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
  1-7.9.12, No. 439  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

Chinese premier calls for open Eurasian markets (Xinhua)
2012-09-02
URUMQI - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday called on China and Eurasian countries to open their markets to each other and strengthen their cooperation in all areas. He made the remarks when addressing the second China-Eurasia Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Urumqi of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in northwest China, an important session of the second China-Eurasia Expo. Describing the Eurasian continent as "one of the most promising regions in the world in terms of consumption and investment," Wen said as long as the two sides open markets to each other and draw on each other's strengths, they can develop long and stable cooperation. He said the two sides should deepen cooperation in customs, quality inspection, e-commerce, transit transport, standard certification and intellectual property rights, facilitate a free flow of personnel, goods, capital, technology and services within the region, and jointly resist trade protectionism. [...] The Second China-Eurasia Expo is taking place from Sept. 2 to 7. Fifty-five countries and regions, six international organizations, including United Nations Development Program and United Nations Industrial Development Organization, will attend the event. ^ top ^

Sino-German efforts urged for solving solar panel dispute (Xinhua)
2012-09-02
BEIJING - China and Germany should work together to promote negotiations for proper solutions to current dispute over solar panel import duty between China and the European Union, a spokesman with the Ministry of Commerce said Saturday. China has urged EU to listen to opinions of all parties and carry out the promise of avoiding any new form of protectionism at the G20 Los Cabos summit, and that the EU should not implement any trade protectionist measures against Chinese products, said the spokesman Shen Danyang. Germany's SolarWorld and other European solar panel makers in July filed an anti-dumping complaint with the European Commission. The European Commission will decide whether or not to investigate within 45 days after that. If an investigation begins, this will be the largest trade dispute involving China in terms of trade volume. [...] China's solar products exports to the European Union came to a total value of 20.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. The Ministry of Commerce earlier called the dumping allegations groundless, saying protectionist measures will harm the European solar industry. ^ top ^

PLA delegation leaves for Asian tour (Xinhua)
2012-09-02
BEIJING - A delegation of the People's Liberation Army left Beijing on Sunday afternoon for visits to Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. The delegation, led by Deputy Chief of General Staff Ma Xiaotian, was invited to make the trips by defense ministries of the four countries. During the visits, Ma will attend the sixth defense and security consultation between China's and Vietnam's defense ministries, the first defense and security consultation between Chinese and Malaysian defense ministries, as well as the fourth defense policy dialogue between Chinese and Singaporean defense ministries. He will also pay an official good-will visit to Myanmar. ^ top ^

Wen Jiabao meets Turkish deputy prime minister (Xinhua)
2012-09-02
URUMQI - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday called on China and Turkey to continue to support each other on major issues concerning sovereignty and territorial integrity. "The two countries should enhance political mutual trust and coordinate more closely on major international affairs," said Wen, as he met with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan on the sidelines of the second China-Eurasia Expo, being held in Urumqi of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China. Wen said the two countries continue to deepen their strategic relationship of cooperation, facing the global financial crisis and complicated regional situation together. ^ top ^

China lodges representation over Tokyo survey of Diaoyu Islands (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that China has lodged a solemn representation to Japan over a survey conducted by the Tokyo government in waters near the Diaoyu Islands. "Any unilateral action by Japan regarding the Diaoyu Islands is illegal and invalid," spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine press briefing. [...] Hong said any action by the Japanese side to "nationalize" the islands will be in vain. Regarding the U.S. position that the Diaoyu Islands fall under the scope of a 1960 Japan-U.S. security treaty, Hong said the treaty is a relic of the Cold War, adding that the treaty should not extend beyond Japan and the U.S. or hurt third-party interests. [...] China hopes Japan will refrain from any activity that undermines China's territorial integrity, return to conducting dialogues and safeguard the overall condition of bilateral ties, Hong said. ^ top ^

China to boost cooperation with Kyrgystan (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
URUMQI - China will promote cooperation with Kyrgystan in areas including railways, agriculture and investment, and strengthen coordination on security, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has vowed. Wen made the remarks in a meeting with Kyrgystan President Almazbek Atambayev on the sidelines of the second China-Eurasia Expo, being held in Urumqi of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China. [...] He also voiced China's support for Kyrgystan's holding of the rotating chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), saying China will provide assistance for the SCO summit meeting and premiers' meeting to be held in Bishkek of Kyrgystan. [...]. ^ top ^

China seeks regional energy cooperation as challenges mount (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
China is seeking to diversify channels for energy cooperation as it faces mounting challenges from surging energy demand, geopolitical risks and price volatility, officials and experts said at an international expo in held in west China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The endowment and distribution of China's resources does not match the current situation of China's economic development, said Zhang Lei, vice president of the Central Asia Regional Economy Institute under the Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, at the Expert's Group Meeting on Energy Efficiency in Northeast and Central Asia. [...] Zhang said if China's energy consumption maintains the rapid growth seen in the past two decades, total oil consumption will exceed 650 million tonnes, well beyond the durability of the economy and the environment. [...] Liu Hongpeng, chief of the Energy Security and Water Resources department of the ESCAP, said all countries are actively seeking regional energy cooperation to ensure energy security. "Central Asia has abundant energy resources, while China has a stable demand for energy. Cooperation between the two sides has excellent prospects," Liu said. Premier Wen Jiabao said at the opening ceremony of the six-day China-Eurasia Expo that west and central Asian countries are China's most important partners for energy cooperation. [...] "China-Kazakhstan oil and gas pipelines have started operation. The second cross-border railway between China and Kazakhstan has been successfully linked up. The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway will go into full operation soon," Wen said. [...] "China should build more energy projects, such as the China-Central Asia natural gas pipelines and the China-Kazakhstan oil pipelines, and hasten the creation of new energy pipelines between China and Russia," Wen said. [...]. ^ top ^

Clinton's visit to Beijing produces no breakthrough (SCMP)
2012-09-05
Talks between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese leaders on Wednesday failed to narrow gaps on how to end the crisis in Syria and how to resolve Beijing's territorial disputes with its smaller neighbours over the South China Sea. Clinton, who met President Hu Jintao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, wants China to stop backing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has been pushing for it to be more flexible in lowering tensions over the oil-rich South China Seas. But comments from Clinton and Yang showed that the two countries remain divided on those issues, although both said they were committed to working together. [...] “I think history will judge that China's position on the Syria question is a promotion of the appropriate handling of the situation, for what we have in mind is the interests of the people of Syria and the region,” Yang said at a news conference given with Clinton. Clinton responded by saying the violence was boiling over into other countries and that strong backing should be given to the Security Council. [...] Clinton also had been scheduled to meet Vice-President Xi Jinping, who takes over as China's top leader later this year, but that was cancelled. “The Chinese side has cited unexpected scheduling reasons for the cancellation of the secretary's meeting with Vice-President Xi,” said a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. A meeting between Xi and the visiting prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, also was cancelled without explanation. Yang would say only there should not be “unnecessary speculation”. [...] Clinton said she also urged China to use “its unique influence” to help bring change to its impoverished and isolated neighbour North Korea, where Kim Jong-un became leader when his father died late last year. “There is an opportunity for the new leadership of North Korea to improve the lives of the people of North Korea,” Clinton said. [...]. ^ top ^

