tourists' and the local employees' awareness of what to do in a disaster. "In extremely harsh weather, people should not go to mountainous areas and the scenic spots should not be open to the public," said Cai. To avoid floods, tourists would need to go to higher ground, said Cai, but this only puts them at higher risk of landslides or rock falls. [...]. ^ top ^

Rain-damaged Beijing roads to be repaired in two years (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
Repair work on all Beijing roads damaged in July's devastating downpour will be completed within two years, city authorities said Tuesday. "All damaged roads will be renovated by the end of July 2014," the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said in a press release. The heaviest downpour in six decades hit the Chinese capital on July 21, killing 79 people and destroying roads, homes and power supply facilities. Average precipitation hit 170 mm in the city proper, while a township in Fangshan District in the city's southwestern outskirts recorded 460 mm of rainfall. Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said 1,012 roads were damaged in the torrential rain, including 188 highways above county levels and 824 country roads linking suburban villages. "Repairs on the highways above county levels will be completed before the end of next year, and the others will be repaired within two years," the document said. It said the repair work would include reinforcing roadbeds, road surfaces and bridges as well as a revamp of drainage facilities. ^ top ^

Security tightened as congress nears (Global Times)
2012-08-22
Authorities in Beijing have kicked off a campaign to root out illegal activities around Tiananmen Square, in the countdown to the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). According to the Xinhua News Agency, the capital launched on Monday a joint enforcement campaign, which is being headed by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement. Together with departments such as the public security bureau and traffic management authorities, the bureau will not permit unlicensed vendors, illegal taxis nor tour guides in the area. Xinhua reported that the joint enforcement task force will divide the area into sections. Three urban management officers or chengguan, one traffic police officer, two public security officers and six security guards will be assigned to each of the sections. The report didn't specify how many sections were being created nor did it say what the size of each section might be. The Beijing Municipal Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement didn't reply to a request for information when contacted by the Global Times on Tuesday. A police officer who was on duty at Tiananmen Tuesday afternoon confirmed to the Global Times that the public security bureau has participated in the campaign. [...] The campaign at Tiananmen is only one of the security measures being taken in Beijing before the 18th National Congress of the CPC. The Beijing Daily reported the management committee of Tiananmen met in late July to ensure the security and stability of the area. Meanwhile, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau last week set up a security headquarters for the 18th National Congress of the CPC, reported the Legal Daily. The head of the bureau, Fu Zhenghua, asked local police to "reinforce their fighting strength to create a harmonious and stable social environment for the national congress." The 18th National Congress of the CPC will be held in the later half of this year. ^ top ^

 

Shanghai

New rules target property managers (Global Times)
2012-08-19
Local housing authorities plan to launch a system on September 1 to evaluate property management companies and their managers in an effort to make the industry more accountable, local media reported Sunday. The system aims to give the Shanghai Municipal Housing Support and Building Administration Bureau a means to better evaluate and punish property management companies for poor service or bad business practices. Almost all residential communities in the city have a company that takes care of the communal aspects of the property. Their duties typically include overseeing security, cleaning the hallways and making sure the elevators don't break down. However, property owners have frequently clashed with their management companies over service issues. "There are many disputes and lawsuits about property management nowadays," said Lian Yanjie, a real estate lawyer with the Shanghai Xinhua Law Firm. The evaluation system serves as a platform to collect complaints about property management companies that bureau staff can then investigate. If the complaint turns out to be true, the bureau will punish the firm by giving it one or more demerit points in the system, according to a report in Shanghai Youth Daily. Once a company receives 18 points, the bureau can revoke its certification, making it illegal for the company to manage properties in the city. Individual property managers can also receive points through the system, which can end up on his or her employee record, according to the report. The system is part of a series of new regulations that the Shanghai Municipal Housing Support and Building Administration Bureau has created to standardize operations and make the industry more accountable. The system will allow the public to check information, including demerit points, about any property management firm operating in the city. Unrealized service promises and underhanded competition continue to prevent serious improvement to the industry, said Li Bin, vice manager of Changcheng Property Group, East-China Division. "We have great expectations that the new rules will help regulate the performance of all property management companies and managers," Li said. ^ top ^