Japan to buy disputed Diaoyu islands (SCMP)
2012-09-05
Japan's government has agreed to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a territorial dispute with China, a move likely to irk Beijing, Japanese dailies said on Wednesday.The central government will soon sign a contract to buy the islands claimed by both countries, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, for 2.05 billion yen (HK$203 million) from their Japanese landowners, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, quoting government sources. Deputy Chief Cabinet secretary Hiroyuki Nagahama met the landowners on Monday and struck the deal to buy three major islands in the chain, including Uotsurijima, the largest island, Yomiuri said. Government officials were not immediately available to confirm the reports. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet would soon confirm the nationalisation of the islands and allocate reserve funds for the purchase, the Asahi Shimbun reported. Noda plans to formally inform the Chinese about the move on the sidelines of the UN assembly meeting later this month, Asahi said, but a Japan-China summit has not yet been set. The move is aimed at underscoring Japan's control of the islands, “but China, which has opposed the nationalisation plan, will for sure step up criticism if the cabinet decides on the purchase”, the Asahi added. [...]. ^ top ^

China, India to resume joint army drills after 4-year hiatus (Global Times)
2012-09-05
China and India announced on Tuesday that the two biggest developing nations would resume joint military exercises after a four-year suspension due to a visa spat, after a meeting between the nations' defense chiefs in New Delhi. During the first visit to India by a Chinese defense Minister in eight years, Liang Guanglie and his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony reached many consensuses in their talks, the Xinhua News Agency said. [...] "We covered a lot about the situation in the South Asia, Asia-Pacific region," Antony told reporters after the meeting. "We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues... including in the border areas." Antony said the joint exercises will resume "at the earliest," without giving any timeline, Reuters reported. [...] Liang's three-day visit came at a time when the US seeks to forge closer ties with India by hinting that Washington was considering offering India more advanced weapons. India is concerned about China's military infrastructure buildup along the border areas and in response demands bigger defense budgets to offset China's rising power. [...] Asked whether China will seek a permanent naval base with expanding efforts in anti-piracy missions in the Indian Ocean, Liang said, "Since the beginning of their escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia at the end of 2008, the PLA Navy ships have conducted logistical supplies from the ports of Djibouti, Oman, and Yemen," Liang told The Hindu. "According to the need of escort missions and other long-distance voyages, we would also consider having logistical supplies or short rests at appropriate ports of other countries." "Such logistical supply activities do not have any connection with establishing military bases overseas," the defense minister said. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Republic of Congo vow to expand cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
China and the Republic of Congo on Tuesday vowed to cement friendship between the two nations and expand bilateral cooperation.The pledge was made during a meeting between visiting Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu and Congolese President Denis Sassou N'guesso in the Congolese capital Brazzaville, after which the two nations signed cooperation agreements on economy and technology. [...] Hui said the two nations should cement and pass on the tractional friendship and expand and deepen practical cooperation. He also said the two sides should enhance communication and coordination in dealing with international issues and implement the outcomes of the fifth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Denis Sassou N'guesso echoed Hui's remarks on the bilateral relations, saying the bilateral cooperation has covered various sectors and proved to be very successful. [...] He welcomed Hui's proposals on further strengthening the bilateral ties, hoping the cooperation will be stepped up in infrastructure, agriculture and farm products processing. [...]. ^ top ^

China, S. Korea agree to step up parliamentary exchanges (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
China and South Korea on Tuesday pledged to step up their parliamentary exchanges in a bid to facilitate the comprehensive development of bilateral ties. The pledge was made during a meeting between visiting Chinese senior legislator Chen Zhili and Kang Chang-hee, speaker of the South Korean National Assembly. Chen, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, also co-chaired the seventh meeting of regular exchanges between the NPC and the South Korean National Assembly with vice speaker of the South Korean parliament Lee Byung-suk. [...] During the meeting, the two sides held in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, the East Asia regional cooperation, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. [...]. ^ top ^

Beijing to take 'necessary measures' to defend territory (China Daily)
2012-09-06
Beijing pledged on Wednesday to take "necessary measures" to defend its territory in response to Tokyo's plan to "nationalize" China's Diaoyu Islands within the month. Analysts warned that Tokyo is pushing China-Japan ties into a corner. [...] "We cannot help but ask where is Japan trying to lead the islands issue to?" said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei in response to a question on Wednesday about the reports. "China is closely watching the situation and will take necessary measures to safeguard territorial sovereignty,'' Hong said. Sources at the State Oceanic Administration told China Daily that the relevant authorities have made preparations in case of any emergencies. [...] "In response to Japan's plans to enhance its rival claim over the islands, China should take firm and powerful countermeasures to express the country's determination to guard its sovereignty,'' said Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese president arrives in Vladivostok for APEC meeting (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok Thursday for the annual economic leaders' meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum slated for Saturday and Sunday. At the meeting, President Hu and other leaders of APEC members will discuss trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration, food security and establishment of reliable supply chains, as well as cooperation in fostering innovative growth. [...] Chinese officials said that at the meeting, Hu will present China's views on how to promote the world and regional economic growth, and elaborate China's stance on the topics of this year's meeting. Hu is scheduled to deliver a key-note speech at the APEC CEO summit. In his speech, Chinese officials said, the Chinese president will talk about China's current economic situation and economic policies, and make proposals on developing infrastructure for sustainable growth in the region. During the meeting, Hu and other leaders will meet members of the APEC business Advisory Council (ABAC) to seek their recommendations for future work in specified priority areas, such as pushing forward the Doha Round negotiations, strengthening regional economic integration, enhancing food security, establishing reliable supply chains, and expanding cooperation in fostering innovative growth. [...]. ^ top ^

China, Russia vow further inter-parliamentary, economic cooperation (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
China and Russia on Thursday vowed to further promote cooperation between their two parliaments and intensify bilateral economic ties. In his talks with visiting Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo offered a four-point proposal to step up the inter-parliamentary cooperation with an aim to take the bilateral ties to a higher level. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, called on both sides to increase mutual political support and deepen mutual trust so as to safeguard both countries' interests on sovereignty, safety and development. Secondly, the two sides need to cooperate more and better, and enhance exchanges in the fields of governance and legislation, urged Wu. They also need to boost cultural and personnel exchanges on the occasion of hosting the tourism year in each country so as to strengthen friendship between young people and young politicians, said the top legislator. Lastly, both countries need to intensify coordination and strategic cooperation in international and regional parliamentary organizations in order to safeguard common interests, according to Wu. [...] The sides agreed that local cooperation is the priority for bilateral ties in the next 10 years. Legislative institutions of both countries need to contribute more to promoting local cooperation and economic development, they believe. After the talks, Wu and Matviyenko attended the second session of the sixth meeting of the China-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee. [...]. ^ top ^

China to strengthen cooperation with Central, Eastern Europe (Xinhua)
2012-09-07
China will enhance cooperation with Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries as a secretariat was established in Beijing on Thursday. [...] Song Tao, secretary-general of the secretariat as well as China's vice foreign minister, said at a coordinators' meeting of the countries held in Beijing on Thursday that China and CEE countries have steadily pushed forward pragmatic cooperation in economy, culture, education, tourism and other fields, and the secretariat will promote further cooperation. [...] The Chinese side plans to organize a special tourist products promotion event for China and CEE countries during the China International Tourism Mart in November 2012. It also plans to hold a forum on cultural cooperation between China and CEE countries in the first half of 2013, as well as the first Young Political Leaders Forum of China and CEE countries and the first Education Policy Dialogue between China and CEE countries in the second half of 2013. CEE countries that attended the meeting included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. ^ top ^

After no-shows, Xi Jinping back to business, to meet Danish PM (SCMP)
2012-09-07
Vice-President Xi Jinping will meet the Danish prime minister on Monday, his first appearance since pulling out of a meeting with Hillary Rodham Clinton this week. His withdrawal from that and another meeting with a visiting official led to speculation about the reason for the no-shows. The government-backed All-China Journalists Association told Hong Kong media by text message that Xi would receive Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Usually such announcements by the association do not disclose which Chinese officials the foreign leaders will meet. But yesterday saw a break with form, as journalists were told of the parties involved. Although the brief message simply invited the Hong Kong press to apply to cover the meeting, it was taken as a tacit attempt to dismiss rumours about why Xi had cancelled Wednesday's meeting with the US secretary of state and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. [...]. ^ top ^

Hu urges restraint for China, Vietnam on sea issue (China Daily)
2012-09-07
Chinese President Hu Jintao said China and Vietnam should keep cool-headed and show restraint on the South China Sea issue. Hu made the remarks while meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on Friday morning at the 20th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. In the meeting, Hu said China is not willing to allow China-Vietnam ties to witness difficulties because of their dispute over the South China Sea. [...] Hu said the two sides should keep cool-headed and show restraint, and avoid taking any unilateral measure that would magnify, complicate or internationalize the dispute, in order not to let the South China Sea issue affect East Asian cooperation or regional stability. Truong said Vietnam is ready to work together with China, keeping in mind the strategic interests of bilateral ties, and properly resolve the maritime issue through peaceful negotiations. ^ top ^

Myanmar vice president meets Chinese PLA deputy chief (People's Daily)
2012-09-07
Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun met with visiting Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Ma Xiaotian in Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday and they held discussions in a friendly atmosphere. U Nyan Tun said Myanmar and China have been friendly for long years with the two peoples enjoying the paukphaw (fraternal) friendship. In recent years, frequent exchange of high-level visits has brought about fruitful results in trade and economic cooperation. [...] On Wednesday, Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's Defense Services Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing met with General Ma in Nay Pyi Taw. Min Aung Hlaing said the potential for exchange and cooperation between the two armed forces remains great and the prospects are broad. Myanmar hopes to continue good communication and coordination with the Chinese side and will strive to raise the level of exchange and cooperation in various fields and further push the overall development of their comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Yang Chuantang appointed minister of transport (Xinhua)
2012-08-31
BEIJING - China's top legislature on Friday appointed Yang Chuantang as minister of transport, replacing Li Shenglin.The decision was made through a vote at a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee that concluded on Friday. Li, 66, served as minister of transport and the ministry's Communist Party of China (CPC) chief from December 2005 to July 2012, when he was removed from his post. Yang, 58, has served as the ministry's Party chief since July. He served as the Party chief of the Tibet autonomous region from December 2004 to May 2006. ^ top ^

Car crash scandal complicates leadership transition (SCMP)
2012-09-03
[...] On March 15, the Communist Party leadership sacked Bo Xilai from his position as party chief of Chongqing, bringing to the public's attention one of the biggest political crises to beset the party in a decade. Three days later, an accident in Beijing, involving a Ferrari, the son of one of the mainland's most powerful officials and two young, ethnic-minority girls, served as a double whammy to the party's leadership. [...] Despite strong reactions from within the party, Chinese leaders seem to have decided to sweep the crash under the carpet, presumably because the party can't afford another major scandal made public so close to the leadership transition. Saturday's announcement that Ling Jihua had been appointed to head the United Front Work Department served as a strong indication that Hu wants to engineer a "soft landing" for his protégé, but it also means that the prospects of Ling securing a seat on the Politburo have dimmed greatly. [...] But Ling's "soft landing" has apparently angered many party elders and officials, who raised sharp questions over the elaborate attempt to cover up the accident, including the forging of a death certificate, and about how a young man in his 20s could afford such a Ferrari. [...]. ^ top ^

Editor at Communist Party mouthpiece blasts leaders (SCMP)
2012-09-04
Offering a contrasting view to the official line, which has hailed the decade-long reign of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao as "golden and glorious", Deng Yuwen, a deputy editor of the newspaper, which is run by the party's central school, said they had "created more problems than achievements". The rare, scathing critique of the political legacy of incumbent state leaders came at a particularly sensitive time, with Beijing scrambling to finalise preparations for the upcoming national party congress. Highlighting the sensitivity of the topic, two-thirds of the article, believed to have first appeared on the website of Caijing Magazine late last week, has been removed by government censors. However, the full version of Deng's article could still be found on blogs. [...] The problems he listed included stagnant economic restructuring, pollution, income disparity, the notoriously outdated family planning and household registration polices, a looming energy crisis, moral degradation and the country's battered international image. He said all those grave problems could be attributed to one particular cause: the lack of real political reform. Although it was a tough challenge to embrace growing public demands for greater democracy and accountability, "the authorities should at least offer some hope by showing their sincerity with concrete actions", Deng said. [...] Deng was also critical of economic policy after the global financial crisis, based on a four trillion yuan (HK$4.54 trillion) stimulus package, which was widely criticised for helping a resurgence of energy-intensive and heavily polluting industries. Hu and Wen's lacklustre performance and an increase in internet-based activism had seen a rise in protests over pollution disputes and a lack of respect for basic human rights, constantly threatening the current leadership's ultimate goal of social stability, Deng wrote. [...]. ^ top ^