Shanghai to offer new green subsidies (Global Times)
2012-08-22
Shanghai will subsidize green property development projects to minimize pollution and boost energy efficiency across the city, the local urban construction commission announced at a press conference Wednesday. Property developers can apply for the green subsidy from September 15, said Qin Yun, deputy director of the Shanghai Urban Construction and Communications Commission, which oversees construction and transportation projects in the city. "Shanghai aims to build 1 billion square meters of green buildings by 2015 to meet its goal in the 12th Five-Year Plan," Qin said at the press conference. "The subsidy is an unprecedented measure to encourage developers to adopt green measures and design." The local government will provide subsidies of up to 6 million yuan ($944,286) for each construction project and 10 million yuan for each affordable housing project. To meet the requirements, developers must install energy efficient devices, including solar panels and shading facilities to reduce energy consumption. The subsidy for encouraging green design in Shanghai is one of the highest in the country, said Mao Weixiong, a chief architect with Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences Co Ltd. "An energy efficient design can increase a developer's costs by 30 percent for a residential building," he told the Global Times. "The subsidy will definitely encourage developers to adopt energy efficient measures without passing the cost on to homebuyers." The commission also announced at the press conference that it plans to survey 1,000 of the city's public buildings by the end of this year to evaluate their energy efficiency. "Public buildings, such as libraries, museums and hospitals, consume five times as much energy as normal residential buildings," Qin said. "So it is important to renovate them to make them more energy efficient." The city government has also vowed to work with the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission to develop new energy saving measures. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Senior Guangdong official sacked over violation (Xinhua)
2012-08-20
A senior official in south China's Guangdong province has been removed from his post for violating Party discipline, the provincial anti-graft watchdog said Monday. Xie Pengfei, 61, was removed from his posts as deputy secretary-general of the Guangdong provincial government and head of the local government's development research center as a result of serious violations of law and discipline, the provincial discipline inspection committee said in a press release. It said Xie has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and is being probed for suspected corruption. His case had been handed over to local judicial authorities. Xie, a native of south China's Hainan province, was born in October 1950. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Fast-track permits for Taiwan visitors (SCMP)
2012-08-22
Taiwan residents without mainland travel permits will be able to register online to visit Hong Kong at no cost from next month, the Immigration Department announced yesterday. The new permits, which the department says will boost economic and culture exchanges, will be valid for two months, allowing visitors two entries to the city with a stay up to 30 days. "The online registration system is an additional facilitation measure on top of the existing entry arrangements," said Raymond Yeung Chi-yan, who oversees visa control policies for the department. "We believe it will further enhance convenience for Taiwan visitors and contribute to Hong Kong-Taiwan exchange." About 2.19 million Taiwan residents visited the city last year, down from 2.23 million in 2010, according to the immigration department. A fifth of them did not have mainland travel permits. [...] At present, those without mainland travel permits need to apply for Hong Kong visas through either travel agencies or the Immigration Department. [...] The new policy was welcomed by airlines, which stand to profit from any increase in travel between Hong Kong and Taiwan. "There is already a strong market between the two places," said Rupert Hogg, Cathay Pacific's [...] director of sales and marketing. [...]. ^ top ^

Leung unveils plan for a 'city of lifts' (SCMP)
2012-08-22
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying says the government will spend HK$1 billion a year turning Hong Kong into a "city of lifts" to remove barriers for elderly and disabled people. But Leung's critics say the plan for 230 new outdoor lifts - serving locations such as footbridges and steep slopes - is an attempt to court popularity and divert attention from the scandals that have beset the new government in its first two months. The chief executive made the announcement on a visit to a community centre in Sheung Wan yesterday. While the first 10 lifts are already under construction, the timetable for the others remains vague. "Hong Kong is a gradually ageing society," Leung told his audience of elderly people. "So the demand for barrier-free facilities is growing." Leung said the government's previous policy of installing ramps rather than lifts to counter steep slopes had prompted complaints. [...] Leung said the government would spend HK$100 million on planning in the next year and then HK$1 billion on building works each year. He did not say how long the scheme would run or how many lifts would be built each year. The government will seek the money from the Legislative Council as a block grant, rather than applying for funds for each project. Leung acknowledged that the price was high but said: "The sum of this social investment is relatively big, but I believe it'll be welcomed by the aged, the physically disabled and children." The lift plan is seen as one of the "10 livelihood projects" promised by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is co-ordinating the scheme. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Macau

Top political advisor urges Macao's efforts in cross-Strait reunification (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
Top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin on Thursday called for more unique efforts from Macao in facilitating the peaceful reunification across the Taiwan Strait. After 13 years of successfully implementing the "one country, two systems" policy, Macao has unique advantages in promoting reunification, said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Jia, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while meeting with a delegation from Macao's council for the promotion of China's peaceful reunification on Thursday. Macao's practice serves as an exemplary model for the "one country, two systems" policy, which was proposed by late leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s and then proved its strong vitality in guiding the peaceful reunification efforts, said Jia, who is also chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification. Moreover, Jia called on the Macao council to deepen exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan to gain the trust of the Taiwanese people. On Dec. 20, 1999, China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Macao and set up the Macao Special Administrative Region under the policy of "one country, two systems.". ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan warns of training drill on Spratly Islands (SCMP)
2012-08-21
Taiwan has risked angering its neighbours by warning that it will stage a five-day live-fire drill in the disputed Spratly Islands. Foreign ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said the training exercise would take place on Taiping Island, in the South China Sea, between September 1 and 5. He said the notification was in line with international practice and was given so that neighbouring countries would warn their vessels not to sail near Taiping Island during the drill. "It will just be a routine drill," Hsia said, adding the exercise will be conducted by the Coast Guard Administration instead of the defence ministry because the defence of Taiping Island was now in the hands of the coastguard. Since 2000, Taiwan has removed troops from Taiping Island, one of the largest in the Spratlys group. The Spratlys are claimed wholly or in part by Taiwan, the mainland, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The replacement of troops with coastguard officers was one of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian's policies to try to ease tensions in the region. However, in February 2008, three months before he stepped down as president, Chen was accompanied by a prominent naval force - including Kidd-class destroyers and submarines - on an inspection of the island to assert Taiwan's sovereignty over it. With tensions in the region having escalated this year, Taiwan has sent coastguard officers with previous military training to Taiping. On August 7, Taiwan's defence ministry said it had worked with the coastguard to help beef up Taiwan's defences on the island. [...]. ^ top ^

KMT heavyweight wants Chen Shui-bian released (SCMP)
2012-08-22
The mayor of Taipei, a political heavyweight in Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang, yesterday called for medical parole for jailed ex-president Chen Shui-bian. Hau Lung-pin is the highest-level politician yet from the Beijing-friendly KMT to call for the release of Chen, whose anti-Beijing stance caused controversy during his time in office from 2000 to 2008. "The question of granting ... Chen medical parole should be handled with a positive attitude," Hau said. "Giving Chen medical parole will prevent our society from dividing even further." George Tsai, a political science professor from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said Hau's comments could be a "trial balloon" released by the KMT to gauge the public's view on letting Chen go. Hau's surprise statement was hailed by the Democratic Progressive Party, which has been pushing for its former leader's release, citing concerns voiced by doctors who visited him in prison, though justice officials said he has been properly treated. The 61-year-old is serving a 17-year prison term for bribery, and faces several additional graft charges. He and family members have been accused of laundering millions of US dollars and taking kickbacks on government contracts. ^ top ^

Former Taiwan leader on trial over possession of sensitive documents (Xinhua)
2012-08-22
A trial for former leader of Taiwan Chen Shui-bian began on Tuesday, with the leader facing charges of illegally possessing classified documents. Chen's office was raided by authorities on Sept. 25, 2008 following his loss in the island's leadership election to Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou. Although most of the 1,300 sensitive documents uncovered during the raid should've been returned to Ma's office following his installation as Taiwan's leader, Chen failed to return the documents. The prosecutors then ordered a second raid on Chen's office in 2010, uncovering another 688 classified documents. Investigators accused Chen in May 2012 of illegally possessing classified documents. The court ruled that the trial will not be open to public due to its sensitivity. ^ top ^

Senior official urges improved cross-Strait law exchanges (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
Wang Gang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has called on legal experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to enhance cross-Strait exchanges in their field. Wang made the remarks on Thursday when meeting with Taiwan legal professionals who are in Beijing to attend the first legal forum on cross-Strait peaceful development. Wang urged legal professionals from both sides to join hands in promoting exchanges, communication and cooperation in order to fortify and deepen the legal basis for cross-Strait peaceful development and to contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Legal experts at the forum called for efforts to coordinate private law systems among different jurisdictions in the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China, but since there are different jurisdictions, both sides should respect and understand the differences caused by this fact, said Zhou Yezhong, a law professor at Wuhan University. He suggested greater efforts to streamline exchanges among both the public and authorities on both sides, as well as exchanges between both sides of the Strait and the international community. Professor Liu Jingwei from the China University of Political Science and Law urged more cooperation among the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao in private law research. The two-day forum ended on Thursday and was attended by 180 legal professionals from both sides. ^ top ^