China to launch new round of safety inspection in collieries (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
China will launch a new round of safety inspections in collieries nationwide, said Yang Dongliang, head of State Administration of Work Safety, on Tuesday. Yang stressed that the inspections would be a panoramic and thorough one. The announcement comes after a deadly colliery blast last Wednesday in southwest China's Sichuan Province, which caused the death of 45 miners. For mine owners who push miners to work overtime or under high intensity in order to increase coal output, Yang ordered an immediate halt of production and temporary seizure of business licenses. [...] Those who fail safety inspections will not be allowed to continue in the mining business said Yang. ^ top ^

Former Chongqing police chief faces charges (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
Wang Lijun, Chongqing's former vice mayor and police chief, has been charged with bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking by the Chengdu City People's Procuratorate, Xinhua learned from authorities on Wednesday. The prosecuting body filed the charges against Wang with the Intermediate People's Court of Chengdu City, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. [...] According to the indictment issued by the Chengdu City People's Procuratorate, although the defendant Wang Lijun, then-vice mayor of Chongqing as well as chief of the municipality's Public Security Bureau, had known beforehand that Bogu Kailai was under serious suspicion of murdering Neil Heywood, he consciously neglected his duty and bent the law for personal gain so that Bogu Kailai would not be held legally responsible. Wang was indicted for the crime of bending the law for personal gain. Prosecutors said Wang, while he was performing his official duty, left his post without authorization and defected to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu. He was also indicted for the crime of defection. [...] He was indicted for the crime of power abuse. Wang also took advantage of his position and accepted massive bribes in a bid to secure benefits for other individuals. He was indicted for the crime of bribe-taking. [...] The Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court has accepted the case and will hold a trial at a later date. ^ top ^

China sacks official for son's job scandal (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
A local official in south China's Zhongshan has been sacked for abuse of power in recruiting her son as a civil servant, according to a circular issued on Wednesday by national human resources authorities. It said that Liang Guoying, while a senior official with the city's human resources bureau, ordered others in charge to change her son's score in the written test of the 2012 provincial civil servant selection in order to make him qualify for the interview round. Local authorities expelled Liang from her office, withdrew her membership of the Communist Party of China and referred the case to the prosecutor, said the document from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and its affiliated State Administration of Civil Service. Another five officials involved were also punished according to internal disciplinary procedures, said the circular, adding that the offer given to Liang's son has been canceled. [...] According to a separate report in a local newspaper in the same province, Liang was charged in a criminal trial on Monday with abuse of power in recruiting civil servants and may face up to three years of imprisonment. ^ top ^

China moves to boost work safety ahead of key meeting (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
China's work safety authority said Thursday that it will launch a nationwide work safety inspection campaign this month to prevent major deadly accidents. In a statement to local governments, the State Council Work Safety Commission said a special inspection campaign will be conducted across the country from mid- to late-September. [...] Inspectors will examine whether local governments have planned and implemented security measures aimed at ensuring social stability during the period when the Communist Party of China convenes its 18th National Congress later this year. Random safety inspections over mines, buildings and construction sites, along with those over the road, river and marine traffic, fire service, hazardous chemicals, fireworks, civil explosives and metallurgy sectors, will be conducted during the campaign, according to the commission. [...]. ^ top ^

China's defence minister causes stir over cash gift to pilots in India (SCMP)
2012-09-07
China's defence minister caused a diplomatic headache on his trip to India this week by giving two air force pilots a 100,000-rupee (HK$13,900) tip after they flew him through stormy weather from Mumbai to New Delhi, Indian newspapers reported yesterday. General Liang Guanglie, who headed to Laos yesterday after wrapping up a five-day trip to India, handed over the cash in two sealed envelopes, each with 50,000 rupees, on Monday evening after the flight, according to The Hindu, based in New Delhi. The newspaper said the cash gift broke Indian protocol, which forbids air force crews from accepting money. [...] The paper quoted a source as saying that it is a normal custom for visiting dignitaries to present mementos to aircraft crew as a token of their appreciation for the services rendered to them and their delegation, but money is never offered. The money was to be deposited in the government treasury. [...] Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to comment on the cash gift, saying: "I am not aware of the specifics." The Ministry of Defence did not reply to queries. [...]. ^ top ^

Students made to work at Foxconn as interns (China Daily)
2012-09-07
A number of vocational schools in Huai'an, Jiangsu province, have required students to do internships at Foxconn Technology Group, making USB data lines for the new iPhone handset as its release date draws near. A student named Song from the Open University of Huai'an said she could not get the credit needed for graduation if she refused. "The university told us it's a good way to experience corporate culture," the 19-year-old said. "Even though many of my classmates are reluctant to go to Foxconn, our teachers still asked us to work there starting in August." She added that almost all the vocational schools in the city, including some related to food science and finance, have sent students to Foxconn, Apple's largest supplier. Her university provided more than 3,000 students. [...] An English major named Zhao confirmed that the students just put together components of USB data lines at the factory. "I don't think we can improve our skills through that 'internship' the schools are requiring," the sophomore said. [...] The Huai'an government said that all vocational schools must follow the policies of education departments and any violations, such as the Foxconn internships, must cease. An employee from the human resources department at Foxconn's Huai'an plant conceded that the approaching launch of Apple's new handset has brought big orders to the plant. "The high demand for the handset has led to us being short-staffed at the plant," said the woman on condition of anonymity. "It's been even worse since some people finished their summer jobs and left." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing seeks cure for urban development ills (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
Beijing is striving to cope with problems that have emerged as a result of the country's rapid urbanization, with the municipal government signing an agreement with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to boost the capabilities of an urban development research institute under the Capital University of Economics and Business.The agreement states that both sides will work to boost the institute's potential to provide intelligent solutions to problems that have constrained the city's development. The rapid growth of Chinese cities has led to a variety of problems, including soaring populations, traffic jams, housing and water shortages, security problems and decreased living standards for some segments of the population. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

Guangdong to maintain child policy (Global Times)
2012-09-06
The Guangdong family planning department confirmed Wednesday that it would stay in line with the national authorities and not make changes to current policies, in response to speculation that the province would apply for approval for couples to have a second child. "Currently, Guangdong will not loosen the family planning policies," a source close to the Guangdong Provincial Population and Family Planning Commission told the Global Times on condition of anonymity. Luo Wenzhi, director of the commission, said in a local radio program on Tuesday that the nation has decided not to carry out pilot reforms on the family planning policy and has not accepted any applications of this kind, stressing that there would be no major adjustment to the policy in the near future, the Guangzhou Daily reported. [...]. ^ top ^