 

Economy

More Chinese cities see home price rebound in July (Xinhua)
2012-08-18
More Chinese cities saw home prices rise in July from June as signs of warming have emerged in China's property market after some local governments relaxed their property curbs in the wake of weakening local economies. In July, 50 cities, drastically up from 25 in June, out of a statistical pool of 70 major cities recorded higher new home prices than a month earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday. Compared with June, nine cities saw declines in new home prices last month, down from 21 in June, while prices in 11 cities remained unchanged, according to the NBS data. However, on a year-on-year basis, new home prices still continued a downward trend with 58 out of the 70 cities witnessed price declines in July, expanding from 57 in June. New home prices in 11 cities rose in July from a year earlier by less than one percent, while one city saw its new home prices remain the same compared with one year ago. China has tightened its curbs on the property sector since 2010 in an effort to bring the rocketing home prices back to a reasonable level. The government has restricted home purchases in several cities while requiring higher down payments and introducing property taxes. ^ top ^

China's steel output slows, prices drop (Xinhua)
2012-08-19
China's steel output growth slowed in July and prices of steel products have continued to drop, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Crude steel production gained 4.2 percent year on year in July, but the rate was 11.3 percentage points lower than the growth recorded during the same period last year, the NDRC said in an online report. In July, the composite price index of China's domestic steel products averaged 112.03, down 3.84 points from the previous month and 22.07 points from a year earlier, according to the NDRC. In the first seven months, China produced 419.46 million tons of crude steel. The growth represented a retreat of 8.2 percentage points from the growth seen a year earlier. Profits of the steel and iron industry dropped 49.4 percent year on year to 66.4 billion yuan (10.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year, the NDRC said. ^ top ^

China issues 3.23 bln bank cards by end of June (Xinhua)
2012-08-20
China issued 3.23 billion bank cards as of the end of the second quarter, an increase of 20.6 percent from a year earlier, the central bank said Monday. The growth rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than that registered during the same period last year, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website. On a quarterly basis, the number of bank cards expanded by 3.9 percent, the statement said. Some 302 million credit cards were issued by the end of June, up by 17.4 percent from a year earlier and by 4 percent from the end of March, the statement said. Credit card loans that were more than six months overdue rose 10.2 percent quarterly to hit 13.27 billion yuan (2.11 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of the second quarter, accounting for 1.5 percent of total credit loans outstanding, the statement said. ^ top ^

'Big four' banks accelerate new loans (China Daily)
2012-08-21
China's "big four" State-owned banks accelerated their pace of new loan issuance in August, which experts said reflected increased government concern over further economic slowdown. The "big four" — Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China Construction Bank Corp, Bank of China Ltd and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd — extended 70 billion yuan ($11 billion) worth of yuan-denominated loans in the first half of August, a significant increase from the 50 billion yuan offered by the same stage last month, Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday. The figures follow an unexpected fall in new loan releases in July, when China's various financial institutions extended 540.1 billion yuan in local currency new loans — against an estimate of 700 billion yuan by the industry — the lowest level since last October. China Construction Bank said last week it would attach more importance to "consolidating growth" and planned to focus on its credit business in the second half of the year — a departure from the first half, when it had said it would focus on controlling finance to property development, and other risks. [...] Deeply concerned about declining credit supply, the four banks have accelerated their loan issuance in line with government wishes, said Richard Huang, a partner of Boston Consulting Group and an industry [...] Another sign of State support is that despite the big banks' larger credit feed, the percentage of medium- and long-term loans has not risen significantly, according to a report in Shanghai Securities News. "That demonstrates the banks' lack of confidence in their borrowers. If they were more confident, they would issue more medium- and long-term loans," said Huang. Shanghai Securities News, citing unnamed sources, said new loans in August should be 600 billion yuan, while Huang forecast 600 to 700 billion yuan. However, analysts said that a bigger concern for China's bankers and policymakers remains that the easing in liquidity still might not be enough to improve weak demand for loans from Chinese companies. " [...]. Dropping profits and rising overcapacity have also hindered corporate expansion, further draining credit demand, Wang added. China's economic growth in the second quarter slowed to 7.6 percent, the lowest since early 2009. "On the supply side, though the central bank cut interest rates twice within a month, the reserve requirement ratio for China's banks is still relatively high. [...] Several economic indicators, including falling export growth and levels of FDI, have encouraged some economists to be pessimistic about the economic outlook [...]. GDP growth in the third quarter may not rebound, as many had predicted earlier, and that the economy might bottom out as late as the fourth quarter. ^ top ^

Consumers turn toward imported food (China Daily)
2012-08-22
More Chinese consumers have turned to imported food and brands due to rising concerns over food safety in recent years, according a survey by international research company Ipsos. According to the survey, [...] 61 percent of Chinese consumers said their confidence in domestic foods has declined in the past year, and 28 percent said they will buy more imported foods or brands to replace domestic products. Dairy products are the most purchased imported foods, at 77 percent, followed by grains and oil, at 57 percent, and children's food, at 56 percent. The report said consumers' preferred imported foods or brands because of stricter safety controls during packaging and processing, the absence of unhealthy additives and rigorous product testing. [...] 'Lean meat powder', melamine-tainted milk, gutter oil and chemical dyed steamed buns... all of these have drawn much attention from Chinese consumers," said Jennifer Tsai, managing director of innovation and forecasting of Ipsos Marketing in China. Successive food safety crises have become a significant factor in influencing consumer habits and behavior, with 76 percent of respondents saying that this would make them seek an alternative product [...] The survey found that raw and fresh meat and seafood, grains and oil, and dairy products are the areas of greatest concern [...] An employee at a branch of high-end supermarket chain City Shop in Shanghai said: "In the past, foreigners accounted for the majority of our customers. But now we see more and more local residents coming here." She said that meat and vegetables were popular with local residents shopping at the supermarket, where more than 80 percent of the goods on sale are imported. "You can buy cheaper vegetables in markets, but I really worry about safety. So I'd prefer to buy them at this supermarket at a higher cost," said a shopper. Tim Wang, general manager of Ecolab in China, sees the issue from a positive angle. "If Chinese companies recognize the problem and strengthen their social responsibility and improve product quality, Chinese consumers buying imported products will not be an inevitable trend." [...]. ^ top ^

Factbox: China's foreign trade boom (Xinhua)
2012-08-21
Growth in foreign trade over the past decade has turned China into a leading country when it comes to international business. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the last ten years has seen the country's rapid integration into the world economy in an era of economic globalization. On Tuesday, the NBS published its fourth report reviewing the country's development since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2002. The Chinese economy is increasingly interconnected and becoming interdependent within the world market.

The following are facts and figures from the report:

  • Foreign trade in goods reached 3.64 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of 2011, which is 4.9 times greater than the amount for 2002.
  • China has become the world's largest exporter since 2009, with exports totaling 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011 - up 480 percent since 2002.
  • China is the world's second-largest importer, with imports jumping 4.9-fold since 2002, to 1.74 trillion U.S. dollars in 2011.
  • The average annual growth rate of foreign trade in goods between 2003 and 2011 stood at 21.7 percent.
  • Trade is increasingly balanced with a shrinking surplus and lower tariff. The overall tariff for imports dropped to 9.8 percent in 2011. Its trade surplus reached a peak of 298.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, and kept falling afterwards to 195.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, 181.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and 155.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.
  • The proportion of surplus foreign trade moved down from 10.1 percent in 2002, to 8.9 percent in 2009, 6.2 percent 2010 and 4.3 percent in 2011.
  • The number of trading partners jumped to 231 countries or regions in 2011.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) reached 116 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, making China the second most attractive destination for foreign investment behind the United States. China attracted 716.4 billion U.S. dollars of FDI in non-financial sectors between 2003 and 2011, with an average annual growth rate of 9.2 percent.
  • China's cumulative outbound direct investment (ODI) in non-financial sectors amounted to 318.9 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2011, with an average annual growth rate of 46.4 percent. Last year alone, the country's non-financial ODI was 60.1 billion U.S. dollars, which was 19.7 times greater than the figure in 2003.
  • China has established 15 free trade areas with 28 countries and regions.