More trials broadcast online (Global Times)
2012-09-07
In an effort to promote transparency of the judiciary, the Guangdong High People's Court in South China's Guangdong Province has ordered every collegiate tribunal to broadcast live on Weibo some cases that have relatively important social influence, reported the Nanfang Daily Thursday. The high court made its first move in online judicial transparency by opening its official Tencent Weibo under the name of Fayaolingnan in December last year. It is now doing more than publishing postings relating to trials. [...] "Cases that are closely connected to daily life and those with great social influence are chosen to be broadcast through Weibo," Yun Lizhen, director of the publicity department at the Guangdong court, told the Global Times. "For a government body that has been labeled mysterious, the openness of Weibo provides a good platform to communicate with the public," Zheng E, head of the court, told the Nanfang Daily. [...] Putting the trial live on Weibo reflects a report made during the 11th Guangdong Provincial Congress of the CPC this May, which stated that government will increase the public's participation in government affairs through the Internet. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

Tibet to receive 10 mln tourists this year (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is expected to receive a record 10 million-plus tourists this year, a local tourism official said Monday. [...] Yu said more than 7 million domestic or foreign tourists visited Tibet from January to August, up more than 25 percent year on year. Tourism revenue over the past eight months jumped 30 percent year on year to 7.5 billion yuan. Yu attributed the boom to tour activities organized this year. Such activities have run under the themes of Tibetan culture and scenic beauty, such as mountains, snowy landscapes and sunshine. Large-scale advertising and various festivals, such as Tibetan New Year, have also helped attract tourists, he said. [...] The number of tourists traveling to Tibet has been growing by an average of 30 percent annually in the past five years. Last year, more than 8.69 million people visited Tibet, bringing in tourism revenue of 9.7 billion yuan. Authorities aim to see 15 million tourists annually by 2015. ^ top ^

China extends free education in Tibet to preschool (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
The government will extend a free education program in southwest China's Tibet autonomous region starting from September to include all preschool children, an unprecedented measure among the country's provincial-level regions. Children in Tibet will be able to enjoy 15 years of free education from kindergarten to senior high school. Children in most parts of the country receive just nine years of free schooling. [...] Children in Tibet's kindergartens are taught in both the Mandarin and Tibetan languages, the spokesman said. "The government is actively pushing for bilingual preschool education. Tibetan children in kindergartens will learn their own language while being trained to communicate in Mandarin," the spokesman said. Experts say preschool has been a weak link in the educational system in Tibet. Last year, only 35 percent of preschool-age children in Tibet - 41,700 kids - were enrolled in kindergartens. The government has pledged to raise the ratio to 60 percent by 2015. For this year alone, 217 kindergartens will be built or renovated to accommodate increased enrollment, the spokesman said. [...] For centuries, secular schools for the masses had struggled to take hold in Tibet, where monasteries have played a key role in the region's predominantly Buddhist society. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

"Bridgehead" takes shape amid China's fresh westward opening-up drive (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
The northwestern region of Xinjiang has been leading China's latest opening-up drive, fortifying a "bridgehead" for the country's economic and trade ties with the Eurasian nations. China's Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday while opening the second China-Eurasia Expo at Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, that the region's geographical, cultural and resource advantages have become more prominent in the course of China's opening up to the west and along the border areas. "Xinjiang has become the bridgehead for China's mutually beneficial cooperation with the Eurasian nations, especially the neighboring countries," he said. [...] Some investors expressed great interest in exporting their products through the gateway of Xinjiang to central Asia. "Yes, I believe Xinjiang is a perfect 'springboard' for our business to access the west, the central Asian areas," said Peng Jun, board chairman of a shoe company in the southwestern Sichuan Province at the expo. "Our logistics costs will be cut by at least 20 percent if we export our products through the westward gateway of Xinjiang rather than through the sea route in the eastern coasts." [...] The "springboard" came amid Xinjiang's massive infrastructure construction along its borders. Seventeen state-level open ports, two international airports and extensive roads and railways link the landlocked region with its neighbours to the west, most of which share same languages and cultures with the ethnic groups densely populated in the autonomous region. Addressing the expo's opening ceremony on Sunday, Premier Wen urged an advanced cooperation in cross-border infrastructure, including the China-Central Asia natural gas pipelines and major railway and highway projects, to accelerate the connectivity process. [...] Xinjiang's land ports have reported a nearly 20 percent year-on-year increase of the departure and arrivals in the first six months of this year, with a 7.8 percent increase in export and export of cargos. The increases were linked to Xinjiang's 10.7 percent of GDP growth in the first half, 2.9 percentage higher than the country's average. [...]. ^ top ^

Premier Wen stresses development, stability for Xinjiang (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
Premier Wen Jiabao has stressed during his inspection tour of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from Sept. 3 to 5 that promoting leapfrog development in the area is key to its long-term stability. "The development and stability of Xinjiang is closely related to the country's overall situation concerning reform, development and security. We must step up efforts to build a more prosperous, harmonious and stable Xinjiang," Wen said, urging full use of local resources and improvements in people's livelihoods. The premier called for the region to accelerate the construction of major bases for gas, oil, coal and wind energy, and foster pillar industries in these fields to lead development in other sectors. [...] Noting that Xinjiang's neighboring countries are among the fastest-developing energy markets and potential major consumers, Wen urged the region to sensibly develop its processing trade, expand exports of products with local flavors and step up building commercial and trade centers. Highlighting ethnic unity and social stability, Wen called on the Xinjiang government to strengthen a sense of interdependence of all ethnic groups among local residents, with respect for the habits and traditions of minority groups and protection of ethnic people's cultures and rights. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Class boycotts threatened in fight against national education (SCMP)
2012-09-04
Activists opposed to the introduction of national education in schools have vowed to besiege the government headquarters indefinitely until authorities withdraw the subject. The "Occupy Tamar" protest went into its fifth day on the first day of school yesterday, with an estimated 8,000 black-clad protesters taking part in a rally. Leaders said they planned to step up their action to include class boycotts. But Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the debate should not just be about whether the subject - condemned by opponents as "brainwashing" - should be withdrawn. She said it should be about ways of "nurturing our next generation to have the right attitude and know about the country". But she said there was a need to avoid "brainwashing". Lam was speaking outside the headquarters in Admiralty 90 minutes after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying ignored a 5pm deadline protesters set for him to meet them, which they later extended to 7pm. Professional Teachers' Union vice-president Wong Hak-lim, one of the protesters, said Leung had "departed from Hong Kong interests to woo Beijing". He said opponents would "seriously plan and organise a disobedience movement, including boycotting classes". [...] The protests spilled to other areas, particularly outside primary schools that will launch national education this year. [...] Earlier, Lam rejected rumours she planned to order police to clear the protest site. She said on RTHK that "not for a single minute did the idea of site-clearing appear in our minds". The Education Bureau denied it "pressurised" schools but admitted officials had called schools over the introduction of the subject. More than 150 protesters said they planned to stay at the government offices overnight. ^ top ^

Education crisis forces Leung to axe Apec summit trip (SCMP)
2012-09-06
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying cancelled his trip to tomorrow's Apec leaders' summit in Russia to deal with the controversies on his own doorstep. Leung must defuse the turmoil over national education, as well as decide on a scheme to restrict sales of new homes to Hong Kong buyers. He also has to deal with the issue of the influx of visitors after the relaxation of permit rules for residents in Shenzhen and five other mainland cities. News of the cancellation came nine hours before he was due to fly to Vladivostok last night. It is the first time a chief executive has not attended the summit since the handover. [...] Meanwhile, Shenzhen authorities announced two weeks ago they would offer multiple-visit permits for Hong Kong to the city's 4.1 million non-permanent residents from last Saturday. Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou, also relaxed rules on single-entry permits to visit Hong Kong. The changes angered Hongkongers concerned about the impact of mainland visitors on the city's infrastructure. Leung announced on Friday no entry permits from any of the six cities would be issued in the next 21 days. The source said: "Announcements on both the property and permit schemes are likely in the next two days." [...]. ^ top ^

Hong Kong's record on disabled rights attacked at UN (SCMP)
2012-09-06
Hong Kong will be accused of falling short on protecting the rights of people with disabilities at a United Nations committee hearing later this month. At its meeting on September 17-18, the UN's Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will consider criticisms of Hong Kong's record from a group of local non-governmental organisations. Their submission accuses the government of failing to address limited education and employment opportunities along with accessibility issues and unsatisfactory legal protection for the city's disabled community. While Beijing has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Hong Kong's government still adheres to its own Disability Discrimination Ordinance, a much narrower entity that does not oblige it to promote equal opportunities. "Countries such as New Zealand and the UK made legislative amendments after they endorsed the UN Convention," said retired social worker Emily Fung Wai-ying, who represents one of the NGOs that made the submission. "But Hong Kong has not. Schools should be asked to provide appropriate support to students with special needs." [...]. ^ top ^

More HK students attend mainland universities (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
Nearly 1,000 Hong Kong students have been admitted to Chinese mainland universities this year without taking a previously mandatory joint entrance exam, Minister of Education Yuan Guiren said Thursday. Sixty-three mainland universities were authorized last November to receive Hong Kong applicants, who do not now have to take the entrance exam. Previously, the exam was jointly run by 205 mainland universities, and a requirement for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao students was to take the joint exams when applying for mainland universities, Yuan said at a press conference. A total of 971 students out of 4,247 applicants from Hong Kong were admitted to mainland colleges this year after passing independent exams held by each university for the first time, he said. "Hong Kong students should be treated the same as their mainland counterparts," Yuan said, adding the government provided a scholarship for 30 percent of Hong Kong students studying on the mainland. Universities accepting Hong Kong students are entitled to a government subsidy of 8,000 yuan (1261.83 U.S. dollars) per student each year, he added. [...]. ^ top ^

Two Kai Tak sites chosen for HK-only buyers in pilot property scheme (SCMP)
2012-09-07
Two sites at the former Kai Tak airport have been selected for a pilot scheme in which homes will be sold only to Hong Kong permanent residents for 30 years. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday the "Hong Kong property for Hong Kong residents" policy was finalised. [...] He said: "The main reason for this is to put priority into satisfying the housing needs of those who see Hong Kong as their home, with our scarce land resources. Our legal advice is that the idea is implementable." [...] Companies are ruled out and the resale of those homes will also be confined to locals. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taipei to boost cyberwar defences (SCMP)
2012-09-03
[...] Taiwan plans to beef up its cyberwar capabilities to counter a perceived threat from mainland hackers targeting government and security websites, local media reported yesterday. Taiwan will expand its cyberwar units next year while scaling back military spending due to budget constraints, the Taipei-based Liberty Times reported, citing a 2013 budget plan submitted by the National Security Bureau to parliament for approval. In the six months to June, hackers launched more than one million attacks on the bureau's website, making it one of the most heavily targeted government sites, the paper said. [...]. ^ top ^

Local legislators inspect live ammunition drills on Taiping Island (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
Three Taiwanese local legislators on Tuesday flew to Taiping Island in the South China Sea to inspect live ammunition drills conducted by Taiwan coast guards. Legislators Lin Yufang, Chen Chenhsiang and Chen Tingfei, will also take a photo in front a monument on the island. In the drills which involve light and heavy weaponry, mortars and howitzers were fired at targets on the sea. The drills started on Saturday and will last till Wednesday. [...] Local media reports said Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou plans to visit an island near the Diaoyu Islands in the following days. ^ top ^

Taiwan to step up patrols in territorial waters (SCMP)
2012-09-06
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has ordered stepped-up patrols in Taiwan's territorial waters in the East China Sea and told authorities to budget funds for "maintenance" of an airport on a Taiwan-held islet in the South China Sea. [...] During a weekly Kuomintang meeting in Taipei yesterday, Ma said Taiwan's coastguard must increase its patrols and escorts of Taiwanese fishing vessels in waters near the Diaoyus. The patrols and escorts "should not be limited to once in a few years - they should be once a month or even once a day during the fishing season", he told Coastguard Administration chief Wang Chin-wang, who used the meeting to apprise Ma about the coastguard's latest patrols and escort missions. [...] The president also backed the coastguard's actions in confronting its Japanese counterparts during escorts of Taiwanese fishing boats operating in the disputed waters. Also tomorrow, Ma plans to lead a group of senior government officials and lawmakers in a visit to the Taiwan-held Pengjia Islet, located just 76 nautical miles east of the Diaoyus. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China's economy to continue to moderate (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
BEIJING - Upcoming results will show China's economy continued to weaken in August due to the government's caution in one-off stimulus plans and the sluggish recovery of the country's trading partners, a new report by the United Bank of Switzerland Limited has predicted. The Consumer Prices Index, a main gauge of inflation, will show a rebound in August of 2 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month, driven by growth in food prices, the UBS said in its weekly report, released on Thursday. CPI eased to 1.8 percent in July, the lowest reading over the past 30 months, in the wake of the government's price control measures. However, food prices, which account for one third of China's CPI calculation, are likely to rebound over the next few months as the weather's turning cold will affect vegetable harvests. Meanwhile, the UBS forecast that the Producer Price Index, the inflation gauge at the wholesale level, will have fallen 3.2 percent, larger than a decrease of 2.9 percent in July and in sharp contrast with the 7.3 percent increase in the same period last year. [...] Affected by sagging demand from the European Union and United States, exports are likely to have expanded by a mere 2.5 percent in August, the UBS added. Though that's higher than the figure of 1.0 percent in July, it represents a substantive decline from the 24.4-percent growth in the same period last year. [...] But the bank maintains that the government's growth target of 7.5 percent this year is achievable despite the slowing recovery. ^ top ^