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Experts divided on yuan's future (People's Daily)
2012-08-21
The yuan's central parity rate against the U.S. dollar hit a new low of 6.3456 on Aug. 13. The yuan has depreciated over 0.4 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past two months, and the yuan's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar in the spot market has dropped below the psychologically important 6.38-mark many times in the past month. The offshore three-year yuan non-deliverable forward (NDF) contract traded at 6.7015 per dollar that day, equivalent to the yuan depreciating 5.6 percent. Liu Jiming, an expert on international financial markets at China CITIC Bank, attributed the yuan's depreciation to three factors. First, China's economic slowdown over the past few quarters makes overseas investors worried about a possible hard landing. Second, China's capital account surplus is shrinking, and the country is even facing increasing risks of capital account deficit, placing the yuan under greater depreciation pressure. Third, the U.S. dollar is becoming stronger due to risk aversion amid the European debt crisis, thereby driving the yuan's exchange rate down. Analysts predict that the yuan's spot rate against the U.S. dollar is very likely to drop below 6.4 this year. ^ top ^

South Korea free trade deal 'faces hurdles' (China Daily)
2012-08-23
It is unlikely that a free trade agreement between China and South Korea will be signed within two years, due to disagreements over key sectors, a source close to the talks said. "Negotiations have progressed much more slowly than anticipated," the source told China Daily on condition of anonymity. "The target of wrapping up the talks in two years is too optimistic. I believe a much longer period is needed," he said. His comment came as officials from both countries meet in Weihai, Shandong province, for the third round of negotiations. The talks, covering intellectual property rights, electronic commerce and government procurement, among other topics, started on Wednesday and will end on Friday. Commerce Minister Chen Deming and South Korean Trade Minister Bark Tae-ho announced in May that they would launch formal negotiations for an agreement following seven years of preliminary talks. Two rounds of negotiations have been held since then. Trade experts urged Seoul to be more active in pushing forward talks as a trade pact will help weather global economic storms. "China and South Korea have their own concerns, which raises doubts on whether the talks will end successfully," said Zhang Yunling, director of the division of international studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The biggest issues for Seoul concern its agriculture, services and manufacturing sectors. The sensitive areas for China are chemicals, electronics and cars, Zhang said. Agriculture remains a key issue in the trade talks. [...] The FTA is of strategic significance to both nations and the whole Northeast Asian region, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

China Focus: Central bank eases liquidity through reverse repos (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
China's central bank pumped a record amount of liquidity into the money market this week through its open market operations on Thursday, a day after the central banker said he won't rule out using any monetary tools to spur the slowing economy. The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, carried out reverse repurchase agreement (repos) operations worth 145 billion yuan (about 22.91 billion U.S. dollars), injecting 278 billion yuan of liquidity into banks this week after hedging funds due in the open market. Yields of the 7-day and 14-day reverse repos stood unchanged at 3.4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. On Tuesday, the PBOC carried out similar reverse repos operations worth 220 billion yuan. The liquidity injected through the open market operations this week -- the second-highest weekly net injection this year -- was equal to cutting banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by about 30 basis points. Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank governor, on Wednesday night said the PBOC will not rule out the use of any policy tools. He made the remarks in response to a question on whether the PBOC prefers to open market operations rather than cut the benchmark interest rates or the RRR on the sidelines of a ceremony. As the reverse repos will become due in one or two weeks, the PBOC will have greater flexibility in fine-tuning the monetary policy than lowering the RRR. The central bank can tighten banks' liquidity through sales of bills and repos. Analysts said the central bank's liquidity injection in the open market has made a cut in the RRR less likely in the short term. "The result of the PBOC's open market operations this week has the same effect of lowering the RRR in the short term, thus dampening market expectations of a imminent RRR cut," said E Yongjian, a financial analyst with Bank of Communications. Since the beginning of this year, the PBOC has slashed the RRR twice by 100 basis points altogether and lowered benchmark interest rates two times by 0.5 percentage point, leaving the current RRR at 20 percent and the benchmark interest rate for one-year deposits at 3 percent. [...] Qu Hongbin, chief economist with HSBC China, said he expects China to adopt more stimulus measures in the future, as the PBOC still has room to cut the RRR by 200 basis points and the interest rate by 25 basis points by the end of the year. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