Chinese take lion's share of Forbes Asia Fab 50 (China Daily)
2012-09-04
Chinese companies accounted for more than half of this year's Asia Fab 50, a list compiled by Forbes.com of the 50 best publicly traded companies in the Asia-Pacific region, despite the economic slowdown. In the list, 27 companies were from China, according to Forbes.com. Technology companies are starting to make their presence felt on the list. Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc is new to the list this year. [...] Chinese footwear maker Belle International Holdings also joined the list this year. The company now controls more than 50 percent of China's medium and high-end footwear market. [...] Another sector well presented in the list is real estate. Although China's real estate market has been rocky over the past year, three Chinese property developers still got on the list — returnee China Vanke, newcomer Longfor Properties Co Ltd and Poly Real Estate. [...]. ^ top ^

China raises rice purchase prices amid global fluctuations (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
China's top economic planning agency said Tuesday that it will raise the minimum purchase prices for mid-season and late rice in 2012, as severe droughts in the United States and other grain-producing countries have driven up food prices in the global market. The minimum purchase price for mid-season and late indica rice will be raised to 2.5 yuan (39.4 U.S. cents) per kg, up 16.82 percent from a year earlier, according to a statement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Meanwhile, the minimum purchase price for japonica rice will be set at 2.8 yuan per kg, up 9.38 percent from last year, according to the NDRC. The new prices will be effective in Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Sichuan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region from Sept. 16 to Dec. 31 this year. In northeast China's provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, the new mimumum purchase price for rice will be applied from Nov. 16, 2012 to March 31, 2013 due to different climate conditions, said the NDRC. According to the scheme, if the market price of mid-season and late rice remains below the minimum purchase price for three consecutive days, the state-owned China Grain Reserves Corp. will intervene and buy the rice at the minimum purchase price. China has raised its purchase price five years in a row to safeguard food security. [...]. ^ top ^

Iron ore imports pile up in China's ports (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
Iron ore stockpiles continued to build up at 25 major ports during the week ending on Sept. 3 as Chinese steel makers posted widespread losses in the first seven months of the year, according to Xinhua's latest iron ore price report released on Tuesday. Inventories of imported iron ore at the ports climbed 1.86 million tonnes from the previous week to 102.53 million tonnes. [...] Most steel companies were reluctant to fill their stocks of raw materials, as demand from the property and manufacturing sectors, the industry's primary customers, has remained weak amid the current economic slowdown. "In the short-term, the iron ore market will continue to suffer from oversupplying and the downward trend seems irreversible," Xinhua analysts said in the report. Chinese steel companies saw their profits decline sharply in the first half, with the sector's combined profits tumbling 49.4 percent from a year earlier to 6.64 billion yuan (1.05 billion U.S. dollars), data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) showed. [...]. ^ top ^

China will need over 5,000 new airplanes by 2031: Boeing (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
Boeing, China's leading provider of passenger airplanes, on Wednesday forecast that China will need 5,260 new commercial airplanes by 2031. These airplanes will cost China a total of 670 billion U.S. dollars over the next 20 years, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said Wednesday. Driven by market demand, airline companies in China are expected to expand international business at an average annual rate of 8.9 percent in the coming 20 years, said Tinseth. Over 75 percent of the 5,260 airplanes needed would be used to meet increased market demand, not serving as replacements for old planes, he said. [...]. ^ top ^

China to spend massively on farmland improvement (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
The government will spend 37.36 billion yuan (about 5.93 billion U.S. dollars) to improve the quality of farmland this year, the Ministry of Finance said Thursday. The fund, which is a part of the country's comprehensive agricultural development plan, includes 21.92 billion yuan from the central budget and 12.05 billion yuan from local budgets, the ministry said. The government plans to improve the quality of 15.47 million mu (1.03 million hectares) of medium- and low-yield land and build 13.31 million mu of high-quality farmland by the end of 2012, said the ministry. The government will also support improvements for 45 water-saving projects in medium-sized irrigation districts, said the ministry. [...]. ^ top ^

China approves 25 urban rail projects to boost economy (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
China's top economic planning agency has approved 25 urban rail projects that could be worth more than 800 billion yuan (126.98 billion U.S. dollars). The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday announced the approvals of project plans and feasibility reports for the 25 projects in cities including Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Lanzhou, Guangzhou and Xiamen, according to the NDRC's website. The move marks the government's latest effort to stabilize economic growth when external demand remains weak as the U.S. economy has been struggling to gain traction and Europe is slipping toward a recession, Xu Changle, professor of regional economics at the East China Normal University. [...] Forty Chinese cities will have subway systems by 2020, bringing the total track length to 7,000 km, 4.3 times the current length, according to the China Association of Metros, an organization under the direct supervision of the NDRC. ^ top ^

Chinese photovoltaic companies call on European Commission to halt protectionism (Xinhua)
2012-09-06
Chinese photovoltaic (PV) companies on Thursday called on the European Commission to halt protectionism after it decided to launch an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar exports. [...] Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said Thursday that the country "deeply regrets" the European Commission's decision. "Restricting China's solar panel products will not only hurt the interests of both the Chinese and European solar industries, it will also undermine the healthy development of the global solar and clean energy sector," Shen said [...] Industry insiders have previously stated that if the EU initiates an investigation, a large number of Chinese PV companies could face bankruptcy. [...] Chinese PV companies, worried about potential damage to their profitability, are now making preparations for the investigation. "We will closely cooperate with the European Commission in order to prove that the conditions for the imposition of punitive tariffs have not been fulfilled," said Miao Liansheng, chairman and chief executive officer of Yingli Green Energy. [...]. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Malaysia, DPRK vow to strengthen ties (Xinhua)
2012-08-31
Malaysia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed to strengthen cooperation and expand bilateral ties, the Malaysian foreign ministry said on Friday. [...] Mohd Radzi Abdul Rahman, secretary general of Malaysia's foreign ministry, headed a delegation to visit the DPRK. [...] The two countries also agreed to organize special events to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year. [...]. ^ top ^

N Korea-Iran deal on scientific co-operation (SCMP)
2012-09-03
TEHRAN - Iran and North Korea signed a scientific and technological co-operation agreement, bringing the two nations deeply at odds with the US closer together. Iranian state television said the accord would include setting up joint scientific and technological laboratories, exchange of scientific teams and transfer of technology. ^ top ^

Typhoon Bolaven kills 48 in DPRK (Xinhua)
2012-09-03
Typhoon Bolaven caused severe damage to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), leaving 48 people dead and 21,180 homeless, the official news agency KCNA reported on Monday. As of Sunday, it was confirmed that Typhoon Bolaven, which swept the country last Tuesday and Wednesday with strong wind and heavy rain, has destroyed 6,700 houses across the country, the KCNA said. The typhoon damaged at least 50,000 hectares of crops and 45,320 hectares of rice paddies. More than 16,730 trees fell down, 880 industrial and public buildings were ruined, and tens of educational and medical service buildings were destroyed, according to the KCNA. [...]. ^ top ^

DPRK accuses Japan of seeking "ulterior" purpose in talks (Xinhua)
2012-09-05
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday denounced Japan for "seeking an ulterior political purpose" in recent inter-governmental preliminary talks. During the talks, held in Beijing late last month, "both sides informed the other side of their stands on the inter-governmental talks that will be held regarding the issue of the remains of Japanese" buried in the DPRK, the official KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying. [...] However, he noted, the Japanese government and some media are saying that the DPRK has accepted the inclusion of "abduction issue" in the main agenda items of the talks and the DPRK is expecting sort of economic rewards through the issue of remains of Japanese. "But this is a sheer lie," he stressed, adding that "the misrepresentation of facts which is a mockery of the good faith shown by the DPRK increases the suspicion as to the Japanese side's abuse of the issue of remains for meeting its sordid political purpose." [...]. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

School new year begins (NEWS.MN)
2012-09-01
School new year begins on September 3. Usually school new year in Mongolia begins on September 1. But this year September 1 was Saturday and lessons moved to Monday. Nationwide 168 thousand children will study in 927 kindergarten and 506 thousand students will study in 763 secondary school. Mongolia spent 20 per cent of state budget to the education sector. President of Mongolia has tradition to start first lesson via National Public Television and Radio since 2009, when he took a Presidential Office. According to the education and Science Ministry 175 thousand students will study in 98 universities and institutes. ^ top ^

New traffic congestion regulations making a big difference (UB Post)
2012-09-04
Capital city authorities have started to implement works to reduce traffic congestion and one of them is traffic restriction according to number plates. Changes have also been made to the schedule of major trade centres. The new schedule and ‘once a week' traffic restrictions started on August 27 and will last until October 27 in Ulaanbaatar. The Order of the Governor of Ulaanbaatar City is working as it seems traffic congestion has been reduced. As only buses are allowed to go on the inner lane, buses have become the fastest means of travel in Ulaanbaatar. At the moment total of 1,100 big and small buses are doing their rounds. The number of passengers using public transportation has already increased markedly. Head of the Public Communications Department of the Traffic Police S.Enkhbat stated, “Since the start of the new traffic arrangements, traffic congestion has decreased by 20 percent. The city dwellers are positive about the traffic arrangement. Only public transportation can use the inner lane. Before the start of the arrangement, it took hours to get to your desired place by bus. But now, buses have become the fastest transportation means in the city and more people are using public transportation go get to works and home. It has been noticed that buses has become overcrowded in mornings and the evenings.” Officials and traffic police are working from 7am until 10pm on weekdays with no days off. A total of 150 assistant workers are also working on the roads. First offenders are banned from driving that day and are hit with a 5000 MNT fine. Repeat offenders will be deprived of their driving rights and will be imposed with higher monetary fines. As a result, the number of offenders has been decreasing day by day. On the first day of traffic restriction 2,165 drivers were banned. A week later the number of drivers who broke the governor's ordinance was reduced to 617. ^ top ^

Mongolia's new gov't releases program for next 4 years (Xinhua)
2012-09-04
The new government of Mongolia has released its program for the next four years, pledging all-round economic reforms, local media reported Tuesday. [...] Major measures listed in the program include efforts to reform export policy, capital market and taxation system, reduce interest rates of loans, cancel export tariffs on commodities except mineral products as well as lower import tariffs on commodities by 80 percent except mineral products. The program requires that Mongolia must own no less than 51 percent of shares of foreign-funded companies in the country. In order to safeguard energy security and reduce inflation, the program proposes to build oil refineries and a Ulan Bator-Zamiin Uud expressway. Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altanhuyag said Mongolia faces great development opportunities and the country's economy is expected to grow 14 to 15 percent annually by 2020. On foreign policy, the program says Mongolia will continue to develop strategic partnerships with Russia and China. ^ top ^

Chalco ends up deal (MONTSAME)
2012-09-05
Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., also known as Chalco, has ended its bid to acquire Mongolia-focused coal producer SouthGobi Resources Ltd., the deal's would-be seller, Dow Jones Newswires on Monday. As it was expected, the acquisition would have significantly enlarged China's role in its landlocked neighbor's critical resources sector, but ran aground because of political opposition in Ulaanbaatar and China's economic slowdown SouthGobi Chief Executive Officer Alexander Molyneux told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday he believed the deal would not be concluded since Chalco had not contacted SouthGobi for more than a month. Turquoise Hill and Chalco have concluded that the proposed transaction has minimal prospect of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals within an acceptable timeframe,Mongolia-focused miner Turquoise Hill said in a statement. The Chinese metals major was to have taken over Turquoise Hill's majority stake in SouthGobi for $920 million. The deadline for Chalco's offer was set to expire Tuesday. Chalco was not immediately available for comment Monday. ^ top ^

PM makes some appointments (MONTSAME)
2012-09-06
An irregular cabinet meeting on August 5 appointed 12 officials to the posts of temporary acting State Secretaries of Ministries. Mr J.Batbold has been appointed as such to the Ministry of environment and green development, Ms J.Bayartsetseg--to the Ministry of justice, Mr R.Erdeneburen--to the Ministry of construction and urban planning, Mr Sh.Bulga--of education and sciences, Mr B.Batzaya--of roads and transportation, Mr P.Altangerel--of culture, sports and tourism, Mr R.Jigjid--to the Ministry of mining,Mr Kh.Zoljargal--of industry and agriculture, and Ms B.Gantsetseg--of labour. To the Ministry of human development and social care has gone B.Otgonjargal, to the Ministry of economic development, Mr B.Shinebaatar, and to the Ministry of energy--Mr D.Delgertsogt. The Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr N.Altankhuyag has tasked the new acting State secretaries with making all efforts to perform the duties and wished them successes.

 ^ top ^

 

Fabian Eng
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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