China, DPRK vow to develop economic zones (People's Daily)
2012-08-18
China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Friday that they would push forward in developing economic zones. The message came during a meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and a DPRK delegation headed by Jang Song Thaek, chief of the central administrative department of the Workers' Party of Korea. Jang is in China for the third meeting of the joint steering committee for developing and managing the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone. Wen said both sides should give priority in developing and managing the zones as well as implement the consensus reached by the joint steering committee. The premier said the two governments should strengthen the leadership and planning of the cooperation on the zones, improving laws and regulations; encourage relevant regions for active participation with close coordination; and let the market play its role creating favorable conditions for land and tax. He called on the committee to encourage businesses to invest in the zones and help enterprises solve their problems, and improve customs and quality inspection services to help with bilateral cooperation. Jang said the development of the zones had entered a substantial phase and DPRK was willing to work with China to accelerate progress. Wen said the government would continue to push bilateral ties forward, support DPRK to improve its economy and people's well-being. He is confident the country will also make progress in national development. Jang said Kim Jong Un, top leader of DPRK, attached importance to the bilateral relations, believing the friendship will be passed from generation to generation. The Rason Economic and Trade Zone is in the city of Rason in the northeast of the DPRK, adjacent to Yanbian prefecture in northeast China's Jilin Province. The Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone is near the estuary of the Yalu River, a border river that runs between the two countries. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

President issued a degree on athletes bonus (news.mn)
2012-08-17
President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj issued a degree on athletes benefit. The degree aimed to encourage Mongolian athletes effort for olympism, to ensure social stability for athletes. According to the degree athlete who got Olympic medal will receive monthly bonus. Olympic gold medalist will receive MNT 4 million, silver medalist MNT 3 million, bronze medalist MNT 2 million monthly. The athletes who got medal from world championship will receive less than Olympic. If it gold medal of world championshipthe athlete will receive MNT 2 million, silver MNT 1 million, bronze MNT 500,000. The President directed the government to include athletes bonus in state budget. The degree will effective since January 1, 2013.

The degree announced on welcoming ceremony on August 15, of Mongolian athletes of London Olympic Games. ^ top ^

The coalition government officially completed (news.mn)
2012-08-21
Mongolia"s new coalition government was officially completed yesterday. Last five cabinet members was approved on Monday by the parliament. The five newest members included D. Terbishdagva, who will serve as Deputy Prime Minister, and four ministers nominated by the Justice Coalition and the Civil Will-Green Party. The Justice Coalition"s Ch. Ulaan, M. Sonompil and N. Udval were appointed Finance Minister, Energy Minister and Health minister, respectively. Civil Will-Green Party leader S. Oyun is the minister for Environment and Green development. Last Friday, Mongolian parliament approved 13 ministers nominated by the Democratic Party, including Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade L. Bold, Defence Minister D. Bat-Erdene, Justice Minister Kh. Temuujin, Minister for Economic Development N. Batbayar, and Minister for Mining D.Gankhuyag. The parliament approved Democratic Party's chairman Norov Altanhuyag as Prime Minister on Aug. 9. In the parliamentary election on June 28, the Democratic Party won 31 seats in the 76-member parliament, becoming the biggest party in the country"s supreme legislature. However, failing to secure an absolute majority, the party had to form a coalition with Civil Will-Green Party and the Justice Coalition, which is formed by the Mongolian People"s Revolutionary Party and the Mongolian National Democratic Party. The new coalition government has 16 ministries and 19 cabinet members, including Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and head of Cabinet Secretariat. Mongolia"s last government had 11 ministries and 15 cabinet members. ^ top ^

Ulaanbaatar city Assembly approved action plan against traffic jam (news.mn)
2012-08-23
Ulaanbaatar City Mayor E.Bat-Uul presented action plan of complex measure to reduce traffic jam to the Ulaanbaatar City Assembly. The Ulaanbaatar City Assembly held irregular meeting yesterday and approved Mayor's plan. The plan considers two months action starting August 25. Required MNT 3.8 billion will be provided from Ulaanbaatar city budget. The action plan included several measures. First is that the state workers will use public transport instead of private cars. By January 2012 Mongolia has 155 thousand state workers and 77 thousand in capital city. The survey shows 15 thousand state workers uses their private car to come to the office. Starting next Monday they will left their car at home and will reach to their office by public transport. The city administration warned public transport companies to improve their service. The Ulaanbaatar City Assembly decided to change timetable of some universities and private secondary schools and supermarkets. Also the Assembly decided to restrict private cars by their number's digit in central area of Ulaanbaatar from 8 am to 10 pm. For example cars numbers finishes with digit 1 and 6 not allowed enter to the Small Ring and Peace Square on Monday. 2 and 7 on Tuesday, 3 and 8 on Wednesday, 4 and 9 on Thursday, 5 and 0 on Friday. The Assembly also discussed school bus project. School buses not common in Mongolia. Only some private secondary schools provided buses to their pupils. “School bus is one of the way to reduce traffic jam and also ensured safe environment for children” said General manager of Ulaanbaatar City Ch.Bat. According to him cty administration started negotiate with some schools to use school bus. ^ top ^

Chinese state councilor stresses good neighborly policy toward Mongolia (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo said on Thursday that he has reiterated China's good neighborly policy toward Mongolia in his talks with Mongolian leaders. During an interview with Mongolian media, Dai said it is entirely groundless to doubt that China would one day change its good neighborly policy towards Mongolia. He reiterated that China would as always respect Mongolia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and respect Mongolian people's choices of political systems and the path of development. China would never do anything that hurts Mongolia, or aims at regime change and interference in other country's domestic affairs, Dai said, adding that China and Mongolia would always be good neighbors, friends and partners. Mongolian leaders also stressed in the talks that they would unswervingly pursue a good neighborly policy toward China and are willing to jointly maintain and develop bilateral relations, Dai said. Dai reviewed the development of relations between China and Mongolia, noting that the two neighbors, linked with a deep historical origin and cultural tradition, should only further their good relations as they have done in the past, which serves the fundamental long-term interests of the two countries and peoples. Dai also said the two nations have been enjoying satisfactory trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. With the global financial crisis still lingering over, bilateral trade reached 6.4 billion U.S. dollars last year, a 60 percent increase, he said, adding that Mongolia has also maintained a 16 percent to 17 percent economic growth rate, which was quite fast and rare in the world. The Chinese state councilor urged the two countries not to miss historic opportunities, which if lost, would be gone for good. The two sides need to work together to promote economic and trade development, as well as pragmatic cooperation, and to remove some obstacles to create the best possible conditions, he added. He said there is still a huge potential and broad prospect for China-Mongolia trade cooperation, which will benefit the peoples of the two countries. It is possible that various problems may emerge over the course of development, said Dai, adding that "no matter what the problems would be, we shall resolve them." He also warned that inaction and overcaution may be the biggest problems of all, which would lead to the loss of all opportunities. ^ top ^

Mongolia to continue expand exchange, cooperation with China: PM (Xinhua)
2012-08-23
The new Mongolian government will continue its foreign policy priorities of developing bilateral ties with China and make efforts to expand exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altanhuyag said here on Thursday. Altanhuyag made the statement when meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo. On the occasion of the establishment of the new Mongolian government, Dai's visit showes that China attaches great importance to developing bilateral ties with Mongolia, Altanhuyag said. He said in recent years Mongolia-China collaborations in all spheres have developed steadily and Mongolia is satisfied with the fact that the two countries' relationship has been promoted to strategic partnership. Altanhuyag also expressed his willingness to learn China's experience in developing the economy to help develop Mongolia's economy and improve the livelihood of the Mongolian people. During the meeting, Altanhuyag also reiterated Mongolia's one-China policy and promised Mongolia will not allow external forces to engage in political activities against China on the Mongolian territory. For his part, Dai said China and Mongolia share a long border of over 4,700 kilometers, their economies are highly complementary to each other, and that the two countries enjoy unique conditions to conduct cooperation. Dai pointed out the establishment of China-Mongolia strategic partnership is a milestone in the development of the two countries' relationship, adding bilateral exchanges and collaborations are at the best time in history. Dai said the two sides should keep the overall China-Mongolia relationship in the right direction, maintain the principle of mutual respect, deepen mutual trust, and take into account each other's major interests and concerns, without interference in each other's internal affairs. Dai said China respects Mongolia's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as the social system and the path of development chosen by the Mongolian people. He hoped the two countries will further expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation, increase cultural exchanges and continuously enrich the China-Mongolia strategic partnership. [...] China supports Mongolia's active participation in regional cooperation in Asia, Dai said, adding the two sides should strengthen coordination within the framework of the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the Organization of Shanghai Cooperation to safeguard their common interests. [...].

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Dominic Kobel
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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